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In preparing the vocabulary for this book, I have assumed an elementary knowledge of Latin accidence and syntax.
I have not, for example, thought it necessary to tell the pupil that such a word as bonus, a, um, is an adjective, or that coram governs the ablative case.
In regard to the verbs, I have adopted the terms transitive and intransitive (tr. and intr.) in preference to active and neuter, the latter appearing to me to be indistinct. By transitive, I mean verbs governing the accusative case.
In regard to such etymologies as are given, my object has been merely to draw attention to the connexion between cognate words in Latin, or between the same in Latin and Greek. I have, therefore, in no case given a derivation which seemed to lead to nothing beyond the word itself, or to lead into languages with which schoolboys are not at present considered to be, generally speaking, acquainted. Nor have I given, as far as I know, any etymologies except those that are generally agreed upon among the learned. The text adopted is that of M. Müller.
H. M. S.
THE so-called history of the kingly period of Rome cannot be shown to be history in any proper sense of the word, but is rather a collection of legends. These contain, no doubt, some facts, such as, the existence of a period of monarchical government, the change in the citizen body, and possibly the name of the author of that change, the fact and the names of the Etruscan dynasty that closed this period, and so forth. But it seems to be impossible to show that the preservation of these facts is due to the legends, or that the latter are merely an embellished form of a genuine tradition handed down from the earliest times. It would seem rather that certain broad and general facts about their earliest state lived on in the consciousness of the Roman people, and that these were worked into the legendary history when, for other reasons, it was invented. The bulk of this legendary history not only cannot be shown to be genuine tradition, but can be accounted for as the result mainly of two legend-making influences, the euhemeristic and the aetiological. Euhemerism, named after the Greek Euhemerus, who flourished at the Macedonian court about the end of the fourth century B.C., was the rationalizing system of representing gods and demigods, especially divinities that had, so to say, gone out of worship, as great men who had been canonised after death. It represented consequently mythology as containing in a disguised form true history. Ennius translated Euhemerus's work on the subject, and probably adopted the theory ; to it, no doubt, many of the legends of early Rome are entirely due.
The other influence, the aetiological, arises from the desire to account for existing facts, customs and institutions, or words and phrases, the meaning and origin of which has passed out of memory. The story of Whittington and his Cat grew out of a desire to account for the tradition that he had grown rich by acat, a word that had passed out of general knowledge; and when certain customs connected with the marriage ceremony, survivals, as we know now, of customs common to most primitive peoples, had become unintelligible to the more civilised Romans, they invented the story of the rape of the Sabine women and the bride of Talassius to account for them. And so with other stories of a similar kind. The quasi-history, then, of the legends, though containing some historical facts, cannot be said to give us of itself any
historical information. Those historical facts are recognised on other grounds, and rather in spite of their appearance in the legends than because of it. The other sources from which we derive all (perhaps more than) we know about the earliest history of Rome may be
i Vergil, Aen. vii. 177 fol., where some of the leading old Italian divinities, such as Saturnus for example, are represented as former kings, is an instructive passage in this respect.
described perhaps in one word as embedded history, principally circumstances connected with known historical institutions, and facts of languages. When, for example, we find existing in historical times an official called Rex Sacrorum, and remember the intense conservatism of the Romans in ceremonial matters, we have a tolerably sure ground for inferring that there once existed in Rome a king who was head of the church as well as of the state. What we learn from these and similar trustworthy sources about the earliest history of Latium and Rome, in brief outline, is pretty much as follows.
The Latin stock, a portion of the Graeco-Italian branch of the Indo-Germanic family, occupied at one time, as certain indications seem to show, a considerable portion of central and southern Italy; but at the earliest period at which we have any sort of knowledge of their national life, they were confined to Latium, the plain-land, 1 broken by hills of moderate height, bounded on the north by the Tiber and Anio, on the east by the lower ranges of the Apennines, on the south by the Alban ridge, and on the west by the Sea. Within this plain the Old Latins 2 dwelt in cantons (civitas, populus), that is, collections of clanvillages (vicus, pagus) grouped round a stronghold (urbs, arx, capitolium) which served at once as a protection, and as a centre of political, social, and commercial unity. At the earliest period to which our historical indications reach back, these Latin commu
i alatús, latus, later, flat.
2 So called to distinguish them from the later Latin communities outside the bounds of Latium.