« AnteriorContinuar »
tus, and Pausanias teach,) then the name of Italy began; and seeing Virgil makes mention of ltalus among the Italian kings, it were no great boldness to say, that ltalus was commander of these Eleans. For, though I remember not that I have read of any such Greek as was named ltalus, yet the name of ^Etolus, written in Greek Aitolos, was very famous both among the iEtolians and among the Eleans, he being a son of the king of Elis, and founder of the ^Etolian kingdom. Neither is it more hard to derive the name ltalus from ^tolus, than Italia from ./Etolia. So may Virgil's authority stand well with the collections of Reineccius; the name of Italy being taken both from a captain and from the nation of which he and his people were.
Of the Aborigines and other Inhabitants of Latium, and of the reason of the names of Latini and Latium.
In Italy the Latins and Etrurians were most famous; the Etrurians having held the greatest part of it under their subjection; and the Latins, by the virtue and felicity of the Romans, who were a branch of them, subduing all Italy, and in few ages whatsoever nation was known in Europe, together with all the western parts of Asia and north of Africa.
The region called Latium was first inhabited by the Aborigines, whom Halicarnassajus, andVarro, also .Reineccius following them, think to have been Arcadians; and this name of Aborigines (to omit other significations that are strained) imports as much as original, or native of the place, which they possessed: which title the Arcadians are known, in vaunting manner, to have always usurped, fetching their antiquity from beyond the moon; because, indeed, -neither were the inhabitants of Peloponnesus enforced to forsake their seats so oft as other Greeks were, who dwelt without that half island, neither had the Arcadians so unsure a dwelling as the rest of the Peloponnesians; because their country was less fruitful in land, mountainous, and hard of access, and they themselves, (as in such places commonly are found,) very warlike men. Some of these, therefore, having occupied a great part of Latinm, and held it long, did, according to the Arcadian manner, style themselves Aborigines, in that language, which either their new seat, or their neighbours thereby, had taught them. How it might be that the Arcadians, who dwelt somewhat far from sea, and are always noted as unapt men to prove good mariners, should have been authors of new discoveries, were a question not easy to be answered, were it not so, that both fruitfulness of children, in which those ages abounded, enforceth a superfluous company to seek another seat, and that some expeditions of the Arcadians, as especially that of Evander, into the same parts of Italy, are generally acknowledged.
After the Aborigines were the Pelasgi, an ancient nation, who sometime gave name to all Greece; but their antiquities are long since dead for lack of good records. Neither was their glory such in Italy as could long sustain the name of their own tribe; for they were in short space accounted one people with the former inhabitants. The Sicani, Ausones, Aurunci, Rutili, and other people, did in ages following disturb the peace or Latium, which by Saturn was brought to some civility, and he therefore canonized as a god.
This Saturn, St. Augustine calleth Sterces or Sterculius, others term him Stercutius, and say, that he taught the people to dung their grounds. That Latium took his name of Saturn, because he did latere, that is, lie hidden there, when he fled from Jupiter, it is questionless a fable. For, as in heathenish superstition it was great vanity to think that any thing could be hidden from God, or that there were many gods, of whom one fled from another; so, in the truth of history, it is well known, that no king reigning in those parts was so mighty, that it should be hard to find one country or another wherein a man might be safe from his pursuit: And yet, as most fables * and poetical fictions were occasioned by some ancient truth, which, either by ambiguity of speech or some allusion, they did maimedly and darkly express, (for so they feigned a passage over a river in hell, because death is a passage to another life; and because this passage is hateful, lamentable, and painful, therefore they named the river Styx of hate, Cocytus of lamentation, and Acheron of pain; so also, because men are stony-hearted, and because the Greek xwi people, and stones, are near in sound, therefore they feigned, in the time of Deucalion, stones converted into men, as at other times men into stones;) —in like manner it may be, that the original of Saturn's hiding himself, was some allusion to that old opinion of the wisest of the heathen, that the true God was ignotus Deus, as it is noted in Acts xvii. 23; whence also Isaiah,3 of the true God, says, TuDeus abdens te. For it cannot be vain, that the word Saturnus should also have this very signification, if it be derived, (as some think,) from the Hebrew Satar, which is, to hide. Howbeit I deny not but that the original of this word Latium ought rather to be sought elsewhere.
Reineccius doth conjecture that the Ceteans, who descended from Cethim, the son of Javan, were the men who gave the name to Latium. For these Ceteans are remembered by Homer as aiders of the Trojans in their war. Strabo interpreting the place of Homer, calls them subjects to the crown of Troy. Hereupon Reineccius gathers that their abode was in Asia; viz. in agro Elaitico, in the Elaitian territory, which agreeth with Strabo. Of a city which the iEolians held in Asia, called Ela:o, or Elaia, Pau
sanias makes mention: Stephanus calls it Cidaemis, or (accordingto the Greek writing) Cidamis, which name last rehearsed hath a very near sound to Cethim, Citim, or Cithim; the Greek letter [d] having (as many teach) a pronunciation very like to [th] differing only in the strength or weakness of utterance, which is found between many English words written with the same letters. Wherefore that these Ceteans being descended of Cethim, Cittim, or Kittim, the son of Javan, who was progenitor of the Greeks, might very well take a denomination from the city and region which they inhabited, and from thence be called Elaeites, or Elaites, it is very likely; considering that among the Arcadians, Phocians, iEtolians, and Eleans, who all were of the iEolic tribe, are found the names of the mountain Ela3iis, the haven Eleas, the people Elaitae, the cities Elams, Elaia, and Elateia, of which last it were somewhat harsh in the Latin tongue to call the inhabitants by any other name than-Elatini, from whence Latini may come. Now whereas both the Cetaei and Arcadians had their original from Cethim, it is nothing unlikely, that, agreeing in language and similitude of names, they might nevertheless differ in sound and pronunciation of one and the same word. So that as he is by many called Sabinus, to whom some (deriving the Sabines from him) give the name of Sabus; in the like manner might he whom the Arcadians would call Elatus, (of which name they had a prince that founded the city Elateia) be named of the .Ceteans, Latinus. Reineccius pursuing this likelihood, thinks, that when Euripylus, lord of the Ceteans, being the son of Telephus, whom Hercules begat upon Auge, the daughter of Aleus king of Arcadia, was slain by Achilles in the Trojan war; then did Telephus, brother to Euripylus, conduct the Ceteans, who (fearing what evil might befal themselves by the Greeks, if the affairs of Troy should go ill,) passed into that part of Italy where the Arcadians were
trus. And Reineccius farther thinks, sing the more gracious among the ians, by the memory of his grandj.i Arcadian lady, was well contentcadian name, and to be called Eladialect and pronunciation either of tne ueteans, or of the Oenotrians, was first Elatinus, and then Latinus: That this name of Elatus may have been taken or imposed by the Arcadians, it is the more easy to be thought, for that there were then two families, the one of Aphidus, the other of Elatus, who were sons of Areas king of Arcadia, which gave name to the country; and between these two families the succession in that kingdom did pass, almost interchangeably, for many ages, till at the end of the Trojan war it fell into the hand of Hippothous, of the race of Elatus, in whose posterity it continued until the last. Again, the name Latinus having a derivative sound, agrees the better with the supposition of such an accident. This is the conjecture of Reineccius, which if he madeoverboldly, yet others may follow it with the less reproof, considering that it is not easy to find either an apparent truth, or fair probability, among these disagreeing authors, which have written the originals of Latium.
Of the ancient kings of the Latins, until JEneas's
The kings which reigned in Latium before the arrival of vEneas, were Saturnus, Picus, Faunus, and Latinus!. Of Saturn there is nothing remembered, save what is mentioned already, and many fables of the Greeks, which, whether they be applicable to this man, it is for him to judge, who shall be able to determine whether this were the Saturn of the Greeks, called by them Kjwf, or some other, styled