PART 5 – Ch.XXXI
The Pelasgians or proto – Latins (Arimii)
Beginnings of the Pelasgian people
XXXI. 1. Age of the Pelasgian race.
A race of people arrived from Asia, whom the Greek authors named in general Pelasgians and Turseni, occupied the biggest part of Europe even before the migration of the Greeks, Celts and Germans to the lands of this continent.
had formed in ante-Hellenic times the most extended, the most powerful and the
most remarkable people, a nation who from a moral and material point of view
had changed the face of archaic
appear at the front of all the historic traditions, not only in Hellada and in
We find even today
the traces of their ethnographic extension, as well as their industrial activity,
on the three continents of the ancient world, beginning from the mountains of
But their political history and the history of their civilization are lost in the night of time.
The few still preserved data about the Pelasgians show this great and fine people only in the last period of its history, when its political independence had been lost almost everywhere and when its name had started to disappear. And unfortunately, even these few, fragmentary data which have remained from the Pelasgians, are transmitted by those who had conquered them, destroyed and persecuted them, and later had calumniated them.
So, the history of
their epoch of flourishing, of power and territorial extension in
For the Greek people the Pelasgians ere the oldest people on earth. Their race seemed to them so archaic, so superior in concepts, so strong in will and deeds, so noble in mores, that the Greek traditions and poems attributed to all the Pelasgians the epithet of “divine”, dioi (Homer, Iliad, X. v. 429; Odys. XIX. v. 177; Eschyl, Suppl. v. 967; Dionysius of Halikarnassus, 1. 18, says that the Pelasgians from near Dodona were considered as saints, ieroi, and that nobody dared to go with war against them). This epithet meant people with supernatural qualities, similar to the gods’, epithet which they in truth had deserved for their moral and physical qualities.
The Greeks had lost long ago the tradition about when, how, and from where they had come to the lands of Hellada; but they had a tradition that before them another people had ruled over the land occupied by them, a people who had reclaimed the swamps, drained the lakes, created new courses for rivers, cut the mountains, connected the seas, ploughed the plains, founded cities, villages and citadels, had an inspiring religion and had erected altars and temples to the gods, and that that people were the Pelasgians.
According to the
ancient Greek traditions, the Pelasgians had dwelt in the parts of
A branch of the
Pelasgian people, the Arcadii, who
inhabited the slopes and valleys at the center of the
Finally, Ephor, one of the most diligent
researcher of antiquity and a lover of truth, who had lived in the 4th
century bc, writes: “The tradition tells us that the Pelasgians had been the most ancient people who had ruled over