Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/249
^ 76. pp.57, 108, , 165.
which they are written ' ; and this he ascribed ' to tlie influence of a system of transcription of Semitic origin.' ^ The discovery that there was a marked discrepancy between the mode of writing and the characteristics of an Indo-European language, now announced for the first time, was soon to receive very ample confirmation, thougli it was no small surprise to most scholars when the origin of the writing was traced, not to Semitic, but to Turanian sources. In opposition to the opinion of Grotefend, Burnouf thought tliat the greater simplicity of the mode of writing in tlie first Persepolitan column indicated its later development, and he showed that the language was not identical with Zend, as Grotefend at first imagined, but a dialect less pure than Zend, and in actual j)rocess of developing into a later form.^' Indeed it alread}' exhibited by its hiterchange of letters some of the peculiarities noticed in modern Persian. He has no doubt that it was the living language of the court of Darius ; and it is peculiarly interesting, inas- much as its existence fidly establishes the greater antiquity of Zend, and removes for ever all the doubts that had arisen as to the authenticity of that sacred lan^Tuacfe/^ We have alreadv said that Burnouf was connected bv ties of friendship with Tiassen from an early age. Lassen was a Norwegian, born at Bergen in ISOO, and con- sequentlv a vear older tlian his friend. He was educated at Christiania, and at the aiie of twentv-two he left Xorway to continue his studies at Heidelberg. He obtained a travelling studentship from the Prussian Government, and visited London and Paris in the vears 1824-0. During his stay in the latter capital he made the acquaintance of Burnouf, and collaborated witli him ^ 3/r?«o?*/r, pp. 87, 161. * 76. p. 163.