Page:Discovery and Decipherment of the Trilingual Cuneiform Inscriptions.djvu/334

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

allied to Persian and spoken by the Median branch of the common Aryan race.^ The investigations now concluded by Westergaard showed for the first time that its affinities were with the Scythic or Turanian family of languages, and the inconvenience of retaining the name of Median first became apj^rent.- There could be no doubt that the Median conquerors were Aryans, as may be shown from the names of their leaders, and their close relationship to the Persians in race and language was accepted l)y all the early his- torians as self-evident. It is clear, therefore, that the language of the second column is not theirs, yet Westergaard determined to adhere to the name of Median as its most appropriate designation. He was led to adopt this course chiefiy because there appeared to be no other district except Media where it could have been spoken, and also bec^ause its graphic system seems to indicate contact with Assyria. There can be little doubt that his decision was fully justified at the time, and, to avoid unnecessary confusion, in referring to the earlier writers we have in this chapter generally followed their description of the language of the second column as Median. On the other hand, modern discovery has tended to increase the importance of Susa, by showing that at least a portion of its territory had become the hereditary dominions of Cyrus, before his accession to the Persian throne. At the same time the connection between the lanjjua^^e of the second column and that of tlie ancient inscriptions found in the district has been more completely recognised. There appears good ground to l)elieve that the Aryan race had been established throughout Media long before they rose into

  • Bumouf, Memoire sur Deu.r InscriptioTis (1836), p. 2.

' Westergaard (Bonn edition), pp. 4, 123. C/. Coi)enhagen edition,