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French and German writers.
countrymen in representing this as a special failing of the Teutonic
race. The Roman historians at all events favourably contrast the
constancy of the Germans with the fickleness of the Gauls.
More recently a skirmishing battle has been fought over the
carcase of this extinct nation, as if it were a point of national honour
to claim possession. “For ourselves,’ says a French traveller, “we
cannot remember without a sentiment of national pride, that the
Gauls penetrated to the very centre of Asia Minor, established them-
selves there, and left in that country imperishable monuments of
themselves. If the name of Franks is the general term by which
Eastern nations designate the inhabitants of Europe, it is because our
ancestors have influenced in a remarkable manner the destinies of
the East from the earliest ages of our history'.” Contrast with this
the language held by German commentators. “Thus,’ says Wieseler,
after summing up the arguments in favour of his view, “it can
scarcely be doubtful that the Galatians are indeed the first German
people to whom the Word of the Cross was preached’.” “The Epistle
to the Galatians,’ writes Olshausen, “is addressed to Germans, and it
was the German Luther who in this Apostolical Epistle again
recognised and brought to light the substance of the Gospel.”
The question is not so simple as at first sight it might appear.
Accustomed ourselves to dwell on the distinctive features of Celts
and Germans, and impressed with the striking contrasts between the
two races, we can scarcely imagine any confusion possible. But with
Testimony the ancients the case was different. In their eyes Gauls and Germans
alike were savage and lawless tribes, living in the far North beyond the pale of civilisation, and speaking an unknown language. The contrast to Greeks and Romans, which they observed in both alike, obscured the minor differences between one barbarian and another. As time opened out new channels of communication, they became more and more alive to the distinction between the two races". In
1 Texier in the Revue des deuz fairly and clearly stated also in Brandes Mondes, 1841, Iv. p. 575. Kelten und Germanen (Leipz. 1857). See * Galater p. 528. especially his summary, p. ix. The only * The authorities will be found in really important exception among anDiefenbach's Celtica II. They are very cient authors is Dion Cassius, who
Caesar the line of separation is roughly traced: in Tacitus it is gene-
rally sharp and well-defined. But without doubt the two were some-
times confused; and this fact alone rescues the theory of the Teutonic
origin of the Galatians from the imputation of a mere idle paradox.
Still historical scepticism must have some limit; and it would
require a vast mass of evidence on the other side to overcome the
very strong presumption from the agreement of ancient authorities,
both Greek and Roman.
ruthless hordes who poured into Italy and sacked Rome, the sacrile-
Classical writers uniformly regard the
gious invaders who attacked the temple at Delphi, and the warlike immigrants who settled in the heart of Asia Minor, as belonging to one and the same race, as Gauls sprung from that Celtic nation Force of whose proper home was north of the Alps and west of the Rhine. o On this point there is little or no wavering, I believe, from first to last.
affinities of some obscure tribe, springing up in the early twilight of
It would not be strange that an incorrect view of the
history, when the intercourse between distant nations was slight and intermitted, should pass unchallenged. But it is less easy to understand how, when a widespread race had played so important a part in the history of the world for some centuries, when civilised nations had been brought into close contact with them in the far East and West and at different points along a line extending with some interruptions across the whole of Europe and even into Asia, when the study of their language and manners had long been within the reach of the curious, so vital an error should still have held its ground. All ethnology would become hopeless, if testimony so strong were lightly set aside. There must have been many who for purposes of com
merce or from love of travel or in discharge of some official duty or
Jerome's account of the Galatians.
through missionary zeal had visited both the mother country of the
Gauls and their Asiatic settlement, and had seen in the language
and physiognomy and national character of these distant peoples
many striking features which betokened identity of race.
The testimony of one of these witnesses is especially valuable.
Jerome, who writes at the close of the fourth century, had spent
some time both in Gaul proper and in Galatia'. He had thus ample
opportunities of ascertaining the facts. He was moreover eminently
qualified by his critical ability and linguistic attainments for forming
an opinion. In the preface to his Commentary on the Galatians” he
expresses himself to the following effect; ‘Varro and others after him
have written voluminous and important works on this race: never-
theless he will not quote heathen writers; he prefers citing the
testimony of the Christian Lactantius. This author states that the
Galatae were so called from the whiteness of their complexion (yd Aa),
described by Virgil (Æn. viii. 660), Tum lactea colla auro innec-
tuntur, informing us also that a horde of these Gauls arrived in
Asia Minor, and there settled among the Greeks, whence the country
No wonder, adds
Jerome, after illustrating this incident by other migrations between
the East and the West, that the Galatians are called fools and slow
of understanding”, when Hilary, the Rhone of Latin eloquence,
was called Gallo-Graecia and afterwards Galatia.
himself a Gaul and a native of Poitiers, calls the Gauls stupid (indo-
boasts a Greek origin, and the Galatians are not descended from
these but from the fiercer Gaulish tribes (de ferocioribus Gallis sint
It is true that Gaul produces orators, but then Aquitania
Though betraying the weakness common to all ancient
* Jerome mentions his visit to Ga- seen Ancyra the capital of Galatia.
latia (totius Galatiae iter), and his
sojourn in Gaul (Rheni semibarbarae
ripae) in the same letter (Epist. iii, 1.
pp. io, 12). While in Gaul, he appears
to have stayed some time “apud Tre-
veros’ (Epist. v., 1. p. 15). Elsewhere
he tells us that he paid this visit to
Gaul when a very young man (adoles-
centulus, adv. Jovin. ii. 7, II. p. 335).
Lastly, in his commentary on this
epistle (VII. p. 430), he mentions having
* II. p. 425.
* It is scarcely necessary to say that Jerome here misses the point of St Paul's rebuke. The Galatians were intellectually quick enough (see p. 15, note 1). The ‘folly' with which they are charged arose not from obtuseness but from fickleness and levity; the very versatility of their intellect was their snare. The passage of Hilary to which Jerome refers is not extant.
writers when speculating on questions of philology, this passage
taken in connexion with its context implies a very considerable
knowledge of facts; and if Jerome agreed with the universal tradi-
tion in assuming the Galatians to be genuine Gauls, I can hardly
doubt that they were so.
But beyond the testimony borne to Jerome's personal knowledge Its.
and conviction, this passage suggests another very important con- ...” The influence of the Christian Church must have been
largely instrumental in spreading information of this kind. The
Roman official was under no obligation to learn the language of the people whom he governed; but the Christian missionary could not hope for success unless he were able to converse freely with his hearers. In this way the practical study of languages was promoted by the spread of the gospel far more than it had ever been by the At the same time the feeling of brotherhood inspired by Christianity surmounted the barriers of race and language and linked together the most distant nations. There is no more striking phenomenon in the history of the early centuries
growth of the Roman empire'.
than the close and sympathetic intercourse kept up between churches as far apart as those of Asia and Gaul. These communications could scarcely have failed to clear up the error as to the origin of the Galatian people, if any error existed. But great reliance has been placed by those who advocate the The Gala.
Teutonic descent of the Galatians on the words with which Jerome o, the same language with ‘which is spoken throughout the East, the Galatians use as their the Tre: Werl. native tongue a language almost identical with that of the Treveri; 2
concludes the passage above quoted; “Besides the Greek,’ he says,
for any corruption they may have introduced need not be taken into account”.' The Treveri, it is affirmed, were Germans and spoke a German tongue".
* “The science of language,’ says Christian Church'(Science of Language,
Prof. Max Müller, “owes more than its first impulse to Christianity. The pioneers of our science were those very apostles who were commanded to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature; and their true successors, the missionaries of the whole
1st series, p. 121).
* See above, p. 12, note 2. The cor-
rect form is Treveri, not Treviri: see
Glück Die bei Caesar workommenden
Keltischen Namen (1857), p. 155.
* Even Niebuhr, who maintained
the Celtic origin of the Galatians, con-
Gaul This question is not free from difficulty. The fact that German auls,
is now spoken and has been spoken for many centuries in the
district corresponding to the ancient Treveri (Treves) is in itself a
presumption in favour of this view. Nor is the testimony of
ancient writers so decisive as to remove every shadow of doubt.
Yet the balance of evidence is doubtless on the side of the Celtic
extraction of this tribe. Tacitus indeed in one passage says that
they, like the Nervii, eagerly affected a German origin, but he
expresses no opinion of his own; and by distinguishing certain races
whom he mentions immediately after as “unquestionably Germans,’
he evidently throws some doubt on the validity of their claims".
Elsewhere he speaks of them plainly as Belgians and Gauls". The
testimony of Caesar leans the same way, though here again there is
some indistinctness; “Being harassed by constant wars, owing to
their proximity to Germany, they did not differ much in their
warlike habits from the Germans’’; but he too expressly calls them
Gauls or Belgians elsewhere".
sidered that German was the language
of the Treveri, and accounted for Je-
rome's statement by supposing him to
have heard some Germans who had
recently settled in Galatia (Vorträge
tiber Röm. Gesch. II. p. 181). This
view is opposed by Dr Latham (Ger-
mania of Tacitus, p. 98, comp. p.
cxlv), who upholds the testimony of
Jerome. In a later work (Prichard's
Celtic Nations, p. 106 sq.) he somewhat
impugns that testimony, suggesting
that Jerome was mistaken, and start-
ing the theory that the Galatians were
neither Gauls nor Germans, but Sla-
1 Tac. Germ. 28 ‘Treveri et Nervii
circa adfectationem Germanicae origi-
nis ultro ambitiosi sunt, tamguam per
hanc gloriam sanguinis a similitudine
et inertia Gallorum separentur. Ipsam
Rheni ripam haud dubie Germanorum
populi colunt, Wangiones, Triboci,
Nemetes.’ Strabo (iv. p. 194) says
Tpmovipots 38 ovvexets Nepovtot kal rooro
Teppavuków Łęvos. If kai rooro here
refers to Tpmovipots, which however is
very questionable (see Ukert II. 2, p.
361, note 65), it would seem that
Strabo did not care to dispute their
* Ann.i.43,44, iii. 44, Hist. iv. 71, 73.
* Bell. Gall. viii. 25 ‘Treveros quo-
rum civitas propter Germaniae vicinita-
tem quotidianis exercitata bellis cultu
et feritate non multum a Germanis
* Bell. Gall. ii. 4, 24, v. 3, 45, vi.
2, 7, 8, vii. 63. So too Mela iii. 2
calls them “clarissimi Belgarum.” Dion
Cassius in like manner, xxxix. 47, xl.
31, li. 20, separates them from his
KeXrol (i.e. Germans). See Diefenb.
Celt. II. p. 10 sq. In some of these
passages they (as well as the Nervii)
are spoken of as Gauls, in others as
Belgians. This latter designation can-
not be regarded as conclusive, inas-
much as some writers have maintain-
ed that the Belgians were themselves
a German race. The evidence how-
ever is irresistibly strong in favour of
their Gallic parentage. The facts of
the case seem to be as follows;
(1) The names of places and, what is
more important, of persons among the