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Müller, Friedrich. Lectures on the Science of Language. Second Series – T07

Lecture VII.
On the Powers of Roots.

After we have removed everything that is formal,
artificial, intelligible in words, there remains
always something that is not merely formal, not the
result of grammatical art, not intelligible, and this we
call for the present a root or a radical element. If we
take such a word as historically, we can separate from
it the termination of the adverb, ly, the termination
of the adjective al. This leaves us historic, the Latin
historicus. Here we can again remove the adjectival
suffix cus, by which historicus is derived from hístōr
or historia. Now historia, again, is formed by means
of the feminine suffix ia, which produces abstract
nouns, from hístōr. Hístōr is a Greek word, and it is
in reality a corruption of ἴstōr. Both forms, however,
occur; the spiritus asper instead of the spiritus lenis,
in the beginning of the word, may be ascribed to
dialectic influences. Then ἴstōr, again, has to be
divided into is and tōr, tōr being the nom. sing.
of the derivative suffix tar, which we have in Latin
dâ-tor, Sanskrit dâ-tar, Greek do-tḗr, a giver, and the
radical element is. In is, the s is a modification of
d, for d in Greek, if followed immediately by a t, is
changed to s. Thus we arrive at last at the root Id,
which we have in Greek oîda, in Sanskrit veda, the
296non-reduplicated perfect of the root vid, the English
to wit, to know. Hístōr, therefore, meant originally a
knower, or a finder, historia, knowledge. Beyond the
root vid we cannot go, nor can we tell why vid means
to see, or to find, or to know. Nor should we gain
much if from vid we appealed to the preposition vi,
which means asunder, and might be supposed to have
imparted to vid the power of dividing, singling out,
perceiving (dis-cerno). *1 It is true there is the same
similarity of meaning in the Hebrew preposition bîn,
between, and the verb bîn, to know, but why bîn
should mean between is again a question which we
cannot hope to clear up by mere etymological analysis.

All that we can safely maintain with regard to
the nature of the Aryan roots is this, that they have
definite forms and definite meanings. However
chaotic the origin of language may by some scholars
be supposed to have been, certain it is that here, as
in all other subjects of physical research, we must
attempt to draw a line which may separate the Chaos
from the Kosmos. When the Aryan languages began
to assume their individuality, their roots had become
typical, both in form and meaning. They were no
longer mere interjections with varying and indeterminate
vowels, with consonants floating about from
guttural to labial contact, and uncertain between
surd, sonant, or aspirated enunciation. Nor were
they the expressions of mere impressions of the
moment, of single, abrupt states of feeling that had
no reference to other sensations of a similar or
dissimilar character. Language, if it then deserved
297that name, may at one time have been in that chaotic
condition; nay, there are some small portions in
almost every language which seem to date from that
lowest epoch. Interjections, though they cannot be
treated as parts of speech, are nevertheless ingredients
of our conversation; so are the clicks of the Bushmen
and Hottentots, which have been well described
as remnants of animal speech. Again, there are in
many languages words, if we may call them so, consisting
of mere imitations of the cries of animals or
the sounds of nature, and some of them have been
carried along by the stream of language into the
current of nouns and verbs.

It is this class of words which the Greeks meant
when they spoke of onomatopœia. But do not let
us suppose that because onomatopœia means making
of words, the Greeks supposed all words to owe their
origin to onomatopœia, or imitation of sound. Nothing
would have been more remote from their minds. By
onomatopœia they meant to designate not real words,
but made, artificial, imitative words — words that anyone
could make at a moment's notice. Even the
earliest of Greek philosophers had seen enough of
language to know that the key to its mysteries could
not be bought so cheaply. When Aristotle *2 calls
words imitations (mimḗmata), he does not mean those
downright imitations, as when we call a cow a moo,
or a dog a bow-wow. His statements and those of
Plato 3 on language must be read in connection with
the statements of earlier philosophers, such as Pythagoras
298(540-510), Heraclitus (503), Democritus (430-410),
and others, that we may see how much had been
achieved before them, how many guesses on language
had been made and refuted before they in turn
pronounced their verdict. Although we possess but
scant, abrupt, and oracular sayings which are ascribed
to those early sages, yet these are sufficient to show
that they had pierced through the surface of language,
and that the real difficulties of the origin of speech
had not escaped their notice. When we translate the
enigmatic and poetical utterances of Heraclitus into
our modern, dry, and definite phraseology, we can
hardly do them justice. Perfect as they are when
seen in their dark shrines, they crumble to dust as
soon as they are touched by the bright rays of our
modern philosophy. Yet if we can descend ourselves
into the dark catacombs of ancient thought, we feel
that we are there in the presence of men who, if they
lived with us and could but speak our language,
would be looked upon as giants. They certainly had
this one advantage over us, that their eyes had not
been dimmed by the dust raised in the wars of words
that have been going on since their time for more than
two thousand years. When we are told that the
principal difference of opinion that separated the
philosophers of old with regard to the nature and
origin of language is expressed by the two words
phýsei and thései, ‘naturally’ and ‘artificially,’ we
learn very little from such general terms. We must
know the history of those words, which were watchwords
in every school of philosophy, before they
dwindled down to mere technical terms. With the
later sophists thései, ‘artificially,’ or the still earlier
nómô, ‘conventionally,’ meant no longer what they
299meant with the fathers of Greek philosophy; nay,
they sometimes assumed the very opposite meaning.
A sophist like Hermogenes, in order to prove that
language existed conventionally, maintained that an
apple might have been called a plum, and a plum an
apple, if people had only agreed to do so. *4 Another 5
pointed in triumph to his slave, to whom he had
actually given a new name, by calling him ‘Yet,’
in order to prove that any word might be significative.
Nor were the arguments in favour of the natural
origin of language of a better kind, when the efficacy
of curses was quoted to show that words endowed
with such powers could not have a merely human
or conventional origin. 6

Such was not the reasoning of Heraclitus or Democritus.
The language in which they spoke, the whole
world of thought in which they lived, did not allow
them to discuss the nature and origin of language after
the fashion of these sophists, nor after our own fashion.
They had to speak in parables, in full, weighty, suggestive
300poetry, poetry that cannot be translated without
an anachronism. We must take their words, such as
they are, with all their vagueness and all their depth,
but we must not judge them by these words as if these
words were spoken by ourselves. The oracle on
language which is ascribed to Heraclitus was certainly
his own. Commentators may have spoiled, but they
could not have invented it. Heraclitus held that words
exist naturally, but he did not confine himself to
that technical phraseology. Words, he said, *7 are like
the shadows of things, like the pictures of trees and
mountains reflected in the river, like our own images
when we look into a mirror. This sounds like Heraclitus;
his sentences are always like nuggets of gold, to
use his own simile, 8 without any of the rubbish through
which philosophers have to dig before they can bring
to light solid truth. He is likewise reported to have
said, that to use any words except those supplied by
nature for each thing, was not to speak, but only to
make a noise. What Heraclitus meant by his simile,
or by the word ‘nature,’ if he used it, we cannot
know definitely; but we know, at all events, what he
did not mean, namely, that man imposed what names he
pleased on the objects around him. To have perceived
that at that time, to have given any thought to that
problem in the days when Heraclitus lived, stamps
him once for all as a philosopher, ignorant though he
may have been of all the rules of our logic, and our
301rhetoric, and our grammar. It is commonly supposed
that, as on all other subjects, so on the subject of
language, Democritus took the opposite view of the
dark thinker, nor can we doubt that Democritus
represented language as due to thésis, i. e. institution,
art, convention. None of these terms, however, can
more than indicate the meaning of thésis. The lengthy
arguments which are ascribed to him *9 in support of
his theory savour of modern thought, but the similes
again, which go by his name, are certainly his own.
Democritus called words agálmata phônḗenta, statues
in sound. Here, too, we have the pithy expression of
ancient philosophy. Words are not natural images,
images thrown by nature on the mirror of the soul;
they are statues, works of art, only not in stone or
brass, but in sound. Such is the opinion of Democritus,
though we must take care not to stretch his
words beyond their proper intent. If we translate
thései by artificial, we must not take artificial in the
sense of arbitrary. If we translate nómō by conventional,
we must not take it to mean accidental.
The same philosopher would, for instance, have maintained
that what we call sweet or sour, warm or
cold, is likewise so thései or conventionally, but by
no means arbitrarily. The war-cries of phýsei or
302thései) which are heard through the whole history of
these distant battles of thought, involved not only
philosophical, but political, moral, religious interests.
We shall best understand their meaning if we watch
their application to moral ideas. Philolaos, the famous
Pythagorean philosopher, held that virtue existed
by nature, not by institution. What did he mean?
He meant what we mean when we say that virtue
was not an invention of men who agreed to call
some things good and others bad, but that there is a
voice of conscience within us, the utterance of a divine
law, independent of human statutes and traditions,
self-evident, irrefragable. Yet even those who maintained
that morality was but another name for
legality, and that good and bad were simply conventional
terms, insisted strongly on the broad distinction
between law and the caprice of individuals.
The same in language. When Democritus said that
words were not natural images, natural echoes, but
works of art in sound, he did not mean to degrade
language to a mere conglomerate of sound. On the
contrary, had he, with his terminology, ascribed language
to nature, nature being with him the mere concurrence
of atoms, he would have shown less insight
into the origin, less regard for the law and order
which pervade language. Language, he said, exists
by institution; but how he must have guarded his
words against any possible misapprehension, how
he must have protested against the confusion of
the two ideas, conventional and arbitrary, we may
gather from the expression ascribed to him by a later
scholiast, that words were statues in sound, but statues
not made by the hands of men, but by the gods
303themselves. *10 The boldness and pregnancy of such expressions
are the best guarantee of their genuineness,
and to throw them aside as inventions of later writers
would betray an utter disregard of the criteria by
which we distinguish ancient and modern thought.

Our present object, however, is not to find out what
these early philosophers thought of language — I am
afraid we shall never be able to do that — but only to
guard against their memory being insulted, and their
names abused for sanctioning the shallow wisdom
of later ages. It is sufficient if we only see clearly
that, with the ancient Greeks, language was not considered
as mere onomatopœia, although that name
means, literally, making of names. I should not venture
to explain what Pythagoras meant by saying,
‘the wisest of all things is Number, and next to
Number, that which gives names.’ 11 But of this I feel
certain, that by the Second in Wisdom in the universe,
even though he may have represented him exoterically
as a human being, as the oldest and wisest of men, 12
Pythagoras did not mean the man who, when he heard
a cow say moo! succeeded in repeating that sound
and fixed it as the name of the animal. As to Plato
and Aristotle, it is hardly necessary to defend them
against the imputation of tracing language back to
onomatopœia. Even Epicurus, who is reported to
have said that in the first formation of language men
304acted unconsciously, moved by nature, as in coughing,
sneezing, lowing, barking, or sighing, admitted that this
would account only for one half of language, and that
some agreement must have taken place before language
really began, before people could know what each
person meant by these uncouth utterances. *13 In this
Epicurus shows a more correct appreciation of the
nature of language than many who profess to hold
his theories at present. He met the objection that
words, if suggested by nature, ought to be the same
in all countries, by a remark in which he anticipated
Humboldt, viz., that human nature is affected differently
in different countries, that different views are
formed of things, and that these different affections
and views influence the formation of words peculiar
to each nation. He saw that the sounds of nature
would never have grown into articulate language without
passing through a second stage, which he represents
as an agreement or an understanding to use
a certain sound for a certain conception. Let us substitute
for this Epicurean idea of a conventional
agreement an idea which did not exist in his time,
and the full elaboration of which in our own time we
owe to the genius of Darwin; — let us place instead of
305agreement, Natural Selection, or, as I called it in my
former Lectures, Natural Elimination, and we shall
then arrive, I believe, at an understanding with
Epicurus, and even with some of his modern followers.
As a number of sensuous impressions, received by
man, produce a mental image or a perception, and
secondly, as a number of such perceptions produce a
general notion, we may understand that a number of
sensuous impressions may cause a corresponding vocal
expression, a cry, an interjection, or some imitation
of the sound that happens to form part of the sensuous
impressions; and, secondly, that a number of
such vocal expressions may be merged into one
general expression, and leave behind the root as the
sign belonging to a general notion. But as there is
in man a faculty of reason which guides and governs
the formation of sensuous impressions into perceptions,
and of perceptions into general notions, the gradual
formation of roots out of mere natural cries or imitations
takes place under the same rational control.
General notions are not formed at random, but
according to law, that law being our reason within,
corresponding to the reason without — to the reason, if
I may so call it, of nature. Natural selection, if we
could but always see it, is invariably rational selection.
It is not any accidental variety that survives
and perpetuates itself; it is the individual which
comes nearest to the original intention of its creator, or
what is best calculated to accomplish the ends for
which the type or species to which it belongs was
called into being, that conquers in the great struggle
for life. So it is in thought and language. Not
every random perception is raised to the dignity of a
general notion, but only the constantly recurring, the
306strongest, the most useful; and out of the endless
number of general notions that suggest themselves to
the observing and gathering mind, those only survive
and receive definite phonetic expression which are
absolutely requisite for carrying on the work of life.
Many perceptions which naturally present themselves
to our minds have never been gathered up into
general notions, and accordingly they have not received
a name. There is no general notion to comprehend
all blue flowers or all red stones; no name
that includes horses and dogs, but includes oxen and
sheep. The Greek language has never produced a word
to express animal as opposed to man, and the word
zôon, which, like animal, comprises all living creatures,
is post-Homeric *14. Locke has called attention
to the fact that in English there is a special word for
killing a man, namely, murder, while there is none for
killing a sheep; that there is a special designation for
the murder of a father, namely, parricide, but none
for the murder of a son or a neighbour. ‘Thus the
mind,’ he writes, 15 ‘in mixed modes, arbitrarily unites
into complex ideas such as it finds convenient; whilst
others that have altogether as much union in nature
are left loose, and never combined into one idea
because they have no need of one name.’ And again,
Colshire, drilling, filtration, cohobation, are words
standing for certain complex ideas, which, being
seldom in the minds of any but the few whose
particular employments do at every turn suggest
them to their thoughts, those names of them are not
generally understood but by smiths and chymists,
307who having framed the complex ideas which these
words stand for, and having given names to them or
received them from others upon hearing of these
names in communication, readily conceive those ideas
in their minds; as by cohobation, all the simple ideas
of distilling and the pouring the liquor distilled from
anything back upon the remaining matter, and distilling
it again. Thus we see that there are great
varieties of simple ideas, as of tastes and smells, which
have no names, and of modes many more, which either
not having been generally enough observed, or else not
being of any great use to be taken notice of in the
affairs and concerns of men, they have not had names
given to them, and so pass not for species,’ *16

Of course, when new combinations arise, and again
and again assert their independence, they at last
receive admittance into the commonwealth of ideas
and the republic of words. This applies to ancient
even more than to modern times — to the early ages of
language more than to its present state. It was an
event in the history of man when the ideas of father,
mother, brother, sister, husband, wife were first conceived
and first uttered. It was a new era when the
numerals from one to ten had been framed, and
when words like law, right, duty, virtue, generosity,
love, had been added to the dictionary of man. It
was a revelation — the greatest of all revelations — when
the conception of a Creator, a Ruler, a Father of man,
when the name of God was for the first time uttered
in this world. Such were the general notions that
were wanted and that were coined into intellectual
currency. Other notions started up, lived for a time,
308and disappeared again when no longer required.
Others will still rise up, unless our intellectual life
becomes stagnant, and will receive the baptism of
language. Who has thought about the changes which
are brought about apparently by the exertions of
individuals, but for the accomplishment of which,
nevertheless, individual exertions would seem to be
totally unavailing, without feeling the want of a word,
that is to say, in reality, of an idea, to comprehend the
influence of individuals on the world at large and of
the world at large on individuals — an idea that should
explain the failure of a Huss in reforming the Church,
and the success of a Luther, the defeat of a Pitt in
carrying parliamentary reform, and the success of a
Russell? How are we to express that historical process
in which the individual seems to be a free agent
and yet is the slave of the masses whom he wants to
influence, in which the masses seem irresistible, and
are yet swayed by the pen of an unknown writer?
Or, to descend to smaller matters, how does a poet
become popular? How does a new style of art or architecture
prevail? How, again, does fashion change?
— how does what seemed absurd last year become recognised
in this, and what is admired in this become
ridiculous in the next season? Or take language
itself. How is it that a new word, such as to shunt,
or a new pronunciation, such as gold instead of goold,
is sometimes accepted, while at other times the best
words newly coined or newly revived by our best
writers are completely ignored and fall dead? We
want an idea that is to exclude caprice as well as
necessity — that is to include individual exertion as
well as general co-operation — an idea applicable neither
to the unconscious building of bees nor to the
309conscious architecture of human beings, yet combining
within itself both these operations, and raising them
to a new and higher conception. You will guess
both the idea and the word, if I add that it is likewise
to explain the extinction of fossil kingdoms and the
origin of new species — it is the idea of Natural Selection
that was wanted, and being wanted it was found,
and being found it was named. It is a new category —
a new engine of thought; and if naturalists are proud
to affix their names to a new species which they discover,
Mr. Darwin may be prouder, for his name
will remain affixed to a new idea, a new genus of

There are languages which do not possess numerals
beyond four. All beyond four is lumped together in
the general idea of many. There are dialects, such as
the Hawaian, in which *17 black and blue and darkgreen
are not distinguished, nor bright yellow and
white, nor brown and red. This arises from no obtuseness
of sense, for the slightest variation of tint is
immediately detected by the people, but from sluggishness
of mind. In the same way the Hawaians
are said to have but one term for love, friendship,
gratitude, benevolence, esteem, &c., which they call
indiscriminately aloha, though the same people distinguish
in their dictionary between aneane, a gentle
breeze, matani, wind, puhi, blowing or puffing with
the mouth, and hano, blowing through the nose,
asthma. 18 It is the same in the lower classes of our
own country. People who would never use such
words as quadruped, or mineral, or beverage, have
310different names for the tail of a fox, the tail of a dog,
the tail of a hare. *19

Castrèn, the highest authority on the languages,
literature, and civilization of the Northern Turanian
races, such as the Finns, Lapps, Tatars, and Mongolians,
speaks of tribes which have no word for river, though
they have names for the smallest rivulet; no word for
finger, but names for the thumb, the ring-finger, &c.;
no word for berry, but many names for cranberry,
strawberry, blueberry; no word for tree, but names
for birch, fir, ash, and other trees. 20 He states in
another place (p. 18) that in Finnish the word for
thumb gradually assumed the meaning of finger, the
word for waterberry (empetrum nigrurn) the meaning
of berry.

But even these, the most special names, are really
general terms, and express originally a general quality,
nor is there any other way in which they could have
been formed. It is difficult to place ourselves in the
position of people with whom the framing of new
ideas and new words was the chief occupation of their
life. 21 But suppose we had no word for dog; what
could we do? If we, with a full-grown language at
our command, became for the first time acquainted
with a dog, we should probably discover some similarity
between it and some other animal, and call it
accordingly. We might call it a tame wolf, just as
the inhabitants of Mallicolo, §22 when they saw the first
dogs that had been sent to them from the Society
, called them brooàs, their name for pig,
311Exactly the same happened in the island of Tanna.
Here, too, the inhabitants called the dogs that were
sent to them pigs (buga). It would, however, very
soon be felt as an inconvenience not to be able to
distinguish between a dog and a pig, and some distinguishing
mark of the dog would have to be chosen
by which to name it. Plow could that be effected?
It might be effected by imitating the barking of the
animal, and calling it bow-wow; yet, strange to say,
we hardly ever find a civilized language in which the
dog was so called. What really took place was this.
The mind received numerous impressions from everything
that came within its ken. A dog did not stand
before it at once, properly defined and classified, but
it was observed under different aspects — now as a
savage animal, now as a companion, sometimes as a
watcher, sometimes as a thief, occasionally as a swift
hunter, at other times as a coward or an unclean
beast. From every one of these impressions a name
might be framed, and after a time the process of
natural elimination would reduce the number of these
names, and leave only a few, or only one, which, like
canis, would become the proper name of dog.

But in order that any such name could be given,
it was requisite that general ideas, such as roving,
following, watching, stealing, running, resting, should
previously have been formed in the mind, and should
have received expression in language. These general
ideas are expressed by roots. As they are more
simple and primitive, they are expressed by more
simple and primitive roots, whereas complex ideas
found expression in secondary radicals. Thus to go
would be expressed by sar; to creep by sarp; to shout
by nad, to rejoice by nand, to join by yu or yuj, to
312glue together by yaut. We thus find in Sanskrit and
in all the Aryan languages clusters of roots, expressive
of one common idea, and differing from each other
merely by one or two additional letters, either at the
end or at the beginning. The most natural supposition
is that which I have just stated, namely, that
as ideas grew and multiplied, simple roots were increased
and became diversified. But the opposite
view might likewise be defended, namely, that language
began with variety, that many special roots
were thrown out first, and from them the more
general roots elaborated by leaving out those letters
which constituted the specific differences of each.

Much may be said in support of either of these
views, nor is it at all unlikely that both processes,
that of accretion and that of elimination, may have
been at work simultaneously. But the fact is that
we do not know even the most ancient of the Aryan
languages, the Sanskrit, till long after it had passed
through its radical and agglutinative stages, and we
shall never know for certain by what slow degrees it
advanced through both, and became settled as an
inflectional language. Chronologically speaking, the
question whether sarp existed before sar, is unanswerable;
logically, no doubt, sar comes first, but we
have seen enough of the history of speech to know that
what ought to have been according to the strict laws
of logic is very different from what has been according
to the pleasure of language. *23

What it is of the greatest importance to observe is
313this, that out of many possible general notions, and
out of many possible general terms, those only become,
through a process of natural selection, typical in each
language which are now called the roots, the fertile
germs of that language. These roots are definite in
form and meaning: they are what I called phonetic
, firm in their outline, though still liable to important
modifications. They are the ‘specific centres
of language, and without them the science of language
would be impossible.

All this will become clearer by a few examples.
Let us take a root and follow it through its adventures
in its way through the world. There is an
Aryan root mar, which means to crush, to pound,
to destroy by friction. I should not venture to say
that those are mistaken who imagine they perceive in
this root the grating noise of some solid bodies grinding
against each other. Our idiosyncrasies as to the
nature of certain sounds are formed, no doubt, very
much through the silent influence of the languages
which we speak or with which we are acquainted. It
is perfectly true also that this jarring or rasping noise
is rendered very differently in different languages.
Nevertheless, there being such a root as mar, meaning
to pound, it is natural to imagine that we hear in it
something like the noise of two mill-stones, or of a
metal-crushing engine. *24 But let us mark at once the
314difference between a mere imitation of the inarticulate
groaning and moaning noises produced by crushing
hard substances, and the articulate sound mar. Every
possible combination of consonants with final r or l was
suggested; kr, tr, chr, glr, all would have answered
the purpose, and may have been used, for all we
know, previous to the first beginning of articulate
speech. But, as soon as mr had got the upperhand,
all other combinations were discarded; mr had conquered,
and became by that very fact the ancestor
of a large family of words. If, then, we either follow
the history of this root mar in an ascending line and
spreading direction, or if we trace its offshoots back
in a descending line to that specific germ, we must be
able to explain all later modifications, as necessitated
by phonetic and etymological laws; in all the various
settings, the jewel must be the same, and in all its
various corruptions the causes .must be apparent that
produced the damage.

I begin, then, with the root mar, and ascribe to it
the meaning of grinding down. In all the words that
315are derived from mar there must be no phonetic
change, whether by increase, decrease, or corruption,
that cannot be supported by analogy; in all the ideas
expressed by these words there must always be a
connecting link by which the most elevated and abstract
notions can be connected, directly or indirectly,
with the original conception of ‘grinding.’ In the
phonetic analysis, all that is fanciful and arbitrary is
at once excluded; nothing is tolerated for which there
is not some precedent. In the web of ideas, on the
contrary, which the Aryan mind has spun out of that
one homely conception we must be prepared not only
for the orderly procession of logical thought, but frequently
for the poetic flights of fancy. The production
of new words rests on poetry as much, if not
more, than on judgment; and to exclude the poetical
or fanciful element in the early periods of the history
of human speech would be to deprive ourselves of
the most important aid in unravelling its early beginnings.

Before we enter on our survey of this family of
words, we must bear in mind (1) that r and l are
cognate and interchangeable; therefore mar = mal.

2. That ar in Sanskrit is shortened to a simple
vowel, and then pronounced ṛi; hence mar = mṛi.

3. That ar may be pronounced ra, *25 and al, la;
hence mar = mra, mal = mla.

4. That mra and mla in Greek are changed into
mbro, mblo, and, after dropping the m, into bro and

In Sanskrit we find malana in the sense of rubbing
316or grinding, but the root does not seem in that
language to have yielded any names for mill. This
may be important historically, if it should indicate that
real mills were unknown previous to the Aryan separation.
In Latin, Greek, German, Celtic, Slavonic,
the name for mill is throughout derived from the root
mar. Thus, Latin mola, *26 Greek myle, Old High-German
muli, Irish meile, Bohemian mlyn, Lithuanian
malunas. From these close coincidences among all the
members of the Northern branch of the Aryan family,
it has been concluded that mills were known previous
to the separation of the Northern branch, though it
ought to be borne in mind that some of these nations
may have borrowed the name from others who were
the inventors of mills.

With the name for mill we have at the same time
the names for miller, mill-stone, milling, meal. In
Greek mýlos, mill-stone; mýllô, I mill. In Gothic
malan, to mill; melo, meal; muljan, to rub to pieces.

What in English are called the mill-teeth are the
mylîtai in Greek; the molâres, or grinders, in Latin.

To anyone acquainted with the living language of
England, the transition from milling to fighting does
not require any long explanation. Hence we trace
back to mar without difficulty the Homeric már-namai,
I fight, I pound, as applied to boxers in the
Odyssey. 27 In Sanskrit, we find mṛi-nâ-mi used in
the more serious sense of smashing, i. e. killing. 28 We
317shall now understand more readily the Greek molos in
môlos Árēos, the toil and moil of war, and likewise the
Greek môlôps, a weal, originally a blow, a contusion.

Hitherto we have treated mar as a transitive verb,
as expressive of the action of grinding exerted on
some object or other. But most verbs were used
originally intransitively as well as transitively, and so
was mar. What then would mar express if used as
an intransitive verb, if expressive of a mere condition
or status? It would mean ‘to be wearing away,’ ‘to
be in a state of decay,’ ‘to crumble away as if
ground to dust.’ We say in German, sich aufreiben,
to become exhausted; and aufgerieben means nearly
destroyed. Goethe says, ‘Die Kraft der Erregbarkeit
nimmt mit dem Leben ab, bis endlich den aufgeriebenen
Menschen nichts mehr auf der leeren Welt erregt als
die künftige
;’ ‘Our excitability decreases with our
life, till at last nothing can excite the ground-down
mortal in this empty world except the world to
come,’ What then is the meaning of the Greek
maraínô and marasmós? Maraínô, as an intransitive
verb, means to wear out; as nósos maraínei me, illness
wears me out; but it is used also as a neuter verb in
the sense of to wither away, to die away. Hence marasmós,
decay, the French marasme. The adjective
môlys, formed like mōlos, means worn out, feeble, and
a new verb, môlýnomai, to be worn out, to vanish.

The Sanskrit mûrchh, to faint, is derived from mar
by a regular process for forming inchoative verbs; it
means to begin to die.

Now let us suppose that the ancient Aryans wanted
to express for the first time what they constantly saw
around them, namely, the gradual wearing away of
318the human frame, the slow decay which at last is
followed by a complete breaking up of the body.
How should they express what we call dying or death?
One of the nearest ideas that would be evoked by the
constant impressions of decay and death was that expressed
by mar, the grinding of stone to dust. And
thus we find in Latin mor-i-or, I die, mortuus, dead,
mors, death. In Sanskrit, mṛiye, I die, mṛitá, dead,
mṛityu, death. One of the earliest names for man was
márta, the dying, the frail creature, a significant name
for man to give to himself; in Greek brotós, mortal.
Having chosen that name for himself, the next step
was to give the opposite name to the gods, who were
called ámbrotoi, without decay, immortal, and their
food ambrosía, immortality. In the Teutonic languages
these words are absent, but that mar was used
in the sense, if not of dying, at least of killing, we
learn from the Gothic maurthr, the English murder.
In Old Slavonic we find mrḗti, to die, morŭ, pestilence,
death; smrĭtĭ, death; in Lithuanian mir-ti, to die,
smertis, death.

If morior in Latin is originally to decay, then what
causes decay is morbus, illness.

In Sanskrit the body itself, our frame, is called
mûrti, which originally would seem to have meant
decay or decayed, a corpse, rather than a corpus.

The Sanskrit marman, a joint, a member, is likewise
by Sanskrit grammarians derived from mar.
Does it mean the decaying members? or is it derived
from mar in its original sense of grinding, so as to
express the movement of the articulated joints? The
Latin membrum is memrum, and this possibly by reduplication
derived from mar, like mémbletai from
319mélô, mémblōka from mol in émolon, the present being

Let us next examine the Latin mŏra. It means
delay, and from it we have the French demeurer, to
dwell. Now mora was originally applied to time, and
in mora temporis we have the natural expression of the
slow dying away, the gradual wasting away of time.
Sine morā’, without delay, originally without decay,
without loss of time.

From mar in the secondary, but definite sense of
withering, dying, we have the Sanskrit maru, a desert,
a dead soil. There is another desert, the sea, which
the Greeks called atrýgeton, unfruitful, barren. The
Aryans had not seen that watery desert before they
separated from each other on leaving their central
homes. But when the Romans saw the Mediterranean,
they called it măre, and the same word is found among
the Celtic, the Slavonic, and the Teutonic nations. *29
We can hardly doubt that their idea in applying this
name to the sea was the dead or stagnant water as
opposed to the running streams (l'eau vive), or the
unfruitful expanse. Of course there is always some
uncertainty in these guesses at the original thoughts
which guided the primitive framers of language. All
we can do is to guard against mixing together words
which may have had an independent origin; but if it
is once established that there is no other root from
which mare can be derived more regularly than from
mar, to die (Bopp's derivation from the Sk. vâri,
water, is not tenable), then we are at liberty to draw
some connecting line between the root and its offshoot,
320and we need not suppose that in ancient days new
words were framed less boldly than in our own time.
Language has been called by Jean Paul ‘a dictionary
of faded metaphors:’ so it is, and it is the duty of
the etymologist to try to restore them to their original
brightness. If, then, in English we can speak of dead
water, meaning stagnant water, or if the French *30
use eau morte in the same sense, why should not the
Northern Aryans have derived one of their names
for the sea from the root mar, to die? Of course
they would have other names besides, and the more
poetical the tribe, the richer it would be in names
for the ocean. The Greeks, who of all Aryan nations
were most familiar with the sea, called it not
the dead water, but thálassa (tarássô), the commotion,
háls, the briny, pélagos (plázô), the tossing, póntos,
the high-road. 31

Let us now return to the original sense of mar and
mal, which was, as we saw, to grind or to pound,
chiefly applied to the grinding of corn and to the
blows of boxers. The Greeks derived from it one of
their mythological characters, namely, Moliōn, a word
which, according to Hesychius, would mean a fighter
in general, but which, in the fables of Greece, is chiefly
known by the two Moliŏnes, the millers, who had
one body, but two heads, four feet, and four hands.
Even Herakles could not vanquish them when they
fought against him in defence of their uncle Augeias
with his herd of three thousand oxen. He killed
them afterwards by surprise. These heroes having
been called originally Moliŏnes or Molionidae, i. e.
321pounders, were afterwards fabled to have been the
sons of Molionē, the mill, and Aktōr, the corn-man.
Some mythologists *32 have identified these twins with
thunder and lightning, and it is curious that the name
of Thor's thunderbolt should be derived from the
same root; for the hammer of Thor Miölnir 33 means
simply the smasher. Again, among the Slavonic
tribes, molnija is a name for lightning; and in the
Serbian songs Munja is spoken of as the sister of
Grom, the thunder, and has become a mythological

Besides these heroic millers, there is another pair
of Greek giants, known by the name of Aloadae, Otos
and Ephialtes. In their pride they piled Ossa on
Olympus, and Pelion on Ossa, like another Tower of
Babel, in order to scale the abode of the gods. They
were defeated by Apollo. The name of these giants
has much the same meaning as that of the Moliones.
It is derived from alōế, a threshing-floor, and means
threshers. The question, then, is whether alōế, threshing-floor,
and áleuron and tà áleura, wheat-flour, can
be traced back to the root mal. It is sometimes
said that Greek words mayassume an initial m for
euphony's sake. That has never been proved. But
it can be proved by several analogous cases that Greek
words, originally beginning with m, occasionally drop
322that m. This, no doubt, is a violent change, and a
change apparently without any physiological necessity,
as there is no more difficulty in pronouncing an initial
m than in pronouncing an initial vowel. However,
there is no lack of analogies; and by analogies we
must be guided. Thus móschos, a tender shoot, exists
also as óschos or ósche, a young branch. Instead of
mía, one, in the feminine, we find ía in Homer.
Nay, instead of our very word áleuron, wheaten flour,
another form, máleuron, is mentioned by Helladius. *34
Again, if we compare Greek and Latin, we find that
what the Romans called mola — namely, meal, or
rather the grits of spelt, coarsely ground, which were
mixed with salt, and thus strewed on the victims at
sacrifices — were called in Greek oulaí or olaí, though
supposed to be barley instead of spelt. 35 On the strength
of these analogies we may, I believe, admit the possibility
of an initial m being dropped in Greek, which
would enable us to trace the names both of the
Moliones and Aloadae back to the root mar. And if
the Moliones and Aloadae 36 derive their names from
the root mar, we can hardly doubt that Mars and
Ares, the prisoner of the Aloadae, came both from
the same source. In Sanskrit the root mar yields
Marut, the storm, literally the pounder or smasher; §37
323and in the character of the Maruts, the companions
of Indra in his daily battle with Vṛitra, it is easy
to discover the germs of martial deities. The same
root would fully explain the Latin Mars *38 Martis;
and, considering the uncertain character of the initial
m, the Greek Áres, Áreos. Marmar and Marmor, old
Latin names for Mars, are reduplicated forms; and
in the Oscan Mâmers the r of the reduplicated syllable
is lost. Mâvors is more difficult to explain, 39 for
there is no instance in Latin of m in the middle of a
word being changed into v. But although etymologically
there is no difficulty in deriving the Indian
name Marut, the Latin name Mars, and the Greek
name Ares, from one and the same root, 40 there is
certainly neither in the legends of Mars nor in those
324of Ares any very distinct trace of their having been
representatives of the storm. Mars at Rome and
Ares in Thracia, though their worship was restricted
to small territories, both assumed there the character
of supreme tutelary deities. The only connecting
link between the classical deities Mars and Ares and
the Indian Maruts is their warlike character; and if
we take Indra as the conqueror of winter, as the
destroyer of darkness, as the constant victor in the
battle against the hostile powers of nature, then he,
as the leader of the Maruts, who act as his army,
assumes a more marked similarity with Mars, the
god of spring, the giver of fertility, the destroyer
of evil. *41 In Ares, Preller, without any thought of
the relationship between Ares and the Maruts, discovered
the personification of the sky as excited by
storm. 42325

We have hitherto examined the direct offshoots
only of the root mar, but we have not yet taken into
account the different modifications to which that root
itself is liable* This is a subject of considerable
importance, though at the same time beset with greater
difficulties and uncertainties. I stated in a former
Lecture that Hindu grammarians have reduced the
whole wealth of their language to about 1,700 roots.
These roots once granted, there remained not a single
word unexplained in Sanskrit. But the fact is that
many of these roots are clearly themselves derivatives.
Thus, besides yu, to join, we found yuj, to join, and
yudh, to join in battle. Here j and dh are clearly
modificatory letters, which must originally have had
some meaning. Another root, yaut, in the sense of
joining or glueing together, must likewise be considered
as a dialectic variety of yuj.

Let us apply this to our root mar. As yu forms
yudh, so mar forms mardh or mṛidh, and this root
exists in Sanskrit in the sense of destroying, killing;
hence mṛidh, enemy. *43

Again, as yu produces yuj, so mar produces marj
or mṛij. This is a root of very common occurrence.
It means to rub, but not in the sense of destroying,
like mṛidh, but in the sense of cleaning or purifying.
This is its usual meaning in Sanskrit, and it explains
the Sanskrit name for cat, namely, mârjâra, literally
the animal that always rubs or cleans itself. In Greek
326we find omórg-ny-mi in the same sense. But this
general meaning became still more defined in Greek,
Latin, German, and Slavonic, and by changing r into
l the root malg was formed, meaning to rub or stroke
the udder of the cow, i. e. to milk. Thus mélgō, and
amélgō, in Greek, mean to milk; in Latin, mulgēre has
the same meaning. In Old High-German we find the
substantive milchu, and from it new verbal derivatives
in the sense of milking. In Lithuanian, milzti
means both to milk and to stroke. These two cognate
meanings are kept asunder in Latin by mulgēre, as
distinct, from mulcēre, to stroke, and we thus discover
a third modification of mar with final guttural or
palatal tenuis, namely, march, like Sanskrit yâch, to
ask, from , to go (ambire or adire). Formed by
a similar process, though for a different purpose, is
the Latin marcus, a large hammer or pestle, which
was used at Rome as a personal name, Marcus,
Marcius, Marcianus, Marcellus, and occurs again in
later times in the historical name of Charles Martel.
In Sanskrit, on the contrary, the verb mṛiś, with final
palatal ś, expresses the idea of gentle stroking, and
with certain prepositions comes to mean to revolve, to
meditate, to think. As mori, to die, meant originally
to wither, so marcere exhibits the same idea in a
secondary form. It means to droop, to faint, to fade,
and is supported by the adjective marcidus. In Greek
we have to mention the adjective malakós. It means
soft and smooth, originally rubbed down or polished;
and it comes to mean at last weak, or sick, or effeminate. *44

One of the most regular modifications of mar
327would be mrâ, and this, under the form of mlâ, means
in Sanskrit to wither, to fade away. In Greek, ml
being frequently rendered by bl, we can hardly be
wrong in referring to this base bláx, meaning slack
in body and in mind, and the Gothic malsk-s, foolish. *45
Soft and foolish are used synonymously in many languages,
nor is it at all unlikely that the Greek môros,
foolish, may come from our root mar, and have meant
at first soft.

Here we see how different meanings play into each
other; how what from one point of view is looked
upon as worn down and destroyed, is from another
point of view considered as smooth and brilliant, and
how the creative genius of man succeeded in expresing
both ideas by means of the same radical element.
We saw that in omórgnymi the meaning fixed upon
was that of rubbing or wiping clean, in amélgô that
of rubbing or milking; and we can see how a third
sense, that of rubbing in the sense of tearing off or
plucking off) is expressed in Greek by mérgô or

If we suppose our root mar strengthened by means
of a final labial, instead of the final guttural which we
have just been considering, we have marp, a base
frequently used by Greek poets. It is generally translated
by catching (and identified with harpázô), but
we perceive traces of its original meaning in such
expressions as gêras émarpse, 46 old age ground him
down; chthóna márpte podoîin (Il. xiv. 228), he
struck or pounded the soil with his feet.

Let us keep to this new base, marp, and consider
328that it mayassume the forms of malp and mlap; let
us then remember that ml, in Greek, is interchangeable
with bl, and we arrive at the new base, blap, well
known in the Greek bláptô, I damage, I hinder, I
mar. This bláptô still lives in the English to blame,
the French blâmer, for blasmer, which is a corruption
of blasphémer. The Greek blasphēemeîn, again, stands
forblapsiphēmeîn, i. e. to use damaging words; and in
blapsi we see the verb bláptô, the legitimate offspring
of our root mar.

One of the most prolific descendants of mar is the
root mard. It occurs in Sanskrit as mṛidnâti (9th
conj.), and as mṛadati (1st conj.), in the sense of
rubbing down; but it is likewise used, particularly if
joined with prepositions, in the sense of to squash, to
overcome, to conquer. From this root we have the
Sanskrit mṛidu, soft, *47 the Latin mollis (marâ, maid,
mall), the Old Slavonic mladu (maldu), and, though
formed by a different suffix, the English mellow. In
all these words what is ground down to powder was
used as the representative of smoothness, and was
readily transferred to moral gentleness and kindness.
Dust itself was called by the same root in its simplest
form, namely, mṛid, which, after meaning dust, came
to mean soil in general, or earth.

The Gothic malma, sand, belongs to the same class
of words; so does the Modern German zermalmen, to
grind to pieces, and the Gothic malvjan, used by
Ulfilas in the same sense.

In Latin this root has thrown out several offshoots.
Malleus, a hammer, stands probably for mardeus; and
329even martellus, unless it stands for marcellus, claims
the same kin. In a secondary form we find our root
in Latin as mordēre, to bite, originally to grind or

In English, to smart has been well compared with
mordēre, the s being a formative letter with which we
shall meet again. ‘A wound smarts,’ means a wound
bites or hurts. It is thus applied to every sharp pain,
and in German Schmerz means pain in general. *48

This root marâ, the Greek méldô, to make liquid,
assumes in English regularly the form malt, or melt;
nor is there any doubt that the English to melt meant
originally to make soft, if not by the blows of the
hammer, at least by the licking of the fire and the
absorbing action of the heat. The German schmelzen
has the same power, and is used both as a transitive
and an intransitive verb. Now let us watch the
clever ways of language. An expression was wanted
for the softening influence which man exercises on
man by looks, gestures, words, or prayers. What
could be done? The same root was taken which had
conveyed before the idea of smoothing a rough surface,
of softening a hard substance; and, with a slight
modification, the root mard became fixed as the Sanskrit
mṛiḍ, or mṛil, to soften, to propitiate. 49 It was
used in that sense chiefly with regard to the gods,
who were to be propitiated by prayers and sacrifices.
It was likewise used in an intransitive sense of the
gods themselves, who were implored to melt, to be-
330come softened and gracious; and prayers which we
now translate by ‘Be gracious to us,’ meant originally
‘Melt to us, O gods.’

From this source springs the Gothic mild, the
English mild, originally soft or gentle. The Lithuanian
takes from it its name for love, meile; and in
Greek we find meília, gladdening gifts or appeasements,
and such derivatives as meilíssô, to soothe,
and meílichos, gentle.

This was one aspect of the process of melting; but
there was a second, equally natural, namely, that of
melting or dying away in the sense of desiring, yearning,
grieving after a thing. We might say a man
melts in love, in grief (in German er zerschmilzt, er
vergeht vor Liebe
), and the Greeks said in the same
sense meledaínō, I melt, i. e. I care for, meledṓnē,
anxiety, grief. Meldómenos, too, is explained by
Hesychius in the sense of desiring. *50 But more than
this. We saw before that there is sufficient evidence
for the occasional disappearance of the initial m in the
root mar. We therefore are justified in identifying
the Greek éldomai with an original méldomai. And
what does éldomai mean in Greek? It means to die
for a thing, to desire a thing; 51 that is to say, it means
exactly what it ought to mean if it is derived from the
root which we have in méldō, I melt.

Nay, we may go still another step farther. That
mar was raised to marp, we saw in Greek márptō, I
grasp. Mélpein, too, is used in Greek in the sense
331of propitiating, *52 originally of softening or melting. If,
then, we look again for corresponding forms without
m, we should find élpomai, which now means I hope,
but which originally would have meant I desire. It
is not without importance that Hesychius mentions
the very form which we should have expected, namely,
mólpis, instead of the more usual élpis, hope. 53

We have throughout these investigations met on
several occasions with an s prefixed to mar, and we
have treated it simply as a modificatory element added
for the purpose of distinguishing words which it was
felt desirable to keep distinct. Without inquiring
into the real origin of this s, which has lately been the
subject of violent disputes between Professors Pott and
Curtius, we may take it for granted that the Sanskrit
root smar is closely related to the root mar; nor is
it difficult 54 to discover how the meaning of smar,
namely, to remember, could have been elaborated out
of mar, to grind. We saw over and over again that
the idea of melting glided into that of loving, hoping,
and desiring, and we shall find that the original
meaning of smar in Sanskrit is to desire, not to
remember. Thus Sk. smara is love, very much like
the Lithuanian meile, love, i. e. melting. From this
meaning of desiring, new meanings branched off, such
as dwelling on, brooding over, musing over, and then
recollecting. In the other Aryan languages the initial
specific s does not appear. We have memor in Latin,
memoria, memorare, all in the special sense of remembering;
332but in Greek mermaírô means simply I
brood, I care, I mourn; mérimna is anxiety, and even
mártyr need not necessarily mean a man who remembers,
but a man who cares for, who cherishes, who
holds a thing. *55

In unravelling this cluster of words, it has been my
chief object to trace the gradual growth of ideas, the
slow progress of the mind from the single to the
general, from the material to the spiritual, from the
concrete to the abstract. To rub down or to polish
leads to the idea of propitiation; to wear off or to
wither are expressions applied to the consuming
feeling of hopes deferred and hearts sickening, and
ideas like memory and martyrdom are clothed in
words taken from the same source.

The fates and fortunes of this one root mar form
but a small chapter in the history and growth of the
Aryan languages; but we may derive from this small
chapter some idea as to the power and elasticity of
roots, and the unlimited sway of metaphor in the formation
of new ideas.333

1* On the supposed original connection between vi and dvi, see
Pott, Etym. Unters. i. 705. Lectures, First Series, p. 44.

2* Rhet. iii. 1. τὰ γὰρ ὀνόματα μιμήματά ἐστίν, ὑπῆρζε δὲ καὶ ἡ
φωνὴ πάντων μιμητικότατον τῶν μορίων ἡμῖν

3 Plato, Cratylus, 423 B. ὄνομα ἄρα ἐστίν, ὡς ἔοικε, μίμημα φωνῇ
ἐκείνον ὃ μιμεῖται καὶ ὀνομάζει ὁ μιμούμενος τῇ φωνῇ, ὅταν μιμῆται

4* Lersch, Sprachphilosophie der Alten, i. p. 28. Ammonius
Hermias ad Aristot. de Interpr.
p. 25 A. Oἱ μὲν οὕτω τὸ θέσει
λέγουσιν ὡς ἐξὸν ὁτῳοῦν τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἕκαστον τῶν πραγμάτων ὀνομάζειν
ὅτῳ ἂν ἐθέλῃ ὀνόματι, καθάπερ Ἑρμογένης ἠξίου… Oἱ δὲ οὐχ
οὕτως, ἀλλὰ τίθεσθαι μὲν τὰ ὀνόματα ὑπὸ μόνου τοῦ ὀνοματοθέτου,
τοῦτον δὲ εἶναι τὸν ἐπιστήμονα τῆς φύσεως τῶν πραγμάτων οἰκεῖον
τῇ ἑκάστου τῶν ὄντων φύσει ἐπιφημίζοντα ὄνομα, ἢ τὸν ὑπηρετούμενον
τῷ ἐπιστήμονι

5 l. c. i. 42. Ammonius Hermias ad Aristot. de Interpret.
p. 103. εἰ δὲ ταῦτα ὀρθῶς λέγεται δῆλον ὡς οὐκ ἀποδεξόμεθα τὸν
διαλεκτικὸν Διόδωρον πᾶσαν οἰόμενον φωνὴν σημαντικὴν εἶναι, καὶ
πρὸς πίστιν τούτου καλέσαντα τῶν ἑαυτοῦ τινα οἰκετῶν τῷ συλλογιστικῷ
συνδέσμῳ Ἀλλαμὴν καὶ ἄλλον ἄλλῳ συνδέσμῳ· ποίαν γὰρ
ἕξουσιν αἱ τοιαῦται φωναὶ σημασίαν φύσεώς τινος ἢ ἐνεργείας ἢ πάθους,
καθάπερ τὰ ῥήματα χαλεπὸν καὶ πλάσαι

6 Lersch, p. 44.

7* Lersch, l. c. i. 11. Ammonius ad Arist. de Interpret. p. 24
B, ed. Ald.

8 Bernays, Neue Britchstücke des Heraclitus von Ephesus,
Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, x. p. 242. χρυσὸν οἱ δζήμενοι
γῆν πολλὴν ὀρύσσουσι καὶ εὑρίσκουσι ὀλίγον
Clemens Stromat. iv. 2,
p. 565 P.

9* Lersch, i. p. 14. Proclus, ad Plat. Crat. p. 6. Ὁ δὲ Δημόκριτος
θέσει λέγων τὰ ὀνόματα διὰ τεσσάρων ἐπιχειρημάτων τοῦτο
κατεσκεύαζεν· ἐκ τῆς ὁμωνυμίας· τὰ γὰρ διάφορα πράγματα τῷ αὐτῷ
καλοῦνται ὀνόματι· οὐκ ἄρα φύσει τὸ ὄνομα· καὶ ἐκ τῆς πολυωνυμίας·
εἰ γὰρ τὰ διάφορα ὀνόματα ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτὸ καὶ ἓν πρᾶγμα ἐφαρμόσουσιν, καὶ
ἐπάλληλα, ὅπερ ἀδύνατον· τρίτον ἐκ τῆς τῶν ὀνομάτων μεταθέσεως· διὰ
τί γὰρ τὸν Ἀριστοκλέα μὲν Πλάτωνα, τὸν δὲ Τύρταμον Θεόφραστον
μετωνομάσαμεν, εἰ φύσει τὰ ὀνόματα; ἐκ δὲ τῆς τῶν ὁμοίων ἐλλείψεως·
διὰ τί ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς φρονήσεως λέγομεν φρονεῖν, ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς δικαιοσύνης
οὐκέτι παρονομάζομεν; τύχηι ἄρα καὶ οὐ φύσει τὰ ὀνόματα

10* Olympiodorus ad Plat. Philebum, p. 242, ὅτι ἀγάλματα φωνήεντα
καὶ ταῦτα ἐστὶ τῶν θεῶν, ὡς Δημόκριτος.
. It is curious that
Lersch, who quotes this passage (iii. 19), should, nevertheless,
have ascribed to Democritus the opinion of the purely human
origin of language, (i. 13.)

11 Lersch, l. c. i. 25.

12 Ibid. l. c. i. 27.

13* Diogenes Laërtius, Epicurus, § 75. Ὅθεν καὶ τὰ ὀνόματα ἐξ
ἀρχῆς μὴ θέσει γενέσθαι, ἀλλ' αὐτὰς τὰς φύσεις τῶν ἀνθρώπων καθ'
ἕκαστα ἔθνη ἴδια πασχούσας πάθη καὶ ἴδια λαμβανούσας φαντάσματα,
ἰδίως τὸν ἀέρα ἐκπέμπειν στελλόμενον ὑφ' ἑκάστων τῶν παθῶν καὶ τῶν
φαντασμάτων, ὡς ἄν ποτε καὶ ἡ παρὰ τοὺς τόπους τῶν ἐθνῶν διαφορὰ
εἴη. Ὕστερον δὲ κοινῶς καθ' ἕκαστα ἔθνη τὰ ἴδια τεθῆναι, πρὸς τὸ τὰς
δηλώσεις ἧττον ἀμφιβόλους γενέσθαι ἀλλήλοις, καὶ συντομωτέρως
δηλουμένας· τινὰ δὲ καὶ οὐ συνορώμενα πράγματα εἰσφέροντας, τοὺς
συνειδότας παρεγγυῆσαί τινας φθόγγους ὧν τοὺς μὲν ἀναγκασθέντας
ἀναφωνῆσαι, τοὺς δὲ τῷ λογισμῷ ἑλομένους κατὰ τὴν πλείστην αἰτίαν
οὕτως ἑρμηνεῦσαι.
. — Lersch, i. 39.

14* Curtius, Grundzüge, i. 78.

15 Locke, On the Understanding, iii. 5, 6.

16* Locke, l. c. ii. 18, 7.

17* The Polynesian, September 27, 1862.

18 Hale, Polynesian Lexicon, s. v.

19* Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, ii. 439.

20 Vorlesungen über Finnische Mythologie, p. 11.

21 Daniel Wilson, Prehistoric Man, Third Chapter.

22§ Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, ii. 138.

23* On clusters of roots, or the gradual growth of roots, see some
interesting remarks by Benfey, Kurze Sanskrit Grammatik, § 60
seq., and Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, ii. p. 283. Bopp,
Vergleichende Grammatik, § 109 a, 3, 109 b, 1.

24* The following remarks of St. Augustine on this subject are
curious: — ‘Donec perveniatur eo ut res cum sono verbi aliqua
similitudine concinat, ut cum dicimus seris tinnitum, equorum
hinnitum, ovium balatum, tubarum clangorem, stridorem catenarum
(perspicis enim hæc verba ita sonare ut ipsæ res quæ
his verbis significantur). Sed quia sunt res quæ non sonant,
in his similitudinem tactus valere, ut si leniter vel aspere sensum
tangunt, lenitas vel asperitas literarum ut tangit auditum sic eis
nomina peperit: ut ipsum lene cum dicimus leniter sonat, quis
item asperitatem non et ipso nomine asperam judicet? Lene est
auribus cum dicimus voluptas, asperum cum dicimus crux. Ita
res ipsa adficiunt, ut verba sentiuntur. Mel, quam suaviter
gustum res ipsa, tam leniter nomine tangit auditum, acre in
utroque asperum est. Lana et vepres ut audiuntur verba, sic illa
tanguntur. Hæc quasi cunabula verborum esse crediderunt, ubi
sensus rerum cum sonorum sensu concordarent. Hinc ad ipsarum
inter se rerum similitudinem processisse licentiam nominandi; ut
cum verbi causa crux propterea dicta sit, quod ipsius verbi
asperitas cum doloris quem crux efficit asperitate concordat, crura
tamen non propter asperitatem doloris sed, quod longitudine atque
duritia inter membra cetera sint ligno similiora sic appellata
sint.’ — Augustinus, De dialectica, as corrected by Crecelius in
Hoefer's Zeitschrift, iv. 152.

25* In Sanskrit we have marditâ and mraditâ, he will grind to
pieces, as the future of mard.

26* See Pott, Etym. Forsch. (I.) i. 220. Kuhn, Indische Studien,
i. 359. Curtius, G. E. i. 302.

27 Od. xviii. 31.
Ζῶσαι νῦν, ἵνα πάντες ἐπιγνώωσι και οἵδε
Μαρναμένους' πῶς δ᾿ἂν σὺ νεοτέρῳ ἀνδρὶ μάχοιο.

28 Rig-Veda, vi. 44, 17: ‘prá mṛiṇa jahí cha;’ strike (them)
down and kill them.

29* Curtius, Zeitschrift, i. 30. Slav. mŏre; Lith. marios and
marés; Goth. marei; Ir. muir.

30* Pott, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, ii, 107.

31 Curtius, Kuhn's Zeitschrift i. 33.

32* Friedreich, Realien in der Iliade und Odyssee, p. 562. Preller,
Griechische Mythologie, ii. 165.

33 Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, 164, 1171. ‘The holy mawle’
(maul, maillet, malleus) is referred by Grimm to the hammer of
Thor. ‘The holy mawle, which they fancy hung behind the
church-door, which, when the father was seaventie, the sonne
might fetch to knock his father on the head, as effete and of no
more use.’ — Haupt's Zeitschrift, v. 72.

34* μώλωψ, a weal, seems connected with ούλαι, scars.

35 Cf. Buttmann, Lexilogus, p. 450.

36 Otos and Ephialtes, the wind (vâta) and the hurricane.

37§ Professor Kuhn takes Marut as a participle in at, and explains
it as dying or dead. He considers the Maruts were originally
conceived as the souls of the departed, and that because the souls
were conceived as ghosts, or spirits, or winds, the Maruts assumed
afterwards the character of storm-deities. Such a view, however,
finds no support in the hymns of the Veda. In Pilumnus, the
brother of Picumnus, both companions of Mars, we have a name
of similar import, viz. a pounder. Jupiter Pistor, too, was originally
the god who crushes with the thunderbolt (Preller, Römische
, p. 173), and the Molæ Martis seem to rest on an
analogous conception of the nature of Mars.

38* The suffix in Mars, Mortis, is different from that in Marut.
The Sanskrit Marut is Mar-vat; Mars, Martis, is formed, like
pars, partis, which happens to correspond with Sanskrit par-us
or par-van. The Greek Árēs is again formed differently, but the
Æolic form, Áreus, would come nearer to Marut. — Kuhn, Zeitschrift,
i. 376.

39 See Corssen, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, ii. 1-35.

40 That Marut and Mars were radically connected, was first
pointed out by Professor Kuhn, in Haupt's Zeitschrift, v.491; but
he derived both words from mar in the sense of dying. Other derivations
are discussed by Corssen, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, ii. 1. He
quotes Cicero (Nat. Dear. ii. 28): ‘Jam qui magna verteret
Mavors;’ Cedrenus (Corp. Byz. Niebuhr, t. i. p. 295, 21 ff.): ὅτι
τὸν Μάρτεμ οἱ Ῥωμαῖοι μόρτεμ εκάλουν οἱονεὶ θάνατον, ἢ κινητὴν
τῶν τεχνῶν, ἢ τὸν παρ᾿ ἀῤῥένων καὶ μόνων τιμώμενον
; Varro (L. L. v.
§ 73, ed. O. Müller). ‘Mars ab eo quod maribus in bello præest,
aut quod ab Sabinis acceptus, ibi est Mamers.’ See also Leo
Meyer, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, v. 387.

41* See Preller, Römische Mythologie, p. 300, seq.

42 Preller, Griechische Mythologie, p. 202-3. ‘Endlich deuten
aber auch verschiedene bildliche Erzählungen in der Ilias eine
solche Naturbeziehung an, besonders die Beschreibung der
Kampfe zwischen Ares und Athena, welche als Gottin der reinen
Luft und des Aethers die natürliche Feindin des Ares ist, und
gewöhnlich sehr unbarmherzig mit ihm umgeht. So Il. v. 583 ff.,
wo sie ihn durch Diomedes verwundet, Ares aber mit solchem
Getöse niederrasselt (ἔβραχε), wie neuntausend oder zehntausend
Männer in der Schlacht zu lärmen pflegen, worauf er als dunkles
Gewölk zum Himmel emporfährt. Ebenso Il. xxi. 400 ff., wo
Athena den Ares durch einen Steinwurf verwundet, er aber fällt
und bedeckt sieben Morgen Landes im Fall, und seine Haare vermischen
sich mit dem Staube, seine Waffen rasseln: was wieder
ganz den Eindruck eines solchen alten Naturgemäldes maeht,
wo die Ereignisse der Natur, Donnerwetter, Wolkenbruch, gewaltiges
Stürmen und Brausen in der Luft als Acte einer himmlischen
Göttergeschichte erscheinen, in denen gewöhnlich Zeus,
Hera, Athena, Hephästos, Ares und Hermes als die handlenden
Personen auftreten. Indessen ist diese allgemeine Bedeutung des
Ares bald vor der speciellen des blutigen Kriegsgottes zurückgetreten.’
See also Il. xx. 51.

Αὖε δ᾿Αρης ἐτέρωθεν, ἐρεμνῇ λαίλαπι ἷσος. — Il. ix. 4.
Ὡς δ᾿ἄνεμοι δύο πόντον ὀρίνετον ἰχθυόεντα,
Βορέης και Ζέφυρος, τώ τε Θρῄκηθεν ἄητον¤

43* Rv. vi. 53. 4. ‘ví mṛídhaḥ jahi,’ kill the enemies.

44* Cf. Latin lēvis; άμαλός, if for μαμαλος, soft, may belong to
the same root. We have to consider, however, the Attic άμαλός.

45* Curtius, G. E. i. 303.

46 Od. xxiv. 390.

47* Curtius (G. E. i. 92) points out the analogous case of Greek
τέρην, tender, if derived from τερ as in τείρω. If so, terra also, dust,
might be explained like Sanskrit mṛid, dust, earth.

48* Cf. Ebel, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vii. 226, where σμερδαλέος is
likewise traced to this root, and the Gothic marzjan, to mar. See
also Benary, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, iv. 48.

49 The lingual ḍ appears regularly in Sanskrit mṛiṇmaya, made
of earth.

50* Cf. Curtius, G. E. ii. 167.

51 In Wallachian, dor means desire, but it is in reality the same
as Italian duolo, pain. Cf. Diez, s. v. Analogous constructions in
Latin, Corydon ardebat Alexin.

52* Curtius, G. E. i. 293, μέλπειν τὸν θεόν?

53 Ibid. ii. 167.

54 Curtius mentions smar as one of the roots which, if not from
the beginning, ‘had, at all events before the Aryan separation,
assumed an entirely intellectual meaning.’ — G. E. i. 84.

55* Cf. ἰόμωρος, ἐγχεσίμωρος in the sense of caring for arrows,
spears, &c., Benary, Kuhn's Zeitschrift, iv. 53; and ἴστορες Θεοί,
Ἄγραυλος, Ἐνυάλιος, Ἄρης, Ζεύς
, Preller, Griechische Mythologie,
p. 205.