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There was at the very earliest1 period a tacit consent among all nations to adopt the letters now used by the Ionians.2 (58.) That the ancient Greek letters were almost the same with the modern Latin,3 is proved by the ancient Delphic inscription on copper, which is now in the Palatine library, having been dedicated by the emperors to Minerva; this inscription is as follows:

ναυσικρατης ανεθετο τηι διος κορηι. ["Nausicrates offered this to the daughter of Zeus."]4

1 Herodotus, B. v. c. 59, says that the Phœnician letters were very similar to the Ionian; and we are informed by Hardouin, that Scaliger, in his Dissertation upon an ancient inscription on a column discovered in the Via Appia, and removed to the Farnese Gardens, has proved that the Ionians borrowed their letters from the Phœnicians.—B.

2 Herodotus confirms this opinion by a reference to an ancient tripod at Thebes, written in what he terms Cadmæn letters, having a strong resemblance to those used by the Ionians.—B.

3 Tacitus, Ann. B. ix. c. 14, says, "The Latin letters have the same form as the most ancient Greek ones."—B.

4 There is scarcely a letter of this inscription which has not been controverted, and no two editions hardly agree.—B.

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