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For H.'s Pelasgian theories and for the relation of Pelasgi to Hellenes cf. App. XV. He here tries to infer the original language of the whole people from survivals in his own day; his method is scientific, whatever may be thought of his results.
Κρηστῶνα. If this is read, Creston is a town in Thrace, north of Chalcidice, on the high ground between the Axius and the Strymon; this district is called Κρηστωνική (vii. 124. 1; cf. Thuc. ii. 99. 6 “Γρηστωνία”). This reading is open to objections: (1) Creston is not definitely mentioned as a town elsewhere except in St. Byz., who is quoting H. (2) H. calls the inhabitants of the district Κρηστωναῖοι (v. 3. 2), not Κρηστωνιῆται as here. (3) The only Pelasgians in this district are in the Athos peninsula (Thuc. iv. 109. 4), and these are definitely called ‘the Tyrsenians who formerly settled in Lemnos and Athens’; but H. distinguishes the people here from the Tyrsenians and from the Pelasgians ‘who lived with the Athenians’. Hence Niebuhr conjectured Κροτῶνα and Κροτωνιῆται in § 3, i. e. Cortona in Etruria, originally an Umbrian town, which H. distinguishes from the famous Croton in South Italy by the words ὑπὲρ T. This conjecture has been widely accepted (e. g. by Meyer, F. i. 234); the reasons are: (1) Τυρσηνοί everywhere in H. means ‘the Etruscans’. (2) Dion. Halic. i. 29, quoting this passage, καὶ γὰρ δὴ ... ἐν φυλακῇ (3), reads Κροτωνιῆται, and (i. 18 seq.) describes the migration of the Pelasgians to Umbria, where they made Cortona their chief town (cf. Hell. Fr. 1 for the same tradition; but Hell. identifies the Pelasgians and the Etruscans). (3) The reading Κρηστῶνα, it is suggested, is a later correction, based on an inaccurate remembrance of Thuc. iv. 109. For the objections to this conjecture cf. Myres, J. H. S. xxvii. 195 seq.; he argues 1) H. is unfamiliar with Italy, and would not compare an Italian town with Aegean peoples; 2) he knows this part of the Aegean coast-line well; 3) the passage of Thucydides really confirms H. It may be added that the MSS. agree in giving Κρηστῶνα. For H.'s familiarity with North Italy cf. 196. 1. Thessaliotis lay west of Olympus and Ossa (cf. 56. 3 for Dorians there); it was more often called ‘Pelasgiotis’.
Placie and Scylace lay east of Cyzicus on the Propontis (here called ‘Hellespont’; cf. iv. 38. 2 n.). For the expulsion of ‘Pelasgians’ from Attica cf. vi. 137 n., from Lemnos, vi. 140, and App. XV, § 5.
χαρακτῆρα. H. uses this word of the four Ionian dialects (142. 4); from this parallel Thirlwall (i. 53) argued that H. meant here that ‘the Pelasgian language ... sounded to him a strange jargon, as did the dialect of Ephesus to a Milesian, and as the Bolognese does to a Florentine’. This is ingenious, but the Pelasgian question cannot be settled so easily.
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