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There are many Greek tribes, but the chief people are equal in number to the Greek dialects with which we are acquainted, namely, four. Of these, the Ionic is the same as the ancient Attic; (for Iones was the former name of the inhabitants of Attica; from thence came the Iones who settled in Asia,1 and use the dialect now called Ionic;) the Doric was the same as the Æolic dialect, for all the people on the other side of the isthmus except the Athenians, the Megareans, and the Dorians about Parnassus, are even now called Æolians; it is probable that the Dorians, from their being a small nation, and occupying a most rugged country, and from want of intercourse [with the Æolians], no longer resemble that people either in language or customs, and, although of the same race, have lost all appearance of affinity. It was the same with the Athenians, who inhabiting a rugged country with a light soil, escaped the ravages of invaders. As they always occupied the same territory, and no enemy attempted to expel them, nor had any desire to take possession of it themselves, on this account they were, according to Thucydides, regarded as Autochthones, or an indigenous race. This was probably the reason, although they were a small nation, why they remained a distinct people with a distinct dialect.

It was not in the parts only on the other side of the isthmus, that the Æolian nation was powerful, but those on this side also were formerly Æolians. They were afterwards intermixed first with Ionians who came from Attica, and got possession of Ægialus,2 and secondly with Dorians, who under the conduct of the Heracleidæ founded Megara and many of the cities in the Peloponnesus. The Iones were soon expelled by the Achæi, an Æolian tribe; and there remained in Peloponnesus the two nations, the Æolic and the Doric. Those nations then that had little intercourse with the Dorians used the Æolian dialect. (This was the case with the Arcadians and Eleians, the former of whom were altogether a mountain tribe, and did not share in the partition of the Peloponnesus; the latter were considered as dedicated to the service of the Olympian Jupiter, and lived for a long period in peace, principally because they were of Æolian descent, and had admitted into their country the army of Oxylus, about the time of the return of the Heracleidæ.3) The rest used a kind of dialect composed of both, some of them having more, others less, of the Æolic dialect. Even at present the inhabitants of different cities use different dialects, but all seem to Dorize, or use the Doric dialect, on account of the ascendency of that nation.

Such then is the number of the Grecian nations, and thus in general are they distinguished from each other.

I shall resume my account of them, and describe each nation in their proper order.

1 In Asia Minor, and founded the cities Miletus, Smyrna, Phocæa, &c.

2 The word Ægialus (αἰγιαλὸς) signifies sea-shore. The name was given to this part of the Peloponnesus (afterwards called Achaia) from the towns being situated generally along the coast. Others, however, give a different explanation to the word.

3 1113 before the Christian era. G.

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