Note 010
From Chapter 44 of the Decline & Fall

In the year 1444, seven or eight tables of brass were dug up between Cortona and Gubio. A part of these (for the rest is Etruscan) represents the primitive state of the Pelasgic letters and language, which are ascribed by Herodotus to that district of Italy, (l. i. c. 56, 57, 58;) though this difficult passage may be explained of a Crestona in Thrace (Notes de Larcher, tom. i. p. 256 - 261.). The savage dialect of the Eugubine tables has exercised, and may still elude, the divination of criticism; but the root is undoubtedly Latin, of the same age and character as the Saliare Carmen, which, in the time of Horace, none could understand. The Roman idiom, by an infusion of Doric and Aeolic Greek, was gradually ripened into the style of the xii tables, of the Duillian column, of Ennius, of Terence, and of Cicero (Gruter. Inscript. tom. i. p. cxlii. Scipion Maffei, Istoria Diplomatica, p. 241 - 258. Bibliotheque Italique, tom. iii. p. 30 - 41, 174 - 205. tom. xiv. p. 1 - 52.).

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