It arose from the exaggerated importance attached for a long while to Sanskrit.
The great antiquity of the earliest literary remains of the Sanskrit (the Vedic Hymns) suggested that the inhabitants of India were geographically close to the original seat of the Indo-European Family.
The literature of the Tokharian, so far as it has been brought to light, consists mainly of translations from the Sanskrit sacred writings, and dates from the seventh century of our era. The earliest literary productions are the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer, which very likely go back to the ninth century B. Its literature does not begin till the seventeenth century. Home of the Indo-European Family.—Despite the many outward differences of the various languages of the foregoing groups, a careful examination of their structure and vocabulary demonstrates their intimate relationship and proves overwhelmingly their descent from a common parent.
We must believe, therefore, that at one time there existed a homogeneous clan or tribe of people speaking a language from which all the above enumerated languages are descended.
It has naturally been much modified by time, particularly through the introduction of many words from the Arabic. The Armenian, spoken in Armenia, the district near the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains. The languages of this group belong to eastern Europe.
This is closely related to the Iranian, and was formerly classified under that group. The Italic Group embraces the Umbrian, spoken in the northern part of the Italian peninsula (in ancient Umbria); the Latin, spoken in the central part (in Latium); the Oscan, spoken in the southern part (in Samnium, Campania, Lucania, etc.). In the earliest historical times of which we have any record, the Celts occupied extensive portions of northern Italy, as well as certain areas in central Europe; but after the second century B. Its earliest representative is the Gothic, preserved for us in the translation of the scriptures by the Gothic Bishop Ulfilas (about 375 A. Other languages belonging to this group are the Old Norse, once spoken in Scandinavia, and from which are descended the modern Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish; German; Dutch; Anglo-Saxon, from which is descended the modern English. The Baltic division of the group embraces the Lithuanian and Lettic, spoken to-day by the people living on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea.
In the Perfect Subjunctive Active, the endings -īs, -īmus, -ītis are now marked long.
The theory of vowel length before the suffixes -gnus, -gna, -gnum, and also before j, has been discarded.
The precise location of the home of this ancient tribe cannot be determined.
For a long time it was assumed that it was in central Asia north of the Himalaya Mountains, but this view has long been rejected as untenable.
The present work is a revision of that published in 1908.
No radical alterations have been introduced, although a number of minor changes will be noted. ITHACA, NEW YORK, May 4, 1918 The present book is a revision of my Latin Grammar originally published in 1895.
The publication in this country of a grammar of similar plan and scope seems fully justified at the present time, as all recent editions of classic texts summarize in introductions the special idioms of grammar and style peculiar to individual authors.