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ORIGINS

ENGLISH HISTORY

BY

CHARLES ELTON,

SOMETIME FELLOW OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD, AND OF LINCOLN'S INN, BARRISTER AT-LAW ;
AUTHOR OF “THE TENURES OF KENT;" "THE LAW OF COMMONS AND WASTE LANDS ;"
"THE LAW OF COPYHOLDS AND CUSTOMARY TENURES OP LAND;”

"NORWAY, THE ROAD AND THE FELL," ETC.

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PREFACE.

THE object of this work appears so fully in its intro

ductory chapter that it is almost needless to add anything by way of formal preface. It has been the writer's wish to collect the best and earliest evidence as to the different peoples with which the English nation in any of its branches is connected by blood and descent.

There are few that have studied the fascinating subject of the trade and travel of the Greeks, from the times when they sailed in the track of the Phænicians to the great age of their discoveries which followed the conquests of Alexander, who have not been astonished at the extent and accuracy of the knowledge which the earliest classical writers possessed concerning the North of Europe, as compared with the comparative ignorance and confusion of later times.

To an Englishman, the voyage of Pytheas is especially interesting, not only because he was the first explorer of the British Islands, but also because he brought back with him a singularly minute account of what he had seen and heard in the marshes and forests, from which long afterwards the "three great English kindreds” came. But his visit to the Amber Islands and his stories of the brilliant Arctic summer became for the Greeks the foundation of all the fantastic tales of Thule, which for a time brought the whole science of Geography into contempt.

The people who are found in Britain at the time of the Roman invasions—usually classed as Celts—are divided into the Gaulish stock, which is first described as far as materials exist, and the Celts or Gaels of an earlier migration, whose colonies were found in every part of the British Islands that was not held by the Belgian nations.

The subject involves an inquiry into the character and distribution of those forgotten peoples which everywhere throughout Western Europe under-lie the dominant Aryan race. The description of the British Gauls is accordingly followed by an account of the traces of several institutions owing their origin to the series of races that begins with the men of the Later Stone Age and covers the tribes that introduced the use of Bronze into Britain.

The men of the long heads, who built long barrows and polished their weapons of stone, and the men of the round skulls, who were buried in round tombs and had learned to work in metal, have left abiding influences on the

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