The Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations by James Cowles Prichard


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The Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations Proved by a Comparison of Their Dialects with the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and Teutonic Languages, Forming a Supplement to Researches Into the Physical History of Mankind.

S Collingwood, Printer to the University, Oxford, 1831. First Edition, First Printing. 8.5  x 5.5 inches. Old fine calf binding, now worn with gold vignette to front cover, and spine missing. Internally clean with just a little browning to the title page and prelims. Binding sound and square. A good copy, of a rare first edition.

Following Sir William Jones, the Brothers Grimm were major contributors to the study of Comparative Philology. But the close relation of the Celtic languages to Sanskrit was first expounded in this volume; which is dedicated to Professor Jacob Grimm.

'James Cowles Prichard, born in England in 1786 died in 1848. He was a British physician and ethnologist with broad interests in physical anthropology and psychiatry. At the time of his death he was president of the Ethnological Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His influential Researches into the Physical History of Humankind touched upon the subject of evolution. The central conclusion of the work is the unity of the human species, which has been acted upon by causes which have since divided it into permanent varieties or races. The work is dedicated to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, whose five races of man are adopted. Prichard differed from Blumenbach and other predecessors by the principle that people should be studied by combining all available characters. And this was some 150 years before the discovery of DNA. He was an early pioneer in the effort to determine where one s roots were launched and evolved. Well ahead of our frenzy on this issue today. From 1845, Prichard served as a Medical Commissioner in Lunacy. He also introduced the term "senile dementia . He originally published this book The Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations in 1831. In this book, His theory was that the Celtic languages are allied by language with the Slavonian, German and Pelasgian (Greek and Latin), thus forming a fourth European branch of Indo-European languages. Robert Gordon Latham, (1812-1888), was a follower of Prichard and along with Prichard, Latham criticized Cuvier's use of the "Caucasian race" concept; and he preferred to avoid the term "race", referring instead to "varieties of man".'

Category Anthropology