ABORIGINES PDF Print E-mail
Mix'd mathematics - Geography
Written by Ephraim Chambers   
Thursday, 01 January 1728 09:00
or ABORIGENES, in Geography, a Name sometimes given to the primitive Inhabitants of a Country, or those who had their original therein ; in contra-distinction to Colonies, or new Races of Inhabitants, deriv'd from eliewhere. See COLONY.
The Term Aborigines is famous in Antiquity : Tho now an Appellative, 'twas originally a proper Name, given only to certain People of Italy ; and both the Reason and Origin of it are greatly disputed among the Learned : The principal Opinions with regard thereto may be redue'd to four.

The first is that of Aurelius Victor, who will have 'em called Aborigines, q. d. Abeorigines, Vagabonds ; of ab, and erro, I wander here and there ; and maintains, that they were the Scythians who came and settled in Italy. Tothis Sentiment Festus adheres.

2d, S. Jerom says, they were called Aborigines, as having no beginning ; of ab, and origo, original ; i. e. as being originally of that Country, and not a Colony deriv'd from elsewhere : or, as Halicarnassæus explains it, GREEK
Satumusque Senex Janique bifrontis imago
Vestibulo adstabant, aliique ab origine Reges.


For, according to the Remark of Servius, ab origine Reges, here stands for Aboriginum Reges. To which it may be added, that 'Pliny, L. IV. calls the Tyrians, Aborigines Gadium, the Aborigines of Cadi x ; as being the Founders thereof.

3dly, Dion. Halicarnassæus takes 'em to have been called Aborigines, GREEKGREEK
Is genus indocile ac dispersum montibus altis Composuit, Legesque dedit.

Lastly, Others hold, that Cham, the Saturn of the Egyptians, having gather'd together divers wandring Nations, conduced 'em into Italy, and that these were the Aborigines. Livy affirms, they came from Arcadia, under the Conduct of Oenotrus Son of Lycaon. Genebrard will have 'em the Phænicians, or Canaanites expell'd by Joshua.