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Pelasgi, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, refers to a name used by ancient Greek writers to describe the indigenous people who inhabited various regions of Greece before the twelfth century B.C. From Homer's Iliad onwards, Greek writers seldom agreed upon the origins and regions of the Pelasgian people. Herodotus, for example, believed that they were the descendents of the Hellenic people. The mysterious nature of their unknown history and shifting identity through their appearances in ancient Greek texts give the term and the people it refer to a rooting in deep tradition.

Carlyle's reference to the Pelasgi in "Signs of the Times" is ploy to create authority that uses the literary history behind the Pelasgi to assert his claim. He argues that "whatever melancholic speculators may assert, it seems a well-ascertained fact, that in all times, reckoning even from those of the Heraclides and Pelasgi, the happiness and greatness of mankind at large have been continually progressive. Doubtless this age also is advancing" (Carlyle 116). Taking a confident tone and calling on the history of the Pelasgi as an authority from which to make his argument. Carlyle employs this sage-writing technique of Ethos in order to appeal to his readers as a credible source.


"Pelasgi." Encyclopœdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclop¾dia Britannica Online. 23 Mar. 2010 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/449112/Pelasgi.

"Pelasgians." Wikipedia. 2010. Wikimedia Foundation. 23 March 2010.

Last modified 24 March 2010