In the nineteenth century new influences were at work. Systematic archaeology began but, for reasons which will be discussed in the next chapter, its results were small until the end of the century. But the generation which was adding chemistry, physiology and geology to the list of the “ natural sciences” had other new weapons with which the old problems of early history were being attacked afresh. The revelation of Sanskrit language and literature, about 1800, led to the establishment of a new science of comparative philology, and unfortunately also to a long period when philological conclusions were applied with pardonable enthusiasm to historical and ethnologi­ cal research; as though it could be assumed that, because two groups of people spoke the same language or languages of kindred structure, they had wandered by the same or similar routes from the same “home” of origin, and retained their physique and manners with only such amount of modification as was exhibited in their speech. The result was an orgy of speculative dogmatism about Aryan migrations, Aryan civilization, and even Aryan blood, which was only prevented from being more misleading than it was, by the difficulties which its exponents found in making their own conclu­ sions tally with one another.1 A by-product of comparative philology

1 In an article, “The Olympian System versus the Solar Theory”, in The Nineteenth Century for October 1879, Gladstone discussed: Ernest Renan, On the part falling to the Semitic Races in the History of Civilization, 1870, Max Muller, Introduction to the Science of Religion, 1870, and George Cox, Mythology of the Aryan Nations.