Skip to main content

Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

See other formats

Ike Political Approach to the Classical World, 43
was for a brief period united and mistress of considerable terri-
tory, but he failed against Assyria, and with him perished the
political ambitions of a people whose main interest was com-
mercial gain. For a time it looked as if Assyria, little affected
by the great Volkerwanderung, might step into the dominant
position. One remarkable monarch, Tiglath-pileser I, did in fact
take advantage of the general confusion, in noo or thereabouts,
to march across to the west, defeating the Aramaean princelings,
and after a very profitable campaign among the cities of North
Syria, even reached the coast of Phoenicia, enjoying the novelty
of a short sea-trip from Arvad to Simyra. In his career of con-
quest, as in his love of hunting, his interest in natural history,
his building activities, and his care for the agricultural welfare
of his country, he is the prototype of the typical Assyrian
monarch of the future. But he was four hundred years too soon.
His campaigns were little more than summer raids, not repeated
by his successors, and Assyria shrank once more to her natural
boundaries. Her hour was not yet come.
In the safety of their hills, the Hebrews had watched suc-
cessive invasions of Palestine pass by, and they now began to
descend upon the Canaanite cities of the western plain. Coming
into conflict with the Philistines, they were at first defeated and
for over fifty years enslaved, forbidden to forge themselves
weapons, and oppressed by taxes. Then, under their kings Saul
and David, they waged a war of liberation. Jerusalem, that
Canaanite city on the rock that had withstood attacks in the
days of Abdkhiba, yielded to David, the Philistines were driven
back, and Israel and Judah joined in a united Hebrew monarchy
which under Solomon reached the hey-day of its brief glory.
For the only time in her history, Palestine was a political entity
of some importance in world affairs. Moab and Edom were
added to the kingdom, Arnmon was annexed, and the conquest
of Damascus brought the Hebrews into close proximity with
the Aramaeans of North Syria. Solomon was careful to keep on