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ST Paul's church-yard, 




Book II. On the Ancient History of the Uriuntal Nations as connected 
with that of the Hebrew People in the Times of the Judges, 
namely, from the Year 1543 before the Birth of Christ, to 

1099 before the same Era 1 

Chap. I. On the Ancient History of the Babylonians and Assyrians, 
as connected with that of the Hebrews, between 1543 and 

1099 B. C 3 

II. Containing an Outline of such Parts of the Ancient History 
of the Hebrews as may appear to have been affected by 
the Power or Character of the Neighbouring Nations 127 

III. On the Iranian or Ancient Persian Monarchy 279 

IV. On the Origin of the more remarkable States and Kingdoms 

of Ancient Greece 3t;i 

V. On the Argonautic Expedition ; the Capture of Troy ; and 

the Return of the HcraclidoE 489 








The plan which I have adopted requires that I should 
now give some account of those nations which were con- 
temporary with the Hebrews in the times of the Judges ; 
and more particularly of such kingdoms as at that period 
had any intercourse with the chosen people, either in the 
relations of peace or of war. 

On the authority of history, both sacred and profane, 
we are warranted to assert that, even prior to the exode, 
the Assyrian empire had risen to considerable power ; that 
the successors of Ninus had already extended their arms 
towards the east and south as far as the Persian gulf, 
and the deserts which divide Media from the banks of the 
Indus ; and, moreover, that some of the more warlike of 
these princes had occasionally threatened the tranquillity 
of Egypt and the independence of Palestine. But the 
succinct and sometimes contradictory narratives of the 
ancient writers do not enable us to define with accuracy 
the limits of that government, or to ascertain the names 


and succession of the monarchs by whom it was exercised. 
No question in the history of Asia has been less satisfac- 
torily determined than that which respects the time when 
the Assyrians first laid the foundations of a regular policy, 
and the length of the period during which their ascen- 
dancy as a state continued to subsist. Some authors have 
even expressed great doubts whether the ancient empire 
of Assyria ever had an existence ; and have accordingly 
viewed the several dynasties which are recorded by 
Ctesias, and Diodorus Siculus, as the fictions of oriental 
vanity, alike inconsistent with probability and with the 
more authentic annals of a later age. It may therefore 
be worth while to inquire, upon general grounds, into the 
authority of those lists of Babylonian and Assyrian kings 
which have been transmitted to our times in the works of 
historians and chronographers ; and which, in the discus- 
sions which have been pursued by the learned in regard 
to this intricate subject, are usually associated with the 
names of Ctesias, Abydenus, Eusebius, Africanus, and 

In the first place, we may be disposed to attribute to 
such catalogues as I have mentioned a greater degree of 
fidelity and exactness than we should otherwise ascribe to 
them, when we call to mind that the people of the East, 
and more especially the native tribes of Arabia and Syria, 
have always taken the greatest pains to preserve their 
genealogies, and to hand down an entire record of their 
principal families, their chiefs, their priests, and their 
judges. The first efforts of literature among the shepherds 
of Mesopotamia and Canaan, appear to have been directed 
to hardly any other object besides perpetuating the names 
and succession of their patriarchs ; and the tablets which 
contained the genealogy of his tribe were regarded by the 
descendant of Abraham as the most valuable treasure that 

Chap. I.] AND rilOFANE HISTORY. 6 

could fall to him in right of inheritance. The same practice 
and the same feelings are universal in Arabia at the present 
day. The prince of a wandering horde, surrounded by 
his vassal kinsmen, his camels, and his sheep, is more 
proud of his pedigree than the sovereign of any European 
kingdom ; and more solicitous also to preserve in full force 
the recollection and the evidence of his ancient lineage. 

The catalogues which are inserted in the sacred writings 
afford at once an example and a proof of the care which 
was taken by the Hebrews, to preserve unbroken the long 
line of their ancestry. Nor was this usage confined to the 
sons of Jacob. On the contrary, it was found to prevail 
to an equal extent among the children of Esau, and, in- 
deed, among all the classes and denominations of eastern 
people who continued to recognize a common descent, and 
whose rank and possessions could only be determined by 
an appeal to their genealogical tables. 

For the reasons now mentioned, the lists which have 
come down to us of the Babylonian and Assyrian kings, 
are entitled to greater confidence than a hasty reader 
would be disposed to allow. It is indeed impossible to 
enter into particulars concerning the manner in which such 
documents were either constructed or preserved. Our ig- 
norance of the time and the mode in which letters were 
first applied to meet the necessities of social life, prevents 
us from satisfying a very natural curiosity in regard to the 
materials, as well as the method, which were employed in 
keeping these ancient records. But that such catalogues 
were made and carefully retained among the tribes of the 
East, we are not allowed to doubt ; and that they were, 
upon the whole, exact and faithful, every one will be 
ready to admit who duly considers their object, as well as 
the complete absence of all temptation to corrupt or to de- 


Our confidence, too, in the general accuracy of th ese ancient 
lists may be perfectly entire, although we cannot extend a 
similar belief to the warlike exploits and other achieve- 
ments which are, in some cases, too lavishly ascribed to the 
progenitors of the Asiatic monarchs. The actions of an 
ambitious chief might be very imperfectly recorded in the 
annals of his nation, though his name and the period of 
his government were inserted in the proper chronicle with 
the utmost exactness ; and we know well that, in respect 
to the fame of a popular leader, who may have saved his 
followers from the hands of their enemies or extended 
their power over a neighbouring community, it requires 
not the aid of an oriental imagination to exaggerate a few 
plain facts to such a degree as even to outrage the spirit 
of fiction. To give a simple narrative of events, connect- 
ed with the causes whence they arose and the circum- 
stances which marked their accomplishment, demands 
means and talents of a very different order from those 
which are sufficient for constructing a family record, or 
even for delineating the more prominent features of a suc- 
cessful warrior ; on which account we ought not hastily to 
reject the latter species of writings, although we should 
find in the former many things which are not only impro- 
bable, but positively extravagant and absurd. 

The distinction now stated applies not only to the per- 
sonal prowess and exertions of any individual monarch, 
but also to the extent of his dominions, the magnificence 
of his cities, and, above all, to the number and splendour 
of his troops. We may believe, for example, that 
Ninus reigned over the Assyrians at a very early 
period, and even that he was succeeded by his wife Semi- 
ramis; but we may be permitted at the same time to 
doubt whether he actually conducted his victorious armies 
from the borders of India to the river of Egypt, and 


whether Nineveh in the days of his queen covered a space 
of ground sixty miles in circumference, and had walls on 
every side a hundred feet in height. It is enough, how- 
ever, for our present purpose, to be reminded that the im- 
probability of the latter statement ought not of itself to 
diminish the credibility which is due to the former. The 
admiration and fancy of posterity have added to the his- 
tory of Ninus, and of his immediate successor, many things 
which cannot be believed ; still, the reasonable scepticism 
which we are allowed to exercise in regard to their power, 
their conquests, and their personal qualities, will not by 
any candid reader be carried so far as to invalidate the 
authority of those ancient chronicles, which merely profess 
to establish the date and period of their government. 

These remarks are suggested by the numerous attacks 
which have been made by literary men, in almost every 
age, on the character of Ctesias. This celebrated anti- 
quary was a physician at the court of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
about four hundred years before the Christian era ; and 
being a great favourite with the Persian monarch, was 
allowed to make researches into the ancient history of the 
country, and to compile a catalogue of the Assyrian kings, 
from Ninus down to the epoch of the Median revolt. But 
Ctesias, besides an historical work on the Persian empire, 
composed a similar treatise on India ; in which latter per- 
formance there were such palpable extravagancies, so 
many marvellous stories and improbable descriptions, as 
to have covered with suspicion the good sense and fidelity 
of the author in other respects, and to have assigned him 
a place in the list of fabulous writers. Aristotle condemn- 
ed his natural history ; Plutarch laughed at his biogra- 
phical sketches ; Strabo sneered at his geographical deli- 
neations; and later writers have indulged in invectives 
still more severe against his general veracity. 


But, without entering into an analysis of the charges 
which have been brought forward by the enemies of the 
Greek physician, or specifying the grounds upon which a 
defence might be raised for the incredible statements of his 
Indian history, may we not have recourse to the distinction 
explained above, and maintain that, though an author 
might be induced to repeat foolish stories, and insert in his 
book absurd descriptions of monstrous animals which he 
had never seen, he might yet be fully competent to the 
task of copying from an ancient record a catalogue of 
names and a series of dates ? Ctesias could have no in- 
ducement to extend beyond its proper limits the antiquity 
of the Assyrian empire. National vanity could not have 
any influence on the mind of a Greek, when tracing the 
vestiges of a power and a greatness which did not belong 
to his own people ; for which reason, it appears to me 
that our conviction of his general accuracy should require 
no other support than the assurance that the archives, 
which he is said to have transcribed, did really exist, and 
that he understood the language in which they were com- 

The existence of such records, I repeat, is ren- 
dered extremely probable by the practice which is un- 
derstood to have anciently prevailed in all Eastern coun- 
tries; of which we find the most satisfactory proof in 
the sacred books of the Hebrews, and which continues 
among the simple tribes of Arabia at the present day. 
In reference to Ctesias, moreover, the most sceptical 
of his readers have never, so far as I know, accused 
him of fabricating the list of Assyrian princes which 
he submitted to the Greeks ; and whatever ground 
there may be for complaint in regard to the liberties which 
later authors have taken with his catalogue, there does not 
appear to be any reason to suspect his truth or accuracy 


in the first copy. But on this interesting subject some far- 
ther observations will be more suitably introduced when 
we come to examine the details of his work. 

In the second place, there is no reason why the discre- 
pancy which is sometimes observed in different editions of 
the same catalogue, whether in the names and dates, or in 
the actual number of the sovereigns who are described as 
having reigned during a certain period, should be pronoun- 
ced an unquestionable proof of forgery or even of corruption. 
Nothing, I admit, is so likely to puzzle the understand- 
ing, and disturb the belief of a young chronologer, as to 
find in different authors the names of the same dynasty of 
kings written so variously, that all the efforts of etymolo- 
gical skill may be expended upon them, without discover- 
ing the slightest resemblance either in their orthography 
or import. But to the reader of Eastern history, this cir- 
cumstance, which is apparently so inconsistent with accur- 
ate research, presents no particular difficulty. 

He feels no astonishment, for example, when the mo- 
narch, whose steps he has followed in Scripture as Darius 
the Mede, appears in the page of a profane author under 
the name of Ardeshir, or is alluded to by another annal- 
ist as the victorious Bahaman. He knows that it has Ions- 


been a custom in Asia for the reigning sovereign to give 
his son some important government, with the title of king ; 
and that the latter generally changes his name when he 
succeeds to his father. The son and successor of Shapor 
the Second, in the fourth century, was called Kermanshah, 
and by European writers, Carmasat; but when he mount- 
ed the throne of Persia, he assumed the name of Baha- 
ram. Gengis Khan, in like manner, in the early part of 
his life, was called Temujin. Many of the Great Moguls, 
too, used, before their accession, names very different from 
those by which they were known when emperors of India. 


The same practice was likewise adopted in Greece. 
Plato, it is said, was originally named Aristo. That it 
was also common among the Hebrews is amply proved by 
the books of Chronicles; where we find long lists of distin- 
guished individuals, the heads of families, and even of 
tribes, whose names, when compared with the correspond- 
ing series in other parts of the Old Testament, present so 
slight a degree of resemblance as not to be recognized. 
Esther, the favourite wife of Ahasuerus, is known even to 
the mere English reader as Hadassah the niece of Mordecai 
the Jew ; and the Persian scholar will be at no loss to re- 
new his acquaintance with the same personage as Satira, 
the star or beauty of an oriental palace. Daniel, on the 
same principle, becomes Belteshazzar ; while the three 
children, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, come forth, 
upon a change of circumstances, under the familiar deno- 
mination of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. All na- 
tions, it has been observed, have had a greater or less par- 
tiality for metonymical and metaphorical allusions ; and 
many persons have been described by some peculiar attri- 
bute or title, which, though it was perfectly well under- 
stood by their contemporaries, became in a few generations 
greatly obscured, and in certain cases altogether unintelli- 

We ought not therefore to call in question the authen- 
ticity of any catalogue which may happen to be found in 
an ancient writer, merely because the particular names of 
which it is composed do not exactly coincide with a corre- 
sponding list in some other work of a similar nature. A 
complete agreement in this respect is never looked for in 
oriental histories ; not even when the several authors may 
have had access to the same sources of information ; be- 
cause, as almost every king had more than one appellation, 
it was obviously a matter of taste or convenience which of 
them any particular writer should adopt. In such a selection, 


an historian or chronicler would allow himself to be deter- 
mined by the usage of the province to which his work was 
to be addressed, and by the particular dialect of the na- 
tional language which chanced to prevail in it, rather, per- 
haps, than by the literal expression of the record from 
which he drew his materials. 

For example, a Jewish compiler, writing exclusively for 
his own country;, would retain the original name of Daniel ; 
whereas, if his memoirs were intended for a more general 
perusal, and were meant to be read upon the banks of the 
Euphrates and the Tigris as well as on those of the Jor- 
dan, he would probably call him Belteshazzar. The 
niece of Mordecai, in like manner, would be spoken of 
among the Hebrews as the patriotic Hadassah ; would be 
celebrated among the Greeks as the prudent Esther ; and 
envied by the dames of Persia as the beautiful Satira. 

Even in our own land, the history of a royal house 
might be modified so as to suit the recollections and pre- 
judices of the people in either division of the island, and 
thereby be made to assume such a form as to perplex, in 
no small degree, an ignorant reader in a future age. The 
dynasty of Stuart would present, in a Scottish catalogue, 
a very different series of monarchs from that which an 
English historian would construct : and were the memo- 
rials of that unfortunate race to be collected by a bigotted 
Jacobite^ we should perhaps find in them the names of 
James the Third, of Charles the Third, and of Henry the 
Ninth, the immediate descendants of the last member of 
the family who swayed the sceptre of this kingdom. 

It is obvious, therefore, that the want of strict coinci- 
dence in the names of such Babylonian and Assyrian rul- 
ers, as are found in ancient catalogues, ought not to be 
regarded as a certain proof that the authors have been 
either ignorant or dishonest. On the contrary, in a case 


where thcr£ were so many causes of variation, where acci- 
dental epithets and titles so frequently superseded or 
changed the original name;, and where the same ruler was 
known to history under several designations, an entire cor- 
respondence in nomenclature, so far from removing all 
doubt, could hardly have failed to excite suspicion in regard 
to the independent authority of the more recent documents. 

But it must not be concealed, in the third place, that 
part of the discrepancy of which the reader of ancient 
history has to complain, appears to have originated in a 
source altogether different from accumulation of titles or 
variety of spelling. There is reason to suspect that the 
difficulties of Asiatic chronology have induced certain 
writers, as well Pagans as Christians, to alter the cata- 
logues which had passed into their hands, with the view of 
accommodating them to a system of dates which could 
not always boast of a stable foundation in fact. Even the 
learned bishop of Caesarea, to whose labours we are so 
much indebted, cannot be thoroughly acquitted of this 
unjustifiable practice. Africanus is chargeable with the 
same freedoms ; and, perhaps, from the days of Eusebius 
down to our own times, there is not one chronologer who 
has not either recommended or actually introduced very 
material changes in the names and dates of remote anti- 

This acknowledgement rnay be thought by some scepti- 
cal readers to be tantamount to a complete withdrawal of 
all faith from ancient records. But it is not so ; for 
though it must be confessed that the tampering of unskil- 
ful hands with the archives of Assyria and Egypt has in- 
creased the obscurity which they wished to remove, and 
diminished the confidence which it was their object to es- 
tablish, there are yet to be found in those venerable relics 
themselves, such clear marks ©f truth and consistency as 


will, in most cases, guide back the diligent inquirer to a 
distinct comprehension of their original import. The 
learned assiduity of the historian and chronographer has 
in many striking instances detected the very spot which 
was corrupted by the interpolation of his predecessors ; 
and by removing the stain, he has not only restored 
to the perverted document its first pureness and integrity, 
but, by pointing out the source whence the confusion had 
arisen, he has also created a fuller confidence in the know- 
ledge as well as in the veracity of the more ancient au- 

If we can discover in Africanus, for example, an aber- 
ration from the statement of Ctesias respecting the order 
or number of the kings of Assyria, and have the means, 
at the same time, of accounting for the mistake of the 
former without any impeachment of his fidelity, we gain 
at once two very important objects. We not only prove 
that Ctesias was right in that particular instance, but be- 
ing able to analyse the process of reasoning by which the 
later chronologist introduced into his catalogue the erro- 
neous innovation, we attain a more perfect assurance as to 
the credibility of both ; and, in short, perceive the truth 
in a brighter light arising from the very collision of their 
opinions. Hence I conclude, that we are not hastily to 
pronounce against the truth of ancient writers on the 
simple ground of their occasional differences ; for when 
the points in which they happen to vary are once recon- 
ciled on the basis of sound learning and criticism, the au- 
thority of history, so far from being shaken or impaired, 
receives a stronger confirmation. 

These observations appeared necessary to prepare the 
mind of the reader for the discussion to which we are now 
about to proceed relative to the commencement and dura- 
tion of the Babylonian and Assyrian empires ; subjects on 


which there has been a great diversity of opinion among 
chronologers, both ancient and modern, and on the eluci- 
dation of which much erudition, research, and ingenuity 
have been employed by divines and philosophers. 

As Dr Shuckford has given an abridged view of the 
origin and early fortunes of the Assyrian monarchy, I 
should not have resumed the consideration of a subject so 
extremely obscure, were not the chronological grounds on 
which he proceeded utterly inconsistent with the more 
comprehensive scheme adopted in these volumes, as well 
as with the conclusions of all ancient history, sacred and 
profane. Following the steps of the Masoretic Jews, he 
dates the commencement of that empire a hundred and 
one years after the Flood ; a period at which, we have the 
best reason to believe, there could not be on the face of 
the whole earth a sufficient number of inhabitants to found 
cities and kingdoms such as those mentioned in the book 
of Genesis, and to accomplish the other plans which are 
attributed to the adherents of Nimrod. 

If we confine our speculations to the statements of the 
Holy Scripture, we must admit, that, at the end of the 
first century, the descendants of Noah could not have mul- 
tiplied to any great extent. Even on the basis of the He- 
brew genealogy, we cannot, in that interval, establish more 
than three generations ; for Arphaxad lived five and thirty 
years before he begat Salah.; and Salah lived thirty years 
and begat Eber ; and Eber lived four and thirty years and 
begat Peleg.* The renovated race of mankind, be it re- 
membered, too, proceeded from the three sons of Noah 
only ; there being no mention made of any children born 
to that patriarch himself after the epoch of the Deluge. 

* Genesis xi. 12. 14. 16. 


Were we to assume, then, the largest number that the 
laws of nature and of probabihty will warrant as the issue 
of the three families in the course of a hundred years, we 
shall find it much too small to be consistent with the ereat 
objects which appear to have been contemplated by those 
aspiring individuals who founded the Babylonian mo- 

In the first generation which proceeded from Noah's 
household, we count only sixteen sons, namely, seven in the 
family of Japheth ; four in that of Ham ; and five as the 
progeny of Shem. Suppose there was an equal number 
of daughters, and that all the cousins in the three families 
intermarried with one another, and we shall then have six- 
teen couples, upon whose prolific qualities we are to rely for 
the amount of the second generation. But let us take alone- 
with us, that at least ten years after the Flood must have 
passed away before sixteen sons and sixteen daughters could 
have been born in the houses of Shem, Ham, and Japheth ; 
and moreover that, as thirty-five appears to have been the 
usual age for marriage, the first generation could not be- 
gin to have children till about the fortieth year of the new 
era, on the average of all the families. Let us farther 
suppose that all the grandchildren of Noah were as 
fruitful as their parents had been, and that every couple 
produced five sons and five daughters ; the result will be 
sixteen multiplied by ten, or one hundred and sixty hu- 
man beings in the second generation. These were, of 
course, the contemporaries of Salah the son of Arphaxad, 
the son of Shem. 

The next descent, or that to which Eber belonged, 
would, on the principles of this hypothesis, be increased 
five fold ; for as a hundred and sixty individuals consti- 
tute eighty couples, and as every couple is supposed to 


procreate ten children, the product of eighty multiplied 
by ten is eight liundred ; the amount of the third genera- 
tion born in the new world. The succeeding generation, 
or that in which Peleg flourished, cannot be included in 
the first century after the Flood ; for Eber, the father of 
the patriarch just named, and who in this particular may 
be taken as the representative of his age, did not marry 
till the beginning of the second century.* The number 
of mankind, therefore, at the time when, according to the 
Masorite chronology, the Babylonian monarchy was found- 
ed, would be as follows : — 

The family of Noah saved in the ark, - 8 

The first generation, or that of Arphaxad, - 32 

The second generation, or that of Salah, - 160 

The third generation, or that of Eber, - 800 


That I have not withdrawn from this hypothetical calcu- 
lation any element which could be properly used for 
augmenting the number of Noah's descendants in the first 
century, will be seen by any reader who shall take the 
pains to examine with attention the tenth and eleventh 
chapters of Genesis. It will there be found that, instead 
of eighty males whom I have allowed for the second gene- 
ration, the great-grandsons of Noah, such at least as are 
mentioned in Scripture, did not in fact exceed thirty-six. 

* Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after 
the Flood. To these add the 35 years of Arphaxad, the 30 years of Salah, 
and the 34 years of Eber, the sum v/ill be 101 ; the period at which ihe 
fourth generation may be computed to have commenced. Genesis xi. 



In the house of Japheth there is a record of - 7 
of Ham 24 

of Shem 5 


Nor has any deduction been made for accidental or violent 
deaths. Every individual born in the course of the hundred 
years is not only supposed to have lived throughout the se- 
cond and third generations, but also to have married and be- 
come the parent of ten vigorous children ; and yet the 
aggregate amount of the human race at the termination of 
the first century is bounded by the limits of one thousand, 
consisting of both sexes and of all ages. In such circum- 
stances, the number of men fit for labour, for the toils of 
the chase, and the fatigue of war, would hardly reach the 
moderate sum of three hundred. It is, therefore, ex- 
tremely improbable that cities and empires were founded 
at so early a period ; or that the history of any nation can 
be traced back through any records or monuments now ex- 
isting to an epoch so near the universal deluge. 

But I must not omit to observe, that other calculations 
have been made, respecting the numbers of mankind in the 

* The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. And 
the sons of Javan were Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim ; in 
all seven of the Japhethites. 

The sons of Gush were Seba, and Havilal), and Sabtah, and Raamah, 
and Sabtecha, and Nimrod. The sons of Mizraim were Ludim, and Ana- 
mini, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, and 
Caphtorim. The sons of Canaan were Sidon, and Heth, and the Jebusite, 
and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the 
Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite ; in all 
twenty-four Uamites. 

The children of Aram were Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. The 
only son of Arphaxad was Salah : in all five Shemites. See Genesis x. 
2 24. 





days of Noah, whicli give a result not fk little at variance 
with that to which the above reasoning; has conducted us. 
Dr Richard Cumberland, a well-known bishop of Peter- 
borough, wrote, somewhat more than a hundred years ago, 
an amusing tract on this subject; in which he undertook to 
prove that about the time when Peleg the son of Eber 
died, there were or might have been in the world upwards 
of three thousand millions of married men ; or as he himself 
expresses it, " 3,333,333,330 males furnished with wives." 
When this number is doubled, so as to include the women, 
we shall have 6,666,666,660 persons, all in the state of 
matrimony : to which if we add the very low estimate of 
two children to a family, the population of the globe in 
the latter years of Noah woidd exceed considerably the 
magnificent amount of thirteen thousand millions ; that is 
about twelve thousand miUions of human beings more 
than ever were supposed to be alive upon it at one time.* 
The bishop rests his hypothesis on four simple postu- 

• The following table will present to the reader a general view of the pro- 
gress of population in the Noachic ages, according to Bishop Cumberland. 

A.M. Years after Flood. 













Couples born in the first Vicennium. after the Flood, and the 
couples born that descended from them. 


3,000 Observations Celest. sent by Callis- 
thenes, begun. 
30,000 Hereabouts Babel's Tower is at- 
tempted to be built. 
300,000 Hereabouts Egypt and Phoenicia 
planted by Canaan and Mizraim. 


About this time ./Egialeus founds 
the Sicyonian kingdom. 

Joctan, Phaleg's brother, founds a 
kingdom in Arabia. 

Tlie sum 3,333,333,330 Males furnished with wives. 


lates ; that the brethren of Shem were of like constitution 
with himself, and in the course of nature might live much 
about as many years as lie did — that the descendants of 
Ham and Japheth were as strong, long-lived, and fruitful 
as the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons of Shem — that 
the male issue of these three brothers began to g-enerate 
other issue soon after they were twenty years old — and 
lastly, that the issue produced was half males and half fe- 

" From these postulates or reasonable suppositions it 
will follow," says the learned prelate, " that in the first 
twenty years after the Flood, the three sons of Noah might 
beget each of them twenty children, the sum of which is 
sixty ; the one half of these is thirty males, and the other 
thirty yields a wife for each one of them. Hence it fol- 
lows, that at the sixtieth year after the Flood, the youngest 
of these children, whether male or female, will be forty 
years old, and may have generated twenty children more, 
the sum will be 600, whereof 300 will be males, the other 
300 wives for them."* 

Assuming the accuracy of his postulates, the bishop 
goes on to make his Noachides increase their numbers ten- 
fold every forty years ; taking credit to himself in the 
mean time for the moderation of his views, and particu- 
larly for not availing his hypothesis of a capability Avhich 
women are said to possess of having a child regularly 
once in ten months. " We reckon of no births," says he, 
" within less time than a full year ; although we know 
that seven children may be born in every six years, allow- 
ing only single births.*}- We do not," he adds, " violently 
lay hands on all possible methods of multiplying men. 

Origines Gentium Antiquissimae, p. 146, &c. t Page 149. 


but have left out very many ways whereby we might have 
increased our numbers,"* 

The reader will hardly allow that his lordship is en- 
titled to much praise for his reserve and abstinence, when 
it is stated that all the women in the world, for 340 years 
after the Flood, are charged by him, without any warrant 
from sacred history, with the laborious duty of bringing 
forth twenty children. Every couple was bound to begin 
to generate at the age of twenty, and to add to the stock 
of population ten boys and as many girls ; and as, accord- 
ing to his hypothesis, neither male nor female was sup- 
posed to die during a period of nearly five hundred years, 
we cannot admit that the bishop has left out many ways 
whereby he might have increased his numbers.-f* 

When an argument terminates in positive absurdity, it 
is hardly worth while to examine the process of reasoning 
by which the conclusion was attained. But the most care- 
less reader must be struck with the fact, that Dr Curaber- 

* Origines Gentium AntiquissimfB, p. 154. 

+ On this subject Pezron observes, " Premierement, il faut que ceux qui 
s'attachent a I'Hebreu des Juifs, traitent des fables toutes les anciennes his- 
toires des nations de I'Asie; celles des Chaldeens, celles des Egyptiens, et 
celles des Chinois. lis sont meme contraints d'abreger I'empire des Assy- 
riens, &c. 

Secondement, ils sont obliges de mettre la construction de la tour de Ba- 
bel soixante ou quatre-vingts ans apres le deluge ; et de mettre aussi la dis- 
persion des hommes par toute la terre cent ans depuis cette inondation gene- 
rale ; ce qui est incroyable, quand on examine serieusement les choses. Car 
enfin I'esprit ne comprend pas qu'en nioins d'un siecle, ou plutot du un 
demi-siecle, les trois enfans de Noe, a scavoir, Sem, Ham, et .Japhet, ayant 
pu engendrer ce prodigieux nombre d'hommes qui ont travaille a batir la 
ville et la tour de Babel, et qui ensuite ont ete disperses par toute la terre. 

Je ne suis plus surpris apres cela, si les Kabbins, mais les anciens Rab- 
bins, reportes dans le Pirke EUc::cr, disent que les trois fils de Noe ont en- 
gendre' comme des reptiles. R. Elihai ait gcnerarunt illi trcsJUios siios,foc- 
ti^caverunt et 7nultiplicati sunt tanqiiani genus quoddam majoris rcptilis, sex 
quolibet partu ; cela veut dire que leurs femmes ayoient six enfans a chaque 
fois ou a chaque ventree. — Pe::roj/, Defense de VAntlqn'iti des Terns, 
pages 54fi, 547. 


land has founded his third postulate in utter neglect of 
the sacred narrative ; which, so far from representing the 
sons of Noah as becoming the fathers of sixty children, 
states, in the most unambiguous language, that their male 
progeny in the first descent amounted only to sixteen ; 
and gives so little authority for asserting that these young 
men in their turn married at twenty, that, in the only case 
where an age is mentioned, the inspired writer takes the 
pains to inform us that the individual in question, a 
grandson of the great patriarch, did not find himself a 
parent until he was thirty-five. There is assuredly no 
room for doubt that Shem, Ham, and Japheth, had 
daughters as well as sons, and probably an equal num- 
ber of each ; but that they had thirty children of either 
sex, and that these became heads of families at the early 
age of twenty, and thereby afforded an example which 
was regularly followed by their descendants during several 
hundred years, is a position which cannot be maintained 
without impeaching the fidelity of the sacred volume. 

In admitting that the three generations proceeding from 
the three sons of Noah might at the end of a hundred 
years amount to a thousand individuals, I have, for the 
sake of argument, allowed the correctness of the genealo- 
gical tables which are exhibited in the modern copies of 
the Hebrew Bible. But no one who has paid any atten- 
tion to chronology in the present day, aided by the dis- 
coveries which the learning of the two last centuries has 
supplied, hesitates to acknowledge that the dates in the 
Masoretic text, for the period between the Flood and the 
birth of Abraham, have been altered and depraved. 
Not only do the Septuagint, the Samaritan version, and 
the Antiquities of Josephus, bear evidence to the fact 
now alleged, but even the common experience of mankind 
and the laws of human nature confirm the suspicion which 



has so long been directed against the fidelity of the Rabbins, 
in the article of chronology. The marked disproportion be- 
tween the generations of the postdiluvian patriarchs, and 
the total length of their lives, betrays the vitiating industry 
of the school of Akiba ; for thirty-five, the age at which 
Arphaxad, Salah, and Eber, are described as begetting 
children, bears about the same ratio to four hundred and 
forty, the age at which they died, that six bears to seven- 
ty-five. Now, to assert that a race of human beings whose 
life, generally speaking, did not extend beyond seventy- 
five years, should become fathers and mothers at six, 
would surely be deemed equally unnatural and incredible ; 
and yet to maintain that Eber, who lived till he was four 
hundred and sixty-four, was a father at four and thirty, 
is not less inconsistent with the usual course of nature. 
The term of procreation, in his case, bore the same rela- 
tion to the term of his whole life, that the age of a 
child at five bears to the age of a man who dies at seventy- 

When, on the other hand, we adopt the notation of the 

• These remarks apply with increased force to the hypothesis of Bishop 
Cumberland ; for on his system the age of procreation, compared to the total 
length of life, is in the proportion of three and a small fraction to seventy- 
five ; consequently we ought not to be more surprised when we hear of a 
child becoming a parent at three years and four months, than when we are 
assured by Jewish chronologers that Eber, who lived to the age of 464, was 
the father of Peleg at four and thirty. The bishop appears to have been 
aware of this objection to which his reasoning is exposed, but his answer is 
far from being satisfactory. 

"I postulate," says he, "that the male issue of the three brothers 
(Shem, Ham, and Japheth,) might begin to generate other issue soon after 
they were twenty years old. This every year's experience proves not to be 
an unreasonable demand. Therefore I cannot allow Isaac Vossius's postu- 
late, that these patriarchs might be longer before they came to puberty than 
men now are ; and he hath given no proof of what he supposes." 

It was not easy in such a case to give proof positively unquestionable ; but 
surely the analogy of nature, and the testimony of Josephus, with that of 
the Greek and Samaritan versions, ought to have some weight in determin- 
ing this chronological problem. 


Samaritan Pentateuch, of Josephus, or of the Seventy, all 
inconsistencies disappear ; for a hundred and thirty-five, as 
the age of marriage, bears the same proportion to four hun- 
dred and forty, the term of life, that twenty-five bears to 
seventy-five, in the present day ; and this agreement, with- 
out doubt, ought of itself to be considered as a strong pre- 
sumption in favour of the more lengthened genealogy. 
For these cogent reasons, as well as for others which have 
been stated at some length in the Preliminary Dissertation, 
every author in modern times, with whose writings I am 
acquainted, rejects, without the sHghtest hesitation, the 
postdiluvian numbers of the Masoretic Hebrew text.* 
Mr Faber, speaking of the chronology of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, remarks, " I cannot but believe that this in- 
valuable system has been preserved to us by the special 
good providence of God, in order that the cavils of infide- 
lity may be effectually put to silence. I have examined 
it with all the severity of attention which I can command, 
and, from beginning to end, I have been utterly unable to 
discover the least flaw. We have here no statements 
contradictory to the historical narrative ; we have here 
none of those perplexing difficulties which meet us at each 
step in the Hebrew chronology. Eveiy thing is through- 
out clear and consistent ; insomuch that no better evidence 
can be afforded us of the accuracy with which Moses de- 
tails the early postdiluvian events than the excellent table 
of descents exhibited to ws in the Samaritan Pentateuch. 
Shem is represented as dying nearly a century and a half 
before the death of Peleg, and little less than four cen- 
turies and a half before the death of Abraham ; while 
Abraham, in exact accordance with the history, dies pre- 

See Preliminary Dissertation, vol. i. p. 97 — 102. 


cisely 100 years after his father Terah. Consequently, 
since the dispersion from Babel must have taken place to- 
wards the latter end of Peleg's life, in order that we may 
allow time for the thirteen sons of his younger brother 
Joktan to have become heads of families, both Noah and 
Shem will have died, as we proved they must have died, 
^rior to the emigration from Armenia; and thus all the 
strange difficulties with which we are hampered by the 
Hebrew chronology, will be entirely avoided. We shall 
have no occasion to wonder how Nlmrod could acquire 
such a marvellous degree of authority, while he himself 
was a mere boy, and while the four royal patriarchs were 
yet living. We shall have no need to puzzle ourselves 
with computing how a multitude sufficiently large to build 
the tower and to found the Cuthic empire of Babel, could 
have been produced from three pairs within the very 
short time allowed for that purpose by the Hebrew Penta- 
teuch. AVe shall be under no obligation to account for 
the total silence respecting Shem which pervades the en- 
tire history of Abraham : that patriarch is not mentioned 
for the very best of all possible reasons ; instead of sur- 
viving Abraham 35 years, he had died in Armenia no less 
than 440 years before Abraham was born. 

" Nor is this the only service rendered by the Sama- 
ritan chronology : it makes sacred history perfectly accord 
with profane, while the Hebrew chronology sets them at 
complete variance with each other. The Babylonic his- 
tory of Berosus, and the old records consulted by Epi- 
phanius, equally place the death of Noah and his sons be- 
fore the emigration from Armenia ; and the worship of 
them as astronomical hero-gods, which even at the latest 
must have commenced previous to the dispersion, neces- 
sarily supposes their antecedent decease. With this the 
Samaritan chronology exactly agrees ; for it makes Shem 


die 138 years before the departure of Peleg, and thus al- 
lows an ample space of time for the subsequent emigra- 
tion and dispersion ; while the Hebrew chronology throws 
every thing into inextricable confusion, by placing the 
death of Noah ten years, and the death of Shem 162 years, 
after the death of Peleg."* 

Sir William Drummond, in his late work on the origin of 
Eastern Nations, expresses a similar opinion respecting the 
vitiated condition of the modern Hebrew chronology, and 
gives, in like manner, a decided preference to the postdi- 
luvian genealogies of the Greek and Samaritan versions. 

" These variations from the Hebrew text as we have it 
now, and as Jerome must have read it in his time, have," 
he observes, " considerably perplexed chronographers ; 
but there is a partial solution of the difficulty recommend- 
ed by the learned Jesuits Du Halde and Tournemine, 
which I do not scruple to adopt. It is stated at Genesis, 
chapter xi, verse 10, in the figurative phraseology of an 
oriental style, that Shem was rrsa; nxn p, son of a hundred 
years, when he begot Arphaxad. Now, at verse 1 2, where 
it is said Arphaxad lived five and thirty years and begot 
Salah, the words son of a hundred years are to be under- 
stood after Arphaxad, and so of all the other descendants 
of Shem, in the time of Eber, down to Terah, who begot 
Abraham about his 70th year. According to this read- 
ing, which I have not the least doubt is the accurate one, 
we must reckon the period between the deluge and the 
call of Abraham at 1067 years. It is quite clear that Jo- 
seph us thus read and understood the Hebrew text, for he 
has everywhere supplied the 100 years, as is proposed 

• Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 422, 423. The reference in vo- 
lume first, p. 102, is wrong, and the quotation misapplied : Mr Faber hav- 
ing in view the Septuagint version, while my application of his remark is 
to the Hebrew text. 


above, from Shem to Terah. It also appears that the 
Seventy, and the author of the Samaritan text, found or 
supphed the words which I have mentioned above, in 
every example (except in that of Nahor) from Shem to 
Terah. The Seventy, indeed, have introduced the name 
of the second Cainan, which has been erroneously omit- 
ted in the Hebrew and Samaritan texts, but which is re- 
ceived in the genealogy given by St Luke. 

" The state of society in the time of Abraham argues 
its long previous existence. Powerful kingdoms were al- 
ready established ; great cities had been built ; and regu- 
lar armies were maintained. Mankind already witnessed 
the pomp of courts, and the luxury of individuals. Pha- 
raoh appeared surrounded with his princes ; Abimelech 
came attended with the captain of his host; and Abra- 
ham himself was rich in gold and silver, in tents, in flocks, 
and in herds. Money, and even coined money, was in 
use ; nor let it be forgotten, that slavery was already in- 
troduced. These circumstances, with many others which 
might be enumerated, make it difficult to conceive that, 
only between four and five centuries before, the whole hu- 
man race had been destroyed with the exception of eight 
persons. I therefore propose to my readers to adopt as 
they think fit, the calculation, as it results either from the 
Samaritan text, or from that of the Septuagint, or from 
the Hebrew text itself, as it evidently must have been 
read and understood by Josephus, who, next to Philo, 
was the most learned of the Jews, and who, in this in- 
stance at least, could have had no interest either in alter 
ing the sense, or in disguising the truth."* 

• See Origines, or Remarks on the Origin of several Empires, States, and 
Cities. By the Right Hon. Sir William Drummond. 1824. Vol. i. p. 


If, then, according to the recommendation of these 
learned authors, we adopt the chronology of the Samari- 
tan Pentateuch, of Josephus, or of the Septuagint transla- 
tion, we must of necessity admit a conclusion which is per- 
fectly irreconcilable with the opinion of Dr Shuckford, 
and of all the other writers who maintain that the Babylo- 
nian monarchy was founded about a century after the 
Flood. Even on the supposition that three generations 
were produced within the first hundred years, I have 
shewn how probable it is that the aggregate number of hu- 
man beings, of all ages and of both sexes, did not exceed a 
thousand ; and, consequently, the total absence of autho- 
rity for those chronological systems which carry back the 
origin of the great Asiatic monarchies, as well as of the 
splendid cities of Babylon and Nineveh, to the early period 
which has just been mentioned. 

But the improbability of such hypotheses will appear in 
a still stronger light when we consider, that instead of 
three generations evolving themselves during the first cen- 
tury, there could not be more than one; for if all the grand- 
sons of Noah followed the rule which was observed by 
Arphaxad, who did not beget a son till he was 135 years 
of age, it is evident that the second postdiluvian genera- 
tion would not materially add to the strength of the first 
until towards the middle of the succeeding hundred years. 
Proceeding, therefore, on this new ground, we should not 
be disposed to look for any large political establishment, 
any regular monarchy, or capital city, till after the lapse 
of five or six centuries from the epoch of the deluge ; and 
it will be found, I believe, upon a comparison of the most 
authentic records that are preserved in the ancient annals 
of the human race, that the first kingdom in Asia did not 
originate before the period which has now been specified. 

But, before Mfte enter upon the more regular cbronolo- 


gical inquiry which respects the commencement of the 
Babylonian and Assyrian empires, it seems expedient to 
make a few observations on the preliminary question as to 
whether these early governments were originally separate 
or united ; if they were separate, how long they continvied 
so ; and what were the circumstances which led to their 
junction, and the consequent ascendancy of the Assyrian 
name among the people of the East. 

The sacred historian, in the brief parenthetical account 
which he gives of Nimrod, the descendant of Cush, relates 
that the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, 
and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. In the 
same incidental manner, he immediately subjoins, out of 
that land went forth Ashur, and builded Nineveh, and 
the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nine- 
veh and Calah.* 

All that we discover here is a reference to two events, 
connected, first, with the establishment of a regal power 
at Babel ; and, secondly, with the foundation of Nineveh, 
and some other great cities apparently in political subjec- 
tion to it. The inspired author appears not to have had 
the smallest intention to fix the dates of these important 
occurrences, nor even to supply to his reader such infor- 
mation as might enable him to determine the extent of the 
interval which had elapsed between them. He confines 
himself to the simple statement that an ambitious indivi- 
dual, whom he describes as belonging to the line of Cush, 
formed a civil polity at Babel ; and that, at some future 
period, a person called Ashur, or the Assyrian, migrated 
from the district in which Nimrod first exercised authori- 
ty, and laid the foundations of a separate government on 
the banks of the Tigris. 

* Genesis x. 10, 11, l^i 


It is true, that, from the mere contiguity and apparent 
connection of the two portions of this narrative, some 
writers have concluded, not only that Nineveh was found- 
ed in the time of Nimrod, but even that Nimrod and 
Ashur were only two names for the same individual : and 
consequently that the metropolis of Assyria was indebted for 
its origin to the same aspiring hand which gave a beginning 
to the magnificent city of Babylon. There is hardly any 
reader who requires to be informed, that Bochart, Junius, 
Hyde, and other biblical critics have expressed their prefe- 
rence for that translation of the original text, which, instead 
of describing a man named Ashur as eoing; forth from 
the vicinity of the Euphrates, represents Nimrod himself as 
leaving his own country and proceeding into Assyria to 
lay the foundations of a new city and colony. But the 
Hebrew terms used by the divine historian do not proper- 
Iv admit of such a rendering ; and hence most modern 
authors who assert the identity of Nimrod and of the first 
Assyrian ruler, find it necessary to assume a different 
ground for their opinion, as will be hereafter explained at 
considerable length. Our object at present, however, is 
merely to examine into the authorities furnished by antiquity 
in regard to the separate origin and independent existence 
of their two empires ; and to ascertain, if possible, how long 
the one preceded the other in strict chronological order.* 

The principal authorities whose lights we must follow in 
this investigation are Alexander Polyhistor and Africanus, 

* The Hebrew text will not bear the interpretation put upon it by Bochart, 
Junius, and Hyde. It should, according to their sense of it, have been, not 
"yywH, Ashur, but ."Tna'X or 'iitrK'?, Assura or Le Assur. It is worthy of 
notice, too, that, in this particular, the Greek, Syriac, Latin, and Arabic 
versions, and the Samaritan Pentateuch, all agree with the Hebrew. Jose- 
phus takes the same view ; stating distinctly that Ashur built the city of 
Nineveh, and that the Assyrians derived their name from him. — Jackson, 
Chron. Aiitiq., vol. i. p. 230, and Josephus, Jcrvish An/iqiiitlcs, book i. 
chap. C. 


who appear to have copied from more ancient authors the 
result of inquiries, the date of which is lost in the darkness 
of a very remote antiquity. These two chronographers 
agree in respect to the number of kings who succeeded 
Nimrod at Babylon, though they differ somewhat as to 
the length of time which was occupied by their successive 
reigns. I proceed, meantime, to extract from the valuable 
Chronographia of Syncellus the catalogue which he has 
preserved of the Chaldean kings, who began to govern in 
the sixth century after the deluge. 

The first and most celebrated was Euechoiis, who is 
also called Nembrod, who governed in Babylon six years. 

The second king of the Chaldeans was Chomasbolus, 
who reigned seven years and a half, beginning in the year 
of the world 2782. 

The third king of the Chaldeans was Porus, who reign- 
ed 35 years, beginning in the year of the world 2790. 

The fourth king of the Chaldeans was Nechubes, who 
reigned 43 years, beginning in the year of the world 2825. 

The fifth king of the Chaldeans was Abius, who reign- 
ed 48 years, beginning in the year of the world 2868. 

The sixth king of the Chaldeans was Oniballus, who 
reigned 40 years, beginning in the year of the world 

The seventh king of the Chaldeans was Zinzirus, who 
reigned 45 years, beginning in the year of the world 

The above is a literal translation from the work of Syn- 
cellus, who adds, in a note or commentary, that the em- 
pire of the Chaldeans sprang up 225 years after the disper- 
sion of the nations, beginning in the year of the world 2776, 
and ending in the 3000th year of the same era. In the 
3001st year of the Chaldean monarchy the Arabians seiz- 
ed the government ; which was held by six kings of that 


Chap. I.] AND PROF AN?: HISTORY. 31 

nation 215 years, that is, until the year of the world 

Alexander Polyhistor assigns to the first dynasty, of 
Chaldean monarchs a period only of 190 years ; differing 
from Africanus, or perhaps only from Syncellus, who may 
have taken the liberty to make this alteration, not less than 
35 years. The chronographer, indeed, is honest enough 
to inform us, at page 78 of his laborious compilation, that 
Polyhistor, on the authority of Berosus, computed the 
duration of the first series of Babylonian kings at 190 so- 
lar years ; and also that, on a similar ground, he had as- 
sured his readers that the epithet Euechous was applied 
to Chosma-belus and not to Nimrod. But the main point 
at the present stage of our inquiry, I repeat, is to establish 
the fact that there was at Babylon a succession of sovereigns 
before Ninus began to rule in Nineveh over the provinces 
of Assyria. 

Syncellus observes, in the note which has just been 
quoted from him, that the successors of Nimrod were re- 
moved from the throne by a dynasty of Arabians, who 
held it during a period of 215 years. The names of 
these invaders are preserved by the same author in the 
following order : 

The first was Mardocentes, who reigned 45 years, be- 
ginning in the year of the world 3001. 

The second is omitted in this catalogue ; his name and 
duration of his government having been lost. 

The third was Sisiraardacus, who reigned 28 years, be- 
ginning in the year of the world 3086. 

^ii aTo rou (3 ir f' ko/t/^ikoii itou;, luii rov y' xoff/juKou^ aTTo Js tou y a • xovfii- 
X.OU £ Tot/; S/£X=|avTo Tr,t XaXSa/iUV fiairiXiiav A^aSsg i'TTi iTn a i %'• (ictfi^ds «■• tut 
rou y (T I ■'■ »(i<r//,iKov I Tous—Syncelli Chronog, p. 90. 


The fourth was Nabius, who reigned 37 years, begin- 
ning in the year of the world 3114, 

The fifth was Parannus, who reigned forty years, be- 
ginning in the year of the world 3151. 

The sixth was Nabonnebus, who reigned 25 years, be- 
ginning in the year of the world 3191.* 

The sum of these reigns is 175 ; hence we find, that 
the second king whose name has disappeared must have 
exercised the government 40 years ; the total duration of 
the Arabian dynasty being limited to 215. 

I have copied the above list with the utmost regard to 
accuracy, specifying in every instance the year of the 
world in which the several reigns were supposed to begin ; 
although from a slight chronological deviation which 
Syncellus has pursued, his era of the Flood is fourteen 
years short of the truth. Instead of iiQ56, the proper 
year of the deluge, Syncellus follows an authority which 
places it in the year 2242 ; on which account, the reader 
who wishes to reduce the dates which I have transcribed 
to the more precise calculation of the Septuagint and of 
Josephus, will find it necessary to add 14 to the number 
assigned by the author of the Chronographia. 

The amount of the dynasties just mentioned, the seat of 
whose power appears to have been at Babylon, is 

According to Syncellus - 225 + 215=440 

And according to Alex. Polyhistor 190 -|- 215=405 

If the former, or Chaldean dynasty, began in the 
year of the world 2790, or 534 years after the Flood, 
the latter, or Arabian, must have terminated in 3230 

Syncelli Chronographia, p. 1)2. 


or 3] 95, according as we shall adopt the numbers of Syn- 
cellus or of Polyhistor ; the difference, as I have already re- 
marked, being not less than 35 years. Jackson prefers the 
smaller number ; having satisfied himself that Alexander 
must have copied it from Berosus, who, in regard to the 
affairs of Babylon, is esteemed by him a higher authority 
than Africanus or any other more modern chronographer.* 

During those four hundred years, in the course of which 
the strength and magnificence of the Babylonian monar- 
chy must have grown to a considerable height, no mention 
is made by any one writer, sacred or profane, of the Assy- 
rian kingdom or colony which was founded by Ashur at 
Nineveh, Rehoboth, and Calah. But there is every rea- 
son to believe that the sources of its prosperity were 
neither less ample nor less constant than those which contri- 
buted to augment the parent state ; for we find that the 
third dynasty in the latter was in due time succeeded by 
a chief who probably belonged to a Shemitic tribe, and 
who at all events has associated his name, in eastern 
annals, with the first rise of that ascendancy which the 
Assyrians so long maintained among the nations of Asia. 

The imperfect records of those early times do not 
afford the means of arriving at any satisfactory conclu- 
sion respecting the lineage of the monarch whose name 
stands at the head of the third dynasty of Chaldean kings. 
Nor is any light supplied by the title or epithet Belus, by 
which he was known to historical writers ; for as this 
term denotes nothing more than that he exercised the 
sovereignty of his tribe, it fails to distinguish him from 
various other rulers whose station or exploits drew from 
the admiration of their countrymen a similar token of 

* Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 235. 


respect. But, without engaging in useless inquiries on a 
subject where research has no materials on which to found 
even a conjecture, I proceed at once to give a list of the 
third dynasty of Babylonian monarchs, according to the 
best authorities that the wasting hand of antiquity has 
allowed to remain. 

Belus (supposed to be of the line of Ham) 

reigned ... 55 years 

Babius, his son, reigned - 37 

Anebis, his son, reigned - - 38 

Chsealus, his son, reigned - 45 

Arbelus, his son, reigned - - 42 

The sum of reigns 217 

The author from whose works this catalogue is extract- 
ed, is the celebrated Moses of Chorene ; who, in his Ar- 
menian History, has preserved a valuable fragment copied 
from Abydenus, an industrious compiler of Chaldean re- 
cords.* Africanus had a similar list, for which, it is pro- 
bable, he was indebted to the same collector ; but this 
chronologist, not being aware that a third dynasty of 
kings had reigned at Babylon prior to the age of Ninus, 
has introduced the above names into the Assyrian cata- 
logue at a comparatively later period ; and this, as will be 
explained hereafter, has unduly increased the number of 
Assyrian princes, and consequently extended the duration 
of their government a century beyond the proper limits. 

I must not omit to mention that Abydenus had in his 
roll a sixth king, whose name was Ninus ; but as it is al- 

Hist. Armen. lib. i. c. 4. 


most certain that this addition originated in a mistake, and 
that the name of the sovereign who is thereby made to 
close the last Babylonian dynasty, belonged, in fact, to 
the first of the Assyrian, I have followed Dr Jackson in 
rejecting it.* Much confusion has arisen from an histo- 
rical notice, which appears to have soon become a subject of 
tradition, that Ninus was the son of a certain Belus; and in 
the case before us, it may be presumed, the author or copier 
of the list in Abydenus was induced, upon the mere iden- 
tity of the name, to establish the relation of paternity be- 
tween the fifth sovereign of the third lineage, and the re- 
nowned conqueror of Nimrod's kingdom, the Ninus of 
Ctesias and of Diodorus Siculus. 

This catalogue of the Babylonian kings from Belus to 
Ninus, as preserved by Moses Chorenensis, derives some 
confirmation from a similar list of Armenian sovereigns 
supposed to be contemporary ; at the top of which we find 
Haic, who is said to have ascended the throne at the same 
time with the first of the two princes just named, and who, 
moreover, is described as having slain him in the field of 
battle. Aram was the Armenian ruler who governed in 
the days of Ninus ; and the names of his successors, from 
Haic down to the dissolution of the Assyrian empire under 
Sardanapalus, are regularly recorded ; and frequently, too, 
in connection with the contemporaneous sovereigns who 
held their state at Nineveh. Nor is this important docu- 
ment confined to the pages of Moses as borrowed from 
Abydenus. It was likewise to be found in an Armenian 
history by Maribas of Catlna, who copied it from ancient 
records which, in his time, were still carefully kept in 
the capital of Assyria. •!• 

• Chron. Antiq. vol. i. p. 262. 

f About the year 130 before the Christian era, Maribas was sent by Val- 
arsaccs, king of Armenia, to his brother Arsaccs, the second king of Parthia, 


Assuming, at this stage of our narrative, the authenti- 
city of the record quoted from Maribas and Abydenus, 
and preserved by the historian of Chorene, we have three 
dynasties of kings who reigned at Babylon, before the 
conquest of the Chaldean territory by Ninus, from whose 
reign the Assyrian monarchy properly begins. 

The first dynasty commenced with Nimrod, and 

continued - - 225 years 

The second, or Arabian, began with Mardocen- 
tes, and continued - - 215 

The third began with Bel us, and continued 217 

The sum of the three dynasties 657 

who then reigned over the Assyrian empire, with a letter, requesting him to 
give the antiquary access to the royal library at Nineveh, that he might 
transcribe from the Assyrian records the history of the Armenian kings. 
In searching through the library, Maribas found a book which contained the 
annals of the most ancient Asiatic sovereigns ; a collection which, from an 
inscription at the beginning of it, appeared to have been translated out of 
the Chaldaic into Greek, at the command of Alexander the Great, and de- 
posited in the Royal Library. Maribas is said to have written out of this 
book in Syriac and Greek whatever related to the history of the Armenian 
kings, from Haic and Belus, king of Babylon, down to the reign of Sarda- 
napalus, and lower ; and presented his book to Valarsaces, king of Armenia, 
who laid it up in his palace at Nisibis.— His<. Armen. lib, i. c. 8, cited by 

Maribas mentioned the Babylonian king, Belus, who was contemporary 
with Haic the first of the Armenian governors, and all the Assyrian kings 
from Ninus, who were mentioned in the Armenian history, and with whose 
reigns the Armenian history was connected. But he mentioned no other j 
on which account JMaribas had not an entire catalogue of the Assyrian ■ 
kings. He had no other besides those whose names occurred in the Anne- 
nian history ; whom Moses Chorenensis adapted to the Armenian prefects 
who exercised authority under their several governments. From the his- 
tory of Maribas it appears that Nineveh, after the destruction of it by the 
Medes and Babylonians, ceased indeed to be the seat of the Ass)n:ian em- 
pire ; but that it still retained a certain degree of dignity and importance, 
possessing a royal library in which were contained the most valuable records 
of its ancient greatness, and the long line of its earliest kings.— F/ofewj/'s 


These numbers accord with the statement of Africanus, 
embodied in the Chronographia of Georgius Syncellus, 
which gives to the more immediate successors of Nim- 
rod 225 years ; but if we follow the notation of Alexander 
Polyhistor, and restrict the term now mentioned to 190, 
the amount of the whole period occupied by the three dy- 
nasties will be 35 years less than I have stated ; that is, 
there will be no more than 622 years from the beginning to 
the end of the ancient Babylonian monarchy. 

If there be any accuracy in the chronological system on 
which we are now proceeding, the government of Nimrod 
must have had its origin about the year before Christ 
2651 ; wherefore if we allow 622 years for the duration of 
the three dynasties mentioned above, the commencement 
of the Assyrian empire properly so called must be dated 
2029 years before the same era. If we take the larger 
number of Africanus, and give to those most ancient 
races of Babylonian kings the term of 657 years, the es- 
tablishment of the Assyrian monarchy under Ninus will 
be 35 years later, that is, in the year 1994 before the 
birth of our Saviour. 

The fragment preserved from Abydenus is of the 
greatest value for enabling us to fill up the long period 
between Nimrod and Ninus. To obviate some of the ob- 
jections which present themselves to the reader of this ob- 
scure portion of oriental history, Pezron found it incum- 
bent upon him to suggest that there might be an interreg- 
num or anarchy after the death of the " mighty hunter ;" 
otherwise, says he, it is necessary to suppose that he 

Geography ; Tacit. Aiinal. lib. xii. c. 13 ; Arrian dc Reb. Indicis ; Ammian. 
MaTcellin. lib. xxii. c. 20. These authors mention Nineveh as a city in 
their days, but in a state of decline and depopulation. See also Jackson, 
Chron. Antiq. vol. i. p. 203. 


reigned about three hundred years. However this may 
be, he adds, it is certain that there were seven Chaldean 
kings who succeeded him, and who occupied one after 
another the throne of the Babylonians. After them, he 
farther remarks^ there were six Arabians who governed 
that kingdom in succession ; upon which Belus, prince of 
Nineveh, with the assistance of the Arabs and some other 
tribes, rendered himself master of Babylon, and joined it 
to the empire of Assyria. In this way he gave a begin- 
ning to the first monarchy of the world, which the Greeks 
very justly denominated the monarchy of the Assyrians.* 

It is obvious that this learned writer knew nothing of 
the third Babylonian dynasty mentioned by Abydenus 
and Maribas; for if he had, he certainly would not have had 
recourse to the clumsy expedient of extending the reign of 
Nimrod to three hundred years. But he contends with 
great earnestness for the existence 'of the first and second 
races. He reminds his readers that Julius Africanus, who 
compiled his work from the most authentic monuments of 
antiquity, gave a place in his collection to the Chaldean 
and Arabian dynasties ; and that Eusebius and Syncellus 
found no difficulty in recognizing these princes as actual 
sovereigns of ancient Babylon. Polyhistor in like manner 
makes mention of them in his annals of the Chaldees, 
which he formed upon the genuine writings of Berosus, of 
Abydenus, and of Apollodorus. In a word, if we reject 
the authorities which have been produced for this impor- 
tant fact, and deny that there was a succession of monarchs 
at Babylon before Ninus subdued the last of the race and 
extended the Assyrian power over the land of Nimrod, 
we shall shake the foundation of all ancient history, and 

• L'Anti(iuitc des Tems Retablie, p. 127. 


reduce to tlie insignificance of fiction some of the best es- 
tablished records of the primaeval world.* 

It is not surprising that such authors as have adopted 
the Masoretic calculation should endeavour to destroy the 
credibility which is due to the valuable documents which 
have just been quoted. But it is indeed somewhat un- 
accountable that any person who understands the differ- 
ence between the numbers of the Hebrew Bible and those 
of the Septuagint, as applied to the early postdiluvian pa- 
triarchs, should call in question the existence of an ancient 
Babylonian kingdom prior to the days of Ninus, and con- 
sequently the truth of those writers who have recorded 
the names of the sovereigns by whom it was governed. 
As Sir William Drummond, in his learned work just pub- 
lished, has professed his scepticism on this historical point, 
it becomes more necessary than it might otherwise have 
appeared, to set forth at some length the arguments which 

" La pluspart de ceux qui s'attachent a la supputation des Juifs, traitent 
ces roys de supposes et fabuleux, mais sans en donner aucune raison. J'es- 
pere que Ton sera plus favorable quand on aura vu celles qui font pour 
leur defense : et je crois qu'on ne s'avisera plus de les degrader en les pri- 
vant des honneurs du trone. Jules Africain ne les a point cru des roys sup- 
pose's, puisqu'il leur avoit donne place dans son histoire de Tems, cora- 
pose'e sur les plus surs et les plus fidelles monumens de I'antiquite'. Eusebe 
et Syncelle n'ont point fait de difficult^ de les reconnoitre pour veritables 
princes des BabyJoniens. Comment done ose-t-on contre I'autorite de ces 
celebres auteurs, et apres une possession de tant de siecles mettre ces roys 
parmi les princes fabuleux et imaginaires ? lis ne sont pas les premiers 
qui en ont parle. Alexandre Polyhistor, qui etoit du terns de Sylla, en fe- 
soit mention dans I'histoire des Chaldeens, qu'il avoit forme sur les ecrits de 
Berose, d'Abydene, et d'Apollodore. C'est ce que nous apprend Syncelle, 
qui dit que cet historien met Evechoiis pour second roy de Babylon, et puis 
Chomasbelus, et les sept roys Chaldeens : Evechoum quidem regum Chal- 
dceorinn secundum ct Chomasheluni, ct post euni septem Chaldceorum reges qui 
imperarunt 190 annis solaribus adducit Polyhistor : huripov /^ty XaXSaiuv S»- 
iriXiui Eunx""* '""' XofiairinXov, nai rov; (/.it auroi ^. XaXSa(4/v (ixffiXiis iiZ,ayu 
JT)| x^arnfctiTdt riXixxa. j h'. Cet ancien historien ne donne aux regnes de 
ces sept Chaldeens que 190 ans, et Jules Africain leur en donne 225 ; ce qui 
fait voir qu'ils avoient pris ces roys en difFerens auteurs, et par consequent, 
qu'ils non point etd inconnus aux historiens de Yantiquiti.—L^ Antiqnit6 des 
Terns retabiie, p. 130. 



have been urged in support of those ancient annahsts, who 
assert the existence of a Chaldean monarchy as having 
flourished between the era of Nimrod and that of the As- 
syrian prince who first transferred the seat of government 
from Babylon to Nineveh. 

Sir William attempts to destroy all the evidence for a 
Chaldean or Babylonian kingdom between the times of 
Nimrod and NinuS;, by adducing proof that the latter was 
the son of the former, and consequently that they lived 
in the same age. The learned author does not indeed di- 
rect his reasoning against the historical position maintained 
by Polyhistor, Eusebius, Africanus, Syncellus, and Jack- 
son, respecting the ancient dynasties already so often men- 
tioned. He takes no notice whatever of their opinions on 
this head ; but by undertaking to prove that the son of 
the Assyrian Belus was the immediate descendant and 
successor of the grandson of Ham, he shows his willing- 
ness to supersede the inquiry altogether as either trifling or 
absurd, and thereby to obliterate from the page of history 
the proper monarchy of Nimrod, as well as the catalogue 
of sixteen or seventeen princes who followed him in the 
government of Babylon. 

It is perfectly clear, he maintains, from the book of 
Genesis, that Nimrod and Ninus were contemporaries, for 
Nineveh, which signifies the habitation of Nin or Ninus, 
was built in the time of Nimrod.* This argument is far 
from being conclusive. From the incidental manner in 
which the foundation of Nineveh is alluded to by the sa- 
cred historian, we are not justified in determining the 
precise date at which it rose into the capital of an empire ; 
nothing; more being stated in the text than that, at some 

Ovigines, vol. i. p. 99. 


period either before or after the occupation of Babylonia 
by Nimrod, a chief named Ashur went out of that country 
into a more northern district, in which were subsequently 
built no fewer than four considerable cities. It is not to 
be imagined that the head of a small body of colonists 
would at once resolve to employ the strength and patience 
of his followers in the very useless task of erecting four 
large towns, for which there were no inhabitants ; and yet 
if we interpret the words of Moses so literally as to draw 
from them the conclusion, that the very individual who 
emigrated from Babylonia built the city of Nineveh, we 
must likewise believe that he also built Rehoboth, and 
Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah.* 

Considering that the erection of towns is the work of time, 
and not likely to be accomplished, in the first moment of 
settlement, by rude tribes who must necessarily have de- 
rived their subsistence from a wide extent of uncultivated 
country, the greater number of writers on this subject have 
not been disposed to infer from the inspired narrative any 
thing more particular, than that Assyria was originally peo- 
pled by emigrants from Babylonia ; and that their descend- 
ants built certain large cities, which, in the days of the 
Jewish lawgiver, were celebrated among eastern nations for 
their strength and magnificence. Nor is the ingenious author 
of the Origines ignorant that such freedom of exposition 
is allowed to the historian and divine. On the contrary, 
he avails himself of it so far as to assure his readers that 
it is not necessary to restrict themselves to the literal state- 
ment of Moses, and believe that Nimrod was actually the 
son of Cush, and the grandson of Ham, although the 
Scripture defines his genealogy in the clearest terms; 

• Genesis x, 10, 11. 


but merely that he was a remote descendant of these pa- 
triarchs, and lived in the time of Abraham more than a 
thousand years after the Flood. Now, if this liberty of in- 
terpretation may be used in a case where the narrative of 
the inspired writings is direct, plain, and explicit, we may 
much more confidently have recourse to it on a question 
where the subject is introduced only as a passing observa- 
tion, and without any reference to a fixed or even a relative 
date. Besides, the holy record does not assert that Ninus 
built Nineveh. The capital of Assyria, according to the 
literal statement of the Mosaical narrative, owed its foun- 
dation to an emigrant from Babylonia, whose name was 
Ashur ; and hence, to maintain that Nimrod and Ninus 
must have been contemporaries, because a certain city was 
built by Ashur in the days of the former, savours of that 
species of logic which all good reasoners wish to avoid. 
It is impossible to determine what sort of town or enclosed 
space the father of the Assyrians might choose to form, 
when he found himself and his companions in safety be- 
yond the Tigris ; but it admits not of any rational doubt, 
that the city which bore the name of Ninus was the work 
of a later and more improved age, after wealth had in- 
creased, and the rich plains of his extensive kingdom were 
crowded with inhabitants. 

Sir William is not more fortunate in the second attempt 
which he makes to rest his argument on the basis of Scrip- 
ture. He concludes that Nimrod was the master of Assy- 
ria as well as of Babylonia, and that Ninus was his son and 
successor, " because," says he, " the prophet Micah calls 
Assyria the land of Nimrod."* But it will be found upon in- 
spection that the prophet, so far from calling Assyria the 

Origines, vol. i, p. 99. 


land of Nimrod, makes a marked distinction between it and 
Babylonia, saying, " and they shall waste the land of Assy- 
ria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances 
thereof:"* that is, according to the commentary of Le- 
clerc, they shall subdue Assyria and Babylonia with arms.-f- 
Indeed this passage of Micah has hitherto, as far as I 
know, been exclusively quoted by those authors whose 
object it was to prove that the monarchies of Babylon and 
Assyria were not only different in their origin, but that 
the former only had ever acknowledged the power of 
Nimrod. That the Hebrew language will not admit of 
the particle which is translated and being rendered by the 
word even, I am not prepared to deny ; but that it has 
not been so rendered by the Septuagint, nor by any of the 
most approved critics in modern times, is well known to 
every biblical scholar.;}: In truth it is only those whose 

• Micah V. 6. 

+ " Ei pascent terrain Assur in gladio, et terram Nimrod in lancets suis, 
vel, ire lancets ejus : id est, annis domabunt Assyriam et Babyloniam, quod 
est regere in virga ferrea." — Clerici Annotata ad Michaam. 

-)• " Moreover, the land of Ashur, or Assyria, and the land of Nimrod, 
or Babylonia and Chaldsea, are expressly distinguished by the prophet 
Micah, chap. v. verse 6. Ashur is there plainly a proper name as Nimrod 
is, and their land or country is represented as being different from each other. 
And as both these kingdoms were enemies to the Jewish nation, the king of 
Assyria first carrying ten tribes into captivity, and afterward the king of Ba- 
bylon the other two tribes, their countries, called the land of Ashur and the 
land of Nimrod, from their founders and first possessors, are each distinctly 
threatened to be laid waste by the sword." — Chronological Antiquiiies, vol. i. 
p. 231. 

" It is probable that Ashur built Nineveh, by the conquest of the Babylo- 
nians by the Assyrians under Ninus. If Nimrod had built Nineveh and 
planted Assyria, Babylon and Assyria would have been only one empire ; 
and it would be an inconsistence to talk of a succeeding king of one of them 
conquering the other. That the Ass3rrians conquered the Babylonians is 
very particularly mentioned by Diodorus : and, therefore, before Ninus unit- 
ed them. Babylonia and Assyria were two distinct kingdoms, and not the 
plantation of one and the same founder. The land of Ashur and the land of 
Nimrod are mentioned as two distinct countries. Micah, v. G,—Shnckford, 
vol. i. p. 173, 


opinions coincide with the strange notion of Bochart, that 
Ashur meant a country and not a man, who imagine that 
Nimrod after founding Babylon carried out a colony to 
platit Assyria. 

It is no doubt said that Babel was the beginning of 
Nimrod's kingdom, an expression which seems to imply 
that it afterwards became more powerful and extensive. 
But there was ample room for his power to increase both 
in population and territory without leaving the plain of 
Shinar. That fertile region, we may presume, was still 
comparatively unoccupied ; the number of inhabitants 
could not be great in the third descent from Noah"'s fami- 
ly ; and we cannot but suspect that it was a reason very 
different from want of territorial accommodation which 
induced the party, who did emigrate from the neighbour- 
hood of Babel, to fix their residence at so great a distance 
from the borders of the Cuthite hunter. Besides^, admit- 
ting that his kingdom at Babel did increase, so much even 
as to render emigration politically expedient, is it at all 
probable that the monarch of a thriving and powerful 
state would himself lead forth the superabundant popula- 
tion to a remote land ; and, without any regard to the duties 
and dignity of his office at home, become the head of the 
new settlement abroad ? Such conduct, when ascribed to 
the wily and ambitious Nimrod, appears equally destitute 
of wisdom and of probability ; and, in short, leaving phi- 
lological difficulties entirely out of the question, there are 
so many other objections to the hypothesis of Bochart, 
that, in my opinion, nothing short of the seducing love 
of system could prevail upon any reasonable man to 
adopt it. 

Sir William, having satisfied himself that Nimrod and 
Ninus, as parent and child, lived in the same age, finds it 
necessary to make them both contemporaries of Abraham ; 


for several of the Greek historians and chronographers 
speak of Ninus as living at the same time with the father 
of the faithful. The observation in regard to Ninus is 
perfectly correct ; for if there be any truth in the chrono- 
logy which is here applied to guide our narrative, both he 
and Abraham flourished in the beginning of the twelfth 
century after the Deluge. But where do we find any 
authority for postponing the era of Nimrod to so late a 
period ? To this question the ingenious author replies in 
the following terms : — 

" That Abraham and Nimrod were contemporaries is 
not contradicted by the Scriptures, and is affirmed by 
various writers, whose authority is of weight in such a 
question. This fact then is asserted by the authors of the 
Gemara, or commentary on the Mishna, by the author of 
the Targum on the Pentateuch ascribed to Jonathan, 
and by several eminent Rabbins of later date. The 
Arabians held a similar tradition ; and the historian Ach- 
med-ibn-Jusuf, Muhammed Mustapha, and Al-Giannabi, 
speak of the patriarch as contemporary with the tyrant 
and robber. The commentators on the Koran have in- 
deed abundantly embroidered this tradition, as have done 
also the authors of the Persian books called Malim and 
Sophi Ibrahim. But while we reject their extravagant 
exaggerations, we may admit these authors to have been 
right in considering Abraham and Nimrod as contem- 

Had this erudite orientalist called to mind the great dif- 
ference in the two schemes of chronology pursued by the 
Jewish writers, and by himself respectively, he could not 
have ascribed to their opinion the weight which he has 

• Origines, vol. i. p. 98. 


been pleased to give to it. According to the genealogical 
notation of the Hebrew Bible which is adopted by the Rab- 
bis, Abraham was born in the 292d year after the Flood ; 
while, agreeably to the computation of the Septuagint, 
which is approved by Sir William, the son of Terah did 
not come into the world till the year 1070, reckoning 
from the same point. It is very obvious, therefore, that, 
though the authors of the Gemara and Targum might, in 
complete consistency with their chronological views, main- 
tain that Abraham and Nimrod were contemporaries, the 
same opinion cannot be held by a writer who not only re- 
fuses to concur in the conclusions of their chronology, but 
directly accuses them of diminishing, to the extent of seven 
hundred years, the very period under consideration, that, 
namely, from the Flood to the birth of Abraham. 

Is there any one, then, who does not clearly perceive 
that the author of the Origines has called in the aid of an 
auxiliary, with whom he does not hold one point in com- 
mon.'' The Rabbis believe that Nimrod began to rule 
early in the second century of the new world, and that 
Abraham was born towards the close of the third ; and as 
the life of man at that early period usually exceeded two 
hundred years, it was not unreasonable on their part to sup- 
pose that the latter had attained to some degree of matu- 
rity before the other was called away by death. But the 
distinguished chronographer, whose work we are now 
considering, maintains that the progenitor of the Hebrews 
was not born before the end of the tenth century ; and yet 
he adduces the authority of the Jewish commentators in 
support of the opinion, that this patriarch was contemporary 
with another personage who, according to them, existed 
about seven hundred years before him. In a word, to have 
rendered the testimony of the Rabbis of any use to his 
hypothesis. Sir William should first have shown that they 


agreed with him in adding seven hundred years to the pe- 
riod which elapsed between the Flood and the nativity of 
the patriarch ; for, unless he meet with them on this com- 
mon ground, their authority not only goes for nothing, but 
actually places itself in direct opposition to the very point 
which by means of it he wishes to establish. None of the 
Rabbinical writers admit that the birth of Nimrod was de- 
layed till a thousand years after the universal deluge. The 
reader, therefore, who has bestowed upon these considera- 
tions the attention to which they lay claim, will hardly ac- 
cede to the conclusion which the author has founded upon 
his reasoning, namely, that *' the evidence which proves 
Nimrod, Ninus, and Abraham to have been contemporaries, 
appears to be too strong to be set aside."* 

But there is a farther inconsistency in the opinion en- 
tertained by Sir WilUam. If Nimrod did not live till the 
days of Abraham, it will follow that the Babylonian mo- 
narchy, instead of being the first of the kingdoms which 
were estabUshed after the renovation of the human race, 
must have been posterior to Egypt and several others. 
The accomplished author himself allows that the state of 
society in the time of Abraham argues its long previous 
existence. Powerful kingdoms were already established : 
great cities had been built ; and regular armies were main- 
tained. Mankind already witnessed the pomp of courts 
and the luxury of individuals. Pharaoh appeared sur- 
rounded with his princes : Abimelech came attended with 
the captain of his host ; and Abraham himself was rich 
in gold and silver, in tents, in flocks, and in herds. -f- 

If such was the condition of things in Egypt, and other 
countries at a comparatively great distance from the origi- 

• Origines, vol. i. p. 10. t Origines, vol. i. p. 102. 


nal seat of population, is it not extremely improbable, that, 
in the plain of Shinar, and on the borders of the Euphrates 
and Tigris, no kingdom should have been formed, no 
cities built, and no courts established ? There can be no 
doubt that Moses, in giving the history of Nimrod, meant 
to convey to his readers such knowledge as had reached 
his age, respecting the first institution of political authori- 
ty and of regular government among the descendants of 
Noah. The beginning of regal power was at Babel ; and 
the grandson of Ham is represented as the first sovereign 
■who aspired to independence and the prerogative of an au- 
tocrat. Babylonia was known to the latest period of the 
Jewish state as the land of Nimrod ; and it is, moreover, 
the general belief that the persons who emigrated thence 
into Assyria, fled away from the face of a tyrant, and 
from the pressure of a threatened despotism which they 
could not otherwise avoid. 

But, again, this same Nimrod, according to the author 
of the Origines, was a native of Egypt, the son of Nep- 
tune and Libya. He is said to have conducted a colony 
from that kingdom to Babylon.; where he instituted an or- 
der of priests called Chaldeans, who, like the priests of 
Egypt, were exempt from all tribute and service, and who 
like them were employed in the study of physics and astro- 
nomy. In this particular the great-grandson of Noah is 
identified with Belus, who, as we are informed by Diodorus 
Siculus, carried a body of emigrants towards the east, and 
established a sort of college in the vicinity of the Euphrates; 
while the celebrated Danaus, his son or brother, was em- 
ployed in increasing by similar means the inhabitants of 
Argos, one of the most ancient cities of Greece.* 


The only authority alleged for this singular commen- 
tary on the Mosaical narrative is the fact, which is indeed 
mentioned by several ancient writers, that Ninus was the son 
of a chief called Belus; and as Sir William had previously 
established to his own satisfaction that Ninus was the son of 
Nimrod, it follows that Belus and Nimrod must be the 
same person. But no one knows better than this learned 
and most industrious scholar, that, as Belus signified lord, 
or chief, or master, it was applied to a great number of 
individuals upon earth, and even to the solar orb in the 
firmament. It became the common appellation of every 
distinguished sovereign ; and was also very frequently in- 
troduced into the names of those more obscure princes 
who had no other claim to notice than that they were de- 
scended from a royal lineage.* In the Chaldean and 
Assyrian dynasties there are several kings who bear the de- 
signation of Belus : and the same title was conferred by the 
Phenicians, the Persians, the Syrians, the Phrygians, and 
even by the remote people of India. Hence, it must be 

Xiis, xai 'Taffn; Xltmu^'yia;, ov; BaSvX&ivioi xaXouai XaX^aiov;—D'lod. Sicul- 
lib. i. c. 28. 

" " The title of Bel, or Lord, as applied to the sun by the Tsabaists, 
seems to have had its origin among the descendants of Ham ; and we accord- 
ingly find this name given to their principal deity by the idolators of almost 
every region of the globe, where heliolatry prevailed. We have seen that 
Diodorus traces Belus to Egypt. The Philistines, as appears from Scrip- 
ture, adored the sun under the name of Baal (bya) Dominus. The Pheni- 
cians adored the sun under the name of Bcd-Samen, Lord of Heaven. The 
ancient Arabians were apparently worshippers of Baal. In Sanscrit, Bali 
signifies the strong or mighty one : Neither have I any hesitation in trans- 
lating the ancient Indian names Maha-BcU and Bala-Dcva, the great lord 
and the divine lord. The ancient Persians, according to the author of the 
Dabistan, named one of their monarchs Mah-hul, which is clearly a corrup- 
tion of the Indian Malta-Bala, the great lord or great king. With respect 
to the signification of king attached to the word Baal there is no difficulty, 
since the distinction between king and lord, where there is no doubt that 
there is a master, is of little eonser[ucncc." — Olivines, vol. i, p. 109, 110. 

VOL. II. » 


evident that Sir William Drummond is chargeable with 
haste in the inference which he draws from the use of a 
very common word ; and that there is no reason whatever 
for believing that Belus the Egyptian, who lived in the era 
of the Grecian commonwealths, was Nimrod the mighty 
hunter, the son of Cush, and the founder of the Baby- 
lonian monarchy. 

We next find that this hero of antiquity, the giant, the 
robber, the tyrant, the apostate, was, according to the 
author whose opinions we are now considering, king of 
Shinar in the days of Abraham, and consequently one of the 
three vassal sovereigns under Chedorlaomer, who were de- 
feated by that patriarch. His words are these : " As we 
know that Belus or Nimrod was king of Shinar, it seems 
evident, I think, that he was one of the kings defeated 
by Abraham ; and that the orientalists are right in consi- 
dering this prince as the contemporary of the patriarch."* 

Such an opinion, it appears to me, carries its own refu- 
tation along with it. There is not the slightest evidence 
in ancient history, either sacred or profane, that Nim- 
rod held his kingdom under the protection and superiority 
of the Iranian monarch. We cannot trace the most dis- 
tant affinity between Amraphel, the chief of a small tribe 
on the borders of Arabia, and the formidable warrior, 
the beginning of whose power was at Babel, and who has 
left the terror of his name among all the nations of the 
East. In short, this is one of the numerous perplexities 
in which Sir William has involved his system, by identi- 
fying Nimrod with Belus the father of Ninus. 

* Origines, vol. i. p. 279. The orientalists, be it noted, did not consi- 
der this prince (Nimrod) as the contemporary of the patriarch ; they consi- 
dered Nirius and Abraham as contemporaries ; and it is only because Sir 
William maintains that Ninus was the son of Nimrod, that he finds it ne- 
cessary to bring the son of Cush down to an era seven hundred years later 
than his proper time. 



As soon as an author departs from the hne of historical 
truth, he finds himself surrounded with darkness and in- 
consistency. For example, the whole current of ancient 
testimony runs in favour of the opinion that Ninus con- 
quered Babylonia, and subjected it as well as the adjacent 
provinces to the Assyrian throne. There is hardly a 
writer of antiquity who does not concur in this statement. 
But Sir William Drummond, who sees in Ninus only the 
son and natural successor of Nimrod, is forced to pro- 
nounce the conquest of Babylon by the Assyrian arms, 
a groundless fiction. " We have seen," says he, " from 
the testimony of various authors, that Ninus was the son 
of Belus or Nimrod. The account, consequently, which 
is given by Diodorus of the conquest of Babylon by Ninus 
is utterly improbable, since the son, it is natural to sup- 
pose, would succeed to the dominions of his father. It is 
to Belus himself that we ought to ascribe this conquest : 
and there may be reason to think that the same prince ob- 
tained possession of the whole territory of Shinar, on agree- 
ing to become a vassal to the Persian monarch."* 

Another inconvenience which arises from identifying 
the era of Nimrod with that of Ninus, is the necessity of 
admitting that several generations of kings may have 
reigned at Babylon before the son of Cush was born. 
Sir William complains that the question respecting the 
commencement of the Assyrian empire is rendered more 
perplexing than it would otherwise have been, by the 
list which Africanus has preserved of the first sovereigns 
of Babylon, as well as by the assertion made by the same 
chronographer, that the dynasty of Nimrod or Belus ter- 
minated at the seventh generation, and was succeeded on 

Origincs, vol. i. p. 27!>, '2o0. 


the throne of Chaldea by an Arabian family, of whom six 
had reigned before Babylonia was conquered by Ninus. 
This statement, he maintains, stands in opposition to all 
historical testimony both sacred and profane ; for as Ninus 
was the son of Nimrod, it is, says he, impossible to sup- 
pose that the former did not live until thirteen generations 
after the latter. But the learned author is too ingenuous 
and well-informed to deny that the catalogues transmitted 
to us by Africanus are to be found in other collections ; 
and, moreover, that the voice of antiquity is almost unani- 
mous in declaring that several dynasties had occupied the 
throne of Chaldea, before the epoch at which Ninus laid 
the foundations of Assyrian greatness. For these reasons, 
and particularly from the consideration of the long period 
which must have elapsed between the origin of society in 
the land of Shinar, and the age when powerful kingdoms 
were already established, great cities were built, and man- 
kind witnessed the pomp of courts, he finds himself com- 
pelled to allow that a long succession of princes may have 
ruled at Babylon before it submitted to the arms of Ninus. 
*' Africanus may be right," he concludes, (for I adopt 
with him the chronology of the Seventy) " in asserting 
that two different dynasties had reigned over Chaldea be- 
fore the time of Ninus ; but he is manifestly wrong in re- 
presenting the first of those two dynasties as descended 
from Nimrod."* 

It does not, therefore, admit of any reasonable contro- 
versy that Babylon was the seat of a royal government 
many years before the establishment of the Assyrian em- 
pire under Ninus. We are not, indeed, thence to infer 
that the prince now named was the first monarch of Assy- 

Origines, vol. i. p. 223, 221. 


ria, or that the country which was planted by Ashur had 
not, in the course of several centuries, attained to a consi- 
derable degree of power. But it seems, notwithstanding, 
perfectly clear, that, until Ninus extended his victorious 
arms into Babylonia, no paramount dominion was acknow- 
ledged in those extensive plains which are watered by the 
Euphrates and the Tigris. The land of Ashur and the 
land of Nimrod presented each a small kingdom, consist- 
ing, it is probable, of many tribes or families ; the heads of 
which had not yet resigned into the hand of the general 
sovereign the privileges of independent chiefs, and espe- 
cially the right of making peace and war whenever their 
particular interests might appear to be affected. 

But it would be in vain to conjecture what was the ac- 
tual situation of the community which was governed by 
the successors of Ashur at Nineveh during the period that 
the first Babylonian kingdom subsisted ; or even to at- 
tempt to discover the reasons why its name did not sooner 
emerge from that obscurity which covers the origin of na- 
tions. It has been supposed that it was placed under a 
species of political subjection to the ruler of Babylon, in 
which it continued till the time of Belus, the father of 
Ninus ; who, in the capacity of a provincial governor, is 
imagined to have first set the example of throwing off the 
allegiance which was due to the older settlement, and;, final- 
ly, to have asserted the independence of the Assyrian pro- 
vinces. On this account he has been esteemed by many 
writers as the most ancient monarch of Assyria ; the first , 
of the long line of kings which stretched down to the ex- 
tinction of the empire in the days of Sardanapalus.* 

" " Je ne crains pas d'avancer que les successeurs d'Assur sont demeures 
dans Tobscurite pendant plus de GOO ans. Bien loin de trouver dans les 
libres sacre's les moindres vestiges de leur pretendiie puissance, il n'est besoin 


Although I have attempted to prove, that between Nim- 
rod and Ninus there was an interval of several centuries, 
and also that a number of kings reigned at Babylon before 
the Ass^'rian colonists obtained that ascendancy over their 
brethren in the south which has raised their name to the 
highest place in the annals of ancient Asia, I have not pre- 
sumed to determine the exact extent of that interval, nor 
the precise amount of the royal successions which filled it 
up. Some chronographers have laboured to establish the 
existence of the three dynasties which, on the authority of 
Africanus and Abydenus, have been mentioned with con- 
siderable minuteness in the foregoing pages ; while others, 
exercising a whimsical scepticism in regard to certain parts 
of ancient history, have pronounced the whole doubtful, 
and the last, in particular, namely, the dynasty of the 
Cuthite Belus, to be nothing better than an idle tale.* 

The existence of these dynasties is chiefly contested by 
those writers who follow the chronology of the modern 
Hebrew, which leaves no time between the accession of Nim- 
rod and the days of Abraham for an ancient Babylonian 
kingdom. But, on the other hand, the testimonies of re- 
spectable historians and chronologers in support of this 
fact are so numerous, that some of the most sceptical read- 
ers of Africanus and Polyhistor have been compelled to 
allow that the seat of government was originally placed at 
Babylon, and that many years elapsed before it was trans- 
ferred to Nineveh. Bishop Cumberland, for example, ad- 
^ mits that the observations sent to Greece by Callisthenes 
prove at once the antiquity of the Assyrian empire, and 

que d'une mediocre attention pour y decouvrir que ces princes ont ete plu- 
sieurs siecles sans songer a faire des conquetes." — liccherchcs svr I'liistoire dc 
I'Assyrle. Par RI. VAhhi Seviii, Hist, dc VAcad. Roi/., vol. iii. p. 248. 
" Origines, vol. i. 


also that Babylon was its first head. From the beginning 
of Nimrod's reign to the establishment of Nineveh, and 
the proper commencement of the Assyrian monarchy^ there 
was, according to this author, an interval of 185 years; 
a period not very different from the limits assigned by 
Polyhistor to the first dynasty of Chaldean sovereigns.* 

The Abbe Sevin, in his researches into the history of 
Assyria, agrees with Pezron and Jackson in admitting the 
statement of Polyhistor and of Julius Africanus respect- 
ing the Arabian dynasty at Babylon ; and although he 
adopts the common opinion, so resolutely opposed by the 
author of the Chronological Antiquities, that Belus, the 
head of the third race, was the father of Ninus, he never- 
theless gives the full weight of his authority in favour of 
those ancient writers who place, between Nimrod and the 
Assyrian conqueror just named, the reigns of several suc- 
cessive monarchs. Assuming that Belus was a descendant 
of Ashur, he remarks, that he was no sooner on the 
throne than he determined to recover the province of 
Babylon which Nimrod had taken away from his ancestors. 
After the death of that usurper, says he, sundry great 
revolutions had taken place in this state. The Arabs, in 
the last instance, had taken possession of it ; and, accord- 
ing to Polyhistor and Africanus, 200 years had already 

* " I think that the celestial Observations found in Babylon when it was 
taken by or surrendered to Alexander, which had been made from above 
1900 years before his time, and cannot be presumed to be kept as public 
records before a inonarchy was founded, prove the antiquity of the Assyrian 
monarcliy, whereof Babylon was a part, and its first head, (See Genesis x. 
10,) although, in later times, Nineveh grew to contest for superiority. The 
beginning of these Observations being 2480 of the Julian Period, that year 
Scaliger affirms from Callisthenes in Simplicius to be the first year of the eldest 
epocha of the Chaldeans, supposing their years to be Julian years. Hence 
to J. P. 26G5, where I place the beginning of Nineveh and the Assyrian 
monarchy, are 185 years for Ham, and Cush, and Nimrod in Babylon."— 
Oiiffincx Gentium Anti<iuiss\mct:, p. 228, 229. 


passed during which these strangers retained the peaceful 
enjoyment of their conquest, when Belus invaded Baby- 
lonia with a powerful army. He defeated Nabonnadus, 
who was at that time the reigning monarch ; and by 
means of this victory he rendered himself master of a 
kingdom to which he had the best founded pretensions. 
This important conquest made the Assyrians formidable 
to all the East.-)- 

Mr Faber, in his valuable and laborious work on the 
Origin of Pagan Idolatry, acknowledges that six kings 
succeeded Nimrod- not at Babylon but at Nineveh, before 
the commencement of the proper Assyrian empire ; or at 
least before the accession of the first of those sovereigns 
who compose the dynasty given by Ctesias, extending from 
Ninus to Thonos Concolerus. As to .the Arabs, again, 
he maintains that they effected no more than a temporary 
conquest of Chaldea alone ; and that, though they con- 
tinued to occupy the country which they had overrun 
with their arms, during the long space of 215 years, yet, 
as the Assyrian empire had long before begun at Nineveh 
under the auspices of Nimrod, the Arabian dynasty did 
not succeed the first seven kings, as Africanus and Poly- 
histor have recorded, but merely governed a conquered 
province at a distance from the capital. The dynasty of 
the seven earliest princes, says he, joins immediately in 

• " Belus ne fut pas plutot monte sur le throne qu'il forma le dessein de 
recouvrir la province de Babylone que Nemrod avoit enleve a ses ancetres. 
Depuis la mort de cette usurpateur, il etoit arrive de grandes revolutions 
dans cet etat. Les Arabes en dernier lieu s'en etoient empares, et il y avoit 
200 ans, suivant Alexandre Polyhistor et Jules Africain, que ces princes 
en jouissoient paissiblement, lorsque Belus entra Babylonie avec une puis- 
sante armee. II defit Nabonnadus qui y regnoit alors, et par cette victoire 
il demeura maitre de ce royaume, sur lequel il avoit des pretentions legi- 
times. Cette importante conquete rendit les Assyriens formidables a tout 
rOrient." — Hht. dr VAcad. Ray. vol. iii. p. 152. 


point of chronological succession, to the dynasty of the 
thirty-six Ninevite sovereigns as detailed by Ctesias. 
Those seven princes, he adds, must have been Nimrod 
and his lineal descendants ; and the next thirty-six kings 
must either have sprung from a younger branch of the 
house of Nimrod, or must have been members of another 
Cuthic family which ascended the throne upon the extinc- 
tion or abdication of the royal house of the founder.* 

* Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol, iii. p. SOfJ, .S99. Blr Faber seems to 
think that the Arabs conquered Chaldea " after the Iranian seat of govern- 
ment had been removed from Babylon to Nineveh," that is, as he remarks 
in another place, " at the close of the first dynasty, when, in the days of Se- 
rug, the original Scythic name and succession terminated." — See vol. iii, p. 
397, compared wUh page 573 of the same volume. 

I leave it to the careful reader of I\Ir Faber's book to determine whether 
the learned author is not chargeable with a slight degree of inconsistency in 
this place. His opinion, with respect to the kingdom of Babylon, appears 
not to admit that Nimrod established any regal power there at all ; but that 
this chief, finding himself thwarted by the divine anger which confused the 
tongues of his followers, almost immediately relinquished his projected un- 
dertaking on the Euphrates, and proceeded to found a more auspicious set- 
tlement in the vicinity of the Tigris. At page 378, volume third, when 
speaking of Nimrod, he observes, " though such was the hcginning of his 
kingdom, its power did not remain stationary, nor was Babel long the seat 
of government. The dispersion, indeed, took from him a large proportion 
of his subjects ; but he had still a sufficient number remaining very greatly 
to extend his dominions northward. Mortified with the check which he had 
received, and disgusted with his late metropolis which had witnessed it, he 
went out of the land of Shinar into the region which was chiefly peopled by 
the children of Ashur, and which, from that patriarch, took the name of 
Ashur or Assyria. Here he built a new capital upon the Tigris or Hid- 
dekel ; and calling it after his own appellation, Ninus, he reigned hence- 
forth at Nineveh." — "■ Babylon, the scene of Nimrod's humiliating discom- 
fiture, appears to have long remained in a neglected state, and (except per- 
haps during the short dynasty of the Arabian invaders, as they have been 
called) to have sunk to the condition of a provincial town." — Volume iii. 
p. 379. 

The inconsistency alluded to appears in this : the author informs us, that 
the Arabs conquered Chaldea " after the Iranian seat of government had 
been removed from Babylon to Nineveh," though he had distinctly stated 
that Nimrod retired in disgust or terror from the former city without founding 
there any government at all. In what sense could the seat of government 
be said to be removed ? Besides, we are told, at page 573, that the Arabians 
took possession of Chaldea at the close of the first dynasty ; that is about 190 
years after Nimrod left Babylon, and after the reigns of six of his successors. 


Agreeably then to the views of Mr Faber, there was no 
Babylonian kingdom prior to the rise of the Assyrian em- 
pire ; which latter state, according to his notions, was 
founded by Nimrod on the banks of the Tigris, soon after 
the confusion of tongues and the consequent dispersion 
of his followers. The first of the dynasties mentioned by 
Africanus and Polyhistor must, therefore, be regarded as 
the immediate descendants or successors of the mighty 
hunter ; while the second, or Arabian, were merely a col- 
lateral branch of rulers, who had seized a province by force 
of arms, where they braved the power of the legitimate 
sovereigns during; more than two centuries. 

Mr Faber agrees with Sir William Drummond so far 
as to obliterate all traces of a distinct Babylonian king- 
dom more ancient than the Assyrian, and even in dating 
the beginning of the latter monarchy in the time of Nim- 
rod; but while the rector of Long-Newton places the 
grandson of Ham in the seventh century after the Flood, 
the baronet brings him down to an epoch three hundred 
years lower. 

But nothing, I think, in ancient history can be clearer 
than that there were sovereigns at Babylon before it was 
reduced by the celebrated Ninus, whose name stands at 
the head of the Assyrian dynasty preserved by Ctesias. 
That this ambitious prince was indebted for the possession 
of Babylonia to his victorious arms, and not to hereditary 
right, is distinctly stated by Diodorus Siculus; and as he 
was aided in his conquests by the king of the Arabians, 
there is fair ground for concluding that the second dynasty 
described by Africanus had already given place to a more 
powerful body of invaders. The Sicilian historian relates 
that Ninus the king of the Assyrians having called to his 
assistance the ruler of the Arabs, attacked with a numer- 
ous army those Babylonians which were nearest to his own 


territories. But the Babylon, he adds, which now is was 
not then buih. The country, however, contained seve- 
ral other cities of some consequence, whose inhabitants, 
unused to war and ignorant of" the means of defence, 
were easily brought into subjection, and burdened with 
an annual tribute. Xinus having taken captive the king 
of the vanquished people with his children, forthwith put 
them to death.* 

But it is now full time that we proceed to the considera- 
tion of the question which respects the duration of the 
Assyrian monarchy ; and more particularly, as upon the 
just solution of it depends our ultimate determination rela- 
tive to the date of its commencement. 

The principal authority for the number of kings who 
occupied the throne of Assyria, from Ninus to the disso- 
lution of the empire, is Ctesias, a Greek physician, who 
lived seventeen years at the court of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
and who, under the protection of that Persian monarch, 
was permitted to examine and even to copy the ancient re- 
cords of the kingdom. The catalogue which Ctesias was 
thus enabled to produce, was afterwards transcribed by 
Castor of Rhodes, Velleius Paterculus, Diodorus Siculus, 
and other historians ; by which means, as well as through 
the industry of Eusebius, Julius Africanus, and Syncellus, 
the labours of the Grecian antiquary have been preserved 
till the present day.-f- The sum of the successive reigns 

* 'O 0* CUV Tuv Krffvoiiaii lixriXiti; X;v5j rsv ouvarrtucvTec mv AoaSa/v •xaoa.x.a'kojty 
\9-7(ia,T'.uci jjiiTX rtaWrii ovya/itu; Iti Bz"u}.cuyiov; KXTtixcuvra; of^ooov ^uoxv- Kxt' 
ixitviu; Oi Tsu; ^aotov; ri fi-t vov outra BatuXuv iux lKTiir/ii,iv>j, Kara, a- tjjv BaSu- 

oix TO Tent it Toi; <ro>.tu,oi; xiv'Sutoj)/ aTiioa; i^itt, Tourot; fji.ii \~x%i nXliv kxt iti- 
aum uoiiruv/ou; tpaotu;, to* 0£ (oairiXia tmv KaTw^oXifirthtTut Xatut fiira rat rtx- 
tut a.i/;^fix\aTat xTixriiti—Diodor. S'lcul. lib. ii. c. 1. 

■f Ctesias transcribed the materials of his Persic and Assyrian History 
from the Royal Archives, and finished his work in the 3d year of the 95th 
Olympiad, and in the year B. C. 398. — Dio. Sic. lib. ii. c. 32. 


amounts to about 1300 years, or, according to the various 
readings of different copies of Diodorus, to 1360, and 
even to 1400 years and upwards. The number of the 
reigns, too, varies somewliat in the several authors who 
profess to follow Ctesias ; but upon comparing their state- 
ments, in connection with their respective systems of chro- 
nology, there is little doubt that the original transcript 
presented to the Greek historians a succession of 36 Assy- 
rian princes. The list is as follows : — 

1. Ninus, - - - 52 

2. Semiramis, - - 42 

3. Ninyas, . - - 38 

4. Arius, - - 30 

5. Aralius, - - - 40 
C. Xerxes or Bala?us, - - 30 

7. Armanithres, - - - 38 

8. Belochus, - - 35 

9. Balffius, - - - 52 

10. Sethos, Altadas, - . 35 

11. Mamythus, ... 30 

12. Ascalius or Mascaleus, - - 30 

13. Sphaerus, - - - 28 

14. Mamylus, - - 30 

15. Sparthaeus, - - - 40 

16. Ascatades, , - 42 

17. Amyntes, - - - 50 

18. Belochus, 2d, - - 25 

19. Baletores or Baletaras, - - 34 

20. Lamprides, - - 37 

21. Sosares, - - - 20 

22. Lampares, - - 30 

23. Pcinyas, - - - 45 

24. Sosarmus, - - 42 


25. Mithrsus, - - - 37 

26. Teutamus or Tautanus, - 32 

27. Teutaeus, - - - 44 

28. Thineus, - - 30 

29. Dercylus, - - - 40 

30. Empaemes, - - S8 

31. Laosthenes, - - 45 

32. Pertiades, - - 30 

33. Ophrataeus, - - - 21 

34. Ephecheres, - - 52 

35. Acraganes, - - - 42 

36. Thonos Concolerus or Sardanapalus, 20 


This catalogue has not obtained all the confirmation that 
could be desired from the pages of Diodorus Siculus ; 
who, instead of transcribing the whole, satisfied himself 
with naming the first three, Ninus, Semiramis, and Ninjas, 
after which he passes on at once to Sardanapalus, the last 
in the series, as recorded by Ctesias. It is not necessary, 
says he, to repeat the names of kings, or to determine 
how long they reigned, when we know that they did not 
perform any thing which is worthy of being remembered.* 
The above list, therefore, rests on the authority of other 
writers who copied from Ctesias, soon after the period in 
which he flourished, and from whose works Africanus, 
Eusebius, and Syncellus, transferred this valuable relic of 
antiquity to their own pages. 

But Diodorus, although he did not, for the reasons 

Diodor. Skul. lib. ii. 22. 


which he himself assigns, think it expedient to enter into 
particulars, has given both the number of the reigns and 
the total amount of their duration, as he found them re- 
corded in the volumes of the Greek physician. Having 
described the manner in which Ninyas passed his time, he 
remarks, that his successors for thirty generations lived in 
the same way ; the son receiving the government from the 
father down to the time of Sardanapalus ; in whose days 
the Assyrian empire was transferred to the Medes, after 
it had lasted 1360 years^ as Ctesias the Cnidian has re- 
lated in his second book.* 

It is remarkable that Syncellus in quoting this passage 
has 1300 instead of 1360, as the term of the Assyrian 
monarchy ; and in regard to the number of reigns or gene- 
rations, all his citations from the same author give 35 from 
Ninus to Sardanapalus. In reference to the latter of these 
sovereigns, the Sicilian historian is made to say : S«g^«»«5r- 

«Ao5 at TpiKKoa-rog xcct Tiif^Trros utto Ntvov cTnTUfAivav n^v yiyifiovixv, 

ia-^xroih yivofiivo? ^xeriXivi Aa-a-v^tav : that is, Sardanapalus Avas 
the thirty-fifth from Ninus, who founded the empire, and 
the last of the Assyrian kings.*f" And again : Tuvzx o 

A««^»goj TTSQt mi Tov 'Zet^axvXTrciXov KXTxa-T^o^m? , x.xi ort A i. xtto 
N<vcw yiyon Zxi^tAivi Aa-u-v^iay, m tt^utov hfxt /ixtytXix tov dvTO* 
Ae-a-v^iuv tt^oXxQu/v xran^u \<pn : " these things Diodorus relates 
concerning the downfall of Sardanapalus, and that lie was 

rtiv a^pf^'/iv, iTi yiMia; TpiaKovra iScciriX'.i/(ray fii^^i "Sa^oavcc^aXou- 'Etti Taurou yap 
ri TO/v Ktrffv^ion ■nyifJi.otiu, fiiriTicnv ii; Mndou;, iTt) oia/4.iiva.ffa ^Xtia Toit ^iXieov 
xai T^iaxoiriav, \ri V i^rixovra, xa-Sa'Ti^ (p»(ri KTnffia,; o Kvihio; Iv tsj "hiUTipa SiSXa- 
—Diod. Siciil. lib. ii. c. 21. 

This passage is cited by Syncellus as follows : 

tlu^a.'^X'/KriCi/; os oi XaiTot (iairiXiis ■yf/ti^i; -TTa^a rrar^o; ^locSi^e/Mvoi t'/iv apv'/ii 
i^affiXiuffat Itti yivsaj X s'. f^^XV "Xaj^ctvoczaXou- I'^i rovrou h tcuv Afffftipiuv riyi- 
fAovia (/.irimffiv \i; MiiSauj Iryi ^iscftiivaira 'nXiidJ ruv «'. kb.i r-' xcJavi^ ^niri Ktjj- 
<r/aj Kko/55 \v Tt\ S'. /S;jSX«. 

t Syncclli Ciironograpia, p. U>5. 


the thirty-fifth from Ninus, whom he had formerly men- 
tioned to be the first king of the Assyrians.""* There are 
several other passages in Syncellus, extracted from Diodo- 
riis, which prove satisfactorily both that the chronogra- 
pher must have read a text of that author different from 
the present ; and also that the historian must have origi- 
nally agreed with the other transcribers of Ctesias in giv- 
ing 36 generations, and only a little more than 1300 years 
to the Assyrian empire, from Ninus to the catastrophe of 
the prince who is known by the double appellation of 
Thonos Concolerus and of Sardanapalus. 

Assuming the accuracy of these corrections, it remains 
that we apply the facts so as to ascertain whether the 
term of the Assyrian monarchy recorded by Ctesias will 
coincide with the interval between the two points which 
have been actually fixed on for its commencement and its 
termination. I shall begin with the scheme of Mr Jack- 
son, whose opinions are always founded on deep research, 
and generally supported by accurate reasoning. 

Following the authority of Ctesias and of Diodorus Si- 
culus, he adopts the sums which have been stated above, 
as well for the number and length of the reigns between 
Ninus and ConcoleruS;, as for the united amount of their 
duration ; namely, 36 for the former, and 1306 for the 
latter. But as Ninus, according to the historian of Cni- 
dus, began his government in the year 21S7 before the 
Christian era, the Assyrian monarchy must have been 
dissolved 821 years before the same epoch ; that is, says 
Jackson, about 110 years before the revolt of the Medes, 
the event which is commonly regarded as marking the end 
of the emp've which was founded by the son of Belus.-f* 

" Syncelli Chronographia, ubi supra. 

+ The numbers here, having a reference to the Christian era, proceed 


The same author maintains that, in the year 821 before 
Christ, there was no revolution or change whatever in the 
Assyrian government, which could give any countenance 
to the statement of Ctesias respecting its dissolution at 
that period ; on which account he brings down the reign 
of the 36th king to the year 710, when, and not before, 
he asserts, the Medes under their prefect Arbianes did 
throw off their allegiance. Now, if to 1306, the entire du- 
ration of the Assyrian empire, we add 710, the term of 
the Median revolt, it will follow that the reign of Ninus 
must be dated in the year B.C. 2016. If, again, to the 
sum now stated we annex 622, the amount of the three 
Babylonian dynasties which are supposed to have preced- 
ed the foundation of the Assyrian monarchy, we shall find 
that the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom, according to 
this author, must have taken place about 532 years after 
the Flood, and before the era of Redemption 2638. 

There is much appearance of truth and consistency in 
this scheme ; for not only do the particular numbers coin- 
cide with the intervals to which they are applied, but the 
total sum appears to extend exactly over the space which 
is occupied in history, both sacred and profane, by the 
two monarchies of Babylon and Assyria. The beginning 
of the former is not too early ; and the termination of the 
latter, as an empire, is not too late. 

But we must, nevertheless, advert to the fact, that Mr 
Jackson has fixed the commencement of the Assyrian 
power on the ground of his calculation relative to the dura- 
tion of the three dynasties which are supposed to have 

on the ground of Mr Jackson's chronological conclusions, that our Saviour 
was born in the year of the world 5426 ; but I may add that, with re- 
spect to all events after the foundation of Solomon's temple, the diflerence 
among chronographers is a mere trifle. 


ruled at Babylon ; of which dynasties the existence was 
not known to Ctesias, and has been called in question by 
several authors in more modern times. This is not, there- 
fore, of itself a sufficient reason for postponing the rise of 
the Assyrian state, and the era of its celebrated founder. 
To be satisfied that the beginning is properly placed, we 
must have good ground for concurring with him in the 
epoch at which he brings it to a close.* 

That Ctesias was mistaken in supposing that the Assy- 
rian monarchy was finally dissolved, and the government of 
Asia transferred to the Medes, 821 years before the Chris- 
tian era, is, Jackson thinks, rendered perfectly clear by the 
testimony of the sacred Scriptures; where mention is made 
of several kings of Assyria who reigned over Media and 
Babylonia at a much later period. It is, therefore, al- 
most certain that the Medes, whom he describes as hav- 
ing ascended the throne of Concolerus, were not sove- 
reigns at all, either at Nineveh or in their own country; but 
were merely local governors, who on many occasions, in- 
deed, assumed the exercise of independent authority, and 
set the lord paramount at defiance. But this mistake, if 
it be one, does not necessarily overthrow the credibility of 
Ctesias as to the remote origin of the Assyrian empire ; 
and upon examining the arguments of Freret, which we are 
now about to examine, we shall perhaps discover that, in 
the history of Ninus's successors, there occurred more 

" " I have shown," says Mr Jackson, " that Ctesias placed Ninus too 
high by more than a hundred years : this is evident from the Chaldean re- 
cords of the years of the Bahylonian kings to the time that he conquered Ba- 
bylon. But Ctesias never saw the Chaldean annals, nor knew any thing of 
the times of their kings before Ninus ; on which account he was more liable 
to mistake in fixing the epoch of the Assyrian era. Yet his catalogue is of 
the greatest service as giving us the entire term of the Assyrian empire to 
the revolt of the Medes, which otherwise we could not have known."— 
Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 281. 



than one event which might, even by a careful annal- 
ist, be regarded as a change of dynasty and an entire loss 
of power. 

The hypothesis of the learned academician just named 
rests almost entirely upon an observation quoted by Vel- 
leius from ^milius Sura, the author of a chronological 
work on Roman history ; who remarks that, between the 
beginning of the reign of Ninus and the conquest of Asia 
by Lucullus and Pompey, there elapsed 1905 years. The 
following are the terms in which this opinion is expressed. 
Assyrii principes omnium gentium rerum potiti sunt ; 
deinde Medi ; postea Persse ; deinde Macedones ; exinde 
duobus regibus Philippo et Antiocho, qui a Macedonibus 
oriimdi erant, haud multo post Carthaginem subactam, 
devictis, summa imperii ad Populum Romanum pervenit : 
inter hoc tempus et initium Nini regis Assyriorum, qui 
princeps rerum potitus, intersunt anni MDCCCCV.* 

It is admitted on all hands, that the Roman dominion 
in Asia was fully estabhshed in the 63d year before the 
common era of our faith ; hence, if we adopt the amend- 
ed reading of the fragment cited by Velleius, the reign of 
the first king of Assyria must have begun in the year 
B.C. 1968; this being the sum of the two numbers 1905 
and 63, mentioned above, and which are made the basis 
of all the succeeding chronological computations. In 
applying the principles of his theory, the author, as it 
will appear, was gratified with some very striking results ; 

" The more common reading is 1995 ; but Freret, on the authority of 
Conringius, maintains that the editions wliich give 1905, have the support 
of the most approved manuscripts. La le^on de 1995 est celle de I'edition 
de Beaiiis Rlicnamis, faite sur mi Manuscrit de Velleius trouvc a Murbael 
en 1505, ou plutot sur la copie faite a la hate^ propcrantcr et infdlcUer, 
d'un flianuscrit tres-corrompu, tarn prodigiose corrnptutn nt omnia rcstiiuere 
nonforct humairi tiigcni't.—Epist. Bait. Rhcn. &c. cited by Freret. 


which, if they do not carry complete conviction to the 
mind of the reader, prove, at least, that, in some cases, 
only a very little management is necessary to reconcile the 
most stubborn facts in ancient history. 

In the first place, assuming that Nineveh was destroy- 
ed by the Medes and Babylonians, in B.C. 608, when the 
Assyrian monarchy ceased to exist in name as well as in 
power, its duration from the time of Ninus will be found 
to amount to 1360 years ; the very period mentioned by 
Diodorus, as the result of the inquiries which were made 
by his predecessor Ctesias. The former of these his- 
torians, indeed, states, in a particular part of his work, that 
the interval now spoken of extended to more than 1400 
years ; but it is probable that in this lengthened period 
he included the years of Belus, which, Julius Africanus 
informs us, amounted to not less than fifty -five.* 

It is well known, in the second place, that Castor, the 
Rhodian chronographer, assigns to the Assyrian empire 
not more than 1280 years ; reckoning from the first 
Ninus, the son and successor of Belus, down to another 
Ninus, who, according to him, ascended the throne after 
the death or deposition of Sardanapalus. If the number 
just stated be subtracted from 1968, the revolution or 
other political change alluded to by Castor, as the opening 
of a new era in the affairs of Assyria, must have occurred 
in the year 688 before the Christian era. Now, it is very 
remarkable that this is the very year in which, according 
to Herodotus, the empire of the Medes in upper Asia 
had its commencement. This historian relates that the 
Median supremacy lasted 128 years from its beginning in 
the time of Dejoces to its termination in the first year of 

" Syncelli Chronographia, p. 92. 


Cyrus; ami as the Persian prince came to the throne in 
560, the suhj ligation of Armenia, Cappadocia, and other 
parts of the Assyrian territory achieved by the arras of 
the first sovereign of Media, will fall in the year 688, as 
has been stated above.* 

< This conformity, says Freret, between the calculation 
of Castor and that of Herodotus, as it is too perfect to be 
attributed to chance alone, ought to be regarded as a 
strong voucher for the truth of the epoch given by iEmi- 
lius Sura, for the beginning of the Assyrian empire. It 
shows, at the same time, that Castor, who had consulted 
Herodotus, did not think that the 520 years mentioned 
by the latter writer as the limits of the Assyrian dominion 
in upper Asia, constituted the full duration of their mo- 
narchy. Had he understood the father of history as re- 
stricting the house of Ninus to so short a period, he him- 
self, it may be presumed, would not have extended the 
term of its duration to 1280 years ; without at least allud- 
ing to this difference in their opinions, and even assigning 
reasons for his preference of the higher antiquity which he 
had been led to adopt. 

In the third place, Velleius Paterculus allows only 
1070 years as the full duration of the Assyrian empire.-f- 
If this term began in the year B.C. 1968, as all the other 
epochs, according to the hypothesis of Freret, are supposed 
to have begun, it must have ended in 898 ; and it is in 
this very year, says he, that we must place the revolt of 

* Herodot. lib. i. c. 101. 

t Insequenti tempore imperium Asiaticum ab Assyriis, qui id obtinuerant 
annis MLXX, translatum est ad Medos, abhinc annos ferine DCCLXX. 
Quippe Sardanapalum eonim regem mollitiis fluentem, et nimium felicem 
malo suo, tertio et tricesimo loco ab Nino et Semiramide qui Babylona con- 
diderant, natum, ita ut semper successor regni paterni foret filius, Arbaces 
Medus imperio vitaque privavit.— Fc//. Patcrcuhis, lib. i. c. G, 


the tributary countries from the Assyrian throne ; the 
taking of Nineveh by Arbaces ; and the death of Sardana- 
palus, the thirty-third king from Ninus. He attempts to 
illustrate this position as follows. 

Justin, the abbreviator of TrogusPompeius, relates, that 
the kingdom of the Medes, from Arbaces to Cyrus, con- 
tinued 350 years.* Julius Africanus limits its duration to 
283 years, and Eusebius to 261. The calculation of 
Velleius would give 338, that is to say, 12 years less than 
Justin, and 19 less than would result from a computation 
founded on the length of the reigns as recorded by Hero- 
dotus. But at bottom, he adds, this difference is not at all 
important, because there is no fixed event in this portion 
of Assyrian chronology by means of which we can deter- 
mine the relative place of those other events which precede 
or follow ; and because it is probable that some of the au- 
thors, mentioned above, have counted jfrom the beginning 
of the war, and others of them from the end of it. A revo- 
lution such as that which happened at Nineveh in the time 
of Arbaces is an occurrence which must have required a 
certain space of time^ and might perhaps extend through 
a considerable number of years. We read in Eusebius, 
and in the compilation of Syncellus, that all chronogra- 
phers had agreed to place the revolt of Arbaces and the 
death of Sardanapalus under the administration of Ari- 
phron, the ninth perpetual archon at Athens. Eusebius 
dates the beginning of Ariphron's government 68 years 
before the olympiad of Corcebus, that is, in the year 845 

* fll. Juniani Justini Historiarum ex Trogo Pompeio, lib. i. c. 7- In co 
proelio Astyages capitur : cui Cyrus nihil aliud quain regnum abstiilit; ne- 
potemque in illo magis quam victorem egit ; eunique maxima; genti Ilyrca- 
nonim pra;posuit. Nam in Medos reverti ipse noluit. Hie finis Mcdorum 
imperii fecit. Kegnaverunt annos CCCL. 


before the vulgar Christian era ; Syncellus 75 before the 
same olympiad, or the year 852 ; and Julius Africanus 
places it 122 years before Coroebus, or in the year 899- 

According to the chronicle of Paros, as found in the 
Arundelian marbles, epoch 31, Pherecles, the predecessor 
of Ariphron, governed at Athens in the year 414 before 
the passage of Xerxes, or the year 894 before the Chris- 
tian era. Pherecles, Ariphron, Theispeus, and Agamestor 
were archons from that year down to the olympiad of 
Coroebus ; which, according to Eusebius and the precise 
calculation of the Parian chronicle, happened in the first 
year of the archonate of -^schylus. Thus we have 117 
years for the government of these four magistrates. Euse- 
bius, it is true, gives only 87 years, while Syncellus does 
not reckon it more than 94 ; but, at all events, M. 
Freret is convinced that the time of Ariphron, or the 
epoch of the revolt under Arbaces, could not be far dis- 
tant from the year 898, in which it falls by the calculation 
of Velleius. 

Ctesias, Castor, and Velleius Paterculus are of one 
mind in beginning the Assyrian empire with the reign of 
Ninus ; and if they differ as to the duration which they 
respectively assign to that monarchy ; if Ctesias gives 1360 
years, Castor 1280, and Velleius only 1070 ; this discre- 
pancy must arise from the circumstance, that they do not 
end their catalogue of reigns with the same prince ; or, in 
other words, they do not agree in regard to the particular 
revolution which terminated the imperial authority in the 
hands of the Assyrians. Ctesias counted forty kings, as 
appears by the canon of Julius Africanus ; Castor reckon- 
ed thirty-six ; and Eusebius, who professes to follow Cas- 
tor, gave the same number. Velleius confines the list to 
thirty-three; hence it is manifest that, though they all 
end the list of Assyrian kings with a prince named Sarda- 


napalus, they give this appellation to at least two different 
princes. The Sardanapalus of Castor coiild not be the 
Sardanapalus of Ctesias^, because, after the former, it is 
acknowledged, that there were kings at Nineveh ; whereas 
the death of the latter was followed by the complete sub- 
version of the empire, the destruction of the city, and the 
dispersion of the inhabitants over Media and Mesopota- 
mia.* ' ;*jL'!«- 

The conclusion of the argument I prefer to give in the 
author's own words : Quand meme Texistence de ces trois 
Sardanapales ne seroit pas etablie sur les preuves que 
je vais rapporter, c'est un moyen si aise de concilier des 
anciens chronologistes, et ces trois princes de meme nom 
sont une consequence si naturelle des trois difFerens cal- 
culs, que je ne puis concevoir comment les critiques qui 
ont enterpris d'eclaircir I'histoire d'Assyrie, n'ont pas eu 
recours a cette hypothese qui accorde tout. EUe est in- 
finiment plus simple que celle qu'ils ont fait des deux em- 
pires Assyriens consecutifs, le premier ayant dure pendant 
un tems considerable ; mais qu'ils allongent ou qu'ils ac- 
courcissent selon que leur systeme le demande. lis n'ont 
en cette occasion aucun egard pour les temoignages des 

" It does not appear that Ctesias himself introduced forty kings into the 
list of Assyrian successions from Ninus to Sardanapalus. This addition ap- 
pears either to have been the work of Afticanus or Syncellus ; who, finding 
the names of four or five princes who belonged to the third dynasty of Ba- 
bylonians before the days of Ninus, and not being aware that a third race of 
sovereigns had succeeded the Arabians at Babylon prior to the rise of the 
Assyrian monarchy, they contrived to insert them into the catalogue furnish- 
ed by Ctesias of sovereigns who had reigned at Nineveh. It is remarkable, 
that the names of the additional kings, as given by Africanus and Syncellus, 
are precisely the names of those who, according to Abydenus and Maribas, 
succeeded Belus, the head of the third dynasty at Babylon, many years be- 
fore Ninus was born. This, I need not add, is one of the instances where 
the correction of an error not only establishes truth in the particular case to 
which it is applietl, but also confirms the veracity of the historian in other 
parts of his narrative. 


Anciens, dont, suivant leur methode ordinaire, ils recoi- 
vent une partie, tandis qu'ils rejettent Tautre, sans penser 
que ces temoignages ne peuvent etre devises sans etre de- 
truits. Ils font commencer le second empire par un Ni- 
nus deraeme que le premier, et fontaussifinir Tun et Tau- 
tre par un Sardanapale, mais sans rapporter aucunes des 
preuves que nous fournit I'antiquite, qu'il y a eu pleusieurs 
des rois d'Assyrie ausquels on a donne ce nom.* 

We cannot at present follow the ingenious author in his 
proofs for the existence of three Assyrian kings who bore 
the common name of Sardanapalus. That there were at 
least two princes of the house of Ninus who are known to 
history under this appellation cannot be doubted ; while 
there is equal reason to believe that several of the chrono- 
logical inaccuracies which continue to perplex the readers 
of Herodotus, Diodorus, Justin, and Paterculus, may be 
justly referred to this extension of a term, which was per- 
haps, after all, more applicable to official station, than to the 
person of any individual sovereign. It is enough for the ob- 
ject now more especially under our consideration, that 
we note the general results of M. Freret"'s computation ; 
namely, that in the years B. C. 608, 688, and 898 certain 
events took place in the Assyrian government, which so 
much weakened its power among the vassal and tributary 
nations, as to induce different historians to fix upon those 
several periods as the termination of its paramount or im- 
perial dominion. Velleius, according to this hypothesis, 
must have thought that the Assyrian empire ceased to 
exist about the year 898 ; Castor in the year 688 ; and 
Ctesiasintheyear 608, before the revelation of Christiani- 
ty : and it will be found, that, if these numbers are added 

* Histoire de TAcademie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, vol. v. 
p. 375. 


to 1070, 1280, and 1360 respectively, the common sum in 
all the three cases will amount to 1968 ; the point on which 
M. Freret has fixed for the beginning of the reign of 

So far there is a remarkable appearance of consistency 
and truth in the speculations of the learned Frenchman. 
It is, moreover, worthy of remark, that the period determin- 
ed by him for the reign of Ninus falls within the age of the 
patriarch Abraham ; and it is well known that the ancient 
chronographers were nearly unanimous in their opinion 
that the son of Terah and the successor of Belus at Nine- 
veh were contemporaries. According to the genealogical 
tables of the Septuagint, Abraham was born 1072 years 
after the Flood ; and as his life extended to 175 years, he 
died in the year 1247 of the same era ; that is, in the year 
of the world 3503, and before the birth of Christ 1938.* 
As Ninus ascended the throne in B. C. 1968, he must have 
spent thirty years in the days of the patriarch ; and as the 
term of his government is usually reckoned at 52 years, 
it follows that he did not live more than two and twenty 
after the decease of the father of believers. 

Thus we find that the conditions of the problem corre- 
spond very well with the facts which it was meant to explain. 
But it may be said that, when we look more narrowly into 
the historical works whence the materials of the hypothe- 
sis are extracted, we discover certain particulars mentioned 
by their authors, the import of which has not been suffi- 
ciently weighed by this modern chronologer. For example, 
Velleius Paterculus states, not only that the Assyrian em- 
pire had lasted IO7O years from Ninus to Sardanapalus, 
but also that the revolt of Arbaces, and the change of 

• Genesis xxv, 7- 


dynasty which, as he supposed, immediately followed, took 
place about 770 years before his own time ; abhinc annos 
ferme DCCLXX.* Velleius, as he himself informs us, 
wrote in the consulship of Vinicius, about the thirty-second 
year of the Christian era ; whence the conclusion is obvi- 
ous, that, agreeably to the views of this historian, Sardana- 
palus must have been dethroned 738 years before that era 
commenced. It is in vain to allege that the text has been 
vitiated ; for as there is no variety in the reading of the 
passage, and as no other dates are mentioned upon which an 
alteration of it might be supported, no chronographer can 
be allowed to introduce a hypothetical emendation merely 
to suit the exigencies of his system. 

No one can have read the short history of Velleius with- 
out anticipating the objection which has just been stated ; 
and it must be acknowledged that no degree of ingenuity 
can entirely remove the obstacle which it presents to a 
full and unreserved adoption of the chronological scheme 
with which it is here connected. M. Freret, indeed, 
exerts himself with considerable success to weaken, at 
least, the force of the argument which he was aware might 
be urged against his theory, from the above observation on 
the part of the Roman annalist. He insists on the great 
probability that Paterculus gave an earlier date to the re- 
volt of Arbaces, because in his narrative he places it be- 
fore other occurrences which are known to have come to 
pass at a remoter period than B.C. 738. It is not likely, for 
instance, that Velleius, in a chronological list, would relate an 
event of the year 770, before he mentioned the foundation of 
Carthage, which, according to him, took place in 867 ; or 
before the establishment of the Olympic games by Iphitus, 

Veil, Pater. Hist. lib. i. c. 6. 


in 833 ; or before the administration of Lycurgus, the Bcttlc- 
ment of Caranus in Macedonia, the foundation of Capua, 
and the publication of Hesiod's poems, all of which occur- 
red about 830. Even the first olympiad of Coroebus in 804, 
and the building of Rome in 782, which, in point of time, 
stand before the date assigned to the revolt of Arbaces, 
are by Velleius recorded in a later part of his narra- 
tive. The epoch which he mentions immediately before 
the subversion of the Assyrian empire is the age of Homer, 
in 950 ; and the event which, in the chronological canon, 
follows next after the notice respecting that monar- 
chy, is the foundation of Carthage in 867 ; hence M. 
Freret suggests that the revolt of Arbaces probably took 
place between these two points, and that it was originally 
so recorded by the Roman historian.* 

No one will deny that there is much show of reason in 
these observations. If Velleius did not intend to set at 
defiance all the ordinary rules of composition, we cannot 
but suppose that, in an outline of ancient history, he must 
have arranged the events which he records in strict chronolo- 
gical order. We should do very little justice, indeed, to his 
skill as an author, were we to believe that, immediately 
after narrating an event belonging to the year 950 before 
the consulship of Vinicius, he proceeded to describe an 
occurrence which fell out in the year 770, and then re- 
turned to relate an incident under the year 867."f' 

" All the above dates bear a reference to the consulship of Vinicius ; 
wherefore, to reduce them to the Christian era, it will be necessary in every 
case to subtract 30 or 32. 

•\- The words of Velleius are these : Hie (Homerus) longius a temporibus 
belli, quod composuit, Troici, quam quidam rentur, abfuit Nam ferme 
ante annos DCCCCL floruit, intra mille natus est. Quo nomine non est 
mirandum quod saepe illud usurpat, iwi vuv (i^oroi tun. Inseqiicnti tempore, 
imperium Asiaticum ab Assyriis qui id obtinuerant annis MLXX, translatum 
est ad Mcdos, abhinc annos ferme DCCLXX. Ea jetate clarissimus Graii 


It may, indeed, be urged in reply, that the ancient his- 
torians paid less regard than the moderns to chronological 
accuracy and the advantages of a lucid arrangement. 
But we find that Velleius Paterculus, in the passage which 
is here quoted from his work, does, in all the other 
things which he mentions, adhere rigidly to the sequence 
of events. For example, he refers to the legislature of 
Lycurgus before he alludes to the foundation of Carthage, 
and we know that the latter was several years more recent 
than the former.* 

nominis Lycurgus Lacedcemonius, vir generis regii, &c. Hoc tractu tem- 
porum, ante annos quinque et sexaginta quam urbs Romana conderetur, ab 
Elissa Tyria, quam quidam Dido autumant, Carthago conditur. Circa quod 
tempus Caranus sextus decimus ab Hercule, profectus Argis, regnum Mace- 
doniae occupavit. Hujus temporibus jequalis Hesiodus fuit, circa CXX an- 
nos distinctus ab Homeri aetate, Quidam, hujus temporis tractu, aiunt a 
Tuscis Capuam, Nolamque conditam, ante annos fere DCCCXX. — Hist- 
lib. i. c. 5, 6. 

On this quotation, Freret remarks : " La date qui est marquee par Vel- 
leius pour la fin des 1070 ans de Tempire des Assyriens sur la haute Asie, 
et pour le temps de la revolte des Bledes sous Pharnaces (Arbaces) me paroit 
fautive ; car elle est posterieure aux sept dates qui sont donnees ensuite. 
II n'est pas vraisemblable que Velleius dans un canon chronologique, eut 
rapporte un evenement de I'annee 770 avant d'autres evenements qui etoient 
anterieurs a cette annee, s^avoir, la fondation de Carthage. — Hist, de VAcad. 
Jtoyak, vol. v. p. 369. 

• Lycurgus and Iphitus, who were contemporaries, are commonly sup- 
posed to have instituted the Olympic games 108 years before the period to 
which the Olympiads could be regularly traced. This was 77C before Christ, 
when Coroebus won in the foot-race. The era of Lycurgus, therefore, accord- 
ing to this rough computation, is 884. — See Gillies'' Greece, vol. i. p. 115. 
Edit. 1820. — " Lycurgus, the celebrated lawgiver of Sparta, flourished, ac- 
cording to the most judicious modern chronologers, about 898 years before the 
Christian era." — Biog. Diet. vol. xxi. p. 3. 

I have taken some pains to determine the time when Lycurgus flourished, 
because M. Freret, who brings it down to 800 years B. C, materially weak- 
ens his own argument, so far as it depends upon the chronological accuracy 
of Velleius, by making that author introduce a later event before a more re- 
mote one, in his retrospect of ancient history. The Roman annalist intro- 
duces the administration of Lycurgus before the foundation of Carthage ; in 
which arrangement he is perfectly correct : whereas I\I. Freret, contrary to 
the opinions of the most judicious modern chronologers, as Mr Chalmers 
describes them, represents the foundation of Carthage as more ancient than 


For these reasons I am satisfied that Sir W. Drum- 
moiid has not paid to the chronological scheme of M, 
Freret the full attention to which it is entitled. He de- 
clares that he cannot understand it ; and even that the views 
which it embraces do not appear to be of any importance. 
He makes no allowance for the various reading which gives 
1905 instead of 1995 ; and as to ^Emilius Sura himself, 
the author cited by Velleius Patcrculus, he hardly conde- 
scends to recognize his existence. " Who was iEmilius 
Sura.'' It is more than suspected that the passage in 
question is an interpolation ; and even if it were not, no- 
thing can be obtained from it. An author, whose name 
occurs nowhere but in the 21st page of Velleius Patercu- 
lus, tells us that the Assyrians, Medes, Persians, and 
Macedonians, had been the masters of Asia during 1995 
years, until that country was conquered by the Romans. 
The witness is unknown and the evidence is vague. I 
can attach no value to the testimony of jEmilius Sura !"* 

The opinions of critics, in respect to the authenticity of 
the passage in question, have, no doubt, been very vari- 
ous, and upon the whole, perhaps, not very favourable 
to the conclusions of Freret. But the obscurity of an 
author, considered by itself, is assuredly no good ground 
for rejecting his testimony, or for pronouncing it a fiction ; 
and, moreover, in a philological inquiry, where we find 
such scholars as Scaliger, Vossius, and Boxhorn, satisfied 
with the integrity of the text and the fidelity of the re- 
ference, we must not be hasty in coming to an opposite 
decision. -[• 

the days of the Spartan lawgiver. He dates the labours of Dido in B. C. 837, 
while he places those of Lycurgus in the year B. C. 884. 

* Origines, vol. i. p. 243. 

+ III my copy of Velleius Paterculus (Argentorati 1811,) containing the 
Annotations of Ruhnkenius and Krausius, there is the following remark on 


The three epochs comprehended in the hypothesis of 
Freret proceed, as I have already remarked, on the suppo- 
sition that there occurred, in the history of the Assyrian 
monarchy, three great pohtical events, which made such an 
impression on the power of the state, as well as on the 
dynasty of her ancient sovereigns, as appeared, in the 
eyes of certain chronographers, to be equivalent to a com- 
plete dissolution of the empire. That such events did 
take place at different times, is rendered manifest by the 
several eras assigned by historians, for the termination of 
the paramount dominion which was founded in Asia dur- 
ing the reign of Ninus. The imperial government, it is 
well known, ceased many years before the final extinction 
of the monarchy which was effected by the victories of 
Cyaxares ; and hence, as there was great room for a 
difference of opinion as to the exact period when the court 
of Nineveh could no longer command the obedience of 
her vassal and tributary subjects, we ought not to be sur- 
prised that chronologers are not of one mind, in regard to 
the date of the particular insurrection by which that 
change was most fully accomplished. 

The same uncertainty extends to the names of the 
kings in whose reigns the crown of Assyria was succes- 
sively deprived of its lustre ; for as the decline of her poli- 
tical authority appears to have been gradual, and to have 

the quotation from Sura: — " Quae ab aliena manu in Velleii contextum 
venisse, nemo fuit inter eruditos qui dubitaret, prseter Scaligerum, Vossium, 
et Boxhornium ; nisi quod nonnulli ultima verba Inter hoc tenipits, &c. per- 
peram Velleio tribuerunt. Jam Rhenanus, teste Boeclero, ea uncis inclusit ; 
Acidalius vero e textu suo ejecit. Neque yEmilium Suram quisquam novit. 
Manilium Suram laudat Plinius Hist. Nat. lib. i. inter auctores unde pro- 
fecit, p. 211. 

The author referred to by Pliny is, in the Basle edition of 1549, written 
Manlhis Sura, not Blanilius ; but, considering the numerous errors attribu- 
table to the carelessness of copiers, it is not improbable that the three names 
may be given to one and the same writer. 


been brought about by the repeated efforts of the con- 
quered states to recover their independence, the name of 
one unfortunate prince seems to have attached to the evil 
destiny of another. That there were more than one who 
bore the appellation of Sardanapalus, admits not of any 
doubt : and Callisthenes, in his history of Persia, acknow- 
ledges that there were two ; the one courageous and ac- 
tive, the other soft and effeminate.* Clitarchus, again, 
in his biography of Alexander, relates that Sardanapalus, 
after having been expelled from his throne, died of old 
age, — a description which does not apply to the Sardana- 
palus of whom Ctesias and Diodorus write, since the latter 
perished in the conflagration of his palace.-}* Even the 
tombs, it is thought, of these two monarchs have been 
discovered in different parts of Asia ; one in Cilicia, not 
far from Anchiale and Tarsus, cities which the unhappy 
tyrant boasted he had built in one day ; another, if any 
reliance may be placed on tradition, near the gates of 
Nineveh, which its feeble and effeminate master was not 
able to defend. But we cannot pursue this argument to 
any greater length. The reader, who is desirous to see 
all that can be said in support of an hypothesis which has 
been maintained with much ability, and assailed with not 
less wit and learning, will find his labour amply remu- 
nerated in the pages of M. Freret. 

Before we proceed to the more diffuse and elaborate 
reasoning of Hales, I shall state in a few words the 
opinions of Sir W. Drummond and of Mr Faber, rela- 
tive to the duration of the Assyrian empire. 

The former computes that, from the reign of Belus to 
the birth of Christ, there passed 1923 years ; but as he 

• Lib. ii. Persicorum, apud Suidam, voc. 'Sa^'SavaTaXts- 
•j- Lib. iv. apud Athenaeum, c. 7- 


assigns 72 years to the administration of that prince, the 
interval which elapsed between the accession of Ninus 
and the supposed capture of Nineveh by Arbaces, amounts 
to 1104 years. This period, if divided into 33 reigns, 
will give on the average thirty-three years and six months 
to each, — a result which accords very well with the usual 
estimates of human life, when measured by successions 
from father to son. " I cannot," says he, " consent to 
exclude the reign of Belus in estimating the duration of 
the Assyrian empire. It remains, however, for the reader 
to decide for himself what may have been the length of 
the period which elapsed from the epoch when this mo- 
narch mounted the throne, to the death of Sardanapalus."* 
Mr Faber, as has been observed in a former section, re- 
jects the ancient Babylonian monarchy, which is supposed 
to have existed before the era of Ninus ; carrying back 
the commencement of the proper Assyrian empire to the 
days of Nimrod, who laid the first foundation of it at 
Babel. He adds, of course, to the thirty-six kings which 
are found in the dynasty of Ctesias, the seven princes 
mentioned by Polyhistor as belonging to the oldest race of 
Babylonian rulers ; and who, according to this writer, oc- 
cupied the government during the space of 190 years. 
Proceeding still farther on the ground supplied by the 
physician of Artaxerxes, and, assuming the accuracy of the 
period assigned to the long line of Ninevite sovereigns, he 
comes to the conclusion, that 1495 years, the sum of the 
two numbers 190 and 1305, composed the total duration of 
the Assyrian empire from Nimrod to Thonos Concolerus.-f* 

• Origines, vol. i. p. 284. 

f " If we add together 100 years, or the length of the earliest Iranian 
dynasty, and 1305, or the length of the second Iranian dynasty, we shall 
have the gross sum of 1495 years for the entire duration of the great Iranian 
empire, from its foundation by Nimrod, to its dissolution under Thonos Con- 



I take no notice at present of Mr Faber's hypothesis, by 
means of which he contrives to identify the Scythian, the 
Iranian^ and the Assyrian empires ; or rather, I should 
say, to apply these three epithets to one and the same an- 
cient monarchy. Whether he has not founded more on a 
single expression of Justin than the general narrative of 
that author will bear, must appear extremely doubtful to 
those who are accustomed to modify their reflections on 
ancient history by a regard to what is probable, as well as 
by a critical examination of authentic records.* It is 
clear, at all events, that he has drawn from the words of 
the historian a meaning which the latter never entertained, 
and which, at the same time, is directly at variance as 
well with the context as with the literal import of the 
particular terms which he employs. The abbreviator of 
Trogus Pompeius, there can be no doubt, believed that, 
prior to the brilliant reign of Ninus over the Assyrians, a 
Scythic government had existed in Asia during fifteen 
hundred years ; and it is obviously impossible to reconcile 
the statement of Justin with the lists of Ctesias and the 

colerus about the middle of the ninth century before Christ." — Origin of 
Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 397- 

" Justin, in the third chapter of his second book, remarks, that Asia 
was tributary to the Scythians fifteen hundred years ; and that Ninus, the 
king of the Assyrians, was the first who put an end to the paying of tri- 
bute. His igitur Asia per viille quingeiitos annos vectigalis fuit. Pendendi 
trihuUimfinem Ninus Rex Assyriorum imposuit. 

It is perfectly clear that the Ninus mentioned by Justin was the son of 
Belus and husband of Semiramis, for he informs us that it is the same war- 
rior who subdued all the people of the East, and finally attacked Zoroaster, 
the magician king of Bactria. (See book i. chapter 1.) Hoc occiso, et ipse 
(Ninus) dccessit, relicio impubere adhuc fiUo Ninya, et uxore Semiramide. 
Mr Faber himself is compelled to acknowledge that "Justin, by mistaking 
the third Ninus for the second, assigns to the dynasty founded by the third 
a duration which truly belongs to the dynasty founded by the second. In 
other words, he reckons the thirteen centuries twice over ; and by this error 
apparently throws back the rise of the Scythian empire to an epoch before 
the deluge." — Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 401. 



narrative of Diodorus Siculus, without making such altera- 
tions in the text of the Roman author as would amount to 
a full impeachment either of his knowledge or his veracity. 
But, returning to the subject more immediately before 
us, we have to observe, that, as Mr Faber places the dis- 
solution of the Assyrian empire in the year B.C. 830, the 
beginning of it must be dated in B.C. 2325, that being 
the sum of 830 and of 1495, the computed duration of 
the two dynasties mentioned respectively by Polyhistor 
and by Ctesias, " The era of its commencement,'" says 
he, " will be the year A.C. 2325, which coincides, ac- 
cording to the Samaritan chronology, with the year 613 
after the deluge ; for as Abraham died in the year A.C. 
1821, and as Peleg died 477 years earlier, Peleg must 
have died in the year A.C. 229S ; and 27 years, added to 
2298, will thus give the year A.C. 2325, for the com- 
mencement of the Cuthic empire at Babel. We had," he 
continues, " previously found, on the authority of the Sa- 
maritan chronology, that the Cuthic empire must have com- 
menced somewhere between the years 559 and 640 after 
the deluge : and we now, lastly, find, in exact accordance 
with the excellent table of descents exhibited in that chro- 
nology, that a calculation deduced from the year A.C. 
830, which must have been very nearly the time when the 
Cuthic empire was dissolved, and conducted through a 
long period independently ascribed by pagan history to 
the duration of that empire, brings us to the year 613 
after the deluge ; which is precisely about the time, in or- 
der to make Scripture consistent with itself, that the Cu- 
thic empire of Nimrod must have commenced at Babel, 
where, we are told, it did commence, in the heart of Iran."* 

Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 420. 


To find the accession of Ninus we have only to subtract 
190 from 2325, and the remainder 2135, reckoning back- 
ward from the birth of Christ, will give the year when, 
according to Mr Faber, the dynasty recorded by Ctesias 
began to supply sovereigns to the throne of Nineveh. 
But this result, it is obvious, does not coincide with the 
opinion of those more ancient authors who inform us that 
Abraham and Ninus were contemporaries. On the con- 
trary, it carries back the era of the first Assyrian mo- 
narch nearly 300 years farther than that of the patriarch ; 
and thereby creates a difficulty which does not attach to 
the systems of Freret, Jackson, or of Sir William Drum- 
mond. The weight of the objection founded on this cir- 
cumstance will be taken into consideration afterwards ; 
mean time let us go on to examine the leading principles of 
the chronological scheme proposed by Dr Hales, for ex- 
plaining the history and duration of the empire of As- 

The industrious author of the New Analysis of Chro- 
nology entertained the opinion that Nimrod began to rule 
in the year B.C. 2554, or 601 after the Flood ; and that 
Babylon was founded in the seventh year of his reign, or 
in the year B.C. 2547.* The first monarch was succeeded 
by six others, apparently of the same lineage, whose 
united reigns amount to 317 years. After this dynasty 
was exhausted, a long interregnum of about a thousand 
years succeeded; during which the Assyrian monarchy is 
understood to have been dissolved, and the dominion of 
Asia to have passed into the hands of the Persians. " Of 
Nimrod's immediate successors,'"" says Dr Hales, " history 

* The reader may perhaps require to be remindetl, that, according to 
Hales, the first year of the Christian era fell in the year of the world 5411, 
and 3 \ 50 years after the epoch of the Flood. 


has preserved no other account than that Abius, the fifth 
in the series, made a predatory excursion of three bands 
into the land of Uz, and carried off Job's camels, and 
slew his servants. This achievement took place in the 
year B.C. 2237."* 

The dissolution of the ancient Assyrian empire is 
proved^ this author imagines;, by the war in which Abraham 
displayed his zeal and courage ; " for," says he, " though 
the king of Shinar is named first in the list on account of 
the priority of his kingdom, it is evident the king of 
Elam or Persia was the head of the confederacy ; and 
that, at that date, the sceptre had departed from Assyria 
to Persia.""!" 

The interregnum which began in the year B.C. 2237 
ended in B.C. 1252 ; when the Assyrian monarchy re- 
commenced with Mithrasus, the twenty-fifth sovereign in 
the list of Ctesias. Dr Hales accuses the physician of 
Cnidus of having fabricated a catalogue of 36 kings, of 
whom only the last twelve are admitted to have reigned 
at Nineveh. " The first twenty-four reigns of Ctesias," he 
asserts, " are not true ; for they encroach on the first Assy- 
rian interregnum, and the first Persian dynasty. The 
last twelve reigns will be found fully sufficient for the du- 
ration of the second Assyrian dynasty.":}: 

The twelve kings, from Mithraeus to Thonos Concolerus, 
occupy a period of 341 years ; the entire dynasty ending 
in the year B.C. 821. The third race of Assyrian princes 
is that which is made known to us in Holy Scripture; be- 
ginning with the king of Nineveh, to whom Jonah was 
commissioned, and terminating with Serac or Sardana- 

* New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii. p. 22, 23. f Ibid. vol. iii. 

28. X Ibid. vol. iii. p. 62, 53. 

Chap. I.] AND PROF AN f: HISTORY. 85 

palus, 606 years before the era of human redemption. 
The catalogue is as follows : — 


1. King of Nineveh, (name not recorded) - 821 

2. Pul or Belus II., - - 790 

3. Tiglathpileser, - - 747 

4. Shalmanasar, - - 726 

5. Sennacherib, - - 714 

6. Esarhaddon, Asaradin, or Sardanapalus I. 710 

7. Ninus III. . - 667 

8. Nabuchodonosor, - - 658 

9. Serac, or Sardanapalus II. - 636 

Nineveh taken 606 

Dr Hales draws proof in support of his system from the 
facts and testimony which I am now about to copy. In the 
first place, Herodotus states, " that the Assyrians held 
the sovereignty of all Upper Asia not more than 520 
years before the defection of the Medes."* But the 
Medes revolted, says the learned doctor, B.C. 710, and 
counting backwards from thence 520 years, we get the 
commencement of the Assyrian dominion B.C. 1230. 

2. " Appian says that the Assyrians, Medes, and Per- 
sians, successively ruled Asia 900 years. But the Per- 
sian empire ended with the death of the last Darius B.C. 
330, from which, counting backwards 900 years, we get 
the commencement of the Assyrian dominion B.C. 1230, 
as before. 

3. " The history also furnishes internal evidence in 
favour of the shorter account. By a gross blunder, arising 

• Book i. c. 95. 


from ignorance of Oriental languages, Diodorus and Jus- 
tin confound mi-a Ninuah or Nivsun, ' the city of NiiC or 
Ninus, with his supposed son Ninuas or Ninyas ; and his 
wife Semiramis, with her namesake the wife or mother of 
Nabonassar, who really walled Babylon, about B.C. 747, 
as we learn from Herodotus. 

4. "Justin confesses that Ninus lived after Sesostris, 
the famous Egyptian king, whom he calls Vexoris^ and 
after Tanaus, king of Scythia. But Sesostris began to 
reign B.C. 1308 ; and in the course of his nine years' ex- 
pedition, invaded Libya, southwards ; Asia, including 
Assyria, eastwards ; and advanced as far as Scythia north- 
wards, and returned home about B.C. 1299, after having 
been checked, or perhaps defeated, by Tanaus, the sixth 
king of Scythia, in Pontus. 

'* The accession, therefore, of the twenty-fifth Assyrian 
king in the list of Ctesias, called Mithrseus, B.C. 1252, 
critically corresponds in time to Ninus the second. For 
Ninus might have finished his conqviests B.C. 1230, ac- 
cording to Herodotus and Appian, in the twenty-second 
year of his reign according to Ctesias. 

" Instead of the second anachronous reign of Semira- 
mis in Diodorus and Justin, here follows the twenty-sixth 
in Ctesias, namely, Teutamus, who reigned during the 
Trojan war, till the destruction of Troy B.C. 1183. But, 
according to Diodorus, he sent the son of Tithonus, then 
prefect of Persia, Memnon, with an army of 20,000 foot 
and 200 chariots to the assistance of his vassal Priam in 
this war ; in which Memnon signalized his valour against 
the Greeks, until he was surprised and slain by the Thes- 
salians, when the Ethiopians rescued his body, and carried 
his ashes to his father Tithonus.* 

• Dioilor, Sicul. lib. ii, c. 0, 

Chap. I,] 



*' Laosthenes, also, the thirty-first in the Ust, was reign- 
ing 165 years after the destruction of Troy, or in B.C. 
1018.* But this was actually the thirteenth year of his 
reign by the table.-f- ' ' ' 

" Such remote and incidental coincidences of sacred and 
profane history and chronology are highly curious and 
valuable. They tend strongly to corroborate the validity 
of the present adjustment by the harmony and consistency 
of the parts, without altering the original documents, 
but only omitting such as are proved to be superfluous or 

" Thonos Concolerus, the last in the list of Ctesias, has 
been injudiciously confounded either with Sarac, the last 
Sardanapalus, who perished in the overthrow of Nineveh 
B.C. 606 ; or else with Esarhaddon, the former Sardana- 
palus, who began to reign when the Medes revolted B.C. 
710. But the end of the reign of Thonos, B.C. 812, 
(821 :j:) according to Ctesias, so long before either of these 

• Cyril, cont. Julian, p. 11. 

•|- As this Table may be referred to again, it may prove convenient to 
have it inserted. 



25. MithrfEus or Ninus II. 




26. Tautanes or Teutamus, 




27. Teutaeus, 




28, ThinjEus, 




29. Dercylus, 




30. Eupalis or Eupachmes, 




31. Laosthenes, 




32. Pertiades, 




33. OphratcBus, 




34. Epecheres or Ofratanes, 




35. Acraganes or Acrazapes, 




36. Thonos Concolerus, 




End of dynasty 


'\. Dr Hales's volumes arc exceedingly ill printed : the errata extend to 
24 pages in the smallest letter ; and if he had inserted all the necessary cor- 
rections, they would have occupied half as many pages more. 


princes, cannot possibly agree to either. It does, how- 
ever, critically correspond to the commencement of the 
third and last Scripture dynasty; beginning with that 
king of Nineveh who reigned in the time of the prophecy 
of Jonah.* 

The first remark which suggests itself upon examining 
this section of Dr Hales's chronological system, respects 
the apparent caprice of the author in admitting one part 
of the ancient catalogue of Assyrian kings as authentic, 
and rejecting the rest as a gross fabrication. The last 
twelve raonarchs, for example, are adopted by him from the 
list of Ctesias, while the whole twenty-four who precede 
them are entirely expunged from the record. Nor will 
the attentive reader be satisfied with the reason upon which 
he founds this distinction, in as much as the history of 
Persia, to which he gives the preference, is not less obscure 
than that of Assyria, and even more perplexed by the 
ignorance and vanity of her antiquaries. 

Sir William Jones, no doubts learned from intelligent 
missionaries in India, that a powerful monarchy had been 
established for ages in Iran before the accession of Cayu- 
mers ; that it was called the Mahabadean dynasty, and 
that many princes, and among them Mahabul or Maha- 
Beli, had raised their empire to the zenith of human 
glory.-f- But we know, at the same time, the authority 
upon which this opinion rests ; that, namely, of the Da- 
bistan, the work of a recluse who lived in the latter part 
of the seventeenth century. Of this singular composition 
I shall have occasion to speak afterwards ; mean time, it 
may be sufficient to remark, that the facts which it pro- 

• New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii. p. 55, 5G, 57- 
•)- Sixth Discourse on the Persians, Works of Sir William Jones, vol, iii. 
p. 108. 8vo edit. 


fesses to embrace, and the chronological assumptions on 
which the narrative proceeds, appeared to Sir John Mal- 
colm, the latest historian of Persia, so entirely destitute 
of foundation, as to be viewed in no other light than that 
of an allegorical fiction.* Besides, if any credit is to be 
given to the positions which Shaik Mahomed Mohsin en- 
deavours to establish, we must believe that the empire of 
Iran extended not only over Asia westward of the Indus, 
but even over all the rich provinces which are situated be- 
tween that river and the frontiers of China.-|* It cannot, 
therefore, be without considerable hesitation that an in- 
telligent reader accedes to the scheme of Dr Hales ; who, 
on such an authority as that now mentioned, transfers the 
sceptre of western Asia from the Assyrians to the Per- 
sians, and thereby opposes himself to the testimony and 
judgment of the most enlightened portion of antiquity. 

It will not be denied, that, as the Assyrians and Per- 
sians were under one dynasty of sovereigns, whose lineage 
and country have not been precisely ascertained, the latter 
might, without any impropriety, claim to themselves the 
honour of being the dominant state, and even associate the 
designation of the general government with the name of 
their particular country. On this principle, it signifies not 
greatly whether we assign to that primaeval empire the epi- 

• History of Persia, vol. i. p. 182. " The extravagant number of years 
assigned to the dynasties, and tlie character of the few events that are re- 
corded, make us suspect," says Sir William Jones, " that the historical part 
of this work is a mere fable, allusive to the early condition of mankind." 

+ " There appears throughout the whole of this branch of his subject a 
great desire to connect the ancient history of the Persians and of the Hin- 
doos. The fourteen Mahalads are evidently the fourteen Menus of the latter 
nation ; and the division which the first of that race made of the inhabitants 
into four casts, seems to be a transcript, even to the names, of the Hindoo 
tradition of the first establishment of that celebrated institution in India." — 
History of Persia, as cited above. 


tliet Iranian or Assyrian, or whether we even adopt the 
notion of Mr Faber, and call it Scuthic or Scythian. But 
it seems absurd, in the extreme, to maintain that an an- 
cient empire must have been dissolved, merely because we 
find, in a modern compilation, which does not rise above 
the rank of a monkish legend, that national vanity has, in 
a particular instance, sought its usual gratification by con- 
necting its name and power with the history of a royal 

Nor does this weak argument derive any confirmation 
from the state of society in the days of Abraham. The 
victory gained by the patriarch over the predatory bands 
of the Arabian border, does not destroy the credit due to 
those early writers, who inform us that a regular govern- 
ment had been already formed on the banks of the Eu- 
phrates. Besides, the son of Terah flourished before Ni- 
nus had strengthened the foundations of his new empire. 
He lived at the time when the arms of the Ninevite colo- 
nists had just been turned against the successors of Nimrod 
at Babylon ; and when, consequently, the southern tribes 
must have been considerably reduced in strength — an oc- 
casion which, perhaps, was seized by the five kings of Ca- 
naan to recover their independence, and relieve their sub- 
jects from tribute. 

But if the reasoning of Dr Hales respecting the condi- 
tion of the surrounding countries has any weight at all, 
it may be turned with full force against his own hypothe- 
sis of a revived empire in B. C. 1252, after the interregnum 
of nearly a thousand years. The brilliant reigns of David 
and Solomon did not begin till two hundred years poste- 
rior to that epoch, when, it might be presumed, the mo- 
narchs of Assyria must have attained to a great degree of 
power ; and yet we find that these Hebrew princes pushed 
their conquests to the very waters of the Euphrates, built 


cities in the Syrian desert, and maintained strong posts 
along the whole line of the Mesopotamian frontier. If 
there were, in short;, during this long and various history 
of the East, any one period at which, owing to the ascen- 
dency of the nations of Palestine, we should be disposed 
to doubt the existence of a powerful empire in their neigh- 
bourhood, it would be the era of David and of his imme- 
diate successor on the throne of the twelve tribes. But we 
are assured, notwithstanding, even by Dr Hales himself, 
that the arm of Assyria had at that time recovered its 
strength, extended the sceptre of its dominion over the 
Medes, Persians, and Babylonians, and, in a word, was at 
the very zenith of its might and glory as well in upper as 
in lower Asia ! 

Were Dr Hales' argument closely followed up in all its 
consequences, those who adopt his views would find them- 
selves under the necessity of acceding to the conclusion of 
Newton, Marsham, and Jameson ; who maintained that 
the Assyrian empire did not begin to exist until more than 
two centuries after the reign of Solomon.* The principal 
facts upon which these authors support their reasoning 

• Vide Newtoni Opuscula, Brevia Chronica, p. 25. " Pul jacit Imjjcru 
Assyrii fundamenta A.C. ^D0 :" et Chronologia Veter. Regnor. Emendata, 
c iii. p. 186. D. Johan. Marshami " Canon Chronicus," lib. iv. secul. 
xvii. p. 503, &c. " Spicilegia Antiq. jEgypti," cap. iv. p. 76. Auctore 
Gul. Jameson. 1720. To this author, who was professor of History in the 
University of Glasgow, and who, I believe, had the misfortune to be blind, 
Duker, the celebrated editor of the " Origines" of Perizonius, alludes in the 
following terms : — " Deinde, partim eorum, qu£e de quibusdam capitibus 
ad versus ilium disputata in notitiam meam venerant, addenda piitavi : in 
primis ea, quibus sententiam illius de Esarhaddone, Sennacheribi filio, et 
occupata ab eo Babylone, deque Sesostri ac Sesaco, in Spicilcgio Antiqui- 
iatum Mgypti et vicinarum Gentiufn, stilo interdum satis horrido, et acer- 
bioribus, quam res postulabat, verbis, impugnavit Gulielmus Jameson," 
&c. &c — Dukeri ProcfatiOy sub init, 

^\^latever may be thought of Jameson's arguments, there can be but one 
opinion as to his style and his temper ; both of which appear to have been 
abundantly rough and repulsive. 


are, first, the facility with which the Israelites made con- 
quests in Syria and Mesopotamia ; and, secondly, the en- 
tire silence of Scripture, until about eight hundred years 
before Christ, in respect to any powerful kingdom beyond 
the Euphrates. I repeat, therefore, if the ground assum- 
ed by Dr Hales, in order to prove that the ancient Assy- 
rian empire must have been dissolved before the time of 
Abraham, be tenable for that particular end, it will as- 
suredly support objections of a more formidable nature ; 
and, if vised by a skilful antagonist, will supply materials 
for overthrowing even the most popular of our chronolo- 
gical systems, and his own among the first. 

I shall not fatigue the patience of the reader by enter- 
ing into a minute examination of the abbreviated schemes 
of Marsham and Newton. They are made to rest chiefly 
on the circumstances which have just been specified, and are 
supported by the testimony of Herodotus, Appianus Alex- 
andrinus, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The first of 
these writers states, that the Assyrians had possessed up- 
per Asia 520 years before the revolt of the Medes. Ac- 
cording to the same author, the kingdom of Media sub- 
sisted 150 years ; the termination of which was marked by 
the accession of Cyrus in B. C. 560. Add these three 
sums together, 520 + 150 + 560, and the commencement of 
the Assyrian empire will be found to coincide with the 
year B. C. 1230. 

The testimony of Appian of Alexandria seems to repose 
on the same foundation and authority. The times of the 
Assyrians, Medes, and Persians^ the three greatest empires, 
are, says he, when added together, and brought down to 
Alexander, the son of Philip, little removed from nine 
hundred years.* Now, if to B. C 330, the date when the 

* Arfv^iuv re, xa/ M>jS&/v, xai Tli^fuy, r^iuv ruv ?e fnyiffruv vytfioviav, ii; 


Macedonian prince conquered Darius, we annex 900, the 
period assigned by Appian to the three monarchies, the 
joint sum will amount, as before, to 1230, denoting the 
commencement of the Assyrian power in Asia. 

But Marsham, who was perfectly well acquainted with 
the numbers of Herodotus and Appianus, saw no evidence 
in either upon which to rest his belief that the Assyrian 
empire began so early. Neque in historia sacra, neque 
iEgyptiorum monumentis reperitur ulla Assyrioriim me- 
raoria antequam desiisset in Asia ^gyptiorum imperium. 
Postea, anno Tenipli 232, primus in Ciseuphratensibus 
regionibus inclaruit Phul rex Assyriorum ; qui mercede 
conductus, confirmavit Menahem in regno Israelis.* 

Newton^ again, carries up the origin of the Assyrian mo- 
narchy to the year B.C. 790, in which, he says, the founda- 
i tions of that state were laid by Pul, — an opinion which was 
previously maintained by the Glasgow Professor, whose 
little volume, although published seven years before the 
; death of the illustrious mathematician, it is very probable 
I he never saw. 

But, without collecting to any greater extent the opinions 
of others, on a subject where learning and research, in mo- 
dern times, have only produced an increased degree of 
discrepancy in the judgments which are actually formed, 
I and a diminished confidence in the sources whence all our 
I information must be derived, I shall proceed to compare the 
results which seem the most firmly established by ancient 
I authorities, and thereby endeavour to reconcile, in the tes- 
itimony of the several Greek and Latin writers, those points 
in which they are supposed to exhibit the greatest variation. 

A>.£|av5goy tav ^tXifjmu, iruvrihfiivav, out etv ^^ovo; l^iKotTO rav Ivyecxofiaiv iraiv. 
—Appian. Alcxandrln. HisU Prooem. p. 5. 

" Canon Chronicus, p. 509. The 232d year of the temple corresponds 
to B.C. 747. 


In all cases, then, where there is any uncertainty respecting 
the first principles on which an investigation is to be con- 
ducted, it will be found convenient to fix on some matter of 
fact, of which the date and circumstances are clearly ascer- 
tained. Having secured sufficient ground whereon to es- 
tablish a distinct proposition, we can advance analytically 
from the known to the unknown ; and whatever may be 
our success in reaching the object we have in view, we 
shall at least be able to determine the point where cer- 
tainty leaves us and doubt begins, where light departs and 
darkness or obscurity succeeds it. 

Applying this maxim to the inquiry before us, we may 
with confidence commence our researches at the capture of 
Babylon by Cyrus, when the monarchy of the Medes 
merged in the rising empire of the Persians. All authors 
are agreed that the event now mentioned took place in the 
beginning or end of the year B. C. 536 ; whence, if we 
reckon backward, so as to include the term of the Median 
kingdom and the duration of the Assyrian empire, up 
to the true epoch when the former became independent, 
we shall, in all probability, determine the period at which 
the latter assumed its origin. 

Herodotus, then, informs us, that, after the Assyrians 
had been in possession of upper Asia five hundred and 
twenty years, the Medes, first of all, revolted from their 
authority : contending with such obstinate bravery against 
their masters, that they were ultimately successful, and 
exchanged servitude for freedom. Other provinces soon 
followed their example ; but as they all afterwards fell 
into a state of anarchy, and sufi'ered many of the severest | 
evils that arise from the absence of legitimate rule, they at 
length came to the resolution of electing a king. The ' 
wisdom and virtue of Dejoces, a man of influence among 
the Medes, pointed him out for this high oflice ; who, as 


soon as he had complied with the request of his country- 
men to become their sovereign, assumed the full state and 
prerogatives of a monarch, built a magnificent palace, and 
surrounded himself with guards.* 

After a reign of 53 years on the throne of Media, he 
was succeeded by his son Phraortes, who held the sceptre 
22 years. Next followed Cyaxares, the period of whose 
government, including the domination of his Scythian 
conquerors, extended to 40 years ; and Astyages, the last 
of the race, in whose time, after he had reigned 35 years, 
the Persian dynasty laid hold of the supreme power of 
Asia. The sum of these four reigns amounts to 150 ex- 
actly; which, added to B.C. 560, the date which Herodo- 
tus appears to have assigned to the Babylonian conquest, 
gives, for the accession of Dejoces, the year B. C. 7lO.-f- 

So far the narrative of Herodotus, although different 
from that of Ctesias, is not inconsistent with it. The lat- 
ter historian, it is true, carries back the origin of the Me- 
dian kingdom more than a hundred years beyond the pe- 
riod determined by the former. Again, instead of four so- 
vereigns, he exhibits a catalogue of nine ; beginning with 
Arbaces, whom he describes as the leader of the revolt, 
and ending with Astyages, whose reign is unanimously 
regarded as the termination of Median power.;]: Thus 

• Herodot. lib. i. 95 — 100. + Herodot, lib. i. c. 130. 

^ The Median kings who, according to Ctesias, succeeded Thonos Con- 
colerus on the throne of Assyria, are as follows : — 

Years. B.C. 

1. Arbaces, . - 28 beginning 821 

2. Mandauces, - -20 793 

3. Sosarmus, . - 30 773 

4. Artycas, - - - 30 743 

5. Arbianes, - - 22 713 

6. ArtsBus, - . - 40 G91 

7. Artynes, - -22 (>51 

8. Astibaras, . - • 40 C29 

9. Aspadas, or Astyigas, - 35 589 


we have two points fixed upon by two ancient authors, 
both of whom, in this particular at least, appear worthy 
of unbounded credit, at which has been dated that revolt 
of the Medes which was supposed to put an end to the 
paramount authority of the Assyrian empire. 

Jackson endeavours to liberate his system from the dif- 
ficulty now mentioned, by suggesting, as I have already 
mentioned, that Ctesias has confounded, in the case of the 
first five sovereigns on his list, the office of prefect with 
that of king. " It is certain," says he, " that Arbaces the 
Mede, and his successors to Dejoces, whom Ctesias men- 
tions as reigning over the greatest part of the Assyrian 
empire after Sardanapalus, were only prefects under the 
kings of Assyria who preceded Thonos Concolerus, called 
falsely Sardanapalus ; and the Assyrian empire still sub- 
sisted, and had both Media and Babylon under it, till the 
revolt of the Medes under the last prefect Arbianes, 
some years before they chose Dejoces for their king.""* 

" This account," he adds, " is entirely agreeable to He- 
rodotus, who knew of no Median king before Dejoces ; 
but he knew there were kings of Assyria, both when he 
reigned in Media and many years after : and of this truth 
we are assured from Scripture, which relates the historical 
actions of those Assyrian kings ; and some of whose names 
are recorded. Sennacherib, one of the Assyrian kings, 
reigned at Nineveh several years before Dejoces was made 
king of Media, and above a hundred years after the 

" The sum total of the duration of the Median empire, to the end of the 
reign of Astyages, is 267 years, in the year B.C. 554 ; and this wants only 
four years of the true account of the era from Arbaces to Cyrus's conquest 
of Astyages." — Jackson, vol. i. p. 253, 254. 

The sum 267 exceeds by six years the usual amount : 500+267=827 : 
the real interval at least, according to Herodotus, being 821 years. 

" Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 255, 256. 





time that Ctesias supposed Nineveh and the Assyrian em- 
pire to have been destroyed by Arbaces : this Assyrian 
king is mentioned by Herodotus,* and by Berosus, as Jo- 
sephus tells us.-f* Herodotus also relates that Phraortes, the 
second king of the Medes, was slain in a battle with the 
Assyrians who reigned at Nineveh : and that Cyaxares, 
the last king of the Medes but one, was the king who con- 
quered Nineveh and destroyed the Assyrian empire.^ 

It has been usual with chronologers, as Freret some- 
where observes, to receive as much of a historical narra- 
tive or list of kings as they find convenient, and to reject 
the remainder merely because it does not agree with their 
hypothesis. No reader, it is obvious, can have any confi- 
dence in a system which requires such management ; on 
which account, our usual trust in Jackson is greatly im- 
paired, when we find that he not only brings down the As- 
syrian dynasty given by Ctesias a hundred and eleven 
years lower than the date which the compiler himself as- 
signs to it, but also that he excludes from his catalogue a 
race of Median kings which, the same historian assures us, 
succeeded, on the throne of Nineveh, the last monarch of 
the ancient house of Ninus. 

To reconcile the statements of Ctesias and Herodotus, 
both of which bear evident marks of sincerity and truth, 
we have only to admit that the sovereigns who reigned at 
Nineveh from B. C. 821 to B. C. 606 were of Median ex- 
traction, though, from the seat of their government and 
the established name of the people over whom they ruled, 
they continued to be described as kings of Assyria. This 
explanation of the tables constructed by the Greek phy- 

• Herodot. lib. ii. c. 141. 
•f* Antiq. Jud. lib. x. c i. 
if Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 256. 



sician does not imply that Media became an independent 
kingdom upon the accession of Arbaces, or whatever else 
was the name of the Median prefect who took up the 
sceptre which was laid down by Thonos Concolerus ; it 
amounts to nothing more than that a race of monarchs, 
who were Medes by birth or lineage, occupied, during 
more than two hundred years, the throne of Assyria and 
the city of Nineveh. 

If I be right in this conjecture, it Avill follow that the 
four monarchs who, in Scripture, are called the " King of 
Nineveh," Pul, Tiglathpileser, and Shalmaneser, and who, 
by Ctesias, are denominated Arbaces, Mandauces, Sosar- 
mus, and Artycas, are respectively the same persons ; and 
that they were, in fact, Assyrian kings who had sprung 
from a Median family. As yet, Assyria, Babylonia, and 
Media, were under the same crown ; and it was not until 
the year B. C. 711 that the people of the last-named coun- 
try, who were dissatisfied with the imperial government, 
revolted from its authority, and made preparations for the 
establishment of an independent aovpreignty in their own 
land. After a certain period of anarchy Dejoces was 
elected king ; and at this point commences the Median 
kingdom, properly so called. 

According to the views which we are now following, 
there were sovereigns of Median extraction on the throne 
of Ecbatana as well as on that of Nineveh ; and, perhaps, 
we ought to regard the list of kings transmitted by Ctesias 
as applicable to the several successions in the latter city 
only. Artycas, for instance, was followed by Arbianes, after 
whom came Artseus, Artynes, Astibarus, and Aspadas. I 
am aware that modern writers take upon them to assert that 
Artffius is only a different name for Dejoces, that Artynes 
is the same as Phraortes, as well as that Astibarus means 
Cyaxares, and Aspadas is the substitute of Astyages. But 



all this is said without the slightest shadow of proof; and 
we have the greater reason to believe that Cteslas meant 
to exhibit the catalogue of sovereigns who exercised the 
Assyrian government, when we find that the sum of their 
reigns exactly fills up the space which intervenes between 
the time of Thonos Concolerus, when the new dynasty 
began to rule, and the end of the Median government in 
the days of Cyrus. From the year B. C. 821 to B. C. 560, 
the usual, though perhaps not the most correct date of 
the Persian ascendency, is a period of 261 years ; and the 
amount of all the reigns from Arbaces to the last king 
mentioned by Ctesias is 267 ; the difference being only 6 
years, the length of a supposed anarchy or interregnum 
occasioned by a provincial insurrection.* 

It would appear, therefore, that, in the archives which 
were copied by Ctesias, there was enrolled a list of all the 
sovereigns who had swayed the imperial sceptre of Western 
Asia, from the reign of Ninus down to the conquests of 
Cyrus ; including the old Assyrian dynasty, as well as that 
of the Medes which followed it, after the death or removal 
of Thonos Concolerus. But we have no reason to believe 
that a similar list had been preserved at Nineveh of the 
Median kings who, after they achieved their independence, 
opposed themselves to the more ancient government found- 
ed by the son of Belus : and it is on this very account, 
perhaps, that even when the sovereign of Media proper, 
in the person of Cyaxares, obtained possession of the im- 
perial authority, no notice is taken of any interruption in 
that branch of the dynasty which ended with Serac or Sar- 
danapalus. The catalogue is, at once, continued down to the 
era when the successors of Arbaces gave way to the rising 

See page 95 of this volume. 


fortunes of the Persian prince. In a word, the records to 
which Ctesias had access, presented only the successions 
in what may be called the imperial line of the Asiatic mo- 
narchy, and did not extend to such rulers as from time to 
time started up in the provinces and disputed the supre- 
macy of the great king. 

That there was a new race of sovereigns elevated to the 
throne of Assyria in the year B. C 821, is so fully admit- 
ted by the best informed chronologers, that Dr Hales be- 
gins at that era his third Assyrian dynasty ; which, says 
hci commenced with that king of Nineveh who reigned in 
the time of the prophecy of Jonah.* Nor will any valid 
objection to this view be founded on the circumstance 
that the monarchs who succeeded Arbaces are called kings 
of Assyria, and not kings of Media ; for although the new 
dynasty were Medes by birth or connection, they ascend- 
ed the throne of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian em- 
pire, of which IVIedia was only a province. Syncellus, in 
allusion to this apparent discrepancy between the facts of 
history and the appellation of the pai'amount state, re- 
marks, that, though it is perfectly certain the Medes held 
the imperial government after the time of Arbaces, yet 
the kingdom retained its former designation ; as well, says 
he, from the antiquity and power of the Assyrian name 
which had become associated with the country, as from 
the recent power of the Medes, who, till then, were known 
only as provincial s.-|- He farther observes, as a proof that 
the kings of Assyria were masters also of the Median ter- 
ritory, that the captives carried away by Shalmaneser 
from the tribes of Israel were placed in the towns of the 

* Hales, vol. iii. p. 57. 

■|- 'H iriXovori MriS&iv f/.iv yivo; Kura. ^iaoo^>iv aTo A^Secxou iSccfiXiuinv, h Se /3b- 
fftXlia Km A.7ffu^itav 'ikiyiro, eix ro \uyiMi; 'TToXa.iot t»js a.p-)(r,i Kai to t'/is ^aoctf 


Medes ; whence it is obvious, that the accession of the 
countrymen of Arbaces to the imperial throne did not at 
the first lead to any dismemberment of the empire, but 
that, on the contrary, the name and power of Assyria con- 
tinued unchanged till a much later period. 

If there be any foundation for the distinction which I 
am now endeavouring to establish between a Median dy- 
nasty on the imperial throne, who were called kings of As^ 
sijria, and a Median dynasty beginning about a hundred 
and twenty years after in the person of Dejoces, who were 
strictly Mngs of Media, or who, at least, did not acknow- 
ledge the paramount claims of the older race, we shall there- 
by be enabled, not only to reconcile Herodotus and Ctesias, 
but to remove much confusion, contradiction, and obscurity 
which have hitherto attached to the history of Western 
Asia. We shall, in particular, find reason to be satisfied 
that, while the chronographer of C nidus exhibited only a 
list of the sovereio;ns who had followed in succession from 
Ninus to the last member of the imperial race whose name 
was Aspadas or Astyages, the father of history, on the 
other hand, confined his Median catalogue to the rulers 
who kept up, at Ecbatana or elsewhere, the independent 
kingdom which was founded by Dejoces. In short, Cte- 
sias does not appear to have recognised the Median sove- 
reignty at all, as distinct from the Assyrian empire ; for 
his list of the kings who succeeded Arbaces the Mede ex- 
tends downwards from B. C. 821 to B. C. 554, the era at 
which both Medes and Assyrians submitted to the arms 
of Cyrus. The archives which he consulted contained lists 
of only the sovereigns paramount ; whereas the authori- 
ties upon which Herodotus appears to have proceeded, in 
his account of Media, furnished only records of the local 
or national king's. 

Hence, too, we shall likewise find it in our powef to 


trace satisfactorily the ground of the difference among an- 
cient writers respecting the duration of the Median king- 
dom. Justin, as has been already remarked, reckoning 
from Arbaces to Cyrus, assigns to it a period of 350 
years, Julius Africanus gives 283, Eusebius 261, and 
Herodotus 150. Now it is manifest that the last-named 
historian counted from the election of Dejoces, which took 
place a few years after the revolt B. C. 710. Suppose the 
anarchy which preceded his accession continued six years, 
and it will follow that the commencement of Median royalty 
must be dated B. C. 704; from which, if we subtract 150 
years, the termination will be found to coincide with the 
year B. C. 554*; that is, within four years of the time 
when, according to Jackson and Hales, Cyrus succeeded 
his uncle Cyaxares in the government of Media. Or, if 
we should prefer to date the origin of kingly power among 
the Medes in the very year of their revolt, 150 subtracted 
from 710 will give 560, — a result which corresponds ex- 
actly with the first year of Cyrus in his native Persia. 

The larger numbers of Africanus and Eusebius apply, 
it is obvious, to the accession of the Median dynasty to the 
Assyrian throne in the time of Arbaces ; in which sense 
the phrase Median Mng'dom does not denote the separate 
independent monarchy established by Dejoces, but the 
Assyrian empire during the period it was governed by 
kings of Median extraction. In this case we must begin 
the era in question with the reign of the first Mede B. C. 
821 ; from which epoch, if we subtract 283, the full du- 
ration assigned by Africanus to the sway of that people, 
the end of their power will fall in the year B. C. 538 ; be- 
ing not more than two years before the taking of Babylon, 
when, it is well known/the Persian empire finally super- 
seded the Median throughout the whole of the ancient As- 
syrian dominions. If, again, from 821 we subtract 261, 


the term of Median rule fixed on by Eusebius, the re- 
mainder will exhibit the year B. C. 560 ; when, as has 
been already stated, the great Cyrus mounted the throne 
of Persia.* 

The reader cannot fail to be struck with the remark- 
able coincidence and harmony which are introduced into 
the numerical statements of ancient authors, by means of 
the distinction which I have attempted to establish, be- 
tween the Median dynasty on the throne of Assyria, and 
the separate kingdom of Media which arose at a later pe- 
riod. Upon the same principle we get rid of the awkward 
expedient, which has been very frequently resorted to by 
historians and chronologers, of imagining txoo Assyrian em- 
pires ; the first ending with Thonos Concolerus, and the se- 
cond with the capture of Nineveh in the reign of Serac or 
Sardanapalus. The latter empire is supposed to have 
been much weaker than the former, and to have possessed 
a less extensive territory ; whereas, in fact, we find, in 
the Scriptural history, that the power of Assyria became 
greater, after the accession of the Arbacidae or Median 
dynasty, than ever it was before ; stretching westward to 
the Mediterranean sea^, and southward to the very borders 
of Egypt. 

Even Sir William Drummond feels himself necessitated 
to have recourse to the supposition that Nineveh was twice 
taken by the Medes ; first under the command of Arbaces 
in the 747 before the Christian era, and, secondly, under 
the command of Cyaxares, in the year 603 before the 
same epoch : and it is on this account, he thinks, that the 

" I have not taken particular notice of the number of Justin, both because 
it is very generally pronounced corrupt, and because it does not barmoni /.e with 
any system of chronology which has yet been devised. Freret's attempt does 
not give satisfaction. 


Greeks have been led into mistakes and contradictions 
concerning the duration of the Assyrian empire. " This 
empire,'" he adds, " was in fact dissolved in the time of Ar- 
baces ; but as Assyria still existed as a kingdom, and as 
Nineveh was not destroyed till the reign of Cyaxares, the 
difference between the state of Assyria before Sardana- 
palus and after the death of that monarch, may have 
escaped the attention of writers who were not accurately 
acquainted with oriental history.""* 

But there is not the most distant evidence, either in the 
sacred writings, or in the works of the Greek historians, 
for a double capture of Nineveh. On the contrary, it is 
manifest that it suffered nothing from the hand of the de- 
stroyer till the end of the seventh century before Christ, 
when it was reduced by the Medes and Babylonians. 
The mission of Jonah was directed to a sovereign of 
Nineveh who must have reigned about the time of Arbaces, 
and who, in fact, was either that Mede himself or his im- 
mediate successor ; and we know, on the best authority, 
that the capital of Assyria was not consigned to destruc- 
tion for many years after the warning of the prophet. 
The whole of this confusion has arisen from a mistake on 
the part of Ctesias, or rather perhaps of Diodorus Sicu- 
lus, who has transferred to the revolution which placed 
the Arbacidae on the Assyrian throne, the circumstances 
which belonged to the capture of Nineveh by the Me- 
dian and Babylonian armies under the command of 
Cyaxares. It is true, that all the particulars connected 
with the change of the Assyrian dynasty in the year B.C. 
821 are covered with the deepest obscurity. That an in- 
surrection took place, and that Thonos Concolerus was 

Origines, vol. i. p. 22?. 


either slain or driven from his capital, are events which 
come recommended to us upon the strongest probability ; 
but the subsequent state and history of the Assyrian 
government prove incontestably that Nineveh was not 
destroyed, and that the power of her kings was not in the 
slightest degree curtailed. 

That an important change did take place in the Assyrian 
monarchy about the year B.C. 821, is, I repeat, acknow- 
ledged by every writer who has had occasion to study that 
portion of ancient history. Eusebius places this revolt in 
B.C. 818, Petavius in the year B.C. 870, and Usher in 
B.C. 747. Petavius, it is clear, carries the event in ques- 
tion 45 years too high, although in this he agrees within 
a short interval with Justin, who gives 350 years to 
the duration of the Median kingdom from Arbaces to 
Cyrus. Usher, on the contrary, brings it down 73 years 
too low ; and, without any authority that will bear exami- 
nation, makes Belesis, who is supposed to have assisted 
Arbaces in the war against their common sovereign, to be 
Nabonasar, the first Babylonian king in Ptolemy's canon. 

Eusebius and Petavius are known to have computed in 
different ways, from an arbitrary reckoning of the time 
when Ninus began to reign, as well as of the total dura- 
tion of the Assyrian empire itself. The archbishop, on 
the other hand, alleged the testimony of Herodotus, who 
says, that the Assyrians had, at the time of the revolt, 
reigned over the upper or greater Asia 520 years. But, 
as Jackson remarks, Herodotus does not say that Nimis 
began to reign only 520 years before the Median insur- 
rection ; on which account, the supposition made by 
Usher, that it was the first king of Assyria who did then 
commence his government, is not only unsupported by the 
declaration of Herodotus, but is contrary to the evidence 
of all ancient writers, who agree that the Assyrian em- 


pire had subsisted about 1300 years before the Medes 
disturbed the succession of her monarchs.* 

EusebiuS;, indeed, appears to have had very confused no- 
tions in regard to the condition of things during the period 
from Arbaces to Dejoces ; which he, however, properly calcu- 
lates at a hundred and eleven years. He relates that, Ar- 
baces Medus, Assyriorum imperio destructo, regnum in Me- 
dos transtuUt : et intei-im sine principihus res agebatur usque 
ad Deiocem regem Medorum ; that is, Arbaces the Mede, 
upon destroying the empire of the Assyrians, transferred 
the kingly power to the Medes ; and in the meanwhile 
affairs were conducted without the intervention of princes, 
until the time of Dejoces, the king of the Medes. He 
likewise imagines that, during this long period, the Chal- 
deans were in possession of the supreme power, though he 
had just the moment before said that Arbaces transferred 
it to the Medes ; and he even supposes that all the other 
nations which had composed the Assyrian empire were 
governed by their own kings for a hundred and eleven 
years."}" The Assyrian name, in fact, is supposed to have 
been extinct ; and yet, in a subsequent part of his work, 
he represents Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, as carrying the 
ten tribes from Samaria into the mountains of Media. He 
admits also, that Sennacherib, who certainly reigned at 
Nineveh, sent a colony of Assyrians into Judea, and, 

• Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 300. " Usher's is a strange hypothe- 
sis," he adds, " and altogether unsupported ; and it is a metachronisra of no 
less than 748 years, by his own reckoning, of the time of the Median revolt." 

" Dr Prideaux, in his Connection of the Old and New Testament, makes 
Arbaces the same with Tiglathpileser, and Belesis to be Nabonasar ; which 
is aU mere invention, and not founded in any chronology. — Chronolog. An- 
tiq. vol. i. p. 303. 

+ Chaldaei proprie praevalebant ; quorum separates quadam regum succes- 
siones feruntur. Reliquas autem gentes propriis regibus utebantur. — Eiiseb. 
Pamphil. Chron. lib. i. p. 24- 


moreover, that Tiglathpileser transported a great number 
of Jews into Assyria, — an exercise of power which is quite 
incompatible with the supposition that the Assyrian em- 
pire was quite dissolved upon the revolt of Arbaces.* 

Scaliger and Petavius were not less embarrassed with 
the same unlucky position which has been founded on the 
mistaken testimony of Ctesias, namely, that the Assyrian 
empire was overturned by Arbaces. They were compel- 
led to allow that the Assyrians, after their subjection to 
the Medes, must at some time and in some manner, of 
which there are no traces in history, have shaken off their 
thraldom, and established a new empire at Nineveh. 
Scaliger at length, driven from the very conclusions 
which he himself had formed, by the absurdities which 
he found inseparable from every hypothesis that implied 
the destruction of the Assyrian capital and the downfall of 
its power, in the days of Arbaces, ventured to call in ques- 
tion the existence of the facts upon which he had all along 
proceeded. Farther inquiry satisfied him that Ctesias had 
either been himself misinformed, or that he must have 
been ill understood by Diodorus Siculus and the other 
writers who followed him. " Quum dicat Medos a clade 
Sardanapali ad obitum Astyagis, Assyriorum regnum 
obtinuisse, merito ut dubitetur, facit sacra pagina, quae 
Tiglath-pul-Asar et Sennacherib regum Assyriae meminit. 
Sed neque verum est, Ninum a Medis solo aequatam, ut 
refert idem Ctesias, cum ei et divinarum literarum auc- 

• Decern tribus quae vocantur Israel, et erant in parte Samarias, victae 
a Sennacherib, qui et Salmanassar, rege ChaldEeorum, translatae sunt inter 
montes Rledorum. 

Sennacherib rex ChaldjEorum ad custodiendam regionem Judaam accolas 
misit Assyrios, qui aemulatores legis Judfei facti Samaritae nuncupati sunt ; 
quod Latina lingua exprimitur custodes.—Euseh. Paviph. Chron. lib. post 
p. 116. 


toritas, et Herodotus refragetur, qui in hac parte longe 
certior Ctesia a nobis deprehenditur.* 

But although Ctesias has had the unhappiness to be 
misinterpreted, in regard to the political results which have 
been supposed to accompany the change of dynasty at the 
time when Arbaces ascended the throne of Assyria, there 
is no reason to suspect his accuracy relative to the chronolo- 
gical period at which that event actually took place. On the 
contrary, his evidence cannot but appear to be completely 
confirmed by the very remarkable circumstance stated 
above, that the sum of the reigns which he assigns to the 
kings of the Median line fills up almost exactly the inter- 
val between Arbaces and the accession of Cyrus as king of 
Media. The term occupied by his nine kings extends, as 
I have already observed, to 267 years ; which being de- 
ducted from B.C. 821, the date of the new dynasty, we 
have B.C. 554<; the very epoch denoted by Herodotus for 
the commencement of the Persian sway. His agreement 
with the father of history, during the latter division of the 
period in particular, is very striking ; and when we call 
to mind that the one drew his materials from the archives 
which contained the successions of the imperial throne, 
and the other from records which respected the national 
crown of the Medes, we cannot fail to see, as M'ell in the 
points where their statements coincide as where they differ, 
the most satisfactory proof of their knowledge and vera- 
city. The following table will illustrate this observation ; 

• Scaligeri Emend. Temp. Not. in Fragm. p. 42, 




1. Median revolt and in- 

2. Dejoces, 

3. Phraortes, 

4. Cyaxares, 

5. Astyages, 
















Arbaces and interregnum, 22 710 

Artffius, - - 40 688 

Artynes, - 22 648 

Astibarus, - - 40 626 

Aspadas or Astyigas, 32* 586 

Cyrus the Persian, 156 554 

In endeavouring to fix the time of Arbaces in a former 
section, I alluded to the fact mentioned by Eusebius and 
Syncellus, that the power of the Assyrians was dissolved 
in the time of Ariphron, the ninth perpetual archon at 
Athens. Now, according to the Parian marble, Ariphron 
succeeded Pherecles in the year B.C. 846 ; and his ad- 
ministration, says Africanus, lasted 31 years ; consequent- 
ly the revolution conducted by Arbaces must have taken 
place before 815. Eusebius, it is true, allows only 20 
years for the archonate of Ariphron, which, of course, 
must have ended in B.C. 826 ; and some writers, accord- 
ingly, among whom I may rank Mr Faber, have been 
disposed to conclude that the defection from the Assyrian 
monarch may have begun a few years prior to the full 
completion of the object which the insurgents had in 
view, and, at least, before the accession of the Median 
dynasty in B.C. 821. The numbers of the bishop of 
Caesarea, I must add, are confirmed by those of the 
Parian record ; hence it is very probable that the com- 
putation of Africanus is wrong, and that the administra- 
tion of Ariphron did not extend to so low a period as the 

* As the number of years during which Aspadas or Astyages reigned is 
not given by Diodorus, I have inserted 32, which makes the two catalogues 
coincide exactly. It is usual to supply 35, the number given by Herodotus. 
which creates a difference of 3 years. It is obvious that the last two kings 
in each list must be the same persons ; because, after the capture of Nineveh 
in B. C. 600, the kingdom of Media merged in the empire of the Medes. 


year B.C. 815. But my object in referring to these au- 
thorities is fully gained, if I have thereby established the 
important fact, that the revolt of Arbaces and the end of 
the old Assyrian race of kings came to pass more than 
800 years before the Christian era. Those who are de- 
sirous of entering more deeply into this question, will find 
ample materials on which to form their judgment in the 
volumes of Eusebius and of the monk George.* 

It appears, then, upon the whole, that this portion of 
ancient history will be greatly elucidated if the reader has 
found, in the arguments which have just been detailed, 
satisfactory reasons for believing that Ctesias carried the 
chain of succession downwards through the several dynas- 
ties of Assyrian monarchs — whatever might be their birth 
or lineage — from Ninus to the last sovereign who swayed 
the sceptre of Western Asia prior to the accession of 
Cyrus ; and that whatever distinction he may have other- 
wise made between Medes, Persians, and Assyrians, he 
took no notice of any difference, in blood or nation, when 
he copied the list of kings which he found in the records 
of the ancient empire which so long flourished on the 
banks of the Tigris. In a word, he appears to have 
counted from the son of Belus to the son of Cambyses in 
an unbroken line ; and thereby supplied us with the 
means of determining that the total duration of the Assy- 
rian empire, including that of the Medes, amounted to 
1572 years; that is, 1305 + 267=1572, from Ninus to 
Cyrus the Persian. 

* Eusebii Pamphili Chron. lib. posterior^ p. 110. " Sub Ariphrone, Assy- 
riorum regnum destructum, et Sardanapalus ut nonnulli scriptitant. Assy- 
riorum tricesimus sextus, Thonos Concolerus, ann. xx. qui vocatur Graece 

See also the " Animadversions" of Scaliger, p. 63. 

The words of Syncellus are as follows : KaviXiuffiv A^if^an Oi^ixXiovs i^n 
x'. xara Ss A^piKavov 'irti X >;'• xara -r our 01 rov Af/^^ova >) ruv Kaav^tui KariXvSn 
xgX*i' ^^ To-ira. <rviJi,(poivouiTt.—Chronographiay p. 185. 


Proceeding on the ground which we have thus esta- 
bhshed, the origin of the Assyrian empire will be carried 
back to the year before Christ 2126, or, in other words, 
to the year 1059 after the Flood. This epoch supplies 
most of the conditions which are required to make chro- 
nology harmonize with the prominent events of ancient 
history. For example, there has been among the writers 
of antiquity a uniform and very general tradition that 
Abraham was born in the reign of Ninus, or, at least, 
that the prince of Nineveh and the Hebrew patriarch 
were contemporaries. If, then, we follow the computa- 
tion of the Seventy, and place the birth of the son of 
Terah in 1072 after the Deluge, the nativity of Abraham 
will coincide with the thirteenth year of Ninus ; whereas, 
if we adopt the genealogy of the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
and date the birth of the same servant of God in the 
year of the new world 942, he will still be found to have 
lived in the time of Ninus, and to have been a hundred 
and seventeen years of age when the latter ascended the 

But the era which we have determined for the beginning 
of the Assyrian empire, not only answers to the historical 
facts with which it is usually associated in the works of the 
ancients ; it also comes within one year of the time at 
which Ctesias commences his catalogue of the Assyrian 
monarchs. He places the accession of Ninus in the year 
B.C. 2127 ; being at the utmost not more than twelve 
months before the epoch at which we have arrived, by 
reckoning backward from the reign of Cyrus and the cap- 
ture of Babylon. 

Jackson, who insists upon identifying the revolution 
which, in B.C. 821, set Arbaces upon the throne, with the 
Median revolt in B.C. 710, which led to the establishment 
of a separate kingdom under Dejoccs, brings down, as I have 


said, the accession of Ninus 110 years lower than it ouglit 
to be; and thereby at once, without any good reason, 
departs from the only authority that we have for the early 
part of the Assyrian chronology, and also creates diffi- 
culties which do not really belong to the subject. That 
the son of Belus was invested with the royal authority 
about the year B.C. 2126, is rendered manifest by an 
anecdote mentioned by Diodorus Siculus on the authority 
of Ctesias, namely, that Teutamus sent Memnon, who 
was the son of Tithonus, the prefect of Persia, with an 
army to assist Priam, when closely pressed by the Greeks 
during the celebrated siege of Troy. Now, Teutamus, 
according to the catalogue of Ctesias, began to reign B.C. 
1215, and died 32 years after, that is, in the year B.C. 
1183. But, Troy, according to the most approved chro- 
nology, was taken in the year B.C. 1183 ; and hence the 
military aid sent by the Assyrian king must have march- 
ed from Persia in the last year of his reign. That this 
was actually the case is proved by an extract made by 
Scaliger from an old Latin annalist, who appears to have 
compiled his book from Africanus, Eusebius, and Castor.* 
This author, who seems not, however, to have been a 
complete master of the Gi'eek tongue, relates that Troy 
was taken by the Greeks in the thirty-second year of Teu- 
tamus, which was, as I have just remarked, the year B.C. 

Ctesias, however, not only records the fact just men- 
tioned, but, which is of much more consequence, remarks, 

* Eusebii Pamphili Chronicon, p. 74. 

+ " Anno isto (scilicet Teiitami) tricesimo secundo confixus est sol ab 
Achaeis," — an absurd and unmeaning expression which Scaliger, with his 
wonted learning and sagacity, traces to the following Greek words : rovrou 
trii X £'. >)X«u IXiev l-xo A;^aiuv ; that is, in his 32d year, Troy was taken b}' 
the Greeks. 


that the Assyrians, at the time of Teutamus, had possess- 
ed the empire of Asia more than a thousand years. If, 
then, we add B.C. 1000 to B.C. 1183, the amount will 
be B.C. 2183, being 57 years higher than the date at 
which we have placed the beginning of Ninus. But the 
computation of Ctesias is understood by Cephalion and 
others to bear a reference to the earliest commencement 
of the Assyrian government in the days of Belus ; and as 
the reign of this monarch is usually estimated at 55 years, 
we come at once within two years of the thousand stated 
by Ctesias. If, on the other hand, we estimate the ad- 
ministration of Belus at 62 years, the term assigned to it 
by the old Latin Chronicle, the beginning of his reign 
will ascend to a thousand and five years before the taking 
of Troy ; thereby confirming the chronological scheme 
which I have adopted, and, at the same time, illustrating 
the observation of the Greek physician, relative to the du- 
ration of the Assyrian empire.* 

We are not greatly concerned in the result of whatever 
inquiry may be instituted respecting the truth of the tra- 
dition recorded by Ctesias. It has appeared to many anti- 
quaries extremely doubtful whether an Assyrian king, 
twelve hundred years before the birth of Christ, could 
have any relations of peace or war with a petty sovereign 
on the very western extremity of Asia. Even the narra- 
tive of Diodorus confesses the uncertainty which attaches 
to the expedition of Memnon, and informs us that the 
Ethiopians of the Nile claimed him as a countryman, and 
continued to point out a palace which bore his name. How- 

gi«», )i5 l/rrpaTtiyii Mi/u,vuv i TiSuvou. Tiwra/^sv ya.^ ZaffiXtvovro? rtis Atriocf, og iv 

Diodor. Sicul. lib. ii. c. 22. 



ever that may be, subjoins the historian, there is a con- 
stant tradition that Memnon was sent to the aid of the 
Trojans with 20,000 foot and 200 chariots ; where he dis- 
played the greatest bravery in repeated battles with the 
Greeks, till at length being ensnared by the Thessalians, 
he was taken prisoner and slain.* With these legendary 
notices, I repeat, we have no farther concern than as they 
are connected with the date of one great historical event, 
by means of which we are enabled to ascertain the relative 
antiquity of another ; the distance between the first and 
the second being distinctly stated. It is enough that we 
can thereby remove every objection to the testimony 
upon which we believe that the Assyrian empire was 
founded about a thousand years before the taking of Troy. 
Having on the grounds now explained fixed the com- 
mencement of the Assyrian monarchy in the year B.C. 
2126, it remains that we make an attempt to determine, 
on a similar footing, the origin of the more ancient king- 
dom which is supposed to have been established by Nim- 
rod at Babel. According, then, to the dates supplied by 
Polyhistor, Africanus, and Moses of Chorene, the three 
dynasties which occupied the Chaldagan throne, prior to 
the era of Ninus, filled up a period of 622 years. This 
sum added to 2126 will give B.C. 2748, or 437 years 
after the Flood, for the beginning of Nimrod's power on 
the banks of the Euphrates, — a chronological epoch which 
most readers will think considerably too high, as well as 
inconsistent with the main facts of the ancient patriarchal 
history. If, therefore, we leave out the third dynasty, 
which was unknown to Africanus and Polyhistor, and 
which we owe entirely to the Armenian historian, Moses 

* Diod. Siculus, lib. ii. C. 22. 'Ou f^tiv aXXec mis T^affi Xiyirai (ion^nfavra 


Chorenensis, the period assigned to the ancient Baby- 
lonian kingdom will be reduced to 405 or 440, according 
as we shall adopt the larger or smaller term attributed to 
the first dynasty. The latter number added to 2126 will 
carry back the time of Nimrod to the year B.C. 2566, or 
619 after the deluge, — a result which does not differ much 
from the calculation of Hales and Faber ; the year of 
Nimrod, according to the former, being 601 after the Flood, 
and according to the latter 613. 

It would betray a silly affectation of accuracy, which, in 
matters of this kind, is not to be attained, were I to enter 
into a chronological disquisition in support of the several 
conclusions to which the above statement has conducted 
us. In regard to the events of a period at once so remote 
and so completely destitute of the steady light which be- 
longs to later ages, we cannot reach certainty, whatever 
may be the path by which we attempt to approach it. 
But, proceeding upon the few facts with which we are 
supplied in sacred history, and directing our researches 
by the established laws of human nature, we cannot carry 
the origin of kingdoms to an earlier date than the middle 
of the sixth century after the Flood. The opinions of 
Bishop Cumberland in regard to population are absurd in 
the extreme ; and hence all the chronological systems 
which assume the existence of Nimrod's kingdom about a 
hundred years after the renewal of the human race, are 
encumbered with numerous and insuperable difficulties. 

I am aware of the objection which has been urged 
against the Ctesian list of Assyrian kings, on the ground 
that the length of their reigns exceeds somewhat the usual 
average of successions, in all countries where the term of 
human life has been distinctly ascertained. Thirty-six 
generations in the course of 1300 years will, when di- 
vided, be found to give a reign of fullv thirty-six years 


to every sovereign from Ninus to Thonos Concolerus ; 
which being about three years above the ordinary length 
must, it is said, carry the origin of their dynasty a hun- 
dred years too high. But without entering into particu- 
lars on this head, where we have no facts to guide us 
which apply to the early times under consideration, I shall 
satisfy myself with an answer taken from the work of Dr 

" The fallacy of the attempt to guess at chronological 
facts by means of the average length of reigns is placed 
in the strongest point of view by applying it to a few 
particular instances. If we take an average of the kings 
of France, from the time of Henry the Fourth, we shall 
find that they continued upwards of forty years one with 
another. Let us apply this average to the emperors of 
Rome. The number of reigns from Caesar Augustus to 
Augustulus was sixty-two, and the latter prince fell in the 
year 476. Calculate on the average above deduced, and 
Augustus must be computed to have begun his reign 
2004 years before Christ. Even if we adopt Sir Isaac 
Newton's average of twenty years, we shall place him a 
thousand years before his real time. On the other hand, 
we should shorten the English and French history in a 
like degree, if we calculate its duration by an average de- 
duced from the Roman. We may conclude that this me- 
thod of calculating the duration of reigns in one country 
from a rule formed by the succession in another, is 
likely to lead us into great errors, especially if we apply 
to an hereditary unbroken series, an estimate drawn from 
the mutable succession in more turbulent governments."* 

Whatever may be the degree of confidence which the 

* Critical Examination of the Remains of Egyptian Chronology, by J. C 
Prichard, M.D. p. 138. London, 1811). 


reader may think proper to place in the deductions rela- 
tive to the Assyrian empire, which have arisen from the 
principles that I have endeavoured to establish, it will 
not be lessened when he reflects^ that the argument has all 
along proceeded on a uniform principle, and without using 
any liberties with the ancient records whence the chrono- 
logical facts have been derived. I have carefully avoided 
the practice of that bold criticism which bends to its own 
objects the clearest statements of the authors whose works it 
examines ; holding it as a first principle, that the testimony 
of an ancient writer must be received in its literal mean- 
ing, and, with the exception of manifest corruptions and 
typographical errors, either adopted in whole or rejected 
in whole. For this reason, I could not follow the example 
of the learned and zealous Jackson, who, in order to ac- 
commodate the statement of Ctesias to his own hypothesis 
respecting the Assyrian empire, alters the dates through- 
out the whole catalogue by not less than a hundred and 
eleven years. Dr Hales, again, adopts the last twelve 
kings as given in the record of the Grecian antiquary, 
while he rejects the remaining twenty-four as " not true." 
But it is as clear as the day that the whole list, which we 
believe to have been copied by him from the Persian ar- 
chives, depends upon the very same authority ; and con- 
sequently that, if the first two-thirds of the succession be 
fictitious, the last third must be equally destitute of every 
claim to credit. Finding, in Ctesias, the most satisfactory 
marks of truth and good information, I have trodden in 
his steps from Ninus down to Astyages, a period of 1572 
years; that is, from B.C. 2126 to B.C. 554, according to 
the table which I now annex. The slight difference of one 
year might, perhaps, have been avoided ; but in reckoning 
backward from the accession of Cyrus as king of Media, 
to the beginning of Ninus, the result came out exactly as I 
have now given it. 


1. Ninus, 

2. Semiramis, 

3. Ninyas, 

4. Arius, 

5. Aralius, 

6. Xerxes or Balaeus, 

7. Armanithres, 

8. Belochus, 

9. Balasus, 

10. Sethos, Altadas, 

11. Mamythus, 

12. Ascalius or Mascaleus, 

13. Sphaerus, 

14. Mamylus, 

15. Sparthaeus, 

16. Ascatades, 

17. Amyntes, 

18. Belochus, 2d. 

19. Baletores or BaJetaras, 

20. Lamprides, 

21. Sosares, 

22. Lampares, 

23. Panyas, 

24. Sosarmus, 

25. Mithra?us, 

26. Teutamus or Tautanus, 

27. Teutaeus, 

28. Thineus, 

29. Dercylus, 
SO. Empacmes, 

31. Laosthenes, 

32. Pertiades, 

33. Ophrataeus, 






































































Y. B.C. 

34. Ephecheres, - 52 934 

35. Acraganes, - - 42 882 

36. Thonos Concolerus or Sardanapalus, 20 841 
37- Arbaces, - - 28 821 

38. Mandauces, - - 20 793 

39. Sosarmus, - - 30 773 

40. Artycas, - 30 743 

41. Arbianes, - - 22 713 

42. Artaeus, - - 40 691 

43. Artynes, - - 22 651 

44. Astibaras or Cyaxares 1st, - 40 629 

45. Astyigas or Astyages, - 35 589 

Sum of reigns, 1572 554 

In the time of Arbianes the celebrated revolt took place 
which gave a beginning to the separate kingdom of Me- 
dia, of which the sovereigns were Dejoces, Phraortes, 
and Cyaxares. The last of these monarchs took Nineveh, 
upon which the imperial authority passed into the hands 
of the Median kings of Ecbatana ; and hence the reason 
why the last two princes of that line are inserted in the 
catalogue of Assyrian emperors. 

So far, I think, we may rely upon Ctesias, because to 
this extent he acted only the part of a clerk or copyist. 
The mistake into which he fell respecting the destruction 
of Nineveh in the time of Arbaces, arose evidently from a 
different source. He found nothing concerning it in the 
archives of Persia ; whence, it is probable, the account 
which he gives of that event was found floating among 
the traditions of the Greeks, and was on that authority 
alone introduced into his narrative. 

A great degree of obscurity continues to hang over the 
annals of the Medes, between the period when their coun- 


tryinen first ascended the Assyrian throne, and the occur- 
rence of those events which are supposed to have esta- 
bUshed their independence in the time of Dejoces. It is 
even extremely doubtful whether that independence was 
ever acknowledged by the court of Nineveh. Dejoces, 
indeed, is said to have made conquests and to have ex- 
tended far to the northward the power and reputation of 
Media. But we find that Phraortes his successor was 
checked in his first attempt on the Assyrian provinces, 
and ultimately defeated and slain by Nabuchodonosor, the 
warlike monarch of that country. In the seventeenth 
year of his reign the Assyrian took the field at the head 
of a formidable army, when he defeated the Median 
forces near Ragau or Rages, a city in their own territories ; 
took Arphaxad or Phraortes prisoner, and put him to 
death the same day, as a rebellious satrap ; stormed Ec- 
batana his capital, which he had strongly fortified ; de- 
molished its tower and spoiled its palaces ; and then re- 
turned to Nineveh, where he feasted his victorious troops 
a hundred and twenty days.* 

In truth, upon a minute and candid examination of his- 
torical records it must be acknowledged that, except in 
the pages of Herodotus, we have no evidence for an in- 
dependent sovereignty in Media till after the success of 
Cyaxares and his allies before the walls of Nineveh. That 
there were kings at Ecbatana and even at Babylon before 
the rod of the Assyrians was broken, in the days of 
Sarac, will be readily granted by every one in the least 
conversant with ancient history ; but that these sovereigns 
owed no allegiance to the paramount authority at Nineveh, 
is more than doubtful. The Babylonians, indeed, down 

* Hales, vol. iii. p. 6C. Compare Judith i. 16. with ii. 1. 


to the last moment of the imperial government, are uni- 
versally acknowledged to have been vassals and tributaries 
to the Assyrians, if we except a short period of insurrec- 
tion about the end of the eighth century before Christ ; 
and that the Medes owned a similar subordination to the 
ancient empire on the Tigris, will, I am certain, appear 
more probable in proportion as the testimony of the old 
writers, both sacred and profane, is carefully examined. 

To conclude, as has usually been done, that the Me- 
dian power obtained an ascendency over the Assyrian at 
the time when Arbaces, a Mede by birth or office, ascend- 
ed the throne of Nineveh, is not only in itself a groundless 
assumption, but directly contrary to the best-established 
facts of contemporaneous history. The attempt made by 
Larcher, the celebrated editor of Herodotus, to extricate 
from confusion and contradiction the opinions which are 
usually entertained on this subject, affords a striking proof, 
not only of the dominion of system even over a vigorous 
mind, but also of the utter untenability of the hypothesis 
in favour of which his reasoning is employed. Admitting 
that Nineveh was not destroyed at the revolt of Arbaces, 
and even that several kings reigned in that city after the 
event now mentioned, he finds it necessary to suggest 
that the prefect just named, and Belesis his confederate, 
must, after they dethroned the tyrant against whom they 
had taken arms, have come to the resolution of setting up 
another sovereign in his place ; on condition that he, the 
king of kings and master of the Assyrian empire, should 
profess himself a tributary and vassal to them, the gover- 
nors of Media and Babylon ! 

II est certain que le royaume de Ninive ne fut point de- 
truit par la revolution arrivee sous Sardanapale. Castor, 
qui fait mention de cette revolution, parle de Ninus suc- 
cesseur de ce prince. II y a grande apparence que Ar- 


baces et Belesys considerant que s''ils vouloient subjuguer 
le reste des provinces Assyriennes, il etoit a craindre qu'- 
ils ne reussissent pas, aimerent mieux reconnoitre Ninus 
pour roi, lui imposant un tribut, et se retirer dans leurs 
etats respectifs pour y afFermir leur puissance.* 

The plan here ascribed to the governors of Media and 
Babylon is sufficiently absurd. They were desirous, it is 
said, to conquer all the Assyrian provinces, and yet they 
began by establishing a king over the country which they 
meant to overrun with their arms ; the capital of which, too, 
with all its wealth and influence, they had just thought 
proper to relinquish ! Why should they retire into their 
respective provinces to confirm their power, when Nineveh 
was already in their hands ? And why set up a king in 
the centre of the empire, and immediately withdraw into 
their several governments to collect a force in order to de- 
throne him ? One absurdity follows another here so 
closely, that it is only a waste of time to repeat them. 
The account given by Ctesias, on the other hand, is plain 
and simple. He tells us, that Arbaces himself ascended 
the Assyrian throne ; which was held by him and his suc- 
cessors during 267 years, — a period which terminates 
at the very time when Cyrus put an end to the Median 
empire in the reign of Astyages. 

Larcher very naturally asks, as the monarchy of Assy- 
ria subsisted after the death of Sardanapalus, why the 
most part of ancient authors should agree in fixing the 
destruction of it at that epoch .'* This question he is pleas- 
ed to answer on the ground of the same hypothesis which 
has led him into so much inconsistency ; for, assuming the 
identity of the prince whom Arbaces deposed, and of Sar- 

" Memoire sur quelques Epoques des Assyriens. Par M. Larcher. Hist, 
de r.\cademie des Inscrip. et Belles Lettres, vol. xlv. p. 379. 


danapalus, who perished amidst the ruins of Nineveh, he 
maintains that the Assyrians, from the revolt of Arbaces, 
fell into comparative insignificance, and no longer played 
the first part on the theatre of the world. J'ai observe 
que depuis ce moment Tempire d'Assyrie ne joua, pour 
ainsi dire, sur la scene du monde, qu'un role secondaire ; 
que depouille de ses plus belles provinces il perdit presque 
tout son ancien eclat ; qu'eclipse par les royaumes de Ba- 
bylone et de Medie, il n'attira plus sur lui les yeux de 
rOrient ; en un mot, qu'il cessa d'etre compte au nombre 
de grandes monarchies.* 

It is not a little remarkable, that this very epoch, which 
is fixed upon by Larcher for the decline of the Assyrian 
empire, when it was eclipsed by other kingdoms, and ceas- 
ed to be counted in the number of the great monarchies, 
has been singled out by Marsham, Newton, and Jameson 
as the era when that empire first began to attract notice ! 
The brilliant reigns of Pul, Tiglathpileser, and Shalma- 
neser, and the mighty host of Sennacherib, afford ample 
evidence that the power of Assyria was not yet diminish- 
ed, and that her crown was not yet deprived of its glory. 
We are assured, too, in holy writ, that the captives taken 
by these warriors in their repeated invasions of the land 
of Israel were placed in the cities of Media ; a province 
which must, at that period, when, according to Larcher, 
the kings of Nineveh were tributaries to its governor, 
have been in complete subjection to them. 

The editor of Herodotus could not find any means of 
reconciling the narrative of sacred history with the chro- 
nological scheme which he had been led to form. He 
could not conceal from himself the convincing- evidence 

• Larcher. Memoire sur quelques Epoques des Assyriens, p. 380. 


presented in the Old Testament for the existence of the 
Assyrian empire in full strength and splendour ; while, 
according to the conclusions of his system, he was compel- 
led to regard it as tributary to the satrap of Media, and as 
utterly disabled from disputing the commands of that re- 
bellious province. To relieve his argument from this di- 
lemma, he ventures to suggest that the Assyrian monarch, 
finding he was not a match for the Medes, resolved to 
carry his arms against the Israelites, whom he describes as 
a feeble people and long a prey to their neighbours.* Such 
policy on the part of the Ninevite sovereign must appear 
at least very questionable, whatever we may be disposed to 
think of its probability ; and, in fact, unless we are sup- 
plied with stronger reasons than M. Larcher has devised, 
we shall still be slow to believe that a king, who could not 
protect his hereditary dominions against rebellious sub- 
jects, would lead out the flower of his army to make foreign 
conquests in a poor and distant country. 

But as the captives taken during his expedition in the 
land of Israel were sent by the Assyrian ruler into the ci- 
ties of the Medes, it is to be presumed that these cities 
were still under his dominion ; for which reason M. Larcher 
desires his reader to imagine that Shalmaneser had, at a con- 
venient moment, invaded some little canton of Media, and 
conquered the places whither he afterwards despatched his 
prisoners. " Historians," says he, '' have, without doubt, 
kept silence respecting this invasion of Media, because it was 
confined to the conquest of a very small country, and was 
therefore too inconsiderable to deserve to be transmitted 

* Ce prince, ne se sentant point assez puissant pour faire rentrer les 
IVIedes sous son obeissance, aima mieux porter I'efFort de ses armcs centre les 
Israelites, peuple foible, et depuis longtemps la proie de ses voisins. — Me- 
mnire/s <le VAcadcrmr, vol. xlv. p, 382. 


to posterity.* But is not the entire silence of history to be 
taken for a clear proof that no such enterprise ever took 
place, and that we are entitled to consider Media as hav- 
ing been at the period in question, not an independent re- 
public, and the mistress of Assyria, but a province owing 
allegiance and service to the crown of Nineveh ? In a 
word, we shall never see through this dark and intricate 
portion of chronology unless we follow the footsteps of 
Ctesias ; and, upon the authority of his catalogue, admit 
that Arbaces and his successors, though Medes by extrac- 
tion, were, in fact, kings of Assyria, and occupied the 
throne of Ninus : that Dejoces, Phraortes, and Cyaxares 
were sovereigns of Media proper in the latter times of the 
Assyrian empire ; that the last of the princes now men- 
tioned, by his conquest of Nineveh, raised the sceptre of his 
nation to the sovereignty of Asia, and thereby gave to the 
Median empire its true beginning; and, finally, that, for the 
reason now stated, the names of Cyaxares and Astyages 
are recorded not only by Herodotus as kings of Media, 
but by Ctesias as rulers of the Assyrian monarchy. Ni- 
neveh being destroyed, the two Median emperors who 
succeeded to the power of Sarac did not, it is obvious, 
reign in that capital : they continued, it is probable, to 
preside over the administration of affairs at Ecbatana, or 
some other city in their native dominions ; and hence it is 

* " Les historiens ont garde sans doute le silence sur I'expedition de Medie, 
parce qu'elle se borna a la conquete d'un tres-petit pays, et qu'elle fiit trop 
peu considerable pour meriter d'etre transmise a la posterite. Ce silence a 
cependant embarrasse les chronologistes anciens et modernes, qui ne pouvant 
douter, d'apres le temoignage de I'Ecriture, que les Israelites n'aient ete 
transportes dans quelques cantons de la Medie par Salmanasar, se demandent 
comment ce prince a pu transplanter ses prisonniers dans un pays qui ne lui 
appartenoit pas. On ne pourra jamais repondre a cette difficulte qu'en ad- 
mittant que Salmanasar est anterieur a la revoke d'Arbaces, ou en supposant 
avec moi que ce prince s'etoit empare' de quelque petit canton de la Medie, 
a la faveur des troubles qui agitoient ce pays." — Page 383. 


that Herodotus, whose chief attention, in the historical 
work which has come down to us, was directed to the con- 
cerns of the Medes and Persians, gives a Hst of four Me- 
dian kings ; while Ctesias, who copied the archives of the 
successive imperial dynasties, exhibits a catalogue of the 
monarchs who held the chief authority in Asia from Ni- 
nus, in the year B.C. 2126, to the accession of Cyrus in 
B.C. 554!. 

At the hazard of exhausting the patience of the reader, 
as well as of incurring the charge of unskilful repetition, 
I have endeavoured to place the above conclusion in seve- 
ral lights and in different points of view, in the hope that 
I might thereby succeed in making myself understood, 
and avoid, at the same time, those defects in illustration 
which have so often rendered useless the most brilliant 
learning and painful research. 

In addition to the books inserted at page 1G8, volume first, I take leave 
to mention the following, as closely connected with the subject of the fore- 
going chapter : ^^^^ 

Freret. Sur I'Histoire et la Chronologie des Assyriens de Ninive. Memoires 

de I'Academie des Inscrip. et Belles Lettres, vol. 5. 
Sevin. Recherches sur I'histoire d'Assyrie, vol, 3_ 
Larcher. Sur quelques Epoques des Assyriens, vol. 45. 

Chronologie d'Herodote, vol. 7th of his translation of Herodotus. 

Anquetil du Perron. Memoire sur le commencement et la duree de I'Em- 

pire Assyrien. Memoires de I'Academie des Inscrip. et Belles Lettres, 

vol. 40. 
Cumberland's Origines Gentium Antiquissimae. 
Ancient Universal History, vol. 3d, octavo edition. 
Dodwell. Discourse on Sanchoniathon, and Dissertationes Cyprianicae. 
Simson, Edward. Chronica Catholica. 
Desvignoles. Chronologie de I'Histoire Sainte. 
Fourmont. Reflexions Critiques sur les anciens peuples. 
Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii. 

Bouhier. Recherches et Dissertations sur Herodote. 
De Brosses. Memoires sur la monarchic d'Assyrie, vol. 26, Memoires de 

I'Academie, &c. 
Huber. De Genuina jEtate Assyriorum Dissertationes. 
Toprnemine. Dissertations Chronologiques. 




It has already been observed, that, according to the scheme 
of chronology adopted in this work, Abraham was born one 
thousand and seventy-two years after the Flood, and con- 
sequently in the year B.C. 2113 ; which latter year coin- 
cides with the 13th of the reign of Ninus. The state of 
society in those early times, when a great part of the 
richest land in Asia remained still unappropriated, must 
have presented features which bear hardly any resemblance 
to the constitution and policy of crowded countries, 
where rank and wealth are determined by limits which de- 
rive all their authority from the arbitrary enactments of a 
highly-advanced civilization, and where the institutions of 
positive law have long superseded the simple maxims of 
untutored nature. We shall therefore fail in our attempts 
to acquire any knowledge of the Assyrian monarchy in 
the days of Ninus, if we commence our researches under 


the impression that the past may be assimilated to the pre- 
sent ; and that, by examining carefully what we now see, 
we may attain to an accurate acquaintance with that con- 
cerning which we can only read. 

The existence of that ancient empire, as every one 
knows, has been called in question on the very ground of 
the utter incompatibility of such an establishment with 
the state and habits of mankind at that remote era. We 
are reminded not only that Abraham, in the midst of his 
household and flocks, travelled unmolested, and apparent- 
ly without interfering with the rights of any prior occu- 
pant, through part of Mesopotamia, the Syrian desert, and 
even the land of Canaan, but also that the same patriarch, 
at the head of his slaves and hired servants, defeated the 
combined army of four confederated kings, and stripped 
them of their plunder. We are then asked whether it be 
probable that a monarchy, claiming the homage of all the 
scattered tribes which roamed between the Euphrates and 
the Indus, did exist twenty-one centuries before the birth 
of Christ ? Without going so far as Sir William Drum- 
mond has chosen to proceed, and maintain that the father of 
Isaac vanquished on this occasion Nimrod himself, the 
mighty hunter and tyrant of the East, many authors are 
disposed to assert that the victorious patriarch gained at 
least a triumph over the kings of Babylonia and Persia, 
and impressed the terror of his name upon the most 
powerful princes who were in those days known to Asia. 

But a closer inspection of the fact will, without weaken- 
ing the grounds of our belief in the narrative whence it is 
derived, satisfy us that it is by no means inconsistent 
with the general tenor of ancient history. The first form 
of government in all countries appears to have been that 
which is denominated patriarchal ; where the natural in- 
fluence attached to the father of a family extends to the 


various lines of his descendants, and combines in one clan 
or tribe all who bear the same name and own the same 
blood. The sons in the second, and sometimes in the 
third remove, become in like manner princes of their re- 
spective houses ; and find that, in proportion as their pro- 
geny increases, their power and authority, as domestic 
rulers, experience a similar augmentation in kind as well 
as in degree. 

But, in a little time, the necessity is felt of some bond 
of union to perpetuate the connexion of the several 
branches which have sprung from' the parent stock, and 
to consolidate their growing powers not less for order than 
for defence. In the natural course of things, the first- 
born of the eldest family, that is, the lineal descendant of 
the original pati'iarch, is invested with a species of au- 
thority which, while it is sufficiently energetic to wield 
the strength of the united tribes in the event of war or 
commotion, leaves unimpaired, in seasons of tranquillity, 
the rights and freedom of every separate fraternity. After 
the lapse of a few generations, the several kindreds and 
clans settle in different districts, according to their pur- 
suits or fancies ; assuming to themselves a distinctive ap- 
pellation by which they are desirous to be known ; exercis- 
ing, within the bounds of their several communities, all the 
prerogatives which belong to their original form of govern- 
ment; and enjoying the most perfect degree of liberty that 
is found consistent with the uses of social life. 

But even in this advanced state, when families have 
enlarged themselves into tribes, and tribes into consider- 
able nations, they do not refuse to acknowledge a certain 
dependence and subordination towards the ruling branch of 
their house, and the direct representative of their first an- 
cestor. His lineage has an unquestioned pre-eminence 
among all the brethren of the same name ; his authority is 



admitted as a sacred right bequeathed to him by the foun- 
der of their race : and hence, in all cases where the com- 
mon interest is at stake, his voice can summon every kins- 
man to rally round his banner against the public enemy, 
or to appear at his tribunal to assist with advice and 
counsel, whenever the laws of their community have been 
either violated or despised. 

We have a fine illustration of this natural order and 
progress of society in the history of Jacob's family, after 
his twelve sons had become the heads of so many clans, 
and had assumed the tribual staff or sceptre as provincial 
governors. In his own tribe every prince of the House of 
his Fathers was regarded as an hereditary sovereign, led 
the troops in war, and administered justice in peace ; but, 
in all matters of national interest, he was taught to remem- 
ber that his authority was subordinate and derived, and 
that he was bound to obey the commands of him who sat 
in the seat of their common progenitor. 

In other countries, perhaps, where the political consti- 
tution was more decidedly monarchical, the rise of imperial 
power in the elder branch of a family was still more di- 
rect and unambiguous. The sin of Reuben deprived him 
at a very early period of the dignity and influence which 
belonged to primogeniture ; and hence, although the pri- 
vileges of the first-born were by a divine warrant con- 
ferred upon Judah, the full prerogative was never assumed 
by that family, even to the limited extent permitted by the 
theocratical supremacy which all the tribes were bound to 
acknowledge. Among the descendants of Ishmael or of 
Esau, the regular progress of kingly power must have 
been less disturbed or delayed than in the line of Jacob; 
but even in the latter we can perceive evident traces of 
that general principle which, in the formation of society, 
renders the existence of a great number of tribes or sub- 


ordinate nations, not incompatible with the simultaneous 
existence of a f^eneral monarchy to which they all profess 
allegiance, as the source and representative of their united 
strength and authority. In Edom there was very early 
a class of dukes or leaders, whose authority was recog- 
nized by their respective nations ; and who in their turn, 
no doubt, acknowledged the pre-eminence of the senior 
branch, or the clan of the chief. The sacred historian, 
after inserting the catalogue, as well of the pi:inces who 
dwelt in the plain, as of the Horites, or those who inhabit- 
ed the mountains, informs us, that '•' these are the kings 
that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned 
any king over the children of Israel."* 

It is to be observed, in regard to these septs or clans, 
that they all retained the privilege of making war, that is, 
of plundering the lands of their neighbours, without ask- 
ing the consent of the supreme government, or even hold- 
ing themselves accountable for any outrage which they 
might happen to commit with arms in their hands. We 
found that, in the time of the Judges, the several tribes of 
Israel were frequently at war on their own account; either 
to repel the aggressions of the Canaanites, or to extend 
the borders of the inheritance which had fallen to them 
by lot at the division of the land. The armies of Judah 
and Simeon combined for a common object ; the people of 
Dan had recourse. to guile as well as to force, in order to 
secure compensation in one part of the country for the 
loss which their weakness or cowardice had made them 
sustain in another ; and the attentive reader of Scripture 
must have satisfied himself long ago that the troops which 
fought under the banners of Gideon and of Jephthah 

* Genesis xxxvi. 31. 


were drawn almost entirely from their respective tribes or 

Here, then, we have under our view at once a power- 
ful nation which could summon into the field nearly half a 
million of men, divided into twelve tribes, or subordinate 
nations, each of which had a defined territory, a local govern- 
ment, and a separate army.* Were we to suppose that the 
head or prince of every tribe had been denominated king, 
and that the ruler of the first, or royal tribe, as it was some- 
times called, had been invested with the sounding title of 
Tcing of Tiings, we might, with this qualification, fix on 
the Hebrews, immediately after their settlement in the 
land of Canaan, as affording an example of that species of 
empire which was probably established between the Eu- 
phrates and Tigris by Ninus the Assyrian. That the 
name of king w^as not deemed inconsistent with the limited 
authority of a tribual governor, is made manifest by the 
conduct of the Shechemites in the case of Abimelech, and 
by the proposal which was addressed to Gideon by the 
men of Asher, Zebulon, Manasseh, and Naphtali. 

It is obvious, therefore, that the Assyrian empire might 
exist and be acknowledged over a vast extent of country, 
though there were, at the same time, in federal subjection 
to it, a great number of small potentates who exercised in 
their several districts a sovereign authority almost inde- 
pendent. The kings of Elam, of Shinar, of Ellasar, and 
their confederate Tidal, the king of nations, on the one 
hand ; and Bera and Birsha, with their allies, on the 
other ; were nothing more than the heads of clans, who 
enjoyed the privilege of carrying away one another's 
cattle, or of imposing a tribute as the price of forbear- 

Judges XX. 2. 



ance. They are, it is true, called kings, and so were the 
dukes of Edom ; and as every head of a house who owned 
a flock and could protect it, in the desert or on the 
mountain, was entitled to the proud appellation of a king 
of Edom, so every chieftain in Elam or Shinar, who could 
muster men enough to form a marauding expedition, was 
known by his enemies as well as by his friends as a king 
of those countries. 

There is even in Great Britain an extensive range of 
pastoral country, where, till very lately, the social condi- 
tion of the people was not very different from that of the 
Assyrians and Arabians in the days of Abraham. TIk 
clans of the Scottish highlanders bore a great resemblance 
to the tribes of the Hebrews and Edomites. Each con- 
sisted of a certain number of families, more or less closely 
united as blood relations, and all acknowledging one com- 
mon father ; whose son or repi'esentative became the here- 
ditary chief, throughout all their generations. In war, 
the descendant of their honoured progenitor discharged 
the duties of general ; in peace, he administered the simple 
laws which regulated their intercourse and determined their 
mutual ricrhts. Nor were their treaties with other clans 
held valid without his concurrence and formal sanction. 
With reference, again, to the general government of the 
country, they acknowledged themselves bound to perform 
a certain homage, and even to render military service to 
the monarch on the throne ; but they denied his au- 
thority and resisted his power in all matters which con- 
cerned the internal arrangements of their own community, 
and particularly their right to wage war and to make 
peace with the ancient enemies of their name. The here- 
ditary feuds Avhich subsisted between some of the larger 
clans occasioned, from time to time, scenes of the most bar- 
barous violence and cruelty ; laid waste whole valleys, and 


depopulated the surrounding mountains and islands ; and, 
in some instances, to use the expressive words of the 
widow of Tekoah, finally quenched the coal^ and left 
neither name nor remainder of the family upon the earth. 
It was customary, too, for the Caledonian Horites, like 
their venerable prototypes in the East, to descend occa- 
sionally from their lofty deserts, and to inflict upon the 
chiefs or little kings, who dwelt in the plains, all the evils 
which rage and hunger can visit upon social life when it 
is at ease. They carried away the flocks and wasted the 
fields which belonged to their less savage neighbours ; in- 
somuch, that these last, finding that no vigilance could 
protect them against robbers who came upon them as 
suddenly as the fire of God when it falleth from heaven, 
consented, like the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah of old, 
to pay tribute to the Chedorlaomers of the mountains, 
and thereby to obtain from their cupidity that repose and 
security which the sovereign of the whole nation could 
not command.* 

As, then, from the petty wars of the individual Hebrew 
tribes with the contiguous Canaanites, it would be un- 
reasonable to infer that the commonwealth of Israel did 
not, at the same time, exercise authority over the whole, 
and could, as in the case of the Benjaminite war, com- 
mand all their services; and as from the peculiar condi- 
tion of the Scottish clans, who claimed a species of so- 
vereignty and independence, it would be absurd to con- 
clude that, during the long period of Caledonian anarchy, 
there was no king in Scotland : so, I maintain that it is 
equally absurd and unreasonable to pronounce that, be- 

* The tribute paid to tlie highland chiefs for protection or forbearance 
was usually known by the name of JBhck-viaU ; an imposition similar to that 
which was inflicted upon Bera and Birsha. 


cause the chiefs of certain predatory bands on tlie Chal- 
dean and Arabian borders made occasional incursions 
into the neighbouring fields of Palestine, there could be 
no sovereign on the throne of Babylon or Nineveh. 

At all times the governments of the Asiatic empires have 
been remarkable for the slight control which they exer- 
cised over their vassal and tributary nations. Even at the 
present day we can discover marks of that lax and feeble 
sovereignty with which the paramount states were satis- 
fied in reference to the subject tribes. The simple acknow- 
ledgment of superiority, and the occasional payment of a 
tax, constituted the full amount of obeisance which was 
either asked or given ; while nothing was more common 
than to find the rulers of provinces assuming all the attri- 
butes of independence ; refusing not only tribute but even 
military service, and frequently setting at defiance both the 
authority and the power of the imperial crown. The 
Turks, descended from an ancient Asiatic race, have 
brought into Europe these oriental habits ; and hence we 
observe, that, with the highest pretensions to an um'e- 
strained dominion, they hold the reins of government with 
a slacker and more uncertain hand than any other people 
westward of the Bosphorus. 

We should have witnessed the same results in the poli- 
tical condition of the Hebrews, had they ever become a 
warlike or even a commercial nation. Had they, in pur- 
suit of wealth or of power, spread themselves over the sur- 
rounding countries, and raised every one of their tribes to 
the magnitude of a kingdom, it is extremely probable that 
they would, in the end, have exhibited an empire similar 
to that of Hindostan ; consisting of a great number of 
powerful states, owning one head, but following different 
interests, and ever ready to fall in pieces at the touch of a 
disaffected or ambitious rebel. 

In examining, therefore, the state of society in the days 


of Abraham, we ought not too hastily to reject the testi- 
mony of ancient history respecting the existence of an ear- 
ly empire in the rich plains watered by the Tigris and 
Euphrates, merely because we find that there were, at the 
same period, several chieftains who probably acknowledg- 
ed its authority, but who chose, nevertheless, to wage war 
and to commit robberies. Besides, we should recollect, that, 
if we follow the chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch, 
which places the birth of Abraham 942 years after the 
Flood, the " battle of the kings"" must have occurred seve- 
ral years before Ninus ascended the throne, and conse- 
quently before the power of Assyria had attracted to itself 
the splendour by which it was afterwards distinguished. 
The nine hundred and forty-second year after the Deluge 
corresponds to the year B.C. 2243 ; and as the son of Be- 
lus took Babylon and established the imperial throne in 
B.C. 2126, Abraham could not be less than 117 years of 
age at the accession of that prince. The chronology of 
the Septuagint, it is true, by bringing the birth of the pa- 
triarch 130 years farther down, places it in the 13th year 
of Ninus. But whichever of the two schemes we adopt, 
the active part of Abraham's life will coincide with a very 
early portion of the Assyrian empire; on which account 
we are not to be surprised, should we find few tokens of 
imperial grandeur in the transactions of those early days. 
The traditional history of Asia, which appears to have in- 
corporated itself with the annals of more than one of the na- 
tions westward of the Indus, ascribes, indeed, to Ninus many 
splendid victories in the East, and a great accession of ter- 
ritory and of power from the mountains of Armenia to 
the Persian gulf. But such statements are not to be 
received without a due allowance for oriental exaggeration, 
and more especially for that tendency to romance which 
betrays itself in all popular and oral history. A conquest 
in the days of Ninus, when the richest part of the globe 


was still thinly peopled, when few towns were built and 
regular fortresses were unknown, could only be compared 
to the transient passage of a flood ; which swept over the 
face of the country, changed its aspect for a moment, and 
left it again to resume immediately its former appearance. 
A large army in those days must have passed, as it were, 
through an unresisting medium ; measuring the dimen- 
sions of a country rather than taking possession of it ; and 
showing its power rather than exerting its skill or its valour 
in actual warfare. In most parts of its course, the mi- 
litary array of Ninus could only encounter wandering 
herdsmen, or lawless freebooters. Here and there, per- 
haps, a nomadic village might meet their eyes, or a large 
enclosed place called a town, surrounded with a wall of 
mud, and filled with oxen and camels, sheep and asses — the 
wealth of that primitive order of men who first replenished 
the extensive provinces of Assyria and Persia. 

Avoiding all undue scepticism in regard to ancient 
times, we may yet use our discretion in reducing to the li- 
mits of probability the narratives of the Grecian chroniclers 
respecting the affairs of Asia. Ctesias found, in the records 
to which he obtained access, no details or descriptions of 
the conquests achieved by the first rulers of the great em- 
pire ; for which reason, his account of the exploits of Ni- 
nus is not entitled to more particular consideration or cre- 
dit than the fables which he has repeated on other sub- 
jects, or than the splendid fictions which Herodotus re- 
ceived from the priests of Egypt. His catalogue commands 
our belief, because it professes to be a copy of public and 
well-authenticated deeds ; but his narrative of events rests 
upon the general authority of his character, which, owing 
to his excessive credulity, has never stood very high.* 

• " Who can see Ninus at the head of millions of men, at a time when 
the earth must have been thinly inhabited ; when mankind must have been 


The learned have been divided in their opinions respect- 
ins Chushan-Rishathaim, who, as we are informed in the 
book of Judges, conquered the Hebrews, and kept them 
in subjection eight years.* Josephus calls him an Assy- 
rian, and even describes him as king of Assyria ; adding, 
that when the Israelites under Othniel had vanquished 
him in battle, they drove Chushan and his Assyrians from 
Canaan, and compelled them to repass the Euphrates.-f- 
It is well known to every reader of ancient history, that 
the Greeks usually confounded the Assyrians with the Sy- 
rians ; making hardly any distinction between the nations 
on this side of the Euphrates and those who dwelt beyond 
it, and even those whose territory was situated eastward of 
the Tigris. Herodotus remarks, that the people who, by 
the Greeks, are called Syrians, are by the Barbarians de- 
nominated Assyrians.^ Strabo, too, mentions that Ninus 
and Semiramis were styled Syrians, and that Nineveh was 
reckoned the capital of Syria.§ The same language is 
used by Diodorus Siculus, Homer, Pindar, and Cicero ; 
all of whom used indiscriminately the terms Syrian and 
Assyrian as applicable to the inhabitants of Western Asia. 
But the sacred writings always observe the proper distinc- 
tion between the people now named : and as Chushan, in 
the book of Judges, is called the king of Mesopotamia, we 

a good deal in a state of simplicity and nature ? who can read this assertion 
without arraigning the historian of falsehood and forgery ? Or who can 
praise his history of Semiramis ; her mighty valour and heroic deeds at the 
age of twenty or thereabouts ; her two millions of men employed in the 
building of Babylon ; her three hundred thousand skins of black oxen made up 
in the form of elephants, and other things of this nature ; and not conclude, 
that what contained it was no genuine liistory, but a most barefaced romance ? 
In a word, his Assyrian history is most evidently calculated to astonish and 
amaze, and to strain credulity beyond all possible bounds."— ^»cJe«< Unim 
versal History, vol. iii. p. 336, 8vo edit. 

* Judges, iii. 8. "t- Antiq. Jud. lib. v. c. 3. 

J Herodot. lib. vii. C 63. 'Ouroi %i i-ffo (tiv E.XXyivav'nca.Xuv^o'S^v^m, uvro Si ruv 

5 Geog. lib. ii. T??; Ss 'Stfii^a/xiSoi rou N/vau "Sueuv Xtyof/iivav- 


may be certain that the inspired author did not mean to 
assert that the oppressor of the Hebrews was the monarch 
of Assyria, the seat of whose power was at Nineveh. 

" The kings of Assyria," as Jackson observes, " were 
never called kings of Mesopotamia ;" nor do we ever read 
of any king of Mesopotamia after the Assyrians had con- 
quered that country. This kingdom of Mesopotamian 
Syria was afterwards divided into many lesser kingdoms, 
which became subject to the Syrian kingdoms on this side 
of the Euphrates, at Zobah and Damascus. These were 
the kingdoms of Syria Damascena, between the moun- 
tains of Libanus and Anti-libanus, and Aram Zobah in 
Coele-syria. The latter of these principalities seems to be 
alluded to in the fourteenth chapter of the first book of 
Samuel ; where it is said, that " Saul took the kingdom 
over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every 
side, against Moab, and against the children of Amnion, 
and against Edora, and against the kings of Zobah, and 
against the Philistines." The same kingdom, in the reign 
of David, seems to have comprehended, either as confede- 
rated or tributary, the Mesopotamian Syria as well as that 
portion of the country which belonged to Damascus; the 
Aram Dammasek of some authors, and the Syria Damas- 
cena of others : For after the king of Israel had conquer- 
ed the Jebusites, and taken from them the fortress of 
mount Zion, he is said to have waged war with Hadad- 
Ezer, king of Zobah, and subdued him and the Syrians of 
Damascus who assisted him, at the river Euphrates.* 

At all events, there is reason to conclude, that, in the 
times of the Hebrew judges, the Assyrians did not exercise 
a direct dominion over any part of the upper Asia, or of 

* 2 Samuel, chap. x. 6 — 16, &c. 


Mesopotamia, or over any one of the several kingdoms 
which were situated westward of the Euphrates. Whether^ 
indeed, there subsisted between these states and the throne 
of Nineveh any relations corresponding to those of supe- 
rior and vassal, or of patron and client, it would be vain 
to inquire, because we have no means of determining. It is 
more probable, upon the whole, that the king of Mesopo- 
tamia was at the head of an independent and sovereign state, 
as were also the kings of Damascus and Zobah ; because, 
had they possessed any claim upon the assistance of the 
Assyrian monarch, we cannot discover a reason why, dur- 
ing the victorious career of David and Solomon, the im- 
perial armies were not occasionally sent into Syria to pro- 
tect the interests of their dependants and allies. Had the 
Assyrians enjoyed any degree of authority in the king- 
doms of Mesopotamia or Damascus, they must have been 
brought into contact with the Hebrew princes long before 
the reign of Menahem. 

On the basis of these facts, Jackson thinks himself entitled 
to rest a conclusion, "with which, indeed, his theory is closely 
connected, namely, that " the Assyrian kings had made no 
conquests in Mesopotamia, or on this side the Euphrates, in 
Syria and Phenicia, till about 1246 after Ninus began to 
reign. We find/' says he, " in the history of Scripture, that 
Mesopotamia and Syria had very anciently kings of their 
own, who were powerful on this side the river Euphrates : 
and we find, in the same history, when it was that those 
countries became subject to the Assyrian empire, and that 
they were not conquered or so much as invaded by the 
the kings of Assyria till the year before Christ 770."* 

I find very little difference of opinion among historians 

Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 285, 


and chronographers relative to the point now stated. From 
Diodorus Siculus, downward s^ every writer on Assyrian 
affairs has acknowledged that, during the lapse of ten or 
twelve centuries, nothing worthy of notice was performed 
by the successors of Ninus. Withdrawing themselves 
from the public eye, they chose to administer the laws and 
preserve the peace of the country by means of subordinate 
officers ; who represented in the capital, as well as in the 
provinces, the vigilance and authority of the monarch. 
The example of Ninyas, in this respect, appears to have 
been followed by a great number of his descendants. 

But we are not to imagine that cowardice or an aversion 
to business was the sole cause of that seclusion which ren- 
dered the person of an Assyrian prince almost entirely un- 
known to his subjects. On the contrary, the arrangements 
made by Ninyas for the government of his kingdom indi- 
cate a degree of political wisdom and foresight which could 
not be matured in a feeble and licentious mind. Diodorus 
informs us, that he drew from every province a certain 
number of troops, who continued only one year in arms, 
and were usually encamped in the neighbourhood of the 
great city. When their period of service expired, the 
soldiers were relieved, and allowed to return to their na- 
tive country ; while a fresh body of recruits was ordered 
up to supply their place in the camp at Nineveh. 

In this way the sovereign found himself always sur- 
rounded with a powerful force, devoted to his service and 
under his immediate command ; while the military chiefs, 
who were brought together from different regions, and 
who spoke different languages, found it impossible, in the 
short space of a year, to enter into any combination or 
conspiracy against his government. He was satisfied that 
little union or confidence could exist between the Bac- 
trian and the Babylonian, or between the polished Syrian 


and the barbarian of mount Caucasus. But even the pos- 
sibiUty of combination was to be avoided : and accordingly, 
when the services of the year wei-e terminated, the com- 
manders were dispersed over the whole empire, probably 
to meet no more.* 

The life and actions of Ninyas, as Sir William Drum- 
mond observes, were enveloped in obscurity. Inaccessible 
to strangers ; communicating only in private with the 
chiefs of the state and of the army, and surrounded dur- 
ing his hours of relaxation by eunuchs and concubineS;, 
the great monarch of Assyria seldom, or perhaps never, 
showed himself in public. The fears, the ignorance, and 
the superstition of the people, probably guided by the ar- 
tifices of the priests, soon elevated the invisible prince to 
the rank of a god ; and we find few of the successors of 
Ninyas, whose names do not import that those who had 
borne them had been admitted to the honours of the apo- 

Pursuing this cautious policy, of which we may sup- 
pose the good effects soon rendered themselves apparent, 
the kings of Assyria abstained alike from foreign conquest 
and from domestic innovation. Their names, indeed, are 
connected with so few of those events which give interest 
to the page of history, that Diodorus has omitted to record 
them ; passing at once from Ninyas to that unfortunate 
member of his family who, as the Sicilian annalist believ- 
ed, lost at once his crown and his life in the ruins of his 
capital. It is, therefore, extremely probable that the He- 
brews, in the days of their Judges, never felt the power 
of the Assyrian's rod ; and that Chushan-Rishathaim was 

* Dioil. Sicul. lib. ii. c. 21, and Sir W. Drummond's Origines, vol. i. 
p. 290. 

+ Origines, vol. i. p. 293. 

Chap. IL] AND niOFANE HISTORY. . 143 

only the sovereign of one of those smaller kingdoms which 
were scattered over Syria and the upper part of Mesopo- 

Dr Hales, adopting the sentiments of certain pious com- 
mentators on the Old Testament, seems to think that there 
was something miraculous in the abstinence of the Assyrian 
monarchs respecting the land of Canaan. " By a signal 
providence," says he, " the mighty Assyrian power was 
restrained and kept witliin its proper bounds, eastward of 
the river Euphrates, in order, we may presume, that it 
should not interfere with the divine grant of the promised 
land to the Israelites, from the great river Euphrates 
northwards to the river Nile southwards, and from Ara- 
bia eastwards to the great sea or Mediterranean westwards, 
during the whole time of its accomplishment ; at first by 
Moses and Joshua, and afterwards by Saul, David, and 
Solomon. But when the Israelites grew great and pros- 
perous, and waxed wanton and corrupt, and forgot the 
Lord their God, and fell into rebellion and idolatry ; then, 
as they had been repeatedly warned by Moses and the 
prophets, and not before, ' God stirred the spirit of the 
Assyrian and Babylonian Mngs against them in succes- 
sion, until both kingdoms of Israel and Judah were over- 
thrown, and the whole nation carried into captivity."* 

It may, perhaps, be urged against the chronological 
scheme which I have adopted, and which carries the origin 
of the Assyrian monarchy up to the twenty-first century be- 
fore Christ, that I have just admitted the very facts upon 
which Marsham, Newton, and others, endeavoured to es- 
tablish their opinion, that the Assyrian empire did not 
begin to exist till a short time before the accession of Pul, 

• Analysis of Ancient Chronology, vol. iii. p. 57, 58. 


or about eight hundred years prior to the Christian era. 
You allow, it might be remarked, that in the sacred writ- 
ings no mention is made of the Assyrian empire during 
the long period of the Hebrew commonwealth, nor until 
more than three centuries after the reign of David ; and, 
in making this concession, you deprive yourself of the 
only satisfactory ground on which you can ever hope to 
secure our belief, for the existence of the kingdom said to 
have been founded before the days of Abraham, by Ninus, 
the son of Belus. 

In reply to such observations it might reasonably be 
stated, that the silence of Scripture proves nothing more 
than that, during the interval in question, the Assyrians 
had no intercourse, Avhether in peace or war, with the 
Hebrew people ; whose affairs alone employed the pen of 
the inspired historian. In the whole book of Judges, as 
well as in the two which bear the name of Samuel, the 
narrative of which embraces a period of nearly six hun- 
dred, years, no allusion is made to Egypt, the country 
with which, above all others, the Israelites were best ac- 
quainted ; and it is not until the days of Solomon that we 
find the kingdom of the Pharaohs noticed as occupying a 
place in the geographical chart of Jewish writers. But such 
an omission will not warrant the inference, that during six 
centuries the power of Egypt was extinct. The Grecian 
kingdoms and republics, too, had, in the meanwhile, es- 
tablished their foundations, and begun to awaken an in- 
terest along the western shores of Asia ; but of these cele- 
brated communities no trace can be found in the earlier 
part of the sacred volume. The monarchies of India and 
China are equally unnoticed in the Hebrew annals ; but 
we are not thence to infer that no government was formed 
in the great eastern continent until after the canon of 

Scripture was completed, or that civil society had made 



no progress in Europe before the captivity of Judah and 
of Israel. The mere silence of the sacred page, therefore, 
is not to be held conclusive against the existence of the 
ancient Assyrian empire ; and more especially when we 
are assured by a pagan author that, during the very period 
to which our attention is now directed, the sovereigns of 
that country pursued a pacific policy, and sought not 
either to distinguish their reigns or to extend their borders 
by means of warlike expeditions. 

But we are not compelled to place our whole reliance 
upon this negative argument. The Scripture does, in 
fact, mention the Assyrian empire, or, at least, the forma- 
tion of a political society with a regular government, at a 
very early period after the Flood. The erection of such 
cities as Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen, implies 
the existence not only of a considerable population in those 
parts of the earth, but also of laws, municipal institutions, 
and even of those gradations of rank and authority which 
always accompany the progress of civilized life. Besides, 
the sacred annalist who relates the particulars now men- 
tioned, informs us, in the very same page, that the begin- 
ning of regal power had already been established at Babel : 
and, if we may be allowed to draw any inference from the 
connexion of the several parts of the narrative, we may 
reasonably conclude that the object which Nimrod is said 
to have accomplished in his settlement on the Euphrates, 
was meditated by Ashur when he went out to found a 
nation on the margin of the Tigris.* 

That Assyria had acquired a formidable name before 
the children of Israel left Egypt, may be learned from 
the prediction of Balaam relative to the fate of the Kenites, 

* Genesis x. 11, 12. 


a people of Arabia. " And he looked on the Kenites, and 
took up his parable and said, Strong is thy dwelling-place, 
and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the 
Kenite shall be wasted, until Ashur shall carry thee away 
captive.""* From this prophecy we must admit either 
that the Assyrians were known as a powerful nation in the 
days of Balaam, or that the whole passage was fabricated 
after the Babylonian captivity, when the might of Ashur 
had been felt by the Jews themselves : For it is absurd to 
imagine that the southsayer, in his prophetic description, 
would use the name of a kingdom which had then no 
existence, and which indeed we are desired to believe did 
not begin to exist till nearly a thousand years afterwards. 
Some author has observed, in respect to this matter, that 
we cannot but admire so much the more the power of the 
spirit in Balaam, inasmuch as he did not only foretell a 
future event, but even specified the agent through whose 
means it was to be brought to pass, although that agent 
was not to have any being for many hundred years.*}* 
But if the son of Beor spoke of a people who were not 
yet in existence, his language must have been perfectly 
unintelligible to the prince of Moab, to whom it was first 
addressed, and not less destitute of meaning when re- 
peated to the Hebrews by their Divine lawgiver. We 
are, therefore, entitled to conclude that Ashur or Assyria 
had already risen to some eminence as a warlike nation, 
and also that her power was not unknown to the eloquent 
seer who had come from Aram out of the mountains of 
the East.J 

• Numbers xxiv. 21, 22. 

f I have mislaid the reference to this passage, but am sure that it Is to 
be found in some one of the Commentators. 
± Numbers xxiii. 7. 


Nor does there appear to be any inconsistency in main- 
taining that the Assyrian empire may have possessed all 
the antiquity ascribed to it by Ctesias, and in admitting 
at the same time that, until a period comparatively recent, 
the monarchs of Assyria did not extend their arms towards 
either the west or the north. The opinion of Dionysius 
of Halicarnassus in this particular seems to combine both 
views, while it confirms the soundness of each. "The an- 
cient empire of the Assyrians," says he, " though it reaches 
back to the fabulous ages, occupied but a moderate por- 
tion of Asia," — a remark which at once recognizes the chro- 
nological canon of Ctesias and the historical statement of 

Anquetil du Perron has inserted, in the fortieth volume 
of the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions, an essay of 
considerable research and learning; the main object of which 
is to reconcile the apparent discrepancy which is known to 
exist in the works of Ctesias and of Herodotus. That 
he has failed in his attempt is chiefly owing to the be- 
wildering effect of the principle which he followed, and 
which would not permit him to separate the revolution or 
change of dynasty which took place in the time of Ar- 
baces, from the revolt in the year B.C. 710, the epoch, as 
it has been thought, of Median independence. But, 
without recurring again to this subject, which has already 
occupied too much of our attention, I take leave to ob- 
serve, that the position of Herodotus will be fully reconciled 
with the record of Ctesias, so soon as we allow ourselves 
to perceive that the one spoke of the entire duration of the 

* Nam antiquum illud Assyriorum imperium retro ad fabulosa usque 
pertingens tempora modicam quandam Asife partem obtinuit. Deinde in 

Medos translatum, &c Antiq, Rom. lib. i. c, 2. Ex versione Gelenii. 

Hanovice 1615, 


Assyrian royalty, the other of the period during which it 
embraced a certain portion of Asia. 

Resuming at length the topic from which the above re- 
marks must be considered as a digression, we are forced 
to acknowledge that history supplies us with no means of 
determining satisfactorily, whether the fierce Chushan 
Rishathaim was an independent sovereign, or merely a 
general or satrap under the monarch of Assyria. Freret 
tells us, that he is very much inclined to regard Chushan 
as a military chief holding a command in the Assyrian 
province of Aram Naharaim; and, moreover, that, in the 
course of the expedition directed against the Hebrews, he 
likewise subdued the Kenites, the Arabian tribe whose 
evil day had been foretold by Balaam. This leader hav- 
ing been defeated and slain by Othniel, the Assyrians are 
supposed by the learned Academician to have renounced 
all thought of keeping possession of Palestine ; for which 
reason there is no more mention made of them in the 
Bible till the time of Uzziah, kingof Judah, and of Mena- 
hem, king of Israel, about 250 years after the dedication 
of the temple. 

David and Solomon, he farther remarks, not only de- 
feated several kings of Syria, but even carried their vic- 
torious arms as far as the city of Thapsacus, and to the 
very banks of the Euphrates. David, moreover, van- 
quished a body of troops drawn from Mesopotamia, whom 
the king of the Ammonites had called to his assistance ; 
and yet no notice is taken of the monarchs of Assyria, 
either in the history of the son of Jesse or of his successors 
for more than 250 years : whether it be that this empire 
was destroyed, or at least weakened, by some revolution 
which had favoured the revolt of the southern provinces ; 
or whether the softness and incapacity of the princes at 


that time on the throne made them neglect the defence of 
their frontiers. The wars which the tributary kings of 
Mesopotamia and of Syria had to maintain against the 
Hebrews were not, he supposes, of sufficiently great impor- 
tance in the eyes of those effeminate monarchs, to disturb 
the repose which they enjoyed at Nineveh. The silence of 
Scripture respecting the kings of Assyria certainly proves 
that they had no immediate quarrel with the Jews before 
the days of Menahem ; and, consequently, that their em- 
pire had not in the reign of David the extent which 
Ctesias and other writers assign to it. But to conclude, 
from these factS;, that the Assyrian monarchy did not exist 
at all in the times of the first Hebrew princes, or even 
that it did not flourish at a much earlier period, would 
betray a species of logic equally irregular and unsatisfac- 

Dr Hales had the merit, such as it is, of devising a 
scheme whereby all difficulties were removed and all chro- 
nological calculations entirely superseded. He introduced, 
with a single movement of his pen, an interregnum, as he 
chose to call it, of 985 years ; during which, we are in- 
structed to believe, there were no kings in Assyria. He 
adopts the same method with regard to Persia ; for, after 
having allowed to that country a dynasty of eleven sove- 
reigns from Kaiumarath to Gershab, which occupied a space 
exceeding five centuries, he at once inserts a blank of 
more than a thousand years ; which he properly acknow- 
ledges to be a veri/ long interregnum. But, unfortunately 
for Dr Hales's scheme, he finds it necessary to put an end 
to the Assyrian interregnum, and to set a fresh dynasty 
on the throne, at a time when no history, sacred or profane, 

• Essai sur I'Histoire et la Chronologic des Assyriens de Ninive. Me- 
moires de TAcademie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, vol. v. p. 336. 


except the very one which he has rejected, affords the 
shghtest hint that there was any king whatever in the land 
of Ashur. From B.C. 2237, down to B.C. 1252, the crown 
of Assyria, he believes, was in abeyance ; the title of sove- 
reign was dormant ; although, according to the best histo- 
rians and chronographers, it was during the earlier part of 
that same interval that Ninus, his wife, and his son, 
swayed the sceptre of Nineveh and laid the foundations 
of their extensive empire. But, admitting the interregnum, 
the reader must be disposed to ask, as I suggested in the 
foregoing chapter, what political event occurred in Assyria 
about the middle of the thirteenth century before Christ, 
which has any claim to be regarded as the commencement 
of a new era? The year 1230 before the epoch of re- 
demption nearly coincides with the judicature of Ibzan, 
one of the Hebrew judges; at which time there appeared 
no symptom of reviving strength in the government of 
Assyria, either upon the Euphrates or in the upper dis- 
tricts of Mesopotamia. So far, therefore, as we shall con- 
sent to be guided in our opinions by the facts of ancient 
history, and more particularly of sacred history, we must 
admit that no reason can be alleged for rejecting the first 
twenty-four kings in the Ctesian list, which might not be 
employed for cancelling the remaining twelve. 

Herodotus, it is true, has distinctly asserted, that the 
Assyrians had governed upper Asia not more than 520 
years at the time when their empire was weakened by the 
revolt of the Medes, — an event which is usually thought to 
have occurred about the year B.C. 710. The joint sum 
of these two numbers amounts to 1230 ; and hence seve- 
ral chronologers of the present day seem inclined to fix 
the origin of the Assyrian monarchy and the reign of Ni- 
nus at that particular epoch. There is, at least, an air of 
consistency in the conclusions of those writers who ac- 


knowledge no empire on the Tigris before the date indi- 
cated by Herodotus ; and as, by this abbreviated scheme, 
we should be deprived of nothing more than a bare list of 
names, the interest and satisfaction enjoyed by the histori- 
cal reader would not be greatly diminished. But Dr Hales 
halts between the two systems. He cannot consent to re- 
linquish the ancient monarchy, and yet he agrees with 
those who maintain that there are no traces of its exist- 
ence ; wherefore, to accommodate all differences, he intro- 
duces his moderate interregnum of a thousand years, and 
then sets out with a new dynasty. 

Like all half-measures, that of Dr Hales is a bad one. 
It is at once so inconsistent and improbable, that most 
readers would give a decided preference to the curtailed 
scheme of Marsham and Newton, and adopt the belief 
that, until the days of Pul, there was neither king nor go- 
vernment in Assyria. He does not even adopt entirely the 
modified views of Dr Gillies, whose reasoning, it would 
appear, induced him to depart from the track marked out 
by Ctesias. 

This modern writer maintains that there were two cities 
called Nineveh ; one on the eastern bank of the Tigris, op- 
posite to the spot where Mosul now stands, and another 
in the Babylonian plain, at an equal distance from the two 
great rivers by which that plain is watered. The latter, he 
remarks, was the capital of Ninus; who, in the middle of the 
thirteenth century before the Christian era, is said to have 
overrun a great part of Asia, and, finally, to have adopt- 
ed measures for holding in subjection many cities and pro- 
vinces east of the Euphrates, flourishing in arts and in- 
dustry, and long connected with each other in commercial 
intercourse.* " He was succeeded on the throne by Semi- 

* History of Greece, part the second, vol. i. p. 87, edition 1820. 


ramis, who, in her turn, handed the sceptre to Ninyas their 
son ; the policy of which last sovereign was adopted and 
maintained for the space of four centuries by a line of 
seventeen princes, whose mild and pacific reigns, leaving 
no traces of blood behind them, have escaped the notice of 
history.* At the end of that period, Pul, king of Nine- 
veh, and the eighteenth successor of Ninyas, assumed the 
command of his own armies, and, crossing the Euphrates, 
levied contributions in Syria. His son, Tiglathpileser, 
conquered Damascus, a Syrian city of great antiquity and 
opulence, slew its king, Rezin, and carried the most dis- 
tinguished portion of his subjects into captivity. ""f- 

It must have been observed that Dr Hales, instead of 
boldly following Dr Gillies, and bringing down Ninus and 
his heroic queen to the middle of the thirteenth century 
before the vulgar era, chooses again to make a compromise 
with difficulties. He cuts off from the catalogue of Cte- 
sias the names of the last twelve kings which the Greek 
physician had compiled ; and, changing the first of them 
into Ninus the second, places him on the throne in the 
year B.C. 1252 as the founder of a new dynasty, which 
continues to govern the Assyrians during the long period 
of 431 years.j 

It is obvious, therefore, that the authority of Herodo- 
tus, supported only by the borrowed testimony of Appian 
and of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, is the sole warrant and 
guide to those modern writers, who date the origin of 
Nineveh and of the Assyrian empire about 1230 years 
before the birth of Christ, — an epoch, I must once more 
repeat, which presents no memorial in history to confirm 

• History of Greece, part the second, vol. i. p. 95. 

f Ibid, pages 95, 96. 

+ Analysis of Ancient Chronology, vol. iii. p. 54. 


the distinction which has been so perseveringly bestowed 
upon it. Nay, upon a full review of all the circumstances 
attending the two cases, it appears less improbable that an 
ambitious prince should have overrun the central parts of 
Asia, twenty centuries before the reign of Augustus, and 
finally employed his warriors in the erection of a city or 
stronghold on the banks of the Tigris, than that a similar 
character a thousand years afterwards should subdue the 
finest regions and most powerful nations in the world, and 
yet leave among his contemporaries no impression by 
which, in future times, his progress might be traced. 
An occasion will hereafter occur for inquiring into the 
soundness of the opinion entertained by Dr Gillies rela- 
tive to the situation of Nineveh, as well as in regard to 
the question whether there ever were in Assyria two cities 
which bore that name ; meanwhile, it may be asserted 
that the general current of history, not less than the ac- 
tual condition of society in Syria and Mesopotamia, at the 
time when the kingly government commenced among the 
Hebrews, oppose an insuperable obstacle to our belief that 
the Assyrian empire could either have originated, or re- 
ceived any considerable increase, at so late a period. Syn- 
cellus relates that, in the time of Abraham, Ninus and 
Semiramis ruled over the whole of Asia, — an exaggerated 
expression, no doubt, but which at least marks the date 
of Assyrian power.* Constantine Manasses, in like man- 
ner, has recorded in his annals, that Belus the father of 
Ninus was contemporary with the same patriarch ; that 
he governed the Assyrians, and was after his death re- 
spected and worshipped as a god, under the name of 
Chronus or Saturn. -f* The authority of Plato, also, has 

" Kara rourev Kffffv^iai Kai rns Kaicci WKtm ttaciXiutiv Nr»ay, Hat 'S^tfti^ocf^if 
ifAou. — Syncelli Chronographia, p. 87. 

t Annales, p. 53, cited by Jackson, vol. i. p. 261. 


been adduced in support of the same views. In the third 
book of his Laws, he asserts that the people of Assyria 
governed a great part of Asia several ages before the Tro- 
jan war, — a I'emark which at least indicates the tradition 
which prevailed on that subject in the learned world, four 
centuries prior to the Christian era.* We may, therefore, 
conclude that, if there are difficulties in the chronological 
system which assumes the greater antiquity of the Assy- 
rian empire, there are not fewer in the hypothesis which 
leads us to seek its origin only 1230 years before the revela- 
tion of Christianity ; because, if it appears unreasonable to 
suppose that the power of such a kingdom should during 
so many centuries have been confined by the Syrian de- 
sert on the west, there is certainly not less improbability 
' in the opinion that, in the full tide of its youth and vigour, 
it should have restricted itself four or five hundred years 
to the same limits, and not once have attempted to extend 
its borders towards Egypt and the Mediterranean sea. In 
a word, the inactivity of the Assyrian kings, from the 
thirteenth to the eighth century before Christ, is more 
consistent with the supposed antiquity of their race, and 
with the soft and effeminate manners by which they were 
distinguished, than with the notion of a conquering dy- 
nasty which had just started up to grasp the sceptre of 
Asia, and to reduce to the condition of vassals all the 
tribes of the east and of the west.'j' 

• TXXaruiitis Nof^av, T- p. 532, edit. Basileae, 1534. 

+ To avoid the appearance of controversy, I present the argument of Dr 
Gillies in a note. "■ It is generally said that the empire of the Assyrians 
began before the days of Abram ; that it extended over all southern Asia ; 
that its capital was Nineveh in Atur, the eastern district beyond the Tigris ; 
and that this capital, now the seat of the modern 3Iosul, subsisted with the 
empire itself thirteen hundred years, from the triumphs of Ninus and Se- 
miramis to the voluptuous reign of Sardanapalus, who was destroyed by his 
provincial governors, Belesys the Babylonian, and Arbaces the Blede, 

Chap. II.] AND PROFANE HlSTOllY. 155 

The king of Mesopotamia was the first instrument em- 
ployed by Divine Providence for punishing the ingrati- 
tude and idolatry of the chosen people. Being delivered 
by the valour of Othniel from a painful servitude of eight 
years, the Hebrews enjoyed a long interval of repose and 
prosperity ; but, not having yet learned how to reconcile 
good fortune with innocence, they relapsed once more 
into their superstitious usages, worshipped the gods of the 
nations among whom they dwelt, and provoked again the 
anger of Jehovah. A people whose wisdom and piety 
never returned but with affliction, could only be reformed 
by the severity of their taskmasters ; for which reason 
" the Lord strengthened Elon the king of Moab against 

seven hundred and forty-seven years before the Christian era. Not to men- 
tion that the wonderful stability of the dynasty of Ninus, during the space 
of thirteen hundred years, is incompatible with the varied revolutions in 
southern Asia during all succeeding periods, and those stubborn causes 
above explained, from which such perpetual changes have never ceased to 
flow, this early, extensive, and durable monarchy is so totally inconsistent 
with the divided state of the ancient world, as represented in sacred and pro- 
fane authors, that the great Newton and his few followers in chronology are 
solicitous to reject the whole story as fictitious, and to reckon the era of Ni- 
neveh as a seat of empire, to begin about the same time that other chrono- 
logers have thought fit to end it. According to this less extravagant system, 
the first great Assyrian conqueror was Pul, who appeared in that lofty cha- 
racter, seven hundred and seventy-one years before Christ, interposing with 
a strong arm in the affairs of Syria, and by the plenitude of his power con- 
firming the murderous Menahem in the usurped kingdom of Israel. But 
even this system of Newton's is invalidated by the best Greek historians, and 
overthrown by the authority of Scripture, which describes Nineveh, in the 
century before Pul, with the same characteristic majesty in which that capi- 
tal comes forward twelve hundred years before Christ, in profane authors, as 
a city of wonderful extent, and still more wonderful populousness, and the 
seat of a mighty monarch, whose measures of government were concerted in 
the council of his princes and ministers. That such a dominion subsisted 
twelve hundred years before Christ at Mosul, and uninterruptedly continued 
there for many following centuries, is disproved by the strongest evidence. 
The great Nineveh, therefore, could not occupy the site usually assigned to 
it," &c. 

After this, the learned historiographer goes on to prove that Ninus built 
the proper Nineveh about B.C. 1230, and founded the only Assyrian em- 
pire which is known to Greek authors. — Vol. i. part ii. p. 11- 


Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the 
Lord. And he gathered unto him the children of Amnion 
and Amalek, and went and smote Israel and possessed the 
city of palm trees. So the children of Israel served Eg- 
lon, the king of Moab, eighteen years.* 

I. The origin of the Moabites can be traced to that 
painful occurrence in the history of Lot, which is mentioned 
by the sacred writer in the nineteenth chapter of Genesis. 
In process of time we find the descendants of this patriarch 
in possession of a considerable tract of country on the 
borders of Arabia, which they appear to have used princi- 
pally for the feeding of cattle, the favourite property of 
all the Hebrew tribes. Owing, it is probable, to the re- 
lationship which subsisted between the Moabites and the 
children of Israel, the latter, when on their march from 
Egypt to Canaan, were forbidden to waste their lands or 
to injure their persons.-f" But this forbearance on the part 
of Moses did not remove the apprehensions of Balak ^the 
prince of the district ; who, despairing of being able to re- 
pel by force of arms so powerful a body of invaders, had 
recourse to supernatural arts, with the view of breaking 
their strength in the field of battle. Perhaps the defeat 
which they had recently sustained from the king of the 
Amorites, depressed at this time the spirits and weakened 
the hands of the Moabitic shepherds.^ At all events, 
they had more confidence in the wicked policy suggested 

* Judges iii. 12, 13, 14. 

•)■ Deut. ii. 8, 9. And when we passed by from our brethren the children 
of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and 
from Ezion-geber, we turned, and passed by the way of the wilderness of 
Moab. And the Lord said unto me. Distress not the Moabites, neither 
contend with them in battle ; for I will not give thee of their land for a 
possession ; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a posses- 

t Numbers xxi. 28. 


to them by the soothsayer, than in the goodness of their 
cause or the skill of their warriors. The miserable issue 
of Balaam's counsel is known to every reader of Scripture. 
The hand of God, too, was heavy upon the Israelites for 
their repeated transgressions in the licentious worship of 
Baal-peor ; while they, in their turn, took revenge on the 
children of Moab, and particularly on the Midianites, 
both of whom had lent themselves to the accomplishment 
of the nefarious plan recommended by the prophet of 

After the lapse of seventy or eighty years, the Moab- 
ites under Eglon their king had acquired so much strength, 
that, upon entering into an alliance with the people of 
Ammon and Amalek, they found themselves equal to 
an invasion of the united tribes of Israel. The stratagem 
of Ehud, by which the yoke of Moab was subsequently 
broken, has been described in a former chapter ; and the 
victory which was immediately afterwards gained by the 
same chief, at the city of palm trees, appears to have so 
completely reduced their military resources, that they did 
not again lift arms against the Hebrews all the days of the 
Judges. On the contrary, there is some ground for be- 
lieving that the friendly sentiments which Moses wished 
to preserve between his people and the Moabites, revived 
after this period ; for we read that when a sore famine 
oppressed the country of the Hebrews, some of them went 
down to sojourn in the land of Moab, where they were 
received with much kindness, and allowed to remain until 
Jehovah visited his people in giving them bread.* 

But in the reign of Saul, war was renewed between these 
two kindred nations. When the monarch now named was 
confirmed in his kingdom, he fought against all his ene- 

* Rutli i. 1—6. 


mies on every side, against Moab, and against the chil- 
dren of Ammon, and against Edoni, and against the kings 
of Zobah, and against the Philistines ; and hence it was 
that when David found it necessary to flee from the face 
of his royal master, he took refuge among the Moabites, 
and even placed in their hands the care of his father and 
mother, until his affairs should take a more prosperous 

But the confidence which David reposed in the people 
of Moab ceased upon the full establishment of his power 
as king of Israel. Adopting the quarrel of his predecessor, 
he not only subdued them in battle, but inflicted upon 
the captives a punishment so excessively severe, that the 
feelings of a more humane and civilized age revolt at the 
recital. " He smote Moab," says the Scripture, " and 
measured them with a line, casting them down to the 
ground ; even with two lines measured he to put to death, 
and with one full line to keep alive ;" that is, he con- 
demned two-thirds of his prisoners to be massacred with 
the sword, and reserved the remainder to waste their lives 
in servitude.-f- 

The weight of this defeat continued to bear down the 

" 1 Samuel xiv. 47, and xxii. 3. 

i" It seems to have been a custom in the East to order the prisoners of 
war to lie down, and to measure by a line such of them as they meant to 
put to death. — Universal History, vol. i. p. 352. 

Bishop Patrick thinks, that, by the phrase 7neasuring with a line, we are to 
understand that David, " having conquered the whole country, took an exact 
survey of every part of it ; and that by casting to the ground was meant the 
laying level their strongholds and fortified places. With two lines measured he, 
to put to death, that is, he divided the country into three parts, condemning 
two of them to be destroyed : And with one line he saved alive ; that is, he 
preserved a third part that it might not be quite dispeopled. This severity, 
the Jews say, he exercised because they liad slain his parents and his brethren 
whom he committed to the custody of the king of Moab during his exile. 
But, in truth, because the Moabites had always been implacable enemies to 
the Israelites, Their kindness to David proceeded from their hatred to 
SauL" — Commentary vpon the Second Booh- of Samuel, chap, viii. v. 2. 


Moabites during the reigns of Solomon and Rehoboani, 
to both of whom they appear to have paid a regular tri- 
bute. Upon the revolt of the ten tribes, this vassal 
state transferred its duty to the house of Israel, which 
failed not to exact from its successive princes the annual 
token of submission and dependence. One of these petty 
sovereigns, whose name was Mesha, and who is described 
in the sacred text as a '' sheep-master," rendered unto the 
kinff of Israel a hundred thousand lambs, and a hundred 
thousand rams with the wool. But when Ahab was dead, 
Mesha rebelled against his son Ahaziah ; whose short 
reign not permitting any attempt to reduce him, Jehoram, 
assisted by Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the king of 
Edom, undertook an expedition through part of the Ara- 
bian desert, with the view of surprising the Moabite, and 
chastising him for his defection. Having reached the land 
of Moab, the army was distressed for want of water, and 
must have perished, had not the prophet Elisha obtained 
for them a miraculous supply, by intersecting the plain 
with deep ditches. An optical deception, too, hastened 
the discomfiture of Mesha and his followers. The water 
which had issued from the earth presented to their eyes 
the appearance of blood ; upon which they instantly con- 
cluded that the confederated princes had fallen upon one 
another with the sword, and dyed the sand of the wilder- 
ness with their mutual slaughter. " And they rose early 
in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and 
the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as 
blood : And they said this is blood : the kings are surely 
slain ; and they have smitten one another ; now, therefore, 
Moab, to the spoil."* 

■• 2 Kings, iii. 21, 22. The phenomenon mentioned in the text has no- 
where been fully explained. That it was different from the mirage so well 


Under this impression tliey rushed towards the camp of 
Israel, to complete the havoc which, as they imagined, dis- 
sension had already begun, and to load themselves with an 
easy plunder. But they were received by an enemy quite 
prepared for the attack ; who at once drove back their dis- 
orderly ranks, and, pursuing them into the very heart of 
their country, wasted their lands, demolished their cities, 
and shut up their king in Kir-haraseth, a strong place to 
which he had fled for refuge. Finding himself closely 
pressed by the besiegers, the barbarian chief resolved, at 
the head of seven hundred chosen men, to break through 
the lines of the Edomites, whom he esteemed the least 
warlike or the least hostile of the confederates, and to 
maintain his independence among the fastnesses of his na- 
tive desert. But his courage or strength proved unequal 
to the attempt ; upon which, he had recourse to one of 
those acts of cruel superstition which stain the records of 
all savage nations. " He took his eldest son that should 

known to the travellers in the desert, is evident from the facts of the narra- 
tive itself, which ascribe the deception to the reflection of the sunbeams from 
the water which had spread over the valley, and not to the shining surface 
of a sandy plain, which never presents the colour of blood. Chardin alludes 
to the common appearance, when he observes, that " there is a splendour 
or vapour in the plains of the desert, formed by the repercussion of the rays 
of the sun from the sand, that appears like a vast lake. Travellers of the 
desert afflicted with thirst are drawn on by such appearances, but coming 
near, find themselves quite mistaken : it seems to draw back as they advance, 
or quite vanishes. I have seen this in several places. Quintus Curtius 
takes notice of it in speaking of Alexander the Great in Susiana." — M.S. 
note quoted hy Harmer, vol. ii. p. 282. 

It is a singular fact, established by the observations of the late Dr Oude- 
ney and other travellers in Africa, that, in many places where rain is scarce- 
ly ever known to fall, and where the surface of the earth is covered with a 
line sand, water may be found by scraping or digging a few inches down- 
wards. A hole dug at night will be nearly full in the morning ; but the 
water is brackish and discoloured, being impregnated with the solution of va- 
rious saline matters. Such a liquid, if spread over a plain, might perhaps 
exhibit such a reflection of coloured light as that alluded to by the inspired 



have reigned in his stead, and offered him up for a burnt- 
offering upon the wall ;" which barbarous deed excited so 
much horror and indignation in his enemies, that they 
raised the siege and returned home.* 

But no long time intervened before the children of 
Moab once more recruited their forces, and in company 
with the Ammonites and the Edomites of Mount Seir, en- 
deavoured to revenge the losses which they had sustained 
during the invasion of Jehoram. Ascribing the success 
which attended the arms of the Israehtish king to the 
military talent of his ally the sovereign of Judah, they 
resolved to attack the latter with their whole force, before 
he could be apprised of their movements. In this they so 
far succeeded, that they had advanced within thirty miles 
of his capital before the alarm reached his ears. *' Then 
there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, there 
Cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the 
sea on this side Syria ; and behold they be in Hazazon- 
tamar, which is Engedi." But Jerusalem was saved by 
the interposition of Divine Providence. The invaders 
were seized with a violent phrenzy, which impelled them 
to employ their arms against one another ; and thus, while 
every man's hand was turned against his fellow, the 
slaughter continued with such incredible fury, that no one 
was permitted to escape.-|- 

* 2 Kings iii. 26, 2?. In the common English version of the Bible, it 
is said that " there was great indignation against Israel ; and they departed 
from him and returned to their own land." But the true meaning is cer- 
tainly that which is supplied by Bishop Patrick, who observes, that the pas- 
sage should be translated there was great repentance upon or among Israel ; 
that is, they were extremely sorry and troubled at this barbarous sacrifice^ 
and wished they had not pushed on the war so far, which ended in such a 
horrible action, which brought an odium upon them.'— CoTtimentary on Se- 
cond Kiiigs, chap. iii. ; vol. ii. p. 457. 

t 2 Chronicles xx. 22—26. 



After this period we do not find that the Moabites dis- 
turbed the kingdom of Israel for a great many years. 
On the declension of that state, indeed, they seem to have 
retaken from the tribes of Reuben and Gad great part of 
the land which had belonged to them before the invasion 
of Sihon ; for in the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah 
against Moab, several cities in those territories are men- 
tioned as being in the possession of this people. The for- 
mer of the holy men now named predicted that Ar, and 
Kir-haraseth, and Sibmah, and Heshbon, should be de- 
stroyed, and that the rest of their cities, several of which 
had belonged to the crown of Israel, should be brought 
to contempt and desolation.* 

After the destruction of the Assyrian army under Sen- 
nacherib, the Moabites repeatedly revolted from his suc- 
cessors, and were as often reduced to obedience, until at 
length they were finally subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, 
who carried away their king a prisoner. They made, in- 
deed, one attempt more to recover their freedom in the reign 
of Zedekiah, when they were induced to take arms against 
the Babylonian monarch. But the undertaking only has- 
tened the catastrophe of Judah, and rivetted still faster 
the chains of Moab and of the neighbouring nations ; 
soon after which this restless people were compelled to relin- 
quish their name and independence^ and to sink down 
among the multifarious subjects of the great eastern em- 
pire. Josephus, it is true, makes mention of them as 
existing in later times, and assures us that they were a 
considerable nation even in his own day. He describes a 
victory wliich was gained over them by Alexander 
Jannasus, the king of the Jews, who had marched into 

* Isaiah xv. 1. ; xvi. 7- 


Arabia at the head of a large army ; but it is manifest, 
notwithstanding, that the Jewish historian applied, in 
this part of his writings, the language of antiquity to a 
people who no longer bore any resemblance to the simple 
tribe who had hstened to the incantations of Balaam the 
son of Beor.* 

II. The next people with whom the history of the Hebrews 
makes us acquainted are the Canaanites; a powerful and 
warlike race, who gave their name to a large portion of 
Palestine, and resisted with great spirit and perseverance 
the invasion of their country by Joshua. They are sup- 
posed to have derived their lineage as well as their appella- 
tion from Canaan the grandson of Noah ; and to have 
branched out at a very early period into eleven tribes or 
nations, according to the number of the immediate de- 
scendants of their celebrated ancestor. The Sidonians, 
the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 
the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the 
Zemarites, and the Hemathites, represented so many sons 
of Canaan, and perpetuated their names in various parts 
of Palestine and Syria. Five of these clans are known to 
have dwelt in the land of Canaan properly so called, the 
Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 
and the Hivites ; to which are commonly added, the Periz- 
zites and the Canaanites. In regard to the name and 
origin of these last, the learned have not been able to 
come to any satisfactory determination. It has been found 
impossible to trace the Perizzites to any of the direct 
progeny of Canaan ; nor has it been less difficult to ex- 
plain why the sacred historian should have assigned to the 

" See Joseph! Bell. Judaic, lib. i. c, 4. ; and the Ancient Universal His- 
torv. vol. i. p. 355. 



other tribe an appellation which seems to have belonged to 
all the nations in common. 

On the principle which I have attempted to illustrate in 
the former part of this chapter, the number of ruling fa- 
milies in the course of a few generations increased to a 
great amount ; and as every clan acknowledged the proxi- 
mate authority of its own chief, the government of the 
country, when the Hebrews first entered it, was found to 
be parcelled out among upwards of thirty petty kings, 
who led their own armies and had a voice in the conduct 
of the war. Adonibezek, himself, the sovereign of only 
two subordinate tribes, boasted or confessed that he had 
reduced threescore and ten kings to the miserable condi- 
tion of gathering their meat under his table. It is pro- 
bable, therefore, that the thirty-one kings who were con- 
quered by Joshua were all included in the seven nations 
which that commander was enjoined to destroy. Nor 
must we suppose that, in the whole country, there were 
no more than thirty-one individuals who bore the royal 
title. Those only are mentioned who were overcome by 
the Hebrew generals ; and as the Scripture acknowledges 
that the Canaanites were not wholly subdued by him, we 
may infer that many had the title of king who never were 
assailed by the arms of Joshua.* 

The early history of these small monarchies is 
very little known. Among the first notices which the 
sacred volume contains respecting them, we may reckon 
the short account of the Elamite invasion as one of the 
most important. We next read of the destruction of some 
of their principal cities by fire from heaven ; the punish- 
ment of crimes which could not be expiated otherwise 

Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. .'J89. 


than by the extinction of all animal and vegetable life 
throughout the contaminated region. For the minute de- 
tails connected with the wars of Joshua, I must rest satis- 
fied with a general reference to the book which bears the 
name of that distinguished servant of God ; proceeding 
without farther delay to the transactions which fell out 
during the administration of the Judges, the period to 
which our researches properly belong. 

Immediately after the campaign in which the power of 
Adonibezek was reduced by Simeon and Judah, the vic- 
torious Hebrews attacked the enemy in several other quar- 
ters, and particularly in Hebron and Debir ; two cities 
which had formerly been destroyed by Joshua, but which 
appear to have been retaken by the Canaanites^ — an in- 
stance among many others, as it has been well observed, 
of the resolution of this people and of their reluctance to 
quit their possessions. Generally speaking, those who in- 
habited the mountainous districts were easily subdued by 
the hardy soldiers who fought the battles of the Lord ; 
but such as dwelt in the low country were long able to 
keep their ground, because they had chariots of iron, 
which were found to do great execution in the plain. 
Hebron, a city which was greatly prized by the con- 
querors, rewarded, in this local war, the zeal and valour 
of the two confederate tribes. 

But the efforts of the chosen people were not in every 
part attended with equal success. Bethel, indeed, was 
taken by the house of Joseph ; but the conquerors were 
more indebted for their triumph to the treachery of one 
of the inhabitants than to their own military skill. A 
learned writer remarks, that the attempts of the several 
tribes to expel the Canaanites kept the land in a constant 
ferment, but ended with no great success on either side. 
The adverse parties seem to have been pretty equally 


matched ; so that, although it is certain multitudes of the 
natives fell in the wars with Joshua, and that many of 
them fled from their country altogether in search of more 
quiet and secure abodes, yet, so considerable was their 
remaining number, valour, or superior skill in war, that, 
after all their calamities, they seem to have been but little 
inferior to the Israelites. Nor did one tribe of them 
disappear, except the Girgashites ; who are supposed to 
, have retired to Africa, and to have founded in that division 
of the earth a prosperous colony.* 

About fourteen centuries before the Christian era, the 
power of the Canaanites increased so greatly, that the 
children of Israel fell under subjection to it, and endured at 
their hands an oppressive servitude of twenty years. Jabin 
was king of the former people at the period in question ; 
an ambitious and active prince, who having placed his 
royal seat at Hazor, one of the cities which had been de- 
stroyed by Joshua, and added to his army nine hun- 
dred chariots of iron, exercised over the greater part of 
his ancient territory a vigorous and tyrannical govern- 
ment. Sisera, the captain of the host, seconded the as- 
piring views of his master, and rigidly enforced his com- 
mands against the subdued and unresisting Hebrews. 
The insurrection of the northern tribes under Deborah 
and Barak, and the decisive victory which they gained 
over the Canaanites at mount Tabor, are too familiar to 
the recollection of the youngest reader to require any ad- 
ditional narrative. It is sufficient to observe, that the 
success of Barak, on this memorable occasion, broke the 
chains of Canaanitish servitude, reduced the power of 
Jabin within due limits, and secured to the Israelites a 
peace which continued forty years. 

* Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 404. 


No farther mention is made in Scripture of this warhke 
people during several generations. It appears, however, 
that they were able to maintain a footing in sundry parts 
of the land, and even in Jerusalem, till the reign of 
David, who drove them from that fortress. We are told 
that when the Jebusites, who held the castle of mount 
Zion, saw the king of Judah advance to attack it, they 
placed their blind and lame upon the walls to defend 
them ; insinuating that such warriors were sufficient to 
baffle the attempts of David and his soldiers against a post 
so Avell fortified by nature.* But the vaunting language 
of the Canaanites was soon changed into supplication and 
mourning ; for the place being taken by assault, the in- 
habitants, it may be presumed, were subjected to some 
one of those capital punishments which the laws of war, 
in the times of the first Jewish kings, seem in certain 
cases to have rendered imperative upon every victorious 

This devoted people were afterwards attacked by Pha- 
raoh, king of Egypt, who took Gezer, one of their prin- 
cipal cities, with the usual circumstances of atrocity which 
in those evil days attended the sacking of every strong 

• 2 Samuel v. 6. " And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto 
the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land ; which spake unto David saying, 
Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in 
hither ; thinking David cannot come in hither." 

" The learned are divided in their ojiinions about these blind and lame. 
Josephus understands the expression in the literal sense. Bochart supposes 
it was in derision of the besiegers that the blind and cripples were placed 
upon the walls : but Dr Gregory has written a long dissertation to prove 
that these lame and blind were no other than the gods of this peoijle, wlio, 
according to the Psalmist, had eyes and saw not, and feet and walked not." 
— Anc'icut Universal Hist. vol. i. p. 406. 

It might have occurred to the learned Gregory, that, liowever justly the 
Psalmist described the idols of the heathen, it was very improbable that tlie 
Jebusites, on the occasion alluded to, would use such language in regard to 
the deities in whom they put their trust. 


place. The occasion of this inroad on the part of the 
Egyptians is not mentioned in the sacred volume. We 
are merely informed in the ninth chapter of the first book 
of the Kings, that Pharaoh had gone up and taken Gezer, 
and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt 
in the city. 

In the reign of Solomon, the history of the Canaanites 
can hardly be traced ; if viewed, at least, as distinguished 
from the Phenicians, of whose more brilliant and interest- 
ing annals we shall shortly be called upon to give an out- 
line. Before the death of this prince, the remains of the 
seven nations had sunk down into a state of hopeless servi- 
tude ; for " all the people that were left of the Amorites, 
Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and their chil- 
dren that were left after them in the land, whom the chil- 
dren of Israel were not able utterly to destroy, upon 
those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond-service unto this 
day.* There is some reason to believe, that the degraded 
condition to which these tribes were reduced by the son of 
David became hereditary among their remotest descend- 
ants, and even survived the Babylonian captivity. In 
the book of Ezra there are traces to be discovered of this 
Jewish helotism as not yet extinct ; for in the list of those 
who returned from the territories of the great kingj, were 
" the children of Solomon's servants. And all the Ne- 
thinims, and the children of Solomon"'s servants, were 
three hundred ninety and two.""*|- Thus, at length, was 
the purpose of God fulfilled. The wicked nations of 
Canaan were obliterated from the face of the earth ; and 
the Hebrews no longer turned aside to worship idols, the 
works of men's hands, nor to do homage in the groves to 
the host of heaven. 

• 1 Kings ix. 20, 21. t Ezra ii. 55. 58. 


III. The fourth servitude endured by the children of 
Israel was inflicted upon them by the hands of the Midi- 
ANiTEs ; who, with the Amalekites and other eastern 
tribes, came up against them and overran their country. 
" And they encamped against them, and destroyed the in- 
crease of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza; and left no 
sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.""* 

In regard to this people it is generally thought that they 
drew their origin from Midian, the fourth son of Abra- 
ham, by Keturah. Having received a suitable patrimony 
from his father, whose chief cares were directed to Isaac 
and to the hopes connected with his lineage, this young 
man, along with the rest of his brethren, was sent into 
the east country, that he might be at a distance from the 
child of promise, to whom an inheritance was given in the 
land of Canaan. Midian became the progenitor of a 
powerful tribe, which branched out into families from his 
five sons, Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abidah, and Eldaah.-|- 

In the earlier periods of their history, the Midianites 
are frequently confounded with the direct descendants of 
Ishmael ; and, in later times, we find them mentioned in 
conjunction with the Nabatheans and Kederenes, the pos- 
terity of Nabaioth and Keder, likewise sons of this celebrat- 
ed patriarch. As the progeny of Abraham, they could not 
but regard one another as kinsmen and brethren ; and, 
occupying in common an extensive and undivided coun- 
try, it is not surprising that they should have been often 
found acting together as allies, and even sharing the same 
name. But it is not so easy to understand why they 
should have formed so close a union with the Moabites, 
as to be regarded, even by the inspired historian, almost 
as one nation. Moses observes that they always combined 

• Judges vi. 1—4. f Genesis xxv. ♦. 


their interests and their force against the people over 
whom he presided ; that their rehgion and manners were 
the same ; and that, except in the local distribution of 
their families, there was scarcely any difference between 
the Midianites, the Moabites, and the Ishmaelites. We 
find, too, that, upon the defeat of Sihon, king of the 
Amorites, the princes of Midian consulted with Balak, 
king of Moab, as to the measures to be adopted for ward- 
ing off the disaster with which they were threatened at the 
hands of the Hebrew invaders ; and there is ample evi- 
dence on record, that the former were not less active than 
the latter in employing those evil arts by which the swords 
of Israel were blunted and their reputation sullied, while 
encamped in the neighbourhood of Beth-peor.* 

The Midianites of old appear to have divided them- 
selves into two great classes, the pastoral and the mercantile ; 
the one living in tents, and removing from place to place 
according to the wants of their flocks ; the other travel- 
ling across the deserts with the rich metals, spicery, and 
perfumes, which constituted the luxury of ancient times, 
and exchanging them for slaves or cattle. It was to a 
company of Midianitish merchants that Joseph was sold by 
his brethren for thirty pieces of silver. This species of 
traffic, as might be expected, diffused great wealth over the 
wildest parts of Syria ; and we perceive, accordingly, that, 
when the Midianites were defeated by Gideon, the spoil 
found upon the persons of the soldiers, the kings and the 
leaders, was sufficient to enrich all the host of Israel. The 
Hebrew champion requested of his army that they would 
deliver up to him " every man the ear-rings of his prey." 
" For," adds the Scripture, " they had golden ear-rings, 

• Numbers xxii. 3. 7. ; and xxv. 1—18. 


because they were Ishmaelites. And the weight of the 
golden ear-rings that he requested was a thousand and 
seven hundred shekels of gold, besides ornaments, and col- 
lars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, 
and besides the chains that were about their camels' 

Some writers have been disposed to estimate the learning 
and science of the Midianites still higher than their wealth 
and commercial enterprise. Assuming that Job lived in 
the part of Arabia where the descendants of Abraham 
kept their flocks, it is inferred that his contemporaries 
could not fail to be acquainted with letters as well as with 
the general principles of natural philosophy. Moses, who 
excelled in the learning of Egypt, is supposed by Sir Isaac 
Newton to have made valuable additions to his knowledge 
while in the household of Jethro his father-in-law, the 
priest of Midian. Another author observes, that " the mer- 
chants must also have been versed in some kind of arithme- 
tic ; and there being ships in the Mediterranean so early 
as the days of the patriarch Jacob, and these being them- 
selves traders, and situated on the Red Sea, it cannot be 
supposed that they would refrain from ship-building, and 
viewing the shores of their own sea and the contiguous coasts. 
From hence we may naturally enough extend the circle of 
their sciences beyond bare writing and arithmetic, and al- 
low them a competent skill in geography, geometry, and 

It has been imagined, too, that, though the mass of the 
people on the borders of Moab was devoted to the gross 
superstition of Baal-peor and the other idols of Canaan, 

" Judges viii. 24 — 27. The ear-rings alone amounted to nearly L.4000 
of our money. 

t Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 364. 


there were, notwithstanding, among the Midianites, many 
persons of pure and lofty views who continued to worship 
the one true God. Job, who is supposed to have hved in 
those early days, presents a fine example of an enlightened 
theist, who had not only studied the mechanism of the ma- 
terial world, but had also founded, upon his physical re- 
searches, the wisest and most consolatory doctrines rela- 
tive to the divine attributes. Jethro, again, one of the 
priests of the tribe, possessed a mind much too elevated to 
stoop to the degrading usages of the popular superstition. 
His conduct, when in the camp of Israel, proves at once 
his prudence and his steadfastness ; for while he suggested 
to Moses a scheme of government which was admirably 
suited to the constitution of the Hebrew people, he re- 
tained his peculiar notions in respect to the religion which 
he himself had been accustomed to teach and enforce. He 
was ready to join in offering up praise, thanksgiving, and 
even sacrifices to the Almighty ; but he refused to sub- 
mit to the rite of circumcision, the sign of the Abrahamic 
covenant, in the benefits of which he had no share. 

The first historical notice of the Midianites, which is con- 
veyed to us in Scripture, is contained in the thirty-sixth 
chapter of Genesis, where they are said to have been defeat- 
ed by Hadad, one of. the kings of Edom. Their name 
does not again occur in the sacred pages until the time of 
Moses, when they formed the alliance, already mentioned, 
with the Moabites, to oppose the passage of the Hebrew 
congregation. The part which the Midianites took in the 
war against Israel was not less remarkable than the punish- 
ment with which they were soon afterwards visited for fol- 
lowing the counsel of Balaam. Influenced by the com- 
mand of Heaven, the inspired leader of Israel selected 
twelve thousand men, a thousand from every tribe, saying, 
" Arm yourselves unto the war, and go against the Midi- 


anites, and avenge the Lord of Midian. And Moses sent 
them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phi- 
nehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy instru- 
ments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they 
warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded 
Moses ; and they slew all the males. And they slew the 
kings of Midian, besides the rest of them that were slain ; 
namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, 
five kings of Midian : Balaam, also the son of Beor, they 
slew with the sword. And the children of Israel took all 
the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and 
took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and 
all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein 
they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire."* 

In this manner was one branch of the Midianitish nation 
entirely destroyed. But that the whole people were not 
utterly exterminated, may be inferred from the history of 
the Hebrew commonwealth ; where we read, that after the 
days of Barak two princes of great power rose up, to 
avenge the sufferings of their ancient tribes upon the de- 
scendants of those whose hands had been stained with their 
blood. For seven successive years did Zeba and Zal- 
munna wage a cruel war against the Israelites ; who, not 
daring to remain in the low country, fled to the moun- 
tains, and there sought shelter in caves and fortresses 
which they had prepared as places of defence. The Midi- 
anites, accordingly, finding no enemy to oppose them, wast- 
ed the fruits of the earth, and drove off" the cattle ; enter- 
ing every season, with their numerous camels and other 
beasts of burden, into the land when the fruits were far 
advanced ; carrying away all that could be removed, and 

* Numbers xxxi. 1 — 10. 


destroying every thing that they were compelled to leave 

The decisive victory of Gideon, in the valley of Jezreel, 
put an end to these vexations. Clothed with a superna- 
tural commission;, this son of Joash undertook the deliver- 
ance of his people, — a task which he accomplished so fully, 
that the remembrance of his name, and the weight of his 
sword, impressed the Midianites with terror for many years, 
and secured tranquillity to the tribes of Israel on both sides 
of the Jordan. But the circumstances which accompanied 
this victory, as well as the means by which it was obtain- 
ed, have already been described with sufficient minute- 
ness ; and, besides, they are to be found in language which 
cannot be improved, in the sixth chapter of the book of 
Judges, to which I beg leave to refer the studious reader. 

But neither did the sword of Gideon finally extermi- 
nate the house of Midian. On the contrary, we observe 
allusions to that people, as still great and flourishing, some 
centuries after the «on of Joash had been gathered to his 
fathers. In the magnificent picture of approaching power 
and happiness which Isaiah presented to the faith of his 
countrymen, when the abundance of the sea should be con- 
verted unto them, and the forces of the Gentiles should 
come unto them, he mentions the " multitude of camels 
and the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah ; all they from 
Sheba shall come : they shall bring gold and incense" — 
the peculiar commodities in which the wealth of the Mi- 
dianite merchantmen consisted.* Habakkuk, in like 
manner, makes an allusion to the same people, in the sub- 
lime vision, in which he beheld shadowed forth the judg- 

* Isaiah Ix. 6, 7. 


ments that awaited the earth, " God came from Teman, 
and the Holy one from mount Paran. His glory covered 
the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Be- 
fore him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth 
at his feet. He stood, and measured the earth : he be- 
held, and drove asunder the nations ; and the everlasting 
mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow. 
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction ; and the curtains 
of the land of Midian did tremble."* 

About the end of the first century of the Christian faith, 
the name of the ancient Midianites appears to have merged 
in the more general appellation of Arabians. Abulfeda, it 
is true, relates that, at the distance of thirteen hundred 
years from the epoch just mentioned, there was in the de- 
sert a ruined city called Madyan ; in the neighbourhood 
of which the natives pretended to show the fountain where 
Moses watered the herds of Jethro ; and the same histo- 
rian adds, " that it continues to be one of the stations in 
the pilgrimage from Egypt to Mecca, under the name of 
Shoaib's cave."""!" 

1 have already stated, that, according to the judgment 
of the most approved commentators, it was during the fa- 
mine occasioned by the successive inroads of the Midianites 
into the land of the Hebrews, that the severe famine took 
place which compelled the husband of Ruth to migrate 
with his family into the country of Moab. No other dearth 
is noticed in the Scriptures as having occurred during the 
times when the judges ruled ; and hence the ground of the 
opinion now mentioned.]: 

In respect to Gideon, again, who, from the incident 

• Habakkukiii. 7—12. 

t See Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 370. 

X See Patrick on the place ; Lightfoot's and Townsend's Chronicles, 


recorded in the sixth chapter of Judges, is hkewise call- 
ed Jerubbaal, there has been a tradition current in his- 
tory since the reign of Adrian, that he gave assistance to 
Sanchoniathon, the Phenician cosmogonist ; whose work, 
on the creation of the world and the first race of mankind, 
was translated by Philo-Byblius, and recommended by 
Porphyry. Eusebius, who, in the tenth chapter of the 
first book of his Evangelical Preparation, has preserved a 
large extract from the Greek version of Sanchoniathon, 
repeats the story of Jerubbaal the priest of Jao ; whose 
communications, he adds, are understood to have sup- 
plied to the latter writer the chief materials of his singular 
production. But, admitting the authenticity of this work, 
of which, notwithstanding the labours of Bishop Cumber- 
land, there is still great room to doubt, it is not easy to 
perceive a good reason for identifying the Jewish priest 
with the warlike Gideon ; whose habits do not on any oc- 
casion appear to have had a close affinity with literature. 
Nor was the epithet which was conferred upon the son 
of Joash, necessarily confined to one individual; being 
merely descriptive of an action which might be performed 
by others, at different times and places. Besides, Gideon 
was not a priest of Jehovah ; he was not even a Levite ; 
he was a member of the tribe of Manasseh. Bochart, it is 
true, ascribes this mistake to the ignorance of a Pagan ; 
who, upon hearing that the Hebrew chief had set up an 
ephod in his house, naturally concluded that he must have 
belonged to the sacerdotal order ; and who, perhaps, used 
the term which is translated priest to denote rather a man 
of rank in general, than one whose duties were limited to 
the service of a particular divinity.* 

* Dei porro Jao sacerdos, ex cujus commentariis profecisse legitur San- 
choniathon, mihi videtur esse Gideon. At, inquies, .Terombalus sacerdos 


But the reasoning of the learned author of Phaleg is not 
satisfactory. It is more probable that the priest of Jao, 
from whose commentaries the Phenician author derived 
so much aid, was Moses. Diodorus Siculus remarks, that 
this legislator ascribed the origin and sanction of his laws 
to a god who was called Jao ; rov lao I'xncxXovfAivov 6iov* 
And on the faith of these statements many learned men 
have been inclined to believe, that the writings which 
Philo Byblius translated were indeed genuine ; and that 
Sanchoniathon must have drawn from the Pentateuch 
many of the facts which he has incorporated and disfigured 
in his strange cosmogony. Nay, others have supposed that 
Thoth, called by the Greeks Mercury, was oniy another 
name for Moses : but the numerous inconsistencies which 
the research of modern times has detected in the several ac- 
counts that have been given of the Phenician manuscript, 
and especially the silence of antiquity respecting its author, 
who, if he had deserved the character given of him by 
Porphyry, could not have been so entirely overlooked, 
create a just ground of suspicion either against the honesty 
or the discernment of Philo Byblius. Hence it has been 
conjectured, that the latter writer fabricated the work 
from the ancient cosmogonies, and ushered it into the world 
as a version from the Phenician language ; with the view, 
it is thought, of providing the Pagan philosophers with a 
history of the creation, which might be set up in opposi- 
tion to that which had been furnished by the inspired le- 
gislator of the Jews. This, at least, is the opinion of 

non erat Dei Jao, Gideon ne Levita quidem, sed e tribu Manassis. Fateor ; 
sed nihil mirum ab Ethnico homine, et rerum Jiidicarum non admodum 
perito, eum haberi pro sacerdote qui ex hostium spoliis constituit Ephod in 
urbe sua. — Phaleg, lib. ii. cap. xvii. p. 774, 
• Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. 



Brucker j and his judgment has been somewhat confirmed by 
the arguments of Dodwell and by the authority of Dupin.* 

Eusebius, Theodoret, and some other of the Christian 
fathers, have been considered as too credulous in respect to 
the claims urged in behalf of Sanchoniathon, by Philo 
Byblius and the subtle Porphyry. The bishop of Cesarea 
was desirous to find, in the description of the Phenician 
antiquary, a counterpart to the narrative of Moses ; ima- 
gining that the sacred books would somehow gain an ad- 
ditional measure of light or cogency from the correspond- 
ing details of a heathen fabulist. But an accurate exami- 
nation of the doctrines of Sanchoniathon will satisfy the 
discerning reader that, so far from strengthening the au- 
thority of the Pentateuch, it directly opposes its funda- 
mental statements: teaching that, from the necessary ope- 
ration of an active principle, eternal and unintelligent, 
upon the chaotic mass, a principle which was likewise eter- 
nal and inactive, the visible world sprang into existence. 
So little, in short, are the views of Sanchoniathon in unison 
with those of Moses, that Porphyry has been suspected of 
giving his countenance to the former, in order that he 
might thereby throw upon the latter a cloud of suspicion 
and contempt. 

But the question before us at present does not respect 
the authenticity of the tract ascribed to the Phenician ; it 
turns entirely on the disputed point, whether Gideon, 
and the Jerombal mentioned by Eusebius, are or are not 
the same individual. If, then, we regulate our determi- 
nation by the laws of probability, and by the opinions of 
the great majority of historians and chronologers, we must 

* Dodwell's Discourse, &c. Le Court Gibelin. " Allegories Orien- i 
tales." Cumberland's Sanchoniathon. 



decide in the negative ; finding that neither the times in 
which they are supposed to have lived, nor the characters 
which are assigned to them, estabhsh the hypothesis which 
assumes their identity. 

IV. The sixth servitude of the Israehtes was inflicted upon 
them by the Philistines, a warlike people who lived on 
their western borders. From some scattered notices found 
in the Old Testament, it has been concluded, that this ce- 
lebrated nation came originally from Egypt ; where they 
were known as the descendants of the Casluhim and Caph- 
torim, the immediate progeny ofMizraim, the grandson of 
Noah. In the book of Deuteronomy, the sacred historian 
relates that the Avim which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto 
Azzahj the Caphtorim, which came forth out of Caphtor, 
destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.* Dr Cumber- 
land, in a learned discourse on these words, endeavours to 
prove, that by Hazerim was meant, not a single town, but 
huts and villages in which the native inhabitants of Ca- 
naan were wont to live ; and hence, having no places of 
strength or walled cities in their territory, they fell an 
easy prey into the hands of the Cuthite invaders. It is 
worthy of remark, too, that both Jeremiah and Amos 
mention the Philistines as having migrated from Caphtor ; 
confirming by their testimony an historical fact of which 
the evidence had already become faint and indistinct.*!' 

Their most recent form of government appears to have 
been administered by kings, all of whom were addressed 
by the affectionate title of Abimelech, a term which liter- 
ally imports my father the King. Such were the so- 
vereigns of the country in the days of Abraham and Isaac ; 

• Deut. ii. 23. f Jeremiah xlvii. 4. ; Amos ix. 7- 


but the monarchical rule seems to have been soon after- 
wards changed into an aristocracy under the direction of 
five lords or provincial governors. This form subsisted 
in the time of the Hebrew judges, in whose annals the 
proud satraps of Philistia are frequently mentioned. At 
a later period, however, the regal power must have been 
once more restored. The second race of kings was 
distinguished by the appellation of Achish. During the 
reign of David and his immediate successors on the throne 
of Judah, they had their seat of government at Gath ; 
which, it is presumed, they afterwards removed to Asca- 
lon, and finally to Gaza. 

About the time when they were visited by the first pa- 
triarchs of the Hebrew family, the Philistines were a quiet, 
industrious, and hospitable people. As superstition in- 
creased, they allowed themselves to be contaminated with 
its worst practices; became bigoted worshippers of the 
idols which were set up in their adopted country ; and ap- 
pear to have hated the Israelites with a more intense dis- 
like, in proportion as they themselves multiplied the ob- 
jects of their absurd veneration. It is remarkable, too, 
that though in Scripture they are constantly mentioned as 
strangers, and though possessed of a considerable portion 
of the land of Canaan, the Almighty would not suffer 
them to be driven out ; because they were Egyptians by 
descent, and not belonging to those aboriginal tribes whose 
territory only was promised to Abraham and to his seed. 
Their arrogance and ambition were at all times equally 
great ; and so implacable was their enmity to the Israel- 
ites, that, as a certain author observes, one would be almost 
tempted to think that they had been created on purpose 
to be a thorn in their sides ; for though the hand of God 
was evidently against them several times, and particularly 


when they detained the ark, they yet hardened their hearts 
and closed their eyes against conviction. 

The early annals of the rhilistim are perfectly consis- 
tent with the simplicity of the times at which they are 
first introduced to our notice. Their kings appear to have 
exercised their chief authority in determining the bounds of 
the different pastoral districts, and in enforcing the rules 
which were thought necessary for the peaceful intercourse 
of the shepherds and the security of their flocks. When 
Abraham arrived in his country, the good Abimelech re- 
ceived him with an open and hearty friendship ; allowed 
him feeding-ground for his numerous herds, and permis- 
sion to dig wells, — an act of appropriation which seems to 
have implied that the land was yielded up to him in per- 
petual possession. But the great increase of substance 
with which Divine Providence blessed the cares of Isaac, 
excited the envy or the fears of Abimelech's successor. 
Forgetful, for a time, of the covenant which had been 
made by their respective fathers, the king desired the son 
of Abraham to remove from his borders ; while the latter, 
not imagining that, by any part of his conduct, he could 
have forfeited the confidence of his royal neighbour, 
thought it enough to shift from one part of the country to 
another. But scarcely was he fixed in his new situation, 
when disputes arose between his servants and the Philis- 
tines of Gerar : the former opening the wells which Abra- 
ham had dug, and which the latter had closed immediate- 
ly after his death ; and hence Isaac gave to one well the 
name of Esek, or contention, and to another the name of 
Sitnah, or hatred. At length the family treaty was re- 
newed, and a complete reconciliation effected. Isaac made 
a feast, to which he invited Abimelech and the captain of 
his host : " and they did eat and drink. And they rose 
up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another : 


and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in 

It is impossible to leave this portion of ancient history 
without remarking, that, in regard to the transactions which 
took place between Abraham and Isaac on the one hand, 
and the two kings of the Philistines on the other, there are 
so many points in which they coincide, that a reader of the 
sacred volume cannot but suspect the accuracy of copiers; 
and even apprehend that some of the events, which fell 
out in the life of the older patriarch, have been repeated 
in the biography of his son. 

After the occurrences now alluded to, many years pass- 
ed away, during which the Philistines attract no atten- 
tion either as the friends or the enemies of the Abrahamic 
race. There is, indeed, in the book of Chronicles an inci- 
dent related which probably came to pass in the days of 
the judges ; a defeat of the Ephraimites by the people of 
Gath, when the former were engaged in a plundering ex- 
pedition. Among the sons of Ephraim are recorded 
Shuthelah and Bered, and Tahath, and Eladah, and Za- 
bad, and Ezer, and Elead, " whom the men of Gath that 
were born in that land slew, because they came down to 
take away their cattle."-}* 

There is a similar notice in the third chapter of the 
book of Judges, where we are informed that Shamgar, 
the son of Anath, slew of the Philistines six hundred 
men with an ox-goad, and thereby delivered Israel. From 
this narrative, brief as it is, we may infer that the Israel- 
ites had been worsted in the field, and even that their ene- 
mies had obtained a temporary possession of their lands ; 
but as the administration of Shamgar is limited to 

• Genesis xxvi. 30, 31. f Chronicles vii. 20, 21. 


one year, it is probable that such inroads, on the part of 
the Phihstines, were not repeated in his days, and that no 
farther claim was made on his strength or his patriotism. 

At the distance of more than a hundred years from the 
judicature of Shamgar, the sons of the Caphtorim again 
obtained the ascendency over the people of Jehovah. The 
children of Israel, having relapsed once more into their 
idolatrous practices, and served Baalim, and Astaroth, and 
the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of 
Moab, were sold into the hands of the Philistines, and in- 
to the hands of the children of Amnion.* But respecting 
this servitude, as it affected the tribes on the western bor- 
der, the Scripture does not enter into particulars. The 
Ammonites, at the period now before us, were the most 
active in their hostility ; attacking with unrelenting fury 
the Hebrews who dwelt in the neighbourhood of Jordan, 
the Ephraimites, the Gileadites, and even the eastern di- 
vision of Judah and Benjamin. The successes of Jeph- 
thah over the armies of Ammon appear to have procured 
to the whole nation of Israel a long period of security 
and repose ; for it was not until the era of Samson, the 
mighty champion of Dan, that the Philistines placed their 
yoke on the necks of this people, and reduced them to 
the condition of slaves and tributaries. 

The slaughter and insult which Samson, from time to 
time, heaped upon the worshippers of Dagon are described 
with considerable minuteness by the inspired compiler of 
the history of the Judges. The disaster, too, which he 
inflicted upon them at his death, is familiar to the recol- 
lection of every reader. The loss and consternation which 
thereby fell upon the Philistines, induced the Hebrew 

• Judges X. 6, 7- 


tribes to take the field, with the view of shaking off the mi- 
serable thi'aldom under which they had so long groaned. 
They pitched their tents at Eben-ezer, where they waited 
the expected attack of their warlike enemies ; while the 
latter, determined to check the rising spirit of liberty 
among their Israelitish tributaries^, had advanced to Aphek 
and formed an encampment. The two hosts soon came 
to action ; when the battle turned so decidedly in favour of 
the Philistines, that they slew four thousand of their ad- 
versaries in the field, and put the rest to flight. But a 
more brilliant triumph still awaited their arms. The He- 
brews, having sent for the ark of God, made haste to re- 
new the conflict. The issue was still more fatal than on 
the former occasion ; for not only were thirty thousand of 
their number smitten with the sword, but also the holy 
symbol of their religion was taken by their uncircumcised 
conquerors, and carried with profane exultation to the city 
of Dagon, the national idol.* 

The ascendency of the Philistines being thus confirmed, 
the sons of Jacob bent in submission to their authority un- 
til the days of Samuel the prophet. At length, their pa- 
tience being exhausted, they resolved to make another 
effort to reduce the overwhelming power of their oppressors, 
and to redeem the liberty of their sacred commonwealth. 
They accordingly mustered their forces at Mizpeh; where 
they likewise confessed their sins before God, entreating 
the interposition of the prophet in their behalf, as the 
minister of their penitence, and the witness of their vows. 
The lords of Gaza and Ascalon hearing of this unwonted 
assemblage, advanced at the head of their army, to dis- 
perse and punish the insurgent Hebrews. But the mercy 

» 1 Samuel iv. 1, 2. 5, 0. 10, 11. 


of Heaven was now awakened in favour of this afflicted 
and contrite people ; and thus, when the Philistines had 
prepared themselves for the onset, and were about to visit 
their revolted tributaries with a signal chastisement, they 
were assailed with a violent storm of thunder and light- 
ning ; which so completely broke their ranks and filled 
their minds with dread, that they were pursued with 
great slaughter by the Israelites to the borders of their 
own land.* 

But the power of the Philistines, though broken, was 
not annihilated. On the contrary, we find them in the 
course of a few years more formidable than ever, and 
even threatening the stability of the new throne of Israel. 
Having received information that Geba, one of their for- 
tresses, had been taken by Jonathan the son of Saul, they 
gathered together thirty thousand chariots, six thousand 
horse, and infantry as numerous as the sand on the sea-shore, 
to fight with the Israelites; who, still labouring under the 
malign influence of their late tyranny, were almost entirely 
destitute of arms. The divine historian remarks that, as 
long as the Philistines maintained their sway over the 
Hebrews, the latter were not permitted to have smiths in 
their country ; but were compelled to go down to the 
cities of their enemy to sharpen every man his coulter, his 
mattock, and his axe.-j* The immense host which went up 
against Israel encamped in Michmash ; whence they spread 
throughout the whole country a consternation so deep 
and general, that the people hid themselves in caves, and 
in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. 
Some of them even fled out of the land altogether, and, 
passing over Jordan, took refuge in Gad and Gilead. 

• 1 Samuel vii. 5, fi. 10, 11, 12. f 1 Samuel xiii. 7- ; xiv. 15. 20. 


*' As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people 
followed him trembling." 

The fortunes of Israel were restored by the enterprise 
of Jonathan, the bravest and most generous of the sons 
of Saul. This young prince, actuated by a divine im- 
pulse, went forth accompanied only by his armour-bearer, 
and made an attack upon one of the enemy's out-posts ; 
the noise of which spreading to the whole body, the sol- 
diers were seized with a sudden panic, which occasioned so 
great a tumult amongst them, that, to use the language 
of Scripture, the garrison and the spoilers trembled, 
and the earth also quaked. In the height of this disor- 
der, they first fell upon one another with great slaughter, 
and then betook themselves to flight in the utmost confu- 
sion. " Every man's sword was against his fellow, and 
there was a very great discomfiture."""* The Israelites, 
profiting by the terror into which their antagonists 
were thrown, began to pursue them with spirit ; and had 
not Saul by an unseasonable oath deprived them of the 
means of recruiting their strength, they must have cut in 
pieces the greater number of the fugitives. The slaughter, 
however, was still very considerable ; for they smote the 
Philistines that day from Michniash to Aijalon. 

It was apparently to retrieve the loss and the disgrace 
which they suffered at Michmash, that the Philistines 
again resumed their arms against the king of Israel and 
invaded his territory. Having fixed upon a strong posi- 
tion in the inheritance of Judah, from which they might at 
pleasure distress the land, they resolved to wait the course 
of events without incurring the hazard of a general action. 
The indecision of Saul, on the other hand, betrayed his 
fears. Condemned to listen day after day to the reproach- 

* 1 Sam. xiv. 15, 20. 


ful cballeno-e of Goliath, he nevertheless restrained his 
followers, and delayed the battle. The courage of David, 
and his victory over the Philistine champion, relieved the 
cause of Israel from a painful uncertainty ; for no sooner 
did the pagans see the gigantic soldier of Gath slain by the 
hand of a stripling, than their courage forsook them ; and, 
yielding themselves to that irresistible panic to which 
eastern armies have always been subject, they sought safe- 
ty in a disgraceful flight ; losing, if we may believe Jose- 
phus, not fewer than thirty thousand killed and twice as 
many wounded.* 

But the lords of the Philistines had soon an opportu- 
nity of avenging Goliath on the Hebrews and their king. 
A decisive battle was fought on mount Gilboa, in which 
Saul and his three sons were killed, and his army routed 
with great slaughter. The enraged barbarians, upon find- 
ing the body of the Jewish monarch among the slain, cut 
off his head, and conveyed his armour to the temple of 
their goddess Astaroth. They hung up the mangled 
corpses of his family on the walls of Bethshan ; from 
which ignominious exposure they were soon removed by 
the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead, upon whom the unfor- 
tunate monarch had recently conferred a substantial bene- 
faction. " When they heard of what the Philistines had 
done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and went all night, 
and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from 
the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh and burnt 
them there. And they took their bones and buried them 
under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days."-f- 

The reign of David proved very fatal to the interests of the 
Philistines ; insomuch, indeed, that we may adopt the lan- 

" 1 Samuel xvii. 51, 52, 53. Joseplii Antiq. lib. vi. c. II. 
t 1 Samuel xxxi. 11, 12, 13. 


language of tlie book of Ecclesiasticus, and say, that " their 
horn was broken asunder" by the sword of the son of 
Jesse. They became tributaries to his kingdom ; finding 
it more suitable to their commercial habits to purchase 
tranquillity at the expense of a little silver and reputa- 
tion, than to risk their political existence in the field of 
battle against a warrior so experienced and powerful as 
David. During the lapse of many successive years, ac- 
cordingly, the Hebrews maintained an unrestrained in- 
tercourse with their western neighbours ; and appear to 
have acquired a taste for those luxuries of which the 
several ports belonging to the Philistines were already be- 
come the principal emporia. 

It was not till the accessson of Nadab, king of Israel, 
that the ancient enmity of the two nations was once more 
revived. This monarch made an attempt upon Gibbe- 
thon, a Levitical city, which, in fact, pertained to his 
crown, but which the Philistines had seized when, on one 
occasion, it was deserted by its inhabitants. Elah, at a 
still later period, renewed the siege with equal want of 
success ; the skill and strength of his army being ex- 
hausted to no purpose on the resolute valour of the garri- 
son. But, although the Philistines made a vigorous oppo- 
sition to the arms of Israel, they were desirous to remain 
on good terms with the princes of Judah, to whom they 
continued the payment of their accustomed tribute. We 
observe, however, that when Jehoram the son of Jehosha- 
phat was raised to the throne, they not only spurned his 
authority, but actually invaded his kingdom ; plundering 
his palace, and carrying their fury against him to such a 
height as to massacre all his family except Athaliah and 
her son, who had the good fortune to escape their san- 
guinary resentment. At the same time, also, they carried 
off a great number of captives ; some of whom they sold 

€hap. II.] AND PROFANE HISTOllY. 189 

to the Edomites, and others to the Greeks, who removed 
them to a hopeless distance from their native land.* 
*' The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the 
Philistines, and of the Arabians that were near the Ethio- 
pians : And they came up into Judah and brake into it, 
and carried away all the substance that was found in the 
king*'s house, and his sons also and his wives ; so that 
there was never a son left him save Jehoahaz, the youngest 
of his sons.''-^ 

Uzziah, after the various turns of a protracted warfare, 
restored the balance of power in favour of the Hebrews- 
He took and dismantled some of the principal cities in 
the Philistine territory, and built fortresses in order to re- 
strain the inhabitants and enforce the payment of tribute. 
He reduced Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, and planted 
garrisons in all the strong places of the district which he 
had overrun. The pressure of this conquest was so 
severely felt, that until the reign of Ahaz the Philistines 
did not venture to make another appeal to arms. 

The weak policy of the sovereign just named encour- 
aged them to invade his territories ; and this they accom- 
plished with so much success, that most of the cities of 
the low country and of the south of Judah fell into their 
hands ; namely, Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, 
and Shocho, with the villages thereof, and Timnah, with 
the villages thereof, and Gimzo also, and the villages 
thereof, and they dwelt therein.;]: But the time was at 
hand when a power was to burst upon Syria, Canaan, and 
Philistia, which was destined to put an end to these petty 
struggles for superiority, and to reduce at once the sons 
of Israel and the descendants of the Caphtorim to an 

• Amos i. 6. ; Joel iii. 6. f 2 Chronicles xxi. 16, 17. 

J 2 Chronicles xxviii. 1 8. 


equal obedience, and to an acknowledgment of the same 
paramount sceptre. Sennacherib sent against them his 
general, the celebrated Tartan, who reduced their strong- 
holds and wasted their fields ; realizing to their fullest ex- 
tent the words of the prophet Zephaniah, who predicted 
that " Gaza should be forsaken, and Askelon should be- 
come a desolation ; that they should drive out Ashdod at 
the noon-day, and that Ekron should be rooted up. Wo 
unto the inhabitants of the sea-coasts, the nation of the 
Cherithites ! The word of the Lord is against you : O 
Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will destroy thee 
that there shall be no inhabitant ; and the sea-coasts shall 
be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for 

This subjection to the Assyrians entailed upon the Phi- 
listines a long train of suffering and degradation. Their 
country soon became the seat of a protracted and bloody 
war ; for the king of Egypt, apprehensive for the safety 
of his own states, attempted to drive the Assyrian troops 
out of Palestine, and, with that view, commenced hostili- 
ties which continued not less than thirty years. From 
this period the name of the Philistines disappears from the 
page of history ; and their place is occupied by the sub- 
jects of the three great monarchies which in their turn pos- 
sessed the western shores of Asia. 

V. We now proceed to the history of the children of 
Ammon. The origin of this tribe may be discovered in 
the same portion of sacred writ in which the extraction of 
Moab is unfolded ; where we also find that they took pos- 
session of a range of country contiguous to that which their 
brethren of the older branch had selected for their inheri- 

Zephaniah xi, 4— -6. 


tance. As the Moabites drove out the Emims and seized 
their lands, so the Ammonites expelled the Zuzims and 
planted themselves in their stead ; both of which tribes 
appear to have kept their ground until the days of Moses, 
when the latter were defeated by Sihon the Amorite, who 
compelled them to seek refuge in the mountains. 

Of their political constitution and manners so little is re- 
corded in Scripture, that the most inquisitive reader is left 
almost entirely to conjecture. Their government was admi- 
nistered by a magistrate, to whom, after the fashion of the 
surrounding countries, they gave the title of king. The 
richness of the soil which had fallen to their lot induced 
them to practise the arts of husbandry; whence, we mio-ht 
conclude, that, in the progress of civilization, they could 
not fail to surpass the neighbouring tribes, whose pursuits 
necessarily spread them over the surface of the desert, and 
accustomed them to dwell in tents. Owing to the relation- 
ship which subsisted between them and the descendants of 
Abraham, the Hebrews, when they passed from Egypt 
into Canaan, were instructed to abstain from making war 
upon them or committing any act of violence ; but the 
Ammonites, like their brethren of Moab, influenced rather 
by their own fears than by the conduct of the strangers, 
involved themselves in the very calamities which they 
wished to avoid. 

At a period considerably more recent, we find them 
joined in an alliance with Eglon against the children of 
Israel, and sharing in the triumphs which that prince 
gained over the idolatrous tribes. He gathered unto him 
Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and 
possessed the city of palm trees.* About a century and 

Judges iii. 13. 


a half thereafter, they engaged singly in a war with the 
Hebrews, in order to recover the lands of which their an- 
cestors had been deprived by the arms of Moses. " The 
kins; of the children of Ammon answered unto the mes- 
senger of Jephthah, saying, Because Israel took away my 
land when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even 
unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan ; now therefore restore 
those lands again peaceably."* Advancing into the coun- 
try with these pretensions, the sovereign of the Ammonites 
took the inhabitants by surprise ; reduced the principal 
towns in the eastern tribes ; and at length crossed the Jor- 
dan to fall upon Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. Nor 
was his progress checked until the heroic son of Gilead 
was induced to take the field, and determine his claims at 
the point of the sword. " So Jephthah passed over unto the 
children of Ammon to fight against them ; and the Lord 
delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from 
Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, 
and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great 
slaughter."-|- Thus terminated the ascendency of the peo- 
ple of Ammon over Israel, which had continued during 
the long space of eighteen years. 

But although defeated, on this occasion, as well by ar- 
gument as by arms, the Ammonites did not relinquish 
their ancient rights to part of the Hebrew territory. In 
the very beginning of the reign of Saul, when, as yet, the 
regal authority was not fully established in Israel, Nahash, 
their king, invaded the lands of Reuben and Gad, which 
were situated beyond the river Jordan : and, having 
driven the inhabitants into the larger towns for safety, he 
proceeded to lay siege to Jabesh-Gilead, one of the strong- 

* Judges xi. 13. f Judges xi. 32, 33. 


est places in that part of the kingdom. The terror of his 
name was so great, that the people were disposed at once 
to throw themselves at his feet, and to acknowledge him 
for their master : and had he not, in the true spirit of a 
barbarian, refused to receive their submission except on 
terms which were worse than death, he might have com- 
pleted the conquest of the trans-jordanic tribes. " The 
men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with 
us, and we will serve thee. And Nahash the Ammonite 
answered them. On this condition will I make a covenant 
with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and 
lay it for a reproach upon all Israel."* The inhabitants 
replied, that if he would allow them seven days to wait 
for relief at the hands of their countrymen, they would, 
at the end of that period, if no deliverance reached them, 
surrender themselves and their city on the terms which he 
had prescribed. Nahash agreed to delay his revenge un- 
til the seven days should expire. On the last evening of 
the trucp, the men of Jabesh, aware of the means which 
were about to be used for their succour, sent to the camp 
of the besiegers, saying, " To-morrow we will come out 
unto you, and ye shall do with us all that seemeth good 
unto you." But before the dawn of the eighth day, Saul, 
who had divided his army into three parts, attacked the 
Ammonites with so much impetuosity, that they were in- 
stantly thrown into an inextricable confusion, which soon 
terminated in a general rout. The Israelites came into the 
midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Am- 
monites until the heat of the day ; at which time the sur- 
vivors were so completely broken and dispersed, that no- 
where two of them were to be seen together.-|- 

• 1 Samuel xi. 1, 2. t 1 Samuel xi. 11. 



Nahash was succeeded on the throne of Ammon by Hanun 
his son ; when, we are told, David sent ambassadors to 
comphment the young king upon his accession, and to 
make an offer of private friendship and of a national al- 
liance. " Then said David, I will show kindness unto 
Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness 
unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand 
of his servants for his father. And David's servants came 
into the land of the children of Ammon." Hanun, on this 
important occasion, acted the part of a fool ; for, affecting 
to regard the envoys of the Jewish king as spies, he gave 
orders to shave half their beards, to cut away the skirts of 
their garments, and to send them home in that shameful 
disguise. This contempt, directed against the most spirited 
and powerful prince who, at that period, reigned in Syria, 
brought upon the Ammonite and his people a speedy 
and signal retribution.* 

Finding himself on the eve of war, Hanun sent mes- 
sengers to the neighbouring princes, soliciting their aid 
against the king of Judah. He applied to the Syrians of 
Beth-Rehob, and to the Syrians of Zobah, from whom he 
procured twenty thousand footmen. The king of Maachah 
furnished one thousand, and the ruler of Ishtob twelve ; 
so that the troops supplied by his confederates amounted 
in all to not less than three and thirty thousand. Jose- 
phus limits the gross number to thirty-two thousand ; de- 
ducting the contingent said to have been provided by the 
king of Maachah. The account given in the first book of 
Chronicles varies in several important particulars both 
from Josephus and the inspired text of Samuel. " And 
when the children of Ammon saw that they made them- 

• 2 Samuel x. 2. 


selves odious unto David, Hanun and the children of Am- 
mon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots 
and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Syria- 
maachah, and out of Zobah. So they hired thirty and 
two thousand chariots, and the king of Maachah and his 
people."* Here the footmen are converted into chariots, — 
an error which must be ascribed to clerical neglect, ignor- 
ance, or vanity. 

Hanun, at the head of an army, formidable chiefly on 
account of its number, proceeded out of Rabbah to meet 
Joab, whom king David had intrusted with the command 
of his forces. The Ammonites and their allies formed 
in two separate bodies ; the first under the walls of their 
town, the second at some distance in the plain ; hoping 
thereby to distract the attention of the Hebrew general, 
and to assail him at once in front and rear. But the 
military talent of Joab supplied him with a suitable ex- 
pedient for defeating the plan of the enemy. He likewise 
divided his troops into two columns ; and placing one un- 
der the direction of his brother Abishai, ordered him 
forthwith to charge the Ammonites, while he himself with 
the other rushed upon the Syrian auxiliaries. The latter 
not being able to withstand the shock, immediately gave 
way ; upon which the subjects of Hanun, quitting their 
ranks, sought a retreat within the walls of their city. 

The Syrians, apparently ashamed of their discomfiture, 
or perhaps dreading the resentment of David, made pre- 
parations for again taking the field against the Hebrews. 
" When they saw that they were smitten before Israel," says 
the sacred writer, " they gathered themselves together ; 
and Hadarezer sent and brought out the Syrians that 

* 1 Chionicles xix. 6, 7- 


were beyond the river ; and they came to Helam : and 
Shobachj the captain of the host of Hadarezer, went before 
them."* On this occasion David went out in person to 
conduct the war in the covmtry of Ammon ; and having 
soon routed the confederated bands, he resolved to chas- 
tise the insolence of Hanun more severely than he had 
yet thought it necessary, and to disable him from renewing 
his vexatious hostilities. For this purpose he soon after- 
wards sent an army under the command of Joab, with or- 
ders to lay waste the country of the Ammonites, to destroy 
their towns, and to carry off or massacre the inhabitants. 
In pursuance of these instructions, the Hebrew leader shut 
up Hanun in Rabbah, the capital of his kingdom ; to 
which he immediately laid siege with the greater part of 
his men. The place, being naturally strong and well for- 
tified, held out about two years ; in the course of which 
the Ammonites made at least one furious sally, when they 
cut off a great number of the Israelites, and among others 
Uriah the Hittite, the husband of Bathsheba.-f 

At length the city being reduced to great extremities, 
particularly for want of water, was on the point of 
surrendering, when Joab gave notice to his sovereign 
to assume himself the command of the troops, that 
he might have the honour of taking the capital of 
the Ammonites. Upon his arrival in the camp, David 
ordered an assault, which was attended with complete 
success. Hanun is supposed to have fallen among 
the combatants ; for the crown which he wore, and which, 
with the precious stones, weighed a talent of gold, was 
taken off his head by the conqueror and retained as a 
trophy.J It is added, that he brought forth the spoil of 
the city in great abundance. But the afflictions of the 

• 2 Samuel x. 15, 16. t 2 Samuel xi. 14 — 17. ^ 2 Samuel xi. 30. 


children of Ammon were not confined to the loss of their 
houses and property. They were treated with a degree of 
harshness, the description of which, even at this distant 
day, fills the mind of the reader with regret, indignation, 
and disgust ; being put to death with the most frightful 
tortures, thrust under harrows of iron, sawn asunder, hewn 
down with axes, and thrown into brick-kilns.* 

The narrative of Josephus agrees in substance with 
that now quoted from the inspired writings. The histo- 
rian observes, that David " first tormented the men, and 
then destroyed them ;" hence we are scarcely at liberty to 
avail ourselves of the more humane interpretation of those 
commentators to whom I have elsewhere alluded, who think 
that by the words used in the book of Samuel nothing 
more was meant than that the Ammonites were reduced 
to the condition of slavery ; and condemned to the labour 
of sawing timber, harrowing the fields, hewing wood, 
and burning bricks.-f* But whatever might be the nature 
of this punishment, it was extended to the inhabitants of 
all the cities which shut their gates against the invading 
army ; for the sacred historian assures us, that " thus 
dealt David with all the cities of the children of Am- 



It was not until the reign of Jehoshaphat, king of Ju- 
dah, that this people had either the power or the inchna- 
tion to renew war with the Hebrews. Forming an al- 
liance with their brethren of Moab, they made an incur- 
sion upon Judah, the particulars of which are already be- 
fore the reader.§ Their brief success was checked by the 

• 2 Samuel xii. 31. ; 1 Chron. xx. 2, 3. 

+ Joseph! Antiq. Jud. lib. vii. c. 7- See also a note by "Whiston on the 
above passage. 

1 1 Chronicles xx. 3. ; 2 Samuel xii. 31. 
§ 2 Chronicles xxvii. 5 


warlike Uzziah, who again reduced them to the condi- 
tion of tributaries, and increased their burdens. Nor 
were they more fortunate under the administration of his 
son Jotham ; who punished an attempt to recover their 
independence, by compelHng them to pay one hundred 
talents of silver, ten thousand measures of wheat, and the 
same quantity of barley.* 

We meet with no other records of the children of Am- 
mon till towards the close of the Hebrew monarchy ; when, 
alarmed by the ambitious projects of the Babylonian king, 
they appear to have laid aside their enmity to Israel, and 
even to have united with them in certain measures of mu- 
tual help and protection. There is no doubt, at least, that 
many of the fugitive Jews were well received in the terri- 
tory of Ammon ; and Baalis, the king, took so much in- 
terest in the welfare of the conquered tribes, that he 
encouraged Ishmael, one of the blood royal, to return to 
Judea and assassinate the governor appointed by the Ba- 
bylonians. The murder and partial insurrection which 
followed the ambiguous counsel of the Ammonitish king, 
terminated in the ruin of the prince by whose hands they 
were accomplished; and finally led to the downfall of 
Baalis himself, and to the destruction of his people. Upon 
hearing of the death of Gedaliah, the prefect named by 
his master, Nebuzaradan marched into the country of the 
Ammonites; laid it waste with fire and sword; demolished 
Rabbah the capital, and carried the king and most of his 
nobles into a hopeless captivity.-|- 

But although they were subdued by the arms of Baby- 
lon, the children of Ammon still continued a distinct and 

* 2 Chron. xxvii. 5. See also Ancier.t Universal History, vol. i. p. 362. 
t Jeremiah xl. 1.3— IG. ; xli. 12. ; xlix. 2, 3. 


separate nation. They appear even to have increased 
their numbers very considerably ; for, in the days of the 
Maccabees, they composed a great army, which took 
the field under their general Timotheus, against the cause 
of Jewish independence. In a battle which ensued, Judas, 
the Hebrew leader, gained over them a complete victory, 
from the effects of which they did not afterwards recover : 
and, at length, their city Jaser^with the neighbouring towns, 
fell into the hands of the Jews, who pillaged and burnt 
them, slew the men, and carried the women and children 
into bondage.* Their name, however, did not cease to 
exist till towards the end of the second century of our era; 
when it was finally absorbed by the rising power of Ara- 
bia, which in a little time effaced all the ancient distinc- 
tions among the native tribes in the promised land. 

VI. Among the several nations of Syria with which the 
Israelites were connected either as friends or enemieS;, dur- 
ing the times that the Judges ruled, we find enumerated 
the very ancient tribe of Amalek. This people are 
usually thought to have been descended from a patriarch of 
the same name, the eldest son of Eliphaz, the first-born of 
Esau •,'f but the Arabians, we are told, trace his extrac- 
tion to a different source, and make him some generations 
older than Abraham. According to this view of his li- 
neage, he is represented as the son of Ad, who was the 
son of Uz, who was the grandson of Noah. They say 
also that the Amalekites, in ancient times, possessed the 
country about Mecca; whence they were subsequently 
expelled by the Jorhamite kings.]: 

• 1 IMaccab. v. (5—8. 

•^ Genesis xxxvi. " And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz, Esau's son, 
and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek." 

'I Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 383. 


There is no doubt that much obscurity hangs over the 
early separation of Amalek from the family of Edom^ 
which the most learned archaeologists have in vain at- 
tempted to remove. That event might, indeed;, be reason- 
ably ascribed either to the spuriousness of his birth, or to 
some domestic quarrel with his brethren, who may be sup- 
posed to have disputed his right to a part of their inheri- 
tance. But when we call to mind the previous wars of 
the Amalekites with Chedorlaomer ; that Balaam describ- 
ed them as the first of the nations ; that Moses never 
styles them the brethren of Israel or of Edom ; that the 
latter never held any friendly intercourse with them, nor 
formed an alliance in any of their wars, but suffered them 
to be invaded and butchered by Saul, without offering 
either aid or remonstrance ; and, lastly, that they are al- 
ways mentioned by the sacred historian with the Amorites, 
the Hittites, and other Canaanitish nations, and even in- 
volved with them in the same curse ; we must admit 
that there is some reason to suspect the foundation of the 
common opinion as to the lineage of this tribe, and hence, 
to yield to the Arabian tradition the claim of a fair proba- 
bility.* Nay, there are some authors who place so much 
reliance upon the native annals of Idumea, as to conclude 
that the Amalekites were the shepherds who at a very 
early period invaded Egypt, and even took possession 
of the throne of that country. At all events, it cannot be 
denied that there is a great similarity between the details 
given by the Arabic historians, concerning the enterprise 
of the wandering sons of Amalek, and the notices which 
have been conveyed to us respecting the Phenician pastors, 
through the channel of the Egyptian priesthood. 

Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 383. 


But in such inquiries we have neither guide nor autho- 
rity buppHed to us by the sacred Scriptures. That the 
Amalekites were, at a very remote period, a powerful and 
a jealous people, is estabHshed by the fact, that they no 
sooner heard of the Israelites having crossed the Red sea, 
than they resolved to attack them : And when we consider 
that the host under the direction of Moses consisted of six 
hundred thousand men who could draw the sword, we 
are necessarily led to the conclusion that the sons of 
Amalek must have already flourished a long time on the 
eastern shore of the Arabian gulf. Josephus informs 
us, that several of their kings united in this expedition 
against Israel. Those that induced the rest to do so, says 
he, were such as inhabited Gobalitis and Petra. They 
were called Amalekites, and were the most warlike of the 
nations that dwelt in that country.* 

Moses himself relates, that when on his march from Re- 
phidim to mount Horeb, the nations of the desert made a 
furious assault upon his people. The latter, being still 
ignorant of war, were thrown into great consternation, 
when they saw themselves about to be attacked by a body 
of troops, accustomed to the fatigues and predatory life of 
that savage wilderness. The lawgiver of the Hebrews, ac- 
cordingly, put more confidence in the aid of Heaven than in 
the arm of flesh. " Choose us out men," said he to Joshua, 
" and go out and fight with Amalek ; to-morrow I will 
stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine 
hand." An action ensued, in which the alternation of suc- 
cess and discomfiture depended upon the personal attitude 
of the inspired servant of Jehovah ; for when his hand 
was lifted up, Israel prevailed, and when he let down his 

.Tosephi Antiq. Jud. lib. iii. c 2. Exod. xvii. 8. 


hand, Amalek prevailed.* At length the battle terminat- 
ed in the complete defeat of the barbarians, who acknow- 
ledged the strength of Jacob, and the power of his God. 
They carried with them, too, in their retreat, the tremendous 
doom uttered by the mouth of the Omnipotent, that their 
progeny was to be exterminated, and their name blotted out 
from the face of the earth. " And the Lord said unto Moses, 
Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the 
ears of Joshua ; for I will utterly put out the remem- 
brance of Amalek from under heaven.""-h 

But many generations passed before this severe sentence 
was fully executed. In the interval, it pleased the Di- 
vine Wisdom, on several occasions, to employ the sword 
of the Amalekites as an instrument for punishing the re- 
bellious and murmuring Hebrews. It is related, in the 
fourteenth chapter of the book of Numbers, that, when 
Moses had announced to his people the sentence of Jeho- 
vah, excluding the generation which came out of Egypt 
from all participation in the Holy Land, a great number 
of them attempted, in direct opposition to the will of Hea- 
ven, to force their way into the promised territory. And 
they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into 
the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we, even we, will go 
up unto the place which the Lord hath promised, for we 
have already suffered enough. I "And Moses said, Where- 

• Exodus xvii. 9, 10, 11. t Exodus xvii. 14. 

+ Numbers xiv. 40. I have used a little freedom in translating this 
verse, which the sense of the passage seemed to require, and which the idiom 
of the Hebrew language will certainly permit. The Israelites insisted upon 
advancing towards the Holy Land, even without the consent and guidance of 
Moses ; but it is surely no good reason for such conduct to say, Jbr wc 
have sinned. The import of the expression must be what I have given in the 
text, " for we have suffered," — that is, we have already endured sufficient 
hardship and privation in the wilderness. Nun, signifies not only to sin, but 
to snjfer, — See the Lexicons. 


fore do ye now transgress the commandment of the Lord ? 
but it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the Lord is not 
among you ; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. 
For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are before you, 
and ye shall fall by the sword : because ye are turned 
away from the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with 
you. But they presumed to go up unto the hill-top : ne- 
vertheless the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and IMoses, 
departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites 
came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in the hill, 
and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hor- 

This hostility towards Israel continued to exasperate 
the mind of Amalek, long after the former had taken pos- 
session of Canaan, and had relinquished all pretensions to 
the Arabian wilderness. We find them in alliance with 
Eglon, king of Moab, when he oppressed the sons of Ja- 
cob ; with the Ammonites in the day of their power over 
the same people ; and, finally, with the Midianites under 
Zeba and Zalmunna, when these princes united their 
strength with the view of expelling the Hebrews altoge- 
ther from the land on both sides of the Jordan, and of es- 
tablishing themselves in their place ."j* 

No mention is made of this devoted people during the 
administration of the later judges. But, in the reign of 
Saul, the threatening of Jehovah was called to mind ; up- 
on which Samuel conveyed to the king of Israel a positive 
command to lead forth an army against Amalek, and to 
smite them without mercy ; sparing neither man nor wo- 
man, infant nor suckling, ox nor sheep, camel nor ass. At 
the head of two hundred and ten thousand footmen, Saul 

• Numbers xiv. 41 — 45. t Judges iii. 13. ; iv. 3. 


advanced to attack the ancient enemies of his country, 
when he gained over them a victory so complete as to be re- 
garded as equivalent to an entire extirpation of the whole 
race. " He smote them from Havilah until thou comest 
to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag 
the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all 
the people with the edge of the sword."* 

The name Agag, like that of Pharaoh in Egypt, seems 
to have been hereditary in the royal house of Amalek ; 
for we read, in the celebrated prediction of Balaam, that 
their sovereign, in those early days, bore this appellation ; 
and we find that the prince conquered by Saul continued 
to retain it.-f* But the antiquity of his descent procured 
him no favour in the eyes of the prophet Samuel ; who, 
joining to the power which he had recently exercised as 
judge, the authority which belonged to his spiritual of- 
fice, gave orders that he should be put to death. The un- 
fortunate monarch was accordingly hewn in pieces before the 
Lord in Gilgal.| 

The miserable remains of the Amalekites, who escaped 
the sword of Saul and the still less merciful judgment of 
the prophet, returned to the desolate fields of their ances- 
tors, whose sins they had now expiated ; and there they 
appear to have lived in peace till the time of David. This 
son of Jesse, being obliged to flee from the face of Saul, 
took refuge among the Philistines ; whose king, as has 
been already mentioned, seeing in the youthful warrior a 
formidable rival to the Hebrew monarch, encouraged his 
disaffection, and even conferred upon him the city of Zik- 
lasr. David, either to secure a subsistence for himself and 
his followers, or to gratify his protector, who had probably 

• 1 Samuel xv. 2, 3, 4. 7, 8. t Numbers xxiv. 7- t ^ Samuel xv, 32, 33. 


some injuries to avenge upon his neighbours, issued forth 
at the head of his mixed bands, to make an attack on the 
Amalekites. " And David and his men went up and, in- 
vaded the Geshurites, and the Gezerites, and the Amalek- 
ites ; for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the 
land, as thou goest to Shur, even to the land of Egypt. 
And David smote the land, ana left neither man nor wo- 
man alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and 
the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, 
and came to Achish."* 

This cruel injury excited in the Amalekites the desire 
of revenge. Collecting their whole strength, they went up 
to Ziklag, the residence of David, who, with his fierce 
troop of marauders, happened then to be absent. The 
town being surprised in a defenceless state, fell an easy 
prey to the angry Canaanites, who forthwith plundered it 
and set it on fire. But with a feeling of moderation which 
did not always grace the military successes of the Hebrew 
chieftain, the Amalekites saved the lives of the inhabi- 
tants ; satisfying themselves with the capture of such pri- 
soners as fell into their hands, among whom were David's 
two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite, and Abigail, who had 
been spouse to Nabal, the churlish shepherd of mount 
Carmel . 

The victorious Arabs made haste to secure their booty 
in one of their distant retreats ; for which purpose they 
marched with so much expedition, that they were compel- 
led to leave behind one of their number, who, being sick, 
was not able to keep pace with them. This person, an 
Egyptian by birth, fell into the hands of David ; who, 
being informed of what had taken place in his absence. 

1 Samuel xxvii. 6 — 'J. 




lost no time to engage in the pursuit of the predatory 
Amalekites. The captive, upon receiving an oath that 
his Hfe should be spared, gave such information respect- 
ing the movements of his people, that the son of Jesse had 
no difficulty in tracing their steps. And when David 
came down upon them, behold they were spread abroad 
upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, be- 
cause of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the 
land of the Phihstines, and out of the land of Judah. 
And David smote them from the twilight even unto the 
evening of the next day ; and there escaped not a man of 
them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon 
camels, and fled.* 

In this manner David saved at once his reputation 
and his life ; for the inhabitants of Ziklag were so in- 
censed at the neglect by which their city had been exposed 
to so furious an assault, that they threatened to put 
him to death : " the people spake of stoning him, because 
the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his 
sons and for his daughters." The Amalekites, on the 
other hand, appear not to have again lifted a weapon in 
opposition to Israel during the reign of any future king. 
The last blow which was inflicted upon them, and which 
seems to have terminated their existence as a separate peo- 
ple, is recorded in the annals of Hezekiah ; in whose time, 
the Simeonites " smote their tents, and their habitations 
that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto 
this day, and dwelt in their room. And they smote the 
rest of the Amalekites that escaped ."-f- 

it has been remarked, that the enmity which Haman 
entertained against the Jews, arose from his connection 

* 1 Samuel xxx. 11—17. t 1 Chronicles iv. 41. 43. 


with the Amalekites, from whom he is said to have deriv- 
ed his descent. He is described in the book of Esther as 
the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the Jew's enemy ; 
and it is well known that, but for the interposition of the 
patriotic queen of Ahasuerus, he would, in one day, have 
compensated all the evils which his nation had received at 
the hands of the Hebrews.* 

VII. Of the Syrians, considered as a separate people, we 
have not yet taken any particular notice. The proper name 
of their country is Aram^ derived, it is thought, from the 
youngest son of Shem. Owing to the very vague mean- 
ing of the term Syria, which soon superseded the more 
ancient appellation, it has become extremely difficult to 
determine the boundaries of the land which originally per- 
tained to the descendants of Aram. The limits of that 
kingdom have frequently shifted ; having at one time com- 
prehended Mesopotamia and the greater part of the terri- 
tory westward of the Euphrates ; and being at another 
period rigidly restricted to the narrow dominions of Zo- 
bah and Damascus. The proper Syria is usually defined 
as being situated between the Mediterranean on the west, 
the Euphrates on the east, mount Taurus on the norths, and 
the desert of Arabia, Palestine, and Phenicia on the south ; 
stretching from the thirty-fourth to the thirty-eighth de- 
gree of north latitude, "f* 

Leaving these details to the general historian or professed 
antiquary, we cannot, however, pass by the remarkable dis- 
trict of Palmyrene, a spacious and fertile province in the 
midst of a frightful desert. There were in it two principal 
towns, Thapsacus and Palmyra, from the latter of which the 
whole country took its name. The inhabitants having re- 

Esther iii. 10. t See Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 431. 


volted from the emperor Aurelian, and pledged their faith 
to an adventurer called Antiochus, or Achilles, who had 
assumed the purple, this splendid town was destroyed and 
rased to the ground. The emperor, repenting of his 
hasty resolution, gave orders that Palmyra should be im- 
mediately rebuilt; but so inefficient were the measures 
which he adopted, or so imperfectly was he obeyed in their 
execution, that the city in the desert has ever since been 
remarkable only as a mass of magnificent ruins. 

Solomon, it is well known, took pleasure in adding to 
its beauty and strength, as being one of his principal for- 
tresses on the eastern border ; and hence it is spoken of in 
Scripture as " Tadmor in the wilderness."" Josephus calls 
it Thadamor ; the Seventy recognise it under the name of 
Theodmor and Thedmor ; while the Arabs and Syrians 
at the present day keep alive the remembrance of its an- 
cient glory as Tadmor, Tadmier, and Tatmor, But of 
Solomon's labours not one vestige remains. The first ob- 
ject which now presents itself to the traveller who ap- 
proaches this forlorn place, is a castle of mean architecture 
and uncertain origin, about half an hour's walk from the 
city on the north side. " From thence we descry Tadmor, 
enclosed on three sides by long ridges of mountains ; but 
to the south is a vast plain which bounds the visible hori- 
zon. The barren soil presents nothing green but a few 
palm-trees. The city must have been of large extent, if 
we may judge from the space now taken up by the ruins ; 
but as there are no traces of its walls, its real dimensions 
and form remain equally unknown. It is now a deplora- 
ble spectacle, inhabited by thirty or forty miserable fami- 
lies, who have built huts of mud within a spacious court 
which once enclosed a magnificent heathen temple.'^* 

* See Maundrell, Volney, Ancient Universal History, and Schulten's frco- 
gv.apliical Commentary, 



The Syrians continued long under the government of 
some petty kings^ who so divided the strength of their fine 
country, that they rendered it not less unavailable for con- 
quest than for defence. Even in the days of Saul we find 
several of these chiefs summoned by Benhadad to attend 
him in his wars. It has been conjectured, indeed, that 
their political regimen was not at all times monarchical, 
and even that Damascus itself, in the reign of David, was 
only the head of a small commonwealth. It is said, for 
example, that the " Syrians of Damascus," not their king, 
sent twenty thousand men to the relief of Hadarezer, 
king of Zobah, — a passage of Scripture which has been 
thought to imply a kind of republican authority in the 
people.* But this distinction is too minute to support 
the argument which has been founded upon it. Besides, 
it is certain that the government of Zobah was regal, as 
well as that of the subordinate states which it originally 
comprehended ; while Damascus, as soon as it became fully 
known to history, exhibited all the features of an unmixed 
despotism, extending its power on both sides of the Eu- 

The Kings of Zobah or Sophene were asjbllows : 

According to Scrip- 

Hadadezer or 

According to 

Arach . 


* 1 Samuel viii. 5, 6. Ancient Universal History, vol. i. p. 442. 




The Kings of Damascus. 

According to Scripture. 




Benhadad I. 

Benhadad II. 


Benhadad III. 


According to Joseph us, 






Rases or Arases. 

According to Nicolas Damas. 

Adad I. 
Adad II. 
Adad III. 
Adad IV. 
Adad V. 
Adad VI. 
Adad VII. 
Adad VIII. 
Adad IX. 
Adad X. 

Contemporary with 






Jehoshaphat and Jehorani. 

Ahaziah and Joash. 



Jotham and Ahaz. 

The Kings of Hamaih. 

According to Scrip- 

According to 









Chap. II.] AND PROFANE rilSTOKY. 211 

The King's qf'Geshur. 

According to Scripture. Contemporary with 

Ammihud. Saul. 

Talmai. David. 

Rehob is here supposed to have been the first king of 
Zobah, whose government extended over the whole of the 
united principalities, which were formerly spread over that 
part of Syria, and enjoyed a nominal independence. His 
son, a monarch of considerable power and unbounded am- 
bition, undertook to dispute with David for the supremacy 
of Canaan. He had indeed gained several advantages over 
the king of Hamath ; but he no sooner attempted to oppose 
the progress of the Jewish sovereign, in reducing under his 
dominion the land promised to the seed of Abraham, than 
his good fortune entirely forsook him. In the first battle 
which he fought with the son of Jesse, he lost a thousand 
chariots, seven thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. 
It was on this occasion that the Syrians of Damascus sent 
their army to his assistance. But, says the inspired au- 
thor of the book of Samuel, when they came to succour 
Hadarezer, king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two 
and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in 
Syria of Damascus ; and the Syrians became servants un- 
to David, and brought gifts.*}- ' 

• The above table is copied from the Ancient Universal History, volume 
first, page 456, where the compilers say, " we have not observed the seniori- 
ty of these kingdoms, by placing them either in an exact collateral or succes- 
sive order ; but have given the second place to Damascus, because it rose 
upon the ruins of Zobah ; though Hamath and Geshur were the most an- 
cient kingdoms." 

■f 2 Samuel viii. 3 — fi. ., 


This victory, on the part of David, operated in two 
ways against Hadarezer, and greatly reduced his power. 
Not only were several cities taken and plundered by the 
Hebrew army, and an immense booty in gold and brass 
carried away to the land of Israel ; but, in addition to 
these losses, the Syrian king had the mortification to find 
that Toi, the ruler of Hamath, had formed an alliance 
with his enemy and courted his protection. " When Toi, 
king of Hamath, heard that David had smitten all the 
host of Hadarezer, then Toi sent Joram his son unto king 
David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had 
fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him ; for Hadar- 
ezer had wars with Toi."* 

But we ought not to interpret the words of Scripture 
so literally as to conclude, because the Syrians are said to 
have becoine servants to David, and to bring presents to 
him, that the kingdom of Zobah was then entirely dissolv- 
ed. That such was not the immediate effect produced by 
the triumphs of Israel, is made manifest by some impor- 
tant events which afterwards ensued. For example, it 
was subsequently to the defeat just mentioned, that Had- 
arezer furnished to Hanun, king of Ammon, twenty thou- 
sand men to lead against the army commanded by Joab. 
His ally being soon after routed with great slaughter by 
the Hebrew general, he determined, in the following year, 
to make a powerful effort to retrieve the affairs of both 
kingdoms, and to repress, if possible, the ambitious views 
of their warlike neighbours. With these intentions, he 
summoned all the petty kings who owed him homage, as 
well from Syria proper as from Mesopotamia ; desiring 
them to rally round his standard with all the forces they 

• 2 Sam. viiL 8, 9, 10. 


could muster : and having, by such means, assembled a 
very considerable army, he placed it under the direction 
of Shobach, the most experienced of his commanders, with 
orders to co-operate with Hanun against the common ene- 
my. The issue of this enterprise has been already describ- 
ed. The Syrian host was defeated with great carnage at 
Helam ; their general was slain in the field of battle ; and 
the vassal princes, finding that Hadarezer could no longer 
protect them, or compel their obedience, abjured their al- 
legiance, and acknowledged the superiority of Israel.* 
Whether the king of Zobah himself followed their exam- 
ple, in this respect^ has not been clearly ascertained ; but 
it admits of no doubt, that his people must have sunk 
down into obscurity, and, soon afterwards, allowed them- 
selves to merge in the rising power of Damascus ; for 
they are not again mentioned as a separate nation in any 
part of the sacred volume. 

Of the kings of Haraath, who, on the defeat of Hadar- 
ezer, placed themselves under the protection of Israel, 
there is very little to be learned either in profane history 
or in the Scriptures. They are supposed to have derived 
their origin from that class of Syrians who were descended 
from Canaan, the son of Ham, and to have had the seat 
of their power in a district considerably northward of the 
Holy Land. Josephus, at least, gives it this position ; 
while Abulfeda, who is thought to have had better means 
of information, relates, that Hamath was situated on the 
Orontes between Hems and Apamea. In regard, again, 
to their political connections, it remains doubtful whe- 
ther, upon the separation of the ten tribes, they did not 
resume a species of independence, and were, after a brief 

2 Samuel x. 111. 


interval, a second time obliged to own a master in the 
sovereign of Damascus. It should seem, too, that, upon 
the decline of this latter power, the Hamathites once 
more raised their heads as a free state ; of which a cer- 
tain degree of indirect evidence may be gathered from 
the vaunting speech of Rab-shakeh, who ranks in the list 
of his master''s conquests the reduction of their country. 
" Where are the gods of Hamath ?"* 

The history of the Geshurites is not less obscure than 
that of which I have now given so brief an outline. Per- 
haps Josephus is in the right, when he maintains that 
they never rose to the dignity of a royal house, but were 
merely a family of some note and importance in the land 
where they dwelt. They are, however, recognised as 
kings by the sacred writers; one of whom informs us, 
that Absalom, after he had murdered Amnon, fled and 
went to Talmai, king of Geshur, and was there three 
years.*!* The first of the race alluded to in the Bible is 
Ammihud, the father of Talmai; and as Maacha, a 
daughter of the latter prince, became the wife of David, 
and mother of Absalom, the rulers of Geshur were there- 
by elevated to a point of rank and influence which they 
could not, it is probable, have otherwise attained. In the 
end, like the rest of the small Syrian states, the Geshu- 
rites disappeared among the tributaries of the Assyrian 
monarchy, and lost at once their name and their indepen- 

When we turn to the sovereigns of Damascus, we find 
the materials of history not only more abundant, but much 
more interesting. The greatness of this kingdom appears 

* 2 Kings xviii. 34. f 2 Samuel xiii. 37, 38. 

;{; Ancient Unirerj-al History, vol. i. p. 4fi8. Joseph. Antiq. J\n\. 
lib. vii. c. 8. 


to have originated in the decline of Zobah ; for we read, 
in the first book of the Kings, that Rezon, the son of EU- 
adahj fled from his lord, Hadarezer, king of Zobah, and 
gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, 
and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reign- 
ed in Damascus. It is added, that this Rezon was an ad- 
versary to Israel all the days of S jlomon ; that he abhor- 
red Israel and reigned over Syria.* 

His two immediate successors were of a more pacific 
disposition, and lived on terms of amity with the Hebrew 
princes. But, at length, the celebrated Benhadad mount- 
ed the throne ; who, taking part with Asa, king of Judah, 
against Baasha, king of Israel, invaded the country of the 
latter, and reduced Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maachah, all 
Cinneroth, and the land of Naphtali.-f- He was succeeded 
by a son of the same name, who vigorously prosecuted the 
enmity of his father against Israel. In the first expedition 
which he undertook, he had no fewer than thirty-two kings 
in his train, followed by an immense number of chariots, 
horsemen, and foot soldiers. Sitting down with this power- 
ful host before Samaria, he summoned Ahab to surren- 
der, and to acknowledge himself his vassal ; desiring him, 
at the same time, to deliver up to his mercy all his wives 
and children. To this insolent message, the pusillanimous 
prince returned a most submissive answer ; resigning him- 
self and all that he possessed to the will of the haughty 
Syrian. " My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I 
am thine, and all that I have." Not satisfied with this 
humiliating compliance on the part of the Israelitish mo- 
narch, Benhadad sent his messengers to inform him that, 
on the following day, he would despatch officers to search 

• 1 Kin2;s xi. 2H, 24, 2?>. t 1 Kings xv, "20. 


his palace and the city, and to carry away all his wealth, 
and whatsoever was pleasant in his eyes. This threaten- 
ed indignity at length roused the dormant spirit of Ahab ; 
who, encouraged by his counsellors and the elders of his 
city, declared to the besieger that he would not submit to 
a condition so extremely offensive and debasing. " Where- 
fore, he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my 
lord, the king, all that thou didst send for to thy servant 
at the first will I do, but this thing I may not do." The 
refusal irritated the proud feelings of the Syrian despot. 
He declared that he would bring up such an army 
against Samaria, that were every soldier to take even one 
handful of earth, the whole land would be removed.* Ahab 
made no other return to this foolish menace, except an ad- 
monition to his adversary to found his triumphs upon 
deeds rather than upon words. " Let not him that gird- 
eth on his harness boast as he that putteth it off^'f 

The Syrian army now received orders to invest the 
city of Samaria in form, and to prepare for the assault. 
In the mean time, Benhadad, who seems to have been a 
very voluptuous prince, followed his pleasures, heedless of 
all danger. But, in the midst of his security and ca- 
rousals, he was told that a party of Israelites was seen ad- 
vancing from the city ; which intelligence at first created 
a slight alarm in the camp, and even disturbed the king 
himself. Upon ascertaining that the number of the enemy 
was too insignificant to excite any apprehension, he gave 
directions that, whatever might be their purpose, they 
should be brought alive into his presence ; and then re- 
turned to his sottish enjoyments. The small body of citi- 
zens who had issued from the gates, consisted of Ahab 
himself and a hundred and thirty-two young men ; who, 

• 1 Kings XX. 1 — 21. t 1 Kings xx. 11. 


though it was noon-day, had been encouraged by a pro- 
phet to go out and fall upon the mighty host of the Sy- 
rians. The latter not imagining that a handful of sol- 
diers, however brave or desperate, could meditate an at- 
tack upon an army at once so numerous and so well 
appointed, were taken by surprise ; and, before they had 
time to assume their arms, they found themselves as- 
sailed with the most determined fury, and cut in pieces 
by Ahab and his chosen band. A general panic seized 
the camp, and every one prepared for flight. Benhadad 
himself mounted a horse and joined the fugitives ; many 
of whom, being pursued by the victorious Hebrews, were 
slain in their confused and hasty retreat. 

This unexpected discomfiture covered the Syrians with 
the deepest shame, and created amongst them mutual re- 
crimination and contempt. Endeavouring to find some 
apology for their inglorious flight, they suggested that the 
gods of the Israelites were more powerful on the hills 
than the divinities of Syria ; and that, on this account 
alone, Ahab and his company had been crowned with 
success : assuring their king, at the same time, that if he 
would draw up his army in the plain, his gods, whose 
influence was most commonly exerted on level ground, 
would restore in his favour the fortune of the war. They 
insinuated, moreover, that his alHes had not shown suffi- 
cient ardour in the cause; that their leaders were deficient 
in skill ; and that there was a want of co-operation in 
the camp as well as in the field. They concluded by ad- 
vising him to raise another army equal to the former, 
chariot for chariot, horse for horse, and advance against 
the Israelites with the fullest confidence of victory. 

The Syrian monarch hearkened to this specious coun- 
sel. In the following year he marched against the king 
of Israel with a similar army ; as if determined to rea- 


lize his empty boast, and carry off Samaria in the hollow 
of their hands. True to the advice which he had re- 
ceived respecting the godi.; of the hills, he encamped his 
forces at Aphek, in a champaign country ; where the dei- 
ties of his native land might have full scope for all their art 
and power. After waiting seven days in the presence of 
a small body of Hebrews, he thought proper to engage ; 
when he lost, of foot soldiers only, not less than one hun- 
dred thousand. The rest fled with precipitation to the 
stronghold of Aphek ; where twenty-seven thousand of 
their number were crushed to death by the city wall, which 
fell upon them as they were about to enter the gates. 

Benhadad, now finding that no reliance could be placed 
upon his gods, abandoned himself to despair. He sought 
concealment within the city of Aphek, which he resolved 
to defend against the conqueror ; when his followers re- 
minded him that the kings of Israel were not wont to 
pursue their advantages to extremity, and added the as- 
surance that Ahab would probably receive him with kind- 
ness and treat him like a brother. To engage the com- 
passion of that monarch, a certain number of the Syrian 
officers consented to go forth to him with sackcloth on their 
loins and ropes about their necks, and to entreat his cle- 
mency in behalf of their master. Ahab could not resist 
these tokens of humility and submission, but expressed 
a desire to have an immediate personal interview with 
Benhadad. The latter no sooner appeared than he was 
taken into the chariot of the Israelitish sovereign ; to 
whom he made a promise to restore all that his father had 
wrested from the ten tribes, and even to grant to them 
certain privileges in the city of Damascus. A peace was 
concluded, and the Syrian prince restored to liberty.* 

" 1 Kings XX. I — :54. 


Ahab soon found that he had confided too much in the 
assurances of his captive. Benhadad, unwilling to rehn- 
quish the hold which his predecessors had obtained upon 
Israel, refused to give up Ramoth-Gilead ; upon which 
the other, enraged at the ingratitude and faithlessness with 
which he had been treated, resolved to recruit his armies and 
to take the city by force. He prevailed on Jehoshaphat, the 
king of Judah, to be his auxiliary in this war; and, accord- 
ingly, the two nionarchs, at the head of a large body of 
troops, directed their march to Raraoth, The Syrians were 
prepared to receive them, and to determine the dispute in a 
general action. The precautions adopted by Ahab, to 
save his life in the field, are familiar to every reader of 
Scripture. He disguised himself before he went into the 
battle, while Jehoshaphat put on his royal robes : But all 
his cares were fruitless ; for one of the enemy, drawing a 
bow at a venture, smote him between the joints of his 
harness, and wounded him mortally. He retired from 
the scene of conflict, bleeding profusely ; and lived only 
long enough to reach his capital, and to fulfil the predic- 
tions of the indignant prophet. The fight continued un- 
til the shades of night allowed each party to withdraw, 
with great loss, and doubtful claims of victory.* 

The Syrian army was led on this occasion by the cele- 
brated Naaman, who was shortly afterwards cured by 
Elisha of a dangerous malady.-f* His sense of this great 
obligation is supposed to have had a good effect upon the 
policy of his country ; which was thereafter more disposed 
to cultivate the relations of peace than to dispute the pos- 
session of insignificant towns, or the occupancy of a por- 
tion of desert. It is, moreover, imagined that the Syrian 

I Kings xxii. 3 — 35. -f 2 Kings v. 15. 


captain renounced idolatry, and acknowledged from the 
heart that there was no god in all the earth but in Israel. 
The testimony, however, is not free from suspicion ; and, 
at all events, we are supplied with too few facts to warrant 
any positive conclusion respecting the views of Naaman. 

But whatever might be the sentiments of the victorious 
general in regard to the divine authority of the Jewish reli- 
^on, it is certain that Benhadad himself remained equally 
sceptical and obdurate. Renewing his designs against Is- 
rael, he fixed a time and a place for encamping his troops ; 
when, to his surprise, he discovered that all his plans 
were known to the enemy. His suspicions being directed 
towards his own officers, they, in their defence, suggested 
to him that all the information obtained by the king of 
Israel was conveyed by Elisha, the man of God. " The 
heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; 
and he called his servants and said unto them. Will ye not 
show me which of us is for the king of Israel ? And one 
of his servants said, None, O king : but Elisha, the pro- 
phet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words 
that thou speakest in thy bed-chamber.""* 

The infatuated Syrian allowed himself to imagine that, 
by force of arms, he could subdue the opposition which he 
had to encounter from a worker of miracles. " And he 
saidj Go, spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. 
And it was told him, saying, Behold he is in Dothan. 
Therefore sent he thither horses and chariots, and a great 
host : and they came by night and compassed the city 
about. And when the servant of the Lord was risen 
early and was gone forth, behold an host compassed the 
city both with horses and chariots."-f- At the prayers of 

2 Kings vi. 11, 12. f 2 Kings vi. 13 — 15. 


Elisha the Syrians were smitten with blindness, and fell 
into his hands afflicted and defenceless. He conducted 
the principal men into Samaria, and placed them before 
the king; upon which their sight was immediately restored 
and the peril of their situation rendered manifest. Jo- 
ram, who was at that time on the throne of Israel, seemed 
inclined to put them to death ; but the prophet, actuated 
by a better spirit, recommended to his youthful sovereign 
clemency and hospitality. " And the king said unto 
Elisha, when he saw them. My father, shall I smite them, 
shall I smite them ? And he answered. Thou shalt not 
smite them : wouldst thou smite those whom thou hast 
taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow ? Set 
bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink 
and go to their master. And he prepared great provi- 
sion for them, and when they had eaten and drunk, he 
sent them away, and they went to their master. So the 
bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.'"* 

The remark with which the last paragraph concludes, 
could only apply to the occasion by which it was suggest- 
ed ; or, perhaps, it was meant to express nothing more than 
the fact that the Syrians had not again recourse to such 
concealed arts for accomplishing their views against the 
Hebrews. That it was not intended to impress on the 
mind of the reader, the belief of a total cessation of hosti- 
lities between the rival kingdoms of Israel and Damascus, 
is perfectly evident from the construction of the narra- 
tive ; for it is immediately added, " and it came to pass 
ifter this that Benhadad, king of Syria, gathered all his 
host, and went up and besieged Samaria." 

The circumstances which attended this memorable 

• 2 Kings vii. 6, 7- 


siege ; the sufferings which were endured by the inhabi- 
tants from a scarcity of provisions; the resolution with which 
they held out against the powerful host which beleaguered 
their walls ; and the miraculous source whence they at 
length derived relief, are all recorded by the sacred his- 
torian in the most eloquent language. When the city 
was reduced to the last extremity, so that an ass''s head 
was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part 
of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver, the camp 
of the Syrians was broken up by one of those incidents 
Avhich, though supernatural in their origin, are yet closely 
connected with the history of oriental warfare. In the 
course of the night, the Lord made the host of the Syrians 
to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, even the 
noise of a great host : and they said one to another, Lo ! 
the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the 
Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. 
Wherefore they rose and fled in the twilight, and left 
their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp 
as it was, and fled for their life.* 

The warlike and ambitious Benhadad was now drawing 
towards the close of his career, which had proved very 
fatal to Israel and Judah. Being overtaken by sickness, 
he sent one of his superior officers to Elisha, who happen- 
ed to be at Damascus, to inquire concerning his fate. 
The reply was ambiguous, importing that he might re- 
cover, but was certainly to die, — a form of words which 
Hazael interpreted so as to meet the objects of his 6wii 
aspiring views. He returned to the old king, whom he 
first flattered with the hopes of convalescence and then 
murdered. " It came to pass on the morrow, that he 

• 2 Kings vi. 21—23. 


took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it 
on his face, so that he died.'^* 

*/l.'Of Benhadad, the Jewish historian remarks that he 
was an active man, and had the good-will of the Syrians 
and of the people of Damascus to a great degree; by 
whom both he and Hazael, who ruled after him, are hon- 
oured to this day as gods. He adds, that when Joram, 
the king of Israel, heard of his death, he recovered from 
his terror, and was happy to live in peace.-f* 

It is not without some surprise we learn that Hazael 
was anointed to the kingly office over Syria, by the hand 
of Elijah. That ambitious adventurer was, indeed, raised 
to the throne by the providence of God, to be a scourge 
for chastising the wickedness of the chosen people ; and, 
on this account, the ministry of the prophet, in the case 
now before us, was perfectly agreeable to the vocation 
which had been adressed to him by the voice of Heaven. 
*' The Lord said unto him. Go, return on thy way to the 
wilderness of Damascus, and when thou comest, anoint 
Hazael to be king over Syria : and Jehu the son of Nim- 
shi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel. And it shall 
come to pass that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael 
shall Jehu slay. "J ' 

When this aspiring leader had been some time in pos- 
session of supreme power, his fiery spirit was roused by 
an attack made upon his territory by Joram, king of 
Israel, and Amaziah, king of Judah. The claim of the 
former upon Ramoth-Gilead was revived; and an at- 
tempt for its recovery, similar to that which failed in tire 
days of Benhadad, was again undertaken by the confede- 
rated kings. It would appear that they now succeeded 

• 2 Kings viii. 16. -f Antiq. Jud. lib. ix. c. 4. 

J I Kings xix. 15, 16. 


either in reducing the city, or in obtaining it by capitula- 
tion ; for we are assured, in the ninth chapter of the se- 
cond book of the Kings, that Ramoth-Gilead was in the 
hands of Joram and of all Israel. But the sovereign 
now named was dangerously wounded at the siege, and 
returned to Jezreel to be cured ; and as the conspiracy 
headed by Jehu deprived both him and Ahaziah of their 
sceptres, before they could avail themselves of their suc- 
cess against Syria, the historian passes on, with a simple 
allusion to this event, to other matters more important to 
his narrative. 

But if Hazael was deprived of one city by the united 
forces of Israel and Judah, he obtained, during his re- 
peated inroads into the lands of these kindred nations, an 
ample compensation and revenge. Even the impetuous 
valour of Jehu could not save his country : for in those 
days the Lord began to cut Israel short, and Hazael 
smote them in all their coasts ; from Jordan eastward all 
the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the ReubeniteSj and 
the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, 
even Gilead and Bashan. Josephus informs us that, in 
the course of this expedition, the Syrian chief fully rea- 
lized the prediction of the prophet concerning his san- 
guinary and vindictive temper ; for he spared neither man, 
woman, nor child, but put all to the sword. 

Nor was the son of Jehu more fortunate in his wars 
with Damascus. In his days the oppression of Israel was 
very great under the hand of this formidable enemy. 
There were " not left to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and 
ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen, for the king of 
Syria had destroyed them, and made them like the dust by 

" 2 Kings xiii. 3, 4, 7- 22. 


Having thus punished the inconstancy of the ten 
tribes, Hazael next directed his arms against the king of 
Judah. He passed the Jordan, reduced the strong city of 
Gath, now become a possession of David's house and a 
royal residence, and made preparations for attacking Jeru- 
salem itself. But he was diverted from the enterprise by the 
submission and rich gifts which were presented to him by 
the dastardly Jehoahaz, who at that period bore the sceptre 
of Judah and Benjamin. The Syrian, allowing himself to 
be turned aside for a time from the entire conquest of the 
Holy Land, departed, loaded with gold and other valu- 
able treasure, only to arrange the means for undertaking 
a still more formidable invasion. Accordingly, before the 
year had expired, he sent a strong body of troops, to at- 
tack the capital of Judea, and to enrich his numerous 
soldiers with booty and slaves. " And they came to Ju- 
dah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the 
people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of 
them unto the king of Damascus."* 

Hazael raised the power of Syria to its meridian 
strength ; he extended its conquests as far as Elath on 
the Red sea ; he subdued the richest parts of Israel and of 
Judah ; and kept both kingdoms in a state of subjection 
during the latter portion of his reign. -f- But his successor, 
Benhadad, inherited neither his talents nor his fortune. 
The courage of the Hebrew tribes once more returned : 
the armies of Syria ceased to be invincible ; and Jehoash, 
the son of Jehoahaz, regained in three pitched battles all 

• 2 Chronicles xxiv. 23, 

\ This conquest of Elath by Hazael seems to be very much a matter of 
inference. 1 cannot find any direct statement to that effect ; and it is only 
because Rezin is said to have recovered it, that the previous capture is be. 



that his father had lost.* Jeroboam, also, his heir on the 
throne, followed up his victories against the Syrians. 
He prosecuted the war until he recovered for Israel Da- 
mascus and Hamath, which belonged to Judah ; nor did 
he lay down his arms before he had the satisfaction of 
seeing his native country possessed of her ancient do- 
mains, and able to defend her rights against all her ene- 
mies round about. 

Some time after the death of Jeroboam, the Syrians 
once more turned their thoughts to the conquest of Canaan. 
Kezin, their last sovereign, towards the close of his reign, 
entered into a league with Pekah, the king of Israel, 
against Ahaz, king of Judah, with a design to dethrone 
the latter, and to set up in his place, an adventurer 
named Tabeel, who could claim no connection witii the 
family of David. In prosecution of this object they be- 
sieged Ahaz in Jerusalem ; but finding that they could 
not succeed in their undertaking, they withdrew their 
army from the walls. It is to this occurrence that Isaiah 
alludes when he observes, " it was told the house of David, 
saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his 
heart was moved and the heart of his people as the trees 
of the wood are moved with the wind. Then said the 
Lord, Go forth and meet Ahab, and say unto him. Take 
heed and be quiet ; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for 
the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce 
anger of Rezin with Syria, and for the son of Remaliah."-f- 

Disappointed in the main purpose of his expedition, the 
Syrian monarch marched into Edom, and made himself 
master of Elath on the Red sea ; where he planted a co- 
lony of seamen and merchants, which flourished many 

* 2 Kings xiii. 25. t Isaiah vii. 2. 3, 4. 


years after the final subversion of his kingdom.* Nor had 
he in the meanwhile finally relinquished his views against 
Judah. In the commencement of the following year, he 
renewed his confederacy with Pckah, and once more en- 
tered the dominions of Ahaz ; who, notwithstanding the 
warning which he had received the foregoing season, ap- 
pears to have been quite unprepared for this attack. He 
was not only a weak but a very wicked prince, "wherefore 
the Lord delivered him into the hand of the king of 
Syria ; and they smote him, and carried away a great 
multitude of them captive, and brought them to Damas- 
cus : and he was also delivered into the hand of the king 
of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter- For 
Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred 
and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant 
men ; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their 
fathers. And the children of Israel carried away captive 
of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and 
daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and 
brought it unto Samaria."*}- 

But this successful inroad proved fatal to the confede- 
rated kings and to their respective dominions ; for Ahaz, 
perceiving that he could no longer defend his borders, 
bribed Tiglathpileser, the monarch of Assyria, to attack 
Rezin and Pekah, and to inflict upon them the revenge 
which he himself could only cherish in his heart. " Ahaz 
sent messengers to the king of Assyria, saying, I am thy 
servant and thy son ; come up and save me out of the 
hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the 

* "He recovered Elath to Syria," are the words of our version. Tlie 
Vulgate bears the same meaning, " In tempore illo rcstUuit Razin rex 
Syriae Aiiam Syrise." Whence it has been inferred that Elath was subdued 
by Hazael when he sent part of his army against Jerusalem, — An. Un, Hist, 

t 2 Chronicles xxviii. 5 — 8. 


king of Israel, which rise up against me. And Ahaz took 
the silver and gold that was found in the house of the 
Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house, and he 
sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. And the 
king of Assyria hearkened unto him ; for the king of 
Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and car- 
ried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin, And 
thus was fulfilled the prediction of Isaiah, who said. Be- 
hold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and the 
kingdom shall cease from Damascus, and the remnant of 
Syria. I will send fire, says Amos, into the house of Ha- 
zael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad. I will 
cut off him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of 
Eden : and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto 
Kir, saith the Lord."* 

Concerning the laws and religious usages which distin- 
guished the ancient Syrians, we have already spoken in the 
chapter which treats of the superstitions of Canaan. It is 
certain they had many idols, the names of which are well 
known to every reader of Scripture ; the chief of whom 
was Rimmon, whose temple stood at Damascus. This 
ancient god is supposed to have given place to one of their 
deified monarchs, whose character and reputation induced 
his sottish people to worship him as a divinity, under the 
appellation of Adar or Ader. Some have imagined that 
this favoured prince was Benhadad the Second ; but it is 
more probable that such a token of popular veneration 
was bestowed upon Hazael, who raised their country to 
the highest pitch of greatness, and whose reign was a 
continued series of prosperity and brilliant exploits. Jo- 
sephus, indeed, asserts that both of these kings enjoyed 

* Isaiah xvii. 1 — 3 ; Amos i. 4, 5. Ancient Universal History, vol. 
p. 467. 


the apotheosis ; and as Adad or Hadad was a name com- 
mon to all the kings of Syria, it might be applied indiscri- 
minately to the one and to the other.* 

At the conquest of Tiglathpileser, a new form of idola- 
try was introduced among the Syrians, by the colonists who 
were sent from the banks of the Tigris to occupy their va- 
cant land. What other changes took place in the national 
worship, under the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, 
and the Romans, it were vain to inquire, because we have 
no means of obtaining satisfactory knowledge ; but for an 
account of their ritual, as it existed in the second century 
of the Christian era, with all its grotesque and impure 
observances, the reader is referred to that particular tract 
of Lucian, which bears the title of the Syrian Goddess. 

The learning of ancient Syria has transmitted to us no 
specimens to confirm the eulogies which have been bestow- 
ed upon it by some of the Christian fathers. Clemens of 
Alexandria divides between this people and the Phenicians 
the honour of having invented letters, and of extending 
their use among the surrounding nations.*f Nor can it ad- 
mit of doubt that the local position of the Syrians, and the 
intercourse which subsisted between them and the most 
polished tribes of the East, must have afforded the best 
opportunities of profiting by the advancement of know- 
ledge, and even of adding to its increasing stock. 

The Syrian language, like that of most eastern coun- 
tries, was very deficient in written vowels till towards the 
latter end of the eighth century ; when, as is generally 
supposed, they were introduced by Theophilus of Edessa, 
chief astronomer to the khalif Al Mohdi. This learned 

• Josephi Antiq. Jud. lib. vii. c. G. Ancient Universal History, vol. 
p. 443. 

+ Clem. Alex. Strom. 1. 


person borrowed some characters from the Greek alphabet, 
and first made use of them to denote the proper pronun- 
ciation of names and titles in his Syriac translation of the 
works of Homer. The marks which he adopted to ex- 
press these peculiar sounds, still retain very nearly the 
exact form of five of the Greek vowels — the two long and 
the three doubtful — for the Syriac tongue, we are inform- 
ed, rejects all short vocal utterances. About a century, 
indeed, before the time of Theophilus, one of his coun- 
trymen, the celebrated James of Edessa, invented seven 
new characters, corresponding to the more complete alpha- 
bet of their western neighbours ; some ti'aces of which, 
as well as of more important imitations, are still extant in 
the works of contemporaneous authors.* 

Of the arts, the commerce, and the manners of the an- 
cient Syrians, we know as little as of their literature and 
education. But that, in all these branches of human 
pursuit, they had accomplished much more than can be 
now established by sufficient evidence, will be readily ad- 
mitted by those who have marked the effects of the obli- 
terating hand of time, on the most splendid monuments 
of human power and genius. For example, the industry 
of man had already made a great conquest over the sterility 
of nature, in the vast desert which divides Palestine from 
the ancient confines of Babylonia ; for, even at the present 
day, there are still traces of a great canal, ten leagues west- 
ward from the Euphrates, which must have flowed five 
hundred miles in the same direction with the parent river, 
spreading beauty and vegetation over the face of the wil- 
derness. Such a work, executed, it is probable, in a 
very remote antiquity, argues a considerable advancement 

" As»eman. Biblioth. Orient, toni. i. p. 4!>7- Bernard. Tab. Alphab. 


in the arts of social life ; and proves, moreover, that good 
land had become so valuable as to induce the agriculturist 
to extend his means for supplying the wants and comforts 
of an increased population.* 

VIII. But some of these inquiries may be more pro- 
perly introduced when employed in giving an account of 
the Phenicians ; of whose history, as connected with 
that of the Israelites, I now proceed to exhibit a short 

Much difference of opinion has existed among biblical 
critics and antiquaries respecting the origin of this singular 
people. Bochart, who thinks they were descendants of 
Canaan, suggests that, being ashamed of their extraction, 
and desirous to avoid the effects of the curse denounced 
against their ancestor, they changed their name into Pheni- 
cians, Syrians, and Syro-Phenicians.*|- Heidegger adopted 
the same views, and maintained that the inhabitants of 
Tyre and Sidon were certainly Canaanites. The authors of 
the Ancient Universal History observe, that it is everywhere 
allowed the Phenicians were Canaanites by descent. No- 
thing, they add, is plainer or less contested, and, there- 
fore, it were time lost to prove it. " We shall only add, 
that their blood must have been mixed with that of 
foreigners in process of time, as it happens in all trading 
places; and that many strange families must have settled 
among them, who could consequently lay no claim to this 
remote origin, how much soever they may have been 

" Gillies's History of Greece, vol. i. part second, p. 89. 

•f Phaleg, lib. iv. cap. 34, Jam si roges cur Phoenices, si vero essent 
posteri Chanaan, in Gracorum monumentis Chananai nunquam vocantur : 
respondebo Chananaeos pudisse sui nominis, et desiisse sic appellari, propter 
anathema contortum in patrem suum Chanaan : maxime cum viderent a 
Judaeis se bello peti internecino, et magnis affligi cladibus, non alia de causa 
quam quod Chanaanaei essent. 


called Phenicians, and reckoned of the same descent with 
the ancient proprietor?."* Perhaps, an additional argu- 
ment for their Canaanitish origin might be derived from 
the fact, that the country which they occupied in Pales- 
tine was included in the inheritance assigned to the tribes 
of Israel ; and, moreover, that they are mentioned in the 
list of those nations from whom the Almighty had at dif- 
ferent times delivered his chosen people.-f- They are, be- 
sides, ranked indiscriminately with those Canaanites whom 
the sons of Jacob did not expel from the promised land : 
for while we read that the Asherites " did not drive out 
the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, 
nor of Ahiab, nor of Achzib, nor of Keebah, nor of 
Aphik, nor of Rehob ;" we are also informed that " the 
Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, ^the inhabitants of 
the land." + 

Sir William Drummond, in his late work on the origin 
of eastern nations, has given an eloquent and faithful 
statement of the arguments which might be employed on 
both sides of the question. In support of the hypothesis 
that the Phenicians were of a root and lineage quite dif- 
ferent from those of the Canaanites, he reminds the reader 
that, among all the eleven tribes or families descended 
from the grandson of Ham, the people who inhabited 
Tyre and Sidon are not to be found. The Scripture en- 
ables us to trace the settlements and ramifications of the 
former over the face of the whole country which had fallen 
to their lot; but they are nowhere said to have given 
birth to a race who bore the name of Phenicians. 

In the next place, he lays some stress upon the circum- 

* Ancient Universal History, vol. ii. p. 10. 
t Judges X. 12. 
+ Judges i. 31, 32. 


stance that the Asherites, to whose share the sea-coast of 
Phenicia was assigned, did not insist upon their depar- 
ture from the towns and rich fieldswhich they had long pos- 
sessed ; but entered into a treaty with them, or, at least, 
exercised such a degree of forbearance as implied that the 
invaders would content themselves, for a time, with the oc- 
cupation of the hill-country. But this, it is obvious, is not 
a very cogent argument, and would not be pressed by any 
wise controversialist; for every reader of the book of 
Judges must, at the first glance, perceive that the Hebrews 
showed a similar forbearance towards several other nations 
which were avowedly sprung from the son of Ham, and 
consequently involved in the malediction which they were 
commissioned to execute. The Israelites being all armed 
as foot soldiers, soon discovered that they were not able 
to stand in the field against the chariots and horsemen of 
Canaan ; on which account, they prudently postponed the 
conquest of their promised inheritance, until experience 
and a better discipline should have rendered them a more 
equal match for such formidable warriors. If this consi- 
deration induced them to tolerate the residence of Canaan- 
ites in all the plain country, it would act with double 
force when applied to the inhabitants of the strong towns 
situated along the coast ; and hence, the opinions of those 
who maintain that the Phenicians were not Canaanites, 
receive no confirmation from the pacific intercourse which 
subsisted between this people and the neighbouring tribes. 
Did not the Jebusites retain possession of the fortress at 
Jerusalem till the reign of David, more than five hundred 
years after the invasion of Joshua ? 

But, in the third place, Herodotus states, in the opening 
of his first book, that, according to the Persians, the Phe- 
nicians came from the coast of the Erythrcsan sea- In his 
ninth book, the same historian assures us, that they give 


the same account of their origin. The Phenicians, as 
they themselves report, anciently dwelt on the coast of the 
Erythraean gulf, and, passing over from thence, fixed their 
abode by the sea of Syria.* They appear to have chosen 
their first settlement near the lake of Genesareth ; but, 
being alarmed by an earthquake, they subsequently ad- 
vanced to the shores of the Mediterranean. This is the 
account of their migration which is furnished by Justin ;-|- 
to which, it is supposed, some confirmation may be derived 
from the writings of Strabo, who remarks that, according 
to some, the Phenicians were so called because they came 
from the Erythraean sea ; both these terms signifying red. 
There is a passage in Pliny, too, which is not unworthy 
of notice. This author, speaking of the island of Erythia, 
says, " Erythia dicta est quoniam Tyrii aborigines eorum 
orti ah Erythrao marijerehentur ;"" upon which the com- 
mentator Vossius observes, " Egufie** est dicta, ah Erythceis : 
Erythoei autem Phcenices, qui hoc nomen adepti ah Erythceo 
sive rubro mari, unde Tyrum venerant. Nempe Ery- 
thraei ab l^vS^oi, ruber : Erythea ah i^vSo?, r«&or.*'''J 

The etymological argument suggested by Pliny, has 
by some writers been pursued so far as to identify the 
Phenicians with the descendants of Esau or Edom, a term 
which likewise denotes the colour already mentioned : 
and thus Erythraeans, Edomites, and Phenicians are, up- 
on this hypothesis, understood to signify the same thing, 
and to be applied to the. same people. Supported by 
this conclusion, some commentators have proceeded to ex- 

• Herod, lib. vii. c. 89. 

+ Justini Hist. lib. xviii. c. 3. Tyrorum gens condita a Phoenicibus 
fuit, qui terrae motu vexati, relicto patrio solo, Assyrium stagnum primum, 
mox mari proximum littus incoluerunt, condita ibi urbe, tjuam a piscium 
ubertate, Sidona appellaverunt . nam piscem Phoenices xidoii vocant. 

^. Origines, vol. iii. p. 11. 


plain the threatening denounced against Edom by the pro- 
phet Amos, as applying to the relation of brotherhood 
which subsisted between that tribe and the progeny of 
Jacob. *' Thus saith the Lord, For three transgressions 
of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punish- 
ment thereof ; because they delivered up the whole cap- 
tivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly cove- 
nant : But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which 
shall devour the palaces thereof. Thus saith the Lord, 
For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not 
turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pur- 
sue his brother with the sword, and did cast ofF all pity, 
and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath 
for ever. But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall 
devour the palaces of Bozrah."* 

Assuming the identity of the Edomites and the Pheni- 
cians, we discover a meaning in the prophet's words which 
could not otherwise have been drawn from them ; and which, 
in fact, does not apply to the national alliance that was 
founded upon the private friendship of Hiram and king 
Solomon. On various occasions the people of Tyre had 
co-operated with the enemies of Israel. They had assist- 
ed the Arabians and Philistines in the days of Jehoram ; 
and joined with other invaders in jjlundering the cities of 
Judah, and in carrying the inhabitants into captivity.-|- 
Hence, it is concluded that the brotherly covenant was 
broken, and that, therefore, the anger of the Lord was 
stirred up against the descendants of Esau, the inhabi- 
tants of Tyre and Sidon. 

It must be admitted that the writers, who confine the 
denunciation of Amos to the infraction of a public treaty 
between the king of Tyre and a Hebrew prince, have on 

" Amos i. 9 — 12. t 2 Chronicles x%i. 10. ; Joel iii. 4, 5, C. 


their side the authority of St Jerome. This father, who 
was unquestionably a learned as well as an ingenious ex- 
pounder of Scripture, could discover no other reason why 
the people of Tyre should be called brethren of the Jews^ 
than that their respective countries had been united in 
the bonds of amity. We do not find, however, that it 
was customary for the sacred writers to regard a political 
compact as the basis of a brotherhood so strict and sacred, 
that the curse of God was due to him who should at any 
time forget it ; or to teach that nations which had ever 
been at peace could not again go to war, without incurring 
the same tremendous anathema.* 

But the arguments used by those who maintain that the 
Phenicians were Canaanites, are still more probable, for 
they rest on a striking fact mentioned by the inspired 
writer of the Pentateuch ; namely, that Sidon was the first- 
born of Canaan, from whom, it is obvious, the city derived 
its appellation. It has, indeed, been contended that, long 
before the time of Joshua, the original Canaanites were 
expelled, and their place occupied by a colony from the 
shores of the Erythraean sea ; but of this conquest and mi- 
gration there is not, in sacred history, the slightest proof 
or memorial. It is a mere hypothesis, devised to account 
for a supposed fact, which is equally destitute of evidence 
and of probability. Besides, the compiler of the book of 

• Quaerimus, quomodo Tyrii sint fratres Judaeorum. Fratres hie amicos 
Voeat, et neeessitudine copulates, eo quod Hiram jmnceps Tyri cum David et 
Solomone habuerit amicitias. Hicronomi Opera, cited by Sir ^^^illiam 
Drummond. " The words of Amos," says the latter author, " consequent- 
ly contain nothing from which it can possibly be inferred that the Pheni- 
cians were descended from the Edomites." — Orig'mes, vol. iii. p. 51. 

I observe that Grotius approves the same interpretation. Et non sint 
RECORDATi FEDEBis FRATRUM^ Solomonis et Hirami ; nam federati in- 
ter se fratres vocabantur. — Annotaia in Amosum. 

Lowth, on the other hand, seems to adopt both views. — See his Commrn- 
tary upon Amos. 


Joshua, and the authors of the Septuagint have, in many 
parts of their respective works, assumed the Canaanitish 
origin of the Phenician people ; using the two terms as 
strictly synonimous, and as being both equally applicable 
to the dwellers at Tyre and Sidon. Again, the Philistines 
were not Canaanites, and therefore their lands were not 
included in the gift made by Jehovah to the seed of Abra- 
ham : But the lands of the Phenicians were devoted as a 
part of the promised inheritance ; wherefore we may con- 
clude that the latter people were the offspring of him upon 
whom the curse was originally pronounced. 

I am not ignorant of the great weight that has been at- 
tached to the statement of Herodotus relative to the ori- 
gin of the Tyrians and Sidonians ; in which he assures us, 
that not only did the Persians assert that the Phenicians 
came from the coast of the Erythraean sea, but also that the 
Phenicians themselves maintained the same fact. Herodo* 
tus had been at Tyre ; and it is difficult to suppose him to 
have mistaken the meaning of what had been told to him 
both by the Persians and by the Phenicians. Nor is the 
effect of his testimony to be removed, by supposing that 
the Canaanites, who originally took possession of Phenice, 
must have previously dwelt on the shores of the Arabian 
gulf. The sacred historian tells us that Sidon was the 
eldest son of Canaan ; and this, as Sir Wilham Drum- 
mond remarks, is quite sufficient to prove the fallacy of 
the conjecture which would place the first settlement of 
the Canaanites on any part of the Erythrsean sea.* 

But we may perhaps be able to account for the above 
tradition, by supposing that some of the natives of the 
Persian coast, who were at a very early period addicted 
to commerce, may in their different voyages round the 

* Origjnes, vol. iii. p. 57. 


margin of Western Asia, have touched at the Phenician 
ports, and ultimately obtained permission from the inha- 
bitants to repair their ships and land their goods. Such 
intercourse would, in a short time, lead to greater conces- 
sions and to more intimate relations. Tempted by the wealth 
and luxury which mercantile enterprise brought to their 
doors, the rude Syrians would perhaps allow their visiters 
to construct a harbour, and to build storehouses ; and hence 
would originate, among the descendants of Canaan, a 
colony of foreigners, who, having more intelligence and 
activity than the people whose lands they shared, must, in 
the course of a few generations, have acquired the ascen- 
dency and assumed the management of affairs. At a later 
period, when the Persian empire extended from the In- 
dus to the Mediterranean, it became a point of honour 
with the tributary nations to establish an affinity with the 
ruling tribe ; on which account, we should not be sur- 
prised that, in the days of Herodotus, some of the inhabi- 
tants of Palestine were disposed to trace their lineage to 
the shores of the southern ocean. 

This opinion rests on a stronger probability than the 
other suggested by Sir William Drummond, which is, 
that the cities of Tyre and Sidon were peopled in part by 
the fugitives who escaped from the rout of Chedorlaomer. 
It is not easy to divest of ridicule any narrative which 
represents the " Iranian monarch, whose dominions nearly 
extended to the Arabian gulf and the frontiers of Egypt/' 
to have been defeated by Abraham at the head of 318 men. 
But Sir William deems such a conclusion neither impro- 
bable nor ridiculous. " Dan," says he, " to which city 
Chedorlaomer had gone after his victory in the vale of 
Siddim, was one day's journey from the great plain of Si- 
don. Abraham attacked the Persians and their allies dur- 
ing the night ; and although the king of Iran and his 


vassal kings may have escaped to Hobah, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Damascus, with the greater number of their 
troops who had saved themselves from the carnage at Dan, 
yet many probably fled, in the midst of the confusion, in 
different directions, and might have taken refuge in Sidon 
and Tyre."* 

This learned and most industrious author, who general- 
ly prefers, in matters connected with sacred history, to 
follow the beaten path of simple fact rather than the tor- 
tuous mazes of conjecture, has not, on the occasion now 
before us, exercised his usual judgment. Even were we 
to admit that the son of Terah, with a band of undis- 
ciplined shepherds, had beaten the monarch of Persia sur- 
rounded by his vassal kings, we should still have to en- 
counter the difficulty of discovering on what ground the 
enemies of Canaan, when defeated, should seek refuge in 
cities belonging to the Canaanites. It is, no doubt, assumed 
that certain Persian merchants, and others connected with 
that people, had already taken up their residence among the 
Tyrians and Sidonians ; but still, if the mass of the inha- 
bitants and the civic authorities were not subjects of the 
great king, there is nothing more unlikely than that troops, 
vanquished and dispersed, should turn their backs on their 
native land, and seek safety in towns at the distance of 
eight or ten leagues in the opposite direction. If Tyre 
and Sidon were Persian cities before the time of Abraham, 
— which, according to the chronological scheme of the eru- 
dite Baronet, coincides with the era of Nirarod, the grand- 
son of Ham, — we may at once relinquish the investigation 
into their origin, as far beyond the reach of historical tes- 
timony, and even of plausible conjecture. That adventurers 

• Origines, vol. iii. p. 61. 


from the Erythraean sea may have, at an early period, 
mixed with the Canaanitish inhabitants of the Syrian coast, 
will be readily admitted by every one who has studied the 
character of the former people ; and, perhaps, it may be 
found that the statement of Herodotus, when narrowly ex- 
amined, does not demand a greater concession. 

In the last place, those who deny that the Phenicians 
were Canaanites, have urged, as an argument founded on 
the best historical evidence, that the curse pronounced 
against the grandson of Noah was not fulfilled upon the 
former people ; but that, on the contrary, they were, dur- 
ing a long series of generations, one of the most flourish- 
ing states in the eastern world. The reply which is made 
to this remark by the author of the Origines must be given 
in his own words. " Phenicia, it is true, reigned for cen- 
turies the queen of the ocean ; Sidon was the mart of the 
world ; and Tyre was a crowning city. But how sad has 
been the downfall of all this greatness ! Phenicia return- 
ed to her hire; and Tyre, after seventy years of thraldom, 
again sung as a harlot. Take thy harp, said the prophet, 
go about the city, thou harlot, that hast been forgotten, 
make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be 
remembered ! The persecuted slaves of Babylon, the 
Phenicians, wore lighter chains under the successive em- 
pires of Persia, Greece, and Rome ; but the curse of Ca- 
naan was upon them. They were the commercial agents 
of subjugated nations, — the carriers of the trade of coun- 
tries less humiliated than their own, — ministers to the 
wants of the needy, — panders to the appetites of the luxu- 
rious, — in every sense of the term, the servant of servants. 
Hear the words of a profane writer, who must have been 
an utter stranger to the prediction of Noah against Ca- 
naan, and who yet testifies that those proud and wealthy 
Phenicians, whose navies traversed the ocean, and whose 



colonies rose into mighty states, actually became the sub- 
jects and finally the victims of their own servants and 
slaves.* Will it now be doubted that the curse of Canaan 
was fulfilled against the Phcnicians — the servants, nay 
more, the victims of servants ? And what is now the fate 
of the virgin daughter of Sidon .'' Her harp is unstrung; 
her songs have ceased ; the noise of the waves resounds 
on her desolate coast; but the voice of her multitudes is 
heard no more. Tyre has become like the top of a rock, 
where the fisherman spreads his nets. The inhabitants of 
the once rich and flourishing Phenicia are reduced to the 
state of degraded slaves, that live and tremble, unhappy 
yet obedient, under the iron rule of the most barbarous 
tyrants that have ever trampled under foot the liberties of 
nations. The modern Syrians are the slaves of pachas, 
themselves the servants of the Ottoman emperor, and the 
instruments of the tyrannical decrees of the Turkish di- 
van. The curse of Canaan still rests on the land which 
was originally peopled by his progeny. "•!• 

Without pursuing to any greater length the question 
which respects the lineage of the Phenician people, we 
shall now give a short account of their history ; more par- 
ticularly as it may be found to have a connection with that 
of the children of Israel, after their settlement in Canaan. 
It is no part of our plan to analyze the mystical narratives 
of the Greeks, who have contrived to involve in the dark- 
ness of fable some of the plainest facts of ancient story. 
We can put no confidence, for example, in the fictions of 

" Ibi (in urbe Tyro) Persarum (Assyriorum) bellis diu varieque fatigati 
victores (Phccnices) quidem fuere ; sed attritis viribus, a servis suis multitudinc 
abundantibus indigna supplicia perpessi sunt ; qui, conspiratione facta, 
omnem liberum populum cum dominis interficiunt ; atque, ita potita urbc, 
lares dominoruni occupant, rcnnpublicani iiivadunt, conjuges ducunt, ct 
quod ipsi non erant, liberos procreant. — Jitstiiii Historearum, lib. xviii, 

c. :t. 

f Origines, vol. iii. p. (i!>, 7"' 


Apollodorus, when he gravely relates that Agenor and Be- 
lus were sons of Neptune by Lybia, the daughter of Epa- 
phus, a king of Egypt ; and that the latter of these young 
men reigned in his native country, while the former mi- 
grated into Phenicia, where he founded a kingdom, and 
became the father of a numerous race of princes. Europa, 
Cadmus, Phoenix, Thasus, and Electra, the immediate 
offspring of Agenor, make a prominent figure in all the 
adventures of the heroic age ; and adorn or disfigure the 
earliest efforts of poetry and romance in the literature of 
Greece. Such details could not be read with patience ; 
and would not, on any account, prove suitable to the more 
important object of our inquiries. 

Phenicia, like all other ancient states, appears to have 
been divided at an early period into several independent 
kingdoms. We read not only of sovereigns who swayed 
the sceptre of Tyre and of Sidon, but also of such as 
exercised a similar authority at Berytus and at Arad ; en- 
joying a regal power which confined itself within the walls 
of their respective cities ; or, at most, did not extend be- 
yond the limits of the surrounding fields from which they 
drew their subsistence. Of all these petty monarchies, 
Sidon has always been esteemed the oldest and the most 
powerful. It owed its foundation to the first-born of 
Canaan, who, at the same time, conferred upon it the hon- 
our of his name. He is said to have been succeeded by the 
following princes ; but whether by election or on the prin- 
ciple of hereditary right, historians have not thought it 
necessary to determine. 




Ballonymus, Abdalominus, Abdolominus, or Alynomus. 


Of the history of Sidon, till a period comparatively re- 
cent, we meet with so few notices in Scripture that we cannot 
boast of having ascertained any thing more concerning it 
than that it existed, in considerable power and splendour, 
in the earliest times. In the tenth chapter of Genesis, 
for example, it holds a place among those primeval esta- 
blishments which marked the first boundaries of society 
upon its renovation after the Flood : and that it continued 
to retain its consequence in the days of the Judges is 
placed beyond doubt by the allusion which the sacred 
writer makes to it, when describing the expedition of the 
children of Dan against Laish.* But although we are 
certain that Sidon raised its head among the first of the 
nations, history is no longer in possession of those ancient 
records which her people took so much pleasure in pre- 
serving.*|- Her royal dynasties exhibit no other memorial 
than a bare list of names. Their successions cannot be 
determined, and the length of their reigns has become a 
subject of mere conjecture. 

After the founder, whose memory is associated with 
every ancient recollection of this queen of the seas, the 
next sovereign whose actions are recorded is Tetramnestus, 
who is said to have assisted Xerxes in his celebrated in- 
vasion of Greece. Herodotus informs us that this Sido- 
nian prince supplied three hundred galleys ; and that, 
for his skill and power as a naval commander, he was es- 
teemed very highly at the Persian court.J 

In the reign of the following king, whose name was 
Tennes, the people of Sidon, and other Phenicians, not 

* Genesis x. 19. " The border of the Canaanite was from Sidon a* ihoti 
comest to Gerar ;" and Judges xviii. 28. 
+ Joseph, contra Apion. lib. i. 
1 Herod. Polynu f. 'Jli. 


being able to bear the haughty and tyrannical conduct of 
the Persian governors, entered into a confederacy with 
Nectanebus, the monarch of Egypt, and rose up in arms 
with the view of throwing off the yoke. The Egyptian 
ruler, having been threatened with the overwhelming 
power of Persia, gladly availed himself of this opportunity 
to strengthen his country with an alliance, from which he 
had much to hope, and his enemies much to dread. In 
order, therefore, to encourage the Phenicians in their re- 
bellioUj he sent to their aid four thousand Greek mercen- 
aries, under the command of Mentor, a native of Rhodes. 
Nor was Tennes himself backward to second the efforts 
of his Egyptian ally. He fitted out a powerful fleet, and 
raised a considerable army, with which, by sea and land, 
he began the war against the Persian satraps ; and so great 
were the vigour and rapidity of his movements at the 
head of the combined forces, that, in a short time, he 
expelled the conquerors not only from Syria, but also from 
the remoter province of Cilicia. 

But these successes were not of long duration. The 
Persian king, enraged at the defeat of his lieutenants, as 
well as at some indignities which were inflicted upon the 
representatives of his person an'd majesty, vowed the most 
signal revenge upon all the disaffected Phenicians, and 
especially the inhabitants of Sidon. In pursuance of this 
object, he assembled at Babylon a mighty army, consisting 
of three hundred thousand foot and thirty thousand 
horsemen ; and, assuming the command, he issued orders 
for their immediate march into the provinces of Syria and 
Asia Minor. The terror of the Sidonians was increased 
by the fickleness of Mentor ; who, alarmed at the ap- 
proach of so formidable a host, appears to have recom- 
mended unconditional submission, and a speedy renewal 
of allegiance. It is even said that he despatched to the 

Chap. II.] AND FKOl- ANE HISTORY. 245 

great king a trusty agent, avIio was enijiowered to enter 
into terms with him, not only for dehvering up Sidon, 
but also for dissolving the general confederacy, and even 
for reducing Egypt itself under the Persian dominion. 
Darius Ochus willingly acceded to the proposal of the 
faithless Greek, and, to secure him in his interest, lavished 
on him the most flattering promises and marks of his regard. 

The baseness of the mercenary is far less improbable 
than are some of the circumstances with which it was at- 
tended. History relates, that even Tennes himself entered 
into the plot against his own people, and agreed to accept 
part of tile bribe for which they were sold again to their 
cruel taskmasters. But of this charge the evidence is so 
improbable and contradictory, that we must not, on so 
slender a ground, pronounce the king a traitor to the 
good cause which he had recently promoted by his activity 
and valour. The Sidonians, meanwhile, confiding in the 
strength of their walls, prepared themselves for a long 
and vigorous siege : and, fixed in the resolution neither to 
surrender their town nor abandon its defence, they set fire 
to the ships in their harbour, that the hope of escape by 
sea might not paralyze their exertions on land. 

But the wavering faith of the Greeks could not be se- 
cured by any such precautions. Mentor opened the 
gates to the Persian army : upon which, the inhabitants, 
true to their determination not to solicit the mercy of the 
infuriated tyrant, shut themselves up in their houses with 
their wives and children, where they perished amidst vo- 
luntary flames, to the number of forty thousand. Tennes 
likewise fell a victim either to his own perfidy or to the 
rage of the conqueror, and was immediately put to death ; 
while Ochus, disappointed in his expectations of booty, 
is reported to have sold the ashes of the desolated town at 


a price equal lo the gold and silver which were supposed 
to be concealed vnider its ruins. 

After the defence which I have insinuated for Tennes 
on the mere ground of probability, determined indeed by 
a reference to the general principles on which mankind 
are usually found to act, it is due to the truth of history 
that I should mention the very unfavourable judgment which 
has been passed upon himby Diodorus Siculus. This ancient 
writer maintains that the treachery which undermined the 
walls of Sidon, originated with the king and not with the 
Rhodian commander ;* and that the latter was induced 
to betray the trust committed to him on the part of the 
sovereign of Egypt, from considerations addressed as well 
to his ambition as to his fears and avarice, by the very 
person under whose direction he was appointed to serve. 

Tennes was succeeded in his office by Strato ; to whom 
the few survivors of Sidon engaged their faith and duty. 
This ruler was on the throne when Alexander the Great 
entered upon his famous expedition against the Persian 
empire. Influenced by hatred and revenge, the subjects 
of Strato urged him to join his arms to those of the Ma- 
cedonian prince, and to avenge the sufferings of their 
country upon Darius and his proud satraps. But the 
king neither approved the zeal of his people, nor listened 
tQ_ their counsel. Dreading the power of a vindictive mo- 

fitaij^ XXI tofiKras tov; a^nrTuxoras oux a%it)fi,iii^ov; hvai, rnv ffarn^iav lOia •rooi^tiv 
Ixetvi. ^lO'TTi^ Tuv iaurou ^i^a-ravriuv tov ■^iirreTaTov Xa^^a, toiv Iiouviuv i^tTifAi^t 
irgo; Tov K^ra%i^nv, i'pra.yyiXof.tiviii avrea <r»v fji.iv "Eidava "^a^ataaiiv, rnv §£ Aiyi/!r- 
Tov ffuvix7foXifJi,yi(niv, fi.iyaXot, Si aurcu avn^yvitriii, ifiLTrn^ov hvrot toiV xaTct t»v 
Aiyv^TOv Tovut, xai ras xara, rov NiiXov aToSxffus ax^iSeo; 'iioora- 'O ii Tivvr,; 
xoivuffafiivos Ttjy Tpodoa'ixv MtvTogi Tof (rrpecTtiyai tuv i^ A.iyvTt'rcu fiiu'^ofopu/v, tou- 
Tov f/,iv aViXfTi m^outra, f^i^o; tyu toXius, xai avvi^yovvra, rois Tl^i mv v^o^offictt 
!^X^i^eviu.ivM;.-^Diod, Skill lib. xvi. c. 43, 45. 


narch, by whose permission he held his crown, he chose 
rather to temporize and watch the progress of events ; for 
which reason, when the Sidonians afterwards pi-offered 
their submission to the son of Phihp, he deprived the feeble 
Strato of the remaining shadow of regal authority which 
circumstances alone had enabled him to retain. 

Alexander left the disposal of the vacant throne to his 
favourite general Hephasstion ; who, studying at once the 
welfare of Sidon and of his master, made an offer of it to 
a private citizen in whose house he happened to lodge. 
This splendid gift was declined, on the ground that he to 
whom it was presented was not of royal blood, and who, 
besides, thought himself unequal to the toil and care with 
which such a donation must have been accompanied. The 
Sidonian, however, recommended that it should be bestow- 
ed upon one of his townsmen, who, to the advantage of 
being connected with the race of their native kings, joined 
the highest reputation for talent and integrity. Ballony- 
mus, the person thus described, had, amidst the troubles 
of the times, retired into a very private station ; where he 
contributed to his subsistence by the labour of his own 
hands. The messenger, who was sent to announce his 
elevation to the throne, found him busy in his garden or 
employed in drawing water. But his humble pursuits 
had not diminished either his ability or his inclination 
to serve his country. He accepted without delay the dig- 
nity which had been conferred upon him ; and proceeding 
with the envoy towards the city, he was received by the 
Macedonian commander with all the marks of distinction 
due to his character and office. The shouts of the people 
confirmed the election, and, at the same time, expressed 
their delight at the accession of a king who had already, 
by the fidelity with which he discharged the duties of an 
inferior station, set so good an example to all classes of his 


subjects. But of his public life history has not preserved 
any particulars. He is understood to have adhered steadily 
to the Macedonian interest as long as he held the crown, 
and, moreover, to have been the last sovereign who exercised 
regal power at Sidon as a separate and independent state.* 
But the same story is narrated by Diodorus Siculus in 
reference to the particular king who received the authority 
of Alexander to rule at Tyre, after the famous siege and 
demolition of that city. T>is f^iv Tv^iuv woxiui x«Teo-T)j<re 

fixa-tXici T«v ovoficcC,o//,s)iov BaXXavvf^.ov, 'O AM^ccwpoi laciiKiv t^cva-iecv 
iKpeciFTtavi x-arxa-Tyia-eii ^cta-iXict t>j? Tv^ov tuv /5<o|jy«v. Justm, 

on the contrary, assures his readers that Ballonymus was 
named to the throne of Sidon. He calls him, indeed, 
Abdalonimus, and Plutarch calls him Alynomiis ; but 
there is no doubt that the same person is meant by all the 
three historians. Insignis prceter ceteros fuit Ahdalom- 
mus, rex ab Alexandra Sidoniae constitutiis.-^ But in re- 
.searches of this kind, it is vain to look for certainty, — an 
arrangement and comparison of authorities being all that 
can be expected from the most industrious writer. 

We proceed now to the history of Tyre itself; which, 
though less ancient than the other, occupies a more con- 
spicuous place in the annals of Syria. It is indeed very 
probable that " this daughter of Sidon" succeeded to the 
wealth and power of the parent state, at an earlier period 
than is usually imagined ; and that, even before the days 
of Alexander, the king of Tyre exercised dominion over 
the neighbouring city also, and had, in fact, united their 
strength and interests. Upon no other supposition shall 
we be able to explain the indiscriminate use of the two 

* Diodori Siculi Hist. Biblioth. lib. xvii. c 47- ; and Ancient Cniversal 
History, vol. ii. p. 34. 
f Justini, lib. xi. i-. 10. 


terms as applied to the same kingdom ; or to iinderstaiul 
why the government which Diodorus ussigiis to Tyre 
should by Justin be ascribed to Sidon. The sovereigns 
or judges of the latter state have usually been classed as 
follows :— 

Abibalus or Abeiraalus. 

Hieram, Hierom, Hieromen, Irom, Chiram, or Suron. 

Baleastartus or Biizor. 



Astarimus or Atharymus. 

Phelles or Helles. 

Ethbalus, Ithobalus, or Juthobalus. 

Badezor or Bazor. 







Abbar, the high priest. 

Myttonus and Gerastus. 









The authors from whose works the above list is formed 
are Menandcr the Ephesian, and Theophilus of Antioch ; 
but their statements are so excessively discordant, parti- 
cularly in the number of years assigned to the several 
reigns, that the boldest antiquary has never yet attempted 
to reconcile their differences, nor even to construct out of 
their materials a system of dates worthy of a place in re- 
gular chronology. 

In particular, we are not supplied with any facts for de- 
termining the antiquity of Tyre. In the days of Joshua, it 
possessed the reputation of a " strong city ;"" and Herodotus 
relates that in his time the Tyrians boasted their temple and 
town had already stood 2300 years.-j- According to this 
computation Tyre must have been founded about 2746 
before the Christian era, — a date which stretches back- 
wards to the very beginning of the fifth century after 
the Flood. 

Josephus, on the other hand, asserts that its origin is 
not more ancient than 240 years before the foundation of 
Solomon's temple, or B. C. 1267 ; but it is obvious that 
this recent date is quite inconsistent with the narrative in 
the book of Joshua, which recognizes at once the exist- 
ence and the power of the "daughter of Sidon." Dr 
Hales conjectures that Josephus must have written 
1240, and that the numerical letter denoting a thousand 
had fallen from the text, or had been omitted by the careless- 
ness of a transcriber. This amendment would carry back 

Ancient Universal History, vol. ii. p. 24, 25. t Joshua xix. 29. 


the beginning of Tyre to B.C. 2267, that is, about 160 
years before the foundation of Salem, — a conclusion which 
is supported by a considerable appearance of probability. 

That Tyre possessed a very high antiquity is rendered 
manifest by several allusions to it in the books of the pro- 
phets, as a place which was very old even in their time. 
Isaiah describes it not only as a mart of' the nations; but, in 
anticipating its downfall, he exclaims, ''is this your joyous 
city, xvhose aniiquiti/ is of ancient days ?"* 

Tyre is known to the historian and geographer under 
two different aspects, the old and the new, or the con- 
tinental and the insular. Insular Tyre is supposed to be 
the more ancient, being that which is noticed by Joshua : 
but the continental city, as it enjoyed a more convenient 
situation, rose first into importance, and assumed the 
name of Paloetyrus, or " Old Tyre." The former was 
confined to a small rocky island, eight hundred paces long 
and four hundred broad, and could never have exceeded 
two miles in circumference ; whereas the latter, which 
stood about a mile from the sea, must have been a city of 
vast extent, since, many centuries after its demolition by 
Nebuchadnezzar, the ruins, as we learn from Pliny and 
Strabo, were scattered over a surface nineteen miles in 
circumference. But it must be acknowledged, that the 
industry of travellers in more modern times has not con- 
firmed the details of these ancient geographers. Accord- 
ing to Mr Maundrell, " the city, standing in the sea upon 
a peninsula, promises at a distance something very magni- 
ficent ; but when you come to it, you find no similitude 
of that glory for which it was so renowned in ancient 
times, and which the prophet Ezekiel describes in chapters 

Isaiah xxiii. ;{. 7- 


twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh, and twenty-eighth. On the 
north side it has an old TnrMsh ungarrisoned castle; besides 
which vou see nothing here but a mere Babel of broken 
walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as one 
entire house left. Its present inhabitants are only a few 
poor wretches harbouring themselves in the vaults, and 
subsisting chiefly by fishing ; who seem to be preserved in 
this place by Divine Providence as a visible argument 
how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, that it 
should be as the top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry 
their nets upon."* 

But, leaving these considerations, we resume the histo- 
rical narrative, of which the materials are not less meagre 
than those which respect the origin and extent of the city. 
We find, indeed, from Josephus, that not only were 
ample records preserved at Tyre, of the succession of their 
kings, and of such other occurrences as were likely to in- 
terest an ingenuous mind, but that even a regular history 
was written by more than one author of unquestionable 
credit. He mentions Dius, a Phenician by birth, who 
compiled from the public archives the annals of the Ty- 
rian people; and also Menander, a native of Ephesus, 
who drew up from a similar source a biographical work, il- 
lustrative of the characters and actions of individual princes. 
From the two writers now named, both Josephus and 
Theophilus of Antioch have extracted almost every thing 
that is valuable in their notices respecting ancient Tyre ; 
but unfortunately neither of them goes back to a date 
much higher than the reign of David, king of Israel.-f" 

The first Syrian monarch whose name is on record is 

* Maundrell's .lourney from Aleppo to .Jerusalem. Hales, vol. i. p. 442 
I" Joseph, contra Apion. lib. i. 

CiiAl'. II.] AND TROFANK lilSTOKV. 253 

Abibalus, who appears to have been contemporary with 
Saul, as well as witli his successor the son of Jesse. It 
should seem that, in the days of this prince, Tyre was 
occasionally at war with the Hebrew tribes ; for we find 
the inhabitants of that city mentioned in conjunction with 
the Philistines, Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, as confe- 
derated against the people of Jehovah.* But with regard 
to his policy in general, the actions which he performed, 
and the length of his reign, we are left almost entirely in 
the dark. 

Abibalus was succeeded by his son Hiram, whom Theo- 
philusof Antioch sometimes calls Hieromus, and at other 
times Hieromenus. By Tatian and Zonaras he is deno- 
minated Chiramus. " This king," says Dius, as quoted 
by Josephus, " raised banks at the eastern parts of the 
city and enlarged it ; he also, by forming a causeway be- 
tween an island and the town, joined the temple of Jupi- 
ter Olympius, which formerly stood insulated at some dis- 
tance from the walls. He was, moreover, accustomed to 
go to mount Libanus for the purpose of cutting down 
timber, to decorate the temples and complete his various 
buildings. They say farther, that Solomon, when he was 
king of Jerusalem, sent problems to Hierom to be solved, 
and desired he would send others back for him to solve ; 
and that he who could not solve the problems proposed to 
him, should pay money to him that sent them. Hierom 
agreed to the proposals, but not being able to solve some 
of the problems which were sent to him, was compelled 
to pay large sums in name of penalty. They also relate, 
that one Abdemon, a man of Tyre, did solve the prob- 
lems which Solomon proposed, and even transmitted several 

Psalm Ixsxiii. 7- 


which the other could not understand ; for which reason 
the king of Jerusalem was obliged to repay to the king of 
Tyre a great deal of the money which the latter had for- 

This extract from Dius will appear to possess consider- 
able importance, if regarded as a specimen of that kind 
of historical composition in which the affairs of Tyre were 
recommended to the attention of posterity. Josephus 
cites a corresponding passage from Menander the Ephe- 
sian, which, in substance, at least, will be found to agree 
with the details of his brother annalist. " Upon the 
death of Abibalus, his son Hierom took the kingdom ; 
he lived fifty-three years, and reigned thirty- four. He 
raised a bank on what is called the Broad Place, and de- 
dicated that golden pillar which is in Jupiter's temple: he 
also went and cut down wood from the mountain called 
Libanus, and got planks of cedar for the roof of the 
temples. He also pulled down the old fanes, and built 
new ones : besides this, he consecrat.^d the temples of 
Hercules and of Astarte. He first built Hercules's 
temple in the month Peritus, and that of Astarte, when 
he made his expedition against the Tityans, who would 
not pay him tribute ; and when he had subdued them to 
himself, he returned home. Under this king there was a 
younger son of Abdemon, who mastered the problems 
which Solomon the king of Jerusalem had recommended 
to be solved."-f- 

The historical muse of the Ephesian seems not to have 
aspired to higher themes than that of Dius- Hence it is very 
probable that the loss of their respective works has not en- 
tailed upon the world any material privation, in regard, at 

• Joseph, contra Apion. lib. i. AVhiston's Translation. 
■f Joseph, ubi supra. 


least, to the knowledge of those great events which deter- 
mined the fortunes of Western Asia. It is, however, not 
a little interesting to observe, that the narrative of Mcnan- 
der coincides, so far as it goes, with the record of the in- 
spired volume. From both it is manifest that Hiram was 
a lover of the arts, devoted to peaceful habits, and pleased 
with the pursuits of science. We learn, in the second 
book of Samuel, that he sent messengers to David, soon 
after the estabhshment of his government, to congratulate 
him, it is thought, on his success against the Jebusites, 
from whom he had just taken the strong-hold of Zion.* 
He hkewise presented him with cedar and other valuable 
timber, and even sent workmen to Jerusalem to give assist- 
ance in the erection of a palace suitable to the power and 
reputation of so warlike a prince. In all respects, indeed, 
he approved himself to be what he is called in Scripture, 
" ever a lover of David."i* 

Nor did his respect for this king of Israel cease with the 
life of the latter potentate. On the contrary, no sooner 
had Solomon ascended the throne, than he was greeted by 
the ambassadors of Hiram, with the usual mixture of 
condolence and congratulation which is addressed to the 
ears of princes who succeed their fathers. The son of 
David, embracing this opportunity, is said to have written 
to the king of Tyre the following epistle : — 

" Be it known to thee, O king, that my father David 
had it a long time in his mind to erect a temple to 
the Lord ; but being perpetually at war, and under the 
necessity of subduing his enemies and placing them under 
tribute, before he could devote his attention to this great 
and holy work, he hath left it to me, in time of peace, 

• 2 ISamuel v. 11 ; 1 Chronidcs xiv. I. t 1 Kings v. 1. 


both to begin and to finish it, according to the authority 
and direction of Ahnighty God. Blessed be his great 
name for the present tranquillity of my dominions ! And 
by his gracious assistance I shall now improve this peace 
and leisure, so as to dedicate the fruits of them to his honour 
and worship. Wherefore I make it my request that you 
will allow some of your people to accompany mine to 
mount Libanus, to assist them in cutting down materials 
for this building ; for the Sidonians understand such em- 
ployments much better than we do. As for the wages or 
reward due to the workmen, whatever you think reasonable, 
shall be punctually paid to them." 

In reply to this letter Hiram wrote as follows : — 
" Nothing could have been more gratifying to me than 
to learn that the government of your excellent father has, 
by God's providence, been committed to the hands of so 
wise and virtuous a successor. Praise be to his holy 
name for this token of his goodness ! As to the matters 
contained in your epistle, your requests shall be attended 
to with all care and affection ; for I will give orders to 
cut down and convey to you such quantities of the best 
cedar and cypress-wood as your purposes may require. 
My people shall carry it to the sea-side for you, and leave 
it at whatever port you please ; whence your mechanics 
may transport what they want to Jerusalem at their own 
convenience. In return for this accommodation a small 
supply of corn will be gratefully received ; as our country 
does not produce a sufficient quantity of that article to meet 
our necessities."* 

* Josepli. Antiq. Judaic, lib. viii. c. 13. Joscplnis makes Hiram de- 
scribe his country as an island ; but there is no rcasoa to believe that the 
inhabitants of Old Tyre were .already separated from tlie continent of Asia, 
and compelled to trust for supplie-i lo the narrow i)iccc of ground on which 


I have transcribed these letters, not because they are of 
themselves particularly valuable either in point of matter 
or of composition ; but because they illustrate the corre- 
sponding parts of sacred history, and prove, at the same 
time, that the occurrences with which they are occupied, 
aiForded interest to others besides the subjects of Solomon. 
Josephus assures us that copies of them were extant in his 
day ; " preserved," says he, " not only in our books, but 
among the Tyrians also ; insomuch, that if any one would 
know the certainty about them, he may desire of the 
keeper of the public recoids of Tyre to show them to him, 
and he will find what is there set down to agree with what 
I have said.*"* 

Solomon, as might have been expected, was highly , 
pleased with Hiram's generosity and friendship ; and, that 
he might not be outdone by him in munificence, he resolved 
to transmit to Tyre an annual present of twenty thousand 
measures of wheat, and as many measures of pure oil. 
Hence began a rivalry between these sovereigns in acts of 
benevolence. Besides the cedar and cypress, Hiram sent 
to Solomon an artizan who was famous for the excellence 
of his workmanship in gold, silver, and other metals, to 
assist in the decoration of the temple. He, moreover, 
advanced one hundred and twenty talents of gold, to 
enable him to finish that magnificent structure. In com- 
pensation, the king of Israel bestowed upon the other, 

the new city was afterwards erected. It will be sufficient that we call 
to mind that the subjects of Hiram were greatly addicted to commerce, and 
trusted generally for their supply of grain to the agricultural tribes in their 
neighbourhood, who took in exchange the foreign luxuries imported at Tyre 
and Sidon. 

" I have here adopted the antique language of Whiston, which, with all its 
faults — and many faults it unquestionably has — seems to harmonize with 
the primitive style and notions which it is, in this place, employed to ex- 



twenty cities in the land of Galilee ; which being at no 
great distance from Tyre, appeared a suitable as well as 
an important addition to the dominions of his royal friend. 
But Hiram thought proper to decline the gift ; for when 
" he came out of Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had 
given him, and they pleased him not, he said, What cities 
are these that thou hast given me, my brother .'"'* It is 
subjoined by the sacred historian, that he called them the 
" land of Cabul," the region of dissatisfaction, unto this 
day, — a proceeding on the part of the Tyrian monarch 
which is not at all in harmony with his general character, 
nor with the uniform disinterestedness of his conduct to- 
wards the people of Israel. 

Not satisfied with promoting his wealth and splendour 
at home, Hiram likewise contributed to the greatness of 
Solomon in foreign countries. He assisted him in the 
equipment of fleets ; supplied him with skilful pilots and 
experienced mariners ; and even indicated channels of com- 
merce in which they might all be profitably employed. 
But his last gift, which is mentioned by Tatian from 
Theodotus, Hysicrates, and Mochus, three Phenician 
historians, brought upon the land of Judea an evil so 
great and lasting as not to be compensated by all the mag- 
nificence of architecture, nor by all the riches of successful 
trade. He gave to Solomon one of his daughters in mar- 
riage ; who, by her wiles, seduced the wise monarch of 
Israel from the worship of. Jehovah, and reconciled his 
judgment and his conscience to the abominations of Asta- 
roth, the goddess of the Sidonians.-f- 

Hiram, at his death, left the throne to his son Balea- 
zar ; who, according to Josephus, reigned seven years ; 

• 1 Kings ix. 12, 13. -f Tatian. Orat. contra GriECOS. 


and seventeen, according to Theophilus. The latter author 
calls him also Bazor and Baleastartus. But it is only in 
the appellation that we find any variety ; for as to his con- 
duct, in peace or in war, history is perfectly silent. 
Neither Dius nor Menander has preserved any record of 
his exploits: his successes and his misfortunes remain 
equally unknown : we learn no more of him than that he 
exercised the government of Tyre a certain number of 
years, and then bequeathed all its cares and honours to 
his first-born, whose name was Abdastartus. 

This prince, after having reigned nine years, was mur- 
dered by the sons of his nurse ; one of whom usurped the 
vacant sceptre, and held it not less than twelve years. 
He was succeeded by the brother of the murdered king, 
who had found means to recover the right of his family. 
Astartus, in due time, gave place to Astarimus, who was 
assassinated by Phelles, brother of the last two princes. 
This second murderer had enjoyed the object of his ambi- 
tion only a few months, when he, in his turn, was cut off' 
by Ithobalus, a son of Astarimus, and chief priest of the 
goddess Astarte. 

Ithobal is mentioned in Scripture under the name of 
Eth-Baal, and is, moreover, styled king of the Sidonians.* 
Josephus relates, that he exercised the regal authority 
over the latter people, in virtue of his appointment as 
ruler of Tyre ; whence it is manifest that, at the period 
in question, the more ancient state had become subject 
to that to which itself gave a beginning. It is impossible 
to ascertain the date when this union or subjection began ; 
but it is probable that even in the time of Hiram the 
Tyrians were masters of Sidon ; for, as the attentive read- 
er must have already observed, Solomon applied to the 

* 1 Kings xvi. 31. 


latter prince for Sidonian workmen, whose fame was already 
spread over Palestine and Syria. 

Jezebel, the celebrated queen of Ahab, was daughter to 
this royal priest of Astarte, now on the throne of Tyre and 
Sidon ; and it is well known that she carried with her into 
the land of Israel an attachment to the worship of her na- 
tive gods, which yielded neither to the dictates of policy, nor 
to the most sanguinary and protracted opposition. It is 
worthy of remark, too, as connected with this subject, that, 
according to Menander, " there occurred in the reign of 
Eth-Baal, king of Tyre^, an extremely severe drought, 
which lasted from the month Hyperberetseus till the same 
month in the following year. After prayers were put up 
for averting the judgment Avith which the land was 
threatened, there ensued mighty claps of thunder," and, 
we may presume, a copious rain. As Eth-Baal was con- 
temporary with Ahab, the reader cannot fail to identify 
the drought now mentioned with that which gave celebrity 
to the ministerial functions of the prophet Elijah.* 

The administrations of Baleazar and Mettinus, who fol- 
low next in order, were not distinguished by any remark- 
able event. The name of the latter, indeed, is surround- 
ed with a species of borrowed lustre, as he happened to 
be the father of Pygmalion and of the renowned Elisa 
or Dido, the heroine of the ^neid. There were another 
brother and sister, named Barca and Anna. Pygmalion, 
being the eldest, mounted the throne of Tyre, though, 
if we may trust to the accuracy of Joseph us, he had not 
yet attained to more than sixteen years of age. Youth, 
however, did not prevent from springing up in his breast, 
one of the most despicable passions which belong to ad- 

Meuand. Ephes. apud Josephi Antiq. Jud. lib. viii. cap. 7- 


vanced life, and which above all others obscures the lustre 
of royalty. He became notorious for avarice, and for 
that blind and cruel selfishness to which this propensity 
almost infallibly leads. These qualities of his character, 
too, gave birth to an event, which, though considerably al- 
tered by poetical imagination, is yet so closely connected 
with some of the most prominent parts of ancient history, 
that the gravest writers have deemed it not unworthy of 
a place in their pages. I allude to the flight of Elisa and 
the foundation of Carthage ; the occasion of which is de- 
scribed by the learned abbreviator of Trogus Pompcius, 
nearly as follows : — 

Acerbas, or, as he is more commonly called, Sichaeus, 
the uncle and husband of Dido, was the high priest of 
Hercules ; and, being possessed of great wealth, was 
marked out by Pygmalion as one of the victims of his 
covetousness. The king, unable to effect his object as 
long as his rich relative was permitted to live, invited him 
one day to join the royal party in the amusement of hunt- 
ing. Sichaeus, not apprehensive of any danger, complied 
with the desire of his nephew, and went out with him 
into the fields ; but while the attendants were eagerly en- 
gaged in pursuit of a wild boar, the avaricious prince 
thrust him through with a spear, and immediately throw- 
ing him over a precipice, declared that his death had been 
occasioned by an accidental fall.* Virgil, as every one 
knows, adds atrocity to this event, by relating that the 
hand of Pygmalion was raised against his uncle, at the 
very altar to which his services were devoted.-f* Justin 
confines himself to the simple fact of the murder : Pygma- 

• Justin. Hist. lib. xviii. c. 4. f .Slneid i. v. 



lion, oblitLis juris humani, avunculum suiim eundemque 
generum, sine respectu pietatis occidit.* 

But the inhuman monarch reaped no advantage from 
his treacherous cruelty. His sister, enraged at the death 
of her husband, which she had no difficulty in tracing to 
the real motive, resolved to place herself and her riches 
beyond the reach of such insatiable avarice. Expressing a 
desire to pass some time with another brother whose name 
was Barca, and who lived at Chartaca, a small town be- 
tween Tyre and Sidon, she solicited from Pygmalion such 
assistance, in men and ships, as might enable her to remove 
thither in a manner suitable to her rank. The king readi- 
ly acceded to her proposal, thinking that a fair opportu- 
nity had now presented itself for plundering the house of 
Sichaeus, as well as for discovering those hidden treasures 
which the unfortunate priest was said to have accumulated.-f* 
Elisa had confided her secret to Barca, and also to several 
persons of influence at the court of Tyre; who determined 
not only to aid her in accomplishing the object of her ex- 
pedition, but even to accompany her, and to share the for- 
tunes which might befall the adventurous refugees whom 
fear and sympathy had collected around her person- 

Having privately embarked the great store of gold and 
precious things which Sichaeus had so carefully concealed, 
she put to sea ; and before Pygmalion could be apprized 
of her real intentions, she was not only out of sight, but 
even beyond the reach of pursuit. In the first moments 
of rage and disappointment he is said to have ordered a 

• Justini Historiar. lib. xviii. cap. 4. 

+ Justin rather quaintly narrates : '•' Huic magnae, sed dissimulatae opes 
erant : aurumque metu regis non tectis, sed terrfe crediderat : quam rem, etsi 
homines ignorabant, fama tamen loquebatur. 


fleet to be prepared, that he might pursue his sister, and 
recover the valuable effects with which her ships were 
loaded ; but the tears of his mother and the voice of an 
oracle induced him to alter his resolution. 

Dido first touched at the island of Cyprus ; where hav- 
ing received supplies for a longer voyage, and wives for 
such of her attendants as wished to engage in the ties of 
domestic life, she next directed her course to the shores of 
Africa; on which she soon afterwards laid the foundations 
of Carthage, the renowned rival of ancient Rome.* Her 
brother Barca^ at the same time, gave an origin to the 
illustrious family of the Barcae in Africa; from which, at 
a later period, sprang several distinguished warriors, and 
among others the celebrated but unfortunate Hannibal. 

Of Pygmalion we learn nothing more than that he 
built in Cyprus a city, which never rose to any impor- 
tance ; and that, influenced perhaps by superstitious feel- 
ings towards a god whose priest he had murdered, he sent 
to the temple of Hercules, in the island of Gades, the 
figure of an olive tree in massive gold, of the most exqui- 
site and curious workmanship ; the berries, which consist- 
ed of emeralds, presenting a strong resemblance to the na- 
tural fruit. We know not whether he left any children, 
or what was their destiny in the world ; for the next king 
of Tyre who is mentioned in history appears not to have 
been a direct descendant of the brother of Elisa.^f* 

* Itaque consentientibus omnibus Carthago conditur, statute annuo vecti- 
gali pro solo urbis. In primis fundamentis caput bibulinum inventum est : 
quod auspicium quidem fructuosae terrffi, sed laboriosae, perpetuoque serv.T 
urbis fuit : propter quod in alium locum urbs translata. Ibi quoque equi 
caput repertum, bellicosum potentemque populum futurum significans, urbi 
auspicatam sedem dedit. — Jiittthii Hist. lib. xviii. c. 5. 

f Vide Philostrat. in vita ApoUon. lib. v. c. 1. Anc. Un. Hist. vol. ii. 
p. 40 


The name of the pi'ince now alluded to, was Elulaeus, 
who reigned in the days of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria. 
Observing that the Philistines were greatly weakened by 
the repeated victories gained over them by Hezekiah, 
king of Judah, th ruler of Tyre seized this opportunity, 
in order to reduce Gath, which had some time before re- 
volted from his crown. The citizens, dreading the pun- 
ishment due to their defection, applied for relief to Shal- 
maneser ; who appears to have listened to their requests so 
far as to march into Phenicia at the head of a powerful 
army. But of the events which ensued, in consequence 
of this invasion, no record has been preserved. It is pro- 
bable, however, that the Assyrian king extended his con- 
quests in Syria ; for it is mentioned that, with the excep- 
tion of Tyre alone, all the cities along the coast acknow- 
ledged him for their master. Menander, in his Tyrian 
Chronicle, as quoted by Josephus, relates, that "Elulasus, 
upon the revolt of the Gitteans, proceeded against them, 
and reduced them to submission. The king of Assj'ria, 
sending against him a strong body of forces, overran 
Phenicia ; but, having in a short time made peace with all 
parties, he withdrew his army and returned home.""* 
It should seem, notwithstanding, that Tyre had asserted 
its claim upon the allegiance of the neighbouring cities ; 
for the Ephesian annalist proceeds to inform us, that "Si- 
don, and Ace, and Palaet^Tus revolted, besides some 
other towns which delivered themselves up to the king of 

* I have followed in the text the amendment of Schotanus, who, instead 
of the common reading, I'^ri tdutovs, suggests, l-prt toutom. The text as it now 
stands is directly opposed to the obvious meaning of the author, who cer- 
tainly intended to relate that Shalmaneser, when applied to by the people of 
Gath, sent an army against Elulaeus, and not against the Gittites, or Git- 
teans, as he calls them. The words are sir; tovtov; •nf/.ipccs i tuv A.a<ru^taiv 
fsaa-iXivf, ivrnXh <t>oivixnv ■roXif/.uv a'Traffuv—Josevhi Avtiq. Jud- lib. ix. cap. 14. 


Assyria. Accordingly, when the Tyrians would not sub- 
mit to him, the king returned and fell on them again, 
while the Phenicians furnished him with threescore ships 
and eight hundred men to row them. The Tyrians with 
twelve ships attacked and dispersed the enemy, and took 
five hundred prisoners, — an exploit which greatly raised 
their reputation as naval warriors. But the king of Assy- 
ria returned, and placed guards at their river and aque- 
ducts, to prevent the citizens from drawing water. This 
continued five years, and still the Tyrians bore the siege, 
satisfying themselves with the water which they procured 
from wells dug within the town. And this is what is 
written in the Tyrian archives concerning Shalmanezer, 
the king of Assyria.""* 

The death of this Assyrian monarch put an end to the 
miseries of Tyre, or rather procured for her a respite 
from her privations. Ithobalus the second was already in 
the seat of El laeus, when Nebuchadnezzar, irritated at 
the haughty opposition of the Tyrians, and offended at 
their pretensions as the first naval power of the age, de- 
termined to level their city with the ground, and to blot 
out their name from among the nations of Syria. He ac- 
cordingly renewed the siege of that celebrated fortress, 
and employed against it all the skill and bravery of his 
soldiers, during the long space of thirteen years. In this 
memorable undertaking the words of Ezekiel were fully 
realized. " Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will 
bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, a 
king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with 
chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much 
people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in 

Menancler apiul Joseph. Antiq. lib. ix. 14. 


the field ; and he sliall make a fort against thee, and cast 
a mount against thee, and hft up the buckler against thee. 
And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and 
with his axes he shall break down thy towers.""* 

Perceiving that their city must ultimately fall, the Ty- 
rians, who all along had the superiority at sea, are under- 
stood to have employed themselves, during the latter years 
of the siege, in building a new town upon an island about 
half a mile from the shore ; to which, before Nebuchad- 
nezzar could force an entrance within their ancient walls, 
they had I'emoved their families and the greater part of 
their property. Finding himself thus disappointed, the 
king of Babylon vented his rage upon the buildings, as 
well as upon the few inhabitants who had not found the 
means of escaping ; concluding his work of anger by raz- 
ing the houses and fortifications to the grovmd. 

From the ironical and bitter reproaches which the pro- 
phet Ezekiel directs against Ithobalus, we must con- 
clude that he was an arrogant and very assuming per- 
sonage. " Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast 
said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of 
the seas ; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou 
set thine heart as the heart of God : Behold, thou art 
wiser than Daniel ; there is no secret that they can hide 
from thee : With thy wisdom and with thine understand- 
ing thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and 
silver into thy treasures : By thy great wisdom, and by 
thy traffick, hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart 
is lifted up because of thy riches : Therefore thus saith 
the Lord God, Because thou hast set thine heart as the 
heart of God ; behold, therefore I will bring strangers 

• Ezekiel xxvi. 7, 8, 0. 


upon thee, the terrible of tlie nations; and they shall 
draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and 
they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee 
down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them 
that are slain in the midst of the seas."* 

There is no room for doubt that the king of Babylon, 
upon finding the city of Tyre empty and deserted, de- 
stroyed it utterly ; and hence the words of Scripture, that 
" Nebuchadnezzar caused his army to serve a great ser- 
vice against Tyrus ; yet he had no wages, nor his army, 
for Tyrus." But it is equally certain that the Tyrian 
state did not, at that epoch, cease to exist ; for the Pheni- 
cian historians mention the name of the sovereign who 
succeeded Ithobalus on the throne of Tyre. Hence it is 
manifest that the inhabitants must have effected a trans- 
ference of their persons and property to a new residence ; 
where they renewed their power, and continued, for a time 
at least, their ancient form of government. 

About this period a deep obscurity begins to surround 
the history of Tyre. It is supposed that, although Ne- 
buchadnezzar failed in his attempt to compel the submis- 
sion of her people, he nevertheless acquired by other 
means such an influence over her affairs as to be invested 
with the nomination of her rulers. Baal, accordingly, 
the first king under the new system of things, is imagined 
to have been only the deputy of the Assyrian crown, or, 
at least, to have administered the government under the 
sanction and countenance of that paramount authority. 
The opinions of those who adopt this view are rendered 
somewhat plausible- by the consideration that many years 
did not elapse before the supreme power at Tyre under- 
went a very material change. Upon the demise of Baal, 

* Ezekiel xxviii. 2 — 1!. 


the affairs of the city were managed by a class of magis- 
trates corresponding in a great measure to the Hebrew 
Judges, or to the Carthaginian Suffetes. After an in- 
terregnum of seven or eight years^ the regal government 
was again restored in the person of Balator ; who^ after 
reigning one year, was succeeded by Merbal, a native of 
Babylon. The last king of the Assyrian race, whose 
name was Irom or Hirom, and who is said to have been 
brother to his predecessor, was in possession of the sceptre 
at the time when Cyrus became master of the Persian 
empire, and changed the seat of power in all the countries 
westward of the Indus. 

The above statement is extracted from the Phenician 
archives as cited by Josephus in his first book against 
Apion. " In them," says he, " we see this enumeration 
of the times of their several kings. Nabuchadonosor be- 
sieged Tyre for thirteen years, in the days of Ithobalus 
their king : after him reigned Baal ten years ; after him 
were Judges appointed who judged the people : Ecnibalus, 
the son of Baslacus, two months ; Chalbes, the son of 
Abdeus, ten months; Abbar, the high priest, three months; 
Mitgonus and Gerastratus, the sons of Abdelemus, were 
judges six years. After them Balatorus reigned one year: 
after his death they brought Merbalus from Babylon, who 
reigned four years ; and after his death, they sent for his 
brother Hirom, who reigned twenty years. Under his 
reign Cyrus became king of Persia. So," concludes the 
Jewish historian, " the records of the Chaldeans and Ty- 
rians agree with our writings : and the testimonies here 
produced are an indisputable and undeniable attestation to 
the antiquity of our nation.""* 

Josephi, contra Apion. lib. i. c. 21. 


Under the Persian sway the people of Tyre enjoyed a 
great degree of freedom, and even the privilege of naming 
their own sovereign, on condition that they should pay an 
annual tribute and perform certain military services. In 
this state they continued, under several successive mo- 
narchs, until the time of Alexander the Great. Among 
these we find one, whose accession to the throne was mark- 
ed by very peculiar circumstances. Justin relates, that 
the slaves, who at that period were very numerous in 
Tyre, formed a conspiracy against their masters, and 
murdered them all in one night, with the exception of a 
single citizen called Strato^ whose life was saved by the 
humanity of his servant. Having taken possession of the 
houses, of the property, and even of the ladies, married and 
unmarried, they resolved to found a new dynasty ; when, 
by the ingenuity of the compassionate slave, the election 
fell on Strato, the only surviving freeman within the walls 
of the city.* 

I have, on the authority of Justin, related this anec- 
dote, which has certainly the disadvantage of carrying a 
fabulous aspect, because Alexander the Great is said to 
have alluded to it, as an apology for the severities which 
he inflicted upon the inhabitants, when their city after- 
wards fell into his hands. 

The most remarkable event connected with the history 
of Tyre, is the desolation inflicted upon it by that Mace- 
donian prince. When the conqueror, in his progress through 
Syria, drew near the territory of that ancient state, a depu- 
tation of the principal inhabitants, among whom was the 
king's own son, went forth to congratulate him, or to solicit 

* Unus ex tot millibus servorum fuit, qui niiti ingenio senis domini, 
parvulique filii ejus fortuna moveretur ; dominosque non truci feritatc, sed 
piee misericordiffi humanitate respiceret. — Justin, xviii. 3. 


his forbearance. The gifts and the address which they pre- 
sented to him were graciously received ; but when to his re- 
quest that he might be permitted to enter their gates, and 
perform a sacrifice to Hercules^ they returned a direct and 
firm refusal, his anger burst forth in the most tremendous 
denunciations against them and their city. It was in vain 
that they represented to the enraged soldier the faith and 
service which they had sworn to Darius, or reminded him 
that, as long as the Persian monarch lived, they could not 
honourably absolve themselves from their obligation to 
maintain his interests. In reply to all these remonstrances 
the son of Philip declared, that if they did not imme- 
diately open their gates for the purpose which he mention- 
ed, he would pull down their walls and lay their houses 
level with the dust. 

But the Tyrians were not dismayed at his threatenings. 
Confiding in the strength of their fortifications, which 
had, during thirteen years, resisted the whole force of the 
Assyrian empire, and in the aid of their allies the Car- 
thaginians, who had already acquired the command of the 
sea, they determined rather to encounter the hazard and 
privations of a siege, than to submit to the terms which 
might be dictated by a young, an irascible, and ambitious 
prince, who had not yet learned moderation from a re- 
verse of fortune. Their city, besides, stood on an island 
half a mile distant from the shore ; was surrounded with 
a wall a hundred and fifty feet high ; and was, moreover, 
stored with abundance of provisions, and with all sorts of 
military engines, whether for attack or for defence. In 
addition to these considerations, Justin informs us, that 
the remembrance of the great exploits performed by Dido 
increased at once their pride and their courage. They 
thought it base that, while a woman had extended her do- 
minion over a third part of the globe, the men she had left 


behind should not be able to defend their native country 
and maintain its independence.* 

The Macedonians began their operations by construct- 
ing a mound from the mainland to the island on which 
the new city was built ; and it is said that the ruins of the 
town destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, supplied to Alexan- 
der materials for attacking and demolishing the other. 
The Tyrians at first viewed this laborious undertaking 
with feelings of ridicule and contempt ; but when they 
saw the mass of stones and earth appearing above water 
at no great distance from their walls, their mirth gave 
place to more serious thoughts ; upon which they resolved 
to redouble their efforts against an enemy who, to use their 
own language, was not afraid to wage war even with Nep- 
tune himself. 

In their first attempt to destroy the mole, they were as- 
sisted by a violent storm ; which, arising suddenly, swept 
away a large portion of it, and thereby reduced the Ma- 
cedonians to the utmost perplexity and despair. Even 
Alexander himself would have been happy to terminate 
his enterprise by an amicable accommodation : but calling 
to mind that the Tyrians had thrown headlong into the 
sea, the heralds by whom, at the first, he summoned them 
to surrender, he soon abandoned the intention of having 
recourse to treaty. Revenge and regard for his military 
reputation equally incited him to persevere. Influenced, 
accordingly, by these strong motives, he encouraged his 
men to resume their labour upon the mound ; by means 
of which alone they could ever hope to humble the pride 

• Augebat enim Tyriis animos Didonis exemplum, qua;, Carthaginc 
condita, tertiam partem Orbis quffissiset ; turpe ducentes si faeminis suis 
plus animi fuisset in imperio quaerendo, quam sibi in tucnda libertate.— 
Jnstini Hist, lib, xi. cap. 10. 


of Tyre, and to gain a double triumph over the fury of 
her waves and the strength of her battlements. The Ma- 
cedonians, who admired their youthful leader, and put 
the utmost confidence in his fortune, renewed their exer- 
tions with alacrity and vigour ; till at length, at a great 
expense of toil and of life, the work was so far completed 
as to enable them to mount their battering-rams, and ply 
their various machines against the walls. 

To counteract the effects of this advantage gained by the 
enemy, the Tyrians had recourse to all the means which 
skill or valour could suggest. They poured forth from en- 
gines, constructed for the purpose, showers of red-hot iron 
and of scorching sand, which carried destruction into the 
ranks of the assailants. But, at length, notwithstanding 
all their exertions, they had the mortification to find that 
the walls were giving way under the incessant action of 
the battering-rams, and that a breach must soon be effect- 
ed. With their characteristic activity and resolution, 
therefore, they began to build a new wall, ten cubits 
thick and five cubits distant from the old one; filling up 
the space between the two with earth and stones. It was 
long before the Macedonians could make any impression 
on this massy bulwark. A breach was, however, formed, 
and Alexander led his men to the assault ; encouraged by 
the hope that their toils were now about to terminate, 
and that the hour of revenge and compensation was at 
hand. But the Tyrians, on their part, were so well 
prepared to receive them, that even the veterans who had 
shaken the power of Persia could not force their way 
into the city. They were driven back with tremendous 
slaughter, and compelled to seek refuge in their ships and 
trenches ; while, in the course of one night, the besieged 
so completely repaired their walls as to present once more 
to the eye of the enemy the same means of defence and 


resistance which appeared at the beginning. The attack 
was soon after renewed with the most fierce and desperate 
courage; when it was again met with so much coolness 
and military science, that Alexander, in order to prevent 
the disgrace of a complete discomfiture, thought it expe- 
dient to sound a retreat. Nor did the Tyrians on such 
occasions confine themselves to defensive measures, but, 
advancing from their fortifications, pursued the Macedo- 
nians into the heart of their works ; and, by using weapons 
which were quite unknown to thelatter, they infliicted upon 
them the most painful and deadly wounds. 

The son of Philip, unable any longer to resist the soli- 
citations of his officers, who bewailed the loss of their best 
men, and the obstinacy which persevered in a hopeless 
war with impregnable forts and a tempestuous sea, was 
about to withdraw his army, and proceed to accomplish 
his meditated invasion of Egypt. His proposal to make 
another effort to reduce the proud queen of the ocean 
was supported by Amyntas alone ; who, with his master, 
distinctly foresaw the consequences, dangerous to the repu- 
tation of the Macedonian arms, which would result from 
the relinquishment of an enterprise which had already at- 
tracted the attention of all the surrounding nations. 

To second the views of Alexander, superstition or 
treachery had begun, within the city, to portend an issue 
fatal to the cause of independence. Some dreamer an- 
nounced that Apollo had resolved to abandon their in- 
terests and pass over to the Macedonians. It was to no 
purpose that they bound his statue with golden chains to 
the altar of Hercules ; for the intention of the god being 
known, the hopes of the citizens gave way and their 
effbrs relaxed. Alexander, meanwhile, brought up all 
his strength, rebuilt his towers, and added to the num- 

VOL. 11. s 


ber of liis machines ; and having again succeeded in bat- 
tering down a part of the wall, he rushed with irresistible 
impetuosity into the breach, and finally carried the whole 
fortifications by storm. Justin, indeed, relates that Tyre 
fell by treachery ; but this opinion is not supported by 
the general current of history.* Neither Arrian nor 
Quintus Curtius gives any countenance to such a suspicion ; 
while iElian says it was won by stratagem, and Polyaenus, 
that it was taken by assault. 

The triumph of Alexander was sullied by the cruelties 
which he exercised upon the inhabitants of Tyre. It is 
said that he put eight thousand of them to the sword, 
condemned two thousand to be crucified, and sold not 
fewer than thirty thousand for slaves. He attempted to 
palliate this inhumanity, by a reference to the crime which 
it was alleged had been committed by their forefathers, 
when they slew their masters, usurped the government of 
the city, and placed Strato on the throne. The real of- 
fences, perhaps, which the victor meant to punish, were 
the determined bravery with which they had resisted his 
attacks, and the severe loss which they had thereby in- 
flicted upon his army. It is, no doubt, true that he 
showed much clemency towards the noble families who 
continued to have their residence at Tyre, and that he 
permitted Azelmic, a descendant of the king just named, 
to enjoy the royal dignity, and even to retain the show of 
power which he had possessed under the Persian monarch. 
So far, at least, he gave plausibility to the pretext which 
he held forth for his inhuman treatment of the people at 
large; whose claim to the character of freemen he did not 

* Non magno post tempore per proditionem capiuntur. — Justini Hist. 
lib. xi. 10. 

Chap. II.] AND PROFANE HlSTOllY. 275 

choose to recognize, and whose fidelity to their oaths he 
visited with the reward which is due only to traitors or to 
rebellious bondmen- 

The history of Tyre from this period ceases to have 
any connection with that of the ancient people of Jehovah. 
A natural curiosity may, however, be gratified by the in- 
formation, that this city of merchants recovered once more 
its wealth and its beauty, and rose into considerable con- 
sequence under the government of the Romans. It was 
invested by that people with the dignity and privileges of 
a free town. At a later epoch, when Christianity had 
obtained a regular establishment throughout the Roman 
world, Tyre was constituted the metropolitan see for the 
province of Phenicia. In the year of our Faith six hun- 
dred and thirty-six, it was subdued by the Saracens ; un- 
der whose yoke it groaned during the space of nearly five 
centuries. It was recovered by the Christians in the year 
1124, and, notwithstanding the efforts of the warlike 
Saladin, continued for a long time to display from its 
towers the standard of the cross. But about 1289, it was 
compelled to acknowledge another master, in the person of 
the Turkish chief, who covered with his victorious armies 
the plains of Syria and Palestine.* Its present state, 
under the debasing influence of a government which com- 
bines at once the barbarism of a Tartar horde and the 
slavish tenets of the Mahometan creed, has been already 
described in the language of Maundrell.-f 

* Well's Geography of the New Testament, p. 186. 

+ The following quotation from the same intelligent traveller will not be 
read without interest : — " In the midst of the ruins there stands up one pile 
higher than the rest, which is the east end of a great church, probably the 
cathedral of Tyre : and why not the very same that was erected by its bishop 
Paulinus, and honoured with that famous consecration-sermon of Eusebius, 
recorded by himself in his Ecclesiastical History, book x. chapter 4. ; this 
having been an archiepiscopal see in the Christian times ? 


Besides the kings of Tyre and Sidon, ancient historians 
hkewise mention the sovereigns of Arados ; whose terri- 
tories, it should seem, were partly situated in an island of 
that name, and partly on the adjoining shores of the con- 

" I cannot in this place omit an observation made by most of our com- 
pany in this journey, viz. that in all the ruins of churches which we saw, 
though their other parts were totally demolished, yet the east end was al- 
ways found standing, and tolerably entire. Whether the Christians, when 
overrun by infidels, redeemed their altars from ruin with money ; or whether 
even the barbarians^ when they demolished the other parts of the churches, 
might voluntarily spare these, out of awe and veneration ; or whether they 
have stood thus long by virtue of some peculiar firmness in the nature of 
their fabric ; or whether some occult Providence has preserved them, as so 
many standing monuments of Christianity in these unbelieving regions, and 
presages of its future restoration, I will not determine. This only will I 
say, that we found it in fact, so as I described, in all the ruined churches 
that came in our way ; being perhaps not fewer than one hundred : nor do 
I remember ever to have seen one instance of the contrary. This might 
justly seem a trifling observation were it founded upon a few examples only. 
But it being a thing so often, and indeed universally, observed by us, 
throughout our whole journey, I thought it must needs proceed from some- 
thing more than blind chance, and might very well deserve this animadver. 

" But to return from this digression, there being an old staircase in this 
ruin last mentioned, I got up to the top of it ; from whence I had an en- 
tire prospect of the island, part of Tyre, of the isthmus, and of the adjacent 
shore. I thought I could from this elevation discern the isthmus to be of a 
soil of a different nature from the other two ; it lying lower than either, 
and being covered all over with sand, which the sea casts upon it, as the 
tokens of its natural right to a passage there, from which it was by Alex- 
ander the Great injuriously excluded. The island of Tyre in its natural 
state seems to have been of a circular figure, containing not more than forty 
acres of ground. It discovers still the foundation of a wall, which ancient- 
ly encompassed it round, at the outmost margin of the land. It makes 
with the isthmus two large bays ; one on its north side, and the other on its 
south. These bays are in part defended from the ocean, each by a long 
ridge resembling a mole, stretching directly out on both sides, from the head 
of the island ; but these ridges, whether they were walls or rocks, whether 
the work of art or nature, I was too far distant to discern. — Coming out of 
these ruins we saw the foundations of a very strong wall, running across 
the neck of land, and serving as a barrier to secure the city on this side. 
From this place we were one-third of an hour in passing the sandy isthmus, 
before we came to the ground which we apprehended to be the natural shore. 
From hence passing over part of a very fertile plain, which extends itself to 
a vast compass before Tyre, we arrived in three quarters of an hour at Rose- 
layn. Our whole stage from Sidon hither was about eight hours.— •ilfawjJ- 
drelVs Journey from Aleppo to Jervsakm, p. 41, 42, 43. 


tinent. Of these petty princes no more than three are 
mentioned by any creditable author, Arbal, Narbal, and 
Gerostratus. Narbal is supposed to have served under 
Xerxes against the Greeks ; for among the other chiefs 
who obeyed the summons of the Persian monarch, we find 
him specifically mentioned as Narbalus the Aradian.* 
Gerostratus, in like manner, lent the aid of his ships to 
Darius, when preparing to resist the aggressions of the 
Macedonian conqueror. He even joined the Persian 
fleet ; but hearing that his son had entered into terms 
with the invader, and given up to him the most valuable 
part of their possessions both in Arados itself and on the 
mainland, he thought proper to sanction a measure which 
he could no longer oppose, and to resign himself and his 
little kingdom to the protection of Alexander, 

If we may trust to Arrian, it was during the siege of 
Tyre that these events took place. About this time, says 
he, Gerostratus, king of Arados, and Enylus, king of 
Byblus, being assured that their dominions were taken 
possession of by Alexander, left Autophradates and his 
navy, and each with his fleet came and submitted himself 
to the son of Philip.-j- After the Macedonian conquest, 
the kingdom of Arados seems to have disappeared in the 
empire of the Seleucidas, and to have been known after- 
wards only as a part of their extensive dominions. 

In this chapter I have somewhat anticipated the general 
course of events, and carried the history of the Canaanitish 
nations beyond the period to which the chronological limits 
of my undertaking are properly confined. But whatever 
irregularity there may appear to be in this proceeding, it 
Avill be amply compensated by the convenience of having 

" Not Arabian^ as it is commonly read. + Arrian, lib. ii. c. 20. 


under the eye at once a connected narrative of occurrences, 
which, if separated, and scattered over different chapters 
of a miscellaneous work, would necessarily lose much of 
their interest, and even in a great measure cease to be in- 
telligible to an ordinary reader. Besides, the details into 
which I have entered seemed the more necessary, because 
Dr Shuckford has not, in any part of his volumes, 
given an account of those ancient tribes who possessed the 
land of Canaan when it was invaded by Joshua, and 
who, during many successive generations, disputed with 
the chosen people the right to an inheritance which the 
latter claimed only in virtue of a divine promise made to 
their fathers. 

On the subject of this chapter, the reader may consult 

Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. xvi. xvii. 

Herodotus, lib. vii. 

Plutarchus, De Fortuna Alexandri. 

Justinus, lib. xi. 

Curtius, lib, iv. 

iElianus. Var. Hist. lib. vii. 

Maximus Tyrius, Serm. iv. 

Sellers' History of Palmyra. 

Macrobius. Saturnal. lib. i. 

Travels of Sandys, Thevenot, De Bruyn, Volney, Niebuhr, Shaw, and 

Arrianus, lib. ii. 

Josephus. Antiq. Jud. lib. ix. et Contra Apion, lib, i. 
Strabo, lib. xvi. 
Pausanias in Boeot. de Fluviis. 
Hales, New Analysis. 
Ancient Universal History, volumes i, ii. 
Menand, Ephes. apud Josephum. 
Eusebius. Prsep. Evang. lib. i. 




Although the nations comprehended in the old Iranian 
empire had no immediate connection with the Hebrews 
during the period that the latter people were governed by 
the Judges, they nevertheless present a strong claim to 
our attention ; because, according to certain authors, they 
divided with the Assyrians, in the earliest times, the com- 
mand of those fine countries which extend from the Arme- 
nian mountains to the Persian gulf, and from the banks 
of the Euphrates to those of the Indus. It must be ac- 
knowledged that, before the era of Grecian history, we 
have no account on which we can rely respecting the affairs 
of Iran. The writings of the native annalists, replete 
with superstition and romance, form no solid ground for 
belief in regard either to the antiquity or the constitution 
of their government ; while the Jewish authors, on the 
other hand, confining themselves to the events which 
affected the interests of their own country, at an epoch 


still later than that of Herodotus and Xenophon, afford 
very little assistance to our antiquarian and chronological 

It cannot be necessary to remark that Persia, which was 
merely one of the divisions of the great empire of which 
we are now assuming the existence, obtained, from the 
accidental circumstance of having given birth to Cyrus, the 
distinction of extending its name over all the other provinces 
which acknowledged the same crown.* But to the inha- 
bitants of those extensive regions, whether in ancient or 
in modern times, their country has always been known as 
the kingdom of Iran. According to their description, 
too, it was the largest empire that ever existed in the 
world ; being bounded by four great seas, the Black sea, 
the Red sea, the Caspian sea, and the ocean which washes 
the southern shores of Persia.-f- These details, however, 
belong to the works of authors who, it may be suspected, 
had no better means of information than are accessible to 
the diligence of every European scholar : on which ac- 
count we cannot help classing the geographical descrip- 
tions of ancient Iran, with those vain and fantastic tradi- 
tions which ascribe to their first monarchs the government 
of all Asia, and the power of having maintained a suc- 
cessful rivalry with the immortal gods themselves. 

As in the case of the Assyrian empire, the want of 
authentic records has, in various instances, induced the 
chronologer to restrict the term of Iranian dominion to 
much narrower limits than those which have been assigned 

* " Pars, hes anciens Persans ont ainsi appelle leur propre pays, que 
nous appellons la Perse. Ces sont les Arabes, qui n'ont point de P dans leur 
^phabet, qui ont prononcd ce mot Pars, qui est plus en usage aujourd'hui 
dans tout le Levant que non pas celui de Pars." — Bibliotheque Orientale, 
p. 693. 

•)• Chardin, cited by Sir William Drummond, Oiigines, vol. i. p. 298. 


to it by oriental vanity. Sir William Jones admits that 
he had yielded to the arguments of Newton, who, the 
reader is well aware, maintained that, until about two 
hundred years after the reign of Solomon, there was no 
extensive monarchy in the great plain of the Euphrates, 
and that, in all preceding ages, the country had been 
divided into a number of petty states and principalities. 
" Of this opinion," says he, " I confess myself to have 
been ; when, disregarding the wild chronology of the 
Mussulmans and Gabrs, I had allowed the utmost natural 
duration to the reigns of eleven Pishdadi kings, without 
being able to add more than a hundred years to Newton's 
computation. It seemed, indeed, unaccountably strange, 
that although Abraham had found a regular monarchy in 
Egypt ; although the kingdom of Yemen had just preten- 
sions to a very high antiquity ; although the Chinese, in 
the twelfth century before our era, had made approaches 
at least to the present form of their extensive dominion ; 
and although we can hardly suppose the first Indian mo- 
narchs to have reigned less than three thousand years ago ; 
yet Persia, the most delightful, the most compact, the 
most desirable country of them all, should have remained 
for so many ages unsettled and disunited. A fortunate 
discovery, for which I was first indebted to Mir Muham- 
med Husain, one of the most intelligent Mussulmans in 
India, has at once dissipated the cloud, and cast a gleam 
of light on the primeval history of Iran and of the human 
race, of which I had long despaired, and which could 
hardly have dawned from any other quarter."* 

The work here alluded to is the Dabistan, a treatise on 
the several religions of India, of which I have already 

" The Sixth Discourse ; On the Persians. Works, vol. iii. p. 10!>. 8vo 
edit. I8O7. 


made mention, and compiled by Molisin, surnamed Fani 
or the Perishable. From the various authorities which he 
consulted, he professes to have learned that a powerful 
monarchy had been established in Iran for ages before the 
accession of Kayumers ; that it was called the Mahabadian 
dynasty ; and that many princes, of whom only seven or 
eight are named in the Dabistan, had raised their empire 
to the zenith of human glory. " If," adds Sir William 
Jones, " we can rely on this evidence, which to me ap- 
pears unexceptionable, the Iranian monarchy must have 
been the oldest in the world ; but it will remain dubious 
to which of the three stocks, Hindu, Arabian, or Tartar, 
the first kings of Iran belonged, or whether they sprang 
from ajhurth race distinct from any others ; and these 
are questions which we shall be able, I imagine, to answer 
precisely when we have carefully examined into the lan- 
guages and letters, religion and philosophy, and incident- 
ally into the arts and sciences of the ancient Persians."* 

Before we enter upon an examination of the particular 
statements contained in the Dabistan, I shall give a brief 
outline of the ancient history of Persia^ as derived from 
other sources. 

When proceeding to such an inquiry we naturally turn 
our attention, in the first place, to the inspired writings ; 
but in them, on the present occasion, we are supplied 
with nothing besides the narrative, already so often men- 
tioned, of the war in which Chedorlaomer engaged his 
vassals, or confederates, against the kings of Pentapolis.-f- 
Josephus, too, who follows the authority of the sacred 
volume very closely, satisfies himself with relating, that 
Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who obtained 

• Sixth Discourse, at the place already cited. f Genesis xiv. 1—6. 



possession of the country which extends from the Euphra- 
tes to the Indian ocean : for Elam gave birth to the Elam- 
ites, the ancestors of the Persians ; while Ashur placed 
the seat of his government at Nineveh, and became the 
father of the Assyrians, — a nation blessed with success 
and power above all others.* After these early notices, 
we find not, either in the Scriptures or in the annalist of 
the Jews, any record whence we might be enabled to 
trace the progress of this great people through the early 
stages of their history. Placed at a distance from the 
land of promise, it was not until the Assyrian empire 
had begun to verge towards its decline, that the natives of 
Phars rose to such a degree of consequence as to affect the 
interests or awaken the fears of the descendants of Israel. 
The Greeks, on the other hand, as we have already ob- 
served, were not less ignorant than careless in regard to 
the origin and affairs of those eastern tribes, whom they 
were pleased to denominate barbarians : and hence we 
are compelled to rely upon the industry and good faith of 
such Persian chroniclers as may have judged it expedient 
to guide their narrative by a reference to some leading 
points in chronology. 

Among these writers the first place is usually assigned 
to Emirchond, more commonly known by the name of 
Mirkhond ; who has given two dynasties of Persian kings, 
reaching from the earliest times to the subversion of the 
empire by Alexander the Great. The former of the lists 
now mentioned, as adjusted by Dr Hales, stands as fol- 
lows : — 

Joseph. Antiq. Jud. lib. i> c. 6. 


1*^ Persian Dynasty, comprehending 529 years. 

Y. B. C. 

1. Kaiumarath or Keiomarras, (560) 40 2190 

Kaiumarath again, - - 30 2150 

2. Hushang or Houschenk, called Pischdad 

or Chedorlaomer, - 50 2120 

3. Tahmuras, (700) - - 30 2070 

4. Giamschid or Giemschid, - 30 2040 

5. Dahak, Zabak, or Zoak, (1000) 30 2010 

6. Aphridun, Phridun, or Pheridun, 120 1980 

7. Manugiahr, called Phirouz, (500) 120 1860 

8. Nodar, - - 7 1740 

9. Apherasiab or Apasiab, - 12 1733 

10. Zoab, Zab, or Zoub, - 30 1721 

11. Gershab or Gershasp, - - 30 1691 

End of the dynasty, 529 1661 

The extravagant reigns of some of these princes, 560, 
700, 1000, and 500 years, are, says the rector of Kille- 
sandra, corrected by the soberer accounts of other oriental 
writers, so as to reduce the whole length of the dynasty to 
a moderate compass. The chronology, he adds, is ad- 
justed from the resemblance between the actions of Hu- 
shang and Chedorlaomer, who might alike have been slain 
by Abraham in B.C. 2070. From this fixed epoch, count- 
ing the reigns both upwards and downwards, the dates of 
each are determined.* 

This adjustment by Dr Hales of the ancient chronology 

* Hales, vol, iii. p. 29. See also the Bibliotheque Orientalc of M. Ilcr- 
belot, art. Mirchomh 


of Iran cannot give satisfaction, because it proceeds upon 
a principle entirely arbitrary, and even assumes the exist- 
ence of an historical fact which is not only destitute of 
evidence, but is at the same time not a little remote from 
probability. That Hushang and Chedorlaoraer were the 
same individual, is a position which rests upon mere con- 
jecture; on which account, it is very obvious, no reliance 
can be placed upon a system, the truth of which depends 
upon the accuracy of a postulate so extremely question- 
able. Besides, the catalogue which I have just transcribed 
is not a correct copy of the list given by the Persian his- 
torians ; at least if our judgment in this matter ought to 
be determined by the fidelity of the Bibliotheque Orien- 
tale.* Sir William Druramond, I think, has taken a 
more reasonable view of this subject ; the grounds of 
whose opinion, as connected with the statements contained 
in the Dabistan, will be laid before the reader, when we 
resume at somewhat greater length our inquiries into the 
origin of the Persian government. 

The first dynasty recognized by Persian antiquaries, 
with the exception of Mohsin, is that which descended 

* Premiere Dynastie dcs Peschdadiens. 

Le Roi regna. vecut. 

1. Caimurath, 

2. Siamek, - - - 560 1000 

3. Interregne, - - 200 

4. Tahamurath, - - - 30 

5. Giamschid, - - 700 1000 

6. Zhohak, _ . . 1000 

7. Afridoun or Feredoun, - 600 

8. Manongheber, - - 120 

9. Nodar, - - - 7 

10. Afraseab, - - 12 

11. Zab, ... 30 

12. Gustabb, - - 20 or 30 

Supplement a la BibliotJiegne Orientah; de M. D^Herheloi, p. 158, 


from Kaiomars or Kaiomarth, the most ancient sovereign 
of their country. Some of these writers maintain that he 
was the grandson of Noah ; others assert that he was the 
son of Yessun-Ajum ; but they all acknowledge him to 
have been the founder of that particular race of kings 
which is known among historians by the name of the Pesh- 
dadian or the Legislative. This honourable distinction 
was earned by the labours of the first monarch, who 
spared no pains to reclaim his people from the savage con- 
dition in which he found them. But the restraint of law 
did not at the first prove agreeable to his barbarous sub- 
jects ; who, resenting the efforts which he made to bring 
them within the limits of civilization, took up arms and 
opposed him in the field. His son Siamack was killed in 
a battle fought with the rebels ; upon which the king him- 
self, assuming the command of his faithful followers, 
went out, determined to subdue by force a host of enemies 
whom reason could not convince nor kindness conciliate. 

Ferdusi has described this war in a poem, written, no 
doubt, says the author of a recent work on Persia, from 
the most ancient histories and traditions;, but heightened 
by his own rich imagination, and clouded by a thousand 
fables. In his pages these barbarous enemies of Kaiomars 
are termed deevs or magicians ; and when that monarch 
carried Hushang, the infant son of Siamack, to share in 
the revenge which he meant to take upon his enemies, his 
army, according to the poet, was joined by all the lions, 
tigers, and panthers, in his dominions ; and the deevs were 
routed and torn to pieces in their flight by the auxiliaries 
who had left their native forests to aid the just king. 
After this victory Kaiomars returned to Balkh, his capi- 
tal ; where, we are informed by one author, that he re- 
signed the crown to his grandson Hushang ; while another 
asserts that it was not till he died that he transmitted the 


succession to the young prince just named. Both state 
that he reigned thirty years.* 

This narrative will be divested of its fabulous air when 
we recollect that, in the figurative language of poetry, 
lions and tigers denote the strong and the brave ; and es- 
pecially that, in the phraseology of eastern barbarians, all 
men who possessed more knowledge or more courage than 
themselves were denounced evil spirits or magicians. 
The rude inhabitants of Tartary, at the present day, ap- 
ply these epithets to the Chinese ; being unwilling to ad- 
mit that their brutal strength could be overcome except 
by supernatural arts or diabolical stratagem s.j* 

Hushang, the second ruler of the Peshdadian race, was 
renowned for his wisdom and iustice ; but as to the lenn-th 
of his reign, as well as the events by which it was occu- 
pied, there is no approach to unanimity among Persian 
writers. His name is associated with the origin of some 
splendid cities, and Avith the invention of many useful 
arts. He is said to have been the first who had know- 
ledge or ingenuity enough to construct an aqueduct, — a 
benefaction to the arid plains of Persia which has immor- 
talized his reign.J Ferdusi also atti'ibutes to him the hon- 
our of discovering a method for obtaining fire, by the col- 
lision of stones and other hard substances ; which element 
he devoted to the service of God, and commanded it to 

• History of Persia, by Sir John Malcolm, vol. i. p. 13. 

•j" " Deev means magician ; and in Sanscrit it means a brahman, perhaps 
from some of that tribe pretending to be sorcerers." — History of Persia, as 

i These aqueducts are made by a succession of small wells, at the dis- 
tance of a few yards from each other, and of such depth as the level and 
soil require : they are connected with each other at the bottom by a channel 
large enough for a man to pass to clear it. These wells commence at a 
spring, and convey not only its waters, but that of such other springs as are 
found in the course of the canal : they are common through all Persia ; the 
water they convey is applied to irrigation. — History of Persia, vol. i. p. 14. 


be preserved with care in a holy temple, as the fittest 
emblem of the divine attributes, and as not less indispen- 
sable to the comfort and improvement of the human being. 
Hushang is even mentioned as the author of a work pos- 
sessing a high share of literary merit. After a reign of 
forty years, he terminated a useful and apparently a peace- 
ful life, when he yielded the throne of Persia to his son 

This prince renewed a successful war against the an- 
cient enemies of his family ; and hence he merited the 
name of Deev-bund, or the Magician-binder. But his 
victories were not altogether due to the military talent 
and courage which directed his arms. Persian authors re- 
late that he was indebted for the most of his triumphs to 
the supernatural gifts of his prime minister Sheerasp, who 
used all kinds of spells and enchantments to entrap the 
deevs. These last, however, appear to have been superior 
to their conquerors in science and the arts ; for it is con- 
fessed that a number of them who were prisoners redeemed 
their lives from Tahamars by teaching him to read and 
write. " We learn from the same author who records 
these events, that the worship of idols was first introduced 
under this prince ; and the account of its origin given by 
him must be admitted to be very natural. A malignant 
disease had raged for so long a time in Persia, that men, 
distracted at losing many of their dearest friends and re- 
lations, desired to preserve the memory of them by busts 
and images, which they kept in their houses as some con- 
solation under their affliction. These images were trans- 
mitted to posterity, by whom they were still more vene- 
rated : and in the course of time the memorials of tender 
regard were elevated into objects of adoration."* 

• History of Persia and Zeenut-ul-Tuarekh, cited by Sir John Malcolm. 


After Tahamurs had governed Persia thirty years, he 
was succeeded by his nephew Gemshid, a monarch whoso 
wealth and magnificence were displayed in the erection of 
PersepoHs, which to this day is called Tukht-e-Gemshid, 
or the throne of Gemshid.* Besides improving the arts 
and cultivating the manners which were introduced by his 
predecessors, he adopted the oriental practice of dividing 
his subjects into four great classes or castes : the first con- 
sisting of learned and pious men who were devoted to the 
service of God ; the second, of such persons as were qua- 
lified to write and keep the public records ; the third, of 
soldiers destined to fight the battles of their country, and 
to instruct others in the various arts of attack and defence; 
the fourth and last, comprehending artizans, husbandmen, 
and tradesmen. 

The same king is likewise said to have marked the 
boundaries of the solar year, and to have appointed a fes- 
tival to be kept on the first day of it, which coincided with 
the vernal equinox-i* The early part of his reign was in the 
highest degree prosperous ; but being depraved by his good 
fortune, he began to imagine that the destiny of mankind 
was placed in his hands ; proclaimed himself a god ; and 
gave orders that his statues should be worshipped, and 
ranked among the other emblems or representatives of di- 
vine power. This absurd and impious resolution, which at 
once disgusted and enraged his subjects, was soon follow- 
ed by his downfall. The celebrated Zohak, availing 
himself of the discontent which pervaded the whole of 
Iran, entered the kingdom with a formidable army, when 

• History of Persia, vol. i. p. 16. It is likewise called IsUkr by the 

f It is called Nouroze, or New-Year's day, and is still the greatest festi- 
val in Persia. Some of tlie sculpture at Persepolis is supposed to represent 
the processions at this festival.— -History of Persia, p. 1 7. 



he not only drove Gemshid from the throne, but compelled 
him to seek refuge in distant and barbarous countries. 

" The wanderings of the exiled monarch,'" says Sir J. 
Malcolm, " are wrought into a tale which is among the 
most popular in Persian romance. His first adventure 
was in the neighbouring province of Seistan, where the 
only daughter of the ruling prince was led, by a prophecy 
of her nurse, to fall in love with him, and to contract a 
secret marriage : but the unfovtunate Gemshid was pux'- 
sued through Seistan, India, and China, by the agents of 
the implacable Zohak, by whom he was at last seized, and 
carried before his cruel enemy like a common malefactor. 
Here his miseries closed : for, after enduring all that proud 
scorn could inflict upon fallen greatness, he was placed be- 
tween two boards, and sawn asunder with the bone of a fish."* 
Gemshid was succeeded on the throne of Iran by this 
Zohak, concerning whose origin and descent there has been 
no small difference of opinion. According to some histo- 
rians, he was an Arabian by birth, although sprung from 
the blood of Kaiomars ; others maintain that he was a na- 
tive of Syria, and a descendant of Shedad ; while a third 
class of antiquaries, as we shall afterwards find, identify 
him with Nimrod, the son of Cush. But all of them agree 
in describing him to have been of a most sanguinary and 
vindictive disposition. The fable which represents him as 
the prey of two monstrous serpents, which fed upon his 
flesh, and which nothing but the brains of human beings 
could appease, had unquestionably a moral application ; 
and pointed, it is probable, to the ungovernable passions 
which incited him to perpetrate those horrible cruelties 
with which his memory is loaded. To satiate the appe- 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. Ml. 


tite of Zohak's tormentors, it was necessary that two of 
his subjects should be put to death every day, — a practice 
which continued until the virtuous indignation of a black- 
smith in Isphahan, whose sons were about to fall victims 
to the tyranny of the prince, relieved the empire from its 
terrors. This mechanic, addressing himself to the patriot- 
ism as well as to the fears and revenge of his countrymen, 
soon had the satisfaction to see a large body of insurgents 
with arms in their hands, and animated by a firm deter- 
mination to push the usurper from the throne of Iran. 
The blacksmith"'s apron was converted into a standard, 
which was ever after regarded as the symbol of liberty and 
independence ; the palladium of national honour ; and the 
token of popular rights and privileges. Making choice 
of Pheridun, whose father had been murdered by Zohak, 
to wear the vacant diadem, the Persians followed him to 
battle against their cruel oppressor. The cause of freedom 
was triumphant; the tyrant was defeated in several actions ; 
and being at length made prisoner, was put to death with 
lingering torments, as a suitable punishment for his nu- 
merous crimes. 

Sir William Drummond is of opinion, that the Pesch- 
dadian dynasty terminated in the person of Gemshid, 
and that Zohak, being Nimrod, or the oldest Belus, was 
the first of that long line of Assyrian kings who exercised 
the government of Persia not less than a thousand years. 
It is no doubt true, that several authors have extended 
the reign of the prince now named to ten centuries ; but 
the same writers have given a similar duration to the lives 
of other sovereigns both before and after him, — a circum- 
stance which militates strongly against the hypothesis just 
stated. Kaiomars, for example, is said to have ruled 
five hundred and sixty years, Phirouz five hundred, and 
Tahamurs not less than seven hundred ; and yet, as we 


have no authority for concluding that these terms were 
meant to denote dynasties instead of single reigns, we must 
hesitate in admitting the opinion adopted by the author of 
the Origines, that, by the thousand years assigned to 
Zohak, the Persians intended to indicate the period dur- 
ing which their country was governed by the monarchs of 
Assyria. Persian vanity, he thinks, unwilling to acknow- 
ledge that Iran ever submitted to a foreign yoke, has 
devised this expedient for disguising the true character of 
an historical fact which could neither be denied nor alto- 
gether concealed. But the question still recurs, if the 
thousand years of Zohak denoted the length of time 
occupied by a dynasty consisting of many members, what 
are we to understand to have been indicated by the seven 
hundred years of Tahamurs, and by the five hundred and 
sixty years of Kaiomars.? If the latter numbers be 
applied to the government of individuals, why should we 
interpret the former so as to comprehend the reigns of a 
long series of princes ? 

This learned writer, as I have already suggested, is pleas- 
ed to rank himself among those who maintain that Zohak 
and Nimrod were the same person, namely, Amraphel, 
the king of Shinar, who fought under the banners of 
Chedorlaomer, in the vale of Siddim, and was finally dis- 
comfited by the patriarch Abraham. The following are 
the grounds upon which Sir William holds this article of 
his historical faith : 

" 1. I have already shown," says he, alluding to a former 
part of his book, "that Nimrod received this appellation, 
because he was considered as a rebel. Zohak was also a 
rebel, since he was the son of one of the viziers of the 
Persian monarch. Amar-Pel — the form in which he 
writes Amraphel — was a vassal of the king of Iran or 


" 2. Zohak is said by some writers to have invaded Iran 
at the head of an Arabian army. Ninus, whom the 
Greeks have often put in the place of Nimrod, was joined 
by the king of Arabia with all his forces, when he made 
war against the Persians. 

" 3. Amur or Amir-Pel, Dux Bel, was one of the vassal 
kings who served under the standard of Chedorlaomer. 
Now the king of Shinar, in the days of Abraham, must 
either have been a descendant of Nimrod or Nimrod him- 

" 4. Bel us and Nimrod are generally acknowledged to 
be the same. Amar-Pel, and Bel or Belus, were also ap- 
parently the same. 

" 5. Ninus was supported in his expedition against Persia 
by Ariasus, king of Arabia. Zohak commanded the forces 
of Ad or Ar, when he invaded Iran.* Now it seems not 
improbable that this Arabian king was the Arioch of 
Scripture. Arioch is called king of Ellasar ; but the 
Masorites ought never to be trusted for the pronunciation 
of foreign names in the Hebrew text. I read lobx, Al- 
Sar. Why Symmachus and Jerom fancied Al-Sar to be 
the kingdom of Pontus, I am unable to conjecture. It 
appears more probable that by Al-Sar, the sacred histo- 
rian meant to indicate Sarian, which city stands in 
north latitude 35, about fifty miles north-east of Emesa." 
Sir William assures us that he offers this opinion with 
considerable confidence, because in the Arabic version he 
finds *id''x, Al-Sar, supplied by Sarian. The original 
name, therefore, in Arabic, he concludes, was Sar, with 
the Al prefixed, as is usual in that language. Arioch may, 
therefore, he thinks, have been the same as the Ariaeus, who, 

* ]Mein. de M. Anquetil du Perron. 


according to Diodorus Siculus, aided Ninus when he in- 
vaded Persia. 

" 6. Zohak had a brother, according to the Persians, one 
of whose names was Kus. This brother of Zohak, hke 
Nirarod himself, was probably descended from Cush. I 
have now only to add," says the author of the Origines, 
" that though Nimrod or Belus was denominated Zohak by 
the Persians, yet we must consider this name as repre- 
senting, among the nations beyond the Tigris, not only 
Nimrod, but the whole Assyrian dynasty from that prince 
to Sardanapalus. Thus we shall easily understand why 
the reign of Zohak is said to have lasted a thousand years. 

There is nothing conclusive either in the facts or in 
the reasoning which have now been adduced. If we adnrit 
that Nimrod and Zohak were the same person, and that 
this Iranian tyrant lived in the days of Abraham, we shall 
find ourselves brought to the absurd conclusion already 
refuted, that Zohak was likewise Ninus ; that he was at 
once Nimrod and the son of Nimrod ; and even that he was 
himself the very Arabian king from whom he derived as- 
sistance in his wars against Persia. There is throughout 
the whole of this statement such a mixture of hypotheses, 
each proving the absurdity of the one before it, that it is 
not easy to conjecture what was the real opinion of the 
author when he wrote it. In one part of it, indeed, he 
expresses himself with becoming caution. Assuming the 
identity of Nimrod and Zohak, he reminds us that the 
latter had a brother named Kus ; whence he concludes 
that this brother of Zohak, like Nimrod himself, was pro- 
bably descended from Cush ; that is, the two bz'others 
owned the same lineage and proceeded from the same ances- 
tor. But, after all, according to Herbelot, the Kus in ques- 
tion was the actual son of Canaan, and, of course, the father 
of Nimrod or Zohak ; whence we may justly infer that 


the Persian writers were not possessed of any correct in- 
formation respecting the early history of their country, 
and had not arrived at any distinct conclusions in regard 
to the names and succession of their first sovereigns.* 

Pheridun, who expelled the ferocious Zohak, was 
amongst the most popular and beloved of Iranian kings. 
He restored to his people the enjoyment of peace and 
confidence, to which they had long been strangers ; and to 
commemorate their recent struffgle for these greatest of 
earthly blessings, as well as their triumph over an unprin- 
cipled despot, he gave orders that the blacksmith's apron 
which had been converted into the royal standard of Per- 
sia, should be held sacred, and richly ornamented with jew- 
els ; to which every king, from Pheridun to the last of the 
Pehlevi monarchs, made some addition. It was called 
the Derufsh-e-Kawanee, the banner of Kawa, and conti- 
nued to be the national flag of Persia till the Mahomrae- 

" L'auteur du Lebtarekh donne a Dhohak un frere, nomme Kus FUden- 
dan. Ce prince regna en Afrique, et particulierement dans la partie d'Ethio- 
pie que les Orientaux appellent Bcrhcr ou Berhcrah. C'est le pays que 
nous nommons le Zangiiclar,^ et la cote du Cafrarie, ou est le Sinus Barbari- 
cus dont Ptolomee fait mention. Ce Kus, qui est le Chus, fils de Chanaan, 
que les Hebreux disent etre le pere des Ethiopiens, auxquels ils donnent le 
nom de C/iuschim, est surnomme Dent d' Elephant, a cause qu'il regna dans 
le pays d'ou Ton tire I'ivoire ; et 1 on ajoute que voulant se faire rendre des 
honneurs divins, Feridoun envoya centre lui une puissante armee qui le re- 
duisit a son obedience. — Biblioth. Oricntale. art. Dhohak. 

The absurdity of placing Nirarod and Abraham in the same generation 
has already been sufficiently exposed. It is a notion which appears to have 
originated among Mahomraedan writers, who are known to have been very 
ignorant of the early history of the countries which were overrun by the 
arms of their prophet. " Des historiens Mahometans qui se sont toujours 
faitun devoir de denaturer ce qui est plus ancien que I'Alcoran, rapportent 
que Nembrod fut un roi de Perse, contemporain d' Abraham. Les Rabbins, 
les commentateurs, les historiens modernes, et les etymologistes, d'apres cette 
fausse supposition, se sont gravement livres a mille conjectures ridicules sur 
la grandeur naturelle, la vie, et la mort de ce prince.— CfrJw:*^ Redierches 
Curieuses sur VHiMoire anciennc de I'Asic, p. 30. 


dan conquest, when it was taken in battle by Saad-e- 
Wukass, and sent to the Caliph Omar.* 

But the public tranquillity, which distinguished the 
reign of Pheridun, was frequently interrupted in his own 
bosom by the bitterness of domestic grief. The crimes of 
his elder sons gave rise to one of the most aflPecting tales in 
Persian romance; the only form in which the several 
events connected with their guilt have been handed down 
to posterity. This patriotic king had three male children, 
Selm, Toor, and Erij ; the two former by one mother, a 
daughter of Zohak ; the latter by a princess of Persia, 
named Irandocht, or the daughter of Iran. After these 
three princes were united in marriage to three daughters of 
a king of Arabia, their father resolved to divide among 
them his extensive dominions. To Selm he gave the 
countries comprehended in modern Turkey ; to Toor he 
gave Tartary and part of China ; and to Erij he assigned 
his native province of Persia. The young men departed 
to their respective governments ; but the two elder, dis- 
pleased that Persia, the fairest of lands, and the seat of 
royalty, should have been conferred upon Erij, combined 
to effect his ruin. They first sent to Pheridun to reproach 
him with his partiality and injustice; requiring that he 
should reconsider what he had done, and threatening an 
immediate attack upon his kingdom, if he did not accede 
to their demands. The aged monarch was greatly dis- 
tressed. He represented to them that his days were draw- 
ing to a close, and entreated that he might be allowed to 
depart from this world in peace. 

The youngest son, upon discovering what was intended, 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. 20. 


resolved to go to his brothers and lay his crown at their 
feet, rather than continue to be the cause of a dissension 
which so much afflicted their common parent. He even 
prevailed upon the old king to consent to this measure ; 
and obtained a letter from him to Selm and Toor, making 
known his purpose, and entreating them to live toge- 
ther in harmony and friendship. This appeal had no 
effect ; and the virtuous Erij was slain by his brothers, 
who had the additional barbarity to embalm his head and 
send it to their father. The old man is said to have faint- 
ed at the sight. When he recovered, he seized with fran- 
tic grief the head of his beloved son, and holding it in his 
raised hands, he called upon Heaven to punish the base 
perpetrators of so unnatural and cruel a deed. After ut- 
tering a pathetic imprecation against the seed of his elder 
children, he entreated that his life might be spared so long 
as to allow him to see a descendant spring up in the family 
of the murdered prince, who might have power and op- 
portunity to revenge his death. " Then," exclaimed Pheri- 
dun, " my aged head will repose with joy on any spot that 
is appointed to receive it." 

The daughter of Erij was married to the nephew of 
Pheridun ; from which union there proceeded a son whose 
name was Manucheher, and who is said to have proved 
the very image of his grandfather. This child became the 
cherished hope of the aged monarch ; and when the prince 
attained manhood, the former made every preparation to 
enable him to revenge the blood of Erij. Selm and Toor 
trembled as they saw the day of retribution approach : they 
despatched ambassadors with rich presents to their father, 
and entreated that Manucheher should be sent to them, 
that they might stand in his presence like slaves, and wash 
away the remembrance of their crimes by tears of contri- 
tion. Pheridun returned their presents ; and in his reply 


to their message expressed his indignation in glowing 
terms. " Tell the merciless men," he exclaimed, " that 
they shall never see Manucheher but attended by armies 
and clothed in steel."— A war commenced ; and in the 
first battle, Toor was slain by the lance of Manucheher. 
Selm retired to a fortress, from which he was drawn by a 
challenge from the youthful hero, who was likewise victo- 
rious in the second combat, and had the satisfaction to see 
tranquillity restored to the empire at large. 

When Manucheher returned in triumph, the venerable 
Pheridun advanced on foot to meet him : the prince dis- 
mounted when he approached, and, after kissing the 
o-round, received his congratulations. The king died soon 
after ; but before he expired he placed the crown on the 
head of the son of Erij, advising him to attend to the 
counsel of Soham, a nobleman of great wisdom and high 
birth, who was hereditary prince of Seistan. Pheridun 
is said to have been the first monarch who rode upon an 
elephant, or who brought these animals into use in war. 
His wisdom and his^ goodness have been universally cele- 
brated. His testament, which was addressed to his de- 
scendants at large, contained this admirable lesson, applic- 
able alike to kings and to subjects: "Deem every day of 
your life as a leaf in your history ; take care therefore 
that nothing be written in it that you would be ashamed 
to read or desirous to cancel."* 

The reign of Manucheher was distinguished by no great 
exploits, except those to which it owed its commencement. 
Peace abroad, and tranquillity at home, afforded an occa- 
sion for the genius of poetry, to embellish, with her fic- 

* History of Persia, vol. i. p. 24. Sir John Malcolm informs his readers 
that the story given above is translated literally from the pages of Ferdosi. 
I have repeated it nearly in the words of the historian of Persia. 


tions, one of those incidents which the oriental imagination 
fixes on with so much delight, and removes, too, by no 
gradual steps, from the province of historical fact to the 
world of fancy and romance. Soham, the prime minister, 
to whose wisdom and integrity Pheridun recommended the 
government of his successor, had a son, whose birth ap- 
peared so ominous, that he immediately exposed the infant 
on the mountain of Elburg, a wild and desolate place, and 
far from the approach of mankind. The young Zal was 
fed among the rocks by a simurgh or griffin, until the 
father, repenting of his cruel resolution, repaired to the 
desert and carried home his child.* 

Zal in due time became the parent of the celebrated 
Roostum, who, being born a giant, required the milk of 
seven nurses and of as many sheep to satisfy his appetite, 
and to meet the demands of his vigorous constitution. He 
was equal to Samson in point of strength, and to Gideon 
and Jephthah in respect of courage, enterprise, and reso- 
lution. One of his principal achievements during the 
reign of Manucheher, was the conquest of the Sullah 
Suffeed in the province of Fars. This fort lies about 
seventy-six miles north-west of the city of Shiraz, and is 
situated on a high hill, which is almost perpendicular on 
every side. It is of an oblong form, and encloses a level 
space at the top of the mountain, which is covered with 

* Histoiy of Persia, vol. i. p. 25. " It is possibly to this fable," says 
Sir John Malcolm, " that Grecian historians allude when they relate that 
Achaemenes was nurtured by an eagle. He is termed the founder of the 
greatest family in Persia ; some authors state that he was the second of this 
family. Supposing Sam (who is, according to Persian authors, the founder 
of the greatest family in their country) the Persis of the Greeks ; Zal, who 
was nursed by a simurgh, a fabulous bird, was his son. It is certain that 
all these heroes had many names or titles. Persis, and some word like 
Achaemenes, might have been those of Sam and Zal ; but I am very little 
inclined to venture on this field of endless conjecture." 


delightful verdure, and watered by numerous springs. 
The ascent is near three miles ; and, for the last five or 
six hundred yards, the summit is so difficult of approach, 
that the slightest opposition, if weW directed, might render 
it impregnable.* In the rude state of military science 
which prevailed in the days of Roostum, it cannot be sur- 
prising that even his prowess was at first directed against 
it in vain. After a tedious blockade, he had recourse to 
stratagem. Having disguised himself as a dealer in salt, 
of which he knew the garrison was much in want, he put 
bags upon his camels ; and, in place of the article in which 
he pretended to trade, he concealed an armed man in each 
bag. No suspicion was excited, till after it was dark, 
when a furious attack was made upon the garrison by the 
soldiers whom Roostum had conveyed thus surreptitiously 
within the walls. The enemy made a desperate resistance ; 
and it was not until the rays of the sun were about to gild 
the battlements of Sullah Suffeed, that the Iranian cham- 
pion found himself in possession of one of the strongest 
fortresses in the world, and an immense quantity of trea- 

After a reign of a hundred and twenty years, Manu- 
cheher transmitted the sceptre of Iran to his son Nouzer. 
When, on his death-bed, he exhorted the young prince to 
confide in Soham and his family as the best supporters of the 
throne. But Nouzer soon forgot his father's counsel, and 

• History of Persia. "I am indebted," says the General, "for this 
description to Lieutenant M'Donald, who visited this fort in 1810. It was 
then in possession of the tribe of Mumasenni, one of the aboriginal tribes of 
Persia. Their means of defence at this period were probably the same as 
in the days of Roostum : a line of large stones ranged in regular order 
around the edges of the precipice. Each stone is wedged in by one of 
smaller dimensions : when that is removed, the large stone or rather rock is 
hurled down, and sweeps every thing before it with irresistible force." 


never consulted with the ancient advisers of the kingdom, 
until he saw his subjects, who could no longer bear his 
cruel and oppressive rule, on the very point of rebellion. 
He then solicited the attendance of the prime minister, and 
entreated him to adopt measures for new-modelling the 
government of the country, and to charge himself with its 
administration. Soham dechned to resume the management 
af affairs ; but promised his assistance in enabling Persia 
to withstand the shock of an invasion with which she was 
threatened on the part of Pushung, the king of Turan, 
who had raised an army of thirty thousand men, and put 
them in motion against Nouzer, under the command of his 
son Afrasiab. The pretext for this war was to revenge on 
the Persians the death of Selm and Toor. But the real 
cause was the distracted state of that people ; and the 
troops of Turan or Scythia were encouraged as they ad- 
vanced, by hearing of the death of Soham, an event which 
led them to anticipate a complete and easy conquest. Nor 
did their anticipations prove groundless. Two battles 
and two single combats placed the diadem of Persia on the 
head of Afrasiab, who soon afterwards took Nouzer pri- 
soner and slew him. In one of the personal encounters 
now mentioned, Kobad, a son of the celebrated black- 
smith, lost his life. The second was fought between the 
two princes; and, it is related, the son of Manucheher 
displayed in it so much skill and resolution, that his me- 
mory, which must otherwise have fallen into contempt, 
was regarded with some degree of respect and sympathy. 
Afrasiab governed Persia twelve years, during which he 
was not less remarkable for his severity than for his talents 
as a warrior and statesman. Having seized all the chief 
nobles of that country, he determined to put them to 
death ; but was turned aside from his purpose by his bro- 
ther Agrasees, who persuaded him to rest satisfied with 


their confinement in the fortress of Sari in Mazenderan.* 
About this period Zal, the son of Soham, who commanded 
the army of his father-in-law, the king of Kabul, made 
head against Afrasiab ; and endeavoured to gain Agrasees 
to his cause by an offer, in the event of his releasing the 
Persian nobles, to raise him to the throne of that nation. 
It is stated that Zal justified this measure on the ground 
that the two sons of Nouzer, from weakness of character, 
were totally unfit to govern the empire ; but it is more pro- 
bable, as has been justly remarked, that he saw no hopes of 
relieving his country except by creating dissensions among 
its enemies. The Tartar prince agreed to the proposal, on 
condition that Zal should send against him a force of suffi- 
cient magnitude to afford him a fair pretext for retreating 
to defend Rhe, the seat of his government. It was at the 
same time arranged that a body of troops should march 
to Sari. This plan was executed ; and the small detach- 
ment which was sent to that city succeeded in releasing 
the Persian nobles. Afrasiab soon afterwards discovered 
the treachery of his brother ; upon which, that he might 
give to others a lesson of fidelity, he slew him with his 
sabre in the midst of the assembled chiefs of Turan. 

The above stroke of policy, contrived by the foresight of 
Zal, enabled him to place on the throne of Persia a prince 
named Zoo or Zoowah, a descendant of Manucheher. Of 
his reign, neither history nor tradition has preserved any 
account which has the sniallest pretensions to interest. 
He is said indeed to have achieved some conquests, and 
to have left an extended dominion to his son Gershasp ; 

• Sari is the present capital of Mazenderan. This town was visited by 
Jonas Hanway in 1743 ; and there were then standing four ancient temples, 
built in the shape of rotundas, about thirty feet in diameter, and nearly one 
hundred and twenty feet high. — History of Persia, p. 20. 


but this young man, being equally destitute of wisdom and 
courage, was soon found incompetent to the duties of a 
sovereign, and was consequently set aside to make room 
for a new king and a new dynasty.* 

The last of the Peshdadian race was apparently the 
weakest of the whole family ; and as Afrasiab was still on 
the field, and retained his claim to the sceptre of Iran, a 
bold and skilful warrior could alone save his country 
from again falling under the tyranny of the enraged bar- 
barian. Kai Kobad was elected to wield the arms and 
resources of Persia. Placing; the famous Roostum at the 
head of his troops, he gained a decisive victory over the 
Tartar chief; confirmed his own seat on the throne ; and 
gave a beginning to that celebrated line of princes which is 
commemorated in history as the Kaianian or second series 
of Persian monarchs. The dynasty of Kaiomars, which 
terminated in Gershasp, is said to have ruled over Persia 
two thousand four hundred and fifty years ; though, in the 
course of that long period, only twelve kings are mention- 
ed by name, whose actions and characters are shadowed 
forth to us either through the medium of poetry, or of a 
wild and romantic superstition. 

The limits to which I am restricted by the plan pur- 
sued in these volumes, do not admit of a more extended 
view of the ancient history of Iran. In the outline 
which has now been exhibited, we behold the mere rudi- 
ments of social life ; the imperfect beginnings of art, reli- 
gion, government, and law ; the ignorance which receives 
any impression as to the belief of supernatural beings and 
influences ; the age of magicians and demons on the one 
hand, and of poetry and heroes on the other. There is no 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. 30. 


chronology to guide our calculations of distance and suc- 
cession in point of time ; no boundaries or landmarks to 
determine the extent of territory, the march of armies, and 
the locality of battles ; no records to fix the commence- 
ment of reigns or the length of their duration. We have 
only a few facts distorted and exaggerated in the highest 
degree; men raised to the rank of gods, or covered with 
the guilt and malignity of devils ; exploits which are not 
less beyond the reach of human power than of rational be- 
lief; and eras which set at defiance every hypothesis which 
can be devised to reconcile them to the experience of man- 
kind or the truth of history. 

Sir William Drummond, indeed, makes a very ingenious 
attempt to discover the date at which Gemshid ascended 
the throne ; which, though not altogether free from objec- 
tion, possesses a strong claim upon our notice. Ac- 
cording to a passage in the Dabistan it would appear that 
in the time of the first Mahabad, the equinoctial colure 
moved from Taurus into the constellation Aries, In 
reckoning the motion of the stars in longitude since that 
period, and in referring to the real zodiac, which alone 
the ancient Iranians could have had in contemplation, we 
must calculate that the retrogression now mentioned, took 
place about 2500 years before the Christian era, and about 
628, or more correctly, perhaps, 685 after the deluge, ac- 
cording to the chronology of the Seventy. If then Maha- 
bad mounted the throne about 2525 years before Christ ; 
if twenty monarchs reigned before Gemshid ; and if we 
adopt what seems to have been the calculation of the old 
Iranians, and allow only 30 years at an average for each 
reign, we shall find that Gemshid began his government 
about 1 925 before the advent of our Saviour.* 

* Origines, vol. i. p. 357 — 375. 


Ferdusi in the Shah Maneh, or Chronicle of the Kings, 
assigns seven hundred years to the reign of Gemshid. This, 
says the author of the Origines, is not a mere poetical 
exaggeration. Mirkhond, the most celebrated of Persian 
historians, informs us, that Gemshid lived a thousand 
years, according to some, and reigned seven hundred 
years according to others. The time of this monarch is 
stated at six hundred years in certain Persian works con- 
sulted by M. Anquetil du Perron ; and M. D'Ohson, on 
other authorities, reduces the period to three hundred and 
fifty years. Again, according to all the Persian historians, 
with the exception of Mohsin, Gemshid divided his 
subjects into four classes. The arts and sciences, too, 
first began to flourish during his reign. It was this 
prince who instructed his people in their religious duties. 
In short, every institution ascribed by Mohsin to Maha- 
bad and his successors, is attributed by other writers to 
Gemshid. But as this monarch is generally stated to 
have reigned six or seven hundred years, may it not be 
reasonably inferred that the account of his reign includes 
those of all his predecessors likewise ? The regular calcu- 
lation would give six hundred and sixty years for the 
reigns of the twenty kings who preceded him ; but the 
Persians seem to have reckoned a revolution of the planet 
Saturn, or, in round numbers, thirty years, for each 
reign; and this calculation reduces the period to six hun- 
dred years. Sir William, therefore, concludes that the 
reign of Gemshid, estimated at between six and seven 
hundred years, indicates the period during which the 
Iranian monarchy had existed, previous to the era when 
Persia was conquered by Ninus, and when that great 
kingdom became a province of the Assyrian empire. 

Gemshid, he reminds us, is said tohave instituted afestival 
to commemorate the period at which the year began on the 

VOL. II. u 


day that the entrance of the sun into the constellation of 
Aries coincided with the vernal equinox. But we must 
go back nearly twenty-five centuries before the Christian 
era, to find the epoch when, according to the actual state 
of the heavens, the day of the vernal equinox was the same 
as that on which the sun receded from the sign of Taurus 
into that of Aries. This coincidence, he observes, could not 
take place in the time of Gemshid himself, unless we sup- 
pose that he flourished twenty-five centuries before our 
Faith; and we cannot, says he, fix so remote a period for his 
reign, without interfering with that system of chronology, on 
which alone, for those distant ages, we can rest any de- 
pendence. In short, according to Sir William Drum- 
mond, we must believe that the history of the reign of 
Gemshid was originally intended as an abridgment of 
the history of the reigns of all his predecessors.* 

It naturally occurs as a strong objection to the deduc- 
tions just stated, that they all rest upon an hypothesis 
which has no other support than the ingenuity of the au- 
thor, joined to the probability which they derive from their 
apparent coincidence with other well-established facts. 
The religionists who are mentioned in the Dabistan, he 
acknowledges, reckoned time according to a scale which 
seems to have admitted two units or radical numbers as 
the basis of all their computations.-j- Of these the one was 
called hirsalf the other phirsal. By the former they un- 
derstood the period in which a planet revolves round the 
sun ; while the latter, which was composed of p/ifr, splen- 
dour, and sal, a year, denoted the time in which a planet 
performed three hundred and sixty such revolutions. 
Thus the kirsal of Saturn, being; reckoned in round num- 

" Origines, vol. i. p. 379. f Dabistan, book i. chap. 1 . 


bers at thirty solar years, was equal to one day of tlic 
phirsal; which, again, was equal to 10,800 solar years. 
The compiler of the Dabistan informs us that the revolu- 
tion of Saturn is one day ; that thirty such days make 
one month ; twelve such months one year; 1,000,000 of 
such years one ferd; 1,000, 000 ferds one werdj 1,000,000 
werds one merd; 1,000,000 merds- one jad ; 3000 Jads 
one wad; 2000 zvads one ;:ad ; and that, according to 
this reckoning, the Mahabadian dynasty lasted a hundred 
zads of years.* 

The length of time expressed by these numbers exceeds 
all comprehension, and carries back the origin of the hu- 
man race to an epoch which seems to mix with the shades 
of eternity. It is, no doubt, very probable that the sa- 
cerdotal class in Persia, like their brethren elsewhere, had 
esoteric as well as exoteric doctrines on most subjects, and 
particularly on the history of the world, the rise of civil 
government, and the first establishment of their religious 
rites. That there was a key to their various mysteries, 
and even to the chronological enigmas which I have just 
copied, may be presumed from the practice of the pagan 
hierophants in all similar cases. But that instrument of 
knowledge is lost; and hence, however much we may be 
disposed to confine their extravagant calculations within 
the limits of probability, it is clear that we must proceed 
to the task on merely hypothetical grounds. To conclude, 
therefore, with Sir William Drummond, that the ancient 
Peschdadians meant to assign to the several reigns of their 
Mahabadian sovereigns and priests, a single revolution of 
Saturn, or thirty solar years, is a conjecture altogether 

• Origines, vol. i. p. 354. History of Persia, vol. i. p. lf>2 — 100. 


unsupported by the plain and literal meaning of the record 
on which it is founded. 

For these reasons it is perfectly obvious that, in endeav- 
ouring to fix the chronology of the Peschdadian kings, and 
the beginning of the Iranian empire, as it has been hither- 
to known to history, we must employ, in our computation, 
elements very different from those which are supplied by 
Mohsin the Perishable. It should seem, then, from a 
careful review of all the notices which are scattered over 
the surface of tradition, as well as in the ancient chroni- 
cles which the barbarism of time has left still undefaced, 
that the monarchy founded by Kaiomars in the lower 
Asia, corresponds to that which appears to have existed at 
Babylon, some centuries before the conquest of Ninus, 
and the subsequent establishment of the proper Assyrian 
empire. There is a striking resemblance between the 
Babylonian history at that early period, and the events 
which seem shadowed forth to us in the annals of Iran at 
the same remote epoch. The change of dynasty after the 
fourth succession ; the inroad and temporary conquest of 
the Arabians ; and the restoration of the regal line in a na- 
tive family, are coincidences which at once confirm the 
general truth of the chronology adopted in these vo- 
lumes, and create a strong presumption in favour of the 
opinion that the people of Babylon and Pars originally 
acknowledged one political head. 

To the reader of ancieat history nothing can appear 
more manifest, than that more than twenty centuries before 
our era, an extensive monarchy began to exist in western 
Asia ; which, according to the national partialities or the 
different sources of information peculiar to the several 
authors who have written concerning it, has been de- 
nominated the Iranian, the Assyrian, and also the Scythian 


empire. We might even regard as a proof of this fact the 
incoherent statement of Justin, who, as has been already 
mentioned, assigns to the Scythian empire in Asia the 
long term of fifteen hundred years. It is true, that he 
falls into a great mistake when he asserts that Ninus not 
only put an end to this domination, but also founded a 
dynasty which continued to govern Assyria thirteen centu- 
ries longer ; because he thereby stretches out the duration 
of the great western monarchy to such an extent as is abso- 
lutely inconsistent with the most comprehensive system of 
chronology that has yet been proposed by any European 
writer. In a word, Justin, who, it is well known, acted 
the part only of an abbreviator, has understood his ori- 
ginal so ill, that, by confounding together two kings of 
the same name, he has counted twice over the years of the 
Assyrian monarchy. His authority, therefore, is of no 
value, except in so far as it tends to confirm the evidence, 
derived from other quarters, in support of the fact, that 
there existed, from a very remote period, in the west of 
Asia, a powerful kingdom, embracing a great number of 
provinces ; and which has, in the works of different au- 
thors, been described under different names. 

It follows from these views that the first members of the 
Peschdadian dynasty must either have been the same or con- 
temporary with the race of Babylonian sovereigns, whose 
names have been preserved by Syncellus, and who are 
usually described as the descendants of Bel us. The only 
difference is, that the Persian writers denominate these an- 
cient kings Iranian^ while the Greek historians call them 
Assyrian. Justin, perhaps, would have represented them 
as Scythian ; and he might have urged in support of this 
appellation, that Afrasiab was a native of Turan, a king- 
dom in Scythia or Tartary, and that he conquered and 
actually possessed the throne of the Iranians. If the 


Pesclidadian princes were not strictly the same with those 
who fill the columns of Syncellus's first catalogue, we 
must conclude that they were provincial governors under 
the paramount sovereign of the empire. But it is more 
probable that they were the same ; and hence that the 
monarchy which, by authors who lived westward of the 
Euphrates, was called Assyrian, was, by those who dwelt 
eastward of that river, denominated Iranian. The pride 
of the Persians, in short, has induced them to conceal that 
their country was ever in a state of subjection to the mo- 
narchs of Assyria ; and even while they admit that, in the 
person of Zohak, a stranger overran and oppressed their 
native land, they strive, at the same time, to convey the 
consolatory assurance, that he derived his lineage from the 
blood of their legitimate kings. 

The names of the sovereigns, indeed, as given by 
Syncellus and Ferdusi respectively, bear hardly any resem- 
blance; but this circumstance which, in most cases, 
would be decisive of such a question, is here of no weight 
whatever. The titles and appellations of eastern rulers 
varied so often, and upon such slight occasions, that the 
reader of their history has the utmost trouble in identify- 
ing their characters, and in distinguishing their actions. 
Even the brief narrative contained in the Bible, when 
compared with the contemporary annals of Persia, as given 
by any profane author, v/ill illustrate these remarks. In our 
researches into oriental history, therefore, we must allow 
ourselves to be directed hyjacts, by certain great events 
Avhich stand forth like landmarks in the field, and not by 
the names of princes, which are found to vary not only in 
different provinces, but even in the same province, several 
times in the course of a single reign.* 

• Sir John Malcolm, alluding" to the different names given to the same 


In connection with the opinion, that the Peisian and 
Assyrian dynasties consisted of the same individuals, 
I may observe, that the authors of the Lcbtarikh, and of 
the TariJc Montekheb^ as well as Mirkhond and Khonde- 
mir, make Zohak contemporary with Abraham ; '' fur- 
nishing," as Dr Hales remarks, " a valuable chronological 
character, corresponding to Sacred Chronology ^ which re- 
presents Abraham's birth B.C. 2153, and his death B.C. 
1978, two years after Zohak's death."* But the learned 
author of the New Analysis did not avail himself to the 
full extent of the important hint which was here supplied 
to him ; for, instead of recognizing in Zokah a conqueror 
who, about the era of the patriarch, is supposed to have 
reduced Babylonia and Pars under the Assyrian crown, 
he maintains that the imperial power still continued in 
the hands of Iranian princes for more than three centuries 
afterwards. The Persians themselves acknowledge that their 
country was about a thousand years under a foreign rule; 
in other words, that the province from which they derive 
their name, was held so long in a state of vassalage by the 
sovereign of a neighbouring empire : and it is generally 
agreed, that the term now specified must have begun at 
no great distance from the dethronement of Gemshid, and 
the usurpation of his tyrannical successor. 

The opinion entertained by the author of the Origines, 

king by Herodotus and Ferdusi, remarks, that such discrepancy is of no 
consequence. " Kings of Persia had, no doubt, in ancient as in modern 
times, several names or rather appellations that have been used indiscrimi- 
nately during their life, and after their death ; and when we add to this 
fact the corruption of the various languages through which their history has 
passed before it reached us, we cannot be surprised at our almost never 
meeting with an agreement on this point between Grecian and Persian his- 
torians. The correspondent facts in these histories are the only lights we 
can expect to guide us with tolerable safety through this dark and intricate 
period." — Hhtonj of Persia, vol. i. p. 216. 
• New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii. p. 37. 


that the thousand years assigned to the reign of Zohak 
must have been intended to denote the period of Assyrian 
rule, coincides exactly with a conclusion stated by Sir 
John Malcolm in his History of Persia.* Proceeding on 
this supposition, the latter writer thinks it not unreason- 
able to infer, that the king called Feridoon or Pheridiin 
by the Persian poet, must have been the Arbaces of the 
Greek historians. This position he endeavours to esta- 
blish by some remarkable points of agreement in the cha- 
racters and fortunes of the two sovereigns. " Arbaces, the 
Mede,"" says he, " was induced, by the contemptible cha- 
racter of Sardanapalus, to attack Nineveh ; and we are 
told by Ferdusi, that Nineveh was the very city which 
Pheridun reduced when he took prisoner the ferocious Zo- 
hak. Another Persian author," he adds, " confirms this 
account, and gives the name of the real capital ; stating 
that the Assyrian monarch sometimes resided at it, and 
sometimes at Babylon. Moses of Chorene calls this king 
Vorbaces ; and the history he gives of his youth accords 
in some degree with that given of Pheridun by the Persian 
poet ; but the strong fact of his having freed his countrymen 
from the Assyrian yoke is that on which the conclusion of 
Arbaces and Pheridun being the same person must ulti- 
mately rest."-}- 

Sir John in like manner attempts to prove, that Kai 
Kobad, the first of the Kaianian dynasty, was the Dejoces 
of the Greeks. The latter was elected king, on account of 
his reputation for wisdom and justice, when his country 
was in a state of great weakness and anarchy : Kai Kobad 
was raised to the throne in similar circumstances. But as 
such events were of frequent occurrence, the reader, it 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. 210. f History of Persia, vol. i. p. 211. 



may be presumed, will expect other proofs of identity be- 
fore he admit the cogency of any argument which is 
founded on a resemblance so extremely remote and casual. 

Sir John is likewise of opinion, that the history of Kai 
Kaoos, as given in the pages of Ferdusi, is a description of 
the reigns of Cyaxares and Astyages ; and here, it must 
be acknowledged, there occurs a very remarkable coinci- 
dence in point of fact, which seems to give some counte- 
nance to the conclusion now stated. Herodotus relates, 
that the former of these kings made war upon the Lydians, 
and extended his dominions westward as far as the river 
Halys. He likewise informs us, that, in the midst of a 
battle between the Medes and Lydians, a total eclipse of 
the sun took place, as had been foretold by Thales the 
Milesian. Cyaxares afterwards, according to this author, 
attacked Nineveh to revenge the death of his father ; but 
was recalled from this enterprise to deliver his own coun- 
try from an inroad of the Scythians. 

Now we are told by the Persian poet, that, during an 
expedition which Kai Kaoos made into the province of 
Mazenderan, a battle took place, in the course of which 
the prince and his army were struck with a sudden blind- 
ness, which had been predicted by a magician. " This 
evidently appears to be the eclipse predicted by Thales. 
Ferdusi, it is true, informs us, that the event led to Kai 
Kaoos and his followers being made prisoners ; but this is 
a mere poetical fiction invented to introduce the wonder- 
ful achievements of his hero Roostum ; who, by the efforts 
of his single arm, is made to subdue a number of demons, 
and the whole of the army which had defeated his sove- 
reign ; whom he not only releases, but enables to conquer 
the country he invaded : and the result of the war, which 
extended the empire in the direction of the Halys, is in 


perfect agreement with the success of Cyaxares, as describ- 
ed by Herodotus."* 

These suggestions are certainly not undeserving of 
attention on the part of the historical reader. But it must 
be obvious^, at the same time, that the several coincidences 
mentioned by the historian of Persia are much too slight 
to bear any general inference, respecting the order and du- 
ration of the successive dynasties which swayed the sceptre 
of the Assyrian or Iranian monarchy. For example, there 
is not the most distant resemblance between the characters 
of Zohak and SardanapaluS;, if viewed in relation to their 
personal qualities ; nor even, if we regard the former as 
the representative of a long line of kings, can we find, in 
his ambitious and sanguinary career, any thing at all simi- 
lar to the pacific, luxurious, and effeminate habits which 
distinguished the successors of Ninus on the throne of Ni- 
neveh. Besides, the thousand years attributed to Zohak 
will not quadrate either with the term during which the 
Assyrian monarchs governed Persia as a province of their 
extensive empii-e, or with the era of Abraham, in which 
they are supposed to have conquered that country ; for if 
to B.C. 747, — the date fixed on by Sir John Malcolm 
and Sir William Drummond for the accession of Arbaces, 
— we add the long reign or dynasty of Zohak, the begin- 
nino- of the millennium will ascend no higher than B.C. 
1747, being more than six centuries later than the birth 
of the patriarch. It has been already mentioned that the 
most enlightened of the Persian historians agree in placing 
the administration of Zohak in the days of the son of Te- 
rah ; whose nativity cannot, in accordance with any sys- 
tem of chronology, be brought farther down than towards 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. 219. 


the end of the eleventh century after the flood. For these 
reasons, it is impossible to have an unbounded confidence 
in the accuracy of the deductions which Sir John wishes 
to establish, although recommended by his learned re- 
search, as well as by the ingenious criticism of the author 
of the Origines, who has, in the main, adopted his views. 

That the Assyrian and Iranian monarchies, at the re- 
mote period in question, were one and the same, there is 
very Httle reason to doubt ; and so far I cordially agree 
with the two learned writers to whom I have just alluded. 
Their notions on tiiis point are at once more probable in 
themselves, and better confirmed by argument than those 
of Newton, Hales, and Faber ; but when they enter 
into particulars, and attempt to reconcile the fictions of 
poetry with the sober facts of historical truth, they inflict 
an injury upon their own judgments, as well as upon the 
cause of sound archaeological investigation. The historian 
of Persia should have recollected, that if Mirkhond assigns 
a thousand years to Zohak, Ferdusi grants the same term 
of power to Pheridun ; whence it is manifest that, if in the 
former case, the reign of a single prince is lo be held sy- 
nonimous with the duration of a dynasty, we must also, in 
the latter case, adopt the same principle of interpretation, 
and conclude that the successor of Zohak represents, in 
history, all the sovereigns who governed the kingdom after 
him, during the course of a whole millennium. In short, 
we ought to follow Ctesias rather than Ferdusi ; the chro- 
nicler rather than the poet; him who copied a register un- 
der the eye of the Persian king, nearly four centuries be- 
fore the birth of Christ, rather than him who, fourteen 
hundred years afterwards, indulged his fancy in mag- 
nifying the exploits of sovereigns, of whom he could at that 
time learn little more than the names. 

Mr Faber, adopting the computation of Newton, places 


the accession of Kaiomars, or Caiurauras, as he writes 
the name, in the year B.C. 811 ; that is, according to his 
calculation, about ten years after Arbaces the Mede had 
usurped the government of Assyria. Sir Isaac, it is well 
known, confining his estimate to the kings whose names 
are given by the Persian historians, and measuring the 
length of their reigns by a standard which he himself had 
formed, could not carry the origin of their monarchy to a 
higher date than the year 790 before the advent of the 
Redeemer. The author of the laborious work on Pagan 
Idolatry, by adding a little to the scale of reigns, extends 
the period, as has just been remarked, to the year B.C. 
811 ; at which time, he thinks, the Peschdadian dynasty first 
mounted the throne, on which, after eleven of them had 
occupied it in succession, they were followed by nine sove- 
reigns of the Kaianian race. " We have," says he, " ele- 
ven Pishdadians and nine Caianians ; and the joint dura- 
tion of their reigns is to be calculated retrospectively from 
the year B.C. 831, which is a known chronological epoch. 
Let us take the round number of 23 years as the average 
length of our twenty Persian reigns ; and, at that rate, 
calculate them backward from the murder of Dara or 
Darius in the year B.C. 331. Such an operation will 
give, as their joint amount, the sum of 460 years; and, 
consequently, those 460 added to 331 years will give us 
the year B.C. 791, as the commencement of the Peschda- 
dian dynasty with Caiumuras. Hence it appears, that if 
we adopt the arrangement of Ctesias, the independent mo- 
narchy of Persia will have arisen about thirty years after 
the independent monarchy of Media ; and thus, agreeably to 
the declaration of Herodotus, that the Medes led the way 
in the revolt from the Assyrian empire, and that their ex- 
ample was soon Jblhwed by the other provinces : but, as 
it is not impossible that 23 years may have been too short 


an average, the insurrection of Persia probably followed 
the insurrection of Media after a smaller interval than 
thirty years. An average, for instance, of 24 years to a 
reign, would place the accession of Caiumuras in the year 
B.C. 811, and thus allow only ten years between that 
event and the previous accession of the Median Arbaces.*"* 
The principal objection to this scheme arises from the 
entire absence of all authority for it in the works of Per- 
sian historians and chronologists. In the writings of 
Mirkhond, Ferdusi, and Khondemir, the oldest member 
of the Peschdadian dynasty is always spoken of as having 
belonged to one of the earliest generations of the human race; 
as being not only the father of their most ancient kings, 
but also one of the first progenitors of the Iranian people. 
" He is allowed," says Dr Hales, " by all the oriental writ- 
ers, to have been the first king, and of the earliest antiquity. 
Budhari, and the greatest part of the Arabian historians, 
reckoned him also the first man or Adam. But the most 
judicious of the Persian writers describe him as having 
been the son or descendant of Aram, the son of Shem, 
the son of Noah, who reigned in the countries which were 
first planted after the Flood."-!- Making due allowance for 
the exaggeration of Asiatic chroniclers, there still remains 
the best reason to conclude that the era of Kaiomars must 
have extended upwards far beyond the insurrection of 
Arbaces the Mede. It is, I repeat, very probable, how- 
ever deficient may be the testimony upon which our be- 
lief is compelled to rest, that the earlier princes of the 
Peschdadian dynasty governed a small independent state 
near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, before 
the rise of that Assyrian conqueror who, by his powerful 

" Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. iii. p. 388, 389. 
t New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii. p. 29, 30. 


arms, succeeded in placing under one crown the inheritance 
ofElani, of Ashur, and of Nimrod. Were we, on the 
other hand, to adopt the scheme of Mr Faber, and bring 
down the era of that dynasty a thousand or twelve hun- 
dred years lower, we should thereby deprive ourselves of 
the support of the best Persian writers, who make Zo- 
hak a contemporary of Abraham, and Kaiomars a de- 
scendant of Noah in the fourth generation. 

Again, there is no trace in history of those twenty Per- 
sian kings who are supposed to have ruled between the 
time of Arbaces and that of Alexander the Great. We 
nowhere read of such monarchs as Kaiomars, Gemshid, 
and Zohak, administering the government and leading 
the armies of a mighty kingdom on the borders of the 
Assyrian empire, at the very epoch when Pul, Shalma- 
neser, and Sennacherib, were pursuing their conquests 
in the neighbouring nations. The existence of two 
such dynasties at the same time is extremely improbable ; 
and when we call to mind, that Media, at the period in 
question, was in the hands of the Assyrian rulers just 
named, we shall see still stronger reasons to conclude that 
there was then no distinct independent government among 
the Persians. I have elsewhere used some arguments to 
prove that the revolution effected by Arbaces did not give 
birth to any political change in the administration of the 
Medes, but merely placed a new dynasty, probably of 
Median extraction, on the throne of Assyria ; and that 
the monarchy of which Dejoces was the first head, did 
not begin to exist for more than a century afterwards. It 
is, moreover, acknowledged that the Medes led the way 
in setting an example of defection from the paramount 
government ; but we find that, in the reigns of Pul, Tig- 
lathpileser, and Shalmaneser, Media still continued to be 
in subjection to the Assyrians; whence we may confidently 


infer, that as yet no independent crown was worn by any 
Persian ruler. 

It is, however, in the very period which elapsed be- 
tween Arbaces and Dejoces, being, according to Mr Faber, 
about 120 years, that the Peschdadian dynasty must be 
placed, if brought down at all from the more ancient 
times assigned to it by the Persian writers. But we have 
just found that, during the interval in question, the As- 
syrian empire was more powerful, or at least more active, 
than it had been for many centuries before the revolution 
under Arbaces; on which account we cannot admit that 
Persia was at that very moment laying the foundations of 
a warlike monarchy under Kaiomars, Gemshid, and 

The hypothesis of Newton received likewise the coun- 
tenance of Richardson and of Sir William Jones ; who, 
perceiving that by most Persian historians the Kaianian dy- 
nasty is made to succeed immediately to the Peschdadian, 
and finding, at the same time, that these authors are 
unanimous in the opinion that the former race terminated 
with Darab or Darius, who fell before the arms of Alex- 
ander, naturally imagined that the surest method of dis- 
covering; the beoinning; of the latter was to calculate back- 
et O c5 

wards from the year B. C. 331 ; assuming a fixed number 
for the average length of the successive reigns. But Dr 
Hales, it is manifest, was right in supposing that between 
the two dynasties just described there was a very long 
interval ; and hence that the grand error of the Persian 
historians and chronologers, and of such as adopt their 
views, arose from their belief that the Kaianian followed 
the Peschdadian, in continuity or immediate succession. 
This, as he observes, gave rise to the enormous reigns 
which they assigned to their kings in order to fill up the 
chasm, and thereby precluded all possibility of adjusting 


them with the statements of the Greek authors. In fact, 
the interval now mentioned may be proved from the Per- 
sian writers themselves ; for, as they fix the end of the last 
dynasty in the reign of Darius Codomannus, and carry 
up the first to a very high antiquity, giving, at the same 
time, the number of successive sovereigns in both dynas- 
ties, we are enabled to determine, on the general principles 
of longevity, the gross duration of each. 

The author of the New Analysis brings down the end of 
the Peschdadian dynasty to the year B. C. 1661. Having 
dated its commencement in B. C. 2190, he, of course, 
limits its extent to 529 years ; which being divided among 
eleven reigns, presents an average of forty-eight years 
and a small fraction. Of the kings contained in the list 
of this royal race, two, namely, Pheridun and Phirouz, 
are said to have governed 1 20 years each ; a period which, 
as it is inconsistent with history and experience, evidently 
requires adjustment. There are other objections to the 
statement of Dr Hales, which cannot but occur even to the 
least reflecting reader. The era itself rests upon princi- 
pies which are merely arbitrary and hypothetical; hav- 
ing, in truth, no better foundation than a supposed re- 
semblance between the actions of Hushang and Chedor- 
laomer, " who," says he, " might alike have been slain 
by Abraham in B.C. 2070. From this fixed epoch, 
counting the reigns both upwards and downwards, the 
dates of each are determined.""* Again, that the Pesch- 
dadian dynasty ended about B. C. 1661, is inferred from 
the simple circumstance that Chusan Rishathaim, who 
made war upon the Israelites towards the close of the 
sixteenth century before the Nativity, appears thereby to 

* New Analysis, vol. iii. p. 29. 


have been an independent prince, and entitled to enter into 
liostilities on his own account.* 

But the greatest objection to the scheme suggested by 
Dr Hales, respects the necessity of introducing, from time 
to time, those immense intervals of nine hundred or a 
thousand years, which he is pleased to call interregnums. 
Such gaps or chasms are to be found as well in his Assyrian 
as in his Persian dynasties. In regard to tlie latter, he is 
chargeable at least with an abuse of language; for why 
should the word interregnum be applied to a period of ten 
centuries, during which the supreme power had passed en- 
tirely away from the people of Fars.? In the former case, 
there is more than a verbal catachresis to condemn. 
Proceedinjj on the extravatjant and romantic statements of 
Persian authors, he rejects the respectable authority of 
Ctesias ; and, without assigning any intelligible reason, 
expunges twenty-four out of the thirty-six kings, whose 
names that antiquary had copied from the oldest records 
of the empire, and substitutes in their place an interreg- 
num of nine hundred and eighty-five years. 

It may appear paradoxical to assert that the authority 
of the Greek historians, respecting the affairs of Iran, 
ought to stand much higher than that ofthe native writers. 
But all surprise will cease when we recollect that Herodotus, 
Ctesias, Xenophon, and Diodorus Siculus, lived much 
nearer the time of the occurrences which they relate than 
Mirkhond or Ferdusi, or, indeed, than any other author 
whom Persia has produced. These last flourished long 
after the Mahomedan conquest ; an event which was ren- 
dered memorable by the systematic destruction of all works 
and records of an earlier date, especially of such as would 

• New Analysis, vol. iii. p. 46. 


have preserved, among the vanquished Parsees, the recol- 
lection of their former greatness and of their ancient reli- 
gion. It was impossible, indeed, to extirpate utterly all the 
roots of tradition and of a national faith. Some of the 
more precious archives, too, were probably saved, from 
the selfish rage of Mussulman barbarism ; but still, as nearly 
all the Persian chroniclers whose works have come down 
to us, wrote under the influence of a tyrannical govern- 
ment, amidst the greatest scarcity of materials, and at a 
period comparatively recent, their volumes are not worthy 
to be put in the scale against the labours of Herodotus, 
Ctesias, and Xenophon ; who, to the advantage of living 
a thousand years sooner, added personal knowledge of 
the people whom they described, and the utmost freedom 
of recording every thing which fell within the limits of 
their research. Wherever, therefore, a competition of 
historical evidence between Greek and Persian writers has 
appeared, I have uniformly given a preference to the earlier 
authors ; who, though foreigners, and sometimes placed 
at a distance from the scenes which they described, were 
more intelligent, more inquisitive, and, above all, enjoyed 
perfect liberty as well in their investigations, as in the 
mode of communicating the fruits of them to the public. 

The striking diversity of opinion M'hich prevails among 
the learned, in regard to the first race of Persian kings, 
affords a strong presumption that nothing certain or de- 
finite can now be attained either by research or by 
reasoning. When we find Newton, Richardson, Jones, 
and Faber, on one side, and Cirbied, Malcolm, Drum- 
roond, and D'Ohsson, on the other, and Dr Hales opposed 
to both parties, we may rest satisfied that the works 
whence they have derived their materials are not possessed 
of sufficient authority, and abound much more in fanciful 
description than in historical facts. 


Nor is the ignorance of Persian authors confined to the 
remoter periods of their history. It is equally manifest 
in regard even to those more recent events which came to 
pass during the times of the Greek republics ; when 
letters had already made some progress among these 
celebrated states, and the value of authentic records had 
begun to be duly appreciated. Did we not call to mind 
that the oldest of the Persian writers whose works have 
been preserved, are to be considered as moderns when 
compared with ^schylus, Herodotus, and some of the 
other annalists of ancient Greece, we should be tempted 
to suspect that all which we have read of Persian armies, 
of Athenian courage, and of Spartan patriotism, were a 
mere fiction, — a theme for the poet, and a topic of decla- 
mation for the orator. 

" From every research," says the author of Disserta- 
tions on the Languages and Literature of Eastern Na- 
tions, " which I have had an opportunity to make, there 
seems to be nearly as much i*esemblance between the annals 
of England and Japan, as between the European and 
Asiatic relations of the same empire of the Medo-Per- 
sians, during the Kaianian dynasty, commencing with the 
Cyaxares of the Greeks, about B. C 610, according to 
Sir Isaac Newton's conjecture, and ending with the Ma- 
cedonian conquest. The names and numbers of the kings 
have no analogy ; and in regard to the most splendid facts 
of the Greek historians, the Persians are entirely silent. 
We have no mention of the Great Cyrus, nor of any king 
of Persia, who in the events of his reign can apparently 
be forced into a similitude. We have no Croesus, king of 
Lydia; not a syllable of Cambyscs, nor of his frantic 
expedition against the Ethiopians. Smerdis Magus, and 
the succession of Darius Hystaspes by the neighing of his 
horse, are to the Persians circumstances equally unknown as 


the numerous assassinations recorded by the Greeks, Not 
a vestige is at the same time to be discovered of the famous 
battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, Plataea, and 
Mycale; nor of that prodigious force which Xerxes led 
out of the Persian empire to overwhelm the states of 
Greece. These famous invasions may possibly, there- 
fore, have been simply the movements of the governors of 
Asia Minor to enforce a tribute which the Persians miglit 
often exact and the Greeks might never pay. Marathon, 
Salamis, and other celebrated battles may indeed have 
been real events ; but the Grecian writers, to dignify their 
country, may have swelled the thousands of the Persian 
satrap into the millions of the Persian king."* 

Some abatement must, no doubt, be made for na- 
tional vanity and resentment on the part of the Grecian 
poets and historians ; whose countrymen, perhaps, in the 
hour of alarm, magnified the hosts of their invaders, and 
in the hour of victory took no pains to correct their pre- 
vious estimates. The heterogeneous nature of an oriental 
army, too, in which the number of fighting men bore but 
a small proportion to the mixed multitude who followed the 
standard of the prince, may afford some apology for the 
exaggerated computations of the victorious Greeks. Si- 
milar considerations will likewise induce us to modify our 
conclusions in regard to the heaps of slain, as well as 
the personal exploits of favourite heroes ; but, assured- 
ly, if we consent to pronounce the several invasions of 
Greece by the Persian kings a mere fable, we must, at 
the same time, relinquish all confidence in human testi- 
mony which is not immediately supported by divine in- 

Richardson's Dissertations, p. 52 — ^4. 


In a word, the silence of Persian writers supplies no 
satisfactory argument against the truth of the Grecian 
annals. The records of a beaten army, especially when 
commanded by a king, are seldom remarkable for exact- 
ness, and never faithfully copied. The slavish historians 
of Ecbatana would not think it necessary to remind the 
reigning sovereign that any one of his ancestors was a 
fool or a coward ; and the pride which lurked in the 
heart of a subject of the king of kings, the lord of a 
hundred tributary provinces, would be equally slow to 
acknowledge that his countless squadrons had been dis- 
persed by the skill and valour of a little band of freemen. 
We may, in short, conclude, that the ignorance or insin- 
cerity which marks the page of Persian history in its latter 
stages, only tends to confirm still farther our suspicions 
in regard to the entire want of authority and informatioi\ 
which pervades that earlier portion, which professes to fix 
the date and describe the occurrences of the Peschdadian 

The discovery of the Dabistan, the compilation of 
Mohsin Fani, has been supposed to throw great light on 
the ancient history of Iran. The first book of that cele- 
brated work is now before me ; but I must acknowledge, 
though I entered upon the perusal of it with the strongest 
inclination to profit by its details, I have not found in it 
either evidence or argument to establish the existence of 
four royal dynasties prior to the reign of Kaiomars. The 
race of the Abads, of whom Mahabad or the great Abad 
was the first in order as well as in rank, appears to have 
been sacerdotal or prophetical ; the founders of a new re- 
ligion rather than of a new empire ; and better qualified 
to teach men the arts of peace, than to confirm or extend 
dominion among tribes of illiterate barbarians. 

The first book of the Dabistan, in which is mven an 


account of the tenets of the Parsees, consists of fifteen 
chapters, the titles of which are as follows : — 

Chap. 1. On the theoretical and practical tenets of the 

' 2. Concerning the chief persons who have pro- 

fessed the Sipasi faith. 

■ 3. An explanation of the laws of the book of 


— — 4. An account of the Jamshaspis. 

— — 5. An account of the Semradis. 

6. An explanation of the opinions of the Khodais. 

7. An account of the Radis. 

8. An account of the Shidrengis. 

9- An exposition of the opinions of the Peikeris. 

10. An account of the sect of the Milani. 

11. An account of the tenets of the Alaris. 

12. On the sect of Shidabis. 

13. An account of the faith of the Akljshis. 

14. An account of the Zerdushtis. 

— — 15. An account of the Mazdekis. 

Before proceeding to make any observations on the re- 1 
ligious and philosophical opinions which are contained in 
this section of the Dabistan, I shall insert a compendium 
of the Parsee doctrine and history, drawn up, at the re- 
quest of a learned writer, by Moollah Feroz ebn Moollah 

" The followers of Zerdusht believe that Kaiomars was 
the first parent, whom the Mahommedan writers denomi- 
nate Abul Muluk, and class among the grandchildren 
of Noah;, and the posterity of Adam ; he is represented 
as the first framer of civil government. 

" The Iranees, previously to the mission of Zerdusht, 


venerated a prophet named Mahabad, the great Jbad, 
(Boozooyabad) whom tliey considered as the father of 
men. His followers were styled Furzundazees.* The 
following are the principal tenets of the sect : — 

" The being and attributes of God have existed eternal- 
ly ;f his works, therefore, must have a correspondent ex- 
istence ; the creature partakes of the nature of the Crea- 
tor in the same manner that the light resembles the sun ; 
and a difference can no more be supposed to exist between 
the production and the producer, than between the ray 
and the solar body from whence it emanates. 

" The creation has existed from all eternity, and wri 
have no termination of existence ; and the cause of that 
resembles the infinite connection which subsists between 
the continuous parts of number. This doctrine has been 
maintained and admitted by several philosophers.]: 

" Some say that man was produced by man, and his 
creation without parents is an evident impossibility. Ma- 
habad was the parent of the present cycle, and innume- 
rable cycles have already existed, the end of each preced- 
ing is connected with the beginning of each succeeding 
cycle . a male and female remain at the end of each cy- 
cle, and become the propagators and continuous parents 
of the human race. The duration of each cycle is thus 

" The stars are divided into the fixed stars and the 

" Each star is the ruler of some thousands of vears. One 

" Fursundaj or Fursundujean. 

+ Uzubool aza), eternity without beginning ; ubdoolabad, eternity with- 
out end. 

I Tusool-sool, implies infinite in duration, but not infinite in commence- 
ment ; for example, conceive a line commencing at A, and infinitely extend- 
ed in one direction A. 


thousand years are appropriated to each star as the pe- 
riod of its revolution unaccompanied by the other stars. 

" The cycles of stars commenced among the fixed stars : 
the star which first revolved alone for the period of 1000 
years is denominated the first king, (Nekhoosieen Shah), 
after the expiration of 1000 years it was accompanied, 
for a similar period, by another star that is called the 
Dustoor (Weezer) of the first king; and these revolu- 
tions of 1000 years continue throughout all the heavenly 
bodies ; the moon is the last that revolves for the above 
period. The completion of these several revolutions is 
considered as a great cycle. 

" The Weezer of the first king of the first cycle becomes 
the first king of the second cycle, and the former occupies 
the place of the moon ; each star becomes in its turn 
Nekhoosteen Shah until the first star resumes his rank. 
The revolutions are thus continued ad inJinUum. A male 
and female remain after each cycle, and continue the race 
of mankind, having the same exterior appearance, lan- 
guage, and customs. The dead of one cycle are not reani- 
mated, but a new creation of a similar species is produced. 

Mahabad is the father of the present cycle, and being 
blessed with a numerous progeny, with the aid of grace, 
and under the governance of wisdom, established a code 
of civil and religious institutions, and received from the 
Almighty the book called the Dusateer,* relating to reli- 

* This book consists of a text and commentary, and translation. The 
text is an old and most difficult language, to which there is no name, of 
which Moollah Feroz says he cannot understand above one half. The sub- 
ject is the creation of the world, the religion of JVIahabad, prayer and his- 
tory. The writers are Mahabad and his successors down to Zerdusht. 
They believe the work to be from heaven. The translation is by Sassan the 
fifth, one of the chief Dustoors (Weezers Kan) in the reign of Khoo.woo 
Purvez. The Dussateer was found by Moollah Feroz at Isfahan, in a 
Blussulman's house. 


gion, the different sciences and lanfruages. Mahabatl cir- 
culated this book in his vernacular language, and all pro- 
phets that succeeded him adhered to his doctrines. 

" There were thirteen rulers of the family of Mahabad 
Avho did not deviate from his institutions. Abad- Arad, the 
fourteenth in succession from Mahabad, forsook the society 
of men, and gave himself up to solitary devotion. 

" The world enjoyed uninterrupted peace and prosperity 
during the reign of these princes. 

" The greatest confusion resulted from the abdication of 
Abad-Arad ; mankind neglected the laws of Mahabad, 
and committed every species of vice and atrocity. 

" The Fursundajees,or followers of Mahabad, assert that 
the dynasty of the Mahabadees continued for 100 zads. 
The following is the amount of a zad: 1,000,000 years, or, 
according to the Hindoo computation, 10 lacks of years, are 
one furd, and 1000 furds are one durd, and 1000 durds 
are one murd, and 1000 murds are one jad, and 1000 
jads are one zad. In conformity with this mode of reck- 
oning, the family of Mahabad had possessed the supreme 
authority uninterruptedly for 100 zads, when Abad-Arad 
abdicated the government. The dreadful consequences 
of this step have been already related. A few of the fol- 
lowers of Mahabad, who remained untainted with the ge- 
neral depravity, entreated Jey-AfFram, who then resided 
in obscurity, and was entirely devoted to religion, to take 
the administration of the public affairs into his hands. He 
refused compliance with their request, until it was sanc- 
tioned and corroborated by an immediate communication 
from heaven. 

" Jey-Affram, by his wisdom and exertion, re-established 
the laws of Mahabad, and restored peace and happiness to 
mankind. His successors imitated his conduct, and are 
distinguished by the name of Jeyan, in the same manner 


that the princes of the former dynasty were called Aba- 
dees from Mahabad, their great ancestor. The word Jey 
signifies pure, in the Pehleveh dialect. Jey-Abad was 
the last prince of this family, which subsisted for one us- 
par of years : 100,000 years are called, according to their 
computation, one silam, 100 silams are one simar, 100 si- 
mars are one uspar, 100 uspars are one iradee, 100 
iradees are one raz, 100 razes are one azar, and 100 arazes 
are one beazer. 

" At the expiration of the above period of one simar, 
Jey-Abad, the reigning sovereign, left his chamber one 
night, unperceived by any of his attendants, and was 
never afterwards heard of. Great disorders and public 
mifortunes resulted from his sudden disappearance, until 
Shah Keeleev his son, who was celebrated for his virtue 
and piety, was prevailed upon to assume the supreme au- 
thority. The exertion of his justice and discretion check- 
ed the further progress of decay, and extended the bless- 
ings of plenty and civilized government to all mankind. 
Mahbul was the last sovereign of this family, which lasted 
for one simar. 

*' Shah Mahbul was compelled, by the increasing depra- 
vity of mankind, to abdicate his throne, and seek for that 
tranquillity in retirement which a corrupt world could not 
afford. The positive commands of Heaven, vouchsafed 
through the agency of the angel Gabriel, compelled Ya- 
san, the eldest and wisest of the sons of Mahbul, to un- 
dertake the duties vacated by his father ; and his en- 
deavours for the restoration of religion and order were 
attended with complete success. 

" Yasan Ajam was the last sovereign of this race, which 
continued for the period of one silara.* 

The name of Persia is Ajum. 


" The wickedness of mankind at this time drew down 
upon them the vengeance of God, who rendered their 
mutual hostihty the instrument of dreadful destruction 
and unparalleled punishment to the species.* The few 
who remained were immersed in barbarism, and resid- 
ed on the tops of mountains, and in the gloomy recesses of 
caverns. In this situation,"!- Gilshah, the son:|: of Yasan, 
was called by the Almighty to the throne. 

" This prince is called Kaiomarsby the followers ofZer- 
dusht, and is considered as the first parent of mankind. 
Mahomedan writers have given him the title of Ubul- 
Muluk, or the father of kings. Gilshah announced his 
divine mission to mankind, exerted himself for the re-es- 
tablishment of the ancient laws and religion, and re-assem- 
bled the several members of his family, who had been 
dispersed throughout the earth during the time of his 
seclusion from the society of men. The good effects of 
his assumption of the supreme power were displayed in 
the restoration of virtue, and in the communication of 
the blessings of civilization to those who submitted to his 

" It is to be observed, that, although Jey-Affram has been 
called the son of Abad-Arad, several princes intervened 
between them. The denomination of son has allusion, 
therefore, not to relationship by blood, but to the kindred 
nature of their dispositions and public conduct : the same 
remark applies to Jey-Abad and Keeleev, to Mahbul, 
and Yasan, and Gilshah. 

" Gilshah, or Kaiomars, after he had established himself 

* They have no deluge. 

t So called from the depopulated state of the earth ; literally, king of the 

X He was only called so because he reigned in his place. 


on the throne, employed his own relations, and some other 
individuals who had not departed from the laws of their 
ancestors, in arranging the public affairs. A remnant of 
the wicked and ungodly still resisted his repeated com- 
mands, and preferred a savage life among mountains and 
caverns to the blessings of civilization. 

" The king therefore determined to overcome their ob- 
stinacy by force. Complete success attended his army, 
and his enemies were compelled to submit. 

" When universal peace was restored, Gilshah thought 
proper to invest himself with the title of Uboo~Bu sheer. 
This fact is considered as authentic by the author, and is 
confirmed by the authority of the Dusateer, which was 
translated into Persian from its original language in the 
reign of Khoosroo Purvez, the grandson of Nuoshirwan 
the Just, as well as that of the Rouzet-oo-suffa. 

" The author observes, that all the fabulous accounts of 
the Devs, both with respect to the murder of Siamek, the 
son of Kaiomars, and the exploits of Roostum, in the pro- 
vince of Mazenderan against the Devs, who are represent- 
ed with tails and manes like horses, and horns and hoofs, 
have reference to the savage tribes that were subdued by 
Kaiomars. The Devs are imaginary beings that have 
never existed but in the imagination of the vulgar. Men 
who, in the strength and cruelty of disposition, resembled 
them, have been figuratively classed under the same head. 
This supposition derives additional strength from the his- 
torical fact, which occurred in the reign of Shah Abbas, 
the first Sufvee. The ruler of Dizowlad, a fortress in the 
province of Mazenderan, was in those days called Ul- 
Wund Deo.* 

In the Tarikh, Alem Arai. 


" Kaiomars was also honoured with a divine revelation, in 
conformity with which he re-established the religion of Ma- 
habad. Siamek, Hoosheng, Symourus, Gemsheed, Fa- 
redun, Manocheher, Kia Khusroo, Zerdusht, Azursasan, 
the first and fifth succeeded him in the priesthood and so- 
vereignty, and were respectively favoured with communi- 
cations from heaven, in corroboration of the tenets of Ma- 
habad, in which none, except Zerdusht, made any inno- 
vations. The Abadees, however, do not consider Zerdusht 
as having designed any opposition to the laws of Maha- 
bad, but, on the contrary, to have enforced and explained 
them by figui-ative allusions. They accordingly stylo him 
the enigmatical prophet. 

" The descendants of Gilshah are divided into four i)'ibes 
(races) : the Peeshdadees, the Keeanees, the Ash-kanees, 
and the Sasanees, and the duration of their several dynas- 
ties, amounted to 6024 years and five months, more or less ; 
the last king of this family was Yezdejird, the son of 
Shahriar, the son of Khoosroo Purvez. During this reign 
the Arabs conquered his kingdom, and established the 
faith of Islam. It will be now necessary to advert to the 
birth of Zerdusht, the promulgation of his doctrines, and 
the extirpation of his followers. 

'* Zerdusht was born in the city of Ree, on Monday, the 
sixth day of the month of Furwardeen, 2175 years after 
the deluge of Noah ;* and altliough the flood of Noah 
happened on the 14th of Oordebehisht, or 44 days from 
the commencement of a new year, according to the above 
computation, the event is supposed to have taken place on 
the first day of the month Furwardeen, that is to say, the 
beginning of the Persian year. Many singular events and 

• This date was taken from a Ulahoniedan record. The Parsees do not 
believe in the Deluge. 


miracles attended the begetting, the conception, the birth, 
the prophetic mission, and the decease of this illustrious 
personage, and are recorded at large in the holy books of 
liis followers. It is there related that he spoke while in 
his mother's womb, and, contrary to all other children, 
was born with a smile on his countenance. Douransuroon, 
prince of Ree, who was a worshipper of idols, and a skil- 
ful magician, having heard, from certain soothsayers that 
a child was about to be born, who would overthrow idola- 
try, and restore the true religion, determined to destroy 
the child, and summoned an assembly of magicians and 
soothsayers in order to devise the best means of effecting 
that object. When he received intelligence of the birth of 
Zerdusht, and of his smiling, he hastened to the house of 
his parents, ai:.d endeavoured to stab the infant with a 
dagger ; but the power of God opposed him ; his hand 
fell motionless at his side, and fear and trembling over- 
came, for the time, his physical and mental powers. He 
next commanded some persons to steal the child and cast 
it into a blazing fire.. They succeeded in carrying the in- 
fant off, but when, in obedience to the orders of the prince, 
they cast the child into the fire, the sparks were changed 
into flowers of all descriptions. The infant Zerdusht 
escaped in the same miraculous manner from the dens of 
wild beasts, into which he was repeatedly thrown by this 
wicked tyrant. 

" When this eminent prophet had reached the age of 40 
years, he was conveyed by the angel Bahmun, called by 
the same philosophers the First Reason, up to heaven, and 
received orders from the Almighty to announce his divine 
mission to mankind. Zerdusht, accordingly, proceeded 
to the presence of king Goosh, who, after hearing the 
disputations between him and the wise men of the court, 
and beholding the miracles he wrought, admitted the 


justice of his claims, and became a convert to tlie true 
religion, which the enemies of Zerduslit have stigmatized 
with the name of the worship of fire. The king, more- 
over, sent his son Isfendiar to promulgate the doctrines of 
Zerdusht throughout all the cities of his empire, and to 
compel the refractory by force of arms. This was the re- 
ligion of India, of Greece, and Turan, until the reign of 
Yesdeejird, the son of S iai*, a period of 1041 years. In 
the reign of this monarch the empire passed into the hands 
of the Arabs ; some of the followers of Zerdusht allowed 
themselves to be convinced by the arguments of the swords 
and bloody daggers of the Arabs, and became Mahome- 
tans ; others obtained permission to retain their religion on 
the condition of paying tributes to the conquerors ; the 
remainder, considering any compromise on such a subject 
disgraceful, relinquished their country and fled to Hin- 
doo st an. 

" The following account of the emigration of the Par- 
sees to Guzerat, is extracted from a work entitled Qissu 
Sunjam, composed in the year 969 of the era of Yezde- 
jird, by Bahmun, a learned divine, who lived at Neeosa- 
ree, in the province of Ahmedabad. 

" When Yezdejird had been driven from the throne, 
some holy men of the religion of Zerdusht retired into 
the mountains and inaccessible places, in expectation that 
some favourable change would occur in the affairs of 
Persia. Being disappointed in this hope, and their situa- 
tion having become untenable from the conquests of their 
enemies, they retired, after a residence of 100 years in 
the mountains, to the island of Ormuz, where a town had 
been established by Urdesheer Bakhan. They were, how- 
ever, after the expiration of 15 years, compelled to leave 
this asylum, and proceeded to India. The first place 
where these emigrants landed was Bunder Deep, called 


Diw ; from whence, after 19 years, they went to Guze- 
rat, and settled at Lunjan, which was at that time a large 
city, and the residence of a powerful rajah. It is about 
50 coss from Bunder Soorut, and is at present an insigni- 
ficant village. 

" The rajah at first received the accounts of the arrival 
of the Persians with suspicion ; but upon farther inquiry 
compassionated their misfortunes, and granted them per- 
mission to settle in his territories. They remained in the 
dominions of this prince 300 years, when they were ob- 
liged, by the increase of population, to migrate into the 
countries of Bankaneer, Bureyas, Broach, Oakleseer, 
Kumbayut, Nuosaree, and other adjacent towns and vil- 

'^'^ Sultan Mahraood Bigerah, one of the most illustrious 
princes of Guzerat, who ascended the throne in the year 
of the Hegira 763, and reigned nearly fifty years, invad- 
ing Sunjan, with a view of efi*ecting the conquest of 
the country. The Persians who remained at Sunjan so 
effectually aided the rajah, that he defeated the sultan's 

" The Guzeratees proved more successful in a second at- 
tack, and, in revenge for the assistance afforded to the 
rajah by the Zerdushtees, used every effort to extermi- 
nate the tribe. No species of cruelty or persecution was 
left untried by these savage conquerors. The unfortu- 
nate Persians, being reduced to despair, escaped under 
covert of the night in the disguise of Hindus; and as 
the persecution still continued, they mixed themselves 
with the lowest casts of Hindus, and followed the occu- 
pations of fishermen and sellers of wine. In this state 
they remained so long, that they utterly abandoned their 
relio-ion and customs, and were not to be distinguished 
from the vilest Hindus. At length a Zerdushtee, whose 


name was Changah, the son of Asa, having acquired great 
wealth and power, collected the scattered members of his 
tribe from amidst the Hindoos, and exerted himself in re- 
storing the religion and customs of their ancestors. Such, 
however, was the universal ignorance of the Zerdushtees 
who remained in India, that they were obliged to send to 
the priest of their sect, resident in Persia, for religious in- 
structions, and according to the answers, the principles 
and ceremonies of the religion of Zerdusht were re-esta- 
blished in India." 

I make no apology for inserting the above tract un- 
abridged, and in the language of the first translator, be- 
cause it gives a very distinct view of the opinions enter- 
tained by the modern Parsees relative to the ancient his- 
tory of their country, and also in regard to the origin of 
the several dogmas and superstitious usages which have 
marked amongst them the progress of religious belief.* 
The Dabistan itself, upon which Moollah Feroz appears 
to have had his eye fixed throughout, is composed in a 
style so scholastic and obscure, that a reader, not previ- 
ously acquainted with the language and habits of orien- 
tal nations, must find some difficulty in comprehending 
its doctrines. 

The pure theism professed by the earliest inhabitants 
of Iran was, we find, soon corrupted by the introduc- 
tion of sabaism, or the worship of the heavenly bodies, — 
the first aberration, in all countries, from the principles 
of the true faith, and the source of the grossest idolatries 
which subsequently darken the moral and religious his- 

• This Essay by Moollah Feroz was translated by Henry EUis, Esq. of 
the Madras Establishment, then in General Malcolm's suite ; afterwards 
Envoy to Persia ; subsequently third Commissioner of Lord Amherst's Chi- 
nese Embassy, and now Colonial Secretary at the Cape of Good Hope. 
20th June, 1819. — Note affixed to the 7nanuscnpt. 



tory of man. The oldest of all creeds, according to 
Newton, is a firm belief that one supreme God made the 
world by his power, and continually governs it by his 
providence : and hence arise a pious fear, love, and ado- 
ration, directed towards Him ; a due reverence for parents 
and aged persons ; a brotherly affection for the whole hu- 
man race, and a compassionate tenderness even for the 
brute creation. But such a system is much too refined for 
the rude and ignorant condition into which all the tribes 
of men appear to have fallen, as soon as they were scat- 
tered abroad on the face of the earth. The notions of 
the Sabians paved the way for the absurd tenets of astro- 
logy, mixed with a modified belief in the metempsychosis, 
or passage of the soul from one body to another. The 
sages of the Sipasi school, if we may place entire confi- 
dence in Mohsin Fani and Moolah Feroz, taught that the 
planets governed the world in succession, and that when 
the sovereignty had passed through them all, the course 
of nature was brought to a close ; upon which, a new 
series, resembling the former, was immediately begun, 
which was doomed to pass through the same order and 
degrees, and to terminate in a similar manner. This doc- 
trine is expressed by one of their poets as follows : — 

" Every form and figure that is now destroyed 

Is laid up in the magazine of Fate ; 

When the aspect of Heaven again becomes the same, 

God again brings it out frorn behind its secret vail." 

At the end of every revolution of the planetary reigns, 
when every created thing was again to become new, two 
human beings were left alive ; from whom, as the first 
parents of the renovated world, the race of mankind was 
to spring, once more to replenish the earth and subdue it. 
When the sovereignty, says Mohsin, reaches Shet, or the 


moon, the time draws to a close, the cycle is completed, 
and one grand period is over. And when this grand 
period is passed, the sovereignty returns again to the first 
king, and the events of the world commence anew ; and 
this system of production and decay revolves once more. 
The men and animals, vegetables, and even minerals, re- 
peat the same round of action, disposition, arrangement, 
and qualities, and have even the same names and dis- 
tinguishing characters. It is, however, to be observed, 
says the author of the Dabistan, that the very same souls, 
such as those of Abad, Kaioraars, Siameck, and Hosheng, 
do not re-enter the very same earthly tabernacles which 
they had forsaken ; or that the identical particles of their 
bodies which had been scattered abroad, are collected 
again and re-united. Such an opinion is utterly inconsis- 
tent with the doctrines of the Sipasis. They merely 
expect, as far as the human race is concerned, a renovat- 
ed series of material forms ; for as the souls of the per- 
fect are united to angels, they cannot again return to the 

But the Dabistan is more valuable on account of the 
philosophy which it contains, than for its religious my- 
steries. We may discover in it the first principles of some 
of those systems which, at a later period, employed the 
ingenuity of the Greeks ; and which, in a form somewhat 
altered, have descended even to our own times. In the 
eleventh chapter, which gives an account of the Jemshas- 
pians, or " Seers of Unity," we have no difficulty in 
tracing the outline of certain Platonic doctrines, respect- 
ing the primary ideas or conceptions of things which 
were supposed to exist in the Divine mind, as also con- 
cerning the relations which those ideal patterns of the uni- 
verse may be conceived to bear to the actual creation and 
forms of matter, in which tliey may be said to have been 


realized. From the same source, it might be conjectured, 
proceeded the pious scepticism of the Berkeleyan school ; 
which attempted to resolve all proofs for the existence of 
an external world into the mere contemplation of ideas in 
the intellect, and refused to acknowledge that any thing 
but mind existed absolutely and independently. 

Jemshasp, the father of this oriental sect, was a person 
of austere manners and much self-denial. He did not 
give regular lectures on the principles of philosophy ; but, 
like Socrates, disseminated his wisdom in the course of 
conversation, and took pleasure in speaking on deep sub- 
jects in an easy and famihar way. His opinions were pre- 
served by those who frequented his company, and who 
afterwards formed an association to perpetuate his name 
and his dogmas. According to the report of his disciples, 
Jemshasp taught that there is no external world; that 
whatsoever exists, exists in God ; and that out of Him, or 
separated from Him, there is absolutely nothing. They 
state farther, as a doctrine of their leader, that all intelli- 
gences, angels, souls, and spirits, the heavens, the stars, 
the elements, and all productions exist in His ideas, and 
have never entirely proceeded forth from them. " And," 
says Mohsin, " this science Shah Gemshid expounded unto 
Atibia, and said. Know, O Atibia, the Almighty Ized 
formed the first Intelligence ; and, in like manner, the 
first Intelligence formed three things, the second Intelli- 
gence, the spirit of the highest sphere, and the body of 
the same heaven ; and the third Intelligence, likewise, 
formed three things, even the elements and the things 
fashioned out of them. And this is," he adds, " as when 
we draw a town in our imagination, with palaces, gardens, 
and inhabitants ; it has no external existence. The being 
of the world is the same.'''' 

Similar notions appear to have been held by the Sem- 


radis, a sect who assumed their name from a term in 
the Persian language which signifies Understanding and 
Imagination. One of their masters, Fertush, taught that 
the elemental world was only imaginary ; but admitted 
that the heavens, the stars, and mankind, had a real exist- 
ence ; meaning thereby, I presume, that the spirits wliich 
were supposed to animate the heavenly host and the bodies 
of men did really exist, and were something more than 
mere ideas in the mind of the observer. But his son Fer- 
shid carried this dogma still farther; and denied, upon 
the very principles which his father propounded, that the 
heavens and stars themselves could have a proper or sub- 
stantial existence, more than other external objects. He 
asserted, that they likewise, in common with all material 
things, were quite imaginary, and had no existence what- 
ever independent of the ideas of him who might happen 
to contemplate them. At length, Ferirej, the son of 
Fershid, came forward like another Hume, and pushed 
the opinions of his family to their full and legitimate ex- 
tent. He taught that the human soul, and spirits, and 
even the higher order of intelligencies, did not in reality 
exist; that the Self-existent alone had any being, and 
that every thing else was imagination ; all assuming an 
appearance, according to the intrinsic nature or original 
conceptions of the Self-existent, the prime source of all 

• In connection with this whimsical doctrine, Blohsin relates a number 
of practical jokes, similar to those which exposed the Pyrrhonism of the 
Greek philosophers, and which were employed to turn into ridicule the 
idealism of European sages, in times that have not long passed sway. 

" I have seen in a book," says he, " that a Semradi married the daughter of 
a rich doctor of laws. As soon as the lady became acquainted with her hus- 
band's tenets, she determined to play liim a trick. One day the Semradi 
brought liouie a measure of pure wine. The wife, without his knowledge, 
emptied the shell and filled it with water, '\^'ln■n the lime arrived for drink- 


The next step was downright atheism. This result did 
not by any means necessarily follow, for the scepticism 
of Fertush, like that of Bishop Berkeley, was not only per- 
fectly consistent with belief in a Great First Cause, but 
all along pre-supposing such belief as its main principle 
and support, was, in fact, quite untenable without it. 
But Mohsin assures us that the followers of Fershid be- 
came complete infidels ; maintaining that the conception 
of a Deity was a mere image or idea in the mind, and 
that the existence of a Supreme Being did not go beyond 
the Avord in which such a notion was expressed. 

In one of the Iranian systems of cosmogony, too, we 
perceive a strong resemblance to the hypothesis of Thales, 
who ascribed the present phenomena of the terraqueous 
globe to the qualities of water, viewed both as the material 
and the agent employed by Divine Wisdom in its forma- 
tion. Similar ideas have revived in our own days, as the 
characteristic tenets of a flourishing school in the depart- 
ment of geology. The moderns, however, disclaiming all 
knowledge of the first matter, and regarding such inqui- 

ing the wine, she poured out water instead of the wine into a golden cup 
that belonged to herself. The Semradi said, You are giving me water in- 
stead of wine ? The wife answered, It is only a, fancy : it never was wine. 
The Semradi replied. You said right : Give me the cup that I may fill it 
with wine in a neighbour's house. He then went out with the golden cup, 
which he sold, concealed the money, and filling an earthen goblet with 
wine, brought it to his wife. On seeing this, she exclaimed. What have 
you done with the cup ? He answered, You only imagined that the cup 
was gold. The woman was ashamed of her joke." 

" Of this sect, who hold that the world does not exist, but has only a 
being in the imagination, I saw many in Lahur in A.H. 1048 (A. D. 1638.) 
The first was Kamjoi, from whom I wrote these two couplets of Fer Irej : 

" Know that all the world is fancy, (Semrad) 
Even if you had the dignity of the just Yezdan ; 
It is from fancy, we say the name of fancy, (Semrad) 
This fancy too may be a fancy." 

Dahistnn, book i. chap. v. MS. 


ries as placed utterly beyond the bounds of a just philoso- 
phy, confine their attention to the evidence, which is supplied 
by a minute examination of facts, for the agency of water 
viewed merely as an instrument in arranging and consoli- 
dating the mineral structure of the earth. " Alar," says 
Mohsin Fani, " was a man of Iran, celebrated for his 
knowledge, who lived in dignity and splendour about the 
latter end of Zohak's reign. His doctrine was, that Ized 
signifies water ; that from the boiling of water proceeded 
fire, and from fire, the heavens and the stars, as has been 
already detailed. From the moisture of water the air was 
formed, and from its coldness the earth. The author adds, 
that he knew several persons who belonged to this sect, 
when, in the year 1630, he happened to make a journey 
into Kashmir."* 

There is a very long chapter on the religion of Zer- 
dusht ; the value of which consists chiefly in the authentic 
form which is here given to opinions, already familiar to 
every student of Oriental antiquities. The wonders which 
took place at the birth, and during the infancy of this pro- 
phet, have been already alluded to by Moollah Feroz with 
sufficient minuteness ; and although these mystical absur- 
dities are brought forward in the Dabistan at much greater 
length, it is not my intention to tax the patience of the 
reader with any repetition of them. Nor have we time or 
room to lavish upon the vision vouchsafed to Zerdusht of 
heaven and hell ; or to describe the various delights enjoyed 
by the good, and the dreadful sufferings endured by the 
impenitent. We must likewise pass over the details 
which respect the hundred gates through which the be- 
lieving Parsees might find their way to eternal bliss ; the 

Dabistan, book i. chap. xi. MS. 


first of which is " faith and trust in the mission of Zer- 
dusht." When the soul on the fourth night comes to the 
bridge of Chinwad, which connects the world of matter 
with the world of spirits, Mehr-Ized and Resh-Ized sub- 
ject it to an account. If the merits exceed the demerits a 
single hair, they carry it to heaven ; but on condition of 
trust in Zerdusht.* 

There is in the same chapter an exposition of the doc- 
trines of the prophet, delivered by one of his followers, 
which is too interesting to be entirely omitted. It is wor- 
thy of notice, that, according to Mohsin, the religion of 
Mahabad, or of Housheng, who appears to have reformed 
it, was never altogether superseded by the tenets of Zer- 
dusht. The Azer-Sasanis> or chiefs of the Sasani race, 
he assures usj never followed any law but that of Maha- 
bad, and never adopted any rules belonging to the more 
recent faith, except on a principle of accommodation. In 
no instance, says he, did they value the outward sense of the 
words of Zerdusht; that is, they never took his expressions 
in their plain literal meaning, but always regarded them as 
figurative and mysterious. It is maintained that the be- 
lief of the kings, especially of Dara, Darab, Bahman, Is- 
fendiar, Gushtasp, and Lohrasp, was of this modified and 
secondary description. 

" It is now time," observes the compiler of the Dabis- 
tan, " that we should explain a few of the mysteries and 
signs which relate to the Magi : for knowledge lies hid 
under mystery, and comes not into the possession of 
the man who is without intelligence, and does not fully 
comprehend its meaning. It is well known that they 
have taught that the world had two makers, Yezdan 

* Dabistan, book i. chap. xiv. I\IS. 


and Aherman. Yezdan having conceived an evil thought, 
that perhaps a rival may be produced to me, who may be- 
come my enemy, Aherman sprung from his thought. In 
many places it is related that Ized was alone, and felt so- 
litary, and conceived an evil thought — Aherman was pro- 
duced. They have said, too, that Aherman was without 
the world, looked through a chink and saw Yezdan, and 
became envious of his dignity and rank, and produced 
wickedness and revolt. Yezdan created the angels to be 
his army, and with this army warred upon Aherman. 
When he could not put down Aherman, they made a 
treaty of peace together, on the condition that Aherman 
should remain in the world for a fixed period. When 
Aherman leaves the world, the world shall enjoy unming- 
led felicity. 

" The reverend doctor Jamasp says, It is to be known, 
that while the body is spoken of, the heart is understood, 
and Yezdan means the soul, Aherman the constitution of 
the earthly body, the evil thought, the prevalence of pas- 
sion, and the inclination to carnal works ; when it is said 
that Aherman excited wickedness and revolt, the words al- 
lude to this tyranny of the passions over the soul; the creat- 
ing of the angels refers to the existence of virtuous quali- 
ties, the acquiring of good dispositions, and the conquest 
of the passions by self-mortification, for the appetites are 
subdued by the army of the soul : the peace signifies, that 
evil qualities, which are the troop of Iblis, are not far 
away, i. e- that we must abstain from excess and deficiency, 
and keep to the path of moderation. The continuance of 
Aherman in the world for an appointed time, alludes to 
the ascendency and superiority of the bodily passions, es- 
pecially in tender years, and before maturity ; indeed in 
all the periods of our bodily life in some bodies. The de- 
parture of Aherman from the world, signifies voluntary 


death, that is, asceticism, or compulsory death, which is 
natural death. When the spirit becomes free, it must be 
endued with perfections, and proceed to its own world, 
which is perfect happiness. 

" They hold, that Darkness besieged Light, and impris- 
oned it, — that the angels came to the succour of Light, and 
defeated Darkness. Darkness asked assistance of Aher- 
man, who is the enemy of Light. They defeated him too, 
but gave him a place till the appointed death. Darkness 
was produced from the evil thought of Light. 

" The divine doctor Jamasp says, that the explication 
of this tradition is the same as the last in this wise : spirit 
is the substance of light, and darkness the bodily appe- 
tites ; the ascendency and imprisoning of it is the ascend- 
ency of appetite over that refulgent substance, as the soul 
is swayed by it, to the ruin of the lower world : the suc- 
cour of the angels is the nourishing of faith in God, and 
virtue, by the exaltation of the soul from divine illumina- 
tion, and the advance of the soul into the intellectual 
world ; and the abode, or residence is the continuance of 
appetite till natural death ; the evil thought is the inclina- 
tion of the soul to worldly acts. 

" The chieftain Huryar, the lord of Sekanderjird, ask- 
ed the writer concerning the mysteries of Yezdan and 
Aherman. He answered, light means existence, and dark- 
ness non-existence. Yezdan is light, that is, being ; Aher- 
man darkness or nonentity. When they say Aherman is 
the antagonist of Yezdan, it means, that Yezdan is being, 
and there is no opposite to being but nonentity. 

" They say, that to create diseases, serpents, scorpions, 
and the like, is wicked, and is the work of Aherman. Ja- 
masp says, diseases are like folly, stupidity, ignorance, 
pride ; wild and ferocious beasts are like anger, lust, pas- 
sion, covetousness, contempt, envy, malice, miserliness, 


deceit, and the like, which are certainly not from the soul, 
but from the bodily constitution. 

" They have taught, too, that the creator of good is an 
angel, the maker of evil Aherman, while God is exempt 
from both. The illustrious doctor Jamasp says, the an- 
gel, too, is the soul. It is the creator of good, because if 
it prevail over the sensual appetites, it leads man to good 
conversation and conduct, which is happiness. Aherman, 
who is Shytan, (the Devil), here signifies the sensual na- 
ture. If sense prevail over the soul, it draws it towards 
sensual enjoyments, so as to make it forget its country ; 
this is wickedness, but Almighty God has given his ser- 
vants free will, and is not answerable for their good or 

" They have said the soul committed a fault, and, from 
dread of the Divine displeasure, having taken to flight, 
descended down. Jamasp, the doctor, says, the explana- 
tion of the fault is this ; that the soul, in its substance, 
being imperfect, its flight signifies its aversion to renounc- 
ing the ties of the body ; and its flight from wrath is the 
fondness of the soul for governing the body till the power 
is lost. So far Jamasp Hakim''s explanation."" 

But the Dabistan, it is well known, has been recom- 
mended to our attention on account of its value as an an- 
cient historical record, much more than as a manual of Ira- 
nian belief and superstition. Sir William Jones hailed its 
discovery as the commencement of a new epoch in Persian 
antiquities. It has at once, says he, dissipated the cloud, 
and cast a gleam of light on the primeval history of Iran 
and of the human race, which could hardly have dawned 
from any other quarter.* But most certainly the expcc- 

" Sixth Discourse on the Persians, vol. iii. p. 110, octavo edit. 1807. 


tations of the learned president of the Asiatic society, in 
regard to this work, have not been realized. The com- 
pilation of Mohsin may, indeed, have been founded upon 
very old and strictly authentic records; but it is so en- 
tirely destitute of those lights which are supplied by a 
due arrangement of geographical and chronological facts, 
that the reader must for ever remain doubtful as to the 
place which ought to be assigned to the particular dynasty 
of Persian kings, who were immediately favoured with 
the revelations of Mahabad.* 

Were we, from the nature of the system itself, to form 
any judgment in regard to the period at which it must 
have been promulgated, we should unquestionably carry 
it upwards to those purer and more simple ages which 
followed the first settlement of mankind ; and before the 
grosser kinds of idolatry had yet depraved the original 
impressions of religious belief in the human mind. The 
remembrance of the primeval creed, which comprehended 
the existence and worship of one God, and which is dis- 
tinctly recognized in the most ancient institutions of Ma- 
habad, strengthens the supposition that the earliest 

" It is a remarkable fact, which has been incidentally referred to in a pre- 
ceding note, that the Dussateer, one of the principal authorities referred to by 
Mohsin, was found at Ispahan subsequently to the time when the Dabistan 
was discovered. It is supposed to have been written by fifteen prophets, of 
whom the first was Mahabad, and the last Sassan. The latter, who lived 
in the reign of Khoosroo Purves, translated the original text into Persian, 
and added his own opinion and prophecies to those of his predecessors. The 
original is said to be an obsolete language which can now be hardly under- 

" This book is in the possession of Moollah Feroze, who informed me," 
says Sir John Malcolm, " that he found it when searching among some old 
papers at Isfahan. I made a short and hasty abstract of its contents : the 
nature of which tended in no small degree to remove those doubts I had en- 
tertained of its authenticity. I could not discover the slightest motive for 
the fabrication of such a work. It certainly merits, as an object of curiosity, 
a literal translation ; but I fear it will be found to contain little that can be 
termed historical."— //ii^ory of Persia, vol. i. p. 183. 


teachers of the Iranian faith lived at an epoch not far re- 
moved from the postdihivian patriarchs. I should, there- 
fore, place those dynasties of priestly sovereigns, whose 
existence is shadowed forth in the Dabistan, in the times 
which elapsed between the foundation of the first kingdom 
in the Babylonian plain, and the establishment of the As- 
syrian empire by the house of Ninus. 

If there be any accuracy in this conclusion, which in 
substance accords with that of Sir William Drummond, 
without being burdened with the encumbrance of his astro- 
nomical details, we may regard Zohak as the representa- 
tive of the Arabian dynasty which usurped the throne of 
the Babylonian or Iranian king ; which kept possession of 
the government and country during a considerable 
period ; and one of the members of which finally assisted 
the prince of Assyria in subduing the several provinces 
contiguous to the Persian gulf, and in adding them to his 
extensivv. territories on the banks of the Tio-ris. The 
reign of Zohak is computed by different authors to have 
extended from three hundred to a thousand years; the 
former of which even is too long for a single administra- 
tion in any age after the Flood. We may, therefore, con- 
jecture with M. D'Ohsson, that several princes had reign- 
ed under the same name ; and that, in the course of time, 
the translators from ancient chronicles must have con- 
founded them together, and given to one king the years 
which, in fact, belonged to seven or eight.* 

• " On remarque done avec regret que I'ordre chronologique du Schah- 
name, avant Alexandre, est tout aussi fabuleux que la plupart des faits his- 
toriques. DifFerents princes ont un regne de trois ou quatre siecles : il est 
a presumer que plusieurs de ces Schahs ont regne' sous les memes noms, et 
que dans la suite des temps, les redacteurs de ces anciennes chroniques les 
ont tous confondu ensemble, et qu'ils ont donne pour un scul rcgnc ceux de 
huit ou dix monarques."— r«6/<r«« Hislun<pic dc V Orient , vol. i, p. 4—5. 


I am aware that the second Babylonian dynasty, or that 
of Belus, the reputed father of Ninus, is, by Mr Jack- 
son and other chronologers, made to intervene between 
the Arabian ascendency and the proper Assyrian conquest. 
It is not necessary to dispute this position. The Arabs 
may have been expelled from the throne of Iran, and yet 
have retained possession of some portion of the kingdom : 
and Syncellus unquestionably assures us from the writings 
of Africanus, that the Assyrian monarchs succeeded the 
Arabians in the government of Babylon, and that thence- 
forth Babylonia and Chaldea became a part of the Assy- 
rian empire.* Mr Faber, as has been already observed, 
is of opinion that the Arabian dynasty was contemporary 
with the Babylonian or Iranian kings who preceded Ni- 
nus, — a view of the subject which, though not unobjec- 
tionable on other grounds, removes the difficulty which I 
have just suggested, and reconciles, moreover, an apparent 
discrepancy between Syncellus and Abydenus.-}* But, 
upon the whole, we may conclude that the prophets of 
the Abadian family were either themselves the first of the 
Peschdadian sovereigns, or were contemporary with them ; 
for, as has been noticed by the author of the Origines, the 
actions which are ascribed to the latter by history and 
tradition, are attributed to the former by the compiler of 
the Dabistan. 

Before we leave this branch of our inquiry, it may not 
be inexpedient to advert to an observation made by Sir 
John Malcolm, in respect to the character of the work which 
we owe to the industry of Mohsin the Perishable. " It is 
possible that Fani may have taken this fable from the 
sources he pretends ; but there appears throughout the 

* Georg. Syncell. Clironographia, p. 92. 
f Chronological Antiquities, vol. i. p. 2^6. 


whole of this branch of his subject a great desire to con- 
nect the ancient history of the Persians and Hindoos. 
The fourteen Mahabads are evidently the fourteen Menus 
of the latter nation : and the division which the first of 
that race made of the inhabitants of Persia into four 
castes, seems to be a transcript, even to the names, of the 
Hindu tradition of the first estabhshment of that cele- 
brated institution in India. These and other facts of a 
similar nature," says Sir John, "lead us to doubt the 
authenticity of the Dabistan : and our doubts are in- 
creased by the character of its author, who, though pro- 
fessing Mahommedanism, was a Sooffee or philosophical 
devotee, and an avowed believer in the superstition of the 
Brahmens. His principles must have connected him with 
the most abstracted and visionary of that tribe ; and we 
cannot be surprised that such a man, endowed with learn- 
ing and a poetical imagination, should take great liber- 
ties with his text, and have tried to reconcile jarring 

The facts here mentioned might lead into a wide field 
of curious speculation, relative to the origin and early 
connections of India and Iran. The institution of castes, 
in imitation, as it professed to be, of the four primary 
elements of the universe, seems to argue an identity of re- 
ligious principle among all the nations who adopted it ; 
and although we find this distinction subsisting among 
the inhabitants of Egypt as well as on the banks of the 
Ganges, the probability is not thereby lessened that it 
took its rise from the same views, and was established on 
the same authority. For several generations after tiie 
Flood, the tribes which sprang from the family of Noah 

History of Persia, vol. i. p. 1 82. 


would diverge but slowly from the parent settlement, and 
carry with thoni, tixi. whithersoever they went, the lead- 
ing principles of their common faith. Even afterwards, 
when their increasing necessities gradually enlarged the 
sphere of their migration, the habits of men who lived by 
pasturage or the chase must have led them over a vast ex- 
tent of country, not yet marked by any determined limits ; 
and theivby enabled them to keep up a degree of intercourse, 
which could not fail to spread and perpetuate the belief 
and customs, whatsoever they might be, which should 
happen to be recommended to them by any one who pro- 
fessed to bear the credentials of heaven. 

It is the opinion of a learned writer, that, in the early 
ages of the world, the inhabitants of Iran and of India 
were governed by the same laws, and united as one 
people under one monarchy. The Zend, the ancient lan- 
guage of the Iranians, was apparently a dialect of the 
Sanscrit. According, indeed, to the ancient traditions of 
the Hindus, both the Persians and the Chinese were subjects 
of India. Thus, says he, it is distinctly stated in the in- 
stitutes of Menu, that many of the families of the mili- 
tary class abandoned the ordinances of the Veda, and 
among these are mentioned the Pahlavas and the Chinas — 
the Persians and the Chinese.* 

There is apparently some authority for this opinion, in the 
tradition already noticed, that a certain king of Iran divid- 
ed, among his three sons, his extensive dominions, which 
stretched from the Euphrates to the eastern sea, and from 
the Persian gulf to the remotest mountains of the north. -(- 
To Toor, he gave the wide provinces of Tartarv, which 
was afterwiu-ds, from his name, called Tooran or Turan ; 

• Origines, vol. i. p. 301. Sir William Jones's Discourse on the Chinese. 
+ Usually said to be Feridiin. 


a circumstance which I mcniion at present for no other 
reason than that it gives countenance to the hypothesis 
just stated, and proves that, according to the legends of 
Persia, the same government was at one time acknow- 
ledged over the whole of western Asia. It would, indeed, 
appear, says the author whose words I have quoted above, 
that Jey AfFram, and his successors down to the time of 
Kaiomars, were, as well as the princes of the Mahabadian 
dynasty, of Indian origin, and were kings of Hindustan as 
well as of Iran.* This inference, I allow, is far from 
being well established, and would not bear the scrutiny of 
a very severe logic; still it is of some value, as it marks 
the impression made on an accomplished and acute under- 
standing by the indirect evidence which Mohsin Fani ad- 
duces for a universal monarchy in India and Persia, prior 
to the days of Kaiomars. 

There is no difficulty in establishing a great resemblance 
in the religious belief and ceremonial usages of all the 
people who inhabited the central parts of the Asiatic con- 
tinent, and even of the Chinese and Tartars themselves, 
who were farther removed from the primeval seat of learn- 
ing and civilization. We find that most of them wor- 
shipped the sun, or principle of fire ; that they believed in 
the existence oi genii or inferior spirits, who presided over 
the stars, the clouds, and the elements of nature ; and that 
they all practised certain rites which bore a direct refer- 
ence to the leading tenets of the Sabian faith . From old 
Grecian authorities we learn that the Massagetae adored 
the solar orb ; and the narrative of an embassy from Jus- 
tinus to the Khakan or emperor, who then resided in a fine 
vale near the source of the Irtish, mentions the Tartarian 

• Origineti, vol. i. p. .3(i5, 


ceremony of purifying the Roman ambassadors by con- 
ducting them between two fires. The Tartars of that age, 
too, are represented as worshippers of the Jour elements^ 
and believers in an invisible spirit, to whom they sacrificed 
bulls and rams. Modern travellers relate that, in the fes- 
tivals of some tribes, they pour a few drops of a conse- 
crated liquor on the statues of their gods ; after which an 
attendant sprinkles a little of what remains three times to- 
wards the south in honour of fire, towards the west and 
east in honour of water and air, and as often towards the 
north in honour of the earth.* 

Besides this similarity in religious feeling and practice, 
there is also, it has been supposed, such a coincidence in 
some of their astronomical conclusions as proves that the 
Iranians, the Tartars, the Chinese, and the Hindus, must 
have had a common origin, or, at least, a very long and 
intimate connection. The great period of 1440 years, it 
is thought, was equally known to all these nations. This 
cycle, says Sir William Drummond, if it can be properly 
so called, was equal in round numbers to 120 revolutions 
of the planet Jupiter, and to 48 of the planet Saturn ; 
and which, when multiplied by 18, gives the number of 
years in which the pole of the equator moves round the 
pole of the ecliptic. The portions of the duodenary cycle, 
too, were indicated by the same animals as symbols among 
the Iranians, Turanians, and Chinese. The cycle of 60 
years, again, which by the Hindus was called the period 
of Vrihaspati, was by the Iranians denominated Phen. j 
They united three of ihe^e phens, and thereby formed a 
period of 180 years; and they also supposed another 
period of 144 years, because these two numbers multiplied 

• Sir William Jones's Fourth Discourse ; On the Tartars. Vol. iii. p. 81). 


into each other, give 25,920, the number of years calcu- 
lated for a complete sidereal revolution. Now it is remark- 
able, he concludes, that almost all the names under which 
the Iranians carried on their calculations are Chinese. 
This shows, if any thing can, the great intercourse that 
existed among the ancient nations of eastern Asia.* 

These considerations will perhaps induce the reader to 
hesitate before he pronounces the compilation of Mohsin 
Fani an arrant forgery, merely because the account given 
in it of the ancient Persians betrays some likeness to the 
institutions of the Hindus at a later period. Upon due 
reflection it may appear not altogether improbable that 
both these nations derived their opinions and usages from 
the same source ; that their religious ceremonies and even 
the forms of society were in early times strictly similar ; 
and that the changes which afterwards took place were 
the effect of conquest, or of those resistless inundations of 
nomadic hordes from the north, which, in various parts of 
western Asia, have occasionally swept away all remains of 
former greatness, and obliterated all traces of ancient 

It is no part of the undertaking in which we are now 
engaged, to give a particular account of the religion of the 
ancient Persians. The learned work of Hyde on this sub- 
ject is known to every reader ; and there are, besides, in 
the volumes of Sir William Jones and other orientalists, 
many interesting tracts on the belief and worship of the 
different Asiatic nations, which contain all the informa- 
tion that zeal and erudition, and the most favourable op- 
portunities, could procure for the satisfaction of the Euro- 
pean student. But as, since the days of Prideaux, 

" Oripiincs, vol. i. ji. '.0)0. 


there has been no small degree of controversy among 
English writers respecting the age and character of Zoroas- 
ter, it may be worth while to take a view of the opinions 
which are more commonly held, and of the arguments 
which are usually employed, as well by those who regard 
him as a contemporary of Ninus, as by those who place 
his era in the reign of Darius Hystaspes. 

The learned Dr Hyde, in his elaborate work on the re- 
ligion of the ancient Persians, states without hesitation 
that Zoroaster flourished under the sovereign just named, 
one of the last members of the Kaianian dynasty. He ac- 
knowledges, that, even among the best informed authors 
of the East, thei'e exists a great variety of opinion as to his 
family and extraction ; but in regard to the time in which 
he lived, he adds, they are all of one mind. The same 
unanimity, he assures us, prevails relative to the fact that 
there was only one Zoroaster ; the supposition that there 
were two prophets of the same name, who flourished in 
different ages, being entirely confined to the scholars of 

Dr Prideaux adopted the conclusion of Hyde ; main- 
taining, that in the reign of Darius "^ first appeared in 
Persia, the famous prophet of the Magians, whom the 
Persians call Zerdusht or Zaratush, and the Greeks Zo- 
roastres. The Greek and Latin writers much differ about 
him : some of them will have it that he lived many ages 
before, and was king of Bactria ; and others, that there 
were several of the same name, who lived in several ages, 
all famous in the same kind. But the oriental writers. 

* De ejus ortu et patria apud Europjeos dubitatur, et in diversum itur. 
Sed baud mirum est si Europasi hoc modo dissentiant de homine peregrino, 
cum illius populares Orientales etiam de hujus prosapia dubitent : at de ejus 
tempore concordant omnes ; unum tantum constituentes Zoroastren, eumque 
in eodem seculo ponentes. — Hyde. Hist. RcRg. Vet. Pars. cap. 24. p. 315. 


who should best know^ all unanimously agree that there 
was but one Zerdusht or Zoroastres ; and that the time in 
which he flourished was while Darius Hystaspes was king 
of Persia."* 

On this position Bishop Warburton remarks, that " Dr 
Prideaux, in his learned Connexions, has indeed told us a 
very entertaining story of Zoroastres ; whom, of an early 
lawgiver of the Bactrians, Dr Hyde had made a late false 
prophet of the Persians, and the prcacher-up of one God 
in the public religion; which doctrine, however, this learn- 
ed man supposes to be stolen from the Jews. But the 
truth is, the whole is a pure fable ; contradicts all learned 
antiquity ; and is supported only by the ignorant and ro- 
mantic relations of late Persian writers under the Khalifs, 
who make Zoroastres contemporary with Darius Hystas- 
pes, and servant to one of the Jewish prophets."""!- 

It cannot be denied, that the Persians who wrote under 
the Mahomedan government have introduced into their 
history of Zerdusht a vast deal of mystical nonsense ; but 
they have, I need scarcely add, acted the same part to- 
wards Abraham and Daniel, and the greater number of 
the prominent characters who are mentioned in the Old 
Testament. The absurd additions which they have every- 
where made to the sober truths of biography, must not 
be held conclusive against the existence of the individuals 
whose opinions and actions they profess to describe ; else 
we must consent to forego all belief in the Father of the 
Faithful, as well as in the most distinguished of his success- 
ors in the Hebrew nation. In respect, again, to the 
learned antiquity which the judgment of Hyde is said to 
contradict, the ingenious prelate has not produced any in- 

" Prideaux, part i. book iv. p. 219. + Divine Legation, note A, book iv. 


stances upon which to vindicate his strictures. Justin, 
I am aware, relates that Ninus waged war with a certain 
king of Bactria, whose name was Zoroastres, and whom 
he describes as the first inventor of magical arts, and a 
diligent student of natural science and of the motions of 
the stars. Postremum illi bellum cum Zoroastre, regi Bac- 
trianorum, fuit, qui primus dicitur artes magicas invenisse, 
et mundi principia siderumque motus diligentissime spec- 

But it is well known, that Diodorus Siculus, in narrat- 
ing these events, gives to the king of the Bactrians the 
name of Oxyartes instead of Zoroaster, — an appellation 
which, according to Dr Hyde, was not unfrequently ad- 
dressed to Eastern sovereigns, as denoting certain qualities 
which belonged to them in common. Besides, in some 
manuscript copies of Justin, we find the name Oxyartes 
inserted as the true reading, and thus harmonizing with 
the authority of Diodorus and Ctesias, both of whom 
agree in the same orthography.*]- Prideaux is unquestionably 
right in his suggestion, that the studious habits of the mo- 
narch have, through the conjectural criticism of a scholiast, 
and the stupidity of a transcriber, led to the identity of the 
name. The learning of antiquity, therefore, so far as I 
can see, is rather in favour of Hyde and Prideaux. No 
writer of ancient Greece has pronounced the Bactrian 
king and the Persian magician to be the same person ; 
while Pliny and others among the Latins write so uncer- 
tainly, that it is perfectly clear they possessed no accurate 
information in regard to his character. Sine dubio ilia 
(Magia) orta in Perside a Zoroastre, ut inter auctores 

■ JFtrathii Hist. lib. i. c. 1. 

+ Vid. iElian. lib. vii. c. 1.; Plin. lib. xxx. c. 1.; Diodor. Sicul.lib> iL 


convenit. Sed unus hie fuerit, an postea et alius, non sa- 
tis constat. Eudoxus qui inter sapientiae sectas ciarissi- 
mam utilissimaraque earn intelligi voluit, Zoroastrem hunc 
sex millibus annorum ante Platonis mortem prodidit. Sic 
et Aristoteles.* 

The conjectures of Pliny and Aristotle are so far re- 
moved from probability, that we can have no hesitation in 
asserting their total ignorance of Persian affairs, as well as 
of the principles of a sound and accurate chronology. 
The term of six thousand years before the death of Plato 
indicates an epoch which extends considerably beyond the 
creation of the world ; and precludes at once all inquiry 
into the justness of an opinion which is so utterly incon- 
sistent with the general tenor of history, whether sacred or 

If the authority of the Dabistan be admitted, there can 
no longer be any doubt, that the Zoroaster whom the 
Persians received as a prophet lived in the latter period of 
their monarchy ; and that they did not recognize any other 
teacher of the same name as the founder of the Magian 
religion. We find no allusion to any king of Bactria, 
learned in those sciences which expound the qualities of na- 
ture and the motions of the heavenly bodies, who conde- 
scended to communicate to the Iranians the knowledge of 
the physical mysteries, to which their worship is suppos- 
ed to have borne an immediate reference. The records of 
Persia are silent in regard to such a personage. Mohsin 
Fani, in his researches into the religious usages of remote 
times, discovered not the slightest evidence in support of 
the fact that his countrymen had borrowed their faith and 
ritual from a neighbouring prince. The honour of re- 

Plinii Hist. Natur. lib. xxx. c. !• 


vealing the divine will to the first inhabitants of Iran is 
by him ascribed to the sacred rulers of the Mahabadian 
family, or to a dynasty of kings, who, themselves, were 
either the descendants of the great Abad, or who, soon 
after the foundations of the Elamite monarchy, divided 
with them the toils of government. 

Dr Hales continued to believe that there had been among 
the Persians two prophets named Zoroaster. " The 
founder of the Magian religion," says he, " was the elder 
Zerdusht, or Zoroaster of the Greeks, king of Bactria, 
who is supposed, by Diodorus and Justin, to have been 
slain by Ninus, the first king of Assyria, and, by many of 
the Persian writers, to have been the contemporary of 
Abraham ; and, according to others, of Tahamuras, the 
third Peschdadian king, coeval with Abraham. The near 
concurrence of these accounts," he adds, " seems to fix his 
time within the limits of the Peschdadian dynasty. He is 
not therefore to be confounded (as he is by several orien- 
tal writers) with the younger Zoroaster in the days of 
Darius Hystaspes, the reformer of the Magian religion."* 

This opinion, it will be observed, rests almost solely on 
the authority of Justin ; for Diodorus, as I have already 
stated, gives to the king of Bactria, who was conquered 
by Ninus, the name of Oxyartes ; while, as Hyde as- 
sures us, the Persian authors are unanimous in fixing the 
era of their prophet, not in the time of Abraham, but in 
that of Gushtasp, more commonly called Darius the son 
of Hystaspes. 

New Analysis of Chronology, vol. iii. p. 3D. 




The least perfect portion of the work of my learned pre- 
decessor, Dr Shuckford, is, that in which he treats of the 
Grecian states, of their lineage and their mythology. 
Combining fiction with a few ill-defined historical facts, he 
attempts to trace the origin of the leading families of that 
interesting country to the genealogy of the gods. In his 
first volume he represents the eight divinities, Sol, Satur- 
nus, Rhea, Jupiter, Juno, Vulcanus, Vesta, and Mercu- 
rius, as real personages who lived before the Flood ; 
whereas, in the third volume, with a degree of inconsis- 
tency which he does not attempt to vail, he proceeds to 
give the memoirs of Jupiter, whom he next supposes to 
have flourished in Greece, from about the time of Moses 
to within three or four centuries of the Trojan war. He 
even undertakes to furnish a history of Jupiter's court and 
family, viewing him only as an earthly prince. He tells 
us that Neptune and Pluto were his brothers ; that Juno 


was his wife ; that Vesta and Ceres were his sisters ; and 
that Vulcan, Mars, Apollo, Diana, Mercury, Venus, and 
Minerva, were his children : all of whom, he thinks, were 
deified after their death, for their wisdom in directing the 
government of Crete. Bacchus was afterwards introduced 
into the same family, on account of some important in- 
ventions which added merit to his name.* 

Dr Clayton, the celebrated bishop of Clogher, first 
pointed out the absurdity of these views, and, in particular, 
the inconsistency of ranking the same individuals as ante- 
diluvian demigods, and also as sovereigns of Crete after the 
Flood. Jupiter, Juno, Vulcan, Vesta, and Mercury, are 
supposed by him to have reigned in Egypt before the 
time of Noah ; and also to have held the place of supreme 
rulers in the islands of Greece, about the period of the 
Hebrew exode. It is most probable, says the bishop, that 
there never was any such real person as Jupiter in Greece, 
any more than there were such real persons as Chronus, 
Uranus, or Tellus, in Phenicia, Assyria, or Egypt. But 
Dr Shuckford collects from Diodorus and ApoUodorus, 
that Chronus was the son of Uranus, and that from, 
Uranus and Ty thaga or Tellus, were also born the Centi- 
mani and the Cyclops, whom their father Uranus sent to 
inhabit the land of Tartarus. What or where that coun- 
try was, it may, he acknowledges, be difficult to deter- 
mine ; but as this hopeful progeny were sent out of their 
native land, he gravely concludes that it could be no part 
of Crete,-f" 

That Chronus was an imaginary or allegorical person- 

• Shuckford's Connections, vol. i. p. 11.; vol. ii. p. 286. 288. 298.; 
vol. iii. p. 118— 1C9. 

f Strictures on Dr Shuckford's Account of the Heathen Gods, &c. By 
the Right Rev. Dr R. Clayton, Bishop of Clogher. 


age, may be discovered from the description which is 
given of this god by Sanchoniathon himself. He repre- 
sents him with four eyes, two before and two behind ; two 
of which were always shut, and two were always open ; 
denoting that time has a reference to that which is past as 
well as that which is to come ; being always upon the 
watch even when he seems to be at rest. He was also de- 
lineated with four wings, two of which were stretched out 
as in the motion of flight, and two were contracted as if 
in repose ; signifying that time passes on, even when it 
appears to stand, and that when flying it seems to be at 
rest. Sanchoniathon adds, that Chronus is said to have 
despatched his son with his own hand, and also to have cut 
off the head of his daughter, — a metaphorical expression 
suited to the wasting effects of time on all created sub- 
stances, which may therefore be said to destroy its own 

I mention these things, which must be familiar to 
every reader, in order to point out the slender foundation 
on which Dr Shuckford erected his hypothesis respecting 
the ancient inhabitants of Crete. No remark, indeed, is 
more common than that the origin of all nations is wrapped 
up in obscurity ; but we ought not, on that account, to 
adopt for literal facts the ideal portraitures of a lively 
people, whose imaginations were ever ready to supply the 
lack of knowledge by introducing the creatures of poetical 
fiction. We cannot solicit credence for any view of hu- 
man history which exhibits a king of Crete as the grand- 
son of a being with four wings and as many eyes ; and as 

" Saturnum autem cum esse voluerunt qui cursum et conversionem spa- 
tiorum et temporam contineret, qui deus Grasce id ipsum nomen habet: 
Kjovof enim dicitur^ qui est idem x?'""'ii id est, spatium temporis. Saturnus 
autem est appellatus quod saturetur annis. Ex se enim natos commesse lin- 
gitur solitus, quia consumit aetas temporum spatia^ annisque prsteritis insa* 
turabiliter expletur. 


having around his own person, at his little court, Neptune, 
Pluto, Mars, Vulcan, Juno, Venus, and Mercury. Nor is 
our incredulity vanquished by finding that " Pluto, one of 
Jupiter^'s brothers, was appointed not only to direct what 
rites and ceremonies should be used at funerals, but also 
to declare what honours should be paid to persons deceas- 
ed, in order to convey their names, according to their de- 
serts, down to posterity. And as Jupiter took care him- 
self to settle the measure of his own fame, and of the il- 
lustrious persons engaged with him in the execution of his 
designs, as well as to determine what sort of honours 
should be decreed to them that came after them, it might 
well happen that Jupiter and his associates should come 
down to after ages in a degree of honour higher than what 
any who lived after them could attain to, or than what 
would be given to any of his ancestors or other contem- 
poraries ; he having thus settled both his own and their 
fame, in such manner and measure as he and the persons 
under his direction thought proper to record it.""* 

There is hardly any room for doubt, that the islands of 
Greece drew their inhabitants from Assyria and Egypt. 
That the human race formed, on the banks of the Euphra- 
tes, their earliest settlements after the Flood, is a position 
which is admitted by most writers ; while all allow, at least, 
that the fine countries, which are watered by the river now 
named, were among the first that became populous. Whether 
the inhabitants of that fertile land invented the several arts 
connected with astronomy, or whether they received them 
from the patriarchs who preserved the remains of antedilu- 
vian science, it is now impossible to determine ; but it 
is certain that a considerable progress was made in these 

Shuckford, vol. iii. p. 144, 


recondite studies at a period so remote as to deny all means 
of investigating their rise ; and also that, whatever obscu- 
rity may involve the history of letters, we can still trace 
every known alphabet to the neighbourhood of Babylon.* 
To realize the intentions of Divine Providence in peo- 
pling the earth, there appears to have been impressed up- 
on the minds of men, in the first ages of society, an invin- 
cible desire of emigration : and of the families who went in 
quest of new settlements, none were more fortunate than 
those who took possession of Egypt. That singular coun- 
try, which enjoys, from its situation among deserts, all the 
security which belongs to kingdoms surrounded by the 
ocean, presented in unusual abundance all the necessaries 
of life. Its periodical floods, Avhich, to the inexperienced, 
might appear as ministers of desolation, would be known 
by those who had seen the Euphrates and Tigris periodi- 
cally overflow their banks, to be among the richest boons 
of nature. Thus invited^, the first inhabitants of Egypt 
gave their attention to agriculture, the mother of civiliza- 
tion and of the arts. The fertility of the soil, yielding 
rapid and prodigiously large returns, gave great encourage- 
ment to population ; regular government and commerce 
soon followed ; and science, which confers upon the hu- 
man race both dignity and strength, delayed not to ad- 
vance in the steps of plenty and repose. But ambition, cu- 
riosity, and domestic dissensions, probably suggested to the 
first emigrants from Egypt, that there might be other 
lands not less favoured than their own ; and whether they 
adventured out to sea, or coasted along the shores of Sy- 
ria, the existence of the Grecian peninsula with its cluster 
of islands could not remain long concealed.-}- 

* Mitford's History of Greece, vol. i. p. 6, edition 1820. 
t Mitford, vol. i. p. 7. 


Nor was the spirit of enterprise long confined to Egypt. 
The inhabitants of Mesopotamia, allured by the pursuits 
of hunting or of pasturage, might be tempted to cross the 
desert, and approach the shores of the Mediterranean sea. 
Those who came to the western coast of Asia would have 
many inducements to pass over to the adjacent islands. 
Security from savage beasts, and from men not less savage, 
would prove a powerful motive with such as sought a ha- 
bitation, rather than the means of supporting a wild and 
migratory life ; and this important object would appear 
much more within their reach, if occupying one of those 
insulated spots to which the current of population had not 
yet advanced, than if they were to continue amid the 
crowd of adventurers who delighted more in change of 
scene than in a tranquil and fixed abode. 

When the nearest island was attained, small encourage- 
ment would suffice to accomplish another voyage to one 
farther remote ; until at length navigation would become 
to the new settlers a natural and constant employment. 
The same process would soon lead to the shores of conti- 
nental Greece, indented as it is with numerous gulfs and 
bays ; and we find, in fact, that the eastern coasts of Eu- 
rope were looked upon by the Asiatic emigrants with so 
favourable an eye, as to have been peopled in a very short 
time after Egypt and Phenicia. The earliest navigators 
from these flourishing countries make mention of colo- 
nists in the Greek islands ; and as no part of the main- 
land itself was at a great distance from the sea, the whole 
participated easily in the means of obtaining wealth, know- 
ledge, and civilization. Greece, it is admitted, was the 
first country in Europe that emerged from the savage 
state ; and this advantage it seems to have owed entirely 
to its readier communication with the civilized nations of 
the East. Still there is ample ground for the assertion frc- 


quently repeated in the works of ancient authors, that As- 
syria was a powerful empire, Egypt a most populous king- 
dom, governed by a very refined system of laws, and Si- 
don an opulent city, abounding with manufactures, and 
carrying on an extensive commerce, when the Greeks, ig- 
norant of the most obvious and necessary arts, were yet con- 
tent to derive their subsistence from the spontaneous gifts 
of nature.* 

It thus becomes extremely probable, that the ancestors 
of the Greeks, as they themselves have always maintained, 
came from different countries, and had sprung from va^ 
rious stocks. This facility of explaining genealogical mys- 
teries has, indeed, by a modern writer, been imputed to 
those ingenious islanders as a proof that they trusted more 
to their imaginations as poets, than to the accuracy of 
their researches as historian s.-f- 

But amid all the obscurity and contradiction through 
which the student of ancient history has to force his way, 
there is a strong body of evidence in support of the opinion 
usually entertained on this subject, that the population of 
Greece was augmented and diversified by two separate 
currents of emigration from the East as well as from the 
South. In the earliest period to which tradition carries us 
back, we find powerful tribes of Pelasgians in possession of 

• Mitford, vol. i. p. 9. 

+ Les Grecs ne se sont jamais trouves a court, lorsqu'il s'est agi de donner 
des ancetres a quelqu'une de leurs peuplades. Demandez leur quel a ete 
le premier pere des Lacedemoniens, ils vous repondront que c'est Lelex : 
d'ou venoient les Pelasges, ils diront de Pelasgus : autant de nations, autant 
de chefs ; autant de villes, autant de fondateurs. Qui est ce qui sait au 
juste quels ont ete ou Deucalion ou Ogyges auxquels cependant on ne 
donne pas moins qu'un deluge, — L'histoire de Dardanus est encore une de 
celles, ou il semble que Ton n'ait rien compris : celle de Persee est si obscure 
que jusqu'ici les Mythologues I'ont en quelque fa<;on abandonnt%; en ud 
mot, dans cette antiquite reculee, les Grecs se promettent tout et n'edaircis- 
sent tien. -—Fourmont, Reflexions Critiques, vol. ii. p. 218. 


the finest provinces of that country on both sides of the 
Corinthian isthmus, and employing their superior know- 
ledge and activity in founding the celebrated states of Sicyon 
and Argos. About the same time, a race of colonists, who 
had probably crossed the narrow strait which divides Eu- 
rope from Asia, fixed upon a residence in the more north- 
ern parts of the country. The early fortunes of the latter 
adventurers are usually associated with the name of Deu- 
calion, whose son, Hellen, supplied an appellation to his 
followers which continued neai'ly as long as the freedom 
and glory of the nation to which they gave rise. The other 
class of settlers, who are understood to have been of Phe- 
nician extraction, are described by historians as boasting of 
a certain chief called Inachus, as the leader of their bands, 
and the first sovereign of their adopted country ; whose 
descendants, ^gialeus and Phoroneus, were intrusted re- 
spectively with the sceptres of Sicyon and Argos, where 
they established dynasties which perpetuated their name 
and their authority about a thousand years. 

The Pelasgians, accustomed to the sea, and fond of en- 
terprise, did not long rest satisfied with the peaceful pos- 
session of their lands in Greece. Pushing their discoveries 
farther to the westward, they landed on the coast of Italy, 
and disputed with the natives the occupation of those ex- 
tensive plains, which were afterwards distinguished by the 
name of Magna Graecia. The Hellenes, more attached to 
the soil, cultivated the arts of peace ; in the pursuit of 
which they were soon afterwards materially assisted by the 
arrival of other adventurers from Egypt and Phenicia. 
But before we can enter with any prospect of success into 
the historical details which present themselves to our at- 
tention, it is necessary that we should determine a few 
leading points in regard to the chronological order and 
connexion of events. 


In tracing the course of Grecian chronology, we shall 
have frequent occasion to make reference to the Arundel 
Marbles, it may therefore be found convenient to give a 
short account of these famous reliques of antiquity, and 
even to present a copy of the particular record which is 
commonly known by the name of the Parian Chronicle. 

About the year 1624, Thomas, Earl of Arundel, em- 
ployed Mr William Petty, a learned and indefatigable ar- 
chaeologist, to collect for him in Greece and Asia Minor, 
such remains of literature and the arts as mioht illustrate 
the ancient history of that very interesting portion of the 
eastern world. Of the qualifications of Mr Petty for the 
task which he undertook there is a full and amusing; tcs- 
timony still extant in the Letters of Sir Thomas Roe, who, 
at the period in question, Avas British ambassador at the 
court of Constantinople. In writing to Lord Arundel, 
October 20, 1625, he says, " Mr Petty hath visited Per- 
gamo, Samos, Ephesus, and some other places, where he 
hath made your Lordship greate provisions, though he 
lately wrote to me he had found nothing worth." A few 
months afterwards Sir Thomas remarks, " My last letters 
brought your Lordship the advice of Mr Petty 's ship- 
wracke and losses upon the coast of Asya, returning from 
Samos. Although he will not boast to me, yet I am in- 
formed he hath gotten many things rare and ancient. 
There was never man so fitted to an employment ; that 
encounters all accidents with so unwearied patience, eates 
with Greekes on their worst days, lies with fishermen on 
plancks at the best, is all things to all men, that he may 
obteyne his ends, which are your Lordship's service." 
" Mr Petty hath raked together 200 pieces, all broken, 
or few entire; what they will prove I cannot judge. Hee 
hath this advantage, that hee went himself into all the 
islands and took all hee saw, and is now gone to Athens, 
VOL. II. 2 A 


where I have had an agent nine months.'" — " I could have 
laden shippes with such stones as Mr Petty diggs, but 
good things undefaced are rare, or rather not to be found. 
Our search hath made many poore men industrious to 
rippe up old ruins."* 

Early in the year 1627, the fruits of Petty ""s industry 
were sent to London, and deposited in the gardens belong- 
ing to Arundel House in the Strand. On the arrival of so 
many fine specimens of ancient taste and genius, a very 
lively interest was excited among the learned ; and an equal 

* These extracts from the Ncgoc'mtions of Sir Thomas Roe are of consi- 
derable value, as they expose the groundlessness of an opinion which long 
kept a firm hold of the public mind, and which was first propagated by 
Gassendi in his Life of Peiresc. It was asserted by this biographer, that the 
Parian Chronicle was first discovered by Peiresc, and purchased for him by 
one Savipson^ his agent at Smyrna, for 50 pieces of gold ; but when it was 
ready to be sent on board, Sampson, by some artifice on the part of the na- 
tives, was cast into prison. It is added, that the various marbles were thrown 
into great disorder, and that they were afterwards purchased for Lord Arun- 
del by ]\Ir Petty, who gave for them a much greater price. 

This report, says Dr Hales, which was unnoticed by Sir Thomas Roe and 
Mr Petty, seems vague and improbable in itself: for, 1st, Gassendi evident- 
ly confounded the Parian Chronicle, which was engraved on a single tablet, 
with the whole collection. 2dly, It appears that the collection of the Arun- 
del Marbles was made by Petty himself in detached pieces, during his pro- 
gress through Asia Minor, the islands, and Greece ; and that the Chronicle 
■was not found till near the end, and probably at the island of Paros, accord- 
ing to the opinion of the generality of writers, Dn Pin, Du Fresnoy, Ratc- 
linson, &c. grounded on the evidence of the Chronicle itself, which seems to 
have been engraved at Paros, for the author's and his countrymen's use ; 
for, if elsewhere, why should Astyanax be noticed as archon at Paros in the 
year that it was made ? 

It is not probable, indeed, that even Mr Petty exactly knew the contents 
of the Marmor Chronicon ; for it is not distinguished by any particular ap- 
pellation in Sir Thomas Roe's correspondence, though included under the 
general description of things rare and ancient. We might also reasonably 
form this conclusion, from Selden's account of the great difficulty he found 
in deciphering it, which he represents as the labour of a great many days.. 
' It is more obscure," says he, "■ than the Smyrnean League, the characters 
being often entirely obliterated, often nearly so. Nevertheless, by the assist- 
ance of glasses, and the critical sagacity of my very kind friend Patrick 
Young, after a great many repeated trials, I have restored them as well as I 
could." — See New Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. p. 209. 


curiosity everywhere prevailed to ascertain the amount of 

the Jiterary treasure which had thus been placed within 

the reach of the historian and chronographer. Sir Robert 

Cotton was among the first who proceeded to examine the 

Arundel Marbles ; and having seen that they contained a 

great variety of inscriptions, he instantly flew to Selden to 

entreat that accomphshed scholar to undertake the office 

of interpreter. " Cum primum inviserat ea vir praestan- 

tissimus, Robertus Cottonus, condus ille et promus ve- 

tustatis longe locupletissimus, ad mc advolat, et impensius 

instate ut mane proximo, (nam provcctior nox erat) ad 

Graeca ilia arcana me totum accingerem. Libenlissime 


Selden readily complied with his request ; but that the 
work might be more expeditiously accomplished, he de- 
sired the assistance of the learned Patrick Young, libra- 
rian to the king, and Richard James, fellow of Corpus 
Christi College in Oxford. The next morning before it 
was light (illuscente die crastino) the three friends met in 
Arundel Gardens, and began their operations by cleaning 
and examining the marble which contained the league 
made by Smyrna and Magnesia with Seleucus Callinicus, 
king of Syria. They afterwards followed the same pro- 
cess with other and still more valuable slabs ; and at length 
extended their cares and research to the celebrated Parian 
Chronicle itself, by far the most precious of the whole. 

This marble, when entire, exhibited a chronological de- 
tail of the principal events of Greece and the neighbour- 
ing states, beginning with the accession of Cecrops B.C. 
1582, and ending with the archonship of Diognetus, at 
Athens, B.C. 264. But the Chronicle of the last ninety 

Selden's Works, vol. ii. p. H^9, cited by Hales. 


years was lost, so that the part now remaining ends at the 
archonship of Diotimus, B.C. 354. The Parian Chronicle 
is therefore but a fragment ; and the writing on it is in 
many places so much corroded and defaced, that the sense 
could only be discovered by the sagacity and learning of 
the most practised antiquaries ; or, as Dr Hales expresses 
it, could only be deciphered or supplied by their conjec- 

The popular commotions which so soon afterwards dis- 
turbed the reign of Charles the First, proved, in the 
mean time, extremely unfavourable to the cause of litera- 
ture and taste. Arundel house was repeatedly deserted 
by its illustrious owners ; and, in their absence, some of 
the marbles, which still remained in the garden, were 
broken, some stolen, and others actually used for the pur- 
poses of building. This unworthy destination, it is to be 
lamented, fell to the lot of the Parian Chronicle ; the up- 
per part of which, containing at least half of the inscrip- 
tion, having been worked up in repairing a cliimney in the 
dwelling of the same munificent nobleman, who had been 
at so much pains and expense to procure it from abroad. 
The portion still preserved begins with these words, — !«•- 

xiva-i y,xt voy,Kry.x^ 1. 46, epOch 31. 

In the year 1667, the Hon, Henry Howard, grandson, 
by the mother's side, of the original collector, was induc- 
ed, at the instance of the celebrated John Evelyn, to pre- 
sent these curious remains of antiquity to the University 
of Oxford ; where they are now carefully preserved in a 
room adjoining to the public schools, called the Musceum 

The Parian Chronicle, we are told, was engraved on a 
coarse kind of marble, five inches thick, which, when Sel- 
den examined it, measured 3 feet 7 inches by 2 feet 7 
inches. The top was imperfect ; the lower corner on the 


right-hand having been broken off, and tlie right side mea- 
sured only 2 feet 11 inches. It contained at that time 
ninety-three Unes, inchiding the imperfect ones, and might 
originally, perhaps, have contained a hundred. Upon an 
average, the lines consist of a hundred and thirty letters, 
all capitals, in close continuation, and, like die oldest 
Greek manuscripts, unbroken into words. The ancient 
curtailed form of the Pi r is observed ; the prostrate Eta 
X is used for the Zeta ; and there are some smaller capi- 
tals, particularly the Omicron, Omega, and Theta, inter- 
mixed with the larger ; and the whole possesses that plain- 
ness and simplicity, which are among the surest marks of 
antiquity, and presents a general resemblance, but not a 
servile imitation, of the most authentic monuments about 
the same date. 

The following is a specimen of the mode of writing : — 







The same in modern Greek letters, divided into words, 
and the lacunae supplied : — 

■ ■ 'A<P' » ot []EAA))v]ss £<5 T^oiccv i\^i^']xriv<r^xv- 

To] 6TJ) DCCCCLIV* Qcco-iXsvovroi A6/t[_vav M-ii\i<rdiu<i t^6<5 x-ea ot- 
xotTov irovg. 'A(p' » T^oix Yihu £T>) DCCCCXLV, €«c-<A£tio»T«j 


Many years elapsed before any doubts were insinuated 
in regard to the authenticity of this celebrated Chronicle. 


Besides Selden and his learned coadjutors, several other 
writers of high character had expressed their satisfaction 
with the evidence upon which it was received as a genuine 
rehque of antiquity. At length, in the year 1788, Mr 
Robertson, in his Dissertation on the Parian Chronicle^ 
thought proper to call in question the opinions of Selden, 
Prideaux, Maittaire, and other antiquaries, relative to this 
subject. His argument was met, in the following year, 
by a very able reply on the part of Mr Hewlett, 
entitled " A Vindication of the Authenticity of the 
Parian Chronicle ;" in which the groundless assumptions 
and weak reasoning of his antagonist are triumphantly 
exposed. But his hypothesis, as Dr Hales observes, re- 
futes itself ; for he admits, that " this curious, learned, 
and comprehensive system of chronology, including a de- 
tail of the principal epochas and transactions of Greece 
and other countries, of Athens, Corinth, Macedon, Lydia, 
Crete, Cyprus, Sicily, and Persia, during a period of 
1300 years and upwards, must have been engraved at a 
considerable expense, on a tablet of marble ;"" after which 
he very inconsistently supposes that " it might have 
been a spurious fabrication of some learned Greek, so late 
as the 16th century, executed from a mercenary motive of 
gain, in order that it might be sold for a high price at 
Smyrna, a commodious emporium for such rarities, after 
he had artfully broken the block, and defaced the inscrip- 
tion in several places, to give to it an air of antiquity !" We 
may rest satisfied that such a laborious, learned, and ex- 
pensive work was not likely to suggest itself to a mere 
dealer in curiosities ; nor is it more probable, that an 
undertaking, which required so much research, could be 
accomplished by a fraudulent pretender to antiquarian 

I need scarcely remark, that the compiler of the Chro- 

CiiAr. IV.] AND PKOFANE IlISTOliY. 3'jr> 

nicle remains unknown. " The author of four disscria- 
tions subjoined to the Septuagint version of Daniel, 
printed at Rome in 1772, ascribes the Parian Chronicle 
to Demetrius Phakreus, as its author. The name is un- 
luckily defaced at the beginning of the inscription, and he 
thus ingeniously supplies the lacuna? : — 

^evrjtiv \j(^^o2vuy aviy^cc^ct, &C. 

"It is true, indeed, that the classical purity of the style, 
the great variety of minute and miscellaneous informa- 
tion, in so short a compass, not only respecting the prin- 
cipal facts in some of the most important eras of Greece, 
but also marking the progress of civilization and science, 
by fixing the date of the most eminent legislators, poets, 
and philosophers, all evince considerable learning and re- 
search, and local knowledge, in the compiler of the Chro- 
nicle, joined to the labour and expense of the engraving, 
which evidently prove that he could neither have been a 
mean nor illiterate individual, but rather some citizen dis- 
tinguished for his fortune and talents ; yet it is not pro- 
bable that Demetrius, however the description may suit 
him in other respects, was the author, from the mention of 
Astyanax, the Parian Archon, as observed before, which, 
though highly proper, if the Chronicle was the produc- 
tion of a native, would surely be irrelevant, were he an 
Athenian himself, or governor of Athens. And Paros 
was one of the most flourishing and opulent of the Cy- 
clades, and therefore likely to possess such citizens. 

"And indeed the most rational solution, perhaps, of the 
silence of subsequent classical writers respecting this cu- 
rious Chronicle (which is the principal argument urged 
to impeach its genuineness) may be derived from its insu- 


lar and secluded situation. Even the SymrruBan league 
itself, though a public record of considerable notoriety 
and importance in history, is equally unnoticed by subse- 
quent historians, and yet its authenticity is unquestioned. 

*' The inscription in general, so far as it is legible, may 
be considered as accurately engraved, which is no slight 
recommendation of its merit and utility, considering the 
difficulty of the task. Still, however, it exhibits occasional 
errors ; such, probably, are those usually reputed archa- 
isms, of £y for sv or IK ; s^ for iv ; «j«« for «v ; rou. for rav ; 
T/ifA for Tjjv, &c. because these words are in general written 
correctly ; and in the foregoing specimen, epoch 25, there 
is a gross omission of ita-oa-ov x-xi, before hvr^ov ; because 
Troy was taken, not in the " second,'" but in the " twen- 
ty-second year of the reign of Menest'fieus^'' as is evident 
from the preceding paragraph, which dates the expedition 
against Ti-oy " in the thirteenth year of his reign." This 
latter clause is also erroneously introduced again verbatim 
in Selden's edition of the inscription, epoch 28. It is true, 
Chandler proposes a different conjectural reading of the 
clause ; namely, '^aa-tX'.vovro? Ainvuv Ms^avro? Tg£<5 KXi ^itcxrov 
srov?, substituting the perpetual Archon Medon for Menes- 
theus ; but this is inadmissible : for, 1. He could have no 
access to the marble itself for revision, which, since Sel- 
den's time, has been destroyed and lost, as low down as 
epoch 31. 2. By the ensuing rectification of the heroic 
period of the Chronicle, it appears that the 28th epoch 
corresponded to the eighth year of Acastus." 

It will be found, upon examination, that the Chronicle 
has been constructed on two diiferent and independent 
principles of computation ; the former analytic, reckoning 
upwards from B.C. 264, the fixed date or radix at the bot- 
tom ; the latter synthetic, reckoning downwards from the 
reign of Cecrops, through the succeeding kings and per- 


petual, decennial, and annual archons. The first was a 
compendious and ingenious mode of rcckonin.'^, by adding, 
to the fixed date successively, supplemental numbers, ex- 
pressed shortly by numeral letters. This was probably the 
invention of the compiler of the Chronicle, to save as well 
his own labour as the expense and toil of engraving. The 
other was, no doubt, the original mode employed by the 
authors from whose works the Chronicle was constructed. 
That this was the compiler''s design, is evident from his 
omitting for the most part tlie years of each reign ; which, 
in the present epochs, so fortunately preserved, are ex- 
pressed in words at full length, and take up a great deal 
of room. 

It is worthy of notice, too, and the fact did not escape 
the penetration of Selden, that there is a difference of 
about twenty-five years between the two methods of com- 
putation ; and that this difference is not accidental, but 
designed, running uniformly through all the dates of the 
heroic period, from Cecrops to the destruction of Troy ; 
whereas, in the second or historic period, (a distinction 
suggested by Selden) the two methods agree to the end. 
Dr Hales has attempted to reconcile these two schemes ; 
but as his remarks are too long to be quoted, and do not 
admit of an intelligible abridgment, I refer the inquisitive 
reader to the first volume of his laborious Avork, from 
which I have extracted the substance of the foregoing ob- 
servations on the Arundel Marbles, 

*' The epoch, with which the historical or second period 
of the Chronicle begins, is of considerable importance : 

" 1. It verifies the next epoch, 33, by reckoning down- 
wards, and fixes the establishment of annual Archons in 
B. C. 684. 2. It also detects an error in Petavius, adopt- 
ed by Playfair, that the decennial archonship expired with 
Eryxias, B.C. 687, three years earlier ; in consequence of 


which, the latter has unwarrantably deducted two years 
from the decennial Archon Charops, and one year from 
iEsimedes, in order to fix the accession of the first decen- 
nial Archon Charops, in B.C. 754, which he rightly does, 
following Prideaux. 3. Selden judiciously observes, that 
this epoch furnishes an important adjustment of the dates 
of the succeeding colonies, after Syracuse, which settled 
at Naxos, Catana, Trotilus, &c. and are noticed in the 
beginning of the sixth book of Thucydides. 

** We are now warranted, upon the high authority of the 
Parian Clironicle, to consider the thirty reigns of the 
Athenian kings and archons, from Cecrops to Crcon, the 
first annual archon, as one of the most authentic and cor- 
rect documents to be found in the whole range of Profane 
Chronology ; while the Chronicle also verifies the broken 
list of annual archons, as far as it reaches downwards, by 
confirming, in near twenty instances, the dates assigned by 
other historians, both earlier and later. 

" We are also enabled to adjust that much-disputed epoch 
of the time of Homer with a high degree of precision. 
Diognetus, in whose archonship he flourished, epoch 30, 
did not begin to reign till B. C. 893 ; consequently the 
date B. C. 907, furnished by the supplemental number, 
which is perfect, must be erroneous : if then we reduce it 
to B. C. 884, the ninth year of Diognetus, we shall find 
it confirmed by the important testimony of Herodotus, 
who declares, that ' Hesiod and Homer lived not above 
four hundred years before his time.' B. 2. 53. Herodo- 
tus was born B. C. 484, which, added to 400, gives B. C. 

" The supplemental number in the epoch of Hesiod 29, 
is imperfect DCLXX . . Selden supplies the chasm 
with another X, and so makes it 680 ; but Prideaux, with 
II, reducing it to 672, which also reduces the epoch to 


B. C. 936, and so leaves a difference of 52 years between 
the poets, which is still too much. But if we further de- 
duct the systematic difference of 25 years, it will reduce 
Hesiod's time to B. C. 911, and leave an interval of only 
27 years between them. 

*' The conjectural date assigned to epoch 28, of the Ionic 
migration, B. C. 1077, by Selden, and followed by iiis 
successors, requires to be lowered in the same proportion. 
For Eusebius states, that this migration took place in the 
eighth year of the Athenian king Acastus, which, accord- 
ing to his Canon, was B. C. 1043; and Eratosthenes dated 
it 140 years after the destruction of Troy, which he 
reckoned B.C. 1183, furnishing the same year, B. C. 1043. 
And this rectification critically corresponds with the ac- 
count of Thucydides, who, in his curious and valuable 
summary of the ancient state of Greece, antecedent to the 
Peloponnesian war, B. 1, dates the return of the Hera- 
clidae to Peloponnesus, 80 years after the destruction of 
Troy ; and he describes the planting of Ionia, and several 
of the islands, as ' a good while after their return,' which 
agrees very well to 60 years after." 

The first edition of the Arundelian Inscriptions was pub- 
lished by Selden in 1628, the year after their arrival, in a 
small quarto volume, entitled Marmora Arundelliana, in- 
cluding twenty-nine Greek and Latin inscriptions, copied 
from the marbles, with a translation and commentary. 

"When his edition (which is chiefly the basis of the rest) 
grew scarce, bishop Fell engaged Mr Prideaux to publish 
a second, which he did, in 1676, under the title of Mar- 
mora Oxoniensia, and augmented it with the variorum 
notes of Lydiat, Ursatus, and other learned commenta- 

"In 1732, a third and enlarged variorum edition was 
published by Mr Maittaire, with the comments of Selden, 


Price, Palmerius, Lydiat, Marsham, Prideaux, Reinesius, 
Spon, Smith, Bentley, Maifei, Dodwell, along with his 
own conjectures and remarks on the marbles, and the pre- 
ceding comments, 

" In 1673, after the University had acquired a very 
great variety of other ancient marbles, by the benefactions 
of Sir George Wheeler, the Countess of Pomfret in 1755, 
Mr Dawkins, Dr Rawlinson, and others ; Dr Chandler 
undertook to give the public a new and improved edition 
of these valuable remains of antiquity, in a very magni- 
ficent volume, in which he has corrected the mistakes of 
his predecessors, and, in the Parian Chronicle especially, 
has supplied the lacunas by many happy conjectures. 
These are introduced in the following copy of the origi- 
nal Greek Chronicle, given by him ; and the English 
translation which follows is chiefly that of Hewlett, found- 
ed thereon ; which therefore is greatly superior to those 
of count Scipio Maffei in Italian, M. Du Fresnoy in 
French, and Dr Playfair in English, from the earlier edi- 

• Hales's New Analogy of Chronology, vol. i. p. 





..... «v V9re(v . . . uv , 

»«» einy^x-^x rovg etv^Ckiiiv ^^ovov(;~^ ot^^ccf^^iy'}o<; xtto KsxeoTrog rov 
TTparov QxciMvG-ctvroi Airrjvaiy, ila^ apj^otiroi i//^ Ilccptu Tf^iv As-Hu- 
aiencroi;, A6Yiyyi(riv ^i Aioyvtirov. 

1. Aip is Kix.^01^ A5))v<wv i^cts-iXtva-i, x.xi ij jC'^^a Kife-^OTTix iKXyiSn^ 
TO -TFporiPov y-xXovf^iVYi Aktik^, utto Aicrctiov rov uvto^Sovo^, irt) 

2. A<P « Aivx-xXiUV TTx^x Tov n«t§»«<rc«v iv AvKUg^itx eS«(r«Aewe-e, 
r?«'lo-<>i£[^uo]vTfl; A6rivuv Kix-^oTro?, £tj) XHHHA. 

3. A^ » S<xD A^>)v»)5-<[^v iyi^viro A^it x.xi Tloa-itduvt tiTTi^ AXt^^o- 
6iov TOV Iloa-it^avo?, axi o roTTCi iKXniyi A^aog Trxyog et>j 
XHHlA^Anill, 'oaa-tMvovTOi ASytmv K^[_xv»^ov. 

4. A^ » )cxrxx.Xv<r/ao? iTiri Aivx-xXiUvoi iyiviro, y.xt Aivy.xXtnv Tot/j 
eu^pcv? iipvyiv ly AvKU^txg £<? Atf»v«5 '^e,'>\j K^uvx^ov, kxi tow 
AisQ rov OAV|tt5r<eu to /s^] ev i'^[_^vi7ur]^o, [_>cxi~\ tx a-turti^tx 
liva-iv, Q^T*! XRHlAiAn, €«ff-<A£ve»T«? A^ijwv K§[a]»[«3<»y. 

5. AF*? » Afc(pr\Krvav Aix-xXtaiyei; i^xo-iXiva-if i* 0s^fz.o7rvXxti, y.xt 
o-wnyi [r~]ovi TTi^t TOV o^ov oiKCVvTXi, XXI a[_iio~]/*x<riv AfA^tKrv- 


vxg, KXi n^vXatct^'J, is\^'^ip~\ x,ct,t vvv st< B-vova-iv AfAipixrvovi';, 
Lejr>) XHHlA'nill, ^ct<7-iMvoyroi A^/ivav Afri^pix-rvovog, 

[_6)vj6/xxcrBil(7Xv, ro TT^on^ov rpomcoi xciXov^ivot, Kxi rov uyuvct 
TI»v\^oi6l_7r]vxi\^K.ov crvvi?-i)(rcivro, stj^^ XHHIa'IT, ^oi<riXivovrog 
A^^nvaiv Aju.<Pix.TVOvoi. 
7- A(p a KdOfiog a Ayrivo^o^ s<? ©-.^feass £«^<x£To[^3ioST« %e»)ff'^»v, xa<] 
ix.ri(riv T»)v KeiOfAStciv, srjj XHHIa'II, Ssto-^AeuovToj a9")iv<wv Ajit- 

8. Aip K ^Ev^curxi Ktui Acocioxifiuv Axy-u'^vtKfn iZx<riXiv(rxv^ £TJ9 
XHHIA'II, ?2«(r<AsyovToj A^ijvwv Afifticrvovog. 

9. Alp » i/flsiiL? 7rsi'T^i5[];covrc* xfti;r|]&(y 6| A«yii;rT«ii Q"]'? t»)v EAA«o« 
ivrXsvas, x,xi uvof^xcrSij niVTSKovropog, Km xl Axvxov B-vyxTi^ii . 

^Af^vfiluvv), y,ci,i Bx .... Xxpivca, x.xi EA<xj), x.xi 

A^^iOixYi xTTOicXii^uhicrxi VTTO rav XotTrt^iv ^jipev topvs''JxvT\_o,J 
x-xi iivcrxv iTTi rrjs xx.rni if* Ti'xpx^^Xi'^xdi iv Amom tj)5 'Tooix?, 
£T» XHHAAAAmi, ^xa-iXiv6^vro<; Ad-yivav E^t^B-ovtov. 

10. A<P a E^i^jBoviOi IlxvxDyivxiOig roig Tipuro'.t; yivof^ivoii ot,^ft,x 
^^^"%°) '^'*' "^o" tyavx iasDtvvs, y,xi AB^nvxr\x fisru'^v\_0fcxe-i, tc^xi 
\_xyxX[Ax T))s &~^iuv ^Yir^og i<pxvn iy KvZsXok;, KXt Yxyvig e 
«Pgti| xvXovi; TT^MTOs zv^iv iy K[_sXxr\vxi\^i "^"H* '^ ^vy\_i~\xi; , 
\jcxi TYiV x^ftovtxv mv x^xXov^iVYiv O^vy^f; Tr^uroi ^vXna-i, KXt 
xXXovg vofiovg MYirpoi, Atovva-ov, Uxvog, xxi rov ijrVi^upiuv <s>iuv 
x.xi H^UMV,'] iTTfi XHHAAAAII, 'viXo-iXivovroi; AB-nvuv Eg^i^Sovtov 
rov ro xf^fAx Z^zv^xvrog. 

11. A^ is Mivag [^<j"] 71-^^aroi i^Zxi^a-tXivars, xxi Kv'JSavtxv utckts, 
itxi (Ti^yipog YivPiin iv T)) lS», iv^ovruv reav \dx,icav AxKrvXuv KsX- 
fitog x.\j6i AxfAvxvseoif stu XHIA'AITIII, ^x<rt'^Xivovroi AB^vuv 

12. Alp K AnjttJjTJjg x^ixofAivvi SI? ABuvxi; kx^ttov i<pv[_ri~\viv, x.xi 
TTp^og aXXovg iTTS/nipa-i Tr^jarvj o\_tx Tjpi7rroXif.iov rov KiXtov 
x-xi Nixipxi, irri XHAAAAIl, Zx(7-iXivovrog AB-yjvvio-iv Epi^Biag. 

13. A<p » Tpi7rro\^XifAOi kx^'^ov'^ sa-TTH^iv iv m Vx^ix x-xXov/xiv/} 
EXiva-i'ji, £T» X[^H3AAAAQi]], ^xrriXivovro'; AB-)^v6>v {^E^t^^ 


14. A^ o2v[_0^ipsvi Tijv] ccvrov 7rotyi<rt¥ «|[^s]d»i)C£, K«^ijj te ct^7rxyi}v, 

ruv vTTodi^mftitay tov kx^tfov, et» XHAAAIT, (9«(r<AsyayT0f aSd- 

15. [^A<p » Evfio?^7iroi Movs-cci'^ov t» f/.v^n^ix xnipyiviv ev EXivrtvt 
Kcci rxi rov ^^rotT^o? M^ovtrcttov 5ro<cry,5-^£<lj i^i6nKriy~\, et>) 
XH . . . S«9-«AstiovTa$ Ad>i»»v Epi^oiUi rov nuv^tovo^. 

IV. A(p a y.uSxpf^oi Trpairof eysvSTo [joix (pov~\ov -Trpearm aov . . . ixvr 
Qei"*) X|A']AII, Zxa-iMvovTOi A9/iva> Tlxv^torei rov 

17- A^ K C^H" EA£ti5-<i/< yvf^viKOi ^ccyuv irs6ri, £T)) X , S<t_ 

o-<A£yovT05 A^))»ft)v Hxvoiovoi rov KiKpo7rci.~] 

18. Aip a Qe6« «»tfg«7ro^t;s-<]c«<^ [^x«<] t<« Ayx«<« £y ApKxdiu. lymsro, 

xxt A . . JMtE Avxosovo; £da^>)5-«v Q'] To<j EAAr*)~|(r<rv 

ir'^/j [^X~] . » , . bflee-«A£t»oi'To; A^iji/^yv Tlxvotovog rov Kskpotto?. 

19. A^ a xx^SxpidSiii i> EXsva-iv'li H§«xAjj? ^ef^v/jS/i ^iy~\6)r» ttpv- 
tJo?. Qetji X] . . . €«(r<A£ti6VT0s A6Kvr|S■^y AiyiMf. 

20- A^ » A^i)v»)(r< Qtr^fltvn? t«» x.«g9r<av iyiviro, y-»i fixvnvousvoi 
^roii"] Aivjv^xtoti A^roX^Aw!' viv^xyKxa-iv diy,x~\s v-jFoc-^iVrU, 
*C*D ^i" M<Vii/{ u%iu(rii, £T/) XAAAI, £«tc-<A£tiavT«s A^jjvwv 

21. A?* » ©jja-Qvs] A^Yivuv T«5 ^uhiKx TCoXiig itq ro «yTa a-vvuxi- 
e-iv, KX( TToXirnxv KXi rviv onf^oK^xnixv ^Tr^airog x.x^i7nKCd~\<; 
ASijvAii', TOV ruv IcrB-fctaiv xyuvx £.9tjx£, 2^ivtv XTOKravxi, etjj 

22. Atto t-/)? A^^av[^<«5] T»)[? i7^*T>j5, £TD iH'HHHHJA'JAAAAlI, 
/3«(7-<A£vavTe; ASyivciiv Qyt^iox;. 

23. A<p » A§y£<a<[]«ro] A^^x\_70i %l^xa-iXivG-\j~\v, kxi tbv] xymx 
\i\v [N£^£aj £]^[£ir]«v [a/ Ettt*,] £t.) IfTHKHHlA^AAAnil, 
€at(r<A£wovT«s Ad*!v<w» ©/isteai?. 

24. A<p X «/ \_EXXr7\vii £«s Tga<fl6v £[^5-]5«T£w]<ra{VT«] £ti) 
JITHHHHFA'IIII, €«i7<A£i;evTaj A^-/)[]v»v Miv^'.trkui^ TT^tii y.xt 
dix-xrov irovi. 

25. A(p 8 T§e<« «Aai, £th [fTHHHHAAAAII, '^x<nXivovro? AB-»v»)v 

:J84 connection of sacred [Hook II. 

eZoofAYi (pOivovTOi, 

26. A^ » Og£s-nQ? iv ^KvS^iix, raiv uvro^v fAxvtav tccSn, ««' A.^iyKr6ou 
^vyxT^t [Hg«y|]ov[}) Itti^ A^i^yta-dov y.cti uv^raj otx-tt syivirj^o iv 

IH'HHHHAAA^A^II, €«s-<Asvo»TOf Ahya>> Ao^ttoipfwvTo?. 

27. A^ « Qs«A«jtiivi3f e»] Kvwg<a Tsuxge? <ax<(rev, st» [H'HHHHAAA- 

nill, fcflj(r<Asyovre? A-Syivaiy Anf^ixpavroq. 

28. A<p 8 Nii[A]]sy? eoKio-^iy ly Kx^iciMiMfoy, xyii^oci lavx? o'l oaiKt- 

KoXo!pavoi, [M^yotivTflf, \y!?axxtciv,^ 'Za/aov, \JKtov, xxt'\ rot 
'[nxy'^tci)vi\^ct^ iysviro, st[]») IH'HHHAIIIj Qxa-iMvovTOi ASmmv 

MlVia-SiOli T^ilg H.Cii OiKXTOV ri~\TOVg. 

29. A(p » ['He-^io^aj V 5re<-«)r/)5 \j(pavyi, irvi ,HH|H'AA[]A, Qxa-(Xiv- 

efTOJ Afi))V6)v] . . . 

30. A<p » 'Ojtt»g05 a ^o<jiT*)s i<pciV4, irn IH'HAAiii'^III, ^aa-t>\iovvTCi 
A6yivci>i_y A'Jioyvvirov. 

31. Alp 8 $[[£«^^a)v A^yitog idyif^\^iv6yi, x.xi f/.iT^a text ^-x&f^cc^ io-- 
ftivxci xxt vofiKTf^x xpyv^ovv iv Aiyivvi iTTOiria-iv, svoiKxrog aiv «(p 
HpxKMovi, irn IH'HAAAI, ^xc-iXivovrog A^vivuv QMsycsxAs^en;. 

32. A(p » AgJ^J<«5 'EvxyriTov, dacxro? av xtto Ti/jfAtvov, ix. Kopiy6ou 
Y^yxyi my XTroiy.txv Q«?^ 'Zvgc(,\_<j-xg, ita HHHH|a'AAAAIIII- 
^xvihlvoy~\tOi AH'^my Aivyju'hov irovg hkotov kxi ekoj. 

33. A^ « y-xx iyixvroy ij§[|]sv [K^^^e^iiwv^ st^h] HHHHAA. 

34. A(p K [A<jsxsS«(^3*C''""^ T^v^^rxto? a-vyi/icx^ria-sy,'J stu HHHH, 
AniII; «g^«!'T«5 Aii^yna-t Av<ri\^ev^. 

35. A^ » TspTTxy^pog Ai^oiviOi a Aio-^iog rov? voftovg t«d[s x^aj- 
[A«<]]<yy [x«<v]ow5-dflS< xvXn^r/xg ili^Mcn, xxi tjji* if67r^o<r6i fiovo-i- 

x-Yiv i^iriTyifiy, ir-A HHH|ii'AAAI, x^^ovrog ASyiyvia-iy AgenTrihov. 

36. A<p 8 A^Ati^^TTu]]? Ay^^dwv iZxl^o-iXiVT^iy , irv) HHHA^AAAI, 
upj^oyrog Afl»»>jo-<v Ag<S"«xAsovj. 

37' A^ » 2a5r^<a iyMirvXyivyjg ng ILiKiXixy STrXsvs-i ^vyove-x, .... 

eX 9- . . . . Qt-,) HHHAAnill, «§;)/«v]Tes 

A5>)i'»ji'"< jtt6v Ke«T<«y Tew irpeTipou. iv "Lvpxr.ov^xtg oi ray QFEftTltta- 
^uy Kxnj^vray my xg^xv^y. 

CttAP. I\'.] AND PllOFANE HISTORY. 38/l 

38. QA^ » Af.c,ptKrvo)iii iviy.YiO-K'J sA^^ovts? Kvppxv, koh o ccycat o yvf^-' 
viKog iri9-/i ^^yi^xTiTvi? x-TTa ruv Xoc^pvpxv^ irn HH[_HJ|A AIlI I, 

3.0. A(p » 1^0 5-sf]<«v<T»5 aywi- 7rfl5A<y £T£&ii, st;-, HHHA[]A]II, o4g;i,iov- 

T0{ Ad)]V9ie"« A«,ts««5-«ou tou oivrspov. 
40. A<p K sv flf^;r>ii(]«<? KafACii[^txi i(po^i^na-civ iisro] T^yv Ixct^naiv, 

x«< a«v«y \_cc(A(popiv:;, st« HH . . . [_oe.^^ovrei; A9"»)VH5-< .... 
... ."1 

41. Ap K nit<7i?-^xTog ASnvm irv^xvvivinv, im HHlA'AAAAnil, x^- 

42. A^ » K^oiTOi \_ih~\ Aa-ixi; [[e<?] AsAipol^ti]; x\_7rt7rifA-<\>iv , st» 
HH|i\']AAA All, M^^ovrog AdrtvYiert^v Eviv'^dttf/^ov. 

43. A<p » Kygo? <3 Ui^a-O)]! Qixa-iXiVi '2,»^ii<; I'AxZi, kxi Kpois-ov vtto 
\jJv6t'^yiS <r(DxX\_XofAi)iov ttfoy^wiv, st» HHJa'AAAIIII, as^^evTo? 
A6vivuv Ep^ikXh^ov. H» Ss]] x«< Ittttciivx^ kxtx rovrov o IxfiZo- 

44. Alp K 0S9-5r<? ^otYirr? ^i<f)x»ri, Tr^airog «? «««] idtdx%i \_r^xya- 
^ixv, Yii xiXov f\TidYi \_r~\e^»yo<;, im HHJA'^AAIIl], «g;;(^ovTos 
A&\jiVYt(rty AXy.~^xiciv rov Tr^on^ov. 

45. A(p K Aa^eto? Tli^crav i^xcriXiva-i, Mxyov TiXsvryierxvTo?, st» 
QHH]|^[n]l, x^^ovrog A6n\^vn<ri'} 

46. Alp K Ag|t4o^<«? x:a;< (^A^<f6ys]<T»v a;rsJ«T6[^<ve{v l7»-^«3??<i'"' ^^*" 
o-<s-g£«Tov A[]^>)v»v rvg^xvv~\ov, x-xi ASnvxioi G-\_vvx)iifj^o-xy rovg 
Tliio-i^-^xrt^xi iK\Q,xXXitv rov YliXxa-yttcJ^ov rif^ov<;, styi HHAA- 
AAnill, x^j(,ovTog Ad*!V»(r< \JK.?^Krdivov?.^ 

47. A?" » >i«?** 5rg»Tov TjyuvKrxvTo xvhe^tav, ov di0xz,xi YTfoydijKOi 
XxXx.ih\^vf\ £Vi;'-[-u5-£v,] iTyiHRAAA\^MlU,']x^xovTo? A6nvv!<ri\^v 

48. A?» » vs]^*)? ACuvjiS T55?]| IV'TTIX^J <^§UC-5j)] A6«V>55-<V, 5TJ)HHAAAI, 
l^gV0l/T05 Afl>JV})5'< IlvBoxPiTov. 

49. A<p X £,t6 Mx^xB-avi fA.xxA sysvsTO Afljiv^ts*? tt^o? ■7«f? Ile^ff-a?, 
[^Kse« A^T^fpsgvsa 'vo\) Axgiiov x^ih\j> i.ho~\v , rov ^^xmyov svix.uv 
Mnvxtot, im HHAAnil, «§;^jovto? A^»iv[^»«-< rov^ hvrs^ov [<!>«<- 
KTTjray, x.xi^ IV (^'^X^ a-vv/iymia-xro Atcr^vXoi; ttojjith?, L^'''1'"L''J 
ti)v AAAII. 


U 1! 



50. A^ a 'Ztfiuvidng o 'Zifiuvidov -xavTroti rev Trotvtrov, Treivjrm <wv x«» 
[_civrog, AS/i^vyio-i, xtci A«^£<05 riXivrcx., Ss^fus ^e o vio^ 'ZxirtXivit, 
\jrn HFIA^AITQ^], «^;^joyTOf A^))»»<r<v A^t^iihov. 

•'1. A<p » A<(r;i(^vA05 a tto/jjtjj? Tg«y&)^<a{ ^^&it«v 2v<x>)!7-5, *;«< EwgiWiJuj 

x£-rJo, 2Tii HHAAII, «^;^;avT«; A^ijmo"* 1>(Ao;ie«Toti5. 
t)2. A<p » H5^|>)j T-,iv o-;iK;s^<!xy il^ivitv iv 'EXXno-Trovrat, xcci rot A^« 5<»- 

^u|s^ jc«; « £v 0£^f6o[]7iii]Aa<j ^oi^yi sysvsro, KXi yxv^.ct^ia Te<5 

E/A>)c-< TTS^i ^ciXdfitvci TT^oj Toy; Ils^creigj ijv iytx-uv o'l EXXyivig, £TJ1 

HHAnil, «^;^^o)»To; A^»)v»)o-< K«AA<«§ev. 
OO. Aip » ij £v [_njA««T(j£<c«<; /Wfls^)) £y£)/£TO A^>)va5<o<; Wgo; MetPflavJev T«v 

H£g|oy 5-^«T>iyov, Jiv £v;xi!uv A^^i/ojio;, x«t< M«f§ov<e5 £T£A£tiT>i»"SV £v tjt 

/«*«j0l. Ji^' TO TTV^ £^liy,[]o-£ £V S<X^£A«3«, 5r£^* TJJV A<TV«tf6V, £T>r 

H^HjAni, c4^;^J0vro; A6tjvyia-i ExvTiTrTTov. 
o4. A<fi » |_r£jAwv Aiivof^ivovg \_Zvpcix.ov(ruv~\ irvpxvnviriv, ern 

HHAn, a^^ovrog ASyivnc-i Tifioo-kv^ovi.^ 
55. A<p K 'ZifiuviOYig AiMTTpiTTOvg Kstoi;, TO f^r/lfi6VlX.0V iV^UV, £V(- 

;ci5(7-£i/ A^DHjo-iv otoaa-Kuv, x.cii oci stKovi? iraSyio-uv A^fM^tev x.ui A^^- 

^oyarovog, stji HHI^AIIII], ei^^icovreg A6-/iyvi(ri^v A'2^sif,i.ctvrcv. 
OO. A<p » Is^wv Sn^ocKovo-iW)! srygavvsycTEi', jtj) HHIllQ]!, «g;(jovT05 

A^i5V>)i7< X[^a£gJnToj. HiJ ^£ x««; E7r<;(j«^jt405 o wo<»)T»|5 x«Tat reu- 


Oy- A^ » 2o(po;cA))j o SoipiAAow o £x KoAiyvou £v<x)5o-£ 7r^i«y»o<«, STAif 
6)v AAnill, STjj HHIII, ct^^ovTo^ AS^vyjo-i Aipyi(piovoi. 

58. A<p X £v A<yoj "TioTcc^oti o A*5o; iiria-i, y-oci 'Etfmviom o ^6<>)T>]j 
STeA£j;T}5(r£Vj S<ov; £tii Ia'AAAA, stji HHIT, ct^^^ovrog A^vivviTtv QiX' 

59. A<p » AAel^v^ga; iTiMvTYia-iv, v ^s vlog Ili\_^^ tKx.xg Mumao- 
vav i^xa-iXivsi, irvi HjA'AAAAll^III,] x^^ovrog A6vivri<r(v Et;- 

60. A(p X A<o-;(juAo; o 7r«^«]»)T»)«. Qiaa-xg irn lA'Anilll, iTiXivrncriv 
sv {^rsA^flS Tu; []S<^K.sA*«;, £tj) HIa'AAAAIII, x^^ovrog A^>jv»j- 
o-r«^ KaAA[^«^ou tou TrgoTS^ov. 

61. Ai?* X Et^p<7r«^ii;, srav uv AAAAIII, T^xyu^tx Tr^arov ivntvt<riv, 
£T« HlA'A[^AniIII,3 '«g;^ovT«; A^Jivi)!!-< Aifi\_X6v. li\<rxv ^s. 
»XTX EvpiTfidnv "ZuK^XTm, x-xt \_Avxji,xyo^xc. 


(J2 A(p iS h^y^iXuO'; M.oi.Ki^6Dcav iZuiriXivc-i Ui^ikkov riXivrritrecvTti, 
iTti H[^|A'HI, «g>5]ovTa; A^»]v>j5-<v Aro(p«A«v. 

63. A(p « A(flvt;(r<o; St/gajcowciwi; ETu^ai-vsiicrsv, trr, HAAAAIIII, «g- 
Xovroi A^>)v>i(r<» EiixTi),Kova5. 

64. Af » Eug«?r<S»)?, Zt\_m-»i irti tA'AAnil, iTi^Xivrri<rsv , iT-/i HAA- 
AA[|lII]], c(^j(^ovrog Aftjviio-tv Avrtyivovi. 

65. A[[<p] ar 2«[,p]exAj)5 o ;ro<j)T»?, Qiaic-x? st>) [[["A'^AAAAI, sts^eu- 

TJJO-ev, Xtft* Kv^OJ CCVt^^flTi iTTt TOV «^sA(pOV, ST/l HAAAAII, «g- 

P(^ovTOi Adiiv>j5-< K«AA<a Taw wg . t . . on. 

66. A<p a TsAEs-i]? 2eA[[<KjyvTt9j E]v»x»(re)/ A^/jvjio-o, £t>; HAAAn[^IIl]], 
ec^^ovTOi ASn^Wi MiKuvo^. 

07. Aip a^jTravriXdov ot fjCir^ctHiv^ov ct,vu'<>xvrtg, kcii 2(4;>igotT»5 (ptXoirc- 
(f)[_o~\i STiXiVTua-i, \j^(ovi'] irn [A'AA, 6t-/i HAAAn[^l3, as^pcjavTos 
A^JlXijo-i AiX;^j>iro?. 

68. A(p » AQs-v^o{,t4<«S 7rg6»Tov i^i^ci^sv'^ Ad/iv/jo-iv, irn HAAAII, «g- 
%ovToi; A^)iv})i7;v A§(S"<»c^«to!;5. 

69. A?> ar H^«v9-o; o TroiviTni Xxe^J^iccvoi ^t^ve^cif^^co ntK-^triv AiriVYia-tv, 
irn H . . [_ci^^ovrog Adfitiria-i 

70. A<p] » <^iXol,t)ioi ^iSv^a^^oTTOiOi nXivrct ^iovf £T« lAlT, £T») 
HAni^ osgj^^acTOf A$rjV7)i-i TlvB-iov. 

71. A(p » Avu^xv^^i^m KUi^^ja^OTTOioi; iviXViTiv Adnvtitriv, £t» HAIII, 
u^^ovroi^ ABrir/ia-i KciXXiou. 

72. Aip » As-y^«,M«? A^jjv)15-<v iviKYKTiv, STJ5 Hnllll, «^;t;ovro? A««i'si<rii' 
Afiiov, KciriKxri ^i ron kx^i iv ov^xva » y.iyxXfi /\«SAt5r«?. 

73. Alp » sv AsvxT^oij f^xy;fi s]]y£v£To &vi/2xiuv y.xi Axxi^xty,mtm, h 
iviKUv 0j)/3«<o<, 5TJ1 Hnll, x^^ov-O'; ASr,yy,<!-i <i>^x<rix.Xitoov. 
[K«t« towtov di y.xi AXt^xy^^o; o Afivvrov Mxx-idotuyJ fixart- 

74. A^ K St/1(J-<;(^o|o; Ij44£^ia6<a? o ^-vri^og iviKYiosv A6Y)VV)(riv, KXt 
UKterS/i MiyxXmroX^^i? £v A^x-x^tXy £t») HIII, «§;^i«l'T«; A5>)v»)(r< 

75. Alp 8 AiovvTiC? S<Jt£A<»Ti55 £T£A£!;t)1c-£V, ^s v'tog Aiovvij-io; irv^xv- 
nva-iv, XXI AXi\^^x^i[_^^ov TiXivr»ta-xvrog UroXif^xiog MxKidcvuv 
Zx(rr\Xivii, 3th HIIII, a^;(^avT05 A^iivjsir; NocyfriyEKOt;?. 

76. Alp « Oft»;i£i5 TO IV AiX(poig [_h^ov itrvXivtrxv, inn lA'AAAAlIIIj 
cf^jj/ovTO? A^>ii']il«'( K>)lp(i7oo<ygov. 


^X^«S cs vici; ^[^cta-tXivii ruv Tlipa-uv, xutl 

svtKt^cnv, irn l^'AAAAIII, «g;^iovT05 A6nnc-iv Aya- 

7o. A(p » AAs|£«v^^oj <t>iXi7r7rov iyi^vtro, irn lA'AAAAI, ct^^^ovroi 
Adnvvic-iv Ko!,XXt?-\_£^a,Tov , Hv ?s x«< Api^ortXri? 

79- A<p is Kct ^'"C"] lA' • . . • at^pc*"'''*? - 

Cwtera desideranlur. 


I. Peiiiod. 


****** J l^g^g described pr[eceding times,] 
begin[n]ing from Cecrops, the first who 
reigned at Athens, until [Astjyanax, arclion 
at Paros, and Diognetus at Athens : [ending 
01. 129, 1. B. C. 264.] 

1. Since Cecrops reigned at Athens, and the 
country was called Cecropia, before called 
Actica, from Actaeus the native, MCCCXVIII 
years - ., _ 1582 

2. Since Deucalion reigned in Lycoria, near 
Parnassus, Cecrops [re]ign[in]g at Athens, 
MCCCX years - - 1574 

3. Since the trial at Athen[s hap]pened between 
Mars and Neptune, concerning Halirrothius 
[the son] of Neptune, and the place was call- 
Areopagus, MCCLXVIII years: Cr[ana]us 
reignino; at Athens - - 1532 

4. Since the deluge happened in the time of 
Deucalion ; and Deucalion fled from the rains, 

from Lycoria to Athens, unto [Crana]us, and Of 

bu[ilt the temp]le of Jupit[er Olympius, and] 
offered sacrifices for his preservation, MCCL- 
XV years: Cr[a]n[a]us reigning at Athens 1529 

5. S[ince Amphi]ctyon [the son] of Deucalion 
reigned in Thermopylae, and assembled the 
people inhabiting that district, and [nam]ed 
them Amphictyones, and [the place of coun- 
cil] P[ylaea,] \v[here] the Amphictyones still 



sacrifice, MCCLVIII years : Amphictyon 
reigning at Athens - - 1522 

6. Since Hellen [the son] of Deuc[alion] reigned 
in Phthi]otis, and they were [najmed Helle- 
nes, who before were called Graikoi (Greeks), 
and [they instituted] the Panathe[n9ean] 
games, MCCLVII years : Amphictyon reign- 
ing at Athens - - 1521 

7. Since Cadmus [the son] of Agenor came to 
Thebes, [according to the oracle and] built 
the Cadmea, MCCLV years: Amphictyon 
reigning at Athens - - 1519 

8. Since [Eurotas and Lacedaemon] reigned in 
[Laco]nia, MCCLII years: Amphictyon 
reiffning; at Athens - 1516 

9. Since a shi[p with fi]f[ty oar]s sailed from 
Egypt to Greece, and was called Penteconto- 

rus; and the daughters of Danaus 

[Amym]one, and Ba and 

Helice and Archedice, elected by the rest, 
[bu]il[t a temple,] and sacrificed upon the 
shore at Para[li]as, in Lindus [a city] of 
Rhodes, MCCXLVII years: Erichthonius 
reig[mng at Athens] - 1511 

10. [Since Erich]thonius, when the Panathenaea 
were first celebrated, yoked [horses to] a cha- 
riot, and exhibited the contest, and [changed 
the name] of Athenaea; and [the image] of 
the mother of the [g]ods appeared in [the 
mountains] of Cybele ; and Hyagnis the 
Phrygian first invented flutes at C[elae]ne [a 
city] of Phrygia, and first played on the flute 
[the harmony] called Phrygian, and other 



nomes (tunes) of the mother [of the gods] of 
Dionysus, of Pan, and that of [the divinities 
of the country, and the heroes,] MCCXLII 
years: Erichthonius who yoked [horses to] 
the chariot, reigning at Athens - 1506 

11. Since Minos [\\\g~\ fir[st re]ig[ncd] and built 
[^Cy^donia; and iron was found in Ida, by 
the Ida^i Dactuli Cclmis [^and Damnaneus, 
MCLXVIII years]: Pandion [^reig]ning at 
Athens - - [1432] 

12. Since Ceres coming to Athens pla[nt]ed corn, 
and first [sent it to other countries] by Trip- 
tolemus [the son] of Celeus and Neaera, 
MCXLV years : Erichtheus reigning at 
Athens - - 1409 

13. Since TripLo[lemus] sowed [corn] in Raria, 
called Eleusis, M[C]XL[II] years: [Erich- 
thus] reigning at Athens - 1399 

14. [Since Orpheus] pub[li]shed his poem [on] 
the rape of the Virgin [Proserpine,] and the 
search of Ceres ; his [descent to the shades,] 
and [the fables] concerning those who re- 
ceived the corn, MCXXXV years : Erichtheus 
reigning at Athens - 1399 

15. [Since Eumoplus the son of Musae]us cele- 
brated the mysteries in Eleusis, and publish- 
[ed] the po[em]s of h[is father M]us2eus, 
MC . . years: [Erichthe]us [the son] of 
Pandion [reigning at Athens] - 13 . . 

16. Since a lustration was first performed [by 

slaying [ML]XII [years]: 

Pandion the [son] of Cecrops [the second] 
reigning at Athens - 1326 

17. Since the Gymnastic [Games] were instituted 


B. C. 

i[n] Eleusis, [M] . . . X . . . years : P[andion 

the son of Cecrops reigning at Athens]] . . • . 

18. Since [human sacrific^les [and] the Lycaea 

were celebrated in Arcadia, and of 

Lycaon were given [among] the Gr[ee3ks, 
M . . . years : Pandion [the son] of Cecrops 
reigning at Athens - .... 

19- Since Hercules, having been pur[ified in Eleu- 
si]s, [was initiated the fir]st of [stran]gers, 
M . . . [years] : yEgeus reigning at Athens • . ■ . 

20. Since a [scarcity] of corn happened at Athens, 
and [Apol]lo being consulted by [the] Athe- 
n[ians] ob[liged them] to under[g]o [the pe- 
nalti]es wh[ich] Minos (the second) should 
require, MXXXI years : ^g[eus] reigning 

at Athens - - 1295 

21. Since Thes[eus] incorporated the twelve ci- 
ties of Attica into one (community) ; and 
[having first establish]ed a civil constitution 
and a popular government at Athens, he in- 
stituted the Isthmian Games, after he had 

slain Sinis, DCCCCXCV years - 1259 

22. From the first (celebration of the festival 
called) Amnion, [DCCCCXC]II years: The- 
seus reigning at Athens - 1256 

23. Since Adra[stus r]eign[e]d over the Argi[ves], 
and [the seven commanders in]st[itut]ed the 
Games [i]n [Nemea,] DCCCCLXXXVII 
years: Theseus reigning at Athens - 1251 

24. Since the [Gree]ks militated against Troy, 
DCCCCLIV years: [Men]estheus reigning 
at Athe[ns], in the thirteenth year (of his 
reign) - - 1218 

g5. Siqce Troy was taken, DCCCCXLV yefirs: 


B. C. 
QMenesth]eus reigning at Athens, in the 
(twenty) second year (of his reign), on the 
twenty-fourth day of the month ThQargeHo]n 1209 

26. Since Orestes []in Scythi]|a was cured of his 
madness] and [ja. cause] between hiQm] and 
QErig]one, the daughter of [^]gisthus, [^con- 
cerning] (the murder of) ^gisthus, was tried 
in Areopagus, which Orestes gained, Qthe 
vot]es [being equal], [D]CCCCXXX[X]II 
years : Demophon reigning at Athens 1206 

27. Since Teucer built QSalamis in] Cyprus, 
DCCCCXXXVIII years : Demophon reign- 
ing at Athens - 1202 

23. Since Ne[l]eus bui[lt Miletus in Caria, having 
collected the lonians,] who [bui]lt Ephesus, 
Erythrae, Clazomene, P[riene and Lebedus, 
Teos,] Colophon, [M]yus, [Phocea,] Samos, 
[Chios ;] and the |~Pan]ioni[a] were institut- 
ed, [DCCC]XIII years: Menestheus reign- 
ing at Athens, in the thirteenth year [of his 
reign] - - 1077 

29. Since [Hes]iod the poet [flourish]ed, DCLX- 
X[X] years : [reigning at Athens] 

30. Since Homer the poet flourished, DCXLIII 
years: Diognetus I'eigning at Athen[s] 907 

31. Since Ph[ei]don the Argive was pros [cribed], 
and made [measures and weights,] and coin- 
ed silver money in ^gina^ being the eleventh 
from Hercules, DCXXX I years: [Megacl]es 
reigning at Athens - 895 


II. Period. 


32. Since Archias [the son] of Evagetus, being 
the tenth from Temenus, conducted a colony 
from Corinth [to] Syracu[se, CCCCXCIV 
years :] ^Eschylus [reign]ing at Athens, in the 
twenty-first year [of his reign] - 758 

33. Since [C]r[e]on was annual Ar[ch]on, CCC- 
CXX years - 684 

34. Since [Tyrtaeus with the Lacedem]o[nians 
fought against the Messenians] CCCCXVIII 
years : Lysi[as] being Archon at Athens 682 

35. Since Terpander [the son] of Derdeneus the 
Lesbian, [dire]cted the flute-pl[ayers] to [re- 
f]orm the tunes of the [An]ci[ents,] and 
changed the old musie^ CCCLXXXI years : 
Dropilus being Archon at Athens 645 

36. Since A[lyatte]s reigned in [Lydi]a, [CCC- 
X]LI years : Aristocles being Archon at 
Athens - - 605 

37. Since Sappho sailed from Mitylene to Sicily, 

flying [CCCXXVIII years] : Critias 

the first [being Arch]on at Athens ; the [Geo]- 

mori possessing the government in Syracuse 592 

38. [Since the Amphictyones conquered, having 
in]vaded Cyrrha, and the Gymnastic games 
were celebrated, the prize being allotted out 
of the spoils, CC[C]XXVII years: Simo[n] 
being Archon at Athens - 591 

39. Since [the Gymnastic] games were again cele- 
brated, [in which the prize was a cro]wn. 




CCCX[X]II years : Damasias the second, 
being Archon at Athens - 586 

40. Since Come[dies were carried in carjts [by] 
the Icarians, Susarion being the inventor, and 
the first prize proposed was a bask[et] of figs, 

and a small vessel of wine, CC 

[yeai-s: ] being Archon at Athens 57 . 

41. Since Pisistratus became tyrant at Athens, 
CCXCVII years: C[omi]as being Archon at 
Athens - - 561 

42. Since Croesus s[ent ambassadors out] of Asia 
[to] Delph]i, CCX]CII [years: Euthy]de, 

mus being Archon at Athens - 556 

43. Since Cyrus, king of Persia, took Sardis, and 
[apprehended] Crcesus, who was de[ceived by 
the [Pyth]ia, [284 years] : Er[xiclides being 
Archon at Athens] - [548] 
At this time [lived] Hipponax, the Iambic 


44. Since Thespis the poet [flourished, the first 
who] taught (or exhibited) [^tragedy,] for 
which a Cg]oat was [^ap]pointed Qas the prize,] 
CCLCXXIII] years : [Alc]geus the first be- 

ing Archon at Athfens] - C^37] 

45. Since Darius reigned over the Persians, (Smer- 
dis) Magus being dead, [[CC]L|^VI] years : 
being Archon at Athe[ns] [^520] 

46. Since Harmodius and [Aristoge]iton sle[w 
Hippa]rchus [the son] of Pisistratus, [the ty- 
ra]nt of A[thens], and the Athenians co[nspir]- 
ed to ex[pel] the Pisistratidae [from their re- 
treat within the Pelasgi]c wall, CCXLVIII 
years : [Clisthenes] being Archon at Athens 512 


B. C. 

47. Since choruses of men first contended;, [and] 
Hypo[di3cus the Chalcidi[an], having taught 
one [of them] gained the vict[ory], CCXL- 
[IV] years : [I]sagoras being Archon at 
Athens - - 50S 

48. Since the temp[le of Minerva] Hippia [was 
built] at Athens, CCXXXI years : Pytho- 
critus being Archon at Athens 495 

49. Since the battle at Marathon was fought by 
the Athenians against the Persians, [and] the . 
Athenians defeated [Artaphernes, th]e ne- 
p[hew] of Darius, who commanded (of the 
Persian forces,) CCXXVII years: [Phsenip- 
pus] the second being Archon at Athens. In 
which battle j^schylus the poet fought, being 
[then] XXXV [y]ear[s of age] 491 

50. Since Simonides^, the grand-father of Simoni- 
des the poet, being also himself a poet, (dies) 
at Athens ; and Darius dies, and Xerxes [his] 
son reigns, CCX[XV]I years : Aristides 
being Archon at Athens - 490 

51. Since ^schylus the poet first gained the vic- 
tory in tragedy, and Euripides the poet was 
born, and Stesichorus the poet [went into] 
Greece, CCXXII years: Philocrates being 
Archon at Athens - 486 

52. Since Xerxes joined together a bridge of 
boats on the Hellespont, and dug through 
(mount) Athos, and the battle was fought at 
Thermopylae, and the sea-fight by the Greeks 
at Salamis, against the Persians, in which the 
Greeks were victorious, CCXVII years : Cal- 
liades being Archon at Athens 481 


B. C. 

53. Since the battle at [PJlataea was fought by 
the Athenians against Mardonius, the general 
of Xerxes, in which the Athenians conquered, 
and Mardonius fell in the battle ; and fire 
flowed [in Sicjily round ^tna, C[C]XVI 
years : Xantippus being Archon at Athens 480 

54. Since [Ge]Ion [the son] of Dinomenes became 
tyrant [of Syracuse,] CCXV years: Timos- 
then[es] being Archon at Athens 479 

55. Since Simonides [the son] of Leoprepes the 
Cean, who invented the art of memory, teach- 
ing [a chorus] at Athens, gained the victory ; 
and the statues of Harmodius and Aristogei- 
ton were erected, CC[XIV] years : [ii.]diman- 

tus being Archon at Athens 47[8] 

56. Since Hiero became tyrant of Syracuse, CCV- 
I[I]I years : Ch[ar]es being archon at Athens. 
Epicharmus the poet lived also at this time 472 

57. Since Sophocles [the son] of Sophillus^, who 
was of Colonus, (about ten stadia from Athens, 
Thucyd. 8, 67) gained the victory in tragedy, 
being XXVIII years of age, CCVI years: 
Apsephion being Archon at Athens 470 

58. Since the stone fell in ^gos-potamus ; and Si- 
monides the poet died, having lived XC years, 
CCV years : Theagenidas being Archon at 
Athens - - 469 

59. Since Alexander died, and his son Pe[r]diccas 
reigns over the Macedonians, CXCV[III] 
years : Euthippus being Archon at Athens 462 

60. Since ^Eschylus the poet, having lived LXIX 
years, died at [Gel]a in [Si]cily, CXCIII 


B. C. 

years: Cal][i]as the first being Archon at 
Athens - - 457 

61. Since Euripides, being XLIII years of age, 
firstgainedthe victory in tragedy, CLX[XIX] 
years: Diphilus being Archon at Athens. 
With Euripides, Socrates, and [Anajxagoras 

were contemporaries - [448] 

62. Since Archelaus reigned over the Macedoni- 
ans, Perdiccas being dead, C[LVI] years: 
Astyphilus [being Archjon at Athens [420] 

63. Since Dionysius became tyrant of Syracuse, 
CXLIV years: Euctemon being Archon at 
Athens - - 408 

64. Since Euripides, having liv[ed LXXVII 
years, di]ed, CLX[II1] years: Antigenes 
beins: Archon at Athens - 407 

65. Since So[ph]ocles the poet, having lived [XC] I 
years, died, and Cyrus we[nt up into Persia, 
against his brother,] CLXII years: Calhas 

the first being [Ar]chon at Athens 406 

66. Since Telestes the SeH[nuntian ga]ined the 
prize at Athens, CXXX[VIII] years : Micon 
being Archon at Athens - 402 

67. Since [those returned] who went up [wit]h 
Cyrus [into Persia,] and Socrates the philoso- 
ph[e]r, [having lived] LXX years, died 
CXXXV[I] years: Laches being Archon at 
Athens - - 400 

69. Since A[stydaraas first taught] at Athens, 
CXXXV years: Aristocrates being Archon 
at Athens - - 399 

69. Since X[anthus, a poet of Sard]is, gained the 
victory in dithyrambics, C . . . years : . . . . 
being Archon at Athens ~ ... 



70. [Sinjce Philoxenus, a writer of dithyrambics, 
having lived LV years, dies, CXVI years: 
Pytheas being Archon at Athens 380 

71 . Since Anaxandrides, the comic [poet, gained 
the victory at Athens, CXIII years :] Calleas 
[being Archon] at Athens - 377 

72. Since Astydamas gained the victory at Athens, 
CIX years: Asteius being Archon at Athens. 
Then also [the great light] (or comet) blazed 
[in the sky.] 

73. [Since the battle at Leuctra] was fought be- 
tween the Thebans and Lacedaemonians, in 
which the Thebans conquered, CVII years: 
Phrasiclides being Archon at Athens. [At 
this time, Alexander, the son of Amyntas] 
reigns [over the Macedonians] - 371 

74. Since Stesichorus the Himerian, the second 
of [that name,] gained the victory at Athens ; 
and Megalopol[is in Arcadia] was built, [CVI 

years : Dyscinetus being Archon at Athens] [370] 

75. Since Dionysius, the Sicilian, died, and his 
son Dionysius became tyrant, and Ale[xa]n- 
[der being dead, Ptolemy rei]gns [over the 
Macedonians,] CIV years : Nausigenes being 
Archon at Athens - 368 

76. Since the Phoceans [plundered the temple] of 
Delphi, XCIV [years :] Cephisodorus [being 
Archon at Athe]ns - 358 

77. Since Timotheus, having lived XC years, 
died; [and Philip, the son of Amyntas,] 
reigns [over the Ma]cedonians ; and Artax- 
erxes died ; and Ochus his son r[eigns over 
the Persians ; and] gained the vie- 


B. C 

tory; XCIII years: Agathocle[s] being Ar- 

chon at Athens - - 357 

78. [Since Alexander, the son of Philip, was bo]rn, 
XCI years: Callist[ratusJ being Archon at 

Athens [Aristotle the philojso- 

pher lived also at that [time] - 355 

79- Since Ca[lippus, having slain Dion, became 
tyrant of Syracuse, XC year]s: [Diotimus 
being Archon at Athens] - 354- 



I. Period. 

B. C- 

1. Cecrops, first king of Athens, began to reign 1558 

2. Deucalion reigns in Lycoria, near Parnassus, 

in the ninth year of Cecrops - 1549 

3. Trial of Mars at the Areopagus, for killing 
Halirrhothius, the son of Neptune, in the se- 
cond year of Cranaus - - 1507 

4. Deucalion's flood, flight to Athens, and sacri- 
fice, in the fourth year of Cranaus - 1504 

5. The Amphictyons collected by Amphictyon, 
son of Deucalion, and their assembly at Ther- 
mopylae, in the third year of Amphictyon, king 

of Athens - - - 1497 


B. C. 

6. The Greeks, called Hellenes, from Hellen, son 
of Deucalion, and king of Phthiotis, in the 
fourth year of Amphictyon - 1496 

7. The Cadmia, or citadel at Thebes, built by 
Cadmus, the son of Agenor, who came from 
Phoenicia, in the sixth year of Amphictyon 1494 

8. [Eurotas and Lacedajmon] reign in Laconia, 

in the ninth year of Amphictyon - 1491 

9. Flight of Danaus and his fifty daughters, from 
Egypt to Lyndus, in Rhodes, in the fourth 

year of Erichthonius - - 1496 

10. Erichthonius institutes the chariot-race at the 
first celebration of the Panathenean games, in 

the ninth year of his reign - 1481 

11. Minos the first reigns in Crete; iron found 
there by the Dactyli, in the [thirty-third] year 
ofPandion - - [1407] 

12. Ceres teaches the sowing of corn at Athens, and 

13. Triptolemus at Eleusis, in the sixteenth year 
ofErichtheus - - 1384 

14. The poem of Orpheus, on the rape of Proser- 
pine, published in the twenty-sixth year of 
Erichtheus - - 1374 

15. The Eleusinian mysteries celebrated by Eu- 
molpus - - .... 

16. The Lustration first instituted, in the ninth 

year of Pandion II. - - 1301 

17. The Gymnastic games instituted at Eleusis .... 

18. The Lycean rites instituted in Arcadia, in the 

• year of Pandion II. - .... 

19- Since Hercules [was initiated in the Eleusinian 

mysteries] in the [first] year of ^Egeus - [1284] 
20. A tribute of youths and virgins imposed on the 
VOL. II. 2 c 


n. c. 
Athenians, according to the Oracle, by Minos 
II. king of Crete, in the fifteenth year of 
^geus - - 1270 

21. Theseus collected the inhabitants of Attica to 
Athens, and instituted a popular government 

in the second year of his own reign - 1234 

22. First celebration of the festival called Ammon, 

in the fifth of Theseus - 1231 

23. Since the [Nemean] games were instituted at 
Athens, in the tenth year of Theseus 1226 

24. The expedition of the Greeks against Troy, in 

the thirteenth year of Menestheus 1193 

25. Troy taken by the Greeks on the twenty-fourth 
day of Thargelion, in the twenty-second year 
of Menestheus, and twenty-fourth day of the 
month Thargelion - 1184 

26. Since the trial of Orestes for killing ^gisthus, 
at the Areopagus, in the second year of De- 
mophon - - 1181 

27- Teucer founds Salamis in Cyprus, in the sixth 

year of Demophon - - II 77 

28. Athenian colonies planted in Ionia by Neleus, 
&c. namely, Ephesus, Erythras, Clazomenae, 
&c. in the eighth year of Acastus, according 
to Eusebius, and in the 140th year after the 
destruction of Troy, according to Eratosthenes 1043 

29. Hesiod, the poet, flourished in the [fourth] 

year of Megacles, the perpetual Archon [919] 

30. Homer, the poet, flourished in the ninth year 

of Diognetus, the perpetual Archon 884 

31. Phidon, king of the Argives, coined silver 
money at ^gina, in the twenty-third year of 
Diognetus - - 870 



II. Period. 

B, C. 

32. Grascian colonies planted in Sicily by Archias, 
the Corinthian, at Syracuse, &c. in the twenty- 
first year of ^schylus, the perpetual Archon 758 

33. Creon, the first of the annual Archons 684- 

N. B. — These two dates are perfectly correct, and so 
are the remaining dates, for the most part : it is 
therefore unnecessary to repeat them. Next fol- 
lows Table III. by comparing which with Table 
I. this Table II. was constructed. 




B. C. 

B. C. 


















































Cecrops II. 








Pandion II. 














Perpetual Archons. 

B. c. 

B. C. 

1. Medon 







2. Acastus 







3. Archippus 







4. Thersippus 







5. Phorbas 







6. Megacles 







7 Diognetus 

- 28 




Decennial Archons. 

B.C. B.C. 

1. Charops - 10 754 5, Leocrates - 10 714 

2. jEsimedes - 10 744 0. Apsandrus - 10 704 

3. Clidicus - 10 734 7- Elyxias, or Eryxias 10 C94 

4. Hipponeus - 10 724 

Annual Archons. 














Par M. 




Par M. 

















Damasius II. 

Par M. 




















D. Hal. 


















Par M. 



















Par. M. 
















-}• Euthydemus, 

Par. M. Laer. 








Par. M. 











• * Alcasus I. Par. M. 537 
Megacles - Pint. 600 Athenaeus - 536 

* * Hipparchus - 535 
Philombrotus - Plut. 595 * * 

Critias I. - Par. M. 594 Heraclides - 533 

Dropides Philosirat. 593 * * 



B. C. 

B. t. 


D. Hal. 


t Theagenidas, P. 

M. D. Hal. 








Par. M. 









f Lysagoras 

Par M. \ 



D. Hal. 



D. Hal. / 



Par. M. 








D. Hal. 


-f- Euhippus Par. M. Died. 








D. Hal. 









D. Hal. 


CaUias I. 

Par. M. 



Par. M. 






Schol. Soph. 










- B. Hal. 








D. Hal. 







t Aristides Par. M. Plut. 






D. Hal. 



D. Hal. 








. Par. M. 











D. Hal. 







D. Hal. 








t Calliades Herod. Par. M. 


-|- Diphilus Par. 

M. Diod. "I 





D. Hal. j 






























t Chares Pa 

r. M. D. Hal. 





D. Hal. 





Par. M. 






, 469 





[Book IL 

B. C. 

B. C. 


Dlod. 430 



Diod. 388 











Eu elides 











Diod. 425 
















t Pytheas 



Diod. 380 





Diod. 379 

+ Astyphylus par. 

M. Diod. 420 





Diod. 419 

t Calleas 



, Diod. 377 





Diod. 376 













•^ Asteius P 

ar.3I.Diod.\ ^^^ 




Aristot. J 




Diod. 372 



-|- Phrasiclides 



, Diod. 371 





Diod. 370 

f Euctemon Par. 

M. Diod. 408 




•f Antigenes 

' 407 

+ Nausigenes 


M- Diod. 368 

t Callias — — 




Diod. 367 


Diod. 405 










Par.M. 403 





Diod. 402 




Xenenetus Dlog. in Xenoph. 401 




-|- Laches Par. 

M. Diod. 400 




•\ Aristocrates 






. Diod. 398 






\ Cephisodorus 


, M. 

, Diod. 358 

■pv, „_™ ; „ 


+ Agathocles 


x^fiOrLniO - 




Dlod. 356 



f Callistratus 



Diod. 355 





Diod. 354 























B. C. 

B. c. 


Diod. 349 


B'wd. 315 























Demetrius Phal. 

























. 303 











































• » 







« • 




Pint. 280 











» « 




Cicero. 271 



• « 




Par. M. 264 



In order that the reader may be supphed with all the 
elements of computation usually employed by writcis on 
Grecian history, I farther transcribe from the work of Dr 
Hales a table of the Olympiads. 


These celebrated games were originally instituted in 
honour of Jupiter Olympius, by the Phrygian Pelops, who 
settled in the Grecian peninsula, called from him Pelopon- 
nesus, about B.C. 1350, according to the Parian Chroni- 
cle. They were repeated by the Theban Hercules, about 
B.C 1325, and, after a long interruption, restored in part 
by IphituS;, king of Elis, and celebrated at Olympia, on the 
banks of the river Alpheus, B.C. 884, according to the 
most probable account. However, the Vulgar Era of the 
Olympiads did not commence till 108 years after, July 19, 
B.C. 776. From which time they were regularly conti- 
nued every four years complete, or fifth year current, and 
lasted for five days, on each of which were celebrated the 
different games of leaping, runnings throwing the discus^ 
darting, and wrestling; the last day fell on the first full 
moon after the summer solstice, and the • next day the 
prizes were awarded.* 

The following Table gives the first year of each Olym- 
piad, and the victor in the Stadium, or foot-race : whence 
the second, third, and fourth years are easily found. 


1. Chorsebus, Eliens. 776 9. Xenocles, Messen. - 744 

2. Antimachus, Eliens. 772 10. Dotades, Messen. - 740 

3. Androcles, Messen. 768 ' 11. Leochares, Messen. 736 

4. Polychares, Messen. 764 12. Oxythemis, Coron. 732 

5. ^schines, Messen. 760 13. Diodes, Corinth. - 728 

6. Oebotas, Dumaeus - 756 14. Damon, Corinth. 724 

7. Daicles, Messen. - 752 15. Orsippus, Megar. 720 

8. Anticles, IMessen. - 748 16. Pythagoras, Lacon. 716 

K^nri$.—Schol. in Pindar, od. 3. 



OLYM. B. C. 

17. Polus, Epidaur. - 712 

18. TeUis, Sicyon. - 708 

19. Menon, Megar. - 704 

20. Atherades, Lacon. 700 

21. Pantacles, Athen. 696 

22. Pantacles - 692 

23. Icarius, Hyper. - 688 

24. Cleoptolemes, Lacon. 684 

25. Thalpius, Lacon. 680 

26. Calisthenes, Lacon. 676 

27. Eurybates, Lacedsem. 672 

28. Charmes, Lacon. 668 

29. Chionis, Lacedaem. 664 

30. Chionis - - 660 

31. Chionis - . 656 

32. Cratinus, Megar. 652 

33. Gyges, Lacon. - 648 

34. Stomas, Athen. - 644 

35. Sphaerus, Lacon. 640 

36. Phrynon, Athen. 636 

37. Euryclidas, Lacon. 632 

38. Olyntheus, Lacon. ' 628 

39. Ripsoleus, Laced. 624 

40. Olyntheus - 620 

41. Cleonidas, Theban. 616 

42. Lycotas, Lacon. - 612 

43. Cleon, Epidaur. - 608 

44. Gelo, Lacon. - 604 

45. Anticratis, Epidaur. 600 

46. Chrysomaxus, Lacon. 596 

47. Eurycles, Lacon. 592 

48. Glaucias, Croton. 588 

49. Lycinus, Croton. 584 

50. Epitelides, Lacon. 580 

51. Eratosthenes, Croton. 576 

52. Agis, Eliens. - 572 

53. Agnon, Pepareth. 568 

54. Hippostratus, Croton. 564 

OLYM. 11. c. 

55. Hippostratus - 560 

56. Phaedrus, Pharsal. 556 

57. Ladromus, Lacon. 552 

58. Diognetus, Croton. 548 

59. Archilochus, Corcyr. 544 

60. Appellffius, Eliens. 540 

61. Agatharcus, Corcyr. 536 

62. Eryxidas, Chalcid. 532 

63. Parmenides, Camar. 528 

64. Evander, Thessal. 524 

65. Apochas, Tarent. 520 

66. Ischyrus, Himer. 516 

67. Phanas, Pellin. - 512 

68. Ischomachus, Croton. 508 

69. Ischomachus - 504 

70. Nicoras, Opunt, - 500 

71. Tisicrates, Croton. 469 

72. Tisicrates - 492 

73. Astylus, Croton. - 488 

74. Astyllus, Syracus. 484 

75. Suchus, Syracus. - 480 

76. Scamander, Mitylen. 476 

77. Dates, Arg. - 472 

78. Parmenides, Post. 468 

79. Xenophon, Corinth. 464 

80. Torymbas, Thessal. 460 

81. Polymnastus, Cyren. 456 

82. Lycus, Thessal. 452 

83. Criso, Himer. - 448 

84. Criso • - 444 

85. Criso - - 440 

86. Theopompus, Thessal. 436 

87. Sopliron, Ambrac. 432 

88. Symmachus, Messen. 428 

89. Symmachus - 424 

90. Hyperbius, Syracus. 420 

91. Exaginetus, Agrigent. 416 

92. Exaginetus - 412 



[Book II. 


93. Eubatos, Cyren. 

94. Crocynas, Lariss. 

95. Minos, Athen. 

96. Eupolemus, Eliens. 

97. TerinsEus, Eliens. 

98. Sosippus, Athen. 

99. Dicon, Syracus. 

100. Dionysiodorus, Tarent. 

101. Damon, Thuri. 

102. Damon 

103. Pythostratus, Athen. 

104. Eubotas, Cyren. 

105. Porus, Cyren. 

106. Donis, Maliens. 

107. Smicrinas, Tarent. 

108. Polycles, Cyren. 

109. Aristolochus, Athen. 

110. Anticles, Athen. 

111. Cleomantis, Clitor. 

112. Gryllus, Chalcid. 

113. Cliton, Macedon. 

114. Micinas, Rhodius 

115. Damasias, Amphipol. 

116. Demosthenes, Lacon. 

117. Parmeno, Mitylen. 

118. Andromenes, Corinth. 

119. Andromenes 

120. Pythagoras, Magnes. 

121. Pythagoras 

122. Antigonus, Maced. 

123. Antigonus 

124. Philomelus, Pharsal. 

125. Ladas, iEgiacus 

126. IdsBUs, or Nicator 

127. Perigenes, Alexand. 

128. Seleucus, Maced. 

129. Philinus, Cous. 

130. Philinus 

B. C. 


B. C. 


131. Ammonius, Alex. 



132. Xenophanes, Mtol. 



133. Symilus, Neapol. 



134. Alcidas, Lacon. 



135. Eraton, ^tolus 



136, Pythocles, Sicyon. 



137. Menestheus 



138. Demetrius 



139. lolaidas, Argiv. 



140. Zopyrus, Syracus. 



141. Dorotheas, Rhod, 



142. Crates, Aiexand. 



143. Heraclitus, Sam. 



144. Heraclides, Salam. 



145. Pyrrhias, jEtol. 



146. Micion, Boeotius 



14.7. Agemachus 



148. Acesilaus 



149. Hippostratus 



150. Onesicritus, Salam. 



151. Thymelus, Aspend, 



152. Democritus, Megar. 



153, Aristander, Lesb. 



154. Leonidas, Rhod. 



155. Leonidas 



15G. Leonidas 



157. Leonidas 



158. Orthon, Syracus. 



159. Alcimus, Cyzic. 



160. Diodorus, Sicyon. 



161. Antipater, Epir. 



162. Damon, Delph. 



163. Timotheus, Trail. 



164, Boetus, Sicyon. 



165. Acusilaus, Cyren. 



166. Chrysogonus, Niccn. 



107. Chrysogonus, 



168. Nicomachus, Phihulclpli 

. 108 




1G9. Nicoinachus, Laced. 

170. Simmias, Seleuc. 

171. Parmeniscus, Corcyr. 

172. Eudamus, Cous 

173. Parmeniscus 

17<5. Epasnetus, Arg. 

176. Dio, Cyparis. 

177. Hecatomnus, fllilet. 

178. Diodes, Hypep. 

179. Andreas, Laced. 

180. Andromachus, Ambrac. 

181. Lamachus, Tauron. 

182. Anthestion, Argiv. 

183. Tlieodorus, Messen. 

184. Theodoras 

185. Ariston, Thur. 

186. Scamander, Alex. 

187. Sopator, Argiv. 

189. Asclepiades, Sidon, 

B. C. 


u. c. 



Rufidius, Patr. 




Diodotus, Tyan. 




Diophanes, ^ol. 




Arteniidorus, Thyat. 




Damaratus, Ephes. 











Pammencs, Magnes. 




Asiaticus, Ilalicar. 




Diophanes, Prus. 




iEschines, Miles. 




Polemon, Petraeus 




Damasias, Cydon. 




Hermogenes, Pergaui. 




Apollonius, Epidaur. 




Serapion, Alex. 




Eubulidas, Laod. 




Valerius, Mitylen. 




Athenodorus, ^gin. 






Having laid before the reader the most approved stand- 
ards of ancient chronology, by a reference to which he 
may determine the order and succession of the principal 
events which occupy the pages of the Greek historians, I 
now proceed to give such an abridgment of the narrative 
which is supplied by these writers, as may suffice for con- 
necting, at least in point of time, the annals of the early 
inhabitants of Greece, with those of the Hebrew people. 

It has been already mentioned, that the country just 
named, as well as Macedonia and Thrace, owed the know- 
ledge of art, and the first refinements of social life, to the 
various classes of settlers who had emigrated from Egypt 
and Syria. But it is not to be imagined that, until the 
time of the Phenician adventurers, no wandering hordes 


had crossed over from Asia, to seek for food and a 
dwelling-place among the rich valleys and green hills of 
Thessaly and Achaia. At a much earlier period , it is sup- 
posed, the descendants of Japhet took possession of the 
eastern parts of Europe ; where, like the kindred tribes 
whom they had left in the Syrian plains, they earned the 
means of life by pursuing game and feeding their flocks. 
Unacquainted with letters, they left no memorials by 
which their lineage, their migration, their numbers, or 
their fortunes, could be preserved from oblivion ; and it 
is only from the scattered lights of a most imperfect tra- 
dition the historical reader can discover that, before the 
days of Inachus, Deucalion, and Ogyges, a race of shep- 
herds and huntsmen had taken possession of the country, 
which they appear to have occupied in common. But at 
length the Pelasgi, a people whose origin cannot be com- 
pletely ascertained, succeeded the rude inhabitants on 
both sides of the Corinthian isthmus^, and laid the founda- 
tion of several kingdoms and cities, the names of which 
continue unto the present day. 

We are informed by Castor that Sicyon was esteemed 
the most ancient state in Greece, and that her kings were 
the first to exercise authority in Peloponnesus.* The old- 
est of them was -Slgialeus, from whom the country de- 
rived its original appellation; and who is said to have been 
contemporary with Nahor and Terah, the immediate an- 
cestors of Abraham. Syncellus relates that the Sicyonian 
kingdom began in the sixty-seventh year of the former of 
these patriarchs, or about 2170 years before the Christian 

* Syncell. Chron. p. 97. vru^anhfti)) Ss xai rou; "Zixava! (iairiXtviretyras a^x^l^^' 
vou; fiiv a.'Tfo Kiyia,Xioii mu <r^toTou (icuriXivravros- 

■Trpwrri; Iv awr» yivoiro, kui liiXoTrmvniTou «£ offov In xa.i vuv aaXitrai AiyienXos ol'tt 
ixuvou fiaffiXiuiivT/); r»io//,acr^>ivai, xai Aiyiaf^iiav aurev oixiffavra TgcaTSV £v tm 
■ri^iu ■roXiv—Pausan. Corinth- p. 49. 


era. Eusebius agrees in this date; but with him the 
seventy-sixth year of Nahor corresponds with the year 
B. C. 2089, which is above fourscore years too low.* 

According to Apollodorus and others, the kingdom of 
Sicyon lasted about a thousand years. The number of 
her rulers is usually estimated at thirty-two ; of whom 
twenty-six were kings, and the remainder archons; the 
names and reigns of the former are as follows : — 

iEgialeus reigned 



Apis J 















Sicyon, 1 1 

" Jackson's Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 303. 

"I" ^gydrus in Eusebius. 

^ Omitted in Pausanias. 

§ Both omitted in Pausanias. 

II From him the people were called Sicyonians. 































































In the records preserved by Castor, Africanus, Euse- 
bius, and Syncellus, confirmed and illustrated by the 
reasoning of Petavius, Jackson, and other chronographers, 
.we find for the existence of Sicyon at the epoch above 
stated, evidence of a much more satisfactory nature than 
could have been anticipated. It must not be concealed, 
however, that the testimony of ancient authors on this sub- 
ject appeared to Sir John Marsham so completely desti- 
tute of foundation and consistency, as to induce him to 
reject altogether the long list of Sicyonian kings furnish- 
ed by Castor and Pavisanias. Observing in Pliny that 
Anticlides mentions- Phoroneus as the most ancient king 
in Greece ; and that Acusilaus, as quoted by Clement of 
Alexandria, describes him even as the first of men ; he 
maintains, with some appearance of reason, that there 
could not have been a sovereign on the throne of Sicyon 
at an earlier period. Syncellus, too, remarks that there 
is nothing to be found in Grecian history of an older 
date than the time of Inachus and of his son Phoroneus, 
who first reigned at Argos. Apollodorus, again, speaks 
of iEgialeus as the brother of Phoroneus; while iEschy- 
lus asserts that Apis, who stands the fourth in order of 

laniscus by Pausanias. 


Sicyonian monarchs, was not a king at all, but a stranger 
from ^tolia, who proved a benefactor to his new country, 
by destroying the wild beasts with which it was infested. 
But his main argument for impugning the accuracy of 
Pausanias and Syncellus, rests upon the fact that, during 
the siege of Troy, there was in reality no king in Sicyon; 
and yet, according to the catalogue of princes given by 
certain writers whose authority Sir John is pleased to quote, 
Polyphides, the twenty-fourth in the list, is represented as 
governing the Sicyonians at the very time the Grecian 
host was employed against Priam, and when the people 
just named were classed among the tributary subjects of 
Agamemnon. Homer certainly places Sicyon in the roll of 
those small states which acknowledged the sovereignty of 
the Grecian commander.* 

K«< 'Ztfcvav, od d^' Ao^xs-TO? tt^ut i/^^etinXiviv. — Iliad, ii. 572. 

But the main objection here urged by the learned author of 
the Canon Chronicus is founded on a mistake into which 
he appears to have been led by Eusebius ; who, as I have 
already observed, dates the commencement of the Sicyo- 
nian kingdom about eighty years too low, and, of course, 
carries down the termination of it as far beyond the 
true period at which it came to a close. 

In the above table the accession of j^gialeus, the first 
sovereign of that ancient state, is placed in the year B. C 
2171 ; and we find that, according to the computation of 

* Haec cum ita sese habeant, Sicyoniorum regum laterculum rejiciendum 
esse existimamus. Non enim Phoroneus esset regum vetustissimus, si ante 
ilium per 200 amplius annos Sicyone regnatum fuisset. Polyphides rex 24 
nemini vetustiorum Grjecorum, ne Pausania; quidem in suo horum regum 
catalogo, agnoscitur. Fingunt Trojam illius tempore captam esse. Apud 
Homerum verum nullus est e Sicyone dux contra Trojam ; quippe urbs ilia 
tunc temporis sub ditione fuit Agamemnonis, qui regnabat fliyctcnis.— 
Mamhami Canon Cfiroiiici/s, p. Ifi. 


Castor, the sum of the twenty-six reigns from ^Egialeus 
to Zeuxippus, inclusive, amounted to 962 years. After 
the kings now mentioned the government was administer- 
ed thirty-three years by the priests of Apollo Carneus ; 
so that the total duration of the Sicyonian power ex- 
tended to 995 years, when it merged in the rising do- 
minion of the Argive states, under the command of the 
family of Atreus. The computation of Eusebius con- 
firms the views now given in all respects but one. He 
agrees in the amount of the reigns, and consequently in 
the extent of the period assigned to the regal authority 
at Sicyon; wherefore, had he not systematically contracted 
the interval between the Hebrew exode and the foundation 
of Solomon^s temple, he must have placed the conquest of 
that state by Agamemnon before the Trojan war, and 
thereby have agreed with Pausanias and Syncellus. 

To confirm the foregoing epoch of the Sicyonian king- 
dom, Pausanias relates, that after the death of Zeuxippus, 
the last sovereign in the catalogue, Hippolytus, son of 
Rhopalus, son of Phaestus, who succeeded Zeuxippus, 
was invaded by Agamemnon, king of Mycenas. Hippo- 
lytus not being able to oppose his army, submitted and 
became tributary to him. This invasion, it is obvious, 
must have taken place before the siege of Troy, and pro- 
bably about the year B. C. 1200.* 

After Hippolytus, he adds, and the priests of Apollo Car- 
neus his son Lacestades succeeded to the government, and 
after him his son Phalces ; in whose reign the son of Teme- 
nus, an Heraclide, invaded the country, and with an army 
entered Sicyon by night and took it, and made it a part of 
the kingdom of Argos; and thenceforth the Sicyonians 

* Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii, p. 304. Pausan. Corinthiac. p. 50. 



were called Dorians. This was in the year B. C 1100, 
or a year or two earlier ; after which the kingdom of Si- 
cyon was entirely obliterated from the rank of indepen- 
dent states.* 

These considerations will satisfy every candid reader, 
that the objections of Sir John Marsham are not well- 
founded, and that his determination to reject the list of 
Sicyonian kings had no better support than an error on 
the part of Eusebius, who, in one of his works, was in- 
duced to contract within too narrow limits the space 
between Moses and the last of the Hebrew judges. This 
observation is greatly confirmed by the reasoning of Peta- 
vius. This learned chronographer was convinced that 
Eusebius had placed the commencement of the Sicyonian 
kingdom many years too low ; and hence that the termina- 
tion of it was rendered inconsistent with history, which repre- 
sents Agamemnon as reigning at the same time with Hip- 
polytus, the successor of Zeuxippus, whom he afterwards 
conquered and reduced to a state of vassalage. But, ac- 
cording to the author of the Chronicon, Zeuxippus did 
not die until fifty-seven years after the decease of Aga- 
memnon ; although this king of Argos is known to have 
attacked the prince who attempted to occupy the throne 
on the death of the former, — a strange parachronism, 
and which could not fail to convict Eusebius of a gross 
and obvious blunder. Petavius, therefore, renewed the 
inquiry upon principles which he himself had elicited from 
such facts as are supplied by the more ancient writers ; 
and, without any reliance upon his predecessors in chro- 
nology, arrived at a result, which at once establishes 
his own accuracy and the soundness of the general conclu- 

• Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 305. 
VOL. II. 2 D 


sion recommended by Castor and Apollodorus. He 
found that the reign of ^gialeus must have begun in B. C. 
2164, and that the Sicyonian kingdom must have come to 
an end in B. C. 1167 ; differing not more than five or six 
years from Africanus and the two antiquaries whom I 
have just named.* 

Dr Shuckford, I observe, has taken some pains to ex- 
pose the illogical reasoning of Sir Jolin Marsham in regard 
to the kings of Sicyon. " He endeavours to set aside these 
ancient kings ; but his arguments are vei'y insufficient. 
His inference, that there could be no kings of Sicyon before 
Phoroneus reigned at Argos, because Acusilaus^ Plato, or 
Syncellus, have occasionally spoken at large of the anti- 
quity of Phoroneus, calling him the first man, or the fa- 
ther of mortal men, can require no refutation. For these 
writers did not mean to assert that there were no men be- 
fore Phoroneus, but only that he was of great antiquity.'" 
" I was willing to mention the objections of this learned 
writer, because he himself seems to lay some stress upon 
them. And it is surprisingly strange to see what mere 
shadows of argumentation even great and learned men 
will embrace, if they seem to favour their particular no- 

In connecting the reigns of the Sicyonian kings with 
sacred history, it will appear, as has been already stated, 
that iEgialeus ascended the throne in the days of Nahor, 
the grandfather of Abraham ; which event, according to 
Syncellus, who here follows the authority of Africanus, 
took place in the year of the world 3239.| As the regal 

* Eusebii. Chron, lib. prior, p. 9, ; lib. poster, p. 96. Syncel. Chrono- 
graphia, p. 97, and p. 151, 152. Petavii Doct. Temp. lib. xiii. Pausan. 
Corintliiac. p. 49. 

+ Shuckford, vol. ii. p. 141. 

J H 'S^uKuviuv (iuffiXiia, h^^mro avo tt^utov ^cktiMus A.iyiciXsus, iut x s" (iairi- 


government continued nearly a thousand years, the suc- 
cessive sovereigns were contemporary with Al^raham and bi.s 
immediate descendants, as also with Moses, Joshua, and tho 
JudgeS;, down to the era of Jephthah the Gileadite. But 
it was only during the latter part of this period that the 
tribes of Israel could come into contact with the Egyp- 
tian and Phenician colonists who had settled in Greece ; 
for, during their residence in the country of the Pharaohs, 
their tribulations in the wilderness, and the protracted 
wars which were occasioned by their occupation of the 
promised land, they had no opportunity of marking the 
progress of society among other nations. Devoted to the 
pursuits of pastoral life or to the labours of agriculture, 
and shunning, upon principle, all intercourse with the 
idolatrous people who, at that period, conducted tiie com- 
merce and encouraged the arts and sciences of the East, 
the sons of Jacob appear not, for several centuries after 
their settlement in Canaan, to have had any knowledge of 
Greece, its various kingdoms, its language, and its mani- 
fold superstitions. In perusing the brief annals of thie 
Hebrew republic, we cannot discover the slightest evi- 
dence that any communication ever took place between 
the chosen people and any Gentile nations ; those excepted 
whose territory was immediately contiguous to their bor- 
ders, and who from time to time were moved to attack 
them either with regular armies or with predatory bands. 
Sicyon was not the only kingdom established in Greece 
by the Pelasgian adventurers. At a period considerably 
later, a colony of the same people settled at Argos, where 
they founded a state not less celebrated than the other. 

XS4/J Ziu^i^r'ou, Wi irti ha^xeffccffci ir | ^'. faff' ovs a^X'*''''^ '*€"5 ^' '''''' ^ f'' 'f^'" 
ra, ^avTCi ms "Sixaviav a^x^s I'rrt a'- us K-JtoXXwugoi xai iTi^oi, iv ei; KCti EvfflGstg 
i'y^a\]/av,—SyncelH Chronographia, p. 97. 


and of which the power continued during many centuries to 
br^exerted with much effect upon the fortunes of the neigh- 
bouring nations. Inachus is sometimes reckoned the first 
sovereign of Argos. Apollodorus, however, describes 
this chief as the son of Oceanus and Tethys, to denote, 
perhaps, that he had migrated thither by sea, or, at least, 
that he was not a native of the country where he began 
to rule : and adds, that he was the father of Phoroneus ; 
whom, again, he asserts to have been the earliest king in 
that part of Peloponnesus where the descendants of 
Inachus fixed their habitation. Hyginus, in like manner, 
represents Inachus as the son of Oceanus and the parent 
of Phoroneus ; stating, at the same time, that he was not 
a king, and, in fact, that no regal power was exer- 
cised at Argos till the following generation. Dionysius 
of Halicarnassus is of the same opinion : whence we may 
infer that Inachus was, without doubt, the father of Pho- 
roneus, and that he first came with a Pelasgic colony into 
Argolis, where they were dispersed up and down the 
country for several years ; after which his son, the prince 
just named, brought them into one community, gave them 
laws, and assumed the office of chief governor.* 

The reign of Phoroneus is usually supposed to synchro- 
nize with the Ogygian flood, the date of which may be 
discovered as follows. Africanus, in the third book of his 
Chronography, has related that the most eminent authors, 
both Christian and heathen, and among the latter Philo- 
chorus and Hellanicus, with Castor, Thallus, Diodorus 
Siculus, and Alexander Polyhistor, agree in reckoning 
1020 years from Ogyges, or from the flood which took 

* ApoUod. lib. ii. c. i. Halicarnass. Antiq. Rom. lib. i. Lactant. de 
Vera Relig. lib. i. Jackson's Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 309. 
Syncel. Chronographia, p. 64. 


place in his reign, to the beginning of the Olympiads. 
Censorinus states that this interval was thought to be 
about a thousand years ; an estimate which, in round 
numbers, may be said to accord with that now given on 
the authority of Africanus. Taking the former compu- 
tation for the standard, the Ogygian deluge must be 
placed in the year B. C. 1796 ; while, according to the 
latter, it must have fallen out in the year 1776 before the 
advent of our Saviour. Dr Jackson thinks that even the 
lowest of these numbers is somewhat too high ; and for 
the reasons which I am now about to copy from him, he 
prefers the year B. C. 1752. 

" Africanus says that the flood having destroyed most 
of the inhabitants of Attica, there was no king for 189 
years to Cecrops. Now if we place Cecrops as high as 
the Parian Marbles and Africanus in Eusebius put him, 
that is, in the year B. C. 1482, and add to this sum 189 
years up to the Ogygian flood, it will then be placed in 
the year B. C. 1771, which is the highest term of it. 

" Cedrenus gives us an ancient testimony that the 
Ogygian flood happened in Attica 248 years before the 
Deucalion flood in Thessaly, which was in the reign of 
Cranaus, the second king of Athens, and a native of At- 
tica. Cranaus began to reign in the year before Christ 
1507, to which add 248 years, then the Ogygian flood 
fell in the year before Christ 1755, if the Deucalion flood 
was in the first of Cranaus ; and it was either then, or not 
later than the fourth of Cranaus, where the corrected Pa- 
rian Marbles place it. 

" It appears that it was unanimously agreed by the an- 
cient historians that the Ogygian flood happened in the 
reign of Phoroneus ; but in what year of his reign was 
not known. But from the foregoing evidence we may 
place it, either in the year before Christ 1771, which 


was the ninth year of Phoroneus ; or in the year before 
Christ 1761, which was the nineteenth year of his reign ; 
or in the year before Christ 1752, which was the twenty- 
eighth of Phoroneus : and I think the last to be the most 
probable year."* 

The judgment of the author now quoted coincides 
with that of the most learned chronologers both in ancient 
and modern times ; on which account we may proceed to 
construct upon it the following Table, the materials of 
which are collected from their several works. 

Kings ofArgosfrom B. C. 1779 to B. C. 1342. 

Phoroneus reigned 













After this period the Argive kingdom was divided ; 
Acrisius reigning at Mycenae, and Proetus at Argos. 
It has been already observed, that the kingdoms of 

Jackson's Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 311, 312. 





























Sicyon and Argos owed their foundation to a people of 
Pelasgic origin. But, as many centuries elapsed before the 
Greeks acquired the use of letters, all the notices concern- 
ing them, wliich had long floated on the current of popu- 
lar tradition, were become very indistinct at the time 
when the first historians attempted to rescue from oblivion 
the lineage and achievements of those enterprising fo- 
reigners, to whom their country was indebted for so much 
of its knowledge and its early prosperity. It was not in- 
deed until the Pelasgic tribes had extended their colonies 
to the shores of Italy, that curiosity was awakened re- 
specting their descent ; and as, after the lapse of so long 
an interval, their original migration into Greece was en- 
veloped in that obscurity which soon settles even upon the 
most important events in an unlettered age, they were 
only known as a race of adventurers who had relinquish- 
ed or been expelled from the provinces of Thessaly. 
Their ancient name, indeed, was not entirely forgotten ; 
but even the Greek writers themselves were so ignorant of 
its derivation, that they ascribed its rise to Pelasgus, a 
king of Arcadia, who lived long after the times of ^gia- 
leus and Phoroneus,* 

Some authors have imagined that, in the similar term 
Phaleg, they could find the origin of Pelasgi ; and others 
have conjectured, that, as the name belonged to a wander- 
ing people, its etymology might be discovered in weAagyoj, 
the Greek term for a stork ; that bird being remarkable 
for the tendency which it displays to a frequent change of 
residence. But it is more probable, as has been already 
suggested, that these ancient colonists were called Pelasgi, 
from their constant practice of transporting themselves by 

* Tlikaffyoi 01 QiffactXai, x,a.i TliKaffyiKov A^yos—xcti ylioi a-ra TliXmryou rou 
A^KoiScs yiva/;i(vn TruXu-r^.xitTvt.—^Uesychius in voc. 


water, and from visiting in their ships the coasts of diffe- 
rent countries, either for the purpose of trade or of con- 

That the Pelasgians were of Phenician extraction, is 
rendered extremely probable by a variety of circumstances 
connected with their early history. Herodotus, for ex- 
ample, relates, that the natives of Samothrace practised 
the Cabiric mysteries^ which, says he, they received from 
the Pelasgi, who, in ancient times, inhabited that coun- 
try. The same author remarks, that he did not certainly 
know the peculiarities of their language ; but imagined it 
was the same which was spoken by the people of Crestona, 
who lived near the Tyrrhenes ; that it was a barbarous 
dialect, and far removed from the pure Hellenic. Some 
antiquaries have imagined that the town here named was 
Crotona in Italy, and that the Tyrrhenes were the ancient 
inhabitants of Tuscany ; for it appears to have been among 
them that the Pelasgians established their first settlements 
on the coast of Magna Graecia. Hence, say they, we are 
enabled to remove a cause of great confusion and obscu- 
rity in the history of these tribes; arising from an assump- 
tion on the part of several writers, not only that the Tyrr- 
henes and Pelasgians were the same people, but that they 
were both natives of Greece, and had each removed from 
thence into the richer plains of the western peninsula. 

That the earliest superstition of Greece was derived 
from the Pelasgian tribes, is manifest from the striking 
fact, that the oldest gods of Thrace were the Phenician 
Cabiri; the principal divinities of those commercial nations 
on the Syrian coast who, in the remotest times, maintained 
an intercourse with Egypt. The most ancient Cabiric 
idol made known by the Pelasgians to the Greeks, was 
Uranus; and hence the Greeks, with their usual facility 
of accommodation, adopted the belief, or rather, perhaps. 


countenanced the mythological tradition, that he was the 
first king who had reigned in their country. A prince 
who bore this name, is indeed supposed to have ruled in 
Phenicia a few centuries after the Flood. The veneration of 
posterity raised him to the rank of a divinity; and his suc- 
cessors on the throne could not fail to see the advantage 
of allowing their lineage to be engrafted upon so high a 
stock. But to the Greeks nothino- accrued from this bor- 
rowed absurdity, except the suspicion that they wanted ori- 
ginality even in their fiction: it proved that their my thology 
was drawn from a foreign source ; and that, however much 
their vainglory might be gratified with the notion that their 
ancestors were the primeval and most ancient occupants of 
the soil, their families nevertheless owed their extraction to 
wandering Phenicians, to pirates and robbers. 

Homer, if we may rely on the interpretation of Strabo, 
esteemed the Pelasgi as barbarians ; that is, according to 
his acceptation of the latter term, they were of foreign 
birth, and spoke a tongue different from the smoother lan- 
guage of the descendants of Hellen. Herodotus, too, re- 
cognized a distinction between the Pelasgians and the other 
Greeks ; stating that the former were the same with the 
people of Attica, and that their diction was the same, 
which they laid not aside until they were finally incorpo- 
rated with the Hellenes who inhabited the adjoining dis- 
trict. To account for this similarity, he reminds his read- 
ers that the Pelasgians dwelt in Attica before Cecrops 
went thither, and that, though in compliment to the chief, 
they were afterwards called Cecropidae, their more ancient 
name was Cranai or mountaineers.* 

yoi, ovofixXofilvoi Kgavao/.— Lib. Ylii. 44. 

This observation by Herodotus explains the following verses extracted by 
Dr Jackson from Marcian Heracleotes. 


" But," says the author of Chronological Antiquities, 
no doubt long before the Greeks had the name of Hellenes, 
" the Attic or Jaonic Greek and Pelasgic languages were 
intermixed with each other, though they were not the 
same, as Herodotus thought." Apollodorus, speaking of 
Hellen, the son of Deucalion, says, that he called the 
Greeks after his own name Hellenicoi. Greeks (rg«**o<) 
was the old name of the people who inhabited the part of 
the country called Hellas, which contained Thessaly and 
Thesprotia ; and were either the same with the Pelasgi, 
or were very anciently mixed with them. We have men- 
tion of them in several parts of Greece where the Pelasgi 
inhabited, as Aristotle and Ephorus tell us. They might 
be called Greeks (rg«<xo<), as being the most ancient inha- 
bitants of the country where they settled ; and hence yg«<« 
and ye^xvg came to signify any thing that is very old. It 
seems to be derived from the Celtic word Grec, which 
signifies old.* 

It was, says Mr Mitford, " a received opinion 
among the most informed and judicious Grecian writers, 
that Greece was originally held by barbarians, — a term ap- 
propriated, in the flourishing ages of the nation, as a defi- 
nition for ail people who were not Greeks. Among the 
uncertain traditions of various hordes who, in early times, 
overran the country, the Pelasgian name is eminent. This 
name may be traced back into Asia : it is found in the 

Ta j64£v UiXaffyaus •r^airov, Iv; S» Ktai Xoyos 
K^avseovs xaXuffSai' fiiTO, §s ravra, Kix^ovtSas, 
Kix^t'Tos %uMa<mu(ra,)iro?.—Perieg. p. 23. 

They were called Kranaoi from the mountainous parts of the country where 
they lived. Hesychius explains x^avaov by ut/'jjXov, Tgax," • so that Acte, 
the old name of Attica, and Kgavajj are words of the same import. Homer 
calls the country of Ulysses x^avawv 'l6a.xw,'—Odyss. lib. i. 247. 
« Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. lOG. 


islands ; and the people who bore it appear to have spread 
far on the continent of Europe, since they were reckoned 
among the earliest inhabitants of Italy. It was very ge- 
nerally acknowledged, as the accurate and judiciousStrabo 
assures us, that the Pelasgians were anciently established 
all over Greece, and that they were the first people who 
became powerful there. Consonant to this, we find every 
mention of the Pelasgians by Herodotus and Thucydides; 
from the former of whom, we learn that Pelasgia was once 
a general name for the country. But a passage of the poet 
^schylus concerning this people, for its antiquity, its evi- 
dent honesty, its probability, and its consistency with all 
other remaining evidence of best authority, appears to 
deserve particular notice. " The Pelasgian princes,"" he 
says, " extended their dominion over all the northern 
parts of Greece, together with Macedonia and Epirus, as 
far as the river Strymon eastward, and the sea beyond the 
Dodonaean mountains westward. Peloponnesus was not 
peopled so early ; for Apis, apparently a Pelasgian chief, 
crossing the Corinthian gulf from -iEtolia, and destroying 
the wild beasts, first made that peninsula securely habit- 
able for men ; and hence it had from him the most 
ancient name Apia."* 

But although it is universally admitted that the Pelas- 
gians occupied, at a very early period, a large portion of 
Greece, there has not been the same degree of consent as 
to the origin of this celebrated people. From a certain 
agreement in the superstitions which are supposed to have 
prevailed on the Syrian coast, with those which the Pe- 
lasgians are understood to have established on this side of 
the Hellespont, I have yielded in some measure to the 

History of Greece, vol. p. 31, 32. 


conviction entertained by a number of learned writers, 
that the colonists now spoken of had originally made their 
way to Greece from the south-east rather than from the 
north. In conformity with this view, Mr Astle remarks, 
that " we learn from Sanchoniathon that the sons of the 
Dioscouri and Cabiri wrote the first annals of the Pheni- 
cian history, by the command of Taaut, and being cast 
upon the coast near mount Casius, about forty miles from 
Pelusium, they built a temple : this event happened in 
the second generation after the Deluge recorded by Moses. 
We learn from Herodotus, that the Pelasgi were the de- 
scendants of the Phenician Cabiri, and that the Samo- 
thracians received and practised the Cabiric mysteries from 
the Pelasgi, who, in ancient times, inhabited Samothrace."* 

Herodotus likewise informs us, that Egypt communi- 
cated to Greece the names of almost all the gods ; " and 
that they are of barbarian origin," says he, " I am con- 
vinced by my different researches. The names of Neptune 
and the Dioscouri I mentioned before ; with these, if we 
except Juno, Vesta, Themis, the Graces, and the Nereids, 
the names of all the other deities have always been fami- 
liar to Egypt. In this instance, I do but repeat the opi- 
nions of the Egyptians." He goes on to mention that the 
Greeks derived all their other superstitions from the Pelas- 
gians. " Of the truth of this, whoever has been initiated 
in the Cabirian mysteries which the Samothracians use, and 
which they learned of the Pelasgi, will be necessarily con- 
vinced ; for the Pelasgians, before they lived near the 
Athenians, formerly inhabited Samothracia, and taught the 
people of that country their mysteries.""!" 

There being no similar evidence for believing that the 

• Origin and Progress of Writing, p. 52. Cumberland's Sanchoniathon. 
t Herod, lib. ii. c. 50, 51. 

::!hap. iv.] and profane history. 429 

[^abirian mysteries originated among the Scythians, it is 
lot surprising that the arguments used by those who 
maintain the Gothic lineage of the Pelasgians have not 
nade the impression on the public mind which their au- 
hors expected. But several learned men, notwithstand- 
ng, continue to hold the opinion that those ancient in- 
labitants of Greece were Scythians; and also that the 
Pelasgians and Hellenes were one people, having the 
same extraction, the same language, and the same reli- 
gion. Pinkerton asserts, in his usual bold and dogmatic 
ityle, that the "Pelasgi, or Hellenes, or Greeks, were Scy- 
;hians of Thrace. This," says he, " plain sense might 
irgue at once, because the Greeks were everywhere sur- 
ounded by Scythas and the sea, and no other nation was 
lear them : but let us illustrate a little. From the Greek 
luthors above adduced, it is clear that all the Greeks were 
originally called Pelasgi ; but that the Hellenes, originally 
I small tribe in Thessaly, being the last of the Pelasgi who 
:ame into Achaia or lesser Greece, they, by a chance equal 
;o the name of America and many other great names, gave 
their appellation to the whole country. The Pelasgi," he 
repeats, " were Scythae : this may be shown from different 
irguments, though the Greek writers have shaded the sub- 
ject much by the foolish desire of making their nation 
iboriginal, or sprung from the ground on which they lived. 
It is a pity they saw not so far as the philosopher Antis- 
thenes, who used to tell the Athenians that such praise 
belonged to snails, not to men. But that the Pelasgi were 
Scythae, appears from this, that they certainly descended 
from the north-east into Greece ; and the Scythae spread 
over all these parts. For we find settlements of the Pe- 
lasgi on the Hellespont : and in Thessaly, a country to 
the north-east of Greece, a large country was specially 
called Pelasgia in the days of Homer, and far later. The 


language and manners of the whole of Hellas, from Thrace 
to the Ionian sea, were Thracian, Scy thic, Getic, Gothic. 
No ancient writer hints any diversity of speech, save as to re- 
finement, between Peloponnesus, Attica, Epirus, Thessaly, 
Macedon, Thrace. From all these proofs, it is as clear as 
so remote a subject can be, that the Pelasgi, the ancestors 
of the Greeks, afterwards called Hellenes from a small 
tribe of the Pelasgi who were the last that came in, were 
at first settled in Macedon and Thessaly : that they were 
Thracians: that the Thracians were Scythae, Getae, or 

In the above quotation I have given the substance of 
the argument employed by the ingenious but very irrita- 
ble author of the Dissertation on the Goths, in support of 
his notion that the Pelasgians were not only Scythians, 
but that they were not, in lineage, language, or religion, 
different from the Hellenes, or from any of the more an- 
cient inhabitants of Greece. Before we proceed to inquire 
whether the confidence with which this conclusion is press- 
ed upon the reader does not exceed in strength the 
reasoning upon w^hich it is recommended, I shall exhibit 
an abridged statement of the leading views of such modern 
writers as have adopted the principles of Mr Pinkerton. 

Considerable stress has been laid upon a passage in 
Herodotus, in which the historian has been understood to 
assert, that although the Athenians were Pelasgi, the Spar- 
tans were Hellenes, and that, while the latter were addicted 
to a wandering life, the former remained fixed in their 
habitations. The following attempt is made by a learned 
author to prove that the meaning of Herodotus was ex- 
actly the reverse of what his words literally convey. The 

* Dissertation on the Scythians or Goths, p. 74—80. 


passage in question occurs in the fifty-sixth chapter of the 
second book. 

" He, [Croesus], in consequence of investigation, found 
that the Spartans and Athenians had the pre-eminence ; 
those [the Spartans] in the Doric nation, these [the 
Athenians] in the Ionic. For these nations in ancient 
times were preferred, the one [the Spartans] the Pelasgic 
nation, the other the Hellenic. The one truly [the Hel- 
lenic] never wandered from its own soil ; but the other 
was much addicted to migration. For under king Deu- 
calion it inhabited the coast of Phthiotis ; under Dorus, 
the son of Hellen, the region which lies under Ossa and 
Olympus, denominated Estiaeotis; whence being ejected 
by the Cadmeans, it inhabited the region called Macednus 
in Pindus; thence it again migrated to Dryopis; and, 
coming from Dryopis into Peloponnesus, it received the 
name of Doric* 

" It is admitted, that from the order which Herodotus 
observes in the use of the article, conjoined with the dis- 
tinctive adverbs fih and ^e, the sense would seem to be, 
that the Pelasgi never wandered, but that the Hellenes 
did. Here, however, Herodotus has overlooked the natu- 
ral connexion ; and hence has his meaning been so much 
misapprehended. Having mentioned the Hellenic nation, 
when he proceeds to give one leading feature in their cha- 
racter, he does so without regarding the former order of 
liis language. For unless the assertion, that one of these 

y'ivio;, ri; ds, t5 'Ioivjxs. raura yap «v Ta Tr^oxix^ifiivaiovra to app^aTov. ri ftlv, 
TliXaffyixov, ro ^l, 'EXXjjwxav s^vas. xai ro ftiv, H^afir) xca \^i)^a^rifft. Toti, Ttifi.V' 
•irXav/iToii xa^ra- ifi fj,iv ya^ AiuxccXiuvof fiatriXtjos oixii yrjv mv ^fiuriv. it) Se 
A«Kg8 rs EXX^voj, tjjv wro rm 'Oo'tf'av ri xai Ovkvfi'Tov ;jjs'g»», xaXiof/,iv>iv Se 'l^iai^ 
uTit). Ix Ss r>is 'l^'iaturtoo; us iS,avifti uto KaSfiuaiv, o'l'xnv iv Iliv^/u Maxi^voy x«" 
Xiifiivov. hhuriv il aZris i; riiv ApuoT^a fiiriSn, xxi Ix rm A^uo'r'tits oilras is 
UiXoToniiffav ixfov, Aeu^ixov lK>.ri6r\.—H€rod, lib. i. c. 56. 


" was much addicted to migration," refers exclusively to 
the Pelasgi, the whole passage is self-contradictory. It 
is of this wandering people that he states the various mi- 
grations, till " coming into Peloponnesus, it received the 
name of Doric." Now, he must necessarily be under- 
stood as describing the Spartans ; for them only had he 
formerly designed as belonging to " the Doric nation." 
It is incontrovertible, therefore, however awkward the 
structure of the language, that the Pelasgi are meant ; for 
he had asserted that the Spartans were Pelasgi, as dis- 
tinguished from the Athenians, who were Hellenes. 

" It might seem at first view, from what he states with 
respect to the difference of language, that Herodotus, in 
the chapters immediately following, meant to assert that 
the Atticans were radically distinct from the Pelasgi. He 
says, indeed, that from all that could be conjectured con- 
cerning the language of the Pelasgi, from the remains of 
it among the Crestonians, it was barbarous ; while he as- 
serts, that according to his apprehension, " the Hellenic 
nation, from its very formation, had invariably used one 
language."* He admits, however, that the Attic nation, 
notwithstanding the diversity of speech, was Pelasgic : 
" If, therefore, the whole Pelasgic nation was such as 
those who remained in Crestona, the Attic nation, being 
Pelasgic, when it entered among the Hellenes, also 
learned their language." 

" But nothing can be more evident, than that this mo- 
dest and candid historian founded his conjecture, as to 
the permanent identity of the Greek language, on insuffi- 
cient grounds. The idea, that the Pelasgi, when conjoin- 
ed with the Atticans, totally abandoned their vernacular 

• Lib. i. c. 57, 58. 


language, and adopted that of a posterior colony, is 
opposed to universal experience. This must appear still 
more improbable, as he acknowledges, that ' the Hellenic 
nation, separated from the Pelasgi, was weak, and re- 
ceived its increase from the frequent accession of other 
barbarous nations.'* Can it be believed, that a feeble na- 
tion could be amalgamated with a variety of others, and 
yet retain its original speech ? There is no occasion for 
reasoning, indeed, as it is universally acknowledged, that 
the language of the Greeks must be viewed as formed 
from the contributions of a variety of tongues, which they 
themselves called barbarous. 

*' Notwithstanding this inconsistency, it is obvious, that 
Herodotus did not view the Hellenes as radically a dif- 
ferent people. For, while he calls the Athenians 'the 
Hellenic nation,' he in the same place says, that ' the 
Attic nation was Pelasgic' Although he also here assigns 
to the Athenians the ' pre-eminence in the Ionic nation,' 
he never meant to deny their Pelasgic origin. For in an- 
other place he says, ' the lones, when they inhabited that 
region in Peloponnesus, now called Achaia, before the 
coming of Danaus and Xuthus into Peloponnesus (as the 
Hellenes relate), were denominated Pelasgi AegialeeSy 
i.e. those on the sea-shore; 'but from Ion, the son of 
Xuthus, they received the name of lones.' "-j* 

As the value of the argument which is here employed 
depends upon the accuracy of the version which has been 
bestowed upon the passage under dispute, I may be al- 
lowed to remark, that Dr Jamieson, in following M. 

* Lib. i. c. 58. 

t See Hermes Sc-ythicus, &c. to which is prefixed a Dissertation on the 
Historical Proofs of the Scythian Origin of the Greeks, By John Jamiesou, 

VOL. II. 2 E 


Geinoz, has taken very great freedoms as well with the 
more common usage of the Greek language, as with the 
structure of the particular sentences which he has analyzed. 
Mr Beloe translates the ambiguous terms as follows : — 
" The Lacedemonians of Doric, and the Athenians of 
Ionian origin, seemed to claim his distinguished prefer- 
ence. These nations, always eminent, were formerly 
known by the appellation of Pelasgians and Hellenians. 
The former had never changed their place of residence ; 
the latter often."" 

That the passage may be rendered as Dr Jamieson has 
done it, was certainly the opinion of M. Geinoz, the authoi* 
of some learned dissertations in the volumes of the Academy 
of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres. But it is deserving 
of notice, that the ingenious Frenchman founds his reason- 
ing rather upon the general import of the narrative, than 
upon the idiom of the Greek language or the practice of 
good writers. 

In the fourteenth volume of the work now mentioned, he 
admits, that *' when Herodotus speaks of the Pelasgians 
and the Hellenes as the two nations which were anciently 
the most distinguished in Greece, he does not take upon 
him to attribute to them both the same degree of antiqui- 
ty : he himself allows that the Pelasgians were the more 
ancient, since he observes, in his second book, that all the 
country, which in his time was comprehended under the 
name of Hellas, had been formerly called Pelasgia."* 

Little confidence can be placed in an argument founded 

• Lorsqu' Herodote a parle des Pelasges et des Hellenes comme des deux 
nations qui etoient anciennement les plus distingu^es de la Grece, il n'a pas 
pretendu attribuer a I'une et a I'autre le meme degre d'antiquite ; il con- 
vient lui-meme que les Pelasges sont les plus anciens, puisqu'il dit dans le 
second livre, que tout le pays que Ton comprenoit de son terns sous le nom 
d'Hellas, avoit ete auparavant appelle Pelasgia. — Hisioirc de V Academic 
des Inscrijjiioiis, vol. xiv. p. 154. 


upon a commentary, the object of which is to prove that 
the original author either had not competent knowledge 
of the subject on which he wrote, or that he had not skill 
enough to express it intelligibly. Mr Pinkerton, without 
hesitation, ascribes the obscurity of the above passage in 
Herodotus to his dishonesty, or to the desire of flattering 
the vanity of his countrymen. After remarking that this an- 
cient writer tells us that the Athenians were Pelasgi, and the 
Spartans Hellenes ; that the former wandered from placet© 
place, and that the latter remained fixed in their habitations; 
he exclaims, " So far did a prejudice of making the Athe- 
nians etvTo^dovii overcome the truth ! Wesscling in vain en- 
deavours to save Herodotus, by saying he only means that 
the Pelasgi of Athens never wandered. In fact, Herodo- 
tus had a difficult game to play : had the Athenians not 
been Pelasgi, they could not be ancient ; had they wan- 
dered as Pelasgi, they could not be xutoxSovh. There was 
the dilemma !"* 

According to the alternative now presented, Herodotus 
was either a fool or a knave : he must either have fallen 
into a great mistake respecting the truth, or he must have 
intentionally misrepresented it. But upon a closer exami- 
nation of his statement, the reader, I have no doubt, will 
agree with Wesseling in thinking that the observation of 
the renowned historian applies exclusively to those Pelas- 
gians who had originally settled in Attica, and who did not 
afterwards quit their chosen habitations, and, like their 
brethren at large, migrate into other countries. It is per- 
fectly obvious, in the first place, that Herodotus speaks 
of the two nations, the Athenians and the Lacedemonians, 
as they were in the time of Crccsus, the king of Lydia .^ 

Dissertation on the Scytliians and Goths, p. 60. 


and, secondly, that his remarks on the characters of the 
Pelasgians and Hellenes did not, in this instance, ^PP^J 
to these tribes generally, but were meant to be restricted 
to the particular sections of them from which the Atti- 
cans and Spartans immediately derived their origin. The 
Pelasgians, who first took up their residence in Attica, 
continued to remain in that country, and were, in fact, the 
stock from which the Athenians sprang, or upon which 
they were engrafted ; but the branch of the Hellenes, 
whence the Lacedemonians drew their lineage, had been 
frequently removed, sometimes freely and at other times 
by violence. In the reign of Deucalion, says he, the 
Hellenes vpossessed the region of Phthiotis ; but under 
Dorus, the son of Hellen, they inhabited the country 
called Istiaeotis, which borders upon Ossa and Olympus. 
Thence they were driven by the Cadmaeans, and fixed 
themselves in Macednum, near mount Pindus ; migrating 
thence to Dryopis, and afterwards to the Peloponnesus, 
they were subsequently known by the name of Dorians.* 

It admits not, then, of any reasonable doubt, that the 
character of wanderers, asapplied in this case to the Hellenes, 
was not meant to be extended to all who bore that name ; 
and also, that the observation in regard to the stationary 
habits of the Pelasgians, was strictly limited to those 
particular families, which had placed themselves in Attica, 
whence they did not afterwards remove. The veracity 
and knowledge of Herodotus are, on this simple prin- 
ciple, vindicated from the foul imputation which has been 
from time to time cast upon them, by authors who, per- 
haps, were more desirous to find in his works a support 
for their systematic -views, than to discover the plain and 

Ilerodot. lib. i, c. 50. 


literal import of his narrative. Had the word Hellenes 
been placed before Pelasgian, the grammatical connexion 
of the passage would no doubt have been very different, 
and might, perhaps, have justified the gloss which has 
been so perseveringly put upon it. 

The learned Geinoz, indeed, maintains that such trans- 
position is by no means necessary ; for that the idiom of 
the Greek language will allow us to translate the expres- 
sion TO f4,iv with a reference to the nearest patronymic 
'EXXnuKov, and to apply the description contained in the 
clause TO li TFoXovTXxvtirov to the more distant, that is, to 
niXx(r'yix.oy* But the usage of good writers, it must be ob- 
vious, is not favourable to the notion of M. Geinoz ; nor are 
the examples which he adduces in support of his views alto- 
gether decisive of the question at issue. Besides, the gram- 
matical emendation which might be thereby accomplished;, 
would not, in my opinion, improve the sense ; for there 
can be no doubt that Herodotus meant to inform his 
readers both that the Hellenes had frequently changed 
their ground, and also that the particular clan of Pelas- 
gians who settled in Attica had so far differed from the 
usual practice of their countrymen, as to remain constantly 
in their first habitation. 

That the father of Grecian history believed the Pelas- 
gians and the Hellenes to have been two distinct and ori- 
ginally different classes of men, is rendered perfectly mani- 
fest by his observations on their several languages. It is 
not, as M. De la Nauze remarks, because Herodotus re- 

" Voici quelles etoient anciennement dans la Grece les nations les plus 
distinguees, scavoir, la Pelasgique et I'Hellenique. Pour ce qui est de 
celle-ci, elle n'est jamais sortie pour aller habiter ailleurs, mais celle-la a et^ 
extremement vagabonde. La simple exposition du texte ne permit pas de 
s'y tromper. II est visible que les particules to /aiv se rapportent au nom le 
plus proche, c'est a dire, a 'EXXjjwxov, et que ro 'Si ireXou^XavjiTev^ &c. se rap- 
portent a TitXcctryiKev. — Histaire de VAcad. des Inscriptions, vol. xiv. p. 177. 


presents the language of the Pelasgians as barbarous in his 
own time, that we must conclude that there was a pri- 
mitive and national difference between the Pelasgians and 
the Hellenes: it is because he adds that the Hellenic 
tongue had not at all changed since its first establishment, 
and because he supposes the same permanence in the Pe- 
lasgic tongue, by concluding that it was still preserved in all 
the scattered towns which remained of the Pelasgians, ex- 
actly such as it was when it was first introduced into them. 
Now, the permanent form of the two tongues from the 
earliest times, added to their total dissimilarity in the days 
of Herodotus, proves manifestly the difference of the two 
nations. The same writer assures us, that the first Athe- 
nians were Pelasgians, and that, from having forgotten 
their language, they became Hellenes : they passed thus 
from the one nation to the other.* 

The same acute antiquary likewise believes that the Pe- 
lasgians were of Phenician extraction ; and that they made 
their first settlements in Thrace, and subsequently pro- 
ceeded southwards into the lower parts of Greece, merely 
because, in the infancy of navigation, they thought it safer 
to sail along the shores of Asia Minor, and cross at the 
Hellespont into Europe, than to venture upon a long voy- 
age from their native coast to any part of the Peloponne- 

* Ce n'est point parcequ' Herodote represente le langage des Pelasges 
comme barbare de son temps, qu'il faut- en conclure una difference primitive 
et nationale entre les Pelasges et les Hellenes ; mais c'est parce qu'il ajoute que 
la langue Hellenique n'avoit point change depuis son etablissement, et parce 
qu'il suppose la memo stabilite dans la langue Pelasgique, en jugeant qu'- 
elle se conservait dans tout ce qui restoit de villes isole'es de Pelasges, telle 
qu'elle y avoit ete apportee. Or la forme permanente des deux langues de- 
puis les premiers temps, jointe a leur opposition totale du temps d'Herodote, 
prouve manifestement la difference des deux nations. Le meme ecrivain as- 
sure que les premiers Atheniens etoient Pelasges, et que ce fut par I'oubli 
de leur langue qu'ils divinrent Hellenes : ils passerent done ainsi d'une na- 
tion a I'autxe.—Hisioiir dc VAaidemie des Inscrijpiionst, vol. xxiii. p. 120. 


sus. " Les colonies venant d'Orient, ont passe vralsembla- 
blement d'Asie en Europe par le detroit de THellespont, ou 
elles ont fait le tour du pont Euxin par la Scythie. Dans 
ces commencemens on n"'etoit point encore assez verse dans 
Tart de la navigation pour risquer d'abord un trajet aussi 
considerable que Test celui de la Phenicie ou de I'Asie 
Mineure jusqu'au Peloponnese; on se contentoit alors de 
naviguer le long des cotes, sans oser s'en ecarter jusqu'a 
perdre de vue ; ainsi les Pelasges auront commence par se 
repandre dans la Thrace ; de la s'avancant vers le Midi, 
ils seront entrez dans le Thcssalie, ou la beaute et la dou- 
ceur du climat, et la fertilite de la terre, les auront fixez.* 
De la Nauze thinks he can discover the very period at 
which the Greeks, in a body, relinquished the name of 
Pelasgians, and resolved to adopt that of Hellenes. His 
remarks on this head, though they may not appear quite 
satisfactory, express strongly his conviction that the two 
nations were originally of distinct and separate origins. 
" Pour ce qui regarde I'epoque precise ou les Grecs com- 
mencerent a prendre le titre d'Hellenes pour se distinguer 
des nations etrangeres, il est assez facile d'en juger par 
quelques temoignages combinees d'Herodote, de Thucy- 
dide, et de Strabon. Un corps de Pelasges arrive d'ltalie 
dans la Thrace, penetra dans la Grece pendant la guerre 
de Troie, et s'etablit en Beotie; en ayant ete chasses 
soixante ans apres cette guerre, ils trouverent un asyle pour 
quelque temps dans TAttique. Les Atheniens les traite- 
rent cependant en etrangers; ils les sequestrerent dans un 
coin separe sous le mont Hymette, et pour se distinguer 
encore davantage des ces nouveaux botes, ils accederent des 

Histoire de 1' Academie des Inscriptions, vol. xiv. p. 1 60. 


alors a la denomination des Hellenes, jusque la reduits a un 
canton de la Thessalie.* 

To a candid mind the consideration of greatest weight 
in this controversy will unquestionably turn upon the ac- 
knowledged difference in the languages of the two nations, 
the Pelasgians and the Hellenes. No man of reflection 
can be satisfied with the suggestion of Pinkerton and his 
followers, that the tongue of the latter people was dif- 
ferent from that of the former, only in so far as a refined 
dialect of any language is diff*erent from its more rude 
and barbarous form: because, although it be admitted, 
that, in the course of a few centuries, the speech of a 
nation may change so much as to become unintelligible to 
those who are only acquainted with its primitive idiom, it 
does not appear that any such local distance or breach of 
communication was at any time interposed between the 
several tribes of the ancient Greeks, as could account for 
the total oblivion, among nearly their whole body, of a 
language which had once been common to them all. 

According to the hypothesis we are now considering, 
the Pelasgians were of Scythic origin ; they had descend- 
ed towards Greece from the north-east, where the numer- 
ous hordes of their countrymen still occupied the extensive 
plains which border upon the Ister and the Euxine sea ; 
they had formed their first settlements in Thrace, Mace- 
donia, Epirus, and Thessaly ; and they had ultimately 
pushed their colonies across the isthmus, and given inha- 
bitants to a large portion of the Peloponnesus. Now, it 
is perfectly clear that, if these assumptions be founded 
on historical truth, the Pelasgian colonists were so placed 

• Histoire tie I'Academie des Inscriptions, vol. xxiii. p. 129. 


as to be able to keep up a constant intercourse with one 
another, as well as with the parent state: and although 
the members of the more southern settlements, by coming 
sooner in contact with the Phenicians and Egyptians, 
might outstrip their brethren in civilization and in refine- 
ment of speech, we cannot conceive that such a change 
could have been brought about in the latter article, as to 
render the language of the one class of Pelasgians unin- 
telligible to the other. The mere change of accent and 
pronunciation does not so entirely alter the vocabulary 
and structure of a national tongue, as to make it unfit for 
the purposes of communication in different districts of the 
same country ; and more especially when the greater part 
of the people continue to use the old dialect, and to main- 
tain a constant intercourse with the parent tribes from 
whom it was originally derived. 

Again, if the Pelasgians were Scythians, and, of course, 
emigrants from the banks of the Danube, how shall we 
explain the fact that, although in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of their kinsmen, whose restless disposition is 
well known, their numbers in Greece were allowed to 
dwindle away, and their very language, considered at 
least as a national dialect, to become entirely extinct.'^ 
The Gothic shepherds surely were not so regardless of 
the green vales of Thessaly and the rich meadows of 
Peloponnesus, as to allow them to remain unoccupied, or 
to be seized without resistance by other wanderers. Had 
the Pelasgians, in a small body, migrated from India or 
China, and passed through tribes possessing no affinity to 
them in origin, language, or manners, we should have had 
no difficulty in comprehending how, in the course of time, 
they might have disappeared in the mass of the surrounding 
population, and lose at once their name and their tongue, 
even among the people over whom they had gained a 



temporary dominion. But situated as, according to hypo- 
thesis, the Pelasgians were in relation to the great body of 
their countrymen, of whom they might be regarded as 
only the outposts or advanced guard, it is next to impossi- 
ble to explain, on rational grounds, the events which are 
connected with their residence in Greece. 

Mr Pinkerton, overlooking the important circumstances 
of contiguity, and the means of regular intercourse be- 
tween the mother nation and the Pelasgian colonies in 
Thrace and Achaia, undertakes to account for the loss of 
their language and the extinction of their name, by a re- 
ference to a more modern case, which, in fact, presents 
hardly any one point of resemblance. The Greeks, says 
he, fermented into purity by foreign colonies, soon as- 
sumed quite a different character from their Scythian pro- 
genitors and neighbours, — a case which may even happen 
in ruder nations, as we know that the Danes, who came to 
Northumberland in the ninth century, were regarded as 
utter strangers and enemies by their own countrymen the 
Angli, who, in A.D. 547, had settled in that province.* 

I need not occupy the time of the reader by pointing out 
the great difference between the supposed case of the Pe- 
laso-ians, who continued to be neighbours to their country- 
men, and the Danes, who for four centuries had been se- 
parated from their nation by a wide and stormy sea. A 
similar answer may be given to his remarks on the same 
subject elsewhere. Dr Gillies had observed, that the colo- 
nies of the Pelasgi continued, in the fifth century before 
Christ, to inhabit the southern coast of Italy, and the 
shores of the Hellespont : and in those widely-separated 
countries, their ancient affinity was recognized in the uni- 

Dissertation on Scythians or Ootfis, p. H'i. 


formity of their rude dialect, and barbarous manners, ex- 
tremely dissimilar to the customs and language of their 
Grecian neighbours.* 

This, replies Mr Pinkerton, militates not in the least 
against the Greeks being Pelasgi, and their tongue Pe- 
lasgic, as their own writers uniformly say. For the 
Greek tongue had been thrown into a ferment by a slight 
mixture of Phenician, and had been purified with all the 
art and attention of the wisest and most ingenious men in 
the world. It was the Pelasgic, but the Pclasgic refined, 
as the English is from the Saxon. No wonder that in 
Greece, a country where every city was as it were a dis- 
tinct people, some few cities, and some mountaineers and 
islanders, should have retained the old dialect, and that 
it was as dissimilar from polished Greek, as Saxon from 
English ; and should also, from detached situation, have 
kept up the old barbaric manners.-f* 

But whence came those Pelasgians who, in the midst of 
general improvement, chose to retain the barbaric manners 
of their ancestors, and to speak a language which their 
kinsmen in the south could not understand.^ " They 
were," says the author of the Dissertation, " either some 
who had returned from Italy, after being defeated by the 
Aborigines about the time of the Trojan war, if we credit 
Dionysius of Hahcarnassus ; or others who, according to 
Herodotus, had lately come from Samothrace. So that 
these scattered fragments of Pelasgi must not be confound- 
ed with the later Greeks, being only remnants of old colo- 
nies expelled from Italy, or late migrations of small par- 
ties from Thrace, the parent country of the Pelasgi ; and 
that they retained their primitive barbaric speech and man- 

* History of Greece, vol. i. p. G. 

•f" Dissertation on Scythians or Goths, p. 84. 


ners, was a necessary consequence of their late arrival from 
remote and uncultivated regions. These later Pelasgi,'" 
he repeats, " had lately come from Italy and Samothrace, 
and retained their old speech and manners ; and this sin- 
gularity puzzled Herodotus, who knew that, by all ac- 
counts, the Greeks were Pelasgi, as he himself repeatedly 
mentions, yet found that a few detached Pelasgi did not 
speak Greek, but the old Scythic tongue."* 

This hypothesis, it is manifest, is still clogged with the 
incredible supposition that one language could arise out of 
another, so different from it, too, as not to be understood 
by the same people, in the midst of a constant intercourse 
between the parent country and the colonies ; that is, be- 
tween the very tribes who are described as becoming, in 
the meanwhile, ignorant of each other''s speech ! Among mi- 
gratory hordes, such as the Scythians were who continued 
to live on the very borders of Greece, we are almost entitled 
to presume, that a large portion of the inhabitants must 
have been incessantly in motion ; those in the north mov- 
ing southwards, and those in the south seeking a change 
of residence in a less crowded country. But, at all events, 
the Scythians in Greece Proper were at no great distance 
from the Scythians in Thessaly, Macedonia, and Thrace. 
No strange people dwelt between them : No foreign 
tongue was heard to confound their language : No con- 
queror interposed his authority to restrict their boundaries 
or prohibit their communication. Was it ever known, 
then, among kindred nations, occupying contiguous dis- 
tricts of the same country, and following the same pursuits, 
that such an alteration took place in their speech, as that 
the words used by the men of one family should cease to 

Dissertation on the Scythians or Goths, p. 05, 6C. 


be intelligible, or to convey any meaning to the men of 
another ? 

Whence, too, arose that astonishing refinement which 
changed the Scythian language into Greek ? It was pro- 
duced, we are told, by the mixture of a little Phenician ; 
which, fermenting the mass of Scythic vocables, not only 
leavened the whole lump, but at once effected in it so com- 
plete an alteration as to render it quite foreign to those to 
whom it had a short time before been most familiar. The 
Scythic tongue was converted into Greek by a slight infu- 
sion of Phenician ! But, unfortunately for this conjecture, 
the Phenician and Gothic languages have hardly any re- 
semblance either in their materials or their grammatical 
arrangement. The former, like the Hebrew, Chaldaic, 
and Syriac, was comparatively destitute of vocal sounds ; 
the latter, particularly in early times, was remarkable for 
the number and variety of its vocal enunciations : the one 
admitted but few changes in the termination of its nouns 
and verbs ; while the other is distinguished by its uncom- 
mon flexibility in this respect, and the consequent ease 
with which it adapts itself to the expression of the multi- 
farious modes of thought, feeling, and action, which be- 
long to civilized life. Besides, there is not in the radical 
words of the Greek any such similarity to those of the 
Phenician, as to warrant the conclusion that the first had 
borrowed from the second so large a portion of its ingre- 
dients, as to become thereby an unknown tongue to those 
who had been familiar with its more simple form. It is, 
moreover, worthy of remark, that Herodotus, who was 
a great master of his native language in one of its most 
ancient dialects, speaks of the Hellenic, not as of a tongue 
which had undergone a certain modification, and been, by 
such a process, changed from the antiquated Pelasgic 
into a more polished idiom of the same speech ; but, on 

446 connp:ction of sacred CBook II. 

the contrary, he openly and decidedly expresses his 
opinion that the Hellenic continued to be in his own day 
what it had been from the earliest times ; that the Pelasgic 
had remained equally fixed and unaltered, and conse- 
quently, that the two nations who used them were of dif- 
ferent extractions.* 

Hence there is not any room for doubt, that Greek was 
the original language of the country, and spoken by the 
natives before the Pelasgic invasion ; that the other 
tongue, which for some time prevailed both on the conti- 
nent and in the islands, was of Phenician origin, and was 
used in Greece only as long as the victors kept possession 
of their conquests ; and, finally, that the first-mentioned 
language was again revived upon the departure or defeat 
of the Pelasgians, and afterwards became known to his- 
torians under the name of Hellenic. This opinion, so 
far from being inconsistent with the notion that the 

* Herodot' lib. i. C. 57, 58. 'E; rovreiffi Tixfitn^o/^iyov In Asys/y, riffav oi Ils- 
Xaffyoi fia^Sa^ov yXuffffav hvrss- li reivvv riv x,tti "ifat reiawrey to XliXacrymoi, to 
A.TTIXOV 'ihos toy YliXatryixoy, afiec Tn fUTCcSoXfj Tti i; 'EXX»ivaj, xai <r'/?v yXuro'eiy 
fiiTificch. xcu ya,^ iri ovti oi K^n<rru)ymTa.i ouha./ji.OKri Tuy vuy ir<f>ia.s Tt^ioixioyray uriy 
of/,oy\uffffoiy ouTi 01 -prXaxinyoti, ff<piiri Ss hfioyXcatrffoi. ^-/iXovcn ts, oti yvy hysixccyro 
yXoiaffn; ^a^axTtj^a (/.tTaZaiyoyTis is TavTa <ra^aipia, toutov i^ovo'iy \y ^uXaxri- To 
Sj 'EXXifyixoy yXcofirri fiiy, Itth ti lyiyiTo, am xoti ti aurn iia^paTai, ui ifjioi xoc- 
<ra(poi.inTai nyai- 

Mr Beloe, in his loose paraphrastic manner, translates this passage as fol- 
lows : " Considering them with the above, who founded the cities of Placia 
and Scylace on the Hellespont, but once lived near the Athenians, together 
■with the people of other Pelasgic towns who have since changed their names, 
it is upon the whole reasonable to affirm, that they formerly spoke a barba- 
rous language. The Athenians, therefore, who were also of Pelasgic origin, 
must necessarily, when they came among the Hellenians, have learned their 
language. It is observable, that the inhabitants of Crestona and Placia 
speak in the same tongue, but are neither of them understood by the people 
about them. These circumstances induce me to believe that their language 
has experienced no change. I am also of opinion that the Hellenian tongue 
is not at all altered." 

May I not add, that, if a difference in language be held as an evidence of 
a difference in origin, Herodotus did not regard the Pelasgians and the Hel- 
lenes as one people ? 

Chap. IV.] AND PROFANE HlSTOllY. 447 

Greeks were of a Gothic lineage, and that their language 
was only a polished dialect of the Scythic, tends greatly 
to confirm that notion, and indeed to support all such ar- 
guments for their common origin as are founded upon 
correct views of the antiquities of both nations. Tlie 
Pelasgic tongue did not amalgamate with the Hellenic, 
only because it sprang not from the same stock ; and 
hence, even at the distance of twelve centuries, the tribes 
who spoke the former were still distinguishable from the 
proper Grecian people ; and were, from their peculiarity 
of dialect, incapable of holding intercourse with them, 
either in the way of friendship or of business. Such a re- 
sult, it is obvious, could never have taken place, had the 
language of the Pelasgians been the first and general lan- 
guage of the Greeks. 

History is silent as to the period when the Pelasgians 
relinquished their ascendency in the afiairs of Greece, and 
allowed the more ancient inhabitants to resume their 
sway ; but it would appear, that at the time when this 
change was accomplished, the particular section of that 
people who had settled in Attica chose to remain ; and, 
adopting the language of the natives, soon melted down 
among them, and became a Hellenic people. On this ac- 
count, Herodotus calls the Atticans sometimes Hellenes 
and sometimes Pelasgians ; and it is for this reason, too, 
that, in reference to the same small clan, he remarks, that 
the Hellenic nation, when separated from the Pelasgi, 
were weak : in other words, that the portion of the Pelas- 
gians who chose to become Hellenic, and remain in the 
country, were, after the departure of the great body of 
their kinsmen, possessed of little political power. They 
consented to sacrifice their national characteristics, to 
adopt the manners and speech of the people in the midst 
of whom they were to dwell ; and thus, says the historian^ 


when they entered among the Hellenes they must have 
found it necessary to learn their language. 

That the Pelasgic language was Phenician, is rendered 
very probable by an observation of Diodorus Siculus; 
who, speaking of the letters which had been brought from 
Phenicia by Cadmus, remarks, that the poet Linus gave to 
each its name and characteristic figure. Hence, adds the 
historian, these letters were in general called Phenician, 
because they were brought from the Phenicians to the 
Greeks ; but, in a more restricted sense, they were called 
Pelasgic, because the Pelasgians were the first who used 
them among the latter people.* 

I know that a version very different from the above has 
been oiven by some writers, without much regard either 
to the meaning of the passage or to the consistency of the 
context. By one author Diodorus has been made to say 
that the Cadmean letters were called Phenician, as being 
brought from that country ; " but their proper letters, 
which the Pelasgi first used with the changed characters, 
were denominated Pelasgic""*!- The reader must have 
some inclination to ask who are the parties meant in this 
extract, in reference to whom it is said, " but their proper 
letters, which the Pelasgi first used, were denominated 
Pelasgic ?" In the original there is no authority for these 
words. Diodorus simply relates, that the letters in 
question were generally (*e<vjj) called Phenician, because, 
they were brought to the Greeks from the Phenicians ; 
but that, more strictly and peculiarly, (<S<« being here 
placed in contradistinction to »o<v»i), they were called Pe- 

* VLotvn jKEv out ra, y^aj/.fjt,ara, <t>aiwxa KXn^rivcii, S/« ro ira^a roui 'EXA-jjuaj Ix. 
tttonixuv fitnyi^^nvai. ihiq. ii ruv XliXcuryuti "r^urui ^^■naa.f/.itu^ rots fiiTOiTihiai 
vaffitKTH0(n, TliXaffyiKa. ■r^offccyo^ivHrDiai.-^Diod. Sic. lib. iii. C. 66. 

t Dissertation on the Historical Proofs of the Scythian Origin of the 
Greeks, p. 61. 


lasgic, because the Pelasgians were the first who used tliem, 
in the country concerning which he was writing. The 
learned antiquary, whose opinion I have quoted, translates 
i^ioi as an adjective agreeing with the word y^^fifixra un- 
derstood, — an expedient for confirming his hypothesis, 
which is equally opposed to the plain sense and gramma- 
tical structure of the origmal language, and M'hich, in fact, 
on the latter ground alone, is altogether inadmissible. 

It is acknowledged, that the text of Diodorus, as it now 
stands, is not perfectly pure. The expression fnirctrikKrt — 
the note of an ignorant scholiast — has been introduced in- 
to the body of the composition, and thereby considerably 
obscured the meaning of the author. It is extremely im- 
probable, that the letters which were altered by Linus 
would be called Pelasgic, merely because the Pelasgians 
were among the first to introduce the improvement ; it 
being more usual to distinguish an invention by the name 
of the person who made it, than by the name of those who 
might choose to avail themselves of its advantages. Besides, 
the Pelasgians were in Greece some centuries prior to the 
time of Cadmus, and had the use of letters long before his 
arrival from Phenicia. In truth their power was greatly on 
the decline when this son of Agenor first set his foot in the 
European isles. They had already relinquished or been 
expelled from a great part of the territory which they pre- 
viously possessed ; on which account it is very unlikely 
that the introduction, by Linus, of the improved form of 
the Phenician alphabet, could have been associated with 
the literary renown of the Pelasgian colonists in Greece. It 
seems, therefore, to follow, in the first place, as a natural 
consequence, that the letters which the Pelasgians used 
were not those which were altered by the poet, and hence 
that the word fAirccnkt^i should be expunged from the text 
of Diodorus ; and, secondly, that as the Pelasgians did 

VOL. II. 2 *■ 


actually use Phenician letters, which, from this very cir- 
cumstance, were by the Greeks denominated Pelasgic, the 
people themselves must have been of Phenician extraction.* 
I shall conclude this long discussion by transcribing a 
few observations from the learned work of Bishop Cum- 
berland, entitled Origines Gentium Antiquissimae. " I may 
be asked," says he, " whence I think their name is derived ? 
I answer, that a probable conjecture is all that is necessary 
to prove an etymology ; and that if I fail in that, the 
proof of the fact by good testimonies is not weakened. 
My opinion is, that their name comes from 7r£Aajy<o<, by 
inserting the letter s, which was usually done in ancient 
times; and such were the times when this name was first 
given. For one example of this, he is called Masnes in 
Dionysius Halicarnassensis, who is Manes in Herodotus. 
More may be seen in the learned Salmasius' notes upon Ter- 
tullian de Pallio : Such are, Casmsense for Camaenae, Cas- 
millus for Camillus, Dusmus for Dumus. For, I believe, it 
only signifies that they were strangers that came by sea 
(^rsXajyos) to settle more commodiously than they were be- 
fore : so that they might be adventurers of any tribe, fa- 
mily, or nation ; or mixed of many that would agree to 
seek their fortune by shipping into another country. It 
is agreed that the Greek word 5rsA«yes comes from the 

* Pelasgi enim Cadmo multis annis sunt priores, literasque usurparunt 
diu ante ejus adventum : porro Deucalionis aevo, cum aquae magnam Grae- 
cise partem inundarent, varia quidem scripta pariter ac homines absorpta 
sunt, literas servarunt Pelasgi, teste Eustath. in Iliad. B. Ad hoc insolens 
admodum est ut res inventa non ab auctore nomen nanciscatur, sed ab illis, 
qui primi ea usi fuerunt : denique fieri vix potuit, ut post Cadnii in Boeo- 
tiam adventum litera; a Pelasgis, ea regione et vicinia magnam partem a 
Deucalione et ejus posteris jam turn dejectis, appellitarentur. Itaque aut 
falsus est Diodorus, et, queni sequitur, Dionysius, qua viri amplissimi opinio, 
aut ex superioribus imprudenter hie inculcatum est to i^iranSuar quod qui- 
dem si hinc emigraret, et gloriam antiquissimarum liteiarum Pelasgis relin- 
queret, et his nos difficultatibus cxpediret. — Wcsuclhigii Notoc in Diod. 
Skid. lib. iii. c. G(!. 


eastern abs div'isU, the sea being the great divider of seve- 
ral countries from each other : and from thence also the 
Pelasgi, being some of the earliest dispersers of themselves, 
and dividing lands among themselves as first occupants, 
may have taken their name ; they being the first or second 
planters after the dispersion. 

" They were, by this name, distinguished from the 
Hyperborei that came out of the northern parts of Asia, 
by the land that lies north of the Euxine sea, and thence 
into Thrace, or over the Bosphorus, and so by land into 
Greece. They were also distinguished by this name from 
all that pretended to be Avroj(;6o)iii, either as springing out 
of the earth, or because their ancestors had, beyond all 
memory of men, or of records, been born in Greece ; and 
from all those societies of men that took their name from 
their commanders, as the Danai, Dores, lones, and Hera- 
clidae did in after ages. But the Pelasgi pretended only 
to come by sea from foreign parts to choose a military life, 
(as Ephorus expresses it in Strabo), and to settle them- 
selves by their swords in countries that, in those early 
times, were but thinly peopled, or altogether uninhabited ; 
yet must be defended by their swords against neighbours 
who might encroach upon them or invade them. And he 
tells us, that all that joined themselves to them took the 
same name of Pelasgi."* 

• Postquam finivissem quje praecedunt de Pelasgorum origine, et primis 
sedibus, occurrit mihi locus in Epiplianii cap. primo, prope ejus finem, qui 
visus est mihi plurimum confirmare earn quam conceperam de eorum anti- 
quitate opinionem. Epiphanius enim ibi tractans de initiis cultus idolola- 
trici apud GicBCOS, quorum antiquissimi fuerunt Pelasgi, affirmat ea initki, 
jirius cxcogitaia ftiisse apud Babylonios, Phccniccs, Phrygcs, ct Egyptios. 
Addit hcec initia ct Jnysteria f4,irivi^h'jra h; 'EXX-ziva; utto Tvts KiyvXTui x'^i'^i 
uvo Tou Kalficv, kvtou rou Iva^ou. Hinc statini observavi non solum Cad- 
mum ab ^gypto venisse, ritusque idololatricos inde ad Thebas Boeotias trans- 
tulisse, quod apud plures est in confcsso, verum etiam ipsum Inachum— qui 
400 circiter annos eo antiquior fuit — in Peloponnesum postca dictam, mys- 
teria hujusmodi vana apportassc. — Orig. Gen. Antiquisn. pag. 2!)r», 206, 300. 


Many generations passed away before the afiPairs of 
Greece had assumed such a form as to render them a fit 
subject for history. Thucydides, in the retrospect which 
he takes of the early annals of his country, admits that a 
long period elapsed before laws were instituted or the claims 
of property were respected. Violence and robbery were 
regarded as proofs of high birth and a courageous spirit. 
The richest portions of the soil, which attracted most 
readily the avarice of hungry adventurers, were constant- 
ly changing their inhabitants ; the weaker always giving 
way to the stronger, and the smaller to the more numer- 
ous party. Some came by land from the north, others by 
sea from the south and east ; but all were prepared to se- 
cure a possession in the land, whether by arms or by stra- 
tagem. The rich vales of Thessaly, where the means of 
subsistence could be obtained at little expense of toil, were 
often disputed by the savage invaders in actual war. On 
such occasions the vanquished retired, either to avenge 
their losses upon some feebler clan, or to seek a territory 
not yet appropriated, and at a greater distance from the 
current of migration. Those who were pressed by a 
superior force, says Thucydides, quitted their possessions 
with very little regret ; knowing that daily food and a 
temporary shelter could be found elsewhere, and never 
feeling anxious for any thing more permanent. But, he 
justly adds, that, being always uncertain when a tribe 
more powerful than themselves might covet their land and 
expel them from it, they had no encouragement to build, 
to plant, or to make provision in any way beyond their 
actual and urgent necessities.* 

• Thucyd. lib. i. C. 2. huhi ynv (pvrivovrt; (aS»Xav ov ocrert ri; t^tX^av, xai krli- 
^iffrav kft-a oitui aXXoj a,(ftt.t^'nvi<Tat) t'/is Ss xaff iif/.i^xii avecyxaiou rpo(P'/is vavrtt- 
^ou av riyoufiivcii iTix^aTiiv, ov ^ttXiTco^ a.-TTavKrra.vTo- kcci ?/ auTO, oun i/,iyi6it 
vreXtav Iff^vov, hurt rri aXXti 'fa^a.ffKivri f^KXivree di rn; yr,: ri a^iirrn an ra; fti' 
r«6oXeis ray eixtiro^aiv \ix,i*- 


Nor was the sea more propitious to industry and peace 
than the shores which it surrounded. On the contrary, it 
afforded the means of more sudden attacks and of safer 
retreats to the marauding hordes who occupied the neigh- 
bouring islands. In the earher times, their avidity was 
gratified with the capture of herds and flocks ; but, at a 
later period, when the pursuits of agriculture began to 
give value to human labour, and to suggest the advan- 
tages of an increased population, the robbers of the sea 
extended their ravages to the abduction of women and 
children. The first check which was imposed upon this 
ferocious piracy, arose from the establishment of a regular 
government in Crete, about the middle of the fifteenth 
century before the Christian era. It is in that island 
where, according to the lineage of the Grecian mythology, 
we meet with the oldest branch of the family of the gods, 
represented as the actual sovereigns of a prosperous com- 
munity, formed under their eyes, and protected by their 
wisdom : whence we may conclude, it was in this insular 
kingdom, so fortunate in its situation and climate, that 
the colonists from Egypt and the Syrian coast first intro- 
duced among Europeans the obscure and debasing my- 
steries of hero-worship. 

The fame of Minos is inseparably connected with the 
institutions of Crete ; but so dubious and contradictory 
are all the traditions which have been transmitted concern- 
ing him, that it remains still undetermined whether he 
was a native or a foreigner, and whether there were two 
princes of the name, or only one. Our admiration, how- 
ever, is not the less excited by contemplating that system 
of laws which, in an age of savage ignorance and violence, 
enforced civil order, and secured the blessings of freedom 
to the Cretan people ; and which was not only the model 
of the wonderful polity made known to us in the records 


of Lacedenion, but appears to have also been the general 
fountain of Grecian legislation and jurisprudence, and ex- 
tolled as such by the greatest sages and statesmen who 
adorned the brightest periods of literature and philo- 

From the outlines still preserved of the Cretan consti- 
tution, we find that its leading principle was, that all free- 
men should be equal, and that all labour, whether agri- 
cultural or domestic, should be performed by slaves. 
The whole land was, therefore, held as public property, 
and cultivated for the general advantage; the men ate 
together at common tables, and their women and chil- 
dren were maintained from the same source. The youth 
were trained to the exercises and privations of military 
life, and taught to regard moderation, temperance, and 
self-denial, as the greatest virtues of free-born citizens. 
In war, the power of the sovereign was extensive, because 
when in the field he was recognized rather as a commander 
than as a civil magistrate : but no sooner were their arms 
laid aside than the Cretans resumed those habits of inde- 
pendence, which they esteemed as the dearest privilege of 
their social condition. -f* 

The laws and usages of Crete have accordingly been 
thought to bear a closer resemblance to the polity of a 
camp than to that of an ordinary community. It is pro- 
bable, that a form of society so extremely singular ori- 
ginated in the successful inroads of some warlike adven- 
turers from the Egyptian or Syrian coast ; who, after con- 
quering the inhabitants who had no means of escape from 
the island, stripped them of their arms, and ended by re- 

* Mitford's History of Greece, vol. i. p. 22. 

t Plato de Ijegibus, lib. i. Aristot. Polit. lib. vii. c. 2. Mitford, 
vol. 1. p. 23. 


clucing them to a state of permanent slavery. Nor is it 
unlikely that the military rulers of Crete had migrated 
from different countries at sundry periods ; for Homer, we 
find, enumerates no fewer than five separate tribes who used 
as many particular languages, and all enjoying, at the same 
time, the rights of independent freemen.* 

There is no doubt, however, that Greece was indebted 
for much of its earliest civilization to the ascendency of 
the Cretans as a nautical power. Minos, a name which 
may be understood, perhaps, to represent a dynasty of 
kings, is said to have kept a number of ships in constant 
employment against the pirates who infested the Grecian 
seas ; and his exertions for this benevolent purpose were 
attended with so favourable a result, that he at length 
established perfect security throughout the whole of the 
JEgean* Before his reign, we are told that the devasta- 
tions committed by the maritime freebooters were such as 
to have frightened the inhabitants away from the coasts 
as well of the islands as of the continent itself : no soil 
was cultivated except at a great distance from the sea; and 
no town or village was seen to rise but in the interior parts 
of the country. It was not until this evil was suppressed 
that the people of Greece were enabled to avail themselves 
of the numerous havens and creeks with which their shores 
abound. Piracy was then succeeded by the more peaceful 
and advantageous pursuits of commerce : ports were exca- 
vated or fortified ; cities were built in the neighbourhood 

* Kpyirv ri; ycct iitti, f/,i(rM Iv oivoTi ■n'ovriu 

AXXii V aXXuv yXuiaaa. (/.ifiiyftlT/i' \v f/,iv Ky^atat, 
'Ev o' 'ET5«af>iT£j iJ!,f.ya.XriTooi%, Iv oi Kuoa/v:;, 

Odyss. lib. xix. v, 172—177. 
+ Tbucydid. lib. i. c. 3, 4, 7- 


of their arsenals and marts ; and, at length, the ingenious 
and enterprising spirit of the Greeks found full scope in 
the trade of Egypt, of Tyre, and of Sidon. 

But the exploits of Minos and his successors soon become 
so deeply involved in fable, that history is compelled to 
turn away from them, in despair of ever being able to fix 
their date or prove their truth. The Grecian writers, it 
is probable, took the greatest interest in such occurrences 
as respected their own country, properly so called ; and 
hence it is, perhaps, that we have a more particular ac- 
count of Cecrops and Danaus, than of those wise and po- 
litic sovereigns of Crete who first accustomed the neigh- 
bouring; savages to the influence of law and the fears of 

About the middle of the sixteenth century before our 
era, CecropS;, an Egyptian prince, led a body of men into 
Attica ; where he founded, or perhaps only increased, a 
civil community, which, under various forms, has ac- 
quired a greater degree of fame, and made a more lasting 
impression on the literary opinions and political sentiments 
of European nations, than any other ancient people what- 
soever. Desirous to find a place of residence which might 
at once combine the advantages of internal security and a 
ready communication with the sea, he was induced to 
select the memorable position of Athens ; which, with its 
rock for a castle, and its bay for shipping, promised for 
his intended city all the strength, convenience, and riches, 
upon which its future influence and prosperity were found 
to have their chief dependence. 

Ogyges, it is true, has had the reputation of being 
the first king of Attica; and his name, as every one 
knows, is associated with a great event, which is said to 
have changed in that country the aspect of things during 
a long period of desolation and alarm. But, if there be 


any truth in the traditions which have been handed down 
by Strabo and Pausanias^ we have reason to conclude that 
he was rather the ruler of a district in Boeotia; the fields 
and cities of which are reported to have been overwhelmed 
by a deluge, which compelled the inhabitants to seek re- 
fuge in the hilly country of Attica. Boeotia, it is said, 
was anciently called Ogygia ; and it is added, that two 
of the cities which were destroyed bore the names of 
Athens and Eleusis. But in these facts is comprehended 
all our knowledge concerning the kingdom of Ogyges ; 
or if other fragments of information remain, they rather 
tend to darken our views, by confounding the history of 
Thebes in Boeotia with that of Thebes in Upper Egypt.* 

No record remains to connect the history of the first so- 
vereigns of Attica with the times of Cecrops, who holds the 
next place in the list of her rulers. The latter is represented 
as having divided the country into twelve districts, in 
every one of which was a town or village, where he caused 
justice to be administered agreeably to a code of laws 
which he had sufficient influence to establish and enforce. 
He likewise improved the art of war ; having soon found 
it necessary to adopt defensive measures against the na- 
tives of some of the older states, who envied the prosperity 
or dreaded the growing power of the Egyptian colony. 
He built a fortress on the hill which commanded his in- 
fant city ; and, calling it Cecropia, in reference to his own 
family and people, he committed it to the tutelary protec- 
tion of his national goddess, Neith, better known to the 
classical reader as Athena and Minerva. 

In a work on Grecian mythology written by Dr Samuel 
Musgrave, an attempt is made to prove that Cecrops was 

• Strabo, lib. ix. Pausan. lib. ix. c. 24. Euripid. Phen. v. 1130. 
Soph. (Edip. Col. V. 1853. 


not an Egyptian but a native Greek. " There seems to be 
no reason, he remarks, for the assertion that a part of 
Greece, and particularly Athens, was peopled by colonies 
from Egypt. This opinion is countenanced by Strabo 
and Diodorus Siculus ; but the first broacher of it, I be- 
lieve, was the historian Theopompus. So says Proclus ; 
and also that he was flatly contradicted by others, who 
charn-ed him with spreading the story out of mere preju- 
dice. The Athenians also, as we learn from Lucian, con- 
sidered it as the height of paradox to talk of Cecrops as 
a foreigner. Let us consider the authorities, therefore, as 
equal, and weigh the story according to probability. We 
know a good deal of the Egyptian customs, though not 
much, with certainty, of their history. The Grecian 
customs we know still better. Now, between these two 
there is a total diversity. The Egyptians were circum- 
cised : the Greeks held that practice in contempt and de- 
rision. The Egyptians indulged themselves in a plurality 
of wives : the Greeks were permitted to have no more 
than one ; and of this law, Cecrops, the pretended Egyp- 
tian, w^as the author. In Egypt, according to Sophocles, 
weaving and other domestic business was carried on by 
the men ; and the care of providing food was left to the 
female. In Greece, the contrary and more rational cus- 
tom prevailed. In Egypt, it is said to have been a rule 
that the son should follow his father's profession : in 
Greece, no traces of such a rule are to be found. The 
Egyptians worshipped animals and plants: the Greeks 
despised and ridiculed this superstition. The Egyptians 
paid a scrupulous attention to nativities and the aspect of 
the planets : in the Grecian history, among the various 
ways of inquiring into futurity by oracles, the fl'ight of 
birds, inspection of entrails and the like, there is not a 
single instance of any attempt to calculate nativities. 


Lastly, the Egyptians were particularly studious to pre- 
serve the dead body from dissolution by their careful and 
costly method of embalming ; whereas the Greeks, by 
committing it immediately to the fire, seem to have been 
desirous of promoting its dissolution.'"* 

These remarks, unquestionably, are not altogether un- 
deserving of consideration : but it will be found, even 
when their full weight has been allowed to them, that 
they prove nothing more than a reluctance on the part of 
the native Greeks to receive from the strangers, who suc- 
cessively landed on their shores, all the customs and re- 
ligious rites to which the latter had been accustomed. 
That the Athenians were a mixed people is acknowledged, 
however unwillingly, by the best of their own historians : 
and that both their language and superstitions were very 
much modified by an early intercourse with Egypt, has 
been the opinion of many able writers in ancient as well 
as in modern times. If, on this subject, the testimony of 
the Egyptians themselves may be held of any value, no 
doubt will remain as to the principal fact in question ; for 
Diodorus Siculus informs us that, among many other 
colonies which they assured him they had sent into various 
parts of the world, they mentioned the establishment of 
their countrymen at Athens as one of the most important.-f* 
They were so minute in their details as to name the par- 
ticular place from which it had migrated, a small town in 
the district of Sais: and hence, as Plato relates, the 
Saites claimed a relationship with the Athenians, whom 
they had ever regarded in the light of kinsmen. They 
farther stated that Erechtheus, who is commonly reckoned 

• Strabo, lib. vii. Diod. Sicul. lib. i. c. 28. Procl. in Platon. TimcEum, 
Soph. (Edip. Col. V. 330. 
t Diod. Sicul. lib. i. c. 28. 


the sixth king of Athens, was an Egyptian ; who, on ac- 
count of the original lineage of the inhabitants of that 
city, sent to them, in the time of a severe famine, a 
great quantity of corn ; in return for which he was invited 
to assume the government of Attica. 

The Greeks, while they in fact admit the truth of this 
narrative, attempt to conceal its literal import by throw- 
ing over it the cloak of mythological fable. They record 
that, during the reign of Erechtheus, there was in the 
Athenian territory a great scarcity of food, occasioned 
by an unusual drought ; from the pressure of which they 
were seasonably delivered by the arrival of Ceres, the 
goddess of agriculture, who forthwith provided them with 
an ample supply. The sages of Egypt explain this my- 
stical occurrence by suggesting that their countryman, 
along with the corn which he conveyed into Attica, car- 
ried also the religious service peculiar to the divinity who 
presided over the fruits of the earth ; and that having 
established the foreign worship at Eleusis, he had the sa- 
tisfaction to see it gain ground among the superstitious 
Greeks under the name of the Eleusinian mysteries. If 
it be admitted that there was at that time an importation of 
corn into Attica, it could hardly be from any other coun- 
try than Egypt, which, owing to its physical circumstances, 
could not suffer famine from the want of rain ; the cause 
of the dearth which at the period in question afflicted not 
only the several states of Greece, but, according to Dio- 
dorus Siculus, every other part of the known v/orld, ex- 
cept the land of the Pharaohs. 

From the various accounts which have been selected 
from ancient history, we are enabled to arrive at the assur- 
ance that there was a certain connection between the Saites 
and the Athenians; and that either the Saites were a 
colony of the Athenians, or the latter a colony of the 


former. The learned cannot hesitate as to which of these 
alternatives they ought to adopt : for while it is certain 
that many bands of adventurers emigrated from Egypt 
into various parts of the world, and even into Greece, 
there is not the slightest evidence on record that any co- 
lony ever removed from Greece into Egypt. Farther 
still, says the erudite and ingenious author of the " Origin 
and Progress of Language/' not only does it thus appear 
in general that the Athenians Avere a colony of the Saites ; 
but I think we know particularly at what time, and by 
wliom, this colony was settled in Athens. For it appears 
to me that the colony was led by Cecrops, the first king 
of Athens, some time after the Ogygian deluge which had 
desolated Attica. That this first Athenian king was an 
Egyptian, is a fact that I think incontestable : and it ap- 
pears also certain, that he came from Sai's in Egypt. 
Diodorus, though his vanity as a Greek made him un- 
willing to believe that the principal city of Greece was an 
Egyptian colony, yet, as a faithful historian^, he has fairly 
given us the arguments which the Egyptians used to con- 
vince the Greeks of the truth of the fact. They said 
that there was a great conformity betwixt the religious 
and civil institutions of the people of Sais and those of 
the Athenians : and among other particulars, he mentions 
the division of the people of both cities into three classes 
of the same kind.* 

Among the arguments here alluded to by Lord Mon- 
boddo, there is one which seems to carry with it a great 
degree of conviction. The Egyptians informed Diodorus 
that the colony went from a town in the district of Sais, 
the name of which was Asty ; and this name they gave to 

" Origin and Progress of Language, vol. i. p. 645. Diod. Sicul. lib. i. 
28. Plato in Timseo. Mitford's Greece, vol. i. p. 43, &c. 


the city which they founded in Greece.* In support of 
their conclusion they maintained, what was unquestion- 
ably true, that the Athenians were the only people in 
Greece who gave that name to their city : for the word 
da-TV is not the general name for a city in Greek, except 
among the poets, but a name peculiar to the city of 
Athens, and no doubt a foreign word, which the Athe- 
nians preserved without altering it, or affixing to it the or- 
dinary Greek termination. Aristotle has told us that 
there are only five nouns in Greek which end in the 
vowel V, of which xo-tv is one : and it is very probable, 
that they are all exotic terms, which, for some reason or 
other, the polite writers of Greece had allowed to remain 
in their original form.-}* 

Nor is there greater room for doubt that many of the 
superstitious rites practised in Greece were originally bor- 
rowed from Egypt. " Here," says Herodotus, " are repre- 
sented by night the accidents which happened to him whom 
I dare not name : the Egyptians call them their mysteries. 
Concerning these, at. the same time that I confess myself 
sufficiently informed, I feel myself compelled to be silent. 
Of the ceremonies in honour of Ceres, which the Greeks 
calls Thesmophoria, I may not venture to speak, farther 
than the obligations of religion will allow me. They 
were brought from Egypt by the daughters of Danaus, 
and by them revealed to the Pelasgian women.""! 

The opinion now stated is still farther confirmed by the 

• Kai rovs Ahvaiov; ^aciv ai-oixeu; hveii 'Zaircav rut l| kiyvTrrov- Kai •ni^uiv- 

•TeoXii A2TT x,a,\it(r6ai f/Anvtiviyf/.tvus t-zh rr^txTrtyo^ia; ocxo rov -ffa^ awroi; affrioi. 

.|- Origin and Progress of Language, vol. i. p. 646. 

J Ka/ rjjs AfifciTi^os riXirm Ti^i, t»v oi 'EXX'/ivi; Giirf/,o(pt>^ia. xaXuvcri, xai 
TauTH<; [ji.01 iuirref/,a >ciir6tu, ^X*iv o<rov ccuryii ixrivj itrri Xiyiiv, at Accvaou ^uyaTipif 
iicrav at t>iv riXtrnv ra,vrm £? AiyuTfrov i^tx,yu.ytivin nai ^4^a^«(ri rcci TliXmfyiuiriicti 
yvvoiiKa;.— Herod. lib. ii. c. 174. 


learned researches of Mr Bryant, who saw no reason to 
doubt either that Cecrops was an Egyptian emigrant, or 
that much of the Uterature and mysticism of Greece had 
been conveyed from the banks of the Nile. 

" The sons of Japhet,"" says he, " did people the isles 
of the Gentiles ; by which is meant the regions of Greece 
and Europe, separated in great measure from the Asiatic 
continent by the intervention of the sea. They certainly 
were the first inhabitants of those countries. But the 
Helladians, though by family lonians, were not of this 
race. They came afterwards ; and all their best writers 
agree, that when their ancestors made their way into these 
provinces, they were possessed by a prior people. Who 
these were is no where uniformly said : only they agree 
to term them in general Bx^fix^oi, or a rude uncivilized 

Efiurciioi jttsv cvv a MiMa-tog Tri^t t*5j TliXoTrovvvja-ov <p»)s"<Kj ert Ttpa 
ruv ''E'hXnyMv'ctv avT/iv 'Bct^<ox^oi' (j-^ioov os n Kcct >> (rufiTtoio-ec 'EX- 
Xxi KccToiKici BccpZxgaiy vTCfi^a,To to TVxXcciov. Strabo. 1. 7. p. 321. 

Enri ^s Yifiuv x^^xiori^ot BxgQcc^oi. Plato in Cratylo. vol. 1. 
p. 425. 

YlctXat Tij; iivv KccXovfcivv)? EXXxao^ Ba^jix^oi rx ttoXXx oDctja-xv. 

Pausanias. 1. 1. p. 100. 

A^Kx^ixv Bx^^x^oi coKiia-xv. Scholia Apollonii Rhod. 1. 3. 
V. 461. 

DiodorUS mentions, ASjoitiovi — x%otx.avg SaiV^ay Tuv i\ AiyvTir- 

Tcv. 1. 1. p. 24. 

Agam — Fivofiivxi oiKXi ruv vtyifAovav rtvxi AiyvTmovi Trapxroii 
Adyivxioii. ibidem. 

Africanus having spoken of the Egyptian rites, says, 

'Ot< t£ Afrtvxiovi rwi X'jrav AiyvTTTioiq xttoXxvuv ax-og njv, x7ro(xevg 
iKSiyav uTTovon/nsvovi, <y; <px(rtv xXXoi n, r,xi iv rai T^iKX^/.vai QioTrofc- 

TTog. Apud Euscb. Pra>p. Evan. 1. x. c. x. p. 491. 


Concerning persons from Egypt. 

Ksx^oT^/, AiyvTtrK^i &iv, ^vo yXua-a-cii ^JTrtrxre. Cedrenus. p. 82. 
KiK^o'tp, AiyvTTTiOi TO yiveg, 'fKiri Tag Ahvxi. Scholia Aris- 

toph. Pluti. 

Q,<roi ctTTo iJxius TToXiUi AiyvTrrtxi, 

M£T«t roy xxTx n,yvyov x,xrcix>iv<rft.ov ix-itvov, 

'O Ks«gfl4' 7r«g£ysyov5v A^j)v«<j tjjj 'EX>i«^«s. J. TzetzeS. 

Chil. V. hist. 18. 

Ksx^ei|/j Aty'jTTTioi; to yevsj, j^xj]9-£ t«£s A^j^vaj. SuidaS. 

Pausanias mentions AiXiyx xpocofuvoii l| AiyvTrrov. ]. 1. p. 95. 

Erechtheus from Egypt. K«« tov E^ix,6i» Xiyova-i to yivo? 
AiyvTTTtov ovTx. Diodorus. 1. ] . p. 25. 

Triptolemus from thence, who had been the companion 
of Osiris. Diodorus. 1. 1. p. 17. He gave the Athenians 
laws. Porphyry mentions Tuv A6/ivn<ri vofAohTuv T^t7rTo)^ifiov. 
Abstinent. 1. 4. p. 431- 

It is said, that Danaus was a native of the city Chemmis ; 
from whence he made his expedition to Greece. Axvxe? 
Xifif/.tTfii. Herodotus. 1. 2. c 91. 

Navem primus ex vEgypto Danaus advexit. Phny. 1. 7- 
c 56. He brought a colony with him. Aiyova-t ^i tov? T^^t 
Axvxov o^f6-/i6ivTx? otioiui lxn6s», scil. eI AtyvTTTov. Diodorus. 
1. 1. p. 24. 

It is said by Sanchoniathon, that Cronus, in his travels 
over the earth in company with his daughter Athena, 
came to Attica ; which he bestowed upon her. Euseb. 
P. E. hb. 1. c. 10. p. 38. 

This is not unlike the account given by the Scholiast 
upon Lycophron concerning Cecrops : from whence the 
legend may receive some light. ExSav x^ (« K£xg6i|') ^'^'> 
S«s»j TToXsui AiyvT^Tov TXi A6y)yx5 trvvMKtin. 2<«iV ^£ x-xt AtyvyrTtov? 
vi A6»vx XiyiTxt, ui (pwiv Xec^«|. Lycoph. v. 111. Schol. 

Hence it is, that almost the whole of the mythology of 


Greece is borrowed from Egypt. K«tf«Aoi; 5e, <p.)<r<, reuj 'eaa»- 

Diodorus. 1. 1. p. 20. All their rites and ceremonies were 
from the same quarter. 

Ylxr,;yv^txq oi et^x, TTOf^TTXi, x.xi Tr^orxyuyxi vpuroi xvd^AiTruv 
KtyvTmot hcriy, oi 7rotfi<rafCivoi, x.xi Ttxgx Toxirm ''LXMni fcif*x6n>i.x(ri. 

Herod. 1. 3. c. 58. 

E7r5<T« -fC^MOv TToXXov diiXdovroi, iTfvSovTo (d< 'EXX/jvig) he t))s A«y- 
vTTTov ctTrtKOfiivx Tx ovvofcxTx rm &im. Hcrod. 1. 2. C 52. See 

also 1. 2. c. 4. 

It, therefore, appears manifest that the strictures of Dr 
Musgrave on the opinion of Theopompus, are not sup- 
ported on such a basis of learning and historical testimony 
as to induce us to relinquish the conclusions of those older 
and more profound writers who believed in the Egyptian 
origin of Cecrops.* 

In the history of this chief there is a reference made to 
the Ogygian deluge, of which the horror and desolation 
had compelled the inhabitants of Boeotia to leave the 
plains of their native country, and to seek an asylum in 
the mountains of Attica. About half a century after 
the foundation of Athens, a similar event is said to have 

• The hypothesis of Musgrave appears to have been founded upon the 
following passage in the work already mentioned, the " Origin and Progress 
of Language," vol. i. p. 640. "• That the Athenians were a colony of the 
Sai'tes was the opinion of Theopompus, a very learned Greek historian, 
whose diligence, and the expense as well as the pains he was at to inform 
himself of facts, and particularly concerning the origin of nations and cities, 
Dionysius the Halicarnassian very much commends. The work of Theo- 
pompus is lost ; but the fact is related by Eusebius in his Praeparatio Evan- 
gelica, lib. x. c. 10 ; and also by Proclus, the philosopher^ in his Commen- 
tary upon the Timaeus of Plato ; who informs us, at the same time, that 
Callisthenes and Phanodemus averred the contrary of this, viz. that the 
Sai'tes were a colony of the Athenians ; and he mentions Atticus, a Platonic 
philosopher of later times, who says that Theopompus, through envy, invent* 
ed the story. And he adds, that, in Atticus's time, there came certain per- 
sons from Sais to Athens to renew their relation and connection with the 

VOL, II. 2 G 


occurred under the eye of Deucalion, which was attended 
with results not much different from those that have been 
already described. The survivors, as before, fled to the 
Athenian territory ; related in glowing terms the dreadful 
visitation which had fallen upon their countrymen ; and 
thereby created, in the susceptible minds of their hearers, 
those exaggerated notions of a universal cataclysm which 
have ever since loaded the fictions of poetry, and dis- 
turbed the reflections of the philosopher and the divine. 
Some of the fathers of the Christian church, ignorant of 
the physical history of the globe, and not understanding 
sufficiently the traditions of their pagan brethren on this 
subject, denied that there had ever been a local flood in 
any part of Greece ; but ascribed all that had been said 
respecting such an event to an imperfect acquaintance 
with the sacred oracles, in which it was imagined 
some of the more inquisitive of their sages might have 
perused the record of the Mosaical deluge. Theophilus 
of Antioch, for example, in his second address to Auto- 
lycus, speaks of Noah and Deucalion as being the same 
person : Nui, og KixXfirxi vtto him AivxetXtm : And Philo Ju- 
daeus, it has been observed by a learned author, adopted 
the same opinion. 'EXMvii fn* Asyx«/<»v«, Xux^xiot Je Ni2E 
ETToyofix^ovs-tv, i^' ev rov fnyttv KXTXKXva-ftov a-vviZn yimrSxi, that is, 

" the Greeks called the person Deucalion, but the Chal- 
deans called him Noah ; in whose time there happened 
the great eruption of waters."* 

These views have been followed out to a great length 
by the celebrated Jacob Bryant, who, in his able work on 
Ancient Mythology, has attempted to explain all the 
fancies and superstitions of profane antiquity upon prin- 

• Philo Jud. dc prtcinio et poena. Bryant's Ancient Wylhology, vol. i. 
p. 23. 


ciples connected with the Noachic deluge. He undertakes 
to show that the history of the Flood was religiously pre- 
served in the first ages; that every circumstance of it is 
to be met with among the historians and mythologists of 
different countries ; and that traces of it are to be parti- 
cularly found in the sacred rites of Egypt and of Greece. 
He illustrates with a profusion of learning the leading po- 
sition of his system, that Noah, the great patriarch, was 
highly revered by his posterity ; that they looked upon 
him as a person peculiarly favoured by Heaven ; that they 
honoured him with many titles, each of which had a re- 
ference to some particular part of his history. They 
styled him Prometheus, Deucalion, Atlas, Theuth, Zuth, 
Xuthus, Inachus, Osiris. Noah, says he, was the original 
Zevj, Zeus, and Dios. He was the planter of the vine, 
and the inventor of fermented liquors. He was also 
Dionusos, the Bacchus of the Latins.* 

Without presuming in this cursory inquiry to examine 
the general grounds of Mr Bryant's system, I may yet 
venture to question the accuracy of his particular conclu- 
sion relative to those traditions, respecting the successive 
inundations of their country, which prevailed among the 
historians and mythologists of Greece. It is impossible 
to survey with the eye of a naturalist the geological struc- 
ture of Thessaly, without perceiving, at the first glance, 
that the great valley of which it is principally composed 
must, at a former period, have been covered with water, 
and presented to the inhabitants of the neighbouring hills 
the appearance of a magnificent lake. A sudden disloca- 
tion of the rocks which closed the lower end of the valley^ 
and formed as it were a bulwark to check the descent of 

Analysis of Ancient Mythology, vol. i. p. 17. 


the current, would occasion a very extensive deluge in 
Boeotia, Phocis, and the low lands of Attica. Herodotus, 
whose geographical knowledge cannot be too highly ex- 
tolled, informs us that Thessaly was in ancient times one 
vast lake, surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains ; on 
the east by Pelion and Ossa, whose bases meet each other ; 
on the north by Olympus ; on the west by Pindus ; on 
the south by Othrys. Into the Thessalian valley, thus 
formed, several rivers pour their waters, the Peneus, the 
Apidanus, the Onochonus, the Enipeus, and the Pamicus ; 
all these flowing from the adjoining mountains, at length 
lose themselves in the Peneus, in whose channel they find 
their way to the ocean. It is said that, in former days, 
before this outlet to the sea existed, all these rivers, as 
well as the lake Bgebeis^ were mingled together without 
any specific name, and that the whole of Thessaly was 
itself a sea. The Thessalians affirm, he continues, and 
not without much ground of probability, that the valley 
through which the Peneus flows was formed by Neptune. 
Whoever supposes that Neptune causes earthquakes, and 
that the consequent chasms are the work of that deity, 
may, on viewing this spot, easily ascribe it to his power. 
To me, he concludes, the separation of these mountains 
appears to have been the effect of an earthquake.* 

* Tj)!' ^e 0si7cr«>i<y/V Aoyo; l^Tt roTFdXciiov liven Xi^vnv, aia-Ti yi'<rf^iVYiv -^avroh^ vTrieicyixic-i ov^sa-i. ret fAiv yx^ccvrviq ttpo? tyiv 
ijU iy^ovTcc, TO, TS n>)A<«ii hvpoi x,cct » Otrc-a ii7roKXr,tii, (rvf^f^KryovTcc 
rxi vTrupHcii; ot,XXnXoia-i' rcc oi Tr^oi (ic^io) ctvif^ov, OuXvfZTroi' ret, "hi 
TTpoi WttipyiV, Tlivooi' roe. oi Trpog fAicrcif,iZpiYiv ts xai uvsficv vorov, vj 
06pvi. TO filo'ov at T««TS»)/ ra/v M^hvruv ivpiuv *i QitrirccXivi la-rt 
iovs'ci KOiXvj. ooirri av TtorccfAuv v.cii aXXeav crv^vuv i^ ccvrr,)! ia-ttecXXovTetiv^ 
TTiVTi ^i T«V OCKtfiUV flCCXtCTTd rUyOi, IlYlVilOV, Xdl 'ATTtOXVOV, xxt 'Ovo- 

j^ayov, x-cii 'Ev«5!r£0?, xxt Tlxfita-ov' ot ftiv vvv ii re ttioiov rovro crvX- 
Xiyouivoi Ik, t«v ivp^^iMv rav 7riptKXr,iovTMv rnv &ia-c-xXizv ovvof^x^o/^ivoi, 


It is remarkable that Xerxes intimidated the Thes- 
sahans, by reminding them that all which would be ne- 
cessary on his part to deluge their country, and convert it 
once more into a lake, was to stop up the mouth of the 
Peneus, and thereby throw back its waters upon the sur- 
face of the valley.* 

The bursting of such lakes is by no means an uncom- 

o< Ivo; oivXuvoc y,cn tovtov (Tthvov^ hc^oov i^ovcrt Ig ^aXxa-TX)) ■xpoirvu- 
(AttryavTii to vou^ vccvra 1; tuvto' Ittiuv ?s trvi^fii^^un-i rxx^vTX, 
hoivTiv ijOi) Iltivitoi TU ovvofAXTt KoiTxic^xTiuv , dvuvvfiovi Ttv? uXXovg 
Tramt iivxi. TO Oi -TVccXxiov Xiyirxt, ovy- seKToj tov dv^uyog xxi ^Hk- 
^oov rovTov, Tovg ^orxf/.ov? tovtov^, xxi Tr^og tokti Trorxtcotc-i rovTOio-t 
T«v BoiontoxXi/^vrjV, ovti ovvo/xx^sirSxi kxtxtt^^ vvv, piiiv re ev^iv ig-a-ov 
yj vvv, Diovrxi oi, TToiiSiv T))v 0£(7(r«A<>)!' 7rx(/xy TTiXayag. xvrtu usv vvv 
Qio-jxXot <px(n Iloa-iioioayx Troiria-xt rev elvXuvXf ^t' ov pm o Ilnviiog 
oiKorx XiyovTii. oirrig yx^ voy^tC^ii Iloa-iioiuvx rnv yriv asntv, kxi rx 
^ti(moi)rx vTTo (TiKT/^ov, rov ^saa rovrcv Igyx Itvxi, xxi dv hcitvo i^uv 
(pxit!) lioa-itoiuyx Troiyia-xi, Itrri yx^ <rita-uovlgyov, a; luoi lipxiviro uvxi, 
« "^ixo-rxa-n; rm ov^iuv. — Hcrodotus, lib. vii. c. 129. 

There is, in Philostratus, the description of a picture, in which Neptune 
is represented in the act of separating the mountains. The tradition, that 
Ossa and Olympus were anciently different parts of the same mountain, ex- 
isted from a very remote period in Greece; and, according to Mr Wood, in 
his Essay on Homer, is not now obliterated. The valley through which the 
Peneus flows, is the celebrated vale of Tempe, the fruitful theme of many 
poetical effusions in ancient periods as well as at the present :— 

Est nemus Hemonite prserupta quod undique claudit 
Silva, vocant Tempe, per quae Peneus ab imo 
Effusus Pindo spumosis volvitur undis. 
Dejectuque gravis tenues agitantia fumos 
Nubila conducit, summasque aspergine sylvas 
Implicat, et sonitu plusquam vicina fatigat. — 

Ovid. Metam. lib. i. c. 568. 

See Strabo, lib, viii. and Beloe's Herodotus, vol. iv. p. 54, note. 

* E6^|sflC 06 Xiyirxt uthv Trgoj rxvTX' " 1,o(pai dv^pig ucri &so-e-x- 
Xot. rxvr x^x-x^oifoWov ipvXx^xvro yvutri/^x^^ioyra Kxt r'xXXx, x-xt 
CTi ^mpriv x^x U^oy ivxi^irov rt y.xi rxy^vx'huroy. rov yap irorxftoy 
T^Yiyfix XV tiv f4.o'jyoy iTTUvxt a-tpiav iTTi rtjv ^Cti^riv, j^difcxrt Ix nv xvXai. 
yo; iKct^xFxvrx, r.xi Tcxqxr ^'ir\'xyrx Oi aiv vvv put pu^pci/y. axrri Q>iir- 
!r«A())» TTxa-xv iToo ruv iv^ieov vttoZ^v^x yinaSxi," 


mon event in mountainous countries. The inhabitants of 
the Alps have many such catastrophes on record. A sud- 
den thaw, after a long-continued frost, has been known to 
shake asunder the rocky barrier of an enclosed valley ; to 
give a passage to the waters which had occupied its bosom 
for ages ; and thereby to create dismay and ruin to the 
unfortunate dwellers in the adjacent plains. But this ef- 
fect is more commonly produced by those concussions of 
the earth, which ever and anon proceed from the action of 
volcanoes in all the elevated parts of the globe. The 
disengagement of inflammable air among the central 
strata of a mountain range is more powerful than the 
trident of Neptune; and is accompanied, too, with results not 
less destructive than they are confessedly beyond the reach 
of human calculation and foresight. 

There is, moreover, an agent at work, whose constant 
but imperceptible operation in altering the face of nature, 
brings to pass, in the lapse of centuries, changes still more 
striking than even those of the earthquake. The unceas- 
ing rush of water over the surface of the rocks, at length 
wears down their level, and by that means deepens the 
channel which drains the lake, till at last it is succeeded 
by a fruitful valley, emerging as it were from its bosom, 
through which the river then flows, without stagnation, to- 
wards the distant sea. Those immense bodies of fresh water 
which at present cover so large a portion of North Ame- 
rica, will in some future age be found to have emptied 
themselves into the Atlantic ; and the soil which they now 
conceal from the husbandman will then be subjected to the 
plough, and loaded with luxuriant crops and a crowded po- 
pulation. Mean time, the falls of Niagara will every year 
gradually diminish in height ; Erie will be insensibly de- 
prived of its floods ; and the more distant lakes will in 
their turn yield to the mighty working of that irresistible 


]aw which turns the inland-sea into dry land, and thereby 
divides the dominion of earth and water. 

No one can travel along the course of an ancient river, 
or examine the plains which stretch from either side on its 
banks, without perceiving manifest traces of the principle 
and the process to which I am now alluding. The 
Danube and the Elbe, for example, present some remark- 
able tokens to illustrate this part of natural history. 
The valley of Austria, perhaps, and still more certainly 
the extensive plains of Moravia and Bohemia, have been 
drained by the rivers which now pass through them. The 
mountains at Presburg appear to have opposed in former 
times the passage of the Danube, and, of course, to have 
constituted the boundary of a great lake. Bohemia, too, 
is surrounded with very high land, which in ancient 
days, while it poured down immense quantities of water, 
afforded hardly any means for its escape ; whence it 
must be obvious that, before the Elbe wrought out for 
itself a channel in the Erzegebirge deep enough to remove 
the stagnating floods which collected in the valley, the 
greater part of that fine kingdom must have been a lake. 

But these considerations, though naturally suggested 
by the subject before us, do not strictly belong to that 
branch of it which it is our main object to illustrate. 
The extract from Herodotus is, indeed, sufficient to re- 
move all doubt as to the fact that, in those districts of 
Greece bordering immediately upon Thessaly towards the 
south and east, there were repeated inundations, which 
carried consternation and loss over a vast extent of coun- 
try ; whence we may conclude, that the traditionary no- 
tices which were perpetuated among the Greeks respect- 
ing a sore visitation endured by their ancestors from a 
flood, were founded upon real events exclusively applic- 
able to their own part of the world. 


It is no doubt true that such of the Greek writers as 
lived in Asia Minor, or Assyria, mixed in their narratives 
the traditions which they heard in those countries, relative 
to the Noachic deluge, with the reminiscences of their 
own people respecting the cataclysms of Ogyges and Deu- 
calion. Lucian, for example, who was a native of Samo- 
sata, a city of Commagene, on the Euphrates, where we 
may presume that memorials of the deluge were long 
preserved and even incorporated with the national super- 
stitions, gives of that event an account which bears upon 
it the strongest evidence of having been derived in part 
from the sacred Scriptures. He describes Noah under the 
name of Deucalion, and then goes on to observe that the 
actual race of mankind are different from those who first 
existed ; those of the antediluvian ages having been all 
destroyed. The world that now is was peopled from the 
sons of Deucalion ; the common father of the numerous 
tribes which at present occupy the surface of the earth. 
In respect to the former race, they were men of violence, 
and incapable of being restrained by law. They regarded 
not oaths, nor observed the rites of hospitality, nor 
showed mercy to those who sued for it. On this account 
they were doomed by the divine justice to destruction; 
to accomplish which, a mighty eruption of waters took 
place from the bowels of the earth, accompanied with 
heavy rains from above, so that the rivers swelled, and 
the sea overflowed, till the whole globe was covered with 
a flood, and every living thing was destroyed. Deucalion 
alone was preserved to re-people the world, — an act of 
mercy which was vouchsafed to him as the reward of his 
virtue and piety. His preservation was effected in this 
manner : He put all his family, both their sons and their 
wives, into a vast ship or float, which he had built ; after 
which he went into it himself. At the same time, animals 


of every species, boars, horses, lions, serpents, and what- 
ever else lived on the face of the earth, followed him by 
pairs : all which he received into the ark; nor did he ex- 
perience any evil from them ; for, by the immediate in- 
fluence of the Deity, there prevailed a wonderful har- 
mony throughout. He next proceeds to mention, that 
Deucalion, upon the disappearing of the waters, went 
forth from his floating sanctuary and raised altars to God; 
and concludes by assuring his readers that the ark rested 
at Hierapolis in Syria, where the temple of the goddess 
was erected, and where the several events of the flood 
were still commemorated in the religious services of the 

Eusebius has preserved a similar fragment, which he 
found in the works of Abydenus, supposed to have been 
obtained by the latter from some very ancient archives 
among the Medes and Babylonians. The patriarch is 
here spoken of as a king, whose name was Seisithrus ; 
upon which the historian relates that the flood began upon 
the fifteenth day of the month Desius ; that, during the 
prevalence of the waters, Seisithrus sent out birds that 
he might judge whether the flood had abated, but that 
they, not finding any resting-place, returned to him 
again. This was repeated three times ; when, at last, the 
birds were found to return with their feet stained with 
mud ; whence he was enabled to conclude, that the waters 
had at length subsided. Upon this he quitted the ark, 
and was never more seen of men, having been taken away 
by the gods from the earth.-}* 

It is manifest that these oriental records could not have 
been formed without some acquaintance with the inspired 

• Lucian De Dea Syria, quoted by Bryant, vol. iii. p. 27. 
•f Abyden. apud Euseb. Prsep. Evan. lib. ix. c. 12. 


writings of the Old Testament, or at least with such oral 
histories of Noah's family as, during the infancy of litera- 
ture, we may believe to have been very common over the 
greater part of Asia. Still there is no reason hereby sup- 
plied for calling in question the existence of those partial 
deluges in Greece and other countries, of which the evi- 
dence remains clearly marked, not only in the popular 
traditions of the several districts where the affliction was 
sustained, but also in the geological structure of the hills 
and valleys which were the scene of these natural catas- 

But, reverting once more to the proper subject of this 
chapter, I may observe, that Cecrops was not the only 
Egyptian to whom ancient Greece was indebted for civili- 
zation and learning. Danaus also, who afterwards attain- 
ed to the sovereignty of Argos, is said to have been a 
native of the same country, and one of the brothers of 
its king. The events which led to his emigration from 
Egypt belong to the department of fable, and could have 
no interest for the reader of historical antiquities. Having 
failed in an attempt to establish a colony at Rhodes, he pro- 
ceeded to Argos, where Gelanor was then on the throne, and 
where he soon rendered himself so useful to the inhabi- 
tants, that they solicited him to remain. A great drought 
happened to prevail about the time when the Egyptians 
landed, which occasioned a scarcity of water, and all the 
sufferings which usually attend the absence of that essen- 
tial necessary of life. Danaus taught them to dig wells; 
and the relief which was thereby procured excited in the 
ardent minds of the Greeks a sentiment of gratitude so 
exceedingly strong, that in their eyes no reward seemed 
equal to his merits, but the crown of the Argian mo- 

Tiie Greeks, at the period under consideration, though 


themselves extremely rude and unlettered, could appre- 
ciate the advantages of knowledge in those who were 
elevated to the condition of rulers. Perhaps, too, the wealth 
and arms of the Egyptian prince contributed not a little 
to confirm his power at Argos ; but as the inhabitants of 
that city were more willing to ascribe their submission to 
affection than to terror, the accession of the Danaidae has 
usually been concealed from too minute a criticism, by 
the veil of fable and romance.* Whatever might be the 
means which ministered to his success, there is no doubt 
that he not only established his authority in his adopted 
country during his own reign, but also transmitted it un- 
impaired to his posterity; and at the same time perpetuated 
his reputation in the use of a national epithet, which 
was sometimes extended to all the Grecian states.-f- 

The sceptre passed from Danaus through the hands of 
Lynceus and Acrisius to a line of princes whose names 
are immortalized by Homer. The celebrated Danae was 
a daughter of the last-mentioned king, and mother of the 
warlike Perseus ; the first of those heroes, whose charac- 
ters, as unfolded in the works of ancient poets, partake 
largely of the qualities ascribed to the gods, but whose 
actions have eluded the most patient researches of the 
historian and the chronographer. According to Strabo 
and Pausanias, this son of Danae was the founder of My- 
cenae, which he made the capital of his dominions. Argos 
appears to have been for some time thereafter governed 
by a chief magistrate, who retained the title of king ; but 

Strabo, lib. viii. ^schyl. Danaid. Pausanias, lib. ii. c. 19. 
EX6uv iii Apyoi diKia-iv Ivx^ov ■^oXiv, 


it is manifest that, in the days of Homer, this city owed 
a species of subjection to the other, for in the second 
book of tlie Iliad, Agamemnon, the sovereign of My- 
cenae, is called the king of many islands, and of all 

Brief as this historical retrospect must be, I cannot 
pass over the character of Pelops, whose memory is 
closely connected with the fortunes as well as with the 
name of that remarkable peninsula which forms the 
southern extremity of Greece. He was the son of Tan- 
talus, who, according to some authorities, was king of 
Phrygia, and according to others the king of Lydia in 
Asia Minor. Finding it necessary to leave his own 
country, he passed over, it should seem, in the first in- 
stance, into Thessaly ; whence he soon afterwards ad- 
vanced with a body of Achaians, and took possession of 
Laconia, where he founded a temporary establishment. 
Having married Hippodamia, the daughter of (Eno- 
malis, the king of Eleia, he attained in due time to the 
sovereignty of that state. Like the several adventurers 
from Egypt, he carried with him into Greece a degree 
of knowledge in arts and in arms, which enabled him to 
conciliate the affection or subdue the resistance of the na- 
tives : and in the course of a long reign, he so complete- 
ly established his influence among the neighbouring states, 
and so firmly rooted in them the various branches of his own 
family, that when he died, the land which he had entered 
a stranger was called after his own name. His glory, too, 
was greatly augmented in that of his posterity, particu- 
larly in the persons of Atreus, Agamemnon, and Mene- 

Aurag ccvn Qvstrr AyctfAifAvovi XitTri (po^nvxt, 
Ilch>^r)<7i VYiiT-otcri, xctt A^yii Trccvrt etvxirc-iiv. 

Chap. IV.] AND PROFANE llIsroilY. 477 

laus. His daughter Astydamia was married to Sthenelus, 
king of Argos, son of Perseus. Their son and successor 
Eurystheus is celebrated for his enmity to Hercules, who 
was likewise descended from the houses of Perseus and 
Pelops ; and the events which originated in the personal 
animosity of these princes hold a distinguished place in 
the ancient heroic history of Greece, and will form the 
subject of a section in the following chapter of this book.* 
The connection of Grecian and Egyptian history has 
carried the narrative somewhat beyond the proper period 
of Cadmus ; who, about the year B. C. 1495, conducted 
a colony from Phenicia into the Boeotian territory. The 
arrival of this chief has usually been considered as an 
epoch in the progress of learning among the Greeks. He- 
rodotus remarks, that the " Phenicians who came with 
Cadmus introduced, during their residence in Greece, the 
knowledge of various parts of science, and among other 
things the knowledge of letters, with which, as I conceive, 
the Greeks were before unacquainted. These were at 
first such as the Phenicians themselves indiscriminately 
use ; in process of time, however, they were changed 
both in sound and form. At that period the Greeks who 
lived nearest this people were the lonians, who learned 
these letters of the Phenicians, and, with some trifling va- 
riations, received them into common use. As the Pheni- 
cians first made them known in Greece, they called them, 
as justice required, Phenician letters. I myself have seen 
in the temple of fhe Ismenian Apollo, at Thebes of Boeotia, 
these Cadmean letters inscribed upon some tripods, and 
having a near resemblance to those used by the Ionians.'"-f- 

" Strabo, lib. viii. Diod. Sicul. lib. iv. c. 75. Pausan. lib. ii. c. IS, 
and lib. v, c. 13. Mitford. 

t Herodot. lib. v. c. u8, 59. The learned reader will recognize, in the 


It is, indeed, generally admitted amongst the learned, 
both that Cadmus was a Phenician, and also that he com- 
municated to the Greeks the knowledge of certain alpha- 
betical characters with which they were not formerly ac- 
quainted. That letters were used in several of the Gre- 
cian states long before his arrival, has already on general 
grounds been shown to be extremely probable ; and that 
the descendants of Phoroneus and Cecrops must have 
been in possession of the seeds of learning prior to the 
adventure of the son of Agenor, might be rendered still 
more manifest by a closer examination of ancient authori- 
ties. But my object at present is rather to show that, not- 
withstanding the clear testimony of many excellent writers, 
the history of Cadmus is still involved in much mystery 
and confusion.* 

The learned Bochart supposes that he was a member of 
one of the families mentioned by Moses in the fifteenth 
chapter of Genesis, namely, the Kadmonites, who are 
there joined with the Kenites and the Kenizzites. He 
likewise Imagines that Hermione or Harmonia was a na- 
tive of mount Hermon, situated in one of the countries 
which were overrun by Joshua. Familiam quod attinet, 
ex ipso nomine colligimus Kx^f^ov fuisse -iimp Cadmoni, 

following lines from Lucan, an expression of the opinion entertained by He- 
rodotus : — 

" Pheenices primi, famae si creditur, ausi 
Mansuram rudibus vocem signare figuris. 
Nondum fiumineas Memphis contexere biblos 
Noverat, et saxis tantum, volucresque feraeque 
Sculptaque servabant magicas animalia linguas, — 

Lucan. Pharsal. lib. iii. 

• For an able dissertation on the literature of Phenicia, and on the obli- 
gations of the Greeks to that nation for their knowledge of letters, I beg to 
refer to the twentieth chapter of Bochart's work, entitled Chanaan, seu de 
Coloniis et Sermone Phoenicum.— Opem, vol. i. p. 448, &c. 


id est Cadmonasum, ex illis Cadmonaeis, de quibus agit 
Moses. Gen. xv. 19. Hi porro Cadmonaei cum Hevaeis 
iidem erant. Neque obscura ratio cur Hevaei Cadmo7iim, 
id est, Orientales dicti sunt, cum Jos. ii. 3. et Jud. iii. 3. 
legamus eos occupasse montem Hermoneniy quae pars erat 
terrae Chanaan maxime orientalis. Unde est quod pro 
oriente Hermon, ut pro occasu Thabor. Psal. Ixxxix. 13. 
Cadmonaeus igitur idem qui Hermona3US. Atque hinc 
factum ut Cadmi uxor vocetur Harmonia vel Hermione, 
nempe a monte Hermon ex quo erant oriundi. Nee jam 
obscurum cur in serpentes fingantur esse mutati. He- 
vaei enim erant, et ^<^•lrr Hevceus Syris est serpens."* 

If the word Cadmonite be synonlmous with the term 
which in the Syrian language denotes a serpent, we at 
once obtain a key to that obscure part of his fabulous his- 
tory, where Cadmus is represented as sowing the teeth of 
that reptile, which instantly produced a crop of armed 
men. Bochart farther expounds, that the Phenician words 
which have been translated serpent's teeth, literally sig- 
nify brazen spears, xrece cuspides^ the weapons with which 
Cadmus first equipped his soldiers in Greece ; and hence, 
by a very common rhetorical figure, the foreign warriors 
were described by a reference to their principal arms, just 
as in these days wfe might say of an officer, that he led on 
a thousand lances or a thousand muskets to the charge.-f* 

" Geog. Sacrae, Pars Posterior, lib. i. c. 19. p. 447. 

•|" " When Cadmus came into Boeotia, and had conquered the inhabitants, 
it might be recorded of him in the Phenician or Hebrew language, which an- 
ciently were the same, that he BTIi "JU'S ^Z'^pv^^3 rs-a^SK u^nn b-'H rtwy Nasah 
chail cham^sh anoshim noshekim hesh^nei nachash. These words might be<nn the 
account, and in these words are the following ambiguities : Chamcsh signifies 
warlike, or prepared for war, and a word of the same letters may be translat- 
ed ^I'C. Shenci may signify spears, or it may be rendered tecl/i. Nachash 
is the Hebrew word for a serpent, or for brass ; and these words being thus 
capable of denoting very different things, a fabulous translator might say, Iw 



Those who are desirous to see how far learning and 
ingenuity can support an hypothesis which has no real 
foundation in historical fact, may consult the treatise from 
which I have quoted the above observations. Mean time, 
I proceed to examine the opinion of Mr Bryant, who 
maintains that no such person as Cadmus ever existed. 
" If we consider," says he, " the whole history of this 
celebrated hero, we shall find that it was impossible for 
one person to have effected what he is supposed to have 
performed. His expeditions were various and wonderful, 
and such as in those early times would not have been 
attempted, nor could ever have been completed. It may 
be asked, if there were no such man as Cadmus, what 
did the ancients allude to under this character.? The 
travels of Cadmus, like the expeditions of Perseus, Sesos- 
tris, and Osiris, relate to colonies which at different times 
went abroad and were distinguished by this title. But 
what was the work of many, and performed at various 
seasons, has been attributed to one person. Cadmus was 
one of the names of. Osiris, the chief deity of Egypt. 
Both Europa and Harmonia are of the like nature. They 
are titles of the deity ; but assumed by colonies who went 
out and settled under these denominations. Their ideal 
chieftain, whether Cadmus, or Bacchus, or Hercules, 
was supposed to have traversed the same ground ; and 
the achievements of different ages were conferred upon the 
fancied hero of a day. This has been the cause of 
great inconsistency throughout the mythology of the an- 
cients. To this they added largely, being so lavish of 
titles, out of reverence to their gods. Wherever they 

raised a force of Jive men, armed from the teeth of a serpent ; when the words 
ought to have been translated, he raised a warlike force of vien, armed with 
spears of brass." — Shuckford, vol. ii. p. 321. 


came they built temples to them, and cities under vaxious 
denominations ; all which were taken from some supposed 
attribute. These titles and attributes, though they be- 
longed originally to one god, the sun ; yet, being mani- 
fold and misapplied, gave rise to a multitude of deities, 
whose aera never could be settled, nor their history ren- 
dered consistent. Cadmus was one of these. He was 
the same as Hermes of Egypt, called also Thoth, 
Athoth, and Canathoth ; and was supposed to have been 
the inventor of letters. Harmonia, the wife of Cadmus, 
who has been esteemed a mere woman, seems to have 
been an emblem of nature, and the fostering nurse of all 
things. The deity called by the Greeks Harmonia, was 
introduced among the Canaanites very early by people 
from Egypt ; and was worshipped in Sidon and the adja- 
cent countries by the name of Baal-Kermon."* 

The ingenious analyst next undertakes to prove, that 
Cadmus was no other person than Ham the son of Noah, 
who, by his posterity, was looked upon as the sun, and 
worshipped under his titles, — a circumstance, however, 
which was common to all who were styled Baalim. He 
immediately afterwards conjectures that he must have been 
the same with Academus, who founded the celebrated 
building and planted the grove where Plato taught his 
divine philosophy. But he sees it proper to conclude, upon 
the whole, that the story of Cadmus and Europa related to 
people from Egypt and Syria, who went abroad at different 
times and settled in various parts. " Under the character 
of Europa are to be understood people styled Europians, 
from their particular mode of worship. Europa was a 
deity : and the name is a compound, Eur-Ope, analogous 

• Analysis of Ancient Mythology, vol. ii. 434—450. 
VOL. II. 2 H 


to Canope, Canophis, and Cnuphis of Egypt ; and signi- 
fies Orus Pytho. It is rendered by the Greeks as a femi- 
nine noun, upon the supposition that it was the name of a 
woman ; but it related properly to a country." " It is 
said of Cadmus, that, at the close of his life, he was, to- 
gether with his wife Harmonia, changed to a serpent of 
stone. This wonderful metamorphosis is related to have 
happened at Encheliae, a town in Illyria ; which circum- 
stance is taken notice of by Lucan : — 

Tunc qui Dardaniam tenet Oricon, et vagus altis 
Dispersus sylvis Athamas, et nomine prisco 
Encheliae, versi testantes funera Cadmi.* 

The true history is this. These two personages were 
here enshrined in a temple or Petra, and worshipped under 
the symbol of a serpent." 

A sober reader cannot but bewail this great waste of 
learning and acuteness. It is manifest that the hypothe- 
sis of which I have now given the outline, and which in 
various forms occupies the greater part of Mr Bryant's 
work, has no other support than the practice, very common 
in all eastern countries, of forming the names of men from 
certain qualities and epithets attributed to the divine na- 
ture. Most of the appellations in the Old Testament are 
composed on this principle ; and, were we to follow the 
example of Mr Bryant, we might discover, not only in the 
patriarchs and prophets, but even in the greater number 
of the kinss and warriors whose actions are recorded in 
its pages, the living image of so many incarnate deities. 
Nay, he himself admits that the names of Agamemnon and 
Menelaus were ancient titles of the chief god ; and that 
the former is supposed to have been the same as Zeus, 

* Lucan. lib. iii. v. 187. 

Chap. IV.] AND rilOFANE HISTORY. 483 

Miher, and Coelus. But as tlic sons of Atreus were dis- 
tinguished by a divine nomenclature, so might the son of 
Agenor ; and as the Greek princes were men, and actuate 
ed by merely human motives, so is it probable that the 
Phenician chief, notwithstanding the etymology of his name, 
was never called to discharge higher duties than to lead 
forth a band of soldiers to seek his sister, who had been 
stolen away, or to discover a land in which he might pro- 
vide his followers with bread and a habitation. In regard, 
again, to the metamorphosis which happened at Encheliae, 
it may be confidently resolved into the historical fact men- 
tioned by Herodotus, that the Cadmeans, upon being ex- 
pelled from Thebes by the victorious Argives, sought 
refuge among the Enchelians, a people of Illyria.* 

Perhaps it may not add much to our confidence in an- 
cient history, to find, upon descending from the elevated 
ground assumed by Bochart and Bryant, that, according 
to Dr Shuckford, Cadmus was indeed a man, but that Ju- 
piter at the same time was no god. This author, on the 
faith of Pausanias, informs us, that once upon a time " Ju- 
piter and his whole family were at Thebes in Baotia at 
the wedding of Cadmus. Jupiter then gave Harmonia to 
Cadmus, to be his wife ; for Harmonia was not the daugh- 
ter of Mars and Venus, as many of tlie ancient writers 
suggest, but the daughter of Jupiter, and sister of Darda- 
nus. Cadmus married about eight years after he came to 
Thebes."-f- It is but right, however, to add, that Dr 
Shuckford's notions respecting the nation and family of 
this Phenician emigrant are upon the whole remarkable 
for good sense ; and afford the most satisfactory evidence 

• Herod, lib. v. C. 61. s|av/a-7£«ra/ Kah/moi tiir A^yucov, aai r^t^ovrai h rouf 
•f Sacred and Profane History Connected, vol. ii. p. 155. 


that he had studied the intricate subject of Grecian origi- 
nals with care, and viewed them, too, through the medium 
of competent learning. 

We have seen that the opinion of ancient writers has 
been fully established in regard to the mixed character of 
the Grecian people. Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Sparta 
derived, if not their founders, at least large bodies of in- 
habitants from Egypt and Phenicia. The arts and learn- 
ing, which shed so much lustre upon the Greeks, proceed- 
ed from the same source. Without venturing to resume 
the difficult investigation which respects the origin of the 
earliest occupants of that interesting country, which is 
bounded by the Ionian and Egean seas, we may rest sa- 
tisfied that the rapid progress which they made in know- 
ledge, and by which they soon distinguished themselves 
from the tribes of the same blood, who continued to dwell 
in the upper parts of Thrace and towards the Danube, 
arose entirely from their intercourse with the Phenicians 
and Egyptians. 

As my object in the present chapter has not been to write 
a history of Greece, but merely to give a summary of the 
opinions which have been entertained relative to the foun- 
dation of its most ancient kingdoms, it cannot be thought 
necessary that I should enter into details on the subject of 
her early wars, and the consequent establishment of those 
minor states which were afterwards spread over the sur- 
face of her territory. The following quotation from Usher 
shadows forth the events which, at so remote a period, 
would, according to his views of chronology, occupy the 
attention of the historical reader : — " Cecrops ^Egyptius 
Saitarum colonia in Atticam traducta, (ut ex Diodori Si- 
culi Bibliothecae libro primo intelligimus) Atheniensium 
regnum condidit ; ante primam Olympiadem annis 780, 
utex Castore habet, in Chronico suo, Eusebius. Abejus 


temporibus Grsecorum antiqiiitates deducit Chronogra- 
phus Parius, a doctissinio Seldeno nostro inter Arundel- 
liana marmora editus : utpote postquam, et parem ilH 
aetate Mosem, qiioe apiid Grcecos mirabilia narrantur, can- 
tigeruut ; Deucalion'is diluvium, Phaetontis incendium, or- 
tus Erichthonii, Proserpince raptus^ Cereris mysteria^ 
Eleusinorum institution Triptolemi agricultural Europce ab 
Jove raptus, Apollinis nativitas, Cadmi ad Thebanos ad- 
ventus ; atque iis Juniores, Bacchus, Minos, Perseus, 
jEsculapius, Dioscuri, Hercules ; quemadmodum in Prce- 
parationis Evangelicao libra dccimo, capite none, ab Euse- 
bio est observatum.* 

It has been already remarked, that the period to which 
part of the narrative of this chapter applies, is removed 
considerably beyond the epoch at which the subjects dis- 
cussed in these volumes have their proper commencement. 
The accession of ^gialeus to the throne of Sicyon, for 
example, took place about fourscore years before the mi- 
gration of Abraham into Egypt. Even the kings of Ar- 
gos began to reign about a hundred and thirty years prior 
to the exode of the children of Israel ; for, if we are right 
in the computations formerly given on this subject, the de- 
parture from Egypt was B. C. 1608, while the first year 
of Phoroneus, the founder of the Argian monarchy, is usu- 
ally fixed B. C. 1779. Agreeably to the same principles, 
the government of Cecrops at Athens synchronizes with 
the latter years of Joshua, and with the servitude of the 
Hebrews under Chusan Rishathaim ; and the arrival of 
Cadmus at Thebes falls in with the oppression of the Is- 
raelites by the hands of the Moabites. 

Dr Shuckford, relying upon the authority of Usher, 
Marsham, and their followers, has placed the time of 

• Usserii Annales, p. 10. 


Moses much too low, and made him contemporary with 
Cecrops and Cadmus. This error has arisen from the 
peculiar views entertained by the archbishop respecting the 
length of the interval between the exode and the founda- 
tion of Solomon's temple ; or more strictly, perhaps, in 
regard to the administration of the Judges, as separated 
from the successive oppressions to which the Hebrews were 
subjected. It is well known that he thought proper to 
include each servitude in the government of the par- 
ticular Judge who was raised up by Divine Provi- 
dence to put an end to it ; and in this way he has 
shortened the distance between Moses and Samuel not 
less than a hundred and twelve years. As the son of 
Amram was eighty years of age at the departure of the 
Hebrews from Egypt, which took place about B. C 1608, 
he must have been born B. C. 1688, or one hundred and 
thirty years before Cecrops began his reign at Athens. 
The following syllabus of dates will place the synchronism 
of Hebrew and Grecian history, for the period now under 
consideration, in a much clearer light than could be effected 
by an unaided narrative. 


B.C. A.M. 

Abraham was born - 2113 3328 

Went into Egypt, • - 2038 3403 

Moses born, _ - 1688 3753 

Exode of Hebrews, - 1608 3833 

Death of Moses, - - 1568 3873 

Death of Joshua, - 1543 3898 

Death of Othniel, - 1493 3948 

End of Moabitic servitude, - 1471 3970 



Sicyonian Kings. 



iEgialeus reigned, 
























Argian Kmgs. 



Phoroneus reigned, 





















Danaus, ■ - 



Athcninn Kingfi. 



Cccrops reigned. 









Erich thonius, 



Pan d ion, 




It thus appears that Abraham was born when Europus 
reigned at Sicyon ; that Moses was born when Orthopolis 
was on the same throne, and when Apis occupied that of 
Argos ; that the Jewish exode synchronizes with the go- 
vernment of Marathus, and with that of the Argian 
Criasus ; and^ finally, that Moses died ten years exactly 
before Cecrops placed himselfat the head of his Athenians. 

I have not thought it necessary to follow the footsteps 
of those minute chronologers who have undertaken to fix 
the dates at which Ino, Epaphus, and other subordinate 
personages, acted their parts on the theatre of Grecian af- 
fairs. On these points of archaeological investigation, the 
reader will find much learned labour in the volumes of 
Pausanias and Apollodorus, and more especially in the 
critical annotations which accompany the works of Pindar, 
Euripides, and Apollonius Rhodius. The elucidation of 
such inquiries belongs exclusively to the professional anti- 
quary. There are, however, certain other historical events 
connected with the times when the Judges ruled, which 
ought not to be passed over ; more especially as the dates 
at which they are supposed to have occurred are far from 
being satisfactorily determined. I allude principally to 
the celebrated voyage under Jason ; the war of Troy ; and 
the return of the descendants of Hercules to claim the in- 
heritance of their fathers.* 

* See Jackson's Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 314. Apollodorus, 
lib. ii. Plut. de Isid. et Osirid. 




No occurrence in ancient history is more obscurely cloud- 
ed with fable than the voyage undertaken by Jason to the 
shores of Colchis in search of the golden fleece. A colony 
of Egyptians had settled at an early period on the eastern 
coast of the Euxine sea ; where, by means of the ingenuity 
and enterprise which distinguished that remarkable people, 
they had spread around them so great an appearance of 
riches as to attract the cupidity of the piratical tribes who 
dwelt on the maritime borders of Thessaly. Among 
other sources of wealth which their industrious habits had 
suggested, the Colchians, as we are informed by Strabo 
and Arrian, were wont to spread, in the beds of the rivu- 
lets which descended from mount Caucasus, the skins of 
sheep or of goats covered with the wool ; in which, as the 
muddy water passed over them, particles of gold were depo- 
sited and detained.* Perhaps the mines in the neigh- 

* Strab. lib. xi. and Arrian. de Bello Mithridat. Herodotus, lib. ii. c. 104. 


bourhood were the real incitement which acted upon the 
followers of Jason ; but, at all events, a large ship was 
built or equipped in the harbour of lolcos, on board of 
which a number of daring spirits embarked, who forthwith 
directed their course towards the envied country, concern- 
ing which they had heard so many flattering reports. 

The reader of classical antiquities is aware that the 
exploit of Jason is usually clothed in a much more fabu- 
lous attire. Athamas, king of Thebes, had married Ino, 
the daughter of Cadmus, whom he divorced in order to 
marry Nephele, by whom he had two children, Phryxus 
and Helle. The caprice of the monarch soon afterwards 
replaced Ino in her rank as his wife, and sent away her rival ; 
after which the daughter of Cadmus became the mother 
of two children, Learches and Melicerta. As the chil- 
dren of Nephele were to succeed to their father in right 
of primogeniture, Ino conceived an invincible hatred against 
them ; and under the influence of this passion she poison- 
ed the fruits of the earth, and thereby brought a dread- 
ful pestilence upon Thebes. The oracle being consulted, 
gave directions that the progeny of Nephele should be 
oflPered up in sacrifice to the gods. Phryxus was soon appris- 
ed of this; who, carrying his sister with him, immediately 
embarked on board a ship, and fled to the court of ^Eetes, 
king of Colchis, one of his near relations. In the voyage 
Helle died, but her brother arrived at Colchis in safety, 
where he met with but a very, indifferent reception from 
his royal kinsman. The poets have greatly embellished 
the flight of Phryxus. They suppose that he and Helle 
fled through the air on a ram, which had wings and a 
golden fleece, and was, moreover, endowed with the facul- 
ty of speech ; the offspring, it is added, of Neptune and 
the nymph Theophane. Just as they were about to be 
sacrificed to the jealousy of Ino, the humane animal took 


them on his back and instantly disappeared in the air. 
On their way Helie became giddy, and fell down into that 
part of the sea which, from her name, has ever since been 
called the Hellespont. When Phryxus arrived at Col- 
chis, he is said to have sacrificed the ram to Jupiter or to 
Mars, to whom he also dedicated the golden wool. He 
soon afterwards married one of the daughters of ^Eetes ; 
but he was doomed not to enjoy much of matrimonial 
happiness ; for his father-in-law, envying him the pos- 
session of the celebrated fleece, put him to death in order 
to obtain it. 

In these circumstances, Jason was called upon to 
avenge the murder of his relative, and to recover the 
treasure which had been the cause of it. This son of 
iEson was heir to the crown of lolcos, which his uncle 
Pelias had usurped ; and when ho came of age he respect- 
fully reminded the reigning sovereign of his claims^ and 
assured him that he was determined to enforce them by 
all the means in his power. Pelias, who saw it was vain 
to resist the demands of his nephew, who was equally 
bold and popular, declared that he would abdicate the 
throne in his favour, on condition that he should sail to 
Colchis, punish the treachery of ^etes, and bring back 
the golden fleece. The prince, who was in the vigour of 
youth, and of an ambitious spirit, cheerfully undertook 
the expedition ; and gathering around him all the young 
men of rank who were inclined to join him in such an en- 
terprise, he conducted them on board his famous ship 
the Argo, and set sail for the kingdom of Colchis.* 

After a variety of adventures in the several islands 

• Justin, lib. xlii. c. 2. Igitur Jason divulgata opinione tarn glorioss 
expeditionis, cum ad eum certatim principes juventutistotiusfermeorbiscon- 
currerent, exercitum fortissimorum virorum, qui Argonauts cognoniinati 
sunt, comparavit — See also Diod. Sin/I. lib. iv. c. 41. P'ntdar. Pyfh. 4. 


where they landed, and, after the lapse of several years 
spent in the voyage, the Argonauts at length reached the 
capital of JEetes. Jason explained the object of his mis- 
sion, and urged the restoration of the golden fleece ; but 
the conditions prescribed by the king as the only terms 
upon which it could be obtained were so extremely hard, 
that had not his daughter, the celebrated Medea, assisted 
them by her incantations, the chiefs of lolcos must have 
returned to their native land loaded with disappointment. 
She had a conference with Jason in the temple of Hecate; 
and, after mutual oaths of fidelity, she pledged herself to 
enable the Argonauts to perform all the conditions de- 
manded by her father, if their commander would marry 
her and carry her with him into Greece. He readily ac- 
ceded to her proposal ; upon which he undertook to 
tame a couple of bulls which breathed flames, whose feet 
and horns were of brass, and to plough with them a field 
sacred to the god of war. After this he was to sow the 
ground with the teeth of a sei'pent, from whence armed 
men were to spring, who would instantly turn their rage 
against the person who had ploughed the field. He was 
also to kill a monstrous dragon which watched day and 
night at the foot of the tree on which the golden fleece 
was suspended. He complied with all the conditions. 
As soon as the army sprang out of the earth, they rushed 
towards Jason to chastise his temerity : but he had no 
sooner thrown a stone amongst. them, than they fell upon 
one another with the utmost fury, and fought until there 
was not one left alive. The vigilance of the dragon, too, 
was lulled asleep by the power of drugs ; and Jason re- 
covered from the haunted tree the memorable golden 
fleece, the main object of his perilous enterprise. 

Though we cannot believe the improbable and miracu- 
lous circumstances which have just been related, and 

Chap. V.] AND PllOFANE HISTORY. 493 

though we are at the same time aware of the mixture of 
eastern tradition with early Grecian history, and of the 
confusion which has resulted from an imperfect chrono- 
logy, and the blending together of facts which belong to 
different countries and ages, it would yet betray a spirit 
of unreasonable scepticism, were we to reject entirely the 
Argonautic expedition, supported as it is by the authority 
of the most credible writers.* But this romantic voyage, 
however closely connected with the poetry and drama of 
Greece, would not have been mentioned here, were it not 
that Sir Isaac Newton has founded upon the coincidence 
between the name of the ship Argo, and that of a con- 
stellation in the southern hemisphere, an important infer- 
ence, as applicable to the science of time. 

It was the opinion of this great man, that chronologers 
have placed the dates in all ancient history about three 
hundred years too high ; and he attempts to prove his 
position from the fact that Chiron, one of the Argonauts, 
formed a scheme or plan of the constellations for the use 
of his fellow voyagers, in which the equinoctial colures 
are so placed as to indicate that the expedition must have 
been accomplished about nine hundred and thirty-six 
years before the Christian era. " Chiron,"*' says he, 
" formed the constellations for the use of the Argonauts, 
and placed the solstitial and equinoctial points in the fif- 
teenth degrees, or middle of the constellations of Cancer, 
Chelae, Capricorn, and Aries. Meton, in the year of Na- 
bonassar three hundred and sixteen, observed the summer 
solstice in the eighth degree of Cancer, and, therefore, 
the solstice had then gone back seven degrees. It goes 
back one degree in about seventy-two years ; and seven 

* Herodot. lib. ii. c. 104. Strabo, lib. xi. Diod. Sic. lib. iv. c. 41. 
Mitford, vol. i. p. 45. 


degrees, consequently, in about five hundred and four 
years. Count these years back from the three hundred 
and sixteenth year of Nabonassar, and it will be found 
that the Argonautic expedition must be placed nine hun- 
dred and thirty- six years before Christ.*"* 

Astonishing as were the talents and acquirements of 
Newton as a mathematician, it is yet true that, in chrono- 
logy, history, and theology, his views were not more en- 
lightened, nor were his conclusions more sound, than those 
of much inferior writers. It is not even paradoxical to 
assert, that his failure in the first of these departments 
arose, in a great measure, from an undue attachment to 
the principles and mode of reasoning upon which his 
analytical researches were so successfully conducted. It 
would not have occurred to a less scientific inquirer that 
it was possible to ascertain the date of an ancient event, 
by applying to a few ambiguous facts connected with it, 
the demonstrative logic of physical astronomy ; although 
it must be acknowledged that had his data been as un- 
questionable as his method of deduction, our assent to the 
result would have been compelled by the most irresistible 
authority that can address itself to the human intellect.-f* 

" Short Chronicle, and Chronology of the Greeks, in the works of Sir 
Isaac Newton. The edition before me is that of Castillioneus in Latin, 
where the Brevia Chronica will be found, vol. iii. p. 9 — 31. 

-)■ As nothing connected with the great Newton can be uninteresting, the 
reader may be pleased with the following notice respecting his chronological 
labours. It was taken from his own mouth about five months before his 
death by his friend Dr Pearce, late bishop of Rochester. " He said that he 
had spent thirty years, at intervals, in reading over all the authors, or parts of 
authors, which could furnish any materials for forming a just account of the 
subject : that he had, in his reading, made collections from these authors, 
and had, at the end of thirty years, composed from thence his ' Chronology 
of Ancient Kingdoms ;' and that he had written it over several times (sixteen 
times, as the bishop afterwards collected from his discourse), making few al- 
terations therein, but what were for the sake of shortening it, leaving out in 
every later copy some of the authorities and references on which he had 

Chap. V.] AND rilOFANE HlSTOllY. 495 

But it is maintained against the condusivcness of his 
argument, first, that his assumption of the positions of tlic 
cardinal points of the echptic in the middles of the con- 
stellations of Aries, Cancer, Chelae, and Capricorn, at the 
time of the Argonautic expedition, is altogether gratuitous : 
nay, that it can be proved to be false from the correcter date 
of the voyage, and the true rate of precession, which is 
one degree in seventy-one years and a half. It is urged, 
in the second place, that the primitive celestial sphere was 
certainly not invented either by Chiron or Musaeus for the 
use of the Argonauts in their famous voyage ; it having 
been constructed long before their time by the Chaldean 
astronomers, from whom it was adopted by the Indians, 
and subsequently by the Egyptians and Greeks. ♦' Nor,"" 
says Dr Hales, " did its asterisms, as Newton supposes, 
relate to the circumstances of the Argonauts, their con- 
temporaries or predecessors, but probably to the earliest 
circumstances of patriarchal history ; Argo, to Noah's 
ark ; Chiron, to Noah himself, with his altar and sacrifice, 
after the Flood ; Orion and his dogs, to Nimrod, that 
mighty hunter ; the Great and Little Bear, the Hare, &c. 
to his game, &c. And, to crown all, Canopus, the principal 
star in the constellation Ai-go, is only 37 degrees from the 
south pole, and the greatest part of the constellation lies 

grounded his opinion." A few days before his death, bishop Pearce visited 
and dined with him at Kensington. " I found him," says he, " writing 
over his ' Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms,' without the help of spectacles, 
at the greatest distance in the room from the windows, and with a parcel of 
books on the table casting a shade upon the paper. Seeing this, on my en- 
tering the room, I said, Sir, you seem io he ■wrifhig in a place •xJicrc you 
cannot well see. His answer was, Little light serves me. He then told, me 
that he was preparing his Chronology for the press, and that he had written 
the greatest part of it for that purpose. — The work was published the year 
after his death, in 1728, by his nephew, ]\Ir Conduitt, who supplied the au- 
thorities found in it at present. — Bishop Pcarcc's Life, prefixed to his Com- 
mentary on the Gospels, 


still nearer to it : the course of their voyage lay between 
39 and 45 degrees of north latitude ; consequently, if the 
sphere had been either constructed by or for the Argo- 
nauts, the framer would not have given the name of the 
ship Argo to a constellation invisible at Pegasae, whence 
they set out, and at Colchis, whither they came. The 
southerly position of this constellation seems rather to 
indicate the approach of the waters of the deluge from 
that quarter of the globe, where the fountains of the 
great deep were broken up ; probably in the vicinity of 
the south pole; if we may judge from the resting of the 
ark upon mount Ararat, in Armenia, northwards, from 
the more abrupt and violent disruptions of the coasts of 
the old and new continents southwards than northwards ; 
and from the copious fossil remains of southern animals 
and vegetables found very far to the northward at the 
present day."* 

It belongs not to our inquiry to examine into the sound- 
ness of the views stated by Dr Hales in regard to the 
name of the ship, or to that of the constellation which is 
supposed to have been derived from it. But it admits not 
of any doubt, that his strictures upon the celestial sphere 
are well founded ; for nothing is more certain, than that 
astronomy, in the days of Jason, had not made such pro- 
gress as to determine the position of the solstitial and equi- 
noctial colures with such exactness as to supply to the chro- 
nologer the basis of an unerring calculation. Of Chiron it 
has been asserted, that he did not know there were more 
than three hundred and sixty days in the year; and Thales, 
who lived six centuries after him, was not aware of this 
important fact until he had travelled into Egypt and con- 

New Analysis o{ Chronology, vol. i. p. 34. 


versed with the priests. Unquestionably, if the Argo- 
nautic astronomer could not attain to the knowledge of the 
period occupied by the sun in his annual progress through 
the ecliptic, he can possess no claims to our confidence, 
when he undertakes to fix the precise position of that lu- 
minary in the four signs which mark his quadratures. 

There is no fact in astronomical science, connected with 
the measurement of time, which requires the application of 
a more delicate analysis than the precession of the equi- 
noxes : the utmost accuracy of observation, joined to a 
complete knowledge of principle, is quite indispensable to 
a satisfactory conclusion. How slight, then, must be our 
reliance upon the conjectures of those ancients who were 
ignorant of the true length of the year, and consequently 
of the sun's place in the heavens when he had attained his 
highest declination ! Eudoxus, who did not flourish until 
three hundred years after Thales, and nine hundred years 
after Chiron, was the first Grecian astronomer who knew 
that an entire revolution of the earth is not effected in less 
than three hundred and sixty-five days and nearly six 
hours. Sir Isaac Newton himself acknowledges, not only that 
the observations of the Greeks were far from being accurate, 
but also that they were very carelessly recorded ; for which 
reasons it is too manifest to require a single remark, that, 
from all the data furnished by the science of Greece, no 
certain conclusions can be drawn in regard to the position 
of the colures at any given period, prior to the times of 
Hipparchus and Ptolemy. 

Dr Jackson, with considerable ingenuity, has attempted 
to fix the era of the Argonautic expedition from the age of 
Hercules, who is admitted, by several ancient writers, to 
have sailed from lolcos under the command of Jason. It 
is reported, indeed, that, for some reason or other, he was 
left behind in the bay of Magnesia, where he engaged in 

vol.. II. 2 I 


the service of queen Omphale, who at that time governed 
the kingdom of Lydia.* Herodotus, Apollodorus, Tzetzes, 
and Diodorus agree as to the circumstance that Hercules 
remained in the dominions of Omphale, and that he was, 
during some part of their voyage, a companion of the Ar- 
gonauts, Diodorus thinks that he actually proceeded to 
Colchis, and assisted Jason in his labours for the recovery 
of the fleece ; and that it was on his return from the coun- 
try now named that he went to Troy, to demand certain 
mares which Laomedon had promised him for rescuing his 
daughter Hesione, when she was attacked by a sea-mon- 
ster. The king of the Trojans refused to fulfil his pro- 
mise ; upon which Hercules, with Telamon and a body of 
Argonauts, besieged his city and took it ; deposed him from 
the throne ; and elevated to his place the unfortunate 
Priam, his son, who had gained the esteem of the victors.^f- 

From the preceding history of Hercules we may nearly 
fix the date of the Argonautic expedition ; for it must be 
placed either while he served Omphale, or the year that he 
slew Laomedon king of Troy. As the latter account seems 
most probable, it determines the period of Jason's exploit 
to the year before Christianity 1224 or 1225; for it is 
agreed that Priam reigned forty years, and was killed at 
the taking of Troy, and hence, as the latter event took 
place B. C. 1183, he must have been raised to the throne 
not later than the former of the two years just specified. 

The date of the expedition, may be ascertained within 
a few years by a reference to the important fact, men- 
tioned as well by Herodotus as by Diodorus Siculus and 

• Herod, lib. vii. c. 193. Apollod. lib. ii. Tzetzes, Chiliad, ii. Diodor. 
Sicul. lib. iv. c. 41. 

t Navigavit Hercules cum Argonautis, expugnavitque Trojam, iratus 
Laomedonti ob negatam sibi pro filiae salute mercedem, unde, quo tempore 
fuerit, apparet.— Lartaw?. de falsa Religione, lib. i. c. 9. 


Tatian, that it took place one generation before the Trojan 
war, in which some of the Argonauts themselves and 
many of their sons were actually employed. Philoctetes, 
for example, was one of the crew of the Argo, and he 
was also with Ulysses at the siege of Troy, and even 
lived many years after that city was reduced. Euryalus 
was likewise a companion of Jason, and yet, in conjunction 
with Diomedes, he commanded the Areives under the 
Trojan walls. Teucer and Ajax, again, were sons of 
Telamon, whose name stands high among the Argonauts. 
He even survived the destruction of Troy several years ; 
for, some time after that event, we find him banishing the 
elder of the two warriors just named, who went to Cy- 
prus, and built the famous city of Salamis.* 

It is, therefore, very probable that the computation 
adopted by Jackson is correct, and that the Grecian inva- 
sion of Colchis was not earlier than about the year 1225 
before the introduction of the Christian faith. Trasillus, 
whose authority is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, 
places the enterprise now mentioned not less than seventy- 
nine years before the sacking of Troy, that is, B. C 
1263; and in this estimate he has been followed by Peta- 
vius, Blair, Mitford, and several other modern writers. 
Eusebius held a similar opinion in regard to the antiquity 
of the Argonautic expedition ; but the learned Scaliger 
has shown at considerable length the absurdity of placing 
it so high, and proves that it could not have occurred 
prior to the reign of Theseus, or little more than twenty 
years before the termination of the Trojan war.-|- 

The effects produced by this military enterprise were. 

• Diod. Sicul. lib. i. c. 24. Tatian apud Euseb. Praeparat. Evangel, 
lib. X. c. 11. Diod. Sicul. lib. iv. c. 41. 

-|- Jackson, vol. iii. p. 325. Scalig. Animad. in Euseb. Cliron. p. 46. 


it has been imagined, very favourable to the improvement 
of manners and of arts among the barbarous Greeks. 
Like the crusaders in the earUer part of European history, 
the soldiers of Jason were led into a country where the 
various pursuits which adorn and enrich social life had 
already made considerable progress ; and the latter as 
well as the former, though they went to recover an ima- 
ginary treasure from a race of people whom they hated 
or despised, are supposed to have returned to their na- 
tive land with such an increased degree of knowledge, both 
of themselves and of others, as necessarily opened up a path 
to the refinements of taste and of general civilization. 
From the era of this celebrated expedition, says one of 
the historians of Greece, we may discover not only a more 
daring and enlarged spirit of enterprise, but a more de- 
cisive and rapid progress towards learning and hu- 
manity. The sullen and unsociable chiefs, whose acquain- 
tance with each other most commonly arose from acts of 
mutual hostility, had hitherto given full scope to the san- 
guinary passions which characterize barbarians. Strength 
and courage were almost the only qualities which they 
admired ; they fought and plundered at the head of their 
respective tribes, while the inhabitants of the neighbour- 
ing districts were regarded as fit objects only to excite 
their rage and gratify their cupidity. But these gloomy 
warriors, having exerted their joint valour in a remote 
expedition, learned the necessity of acquiring more amiable 
virtues, as well as of adopting more liberal notions of the 
public interest. Military courage and address might 
alone procure them the respect of their immediate fol- 
lowers, since the safety of the little community often de- 
pended on the warlike abilities of the chieftain ; but when 
several tribes had combined in a common enterprise, there 
was less dependence on the prowess of any single leader. 


Emulation and interest necessarily rendered all these 
chiefs as jealous of one another as desirous of the public 
esteem ; and, in order to secure this esteem, it was neces- 
sary to add to the reputation of military talent the more 
important endowments of justice and clemency.* 

In support of these remarks it may be added, that the 
institution or renewal of the Olympic games is supposed 
to have originated in the desire of improvement with 
which the Greeks were inspired during their expedition 
to Colchis. Diodorus Siculus relates, that the Argonauts 
being about to separate after their return, Hercules per- 
suaded the chiefs to take an oath of mutual defence, and 
to bind themselves to afford aid to one another, should an 
emergency arise to render such assistance necessary. For 
this purpose he recommended that some part of Greece 
should be fixed upon for a public convention to be held 
from time to time ; and that games or athletic exercises 
should be established, as well to improve the personal 
qualities of their young men, as to create an occasion for 
assembling the Grecian tribes together, as a national body 
acknowledging a common bond of union. When the 
heroes had solemnly pledged their faith for reciprocal sup- 
port, they intrusted to Hercules the arrangement of the 
gymnastic festival, the time and the place; who, pitching 
upon the plains of Elis, bordering on the river Alpheus, 
consecrated them to the patriotic object which he had in 
view, by instituting the games in the name of Jupiter 
Olympius, the greatest of the gods. 

I have quoted the above passage from Diodorus Sicu- 
lus, not because it contains a correct view of the original 
institution of the Olympic games, a subject on which an- 

■ Gillies, vol. i. p. 22, Hesiod. Opera ct Dies, lib i, v. 142 — 165, 


cient writers differ very widely, but chiefly because it coin- 
cides with the notions of Hesiod and other archaeologists, 
who believed that, in the Argonautic expedition, they could 
discover the seeds of that improved taste, and of those 
refined habits, which soon afterwards began to extend 
among the Grecian states.* 

The incantations of Medea were, perhaps, nothing more 
than that command over the qualities of matter which is 
conferred by the knowledge of its laws and properties ; 
and, notwithstanding the minute narrative which has been 
given of her exploits and atrocities, there is a fair ground 
for conjecture that she was only an imaginary character ; 
and that her name represented only that mighty addition 
to the power of man, to do good or to do evil, which is 
derived from the lights of natural science. 

In the account which Herodotus gives of the voyage to 
Colchis, he alludes to the exercise of a certain protecting 
power by the Persians, which, taken in connection with 
other circumstances, may be regarded as an indirect proof 
of the existence, at that period, of a paramount empire in 
Western Asia. After stating that lo had been carried 
away from Argos by the crew of a Phenician ship, he re- 
lates that the Greeks fitted out an armament, sailed to JEa, 
a city of Colchis, near the river Phasis, and forcibly 
brought away Medea, the daughter of the king. The 
father despatched a herald to demand satisfaction for the 
affront, as well as the restitution of the princess ; but the 
only answer which they obtained from the Grecian states 
was, that they would make no reparation in the present 

I'Tn^avurraTov td'TI'ov h; ayuivat 9i<7tv xxi •ravnyv/^iv nonrrJ, y.u^ii^easai t«v u-ya- 
iia. t'jo f/.iyt'7Taj rai ^itav Ait OXvft^nu.^Diod. SU/i/. lib. iv. C- 53. 


instance, as the violence formerly offered to lo remained 
still unexpiated. 

It is impossible to understand in what manner this re- 
ply bears upon the point at issue, until we are reminded 
by the historian that the Persians regarded Asia, with all 
its various and barbarous inhabitants, as their own peculiar 
possession ; considering Europe and Greece as totally dis- 
tinct and unconnected. According to this view of their 
poHtical constitution, as Larcher observes, all the nations 
of Asia composed but one body, of which the Persians 
were the head. Any injury, therefore, offered to one of 
the members was considered as an act of hostility against 
the whole : and on this account, adds Herodotus, they 
considered the Greeks as the public enemies of their coun- 
try ever after the destruction of Troy.* These facts, I 
repeat, tend in a great degree to confirm the testimony 
supplied by other writers for the existence of a powerful 
monarchy on the banks of the Tigris before the period of 
the Argonautic expedition ; and afford, at the same time, 
much countenance to the assertion which is to be found in 
the works of several ancient authors, that troops were sent 
by the Assyrian king to assist his vassal Priam against the 
combined forces of Greece. 

Having, agreeably to the chronology of Herodotus, 
Diodorus Siculus, Jackson, and Hales, placed the invasion 
of Colchis in the year B. C. 1225, I need hardly add, that 
it is here considered as a real event, and not merely as the 
fiction of mythological poetry. It must, however, be ac- 
knowledged, that there is not the slightest ground for 
believing, with Newton and his followers, that there was 

xcti rai¥oiKio\iTa l^yiec fixpSa^a oiKlnuvrai it Hiatal, t»)v d; 'Evoi'Tfiv Kai r» EXA». 
1IX.0V ^ynTKi Ki-(^a^i<r(ioii.— Herod, lib. i. c. 4- 


any historical connection between the Argo, Jason's larg- 
est ship, and the constellation which is known to astronomers 
by the same name. The occurrence, whatever it might 
be, which was so unskilfully engrafted by the Greeks 
upon a merely technical distribution of the stars, was un- 
questionably of Egyptian origin ; for in this case, as in 
many others, the lively imagination of Homer's country- 
men, who were not ashamed to use a borrowed literature 
and religion until they forgot that they were not original, 
covered with the veil of foreign allegory the most remark- 
able events which belonged to the early history of their 
tribes. I have already alluded to the opinion of Dr Hales, 
who thinks that the primitive celestial sphere was invent- 
ed by the Chaldean astronomers, from whom it was adopt- 
ed by the Indians, and afterwards by the Egyptians and 
Greeks. But Mr Bryant regards it as perfectly plain, 
that the history of the Argo related, in the first instance, to 
an event which the Egyptians commemorated with great 
reverence. " The delineation in the sphere," says he, 
" was intended as a lasting memorial of a wonderful de- 
liverance : on which account one of the brightest stars of the 
southern hemisphere is represented upon the rudder of the 
ship. This star, by the Egyptians, was called Canobus, 
which was one of the titles of their chief deity, who was, 
under this denomination, looked upon as the particular 
god of mariners. In a word, the ship commemorated in 
the constellation now named was," he concludes, " no 
other than the Ark, denominated Argus by the Greeks, 
and sometimes Areas, and not unfrequently spoken of as 

This subject is treated, in the great work of Bryant, 

Hales, vol. i. p. 34. Bryant, vol. iii. p. 3So. 


with a degree of industry and leai'ning which go far to 
atone for the unceasing paradox that runs through all 
his speculations on the mythology of the ancients ; and 
which most unquestionably establish the truth of his 
main position, in regard to the Egyptian origin of the 
fable which the Greeks combined with the achievement 
of Jason. But it is the chronology of the event with 
which we are more immediately concerned ; and, in this 
view, it is worthy of remark, that the conclusions which 
have just been formed, in respect to the date of the Ar- 
gonautic confederacy, are completely confirmed by the 
facts brought forward in ancient history relative to the 
capture of Troy. 

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in reference to the foun- 
dation of Rome, observes, that Porcius Cato determined 
the date to be 432 years after the taking of Troy ; and 
this epoch, according to the chronological canons of Era- 
tosthenes, coincides with the first year of the seventh 
Olympiad, that is, the year 752 before the Christian era. 
By this computation, Cato placed the destruction of Troy 
in the year B. C. 1184.* 

Dionysius of Argos fixed the reduction of the Phrygian 
capital for the eighteenth year of the reign of Agamem- 
non, and the first year of the reign of Demophoon, son of 
Theseus, and the twelfth day of the month Thargelion. 
This was in the year B. C. 1183. Agis and Dercylus 
wrote in the third book of their history that Troy was 
taken on the twenty-third day of Panemus, which month 

• Porcius Cato Graecam temporum rationem non indicat : alioquio cum 
esset perdiligens antiquae historiae collector, dicit quadringentis triginta duo- 
bus annis posteriorem bello Iliaco : quod tempus dimensum juxta Eratos. 
thenis chronograpbias, incidit in annum primum Olympiadis septimae.— 
Antiq. Roman, lib. i. c. 75. Ex interpret. Gelen. ct Silburg. 


corresponds to the Attic month Thargelion. Hellanicus 
says it was taken on the twelfth of Thargelion. Other 
historians mention the twenty-third of Thargelion, and 
the last year of Menestheus, at the full moon, which was 
the year 1183 before the advent of Christ.* 

Apollodorus reckoned eighty years from the taking of 
Troy to the return of the Heraclidae, and from the latter 
of these events to the first Olympiad 328 years ; so that he 
placed the former in the year B. C 1184. Diodorus Si- 
culus follows the same computation, and counts 779 years 
from the sacking of Priam's city to the fourth year of the 
ninety-third Olympiad, or the year B. C 405 ; whence it 
is manifest that he also must have arrived at a similar 

Solinus remarks, that, by comparing the chronology 
of the Greeks and Romans together, it appeared to him 
that Rome was built in the first year of the seventh 
Olympiad, or in the 433d year after the reduction of 
Troy; whence we find that he determined the foun- 
dation of the Italian capital for the year B. C 752, 
and the downfal of that of Phrygia for B. C 1184. The 
same author adds, that the Olympic games were restored 
by Iphitus 408 years after the taking of Troy, and 
thereby furnishes us with data whence we derive a confir- 
mation of the opinion already expressed, which fixes the 
capture of that city 1184 years before the era of Christ.^ 

• Kara Ss to oxTiiixaixtxarov iros rns h.yaf/.if/.toios fiaffiXuai IXiav iuXu, A)i- 
ua^a»ros rou Qwiu; fiatriXiuovres A^jivtj*'/, tm t^uitm tni, Ga^yfiXiuvo; ftnvos Ssu- 
rtea WiSsxat, us <pw Aionucrios o A^yiio;. — Euseb. Prcep. Evan. lib. x. c. 12. 

+ 'Ato Se t»v Tgo/xav, axoXouSus A'^aXXe^aipM too A^nvaiiu nhftn oyoofixofTa 
iTTi "TTPOi rrn xaSohot tsdv 'Hja*X£/S&»v. aTo S< T-auTJjf It/ rnv irjiirsiv ''OXu/j.Ttaoa ovai 
Xs/cTovra t»v Tpiaxetriuv xai T^iaxoira — Diodor. Siciil. lib. l. C- 5. 

+ Collatis igitur nostris et Graecorum temporibus, invenimus incipiente 
olympiade septima Romam conditam, anno post Ilium captum quadringen- 
tesimo tricesimo tertio. — Polyhist. c. i. quoted by Jackson. 


Eratosthenes, the famous Egyptian chronologer and 
mathematician, calculated 407 years from the taking of 
Troy to the first Olympiad ; from the fall of Troy to the 
return of the Heraclidae into Peloponnesus he reckoned 
fourscore years ; thence to the foundation of Ionia sixty 
years ; from which event to the time of Lycurgus, 159 
years; and from his days to the first Olympiad, 108 
years ; in all 407 years. Eratosthenes, therefore, placed 
the destruction of Troy in the year B.C. 1183, or one 
year later than the epoch which resulted from the compu- 
tation of Apollodorus.* 

Eusebius in his Chronicon relates that the destruction 
of Troy happened 406 years before the first Olympiad ; 
that is, in the year B.C. 1182. But he admits at the 
same time, that the Greek historians added two years 
more, which would bring the amount to 1184. It is 
somewhat remarkable, after this explanation, that Scaliger, 
in his edition of the Canon Chronicus, should have dated 
the Trojan captivity in the year 1180 before the birth of 

We may, therefore, with the utmost confidence, fix the 
era of the destruction of Troy to the year B.C. 1183, 
according to Eratosthenes ; or, according to Apollodorus, 
to the year B. C. 1184 ; for, as that city was taken by the 
Greeks about midsummer, or at the end of the Attic year, 
it makes very little difference whether we adopt the com- 
putation of the one chronographer or of the other.j The 

• See Clem. Alex. Strom i. et Censor. De Die Natali, c 21. 

f " A captivitate Troias usque ad primam Olympiadem fiunt anni nu- 
mero quadringenti sex." — Euseh. Chron. p. 93. 

^ Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 332. Tatian. contr. Grascos. 
Petavius. Doct. Temp. lib. ix. c 29. Clem. Alexand. apud Euseb. lib. x. 
c. 12. 


principal dates recorded by the Alexandrian mathematician 
are as follows : — 

Years. B. C. 

Destruction of Troy, - 80 1183 

Return of the Heraclidae, . 60 1103 

Ionic migration, - 159 1063 

Legislation of Lycurgus, - 108 884 

Era of Olympiads, 407 776 

Tatian, proceeding on different data, and pursuing a sepa- 
rate method of computation, arrives at a result precisely 
similar : — 

Years. B. C. 

Destruction of Troy, - 10 1183 

jEneas founds Lavinium, - 8 1173 

Ascanius reigns, - 61 1165 

Return of the Heraclidae, - 328 1104 

Era of the Olympiads, 407 776* 

Upon inspecting the Parian Chronicle, it will be found 
that the downfal of Troy is dated about twenty-five 
years too high. " Since Troy was taken, DCCCCXLV 
years ; Menestheus governing, at Athens, in the twenty- 
second year of his reign, on the twenty-fourth day of the 

* Analysis of Ancient Chronology, vol, iii. p. 82. The above curious 
and valuable coincidence of Greek and Latin Chronology, establishing both, 
is furnished by Petavius, vol. ii. p. 36, from some ancient Greek writer, whose 
name, as Dr Hales remarks, he unfortunately omits. 


month Thargelion." Now if to 945 we add 264, the 
year before Christ at which the inscription on the Marble 
ceases, the sum of the two numbers will be 1209; differ- 
ing, as I have already stated, not less than twenty-five 
years from the computation of Eratosthenes, Diodorus 
Siculus, and Tatian. But this objection is anticipated at 
the three hundred and seventy-sixth page of the present 
volume, where it is remarked, that the Parian Chronicle is 
constructed on two different and independent principles ; 
the one analytic, reckoning upwards from B. C. 264, the 
fixed date or radix ; the other synthetic, reckoning down- 
wards from the time of Cecrops, through the successive 
kings and archons. It is farther observed, that there is a 
difference of about twenty-five years between the two 
methods of computation ; and that this difference is not 
accidental but designed, running uniformly through all 
the dates of the heroic period down to the destruction of 
Troy ; whereas, in the second or historic period, the two 
methods agree to the end. If then, we correct the Parian 
record according to the principle now explained, we shall 
find that the era of the Trojan war coincides exactly with 
the computation of the ancient historians, and obtain 
thence the greatest degree of evidence that can be acquir- 
ed in such a case, for the accuracy of the conclusion to 
which we have arrived. Hereafter we shall examine the 
objections and reasoning of Sir Isaac Newton on this 
head ; mean time, as his system likewise invalidates the 
common opinion in regard to the return of the Heraclidae, 
it will be more convenient to establish on a firm basis the 
chronology of that important event, upon which depend 
the proper order and connection of no small part of the 
history of Greece. 

It has been already observed, that Hercules and Eurys- 
theus king of Argos were descended from the same li- 


neage, and equally recognized as ancestors the celebrated 
princes Perseus and Pelops. The Argian monarch was 
actuated throughout his whole life by a strong feeling of 
jealousy and dislike towards his relation, who, on that ac- 
count, perhaps, saw it expedient to leave his country, and 
enaploy his courage and zeal in those adventures which 
have immortalized his name. But the hatred of Eurys- 
theus did not terminate with the life of Hercules : it was 
after his death directed against his children, who, there- 
fore, found themselves compelled to seek a refuge at 
Athens, where they met with a generous reception. An 
army of Argives, with the king at their head, entered the 
Attican territory, to chastise the unseasonable hospitality 
which interfered with their political views. A battle en- 
sued, in which Eurystheus was slain ; upon which the so- 
vereignty of Argos passed into the hands of Atreus, the 
father of the celebrated brothers who led the confederated 
Greeks against Priam, and finally extirpated in the flames 
of Troy his power and his family.* 

The Heraclidas, or descendants of Hercules, that they 
might enjoy a still more perfect protection, were subse- 
quently invited to repair to Doris, where -^Epalius, the 
chief of that district, in return for some kindnesses which he 
had received at the hands of their father, is said to have 
adopted Hyllus, the eldest of the sons, and secured to 
him, as his successor, the undisputed occupation of the 
provincial throne. Raised thus to the possession of power, 
the children of Hercules, in the second or third genera- 
tion, aspired to the kingly inheritance of the Peloponne- 
sus, of which they esteemed themselves unjustly deprived 
by the malice and intrigues of the rival branch of their 

• Herod, lib. ix. c. 27- Thucyd. lib. i. c. 9. Sttabo, lib. xiii. Diodor. 
Sicul. lib. iv. 


family. They twice invaded the peninsula without suc- 
cess. Driven back across the isthmus with considerable 
loss, they courted the alliance or excited the compassion 
of Oxylus, an Etolian prince ; who, joining his forces with 
theirs, enabled them at length to make a deep impression 
upon the ancient dominions of Perseus, and, about the 
year B.C. 1103, to subdue the whole, except a moun- 
tainous district in Arcadia, and the small state of 

But this conquest was not altogether effected by force 
of arms. The Heraclidae had prepared a numerous fleet 
at Naupactus, near the northern extremity of the Corin- 
thian gulf; and, before they sailed, they contrived, by 
secret intrigues, to gain a party at Lacedemon, who con- 
sented to co-operate with them in their meditated descent 
upon a remote point of their kingdom. In the mean 
time they detached a body of hght-armed troops, whose 
appearance at the isthmus induced the enemy to draw 
their forces towards that quarter. No attack being appre- 
hended in the south, the united Dorians and -^tolians 
landed without opposition on the Spartan territory, where 
their schemes of conquest were soon realized to the fullest 
extent. EUs, Corinth, Messenia, and even Argos itself, 
after a resistance more or less effectual according: to the 
circumstances in which they were assailed, submitted one 
after another to their arms. 

" Before this important revolution, Argos and Lacede- 
mon were subject to Tisamenus, grandson of Agamem- 
non : Messenia was governed by Melanthus, a descendant 
of the venerated Nestor. These princes had not so far 
degenerated from the glory of their ancestors as to submit 
to become subjects in the countries where they had long 
reigned. On the false first alarm of invasion, occasioned 
by the appearance of light troops at the isthmus, Tisa- 


menus and Meianthus had taken the field with the flower 
of the Argive and Messenian nations. But while they 
prepared to repel the expected inroads from the north, 
they received the melancholy intelligence that their king- 
doms had been attacked on another side, on which they 
thought them secure. Instead of turning southward to 
dispossess the Heraclidae, an enterprise too daring to 
afford any prospect of successs, Tisaraenus turned his 
arms against the lonians, who inhabited the southern 
shore of the Corinthian gulf. An obstinate battle was 
fought, which proved fatal to Tisamenus; but his fol- 
lowers obtained a decisive victory, and, having expelled or 
enslaved the ancient inhabitants, took possession of that 
valuable province, so famous in later times under the 
name of Achaia.''* The Messenians migrated to Attica ; 
where, as they assisted the natives in a war in which they 
were then engaged with the Boeotians, their leader, Meian- 
thus, was elevated to the rank of king. 

Of the Heraclide family there were three chiefs in the 
field, Temenus, Cresphontes, and Aristodemus ; among 
whom, and their ^Etolian ally, the whole of Peloponnesus, 
with the exceptions already mentioned, was forthwith di- 
vided. Argos fell to the first, Messenia to the second ; 
and as Aristodemus died before the distribution of the 
conquered country was completed, Lacedemon was given 
to his twin sons, who were made joint sovereigns of that 
renowned kingdom. Aletes, also a descendant of Her- 
cules, was rewarded with the government of Corinth ; 
while the valuable services of Oxylus received some re- 
muneration in the rich province of Eleia. But the nu- 
merous followers of these warlike princes were not to be 

* Gillies' Crreece, vol. i. p. 98. 


satisfied without a similar gratification ; for, after having 
so successfully overrun the fertile and extensive plains of 
the Peloponnesus, they could not be expected to return 
to their wonted poverty upon the barren mountains of 
(Eta and Parnassus. It soon became manifest, however, 
that the new settlers could not be accommodated except at 
the expense of the old inhabitants ; of whom many were 
compelled to remove, and a greater number was reduced to 
the condition of slaves, until, at last, the Heraclidae and their 
dependants became the undisputed lords of the soil through- 
out nearly the whole of southern Greece. The emigrants 
finally crossed the Egean in search of a new country, and 
established themselves along the shores of Asia Minor, 
from the Propontis as far southwards as the river Hermus. 
The Eolians, expelled from the Peloponnesus, were the 
first to set this example, which at a future period was 
followed by the Ionian tribes, and at a still later epoch 
by the Dorians themselves; and, in this way, the islands and 
continent of Asia were furnished with European colonists, 
who carried with them the distinctive names, manners, 
and language, which belonged to them in their native 

The return of the Heraclidse, as I have already ob- 
served, is usually determined for the year B. C. 1103, or 
eighty years after the destruction of Troy. But Sir Isaac 
Newton maintains that it did not take place so soon by 
2T8 years ; that is, till the year before Christ 825. His 
argument is, in substance, as follows : — 

It has been mentioned in a former paragraph that 
Aristodemus left two sons, upon whom was conferred the 

• Herodotus, lib. vi. c. 52. Strabo, lib. ix. Thiicyd. lib. i. c. 12. 
Pausan. lib. ii. c. V^. 

VOL. n. 2 K 



[Book II. 

government of Sparta. These princes, whose names 
were Eurysthenes and Procles, established two royal 
houses, in each of which there ensued a collateral succes- 
sion of seventeen kings, down to Leonidas, the last of the 
former branch, who fell in the battle of Thermopylae, in 
the year B. C. 480. From the return of the descendants 
of Hercules to the beginning of the first Messenian war, 
says Sir Isaac, " there reigned at Sparta ten kings in the 
one family and nine in the other ; and if to each king we 
ascribe, according to the course of nature, an administra- 
tion of twenty years, the interval between these two 
events will be about one hundred and ninety." From this 
epoch to the battle of Thermopylae there were seven 
kings in the one family and eight in the other ; and, pro- 
ceeding on the same principle, the intervening period may 
be computed at a hundred and fifty years, or 340 in all, 
from the accession of the sons of Aristodemus to the fall 
of Leonidas."* 

" Heraclidae, post tres generationes, aut centum annos 

* The beginning of the Messenian war, as calculated by the Greeks, is 
fixed by Pausanias to the second year of the ninth Olympiad, or B. C. 742 ; 
from which year, according to the Olympic computation, it was 263 to the 
expedition of Xerxes, which happened in the first year of the 75th Olympiad, 
or in the year B. C. 480. The kings who reigned at Sparta, during that 
interval, were as follows :— 

The dynasty of Eurysthenida. 

The dynasty of ProcUdw. 

1. Polydorus. 

1. Zeuxidamus. 

2. Eurycrates. 

2. Anaxidamus. 

3. Anaxander. 

3. Archidamus. 

4. Eurycrates II. 

4. Agasicles. 

5. Leon, 

5. Aristo. 

6. Anaxandrides. 

G. Demaratus. 

7. Cleomenes. 

7. Leotychides. 

8. Leonidas. 

Pausan. Lacon. p. 20^ — 220. 


a prima eorum expeditione, regrediuntur in Peloponne- 
sum. Ab hoc reditu ad finem primi belli Mcssenici, 
Spartae regnaverunt decern regcs ex una familia, et no- 
vem ex altera; Messenise pariter decern, et novcm in 
Arcadia : unde, si cuique regno tribuas (juxta naturae 
cursum) viginti annos, circiter, conficientur fere anni cen- 
tum nonaginta. Prasterea Spartae, ex eo tempore ad 
proelium Thermopylarum, regnaverunt septem reges ex 
una familia, et octo ex altera : unde consequimur centum 
quinquaginta annos, praeter-propter ; et hi superioribus 
additi reditum Heraclidarum refcrunt ad annum octogen- 
tesimum vicesimum ante Christum circiter."* 

To such reasoning, says Musgravc, there is one ge- 
neral answer; " that the reigns of kings not depending 
upon the common chance of mortality, or upon any simple 
and constant natural causes, but upon a variety of natural 
and political causes operating in conjunction ; such as their 
own folly or wisdom, the caprice of the multitude, the 
treachery of their own subjects, and the invasion of foreign 
powers: all these causes, I say, render the length of 
reigns so uncertain and variable, that though we may form 
an average of them as we do of any thing else, we cannot 
reason firmly and solidly upon that average.^-f* 

A succession of generations, though necessarily attended 
with some uncertainty, affords a much better ground for 
calculation than the reigns of kings. In the case now be- 
fore us, the learned Pausanias has not only given us a true 
list of both the races of Spartan kings, but also a circum- 
stantial account of their genealogy ; and it is not a little 
surprising, that Sir Isaac, who had it in his power to use 
the more certain method of computation, has actually 

Brcvia Chronica, p. 25. t Chronology of Olympiads, p. 151, 


adopted the more vague and inaccurate. It will be seen, 
that, had he estimated by generations, his strictures on the 
Olympiads would have been deprived of nearly all their 
plausibility ; and it has accordingly been suspected, that, 
great and candid as was his general character, he allowed 
himself in this instance to be drawn out of the right path, 
by a bias, imperceptible to himself, in favour of his own 
opinions. He remark s, in one place, with great exactness, 
that " generations from father to son may be reckoned, 
one with another, at about 33 or 34 years a-piece, or 
about three generations to a hundred years; but if the 
reckoning proceed by the eldest sons, they are shorter, 
so that three of them may be reckoned at about 75 or 80 
years. And the reigns of kings are still shorter ; because 
kings are succeeded not only by their eldest sons, but 
sometimes by their brothers ; and sometimes they are slain 
or deposed, and succeeded by others of an equal or greater 
age, especially in elective or turbulent kingdoms."* 

There is no doubt that the average of reigns has, by Sir 
Isaac, been taken much too low ; for, upon examining into 
the circumstances of the Spartan history, as exhibited by 
Pausanias, during the period in question, there will appear 
reason to conclude, that the government of several of the 
kings exceeded in length the bounds of an ordinary genera- 
tion. The first sovereigns on the list, for instance, ascended 
the throne in childhood, or in very early youth ; and hence 
their reigns probably extended to fifty or sixty years. Cha- 
rilaus, again, the seventh in succession from Procles, was 
proclaimed king as soon as he was born ; whence we may 
conjecture that his administration was not confined within 
narrower limits than half a century. Anaxandrides, the 

* Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, p. 53, 54. cited by Mus- 


the father of Cleomenes, was so long in having children by 
his first wife, that, according to Pausanias and Herodotus, 
he was compelled by the Ephori to take another, for fear 
that the name of Eurysthenes should become extinct. 
Leonidas therefore was born when his parent was well 
advanced in life ; and he himself did not ascend the throne 
till he was forty, or twelve years before the invasion of 

From these facts it has been inferred that the reigns of 
the Spartan Icings^ instead of being shorter than genera- 
tions, were, in truth, somewhat longer ; so that seventeen 
of the former might be reckoned equal to about nineteen 
of the latter. But nineteen generations, estimated at 33 
years, amount to 627 ; and the interval from the return of 
the Heraclidse to the battle of Thermopylae was 623, being 
only four years less than the number which results from 
this computation.-f- Dr Musgrave, who confines his sur- 
vey to the period between the Messenian war and the 
battle of Thermopylae, suggests that, from a consideration 
of all the circumstances taken together, we might add 
an eighth generation to the seven, for which, he thinks, 
we have an incontestable warrant in history. This being 
done, if we divide 263, which is the Olympic number of 
years for the term just stated, by 8, the hypothetical 
amount of generations, the quotient will be rather under 

33 ; or half a year short of Sir Isaac's own allowance for a 
generation, which, as we have seen above, was from 33 to 

34 years.| 

This result, as Dr Hales observes, corresponds very 
well with the time of the legislation of Lycurgus, which, 

• Pausan. Lacon. p. 211. Herodot. lib. v. c, 3!), 40. 
t Hales, vol. i. p. 30. 
^ MnsgTave, p. 1C6. 


according to Eratosthenes and Plutarch, was exercised 
about the year B. C 884. For from this period to the 
battle of Therniopylge, B. C. 480, was an interval of 404 
years ; and from Charilaus, the nephew and ward of Ly- 
curgus, to Leutychides, were eleven kings inclusive^ 
Their reigns, for the reasons already explained, may be 
held equivalent to twelve generations : but 404 divided by 
12, gives 885 for the mean value of a generation, being 
very near the standard of three generations to a century.* 
That Lycurgus was contemporary with Iphitus, and 
assisted him in the restoration of the Olympiads, has been 
rendered probable by the testimony of several ancient wri- 
ters. In his life of the Spartan legislator, Plutarch remarks, 
that Aristotle was of this opinion ; and that he adduced, 
in support of it, the Olympic discus, which had inscrib- 
ed upon it the name of Lycurgus. Sir Isaac, taking 
for granted that this discus was one of those used by the 
athletes in their exercises, and learning from Pausanias 
that the pentathlos, or competition of five games, was not 
introduced before the eighteenth celebration of the Olym- 
piads, he concluded that it must have been on this very 
occasion that Lycurgus was present ; and, consequently, 
that his age has been placed by the chi'onologers 140 years 
too high, " By a strange confusion of chronology and 
history,"" says Jackson, " he would bring Lycurgus seven- 
teen Olympiads lower than Coroebus, or to the year B. C 
708 ; at which time he supposes him to have given the 
discus upon the institution of the quinquertium.'" This 
hypothesis involves in it the downfal of all ancient history 
and chronology. But it has no foundation in fact. Pau- 
sanias does not say that the pentathlos, or combination of the 

" Eratosthenes apud Clem. Alex, strom. i. p. 336. Plut. in vita Lycurgi* 


discus, or quoit, with the four other games, was first prac- 
tised or instituted in the eighteenth Olympiad. He mere- 
ly observes, that, after Iphitus had revived the festival in 
the manner above related, the memory of many ancient 
customs was still lost, and that it was by slow degrees men 
came to the remembrance of them, and added to the 
games whatever they happened to recollect. This admits 
of no doubt; for, reckoning from the time when the cele- 
bration of the Olympiads went on without interruption, the 
first prize given was for the foot-race, which was won 
by Coroebus the Elean. Afterwards, in the fourteenth 
Olympiad, the Diaulos was added ; and Hypenus of Pisa 
carried away the olive branch for the diaulos, as Acanthus 
did in the next Olympiad. Then, in the eighteenth Olym- 
piad, they recollected the pentathlos and the wrestling.* 

It is, therefore, evident that the pentathlos was no in- 
vention at the period described by Pausanias. In fact, 
his very words show most clearly that it had been prac- 
tised long before the revival of the Olympic games by 
Iphitus, so long indeed as to have gone into disuse and 
oblivion. Hence it follows, not only that the discus and 
pentathlos might be old at the time at which Lycurgus is 
commonly placed; but, if Sir Isaac''s inference be just, 
that the discus was given by Lycurgus at the first institu- 
tion of the pentathlos, it will lead also to another very un- 
expected conclusion, namely, that this famous lawgiver 
must have lived several generations before even the first 

XttTB auruv. xai o^raTS ti amccfivnrhn* i-rotovvrs rsu ayavt rr^of^KKriv. AjjXan Ss. 
i| iu ya^ ro trvvi-^^is rai; fivnfiai; I'Ti rats oXufiTiariv lirri, o^ofiou f/iiv aSXa. iriirt 
t^urat, Kiti 'RXiioi Ko^oiSos i*i>ca.- iiKut fiiv S» ook 'iffri u OXu/iTia, rev KtgeiSou, 
ra(pos Se Itr/ rcis vrt^affi tks 'HXuas- 'OXofc-xia^i Se vfri^uv rtra^Tji »«/ Se««r>f 
TfoireTsA) r^ifi iiavXoi,—Pau4an. Eliac. lib. v. c. 8- p. 394. 


But the truth is, as Jackson observes, the discus which 
Aristotle mentioned as having inscribed upon it the name 
of Lycurgus, did not belong to any particular game 
practised at Olympia; but was merely the tablet on 
which was recorded the truce called \x.ix,u^ha, between the 
Eleansand Peloponnesians. In virtue of this treaty there 
was to be a perpetual armistice during the celebration of 
the games ; which arrangement having been effected 
through the good offices of Iphitus and Lycurgus, their 
names were inserted on the discus or piece of metal, which 
served the purpose of a record, and which, in order to 
preserve the memory of so important a public deed, was 
afterwards deposited in the Olympic temple.* 

The general current of ancient testimony is very strong 
in favour of the conclusion, that the return of the Hera- 
clidse took place about the year B.C. 1103. But Sir 
Isaac Newton, to support his hypothesis, brings forward 
the authority of Thucydides, who, according to the La- 
tin translation adopted by Stephens, is made to say that 
the Lacedemonians had, from ancient times, used good 
laws, and that, from the period when they began to enjoy 
so excellent a constitution, to the end of the Peloponnesian 
war, there intervened somewhat more than three hundred 
years. It is astonishing that Newton could overlook the 
singular fact, that his quotation, from the learned son of 
Olorus, possessed no other weight than what it derived 
from a false translation. In the Greek of the very copy 
which he must have consulted, the reading is not three 
hundred, but four hundred. 'Hu yoi^ AxKi^xifim f^irx r/iv 

• Pausan. Eliac. p. 392, 421. Newton's Chronology of Ancient King- 
doms, p. 57, 58. Jackson, vol. iii. p. 345 ; and Musgrave's Chronology 
of the Olympiads, p. 210, 211. 


KTitfiv ran vvv ivcnc«vTt>v ecvT^v Aa^ta/v, hri TtXinrrti m ia-fciy xt'^*''" 

TTCCS-tXFX, OUUq iX- ^CtXaiOTXTOV KXI Iv0fi1^6)/I, XXi CCit CtTV^XWlVrOi iiv. 
STJJ yx^ irrt fCXP^lOTX TiT^XKOCrtX KXi oXtyU TXiKa I5 T»)» TiXiVTy,¥ TOV^i 

rev TToXsfcov, «^' «v AxKi^xiftovtoi tj) xvTti voXirttct ^^ayrxt. Nam 
Lacedemon post urbam conditam a Doriensibus, qui cam 
nunc incolunt, seditionibus conflictata diutissime quas no- 
vimus, tamen ab antiquissimis usque temporibus, et bonis 
legibus est usa, et tyrannidis immunis semper fuit : Sunt 
enim anni ferme quadringenti anni et paulo plures usque 
ad hujus belli finera, ex quo Lacedemonii eadem reipubli- 
cas administrandas forma utuntur.* 

The argument which Sir Isaac uses to determine the 
return of the Heraclidae, from the time of Cypselus, king 
of Corinth, is at once unsatisfactory and inconsistent with 
itself At first, page 62, he counts six generations from 
Melas, who lived at the time of their return, to Cypselus, 
whose reign began B. C. 655 : whence, reckoning these 
generations at 30 years a-piece, he dates the return of the 
Heraclidffi 180 + B. C. 655 = B. C. 835. But afterwards, 
page 139, from Aletes king of Corinth, who reigned at their 
return, he enumerates eight of his lineal successors, and 
after them a succession of Prytanes, or annual Archons, 
comprehending about 42 years, until Cypselus began his 
government. Is it not manifest that so many reigns and 
magistracies must have exceeded the length of six genera- 
tions ? 

To establish his opinion, that the return of the Hera- 
clidag and the ago of Lycurgus are placed too high. Sir 
Isaac Newton farther states, on the authority of Hellanicus, 
Sosimus, and Hieronymus, that the Spartan legislator 
was contemporary with Terpander the musician. But of 

• Thucyd. lib. i. p. 13. Edit. iEmil- Porti 1594. Steph. et Aldus 
1502, et Duker 1731. 


these three writers, only one, Hieronymiis, asserts the 
fact which their evidence is adduced to confirm. The 
Arundel Marbles give reason to believe that Terpander 
flourished about the year B. C 645 ; while other records 
determine his age to the twenty-sixth Olympiad, or 
twenty-two years earlier than the time just mentioned. 
It is not improbable that Hieronymus mistook a later 
Lycurgus for the renowned lawgiver of Lacedemon ; but 
whether he was chargeable with this inaccuracy or not, 
the weight of his authority must not be put in the balance 
against the concurrent testimony of all other historians, 
and the most learned of the ancient chronologers.* 

The last argument used by Sir Isaac Newton against 
the system of dates which is commonly received by the 
student of Grecian antiquities^, is taken from the list of 
the Macedonian kings ; and unquestionably, the manner 
in which he has stated his position on this head, gives no 
small degree of plausibility and strength to the conclu- 
sion which he has founded upon it. The interval of time 
which these monarchs are supposed to occupy terminates 
in two epochs, the one undisputed and certain, the expe- 
dition of the Persians under Xerxes; the other much less 
surely ascertained, namely, the reign of Phidon, king of 
Argos, who invaded Elis. Of the latter invasion, Pau- 
sanias, who writes here without any marks of doubt or 
hesitation, fixes the date in the eighth Olympiad ; whereas 
the Arundel Marble, if it must be understood of the 
same Phidon, carries him a full hundred years higher. 
The second branch of the alternative being most favour- 
able to Sir Isaac's hypothesis, he reasons upon it with con- 
siderable effect, without taking the smallest notice of the 

" Chronological Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 347. 



other. In a matter of such high antiquity, where most of 
the authors who might liave assisted us are lost, we should 
perhaps show as much regard to truth by merely following 
the authority of Pausanias, even if it were single and un- 
supported, as the great mathematician has manifested in at- 
taching himself exclusively to the Parian record. But the 
evidence of Pausanias is neither single nor unsupported : 
it is confirmed by that of the learned and accurate Strabo. 
This distinguished writer, who was certainly well ac- 
quainted with the old Greek historians, makes Phidon the 
tenth from Temenus, — a result which coincides exactly 
with the narrative and computation of Pausanias. Phidon, 
therefore, being supposed to reign in the eighth Olyujpiad, 
the interval between the end of that quadrennial cycle 
and the beginning of the seventy-fifth is precisely two 
hundred and sixty-four years. 

But, says Musgrave, " the number of Macedonian 
kings who are to fill up that interval is a still more dis- 
putable point. Herodotus makes Alexander the contem- 
porary of Xerxes, the seventh king from the beginning of 
the monarchy ; and with this computation, Thucydides 
in effect agrees. In the list given by Herodotus, the first 
place is assigned to Perdiccas ; which I apprehend is no 
farther true than that Perdiccas was the first who reigned 
under the title of king ; which is precisely what Solinus 
asserts. But if we may believe other ancient authors, 
Perdiccas was by no means the person, or contemporary 
with the person, who, under the reign of Phidon, quitted 
Argos and removed into Macedonia. This individual, 
by every other author but Herodotus, is called Caranus, 
whom we learn from Syncellus to have been the brother 
of Phidon. He is mentioned also by Plutarch, Pausanias, 
and Diodorus Siculus; by Satyrus, an ancient author 
quoted by Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, and among the 


Latins by Livy, Paterculus, Justin, and Solinus.* There 
is, upon the whole, then, indisputable evidence, that Ca- 
ranus was the person who removed from Argos and laid 
the first foundation of the Macedonian kingdom. There 
is also good authority for supposing that Perdiccas, who 
completed the work of Caranus, and first assumed the title 
of king, was not the brother, as Sir Isaac, from the am- 
biguous authority of Herodotus, is pleased to conclude, 
but the great-grandson of Caranus. The list and order 
of the generations will therefore stand thus, precisely as 
in Syncellus : — 

1. Caranus. 6. Philippus. 

2. Coenus. 7. Acropus. 

3. Tyrimmas. 8. Alcetas. 

4. Perdiccas. 9- Amytas. 

5. Argaeus. 10. Alexander. 

Ten kings make nine generations, as it is always neces- 
sary to strike off either the first or the last of the series. 
Divide, then, 264, the number of years between Phidon 
and the expedition of Xerxes, by 9, the number of gene- 
rations, and the quotient will be exactly 29j ; that is, the 
portion of time for each generation will be exactly twen- 
ty-nine years and four months, which is considerably 
less than Sir Isaac himself allows. It has been already 
shewn at large, that if we calculate at all by lives, it must 
be by generations and not by reigns ; the number of suc- 
cessions furnishing no ground whatever for rational argu- 

• Herod, lib. viii. c. 13p. Thucyd. lib. ii. c. 100. Syncel. Chronog. 
p. 158. Plutarch, in vit. Alexandri. Pausan. Boeot. lib. ix. 40, 41. Theo- 
pliiL ad Autolyc. lib. ii. Patercul. lib, i. Justin, lib. vii. Solin. c. ix. 
Syncell. Chronograph, p. 209. 

t JMusgrave. Chronology of Olympiads, p. 214—221. 


In conducting tliis argument respecting the Macedo- 
nian kings, I have passed on with a simple reference to 
the time of Phidon, the Argive tyrant. But the proper 
determination of the era of that prince himself is of so 
much importance in a chronological point of view, that 
Sir Isaac Newton has attempted to connect with it a most 
serious attack on the truth and credibility of the Olympic 
registers at large. Pausanias relates, that, in the eighth 
Olympiad, the monarch just named entered Elis, expelled 
the chiefs who usually presided at the games, and assumed, 
in his own person, the direction of the solemnity. The 
eighth Olympiad, I need hardly add, was held in the year 
B. C. 744. But in the Parian Chronicle, inserted in the 
393d page of this volume, the following notice occurs : — 
" Since Phidon the Argive was proscribed, and made 
measures and weights, and coined silver money in ^gina, 
being the eleventh from Hercules, DCXXXI years : Me- 
gacles reigning at Athens." Now, if to 631 we add 264, 
the year before Christ at which the Chronicle ends, the 
proscription of Phidon must be placed 895 years before the 
same era : and thus it will appear that the difference be- 
tween Pausanias and the Marble is not less than a cen- 
tury and a half. Nor does the difficulty terminate here ; 
for Herodotus in his sixth book enumerates, among the 
noble youths who solicited the daughter of Clistbenes in 
marriage, Leocedes, the son of Phidon. Clisthenes, it is 
well known, flourislied at the period of the forty-seventh 
Olympiad, or in the year B. C 588 ; being 156 j-ears later 
than the time of Phidon as fixed by Pausanias, and 307 
years later than the era of the same king as determined by 
the Parian Chronicle. It is clear, therefore, that, if these 
numbers be correct, the son of Phidon could not belong to 
the same generation which beheld the daughter of Clis- 
thenes ; and hence it is inferred, by Sir Isaac Newton, that 


the Olympic record is inaccurate, and that it has even been 
vitiated by a long interpolation of imaginary festivals. 

As the decision of this point depends entirely upon the 
proper understanding of the words of Herodotus, it may 
be convenient for the reader to have them under his eye : 

Atto oi IliXo7irov)ii/i(rev Q^itoutOi rov Apyiicov tvpxvvov Tru'i? AiUKviavii, 
^iieavoi Oi rov rx fur^x TTotyia-xvros IltXe7rovv»a-ic(irt, x»t v^pto-tivTes 
l^iyiCTTX on 'EAAjjvwv UTrxvruv' og i^xvxoTtta-cig rov; 'HXuuv etymtStTXi 

uvroi rov Iv OXvfiTriyt eiymx ISniti.''''* Dr Musgrave has sug- 
gested a correction of this passage, which is unquestion- 
ably entitled to the consideration of the classical reader. 
He remarks, that two Manuscripts omit the important 
word TralV^ which leaves room for supposing that Leocedes 
might be only the descendant of Phidon. But for my 
own partj he adds, " I am inclined to believe that the 
word TTxti is genuine, and no interpolation ; though I 
think that the passage is evidently corrupted. The ad- 
versative particle §s comes in very awkwardly and impro- 
perly in the second part of the sentence^, supposing the 
author to speak of the same Phidon in both places ; and 
if we strike it out, the repetition of the word <i>u^moi has 
a poetical air, very unsuitable to history. I would there- 
fore read ^a^avof rtv A^yitav rv^xvvov Tedig Aiuxvi^rn, (Pa^toies ^i 
OT rov Tx fiir^x Tronfia-xyroi : ' Leocedes, the son of Phidon, 
king of Argos ; but not of that Phidon who established 
the Peloponnesian measures.' Upon the whole, it seems 
highly probable that the Leocedes of Herodotus was son 
to the king of Argos, whatever the name of his father 
was. I suppose it to have been Phidon, who being an ob- 
scure person compared with his ancestor, the invader of 
Elis, it became necessary for the historian to caution his 
readers against confounding the one with the other. If 

* Herodot. lib. vi. c. 127, 


the conjecture here proposed, to which I see no material 
objection, be admitted, it entirely removes the chronolo- 
gical difficulty insisted upon by Sir Isaac Newton.""* 

But the time of Phidon is fixed with the utmost cer- 
tainty by a circumstance which is mentioned both by Pau- 
sanias and by Strabo ; namely, that the Eleans made no en- 
try of the Olympiad at which Phidon presided, after he 
had driven away the ordinary judges. The former of these 
writers, as every one knows, examined in person the record 
atOlympia; and as it is impossible to imagine that he could 
be deceived respecting the particular Olympiad at which 
Phidon, the king of the Argives, obtruded himself, there can- 
not any longer be the smallest doubt that it was the eighth, 
held in the year B. C. 744, at which the said occ