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The present, is an improved edition of Robbins' Ancient and Modern 
History. A new and more extended article on the United States, has 
been substituted for the one contained in former editions, in the tenth Peri- 
od of Modern History ; and an addition of several pages has been made to 
the article ' Learning and the Arts,' under the head of General Views, in 
the same part of the work. These are from the pen of the Author, under 
whose supervision an extensive and well digested series of Questions has 
been prepared, which will be found at the end of the volume. Several pa. 
ges of neatly executed outline, and other engravings, have also been added, 
illustrating besides other parts, the mythology of ancient nations; anumber 
of these are from original designs, executed expressly for this work. 

The increasing demand for this History, and the high commendations 
bestowed upon it by many teachers of distinguished reputation, have in. 
duced the publisher to make these important and extensive improvements. 
But notwithstanding their extent, (more than seventy pages having been 
added — increasing the volume to more than seven hundred pages,) the 
price of the work has not been enhanced ; and it is believed to be the 
cheapest elementary work on History, now in use. 

From these considerations, as well as from the commendations referred 
to, and the high character it has already attained, the publisher feels as- 
sured that the work will recommend itself to the attention, and patronage of 
teachers, who have not already adopted it in their schools. Those who are 
not familiar with the work, will allow the publisher to invite their attention 
to the peculiarity of the general plan of the Author, — the division of the 
political history into periods, and the exact matching of the history of each 
nation in these periods, successively, so as to form a continuous whole— 
to the brief but interesting Biographical sketches at the end of each period, 
of eminent men who flourished during it — and to the various instructive 
articles arranged under the title of ' General Views,' which close the two 
grand divisions. Several of these are very copious, and interesting; and 
the very successful effort of the author, in blending throughout the work 
what would otherwise be a barren detail of facts, with incidents and anec- 
dotes, the want of which so often renders the study of History dry and 
uninteresting, cannot fail of attracting especial observation. 
















VOL. I. 




Looms, PiTTasuRQ. 


Elntered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, 

By Edward Hopkins, 
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut 


The increasing interest which of late years has been felt in regard to educa* 
tion, among all classes of the community, has given rise to new, and it is be- 
lieved In many instances, improved methods of advancing this great object- 
Books have been written with a special view of imparting instruction to 
youthful minds, as well as of directing the inquiries and gratifying the curiosity 
of riper understandings. In these works, so far as they have been elementary, 
the principle of comparison and classification has extensively prevailed ; par- 
ticular attention has been paid to the selection and arrangement of topics ; 
things differing in kind have begn kept separate as much as possible ; and, in 
general, there has been a marked cfibrt to obsene the methods of science, and 
the laws by which the mind is usually governed in the acquisition of know- 
ledge. In this way, ideas correctly arranged, and happily associated, have 
been communicated to learners and readers, on the various subjects presented 
to their consideration.* 

" Ancient History," to which the reader is here introduced, " may be 
treated either ethnographically, that is, according to the different nations and 
states, or synchronically, that is, according to certain general periods of time. 
Each method has its advantages and disadvantages ; both may, however, to 
a certain extent, be united." This is a remark of Heeren,t and the last was 
the arrangement which he adopted in his admirable History of the States of 
Antiquity, as well as in that which bears the title of the Political System of 
Europe. In the present volume, the subject has been treated under an ar 
rangement somewhat similar, both methods being combined, as far as could be 
done vrith convenience. The synchronical method, however, predominates, 
and that almost necessarily, in consequence of the very distinct eras wliich 
have been observed in the work. If, therefore, the general reader should ex- 
perience any inconvenience, or diminution of interest, from the temporary su»- 
• pension of the history of any sir.rle nation, he still can pursue the account 

V of such nation in continuity, provided he will take it up in the successive 
'I periods, and omit, at the same time, the history of other nations. But it is 
^ l)clieved, that the interest arising from the liistory of individual states, is very 
^ little less on this plan, than on the ethnographical, and even that, should it be 

v^ lonsiderably less, the clearer and more comprehensive views thence derived, 

J would be an ample indemnification for the loss. 

m But it is time that the plan of the present work should be more particularly 
S explained. It is briefly as follows. In the first place, political liistory, or the 

V 'As subservient to the improvcmenw above alluded to, we must acknowlodse tlie agency of 
numerous contrivances by means of majjs, charts, eneravinss, and copious statistical tables, 

"fc^ and also of a distinction of type between what is more and what is less essential in the subject 
V^ matter of a treatise. Several of tlicse contrivances, as well a.s of the more ceneral improvements^ 
have been extended to historical productions, a-s btxiks designed for education ; and especially 
great help has been derived from the last named particular — the use of diflerent sizes of type. 
This auxiliary was susgested bv the success which attended the Rev. David Blair's celebrated 
works for education, by whom it has been extensively employed. Accordingly, early use of it 
was made in this country, in a series of historical productions, of which the present was one, 
announced as developed on the plan of that gentleman, with the avowal, however, tliat they 
were wholly original, and with the reasons of the common name whid) they bore. These 
reasons have now ceased to operate in regard to the present work, 
t Professor of History in Gotiingen. 


'^Xri. Wi./^ *"■"? 


history of states, is given, and the subject is divided into ten penods, each 
being distinguished by some characteristic trait. The periods are then 
carried on separately. The important facts of each are stated in large type, 
and explanations, observations, anecdotes, adventures, and interesting par- 
ticulars, illustrative of the events, manners, feelings, and opinions of the age, 
added in the smaller type. The matter in the smaller type is properly an 
expansion of that in the larger, or carries on the history merely by tracing 
its minuter features. At the close of the period, the lives of the illustricus 
persons who flourished during the same, are introduced, inasmuch as they 
oMistitute, in some instances, a portion of the world's polittcal history. 

Having in this way gone through the ten periods, then the reader, undei 
th3 General Vif.avs, is instructcxi in the geography, politics, religion, milita- 
ry and. naval affairs, arts, literature, manners, &c. of ancient nations. By 
this means he is brought into a close and intimate acquaintance with those 
communities whose political history he has read, and can picture to himself 
their manner of living, thinking, feeling, and actuig. This latter part of the 
book includes nearly such a subdivision of the general history of the human 
race, as Heeren calls " the history of culture, or of humanity, which investi- 
gates the history of men as men, without further reference to political rela- 
tions." A portion, however, of the first part of the work, particularly the 
biographical details, would be included, perhaps, in the professor's definition 
of the history of cultvire. 

A plan of this kind, it is thought, if faithfully executed, must render his- 
tory clear and intelligible ; give vividness and interest to its various topics ; 
enable the student to surmount the difliculties arising from dates ; present a 
general view of the subject that may be easily comprehended and permanent- 
ly established in the memory; and thus lay a strong and lasting foundation 
fbr a knowledge of history. The subject is so arranged, that the whole body 
of ancient history may be reviewed in its progress, embracing under one con- 
tinuous aspect, the principal nations of the earth. And also, as already men- 
tioned, the history of any particular nation may be taken up, and contempla- 
ted by itself. The student or reader ha\ing once mast^^rcd tliis outUne, (if 
the plan have been executed in any measure answerable to the author's 
wishes, and to the importance of the subject,) will be qualified to enter upon 
the perusal of more extended and elaborate works of ancient history. Having 
the grand features of the subject distinctly arranged in his mind, he will 
readily class whatever additional facts he may obtain. He may thus accumu- 
J.ite knowledge without danger of confusion, and increase his power of recol- 
lection by multiphed associations. 

Though the work here presented to the public is especially designed for the 
purposes of education, it also contemplates the benefit of those individuals tc 
v/hom the topics of history are not unknown, by refreshing their memory 
with scenes and incidents, "from which they have before cxijcrienccd pleasure. 
It is hoped, moreover, that the work has been constructed with such a regard 
lo truth and moral consistency, as to be auxiliary to tllit purity of manners, 
icfinement of taste, and love of knowledge, of which every family ought to 
be ilie cherished abode. 


Benefits to be expected from history, 
Sources of history, .... 

General Division, 
Ten periods, . . • . . 

Antediluvian World, 
Distinguished Glioracters, 

Period L 

Period IL 


History of Assyria, 


Distinguislicd Characters, 

Period nL 

History of the Hebrews, , 

Canaanites, , 
Greece, . 

Egypt, continued, 
China, cwntiniied, 

Distinguished Characters, 

History of tlie Israelites, 

Canif.inites, continued, 


Greece, continued, 

Egypt, continued, 



Distinguished Cliaracters, 

Hietory of the Israelites, continued, 
Greece, continued, 

Assy rill, continued, 
Egypt, continued, 
Plireiiiciuns, continued, 
Italy, continued, 

Distinguished Characters, 

History of tlie Romans, 

Greece, continued, 

IsiMclites, continued, 

Jews, . 





l^ydians, continued, 

Egypt, coiitiinHxI, 

Distinguished (yharucterft, 

Period IV. 

Period V. 

Period VL 


Period VII. 

HisU>ry of Greece, continued, 

Romans, cnntinued, 

Egypt, continued, 

Persia, continued, 

Macfiinn, continued, 
]>isl.ingnisheQ Cluiracters, 

History of Greece, continued, 
Rome, continiitd, 


Jews, continued, 
E<rypt, continued, 

China, continued, 
Dislirguished Characteis, 

History of Rome, continued, 

Syria, continued, 

Jews, continued, 

Etrvpt, continued, 

P I'lliia, continued, 
DiKtinguislied Cliaracters, 

History of Rome, continued, 

Judea, continued, 

E^rypt, continued, 

Partiiia, continued, 
Distinguislied Characters, 

Generai- Views. 
Antediluvian World. — Surface of the Earth, Seasons, Population and Longevity, 

'•eligion, Arts and Sciences, Government, Commerce, : : : 

Ascifria, (including Babylonia) — Government and Laws, Religion, Customs, 

Ijoarning, Arts, ::;::::: 

Ofdna. — Geogi-aphy, Government, Religion, Sciences and Arts, : : 

Egypt. — Situation, Name and Division, Cities, Momunents and Works of Art, 

Government and Laws, Mythology, Education, Domestic Habits, Manners and 

Customs, Literature and Arts, Trade, Language, : : : : 

Hebrews. — Ren'ains of Ancient Works, Cities, Religion, Government, Manners 

and Customs, Ijcarning, Arts, Commerce, : : : : 

Oanaaniies. — Customs, Manners, Arts and Sciences, Religion, : : 

Greece. — Appearance and Face of the Country, Situation, Extent and Division, 

Names, Interesting Localities, Cities, Government, Military Affairs, Naval 

Affairs, Religion, Literature, Arts, Private and Domestic Life, : : 

Phmnician.9. — Coimtry, Cities and Remains, Navigation and Colonics, Sciences, 

Arts and Mtmufactures, Religion, : : : : : 

l.ydians. — Coimtry, Cities, Character, Customs, : : : : 

liomans. — Country, its Name, Situation and Division, Interesting Localities, 

Capital of Italy, and Seat of the Roman Empire, Political State, Religion, 

Militiiry Affairs, Fleets, Agriculture, Amusements and Public Spectacles, 

Education, Literature, Arts, Domestic Life and Maimers, Foreign Commerce, 

Syria. — Situjition and Cities, C/haracter of the Ancient Syrians, Language, 

0«rt/jfl^e.— Extent, Govenmient and (Character, ; : : 

Parthia. — Snuation, &c. :;:::. 

Persia. — Extent and Situation, Education, Punishments, Military Art, 

Mythology of Ancient Nations, : : : : : 

Discoveries. Inventions, and Improvements of Early Ages, . 




• • • 



Period VIIL 

. • • • 













Period IX. 




. . . 





Period X. 















1. The term History comprehends a record of all the remarkable 
transactions which have taken place among the human family. Ii 
is the collected result of individual experience in every age and na- 
tion ; and is, consequently, a source of practical wisdom to legislators 
and rulers, and of profitable reflection to private persons. 

Tlie benefits to be expected from history deserve a few remarks in detail. 
When it is written with a proper spirit, and in strict agreement with fivcts, there 
is scarcely any branch of letters so well calculated to furnish an agreeable re- 
laxation to the student ; to improve his understanding and enlarge his stores 
of useful knowledge ; or, in general, to subserve the cause of morality and re- 
ligion in human society. 

From the infinite variety of aspects in which history presents the dealings 
of I'rovidcnce, and from the immense number of characters and incidents 
which it brings into view, it becomes a source of perpetual interest and enjoy 
mcnt. The no\elist, with all the license he possesses to imagine such physi- 
cal and moral combinations as he pleases, cannot clothe his subject with hall 
the attractions which a reflecting mind attaches to true narrative. 

The view of past ages fills the mind with a sublime and pleasing melancholy. 
VVe dwell with deep and tender emotionon the actions, sufferings, and changes 
of those who were " bone of our bones, and flesh of our flesh" — wc regret that 
some of them should ever have lived to disorder the world with their crimes, 
and that others should have died, to leave it without the benefit of their con- 
tiiuied active labours. 

History improves our understanding, and enlarges our stores of useful 
knowledge, by bringing to our assistance the experience of others — the expe- 
1 ience of all time ; by making us acquainted withhuman nature ; by delivering 
the mind from bigotry and prejudice — from narrow and sectional feelings ; by 
opening to us the springs of human affairs, and the causes of the rise, great- 
ness, decline, and fall of empires. 

There is something in the picture of the generations before us, of their 
achievements and projects ; of their manners, pursuits, and attainments ; of 
their mode of thinking and acting; of their religion, government, and litera- 
ture ; which, going beyond the gratification of curiosity, or storing the mind 
with mere ideas, teaches us wisdom, by the comparison of their situation witti 
our own, and by a great variety of interesting reflections naturally suggested 
to our thoughts. 

From the whole that history presents us, we deduce conclusions that have 
an important bearing on human happiness and virtue. This we consider an 
the most signal benefit derivable from the record of past ages. It gives us, 
in connexion with revelation, which furnishes a most interesting portion of 
the world's history, a correct estimate of life and of hmnan nature in all its va- 
riety. It shows us how man has acted according to his own pleasure, whether 
uprightly or wickedly, and, at the same time, how God has conducted the 
train of events to bring about the purposes of His wisdom and grace. 

Speaking in tlie way of aphorism, history is a record of what Clod lias done, 
and of what he haa cither enabled or sutTered man to do, on the stage of the 
world. Even, therefore, without the direct commenta of the writer, which 
nevertheless are due, we can derive important instruction froiij it ; and can 
hardly help being in^pressed with the grandeur or solemnity of the movement? 
of Providence, in the deotiny of nations. 


]n short il is here that we are supplied with the most rational entertainment, 
and our faculties of imagination, memory, reason, and judg-ment, are put to a 
most agreeable and salutary exercise. It is here we learn political science and 
philosophy; we ascertain the necessity of government, the blessings of civili- 
zation, the progress of reason and society ; and especially it is here we see 
" a God employed 
In all the good and ill that chequer life," 

and in all the events that have a bearing on the interests of true religion, 

2. History is derived to us from various sources, differing in de- 
grees of authenticity, but in general illustiating and confirming one 
another. The principal sources are the narratives of writers, whose 
knowledge of the events they describe may have been acquired by 
personal observation ; inspection of public documents ; poetic le- 
gends ; and oral tradition. In addition to these, there are se^'e^al 
other sources that are highly valuable, supplying the want of direct 
and regular narrative, such as monuments, ruins, coins, &c. 

Monuments on the surface of the ground, such as pillars and licaps of stone 
or earth, since they are intended to perpetuate the knowledge of important 
events, throw some light on the proper subjects of history. 

Ruins indicate the existence of arts and wisdom in ancient times, which are 
otill astonishing to the civilized world. They afford a knowledge of antiquity, 
which description, in many cases, co'jld never supply. Such are the ruins thai 
exist in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Italy, in their cities, temples, aque 
ducTs, columns, &c. 

Coins and medals offer very valuable means of historical information. 
They have often been examined and studied for that purpose, are abundant, 
and some of them possess considerable antiquity. The oldest known, belong' 
ao the 5th century B. C. 

Inscriptions on marble may be mentioned as another source of history. 
The Arundelian marbles, so called from the earl of Arundel, who brougnt 
them from Greece into England, are the most celebrated collection of marblea 
bearing inscriptions, and thus communicating knowledge of antiquity. The 
Chronicle of Paros is the most important of these inscriptions, as it contains 
the chronology of Athens, from the time of Cecrops 1582, commonly put 1568 
B. C, to 264 B. C. 



HisiORY may be divided into two great parts, viz. An 
cieiit and Modern. Ancient History includes a period of 
4004 years, and extends from the Creation of the World to the 
Nativity of Jesus Christ. Modern History includes a period 
of 1S29 years, and extends from the Nativity of Jesus Christ, 
to the present time. 

Observatwns. Ancient History, which is the subject of this vo- 
hime, comprehend in cr an account of the Creation, and the grand 
events connected with it; of the fall of man ; of the deluge; of the 
origin of natirns ; and of the principles, achievements, manners, 
habits, religion, learning, &c. of the early race of mortals, is equally 
curious and instructive. 

Prriod I. will extend from the Creation of the World, 
,4004 years, B. C, to the Deluge, 2348 years B. C. This is 
the Antediluvian Period. 

Period II. will extend from the Deluge, 2348 years B. C, 
to the Calling of Abraham, 1921 years B. C. This is the 
period of the Confusion of Languages. 

Period III. will extend from the Calling of Abraham, 
1021 years B. C, to the Departure of the Israelites from 
Egypt, 1491 years B. C. This is the period of Egyptian 

Period IV. will extend from the Departure of the Israel- 
ites from Egypt, 1491 years B. C, to the Dedication of Solo- 
mon's Temple, 1004 years B. C. This is the period of the 
Trojan War. ' 

Period V. will extend from the Dedication of Solomon V 
Temple, 1(J04 years B. C, to the Foimding of Rome, 752 
years B. C. This is tlie period of Homer. 

Period VI. will extend from the Founding of Rome, 752 
years B. C, to the Battle of Marathon, 490 years B. C. Thi.« 
is the period of Roman Kings. 


Period YII. will extend from the Battle of Marathon, 490 
3^ears B. C, to the Birth of Alexander, 356 years B. C.' This 
is the period of Grecian Glory. 

Period VIH. will extend from the Birth of Alexander, 356 
years B. C, to the Destruction of Carthage, 146 years B. C. 
This is the period of Roman Military Renown. 

Period IX. will extend from the Destruction of Carthage, 
146 years B. C, to the First Campaign of Julius Caesar, 8C 
years B. C. This is the period of the Civil War between 
Marius and Sylla. 

Period X. will extend from the First Campaign of Julius 
Caesar, 80 years B. C, to the Nativity of Jesus Christ, and 
the Commencement of the Christian Era. This is the pe- 
riod of Roman Ijiterature. 

Observations. The characteristic, or title of each of these pe- 
riods, is derived from some prominent event, or striking peculiarity 
by which it is marlvcd. Thus, for instance, during the last period 
but one, Rome, which was beginning to be mistress of the world, 
was for a long time disturbed by the contentions of rival chiefs. 
The period, therefore, is denominated tliat of the Civil War be- 
tween Marius and Sylla, as marking the most important event in 
the history of the world during that time. Thus, also, during the 
last, or 10th period, literature greatly flourished among the Romans, 
under the auspices of Augustus. It is, therefore, designated as the 
period of Roman literature, as being the most striking peculiarity 
of that era, among the nations. In the same manner, also, the cha 
racteristics of all the others are derived. 


The Antediluvian Period^ extending from the Creation 
of the World, 4004 years B. C. to the deluge, 2348 
years B. C. 

The Bible affords the only authentic history of the first ages of 
the world. The events which it relates of those ages, are confirmed 
by the appearances of nature, and by legendary tradition. 

K5ECTI0N 1. All human records agree that men and em- 
pires fust appeared in the East. There, those demigods 
and heroes, who are the subjects of heathen fable, are repre- 
sented as having hved and acted. When, therefore, the 
Bible points to that quarter of the globe, as the cradle of na- 
tions and of the arts, and as the theatre of the most wonder • 
ful events, it only coincides with the general beUef of man- 
kind on this subject. 

The accoinit contained in that sacred book respecting the 
creation of the world, or the beginning of time, is equally 
worthy of credit. This, of course, is the first grand event 
which history presents to us. The cosmogonies of nations, 
that is, the schemes they have adopted respecting the fonna- 
tion of the world, vary very much from one another, and 
most of them are manifestly absurd and incredible. That 
of the Hebrews, which constitutes the scriptural account, is the 
only one that deserves imphcit belief 

2. According to this account, it appears that about 5829 
years ago, God called the visible universe into being, by 
the word of his power ; that a determinate length of time 
was occupied in the work, the various portions of the world 
behig produced on six successive days ; that man was cre- 
ated on the last day of those six, and constituted the head of 
all the animal tribes ; that his happiness and increase were 
provided for by the institution of marriage, which was soon 
announced ; that God saw that all hi? work was good ; and 
that he rested on the seventh day, hallo^ving it, as a day to 
be devoted to religious solemnittes. 


§ Tlie earth, immediately subsequent to its creation, was a fluid, 
dark, and shapeless mass of matter. The first thing done to bring 
it into a perfect state, was the creation of light. I^hen the firma 
nient expanded, to divide the upper from the lower waters. 

Succeeding this, the assembled waters retired to their destined 
bed ; and, at length, the dry land was seen, crowned with a rich 
profusion of herbage, fruits, and flowers. These great occurrences 
occupied the first three days. 

The following day was devoted to an illumination of the earth. 
The heavens were accordingly adorned with myriads of stars ; and 
the greater luminaries were so disposed, as to distinguish between 
day and night, and to divide the seasons of the year. 

On the fifth and sixth days, the waters were replenished with fisli, 
the air was filled with birds, the meadows wore stocked with cattle, 
and every part of the earth's surface was inhabited by its appropriate 

The last work of the sixth day was the creation of man. This 
was the crowning work of the whole. God formed him of the dust 
of the ground, breathed into his body the breath of life, or immor- 
tality, and hence man became a living soul. Woman was also 
formed, out of the side of the man, who ^\ as cast into a deep sleep 
for that purpose. 

After the creation of this helper for man, she was given to the lat • 
ter, and the sacred institution of marriage was ordained by the Creatoi 
himself. From this pair sprang all the various nations of mankind. 

As a matter of curiosity, and forming a perfect contrast to the ra- 
tional account of the Scriptures, we will mention a few theories ol 
philosophers and others, on the formation of the universe. 

It was the opinion of Zenophanes, Strabo, and others, that the 
earth, and the whole system of the universe, was the Deity himself 
Pythagoras inculcated the famous numerical system of the monad, 
dyad, and triad ; and, by means of his sacred quaternary, eluci- 
dated the formation of the Avorld, and the secrets of nature. 

Other philosophers adhered to the mathematical system of squares 
and triangles; the cube, the pyramid, and the sphere, &c. While 
others maintained the great elementary theory, which refers the 
construction of our globe, and all it contains, to the combinations of 
the four material elements, air, earth, fire, and water, with the as- 
sistance of a fifth, an immaterial and vivifying principle. 

It is recorded by the Brahmins, in the pages of their inspired 
Shastah, that the angel Bistnoo, transforming himself into a great 
boar, plunged into the watery abyss, and brought up the earth on 
his tusks. Then issued from him a mighty tortoise and snake ; and 
Bistnoo placed the snake erect upon the back of the tortoise, and he 
placed the earth upon the head of the snake. 

The negroes of Congo aflirm that the world was made by the hands 
of angels, excepting their own country, Avhich the Supreme Being 
'jonstructed himself; that he took great pains with the inhabitants, 
and made them very black and beautiful ; and when he had finished 
the first man, he was well pleased, with him, and smoothed him over 

4004—2348 b. c. 1$ 

the face ; and hence his nose, and the noses of all his descendants, 
Decame flat. 

Buffon, a modern infidel philosopher, conjectures that this earth 
was originally a globe of liquid fire, struck from the body of the 
sun, by means of a comet, as a spark is produced by the collision 
of flint and steel; that at first it was surrounded by gross vapors, 
which, cooling and condensing in process of time, constituted, ac- 
cording to their densities, cartli, water, and air ; wliich gradually 
arranged themselves according to their respective gravities, round 
tlie burnuis mass that formed tlieir centre. 

Darwinian infidel also, in accounting for the origin of the world, 
supposes that the mass of chaos suddenly exploded, like a barrel of 
gmipowder, and in that act exploded the sun, which, in its flight, by 
a similar convulsion, exploded the earth, which in like manner ex- 
ploded the moon ; and tlnis, by a chain of explosions, the w^hole so- 
lar system was produced, and set in regular motion. 

3. Adam and Eve, the names of the first human pair, 
were placed by the Deity, immediately sul)sequent to their 
creation, in the garden of Eden, with instructions to keep and 
dress it. They were allo\ved the free use of all the fruit of 
the garden, with a single reservation, which w^as designed as 
a trial of their obedience. The penalty of death was threat- 
ened if they should transgress the command of their Maker. 
Created pure and innocent, and placed in a state of unalloyed 
liappiness, they had every inducement to do well. 

§ Adam and Eve seem to have been created without the garden, 
and immediately afterwards brought into it. It is evident that Eden 
was east of Canaan, or of the wilderness where iMoses wrote the sa- 
cred history. But the precise spot cannot now be ascertained. 

The most extravagant opinions have been entertained on this sub- 
ject ; and not only the four quarters of the globe, but even the air 
and the moon, have been conjectured to include this delightful 
abode. Following the Bible as nearly as we are able, and judg- 
ing from the weU known names of the Hiddekel, or Tigris, and the 
Euphrates, we may determine, witli some probability, that the Gar- 
den of Eden was situated in or near Mesopotamia, probably Diarbee, 
a part of that country. 

It is clear that Moses intended to give an intelligible description 
of the situation of Eden to his countrymen, who might know it ex- 
actly, though we cannot ; and it is clear, also, that, though the face 
of the coimtry may have been greatly changed by means of the de- 
luge, the Tigris and Euphrates continued nearly the same course 
after that event as before. 

The tree, the fruit of which Adam was forbidden to eat, is called 
the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which intimates that, 
by abstaining from this fruit, tlie knowledge of good would be en- 
joyed, but, by eating it, the knoAvledge of evil would be fatally in- 


4. The innocence and felicity of the first pair were of very 
fihort duration. They violated, with daring impiety, the sole 
cx)mmand of their Maker. The precise time of this transac- 
tion cannot he determined ; hut it was probably only a few 
days after their creation. 

The woman, being deceive^ by the subtlety of Satan, in 
the form of a sei^pent, was the first in transgression ; and, by 
her means, Adam also sinned. A sense of guilt and misery 
unknown before, then pervaded their bosoms ; though they 
were preserved from despair l)y the promise of a Saviour. 

§ The greatness of the sin of our first parents is no less evident than 
tlie subtlety of the Temjitcr. In their sni was involved almost every 
crime — ingratitude, sensuality, ambition, imbelief, distrust, malignity, 
pride, insubordination. 

The effect was decisive. The face oi creation was altered. " Na- 
ture gave signs that all was lost." Death was introduced 

into the system, and our first parents, from that moment, became 
liable to dissolution, with all their posterity. The seeds of death 
were then planted in facir frame, and the moral qualities of their 
«ouls became wholly corrupt and sinful. 

The disclosure of their crime was in the highest degree distress- 
ing to the guilty pair. God called them to acccunt, and his awful 
frown and displeasure, chilled and penetrated their souls. The 
ground Avas cursed for their sakes, and a great variety of evils was 
entailed upon them. 

The serpent, who was the instrument of the crime, received his 
doom, in connexion with the promise of a deliverer on the part ol 
man, who had been so fatally beset and overcome. The seed of the 
woman was eventually to bruise the Serpent's head — a declaration 
referable, in its full extent, only to Jesus Christ, tlie Saviour of 
mankind. The immediate expulsion of Adam and Eve from para- 
dise, was the natural conclusion of this dreadful and calamitous 
scene, after their Maker had first mercifully provided them with 
coats of skin, to cover their nakedness. Cherubims, and a flaming 
sword, which turned every way, placed at the east of the garden, 
prevented all access to the once happy abode, particularly to the 
tree of life. 

5. In the first year of the world, 4004 years B. C. waa 
l)orn Cain, the firsi begotten of the human family. The suc- 
ceeding year. Abel was born. These brothers not only fol- 
lowed different occupations, but possessed very different cha- 
racters. The hitter frui*s of the apostacy appeared at length 
in the murder of the one l>y the other. 

On an occasion of presenting an offering unto God, Cain, 
who was a husbandman, l^rought of the fiuit of the ground ; 
Abel, who was a shepherd, brought of the firstlings of his 

4004—2348 b. c. 15 

flock. The ofTerers, being dissimilar in character, and their 
ofiferings having a dissimilar significancy, Avcre not alike ac- 
cepted of Jehovah. Cain and his ollcring were rejected. 
This circiunstaacc excited the indignation of Cain, who, 
taking his opportunity when they were alone in the field, rose 
up against his brother and slew him. 

On account of liis crime, Cain was forthwith punished by 
Jehovah. He was called to a solemn leckoning, and, hear 
ing with anguish liis doom pronounced, " a fugitive and a 
vagabond shall thou be in the eartli," he went out from the 
presence of the liord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the 
east of Eden. 

He, however, built a city, at length, and his family and de- 
Bcendants became famous as inventors of useful and ingenious 
arts, though it does not appear that any of them were pious, 
and enjoyed the divine favour. 

§ The murder of Abel occfirred, it is generally supposed, but a 
short tune before llie bh'th of Seth, or about 130 years after the cre- 
ation. As Adam and Eve, in the mean time, must have had other 
children, the human family was no doubt considerably multiplied 
during 130 years. Hence the events that are I'ecorded by Moses, 
in connexion with the murrlfvof Abel, are easily accounted for, with- 
out supposing more than one lumian pair, from whom all the mhav 
bitants then on the earth were descended. 

After the death of Abel, Adam and Eve had many other children, 
the eldest of the sons was named Seth, and his descendants, from 
their piety, were styled "the children of God," in oppo-sition to the 
descendants of Cain, who were styled "the children of men.'' 
Tiiese at lengtli mingled together, and thus prepared the way for the 
imivcrsal wickedness that afterwards prevailed. 

G. After a short account of Cain and his family, the sa- 
cred historian informs us respecting " the generations of 
Adam;" and recording the births of Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, 
and Jared, he presents us with a brief but interesthig history 
of Enoch. Being eminently pious, he is said to have walked 
with God, for the space of 300 years, and at the expiration 
of that time, to have l^een taken up to iieaveii, without pass- 
ing through the scene of death. 

The sacred genealogy is carried on to the time of Noah 
and his sons, and the date of the life of each one of the pa- 
triarchs is minutely given. 

§ As Adam lived 930 years, he must have beheld a numerous pos- 
terity, and been conversant with many who survived till near the 
lime of the deluge. Doubtless he must have been greatly affected, 


in view of the wickedness which so soon began to spread over the 
earth, and which he had been the instrument of introducing. 

The place of his sepulchre is not mentioned in scripture ; yet va- 
rious conjectures (and they are mere conjectures) have been formed 
on the subject. St. Jerome stations his remains in the cave of Mach- 
pelah ; and the generality of the primitive fathers suppose him to 
have been buried on IMount Calvary, in the very spot whereon Christ, 
(he second Adam, shed his blood for mankind. 

Tlie descendants of Seth, at first continuing pure and uncorrupted, 
at length, by intermarriages v.ith the family of Cain, became, M-itli 
the rest of mankind, exceedingly degenerate. From these inter- 
marriages sprang the giants of those times, men of extraordinary 
strength and stature, and, perhaps, of more extraordinary wick- 
edness. These became '• men of renown," heroes, conquerors, and 

7. The Deity, justly provoked by the enormous degeneracy 
of his creatures, determined to destroy, Ijy a universal deluge, 
the race of man, together with the whole animal creation, ex- 
cept a very small remnant who were to restock the earth af- 
ter that catastrophe. 

One himdred and twenty years, however, did he merci 
fully afford to the children of men, as a space for repentance, 
during which time, Noah, " a preacher of righteousness," 
endeavoured to reclaim them from their wickedness, and warn- 
ed them of then- doo)u. His zeal and labours seem to have 
produced no effect. The earth became at length filled with 

From the tremendous sentence which God had pronounced 
Koah and his family were excepted, he having "foimd grac.e 
in the eyes of the Lord." Connected with the intimation 
which Noah had received concerning tlie appi'oaching deluge^ 
were several particular instructions, relative to his deliver- 

This was to be accomplished l)y means of a large vessel 
called the ark, which he built during the intervening period; 
agreeably to the divme directions. 

§ The ark was built of gopher word, which some suppose to be 
the cypress tree. Its form was thiit of an oblong square, with a 
flat bottom and a sloping roof, elevated one cubit in the middle. 
It consisted of three stories, each of v/hicli, excluding the thick- 
ness of the floors, might be eighteen feet high, aud was divided 
into separate apartments. It was pitched within and without, to 
Keep it tight, and lighted from the upper part. It was, probably, 
well supplied with air ; and, though it had neither sails nor rudder 
it was well contrived for lying steadily on the surface of the water 

4004—2348 b. c \^ 

Willi this means of safety, Noah awaited the destruction which 
uas fast coming upon the world. 

Distingni-sked characters in Period I. 

1. Adam, the first of the human race. 

2. Eve, the first woman. 

3. Cain, llie earhest born of mankmd, and fii'st murderer. 

4. .Tubal, tlie first musician. 

5. Tubal-cain, the earhest instructer in the mechanic arts- 
G. Enoch, translated to heaven on account of his piety. 

7. Methuselalt, the oldest man that has ever hved, being 
969 years old when he died. 

^ 1. Adam was created by the Almighty from the dust of the earth, 
on the Cth day of the creation. His Maker, it is said in Scripture, 
" breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became 
a living soul." He Avas thus endued with an immortal principle, 
and being placed in a probationary state, not only his own cha- 
racter, but the character of his posterity, was to be affected by his 

As he came from the hands of his Maker, he was pure, holy, and 
happy ; and he liad every mt)tive to persuade him to continued rec- 
titude of conduct. His outward circumstances also were favourable 
for this end. He v^as placed in a delightful garden, tlie easy tillage 
of which constituted his employment. God imposed upon him but 
one test of obedience, and that was abstinence in regard to eating 
the fruit of a certain tree in the garden. 

Persuaded by Eve, who, having been tempted by Satan, had pre- 
viously transgressed, he partook of the forbidden food, and thus 
death entered into the world, and " all our wo." His conduct in- 
volved the greatest impiety, and the consequences have been dread- 
ful in time, and will be so throughout eternity, in regard to multi- 
tudes of his offspring, who have imitated him in his disobedience, and 
repented not. 

It is highly probable that he, together with the woman, embraced 
an offered Saviour, hnmediately made known, both having repented 
of their sin. He lived many j'ears afterwards, having begot sons 
and daughters, and died at the advanced age of 930 jears. For fur- 
ther particulars, see Genesis, 2d, 3d, and 4th cliapters. 

2. Eve was created " an help meet" for Adam, liaving been 
formed, by the Creator, from one of the ribs of Adam, AvhicJi was 
taken from him in a deep sleep. Thus she became "• bone of his 
bones, and flesh of his flesh," and was given to him as his wife. 

She proved to be first " in the transgression." Satan, a fallen spi- 
rit, assuming the form of a serpent, and, tlirough the organs of that 
animal, exerting the powers of speech, accosted her when alone, and 
interrogated her respecting the forbidden tree. Taking her by sur- 
prise, and sectning her attention and good will, he at length persuaded 
wer to disobey the express command of God. 



She partook of tlie fruit; "and gave also unto her husband with 
her, and he did eat." This event, in regard to tlie first human pair, 
is supposed to have taken place very soon, if not immediately after 
they were placed in the garden. Eve, as a particular punishment to 
be inflicted upon her, was doomed in sorrow to bring forth children, 
and to be subject to her husband. 

3. Cain rendered himself famous by his wickedness. In an unpro- 
voked manner he murdered his brother Abel, and thus was the first 
who committed a crime which has ever been considered as the most 
atrocious that man commits. 

God directly punished him by an awful malediction ; and b^ causing 
him to become a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. Going out 
" from the presence of tVe Lord," he dwelt in the land of Nod, on the 
east of Eden. He at length built a city, and called it Enoch, after 
the name of his son. 

Nothing is recorded of the time and manner of his death. He was 
most probably a person of great energy and enterprise, as has often 
been the fact with the wicked ones of the earth. 

4. .Tubal is spoken of in Scripture as "the father of all siich as 
handle the harp and organ," as his brother Jabal is mentioned as 
' the father of such as dwell in tents." From all accounts, both sa 
cred and profane, music must have been early knov/n among man 
kind, and its perlbrmers must have been among the earliest civilizer.s 
of the world. 

5. Tubal-Cain is called " an in?tructer of every artificer in brass 
and iron." Probably he was so called from his having discovered 
the art of working in these metals ; the most useful of the mechanic 
arts, and lying at the foundation of all of them. 

6. Enoch lived 65 years before he begat Methuselah. He "walk- 
ed with God after he begat Methuselah 300 years, and begat sons anci 
daughters. And all the days of Enoch were 365 years. And Enoch 
walked with God, and he was not, for God took him." Such is the 
simple and sublime record of scripture respecting a good man. It 
i,s an infinitely more precious memorial than the splendid marble 
monument, or the ever-during pyramid. 

7. Methuselah is not known to have been remarkable for any 
thing except his age. He must have lived to the very jca.r of the 
flood. The circumstance of the longevity of the antediluvians, was ex- 
tremely favourable to the communication of knowledge, by tradition. 


The Period of the Confusion of Languages, extending 
from the Deluge^ 234S years B. C. to the calling of 
Abrahafn, 1921 years 13. C. 

§ It may be observed here, that this period, in profane history, and 
even two or three others succeeding it, are what is termed fabuious. 
The events recorded are to be admitted with a great degree of cau- 

234S— 1921 i. c. 19 

linii, except so for as Scripture incidentally throws its light upon 
them. And it is well known, also, that there is a portion of the 
early history of almost every nation, which is but little entitled to 
credit. We sh;ill adduce the common accounts, and when neces- 
sary, shall endeavour to distinguish between the probable and impro- 
bable events. 

Section 1. At the appointed time, God brought the wa- 
ters of the flood upon all tlie earth. For this purpose, he 
broke up the fountains of the great deep, and opened the win- 
dows of heaven. Diuing forty days and forty niglits, with- 
out intermission, the waters were thus poured upon the surface 
of the globe. 

As the ark was completed, Noah, being 600 years old, went 
into it, together with his wife, his three sons, a.nd their wives, 
taking with him all kinds of beasts, birds, and reptiles, by pairs, 
and by sevens, agreeably to the divine direction. 

According to the antedihinan computation. Noah remained 
in tlie ark one year and ten days ; and on coming oitt, he 
built an altar, and offered a sacriflce to tlic Lord, who blessed 
Noah and his sons. They settled in the vicinity of mount 
Ararat, in Armenia. 

§ The waters increased gradually during the space of five months, 
when they rose to the elevation of 27 feet above the sununits of the 
highest mountains. Men, beasts, birds, and reptiles, thus being de- 
prived of the means of safety, all perished. 

The purpose of God being effected, he caused a wind to pass over 
the earth, in consequence of which the Avaters began to subside. The 
ark rested on the mountains of Ararat, on the 17th day of the 7th 
month, or the 6th of May. 

The waters continuing several months afterwards, it was not 
until the 27th of tlie 2d montli, or the 18th of December, that the 
inmates of the ark came forth in pursuance of the divine com 

2. The truth of the Bible respecting the deluge, is strikingly 
confirmed by the general voice of mankind, and by the pliy- 
sical structure and appearance of the earth's surlace. 

§ The Chaldeans, Egyptians, Syrians, Indians, Chinese, Greeks, and 
other natior.s, all had some traditions respecting the deluge. Not to 
mention any that have been yet published, the author of this outline 
would state a fact once delivered to him by an intelligent adventurer, 
his countryman. 

Residing some time among the natives of the North West Coast of 
America, he fell into conversation with one of them around tlie fire 
of his wigwam, on various topics. Among other things, the Indian 
inquired of him, whether his people knew any thing concerning a 
great flood that hdd once taken place. 


The stranger resident affecting surprise, with a view to learn what 
notion the natives iiad on the subject, asked his inquii ,t, how long 
ago it happened. The Indian immediately scooping up a handful of 
ashes that lay before him, promptly replied, "as many moons as 
there are aslies here." 

In agreement with the universal voice of tradition, the surface of 
tlie earth, in various respects, indicates the occurrence of such a ca- 
tastrophe. Its broken state, the disposition of its strata, and the re- 
mains of marine productions on the tops of the highest mountains, 
are no doubtful evidence on this subject. 

3. After the deliverance of Noah and liis family from the 
flood, God established a gracious covenant with him, which is 
recorded at length in the 9th chapter of Genesis. Among 
other things, he made a grant of flesh as food for mankind, 
and he engaged no more to destroy the earth with a flood, in 
confirmation of which he set his bow in the cloud. ^ 

4. Not long after this period, Noah, who had engaged in 
the pursuits of husbandry, having been intoxicated by the 
juice of the grape, was discovered in this disgraceful situa- 
tion by his youngest son Ham, who, with indecent levity, in- 
formed his brethren of the ciicumstance. The latter, however, 
treated their father with the highest degree of filial decorum. 

This conduct procured for them the blessing of Noah, 
while that of Ham subjected him, in his son Canaan, to a 
dreadful curse. 

§ Noah, we are informed by the sacred historian, lived 3.'50 years aftei 
the deluge, so that his entire age was 950 years. The Orientals havo 
a tradition that he was buried in Mesopotamia, where they show his 
sepulchre, in a castle near Dair Abunah, or the " monastery of our 

5. The three sons of Noah were, of course, the first foun 
ders of nations. They peopled the several quarters of the 
globe, Shem, the east and south of Asia ; Ham, Syria, Ara- 
bia, and Africa ; Japheth, the north and west of Asia, and 
also Europe. 

§ From the immediate descendants of Shem were derived the Ela- 
mites or Persians^ the Assyrians, and the Lydians. By Joktan, the 
fourth in descent from Siiem, llie uttermost parts of tlie east were 

E copied, and perhaps America also, where, it is said, some traces of 
is name yet remain. 

Joktan had 13 sons, and scripture says that the dwt^lling of Jok- 
tan's posterity " was from Mesha, as thou goest up to Sephar, a mount 
iu the East." 

From the sons of Ham, who is supposed to be the Chronos of the 
Greeks, were descended the Ethiopians, the Babylonians, the Egyp- 

2348—1921 B. c. 21 

tinns, the Coidiians, ilie Pliilisiincs, the Lybians, the Canaanites, the 
.Sidonians, and the PhcRiiieians. 

From tlie sons of Japheth wore descended the Cimbri, the Gauls, 
the Germans, the Scj-thians, the Tartars, the Medes, the lonians, 
t!ie Iberians, the Muscovites, and the Thracians. From their sons 
\^ ere derived other particular tribes, whose names need not here be 

0. During 101 years after the flood, i. e. till the year 2247 
B. C. all the descendants of Noah spoke but one language 
The occasion of a diversity of tongues in the world, and of 
the origin of distinct communities, was the following. 

At tlte time above referred to, the human family, in jour- 
neying from the vicinity of mount Ararat, arrived at length 
at a plain in the land of Sliinar. On this spot they began to 
erect a city and a tower, whose top might aspire to heaven, for 
the purpose of avoiding the dispersion of their households, and 
of acquiring a name. 

Such a purpose, and perhaps others still worse, being of- 
fensive to tlie DeitV; he confoinided their language, and thus 
tlic workmen, not being able to understand one another, de- 
sisted fi-om their vmdertaking. The consequence was the 
dispersion of mankind into different nations. 

The name given to the city was Babel, wliich signifies 

5 In erecting the tower thej' made use of brick instead of stone, and 
the want of mortar was supphedby slime, or bitumen, of which the 
region afforded an abundance. The identical materials of this fa- 
bric have been supposed, at different times, to have been discovered ; 
but this is uncertain. 

7. Mankind having become separated into different com- 
munities or nations, their history must thenceforth be given 
accordingly. We shall commence with the Assj^rian nation, 
and briefly trace the outline of its history, as also the liistory 
of other sovereignties that existed during this period, 


8. As.sYRTA, considered as afterwards including Babylonia, 
is the oldest of nations, and foundetl on the spot where the 
tower of Babel was erected. We may date tlie commence- 
ment of this empire not many years after tlie dispersion took 
place, or about 2229 years B. C Its founder was Asliur. the 
son of Shem, who built Nineveh, its capital. It continued 
alone about 120 years, and then being united to Babylonia, 
became a mighty empire. 


§ In the order of lime, there were two empires of tlie Assyrians. 
Tlie first is liere spoken of, which lasted till the year 767 B. C. 

It is supposed by some that Babylon, which was built by Nimrod^ 
the grandson of Ham, the Belus of profane history, was, from the 
beginning, the capital of Assyria. But we rather follow those autho- 
rities that suppose Babylonia and Assyria to have been originally 
two distinct kingdoms, both founded about the same time, the former 
by Nimrod, the latter by Ashur. 

The Babylonians became, at length, tributary ; and Ninus, king of 
Assyria, having deposed Nabouius, united the uvo states into one. 
4.fter his death, Semiramis, his widow, transferred the seat of govern- 
aient from Nineveh to Babylon. 

9. Under Semiramis tlie Assyrian empire Vv'as greatly en- 
larged. She assumed the government dining the nonage of 
Ninias, son of her husband, Ninus. She signahzed her name 
by enlarging and embellishing Babylon, and by her nume- 
rous military exploits. 

^ It is said, that, in completing Babylon, she employed the labours 
of 2,000,000 men. Thiswoman, after having enlarged her dominions, 
conquered a great part of Ethiopia, and invaded India, though with- 
out success, was murdered, as is supposed, at the instigation of 

10. Ninias, her successor, was a very insignificant sove 
reign ; and the history of his successors, for more than 30 ge • 
Derations, is unknown. They must have been an indolent 
and elTeminate race. 

§ Ninias, unlike his predecessors, being whollj^ intent on his plea 
sures, kept himself secluded in his palace, and seldom appeared 
before his people. But, to retain them in their duty, he kept a cer- 
tain number of regular troops, whom he renewed every year, com- 
manded by an officer on whose fidelity he could depend. This 
method he seems to have adopted, that the officers might have no 
time to gain the affections of the soldiers, or to form conspiracies 
against him. 

Not only are his successors imknown, as to their conduct or ex- 
ploits, but even their names, till the time of Sardanapalus, the last of 
them, (who will be noticed in the proper place,) are a matter of con- 
troversy among historians. 

During this unrecorded period of the Assyrian history, Sesostris, 
king of Egypt, if his name may be here anticipated, who carried on 
his conquests into the East, must have overrun Assyria ; but, as his 
power wa-; nf>1 supported by his successors, the Assyrians must have 
soon regained their former state. 


11. China, it is not to be doubted, is among the most 
ancient empires of the world. Its records extend to more 
than 2200 years B. C. A.ccording to the most current opi. 

2348—1921 B. c. 2S 

nion, it was founded by one of the colonies formed at the 
dispersion of Noah's posterity, under the conduct of Yao, who 
took for his colleague Chun, afterwards his successor. 

Otlier accounts state Fo-hi to have been the founder of this 
monarchy, and many writers consider Fo-hi to have been Noah 
b'.mself Tlie Chinese pretend a much higher antiquity than 
is here assigned to them, but their pretensions are merely the 
effect of national vanity. 

§ Tlie sovereigns of China, from Chun to the present time, are di- 
vided into 22 dynasties, tlie first of which, that of Hia, began 2207 
years B. C. Four, and a part of the fifth, of these dynasties, preceded 
the Cliristian era. 

The first dynasty was founded by Yu, surnamcd Ta, or the Great, 
whom Chun aricjj ted in preference to his own children. It lasted 
441 years, under 17 emperors. 

Yu-ta was a great proficient in agi'iculture, astronomy, and the 
kindred studies. On the subject of the first, lie wrote an excellent 
treatise. He died much regretted, after a reign of 17 years. 

Kya, the last monarch of this dynasty, \vas greatly detested by his 
subjects. He was driven from the throne, and died after an igno- 
minious exile of three years. 


12. Egypt claims, and certainly possesses, a high anti- 
(jtiity. Its early annals, however, are so obscure, that scarcely 
any thing can be ascertained respecting its first kings, after 

Menes is generally acknowledged as the founder of the 
Egyptian empire, and is supposed to be the same as Misraim, 
mentioned in scriptin'e among Ham's sons, 2188 years B. C. 
His children divided the land ; whence arose four kingdoms, 
which subsisted separately during several centuries, and were 
successively united under one yoke. 

These four kingdoms are known by the names of Thebes, 
Thin, Memphis, and Tanais. The people had attained to 
considerable civilization, but a period of barbarism soon after- 


♦ Some late writcra, adopting' the Samaritan text of the Bible, which places 
tlic deluge several hundred years beyond the common era, compute the reign 
of Menc3 at about 2800 years B. C. Witli this they cause the other events ol 
the early period of the world to correspond. We mention tiiis circumstance, 
because the computation which is thus made may possibly be correct, and it 
eeems to derive some little confirmation from tlie liisfory of the Egyptians, 
both a3 touched upon in the Bible, and as gathered from their hieroglyphic 
recordB. Still, however, we incline to the common accounts. 


wards succeeded, supposed about 20S4 years B. C, under the 
shepherd kings,* which lasted more than two centuries. 

i 111 the time of Menes, the greatest part of the coiintry was a mo- 
rass, till he diverted the course of the Nile, and founded the city ot 
Memphis within the ancient bed of that river. He instructed the 
Egyptians in theology, introduced domestic luxury, and instituted 
magnificent feasts. 

It was under Tiraaus, one of his successors, that the government 
was subverted and the country subdued by a multitude of ignoble 
persons, wlio came from the East, and treated in the most inhuman 
manner the ancient inhabitants. 

These invaders were called Hycsos, or shepherd kings, and, ac- 
cording to Manetlio, held all Lower Egypt 259 years. 

In the kingdom of Thebes, a king by the name of Athothes I. is 
said to have reigned at a very early period. He was the same as was 
worshipped under the name of Mercury. After h's death his tvi^o 
sons divided the kingdom ; but nothing is known of their successor.? 
for a long period. In the kingdom of Thin, Yeuephes is said to have 
built some pyramids, and to have had his reign distinguished by a 
great famine, a? that also of one of his successors was distinguished 
by a dreadful plague. 

In the kingdom of Mem.phis, Tosorthros reigned, not long aftef 
Menes. From the knowledge he liad of physic, he is styled Escula- 
pius. He is said to have invented the arts of building and writing. 

Of the last kingdom of Egypt, during this period, there seem to 
be no records, or none worth naming. Indeed, in regard to those 
of the others that have come down to us, there is extreme uncer- 

Distinguished characters in Period II. 

1. Noah, from whom the earth was a second time peopled. 

2. Ashur, who built Nineveh. 

3. Nimrod, a warrior, and supposed to be the first king. 

4. Menes, first king of Egypt, and civilizer of the East. 

5. Ninus, an Assyrian monarch, who conquered a large 
portion of Asia. 

6. Semiramis, a female conqueror, and able sovereign. 

\ 1. Noah is by some considered the Chronos of the Greeks, and is 
properly the second father of mankind. Little needs to be said of 
him, besides what has already appeared. His eminent piety pro- 
cured for liim and his family an honourable exemption from the aw- 
fully destructive effects of the deluge. 

i ♦ These kiiig-g, who were detested by the Eg-yptians, held the government 
■when Abraham visited it; but were expelled bef'uic the time of Joseph. Thia 
circumstance explains the remarkable fact, that Abraham, a shepherd, was 
very kindly entertained in Eg-ypt ; while, in a subsequent ag-e, Joseph's bre- 
thren, because they were shepherds, were held in abhorrence by the inhabi- 
tants. We have here a pleasing confirmation of the truth of tnc scriptural 

2348—1921 B. c. 25 

Having built the ark aorreeably to the divine direction, he entered it 
ot the age of 000 years, taking with him seven members of his family, 
togetlier with tiie animals that were intended to restock the earth. 
[Jnder the special care of God, lie, and tlie various inmates of the 
arli, survived the desolations of a world, and leaving the ark in safety, 
at a little more t'.iaii the expiration of a year, he built an altar, and 
offered sacrifice unto the Lord. 

Noah lived 350 years after the flood, was engaged in tiie tillage of 
the earth, and saw his descendants increasing around hiiu. For an 
important incident in liislife, which has already been mentioned, we 
refer to Gen. ix. 20—28. 

2. Ashur was one of the sons of Shem, and supj^osed to be the 
founder of the Assyrians. Scarcely any thing is recorded of him. 
The scripture asserts that he went out of the land of Shinar, and 
builded Nineveli, and tlie city of Rehoboth, and Calah. 

3. Nimrod '' seems at first to have exceedingly distinguished himself 
by inmting, which was then not so much a diversion, as a useful 
method of preventing the hurtful increase of wild beasts. This em- 
ployment required great courage and address, and thus alTorded a 
field for aml)ition to aspire after pre-eminence, and gradually attached 
a number of valiant men to one leader." 

" From such a beginning, Nimrod began to claim authority, and 
enforce sul)jection ; and, in fact, is the first king we read of in au- 
thentic history; and afterwards he took occasion towage w^ar, to 
extend his conquests, and to enlarge his acquisitions by violence and 
blood. Thus, casting oflf the fear of God, and acting in defiance of 
the divine prohibhion of shedding human blood, he rendered himself 
notorious, and his name became a proverb."' 

"The beginning of his kingdom," says scripture, '"was Babel, and 
Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." 

4. Menes, the founder of the Egyptian monarchy, was worshippea 
as a god after death. He appears to have been deservedly popular, 
by his ai)ilities and wisdom. He built the town of IMemphis, as is 
generally supposed. If he was the same as JMisraim, mentioned in 
scripture, as some assert, he was one of tlie sons of Ham. He is said 
to have reigned 62 years over Upper Egypt, and 35 over Lower 

.5. Ninus was a son of Belus. He was very warlike, and extended 
his conquests from Egypt to the extremities of India and Bac 
triana. He became enamoured of Semiramis, the wife of one of his 
officers, and married her, after her husband had destroyed himself, 
through fear of his powerful rival, or from jealousy. He reigned 52 
years, and at his death, left his kingdom to the care of his wife, Se- 

6. Semiramis possessed exquisite beauty, and an heroic soul. It 
was on these accounts that the Assyrian monarch fell in love \vith her. 
In ner infancy, it is fabulously said, she was exposed in a desert, but 
her life was preserved by doves one whole year. She was at length 
found by one of the shepherds of Ninus, and brought up by him as 
one of his own children. 



Slie was so tenderly beloved by her husband, Menones, that he 
could not survive his expected loss of her, and the knowledge that 
ehe was demanded by his sovereign. After the death of Ninus, whom 
she had married, assuming the reins of government in her hands, she 
immortalized her name by enriching Babylon with new works and 

Of these, the principal were the walls of the city, the quays and 
the bridge; the lake, banks, and canals, made for draining the 
river ; the palace, the hanging gardens, and the temple of Belus 
She also enlarged her dominions by the conquest of a large part ol 

Her greatest and last expedition was directed against ludia. 
She advanced towards the river Indus, and having prepared boats, 
attempted to pass it with her army. The passage was for a long 
tmie disputed, but, after a bloody battle, she put her enemies to 
flight. Upon this she advanced directly into the country, leaving 
60,000 men to guard tlie bridge of boats built over the river. 

As soon as the Indian king thought her far enough advanced, he 
faced about ; a second engagcunent ensued, more bloody than the 
first, 'i'lie Assyrians were routed, and Seiuiramis, after being twice 
wounded, was obliged to fly, and return to her country with scarcely 
one third of her arm)^ 

Some tnue after, discovering that her son was plotting against her, 
site vohmtarily abdicated tlie throne, put the government into his 
hands, and withdrew from public life. She lived 62 years, of which 
she reigned 42. Her cliaracter, in respect to those qualities that 
adorn a woman, seems not to have been highly esteemed. 


The Period of Egyptian. Bondage, extending from the 
calling of Abraham, 1921 years B. C. to the departure 
of the Israelites from Egypt, 1491 years B. C. 


Section 1. The Hebrews or Israelites, commonly 
called the People of God, are derived from Abraham, the ninth 
in lineal descent from Shem. His calling of God is a re- 
markable event in history, and was designed for purposes al 
together religious. This took place 1921 years B. C. 

The nation of which he was the founder, though neithei 
powerful nor refined, is one of the most interesting that evei 
existed. Their history instructs us in a way different from 
that of all others, because it brings directly into view the Di- 
vine dealings with them. 

921—1491 B. c. 27 

Abiahain's family increased very slowly at first ; but Ja- 
cob, Ins graiulr^oM, left a numerous oDspring. Twelve song 
became the heads of as inany separate tribes in the nation. 

§ Abraham, acc(;rdiiig to the Lord's conimand, left tlie land of 
the Chaldees, his native countrj^, and dwelt with his father Terah, 
in Haran. By tlie same command, after Terah's death, he went 
into the land of Canaan, whicli God promised to his posterity. 
They were at length to be included within the boundaries of thai 

Tlie divine design in thus setting apart one family from the restoi 
mankind, was to preserve the true religion in the world, and to pre- 
pare the way for the great work of redemption by Jesus Christ. The 
earth had now begun to be overrun with idolatry. 

Abraliam having acquired a name by iiis wealth and piety, and 
having passed through various trials, died at an advanced age, leaving 
behind him several sons, of wliom only Isaac was the child of pro- 
mise. Ishmael, by the maid of Abraham's wife, became the proge- 
nitor of a distinct tribe or nation. 

Two sons were tlie progeny of Isaac, viz. Esau and Jacob, the 
former of whom sold his birthright to Jacob, who also by artifice 
obtained his fatlier's blessing. In the line of Jacob, whose name was 
afterwards changed to Israel, were the Israelites descended. His 
twelve sons gave the names to the several tribes of which the nation 
was composed. 

Esau Avas the father of the Edomites, or Idumeans. 

2. Jacob clojed an eventful life, 1689 years B. C, in mak- 
ing a proplietic declaration of the future state of his descend- 
ants, and the period of the coming of the Messiah. He had 
previously been l)rought out of Canaan, into Egypt, by meana 
of liis son Joseph, whom his brethren, through envy and ma- 
lice, sold into that country. 

The dilferent occurrences by which Joseph became minis- 
ter to the king of Egypt, speak the immediate interposition 
of 13ivine Providence, which was preparing for the accom- 
plisliment of the promises made to the |)alriarch Abraham. 

The history of Joseph, as recorded in Scripture, is unparalleled in 
beauty and interest. Some of the principal incidents are the fol- 

Joseph, who was much loved by liis father and hated by his bre- 
thren, upon a certain occasion which Avas presented, fell into tlie 
Sjowerof the latter, who sought to slay him. This horrid design, 
luwever, being providentially prevented, they availed themselves oJ 
the opportunity of selling him to some Ishmaelite slave merchants, 
who carried liim into Egypt, wliere he was bought by Potiphar, an 
officer of the court. 

Here, at length, lie was wrongfully thrown into prison, by a false 
accusation of Potiphar's wife ; but, being proved to be an interpreter 


of dreams, he was introduced to the notice of Pharaoh, who, on a cer 
lain occasion, wanted his services in this capacity. 

His success in interpreting tlie king's dreams, and his subsequent 
conduct, procured for him the highest distinciien ; and he became 
the administrator of the government. During the Aimine, v\'^hich he 
predicted, and which reached the land of Canaan, all his brethren, ex- 
cept Benjamin, came to liim to buy corn. 

Joseph knew them, although tliey did not know him ; and by an 
innocent contrivance, having brought them into Egypt tlie second 
time, with their brother Benjamin, he declared to tliem that he was 
Joseph whom they had persecuted and sold. 

Their surprise, mortification, and terror, were at first overwhelming ; 
but their distressing apprehensions were at length alleviated by his 
assurances of pardon and kindness j and inviting his father and fa- 
mily into Egypt, he allotted them a portion of the territory. Here 
they grew and multiplied exceedingly. 

3. Joseph coutiiuied to mle over Egypt, after the death of 
Jacob. His own decease, which occmied 1635 years B. C 
left the Tsraehtes without a protector. In less than 40 years 
from tliis event, they fotind a cruel tyrant and oppressor in 
another king, who knew not Joseph. 

This king, whose name \vas Plmraoh,* seeing the He- 
brews to be too numerous and mighty, resolved to enfeeble 
them ; and, therefore, condemned them to slavery, and or- 
dered his people to cast every new-bom son among them into 
the river. 

The object in vie\v \vas defeated : for the people increased 
m an unexampled manner. God was with tliem, and, in 
the wonderful preservation of Moses, and his education in the 
court of Pharaoh, was preparing for them a deliverer from 
their cruel bondage. 

§ For the particulars of this persecution of God's people, we refer to 
tlie beginning of the book of Exodus. 


Section 4. The Canaanites were an ancient people. 
The country which they inhabited was called the land of 
Canaan, the name of Ham's youngest son, who settled it im- 
mediately after the dispersion at Babel. He divided it among 
his eleven sons. The general denomination of Canaanitea 
included seven nations, which are frequently mentioned in 

§ The Canaanitcs seem to have laboured, in a particular manner, 
under the evil influence of the curse denounced against their proge- 

♦ A name common to the kings of Egypt. 

1921—1491 B. c. 29 

ntor*; bclngf doomrn, in the end, to subjeetion, expulsion, or extirpa- 
tion, and being subilivided into so many bttle kingdoms. 

The beginning of their iustory is extremely dark. They are sup- 
posed, however, upon the increase of their families, to have possess- 
ed themselves of tlie Arabian side of Egypt, and there to have erected 
a kingdom coeval witli that of Misraim. But they seem at length to 
liave been expelled from that region. 

5. The first, MUthciitic account of this people apphes to the 
inhabitants of the vale of Siddim, who. 1912 years B. C, were 
invaded by (. hedorlaoiuer. king of Elain, and obhged to pay 
an annual tiibute. When they afterwards revolted, they 
were piniislied v.itli great severity. 

F"'ifteen years after this, a most terrific judgment was in- 
flicted on the inhabitants of Siddin^, in consequence of their 
gross wickedness. Four cities in this delightful vale, Sodom, 
Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, were at once destroyed by 
fne from heaven. The whole tract of country in their vicinity 
became a sea, called the Dead Sea. 

§ The 18th and IGth chapters of Genesis contain an account of this 
catastrophe, and of its causes ; to these we refer the reader. 

At the present time, from the accounts of travellers, it appears that 
tlie sea and adjacent region are marked by several peculiarities wor- 
thy of notice. 

In a journal of one of our American missionaries in Palestine, 
of recent date, we find the following account. " The water looks 
remarkably clear and pure ; but, on taking it into my mouth, I 
found it nauseous and bitter, I think beyond any thing I ever 

'' It has been said, that these waters are so heavy, that the most 
impetuous winds can scarcely ruffle their surface. Nothing could 
be more entirely without foundation. The waves ran so high, that 
I found dilHculty in filling some bottles with water. My clothes 
were wet by the waves, and, as they dried, I found them covered 
with salt." 

Quantities of bitumen are gathered in the vicinity, which, in ap- 
I)earance, resembles pitch, but may be distinguished from it by its 
sulphureous smell and taste. Pebbles are also found here which burn 
when held in a blaze, producing a very disagreeable scent, but they 
lose nothing of their size. 

6. Dming this period, nothing more of much importance 
is recorded concerning the Canaanites. The compact of tlie 
Hittites with Abraham, respecting the cave of Machpelah, 
the selhng of a piece of ground to Jacob, by Hamor. king of 
Sliechem, {tnd the massacre of his subjects by some of the 
sons of Jacob, on account of an insult which the patriarch's 
family liad received, are the only events transmitted to us. 



7. The Greeks are an ancient people, whose origin ia 
clouded with fable. All that we know, during the piesent or 
preceding period, of the descendants of Japhet, who peopled 
Europe, is comprised in the history of this nation. 

We date the commencement of the Greeks, as a commu- 
nity, from the founding of Argos by Inachus, who arrived in 
Greece, from Phaniicia, 1856 years B. C. Sicyon is by some 
thought to have been founded before ; but we incHne to the 
opinion that Egialtes, a son of Inachus, was the founder of 

§ As much has been written concerning the fabulous times in the 
history of Greece, we will here present a very brief account of that 
portion of its history. These fables, however, are supposed to be 
founded on facts, and the greater part of the deities worshipped by 
the Greeks, were princes by whom their progenitors had been go- 

Uranus, afterwards worshipped as the heavens, appears to have 
been one of tlie earliest of their princes. He married his sister Ti- 
thea, and migrated from Asia into Greece, where he founded a king- 
dom. He had many children, called Titans, who rebelled against 
their father and dethroned him. 

Saturn, or Chronos, succeeded his father Uranus, whom, with the 
help of his brethren, he dethroned ; and dreading lest he should be 
treated in tlie same manner by his own children, he ordered them to 
be shut up, or put to death, immediately after their birth ; but Jupi- 
ter was concealed by his mother, and sent to Crete, where he was 

Jupiter began to reign in Thcssaly, after having dethroned Saturn. 
The Titans, jealous of him, declared war against him, but were van- 
quished, and expelled Greece. He soon divided his dominions with 
his two brothers, Pluto and Neptune. 

The countries whicli lie reserved to himself, he governed with great 
wisdom ; he had )iis palace, and held his court, on Mount Olympus, ' 
whence tlie poets gave this name to heaven, when Jupiter was wor- 
shipped as a god. 

8. The ancient inhabitants of Greece were extremely 
rude and savage, scarcely one degree superior to brutes. 
They lived on lierbs and roots, and lay either in the open 
fields, or, at best, sheltered themselves in dens, clefts, and hol- 
low trees. 

An improvement of their condition occasionally took place ; 
out Greece, for some ages, was in a contmual slate of fluctu- 
fttion. They were uiiac(|nainted with letters till the time of 
Cadmus, who is hereafter to be mentioned. 

Cecrops embarking for Greere. P. 31. 

Combat between the Horatii and Curiatii. P. 60. 

1921— 1491 B. c. ai 

§The general names by wliicli the natives of Greece were known 
to old historians, were Graioi, Ilelieiiists, Achsei, Pelasgri. But the 
most ancient iKiine of ail ap[)lied to thin country, is generally admitted 
to be tliat of loura, which tiio Greel<.s derive from Ion ; but Josephus 
derives it from Javan, son of Japheth. 

9. Tlie i^everal states, except Argos and Sicyon, which at 
length constituted Greece, Imd, at this time, no separate ex- 
istence. Tliey sprang np afterwards, during the latter part 
of the present period, as there will now be occasion to men- 

In Argos, the descendants of Inacluis. having retained pos- 
session of the tlirone for more than 300 years, were deposed, 
1511 years B. C, by Danaus, an Egyptian fugitive, who be- 
came the founder of a second dynasty, denominated BeUdee, 
from his father, liehis. 

§ At a much lal^r period, Perseus, a sovereign of Argos, having built 
Mycenee, transferred tiie kingdom tliilher. It was at length conquer 
ed by the Ilcraclida^, and united to liaceda^mon. 

It nuty be liere noticed, tliat only two of the Grecian states, viz. 
Lacedamion and Messenia, appear to have been foimded by native 
Greeks ; tlu^ rest were established by tlte various brandies of the 
Celtic family of Uranus, with the exception of Athens, which owed 
its origin to an Egyptian. 

Prior to these establishments, and even long after them, almost 
every village had its petty tyrant, who bore the title of king. A name 
has occasionally escaped oblivion. Laws we do not find among 
Uiem, before the times of the Athenian archons. 

Until that period, all depended on the will of the sovereigns ; onlj 
in perplexed cases, they consulted some oracle, of which the two 
most celebrated, were that of Jupiter at Dodona, and that of Apollo 
at Delphi. 

10. Cccrops, a native of Egypt, is iniiversally allowed to 
have founded Athens, 1556 years B. C. At this time lie 
arrived in Attica, with a colony of his countrymen, and 
built twelve small villages or cities, of wiiicli Athens was one. 

He gave laws to the wild inhabitants, whom ]ie divided 
into twelve tribes, and instituted marriage among them. Tire 
first altar in Greece was raised by him to Jujiiter. 

§ The history of Greece is carried on for a lime in this event 
Athens became the most illustrious of the Grecian states. The 
province of Attica having been destroyed by the deluge of Ogyges, 
remained desolate for more than two centuries, previous to the time 
of Cecrops. 

Athens, from its founder, first received the name of Cecropia, but 
afterwards tliat of Athena?, in lionourof Minerva, its tutelary deity. 
The Arundelian marbles, which were brought from Greece by tho 


Earl of Arundel, and are now kept in England, begin their chrono- 
logy with the founding of Athens, but place that event 26 years 
earlier, viz. 1582 B. C. 

11. TJie successor of Cecrops was Cranaus. In his time 
happened the famous deluge of Deucalion, in Thessaly. The 
third king of Athens was Amphictyon, who founded the cele- 
brated Ainpliictyonic council.* 

§ The deluge of Deucalion owed much of its importance to the 
imaginations of the poets. It was probably only a partial inun- 

In the reign of Amphictyon, a famine occurred, during which 
Ericthonius, said to be the son of Vulcan, arrived from Egypt 
with a supply of corn, and taught the natives the art of Agri- 
culture, for which he was raised to the throne in the room of Am- 

12. Corinth, another of the Grecian states, was founded 
1520 years B. C, but did not receive the nahie of Corinth till 
it was rebuilt, 1410 years B. C. It originally formed a part 
of the kingdom of Sicyon, and was afterwards included in 
that of Argos, till Sysyphus, some time in the following period, 
seized it for his possession. 

13. Thebes, a state of Greece also, was founded by Cad- 
mus. The city, though begun by him, was finished by 
Amphion and Zethus. He introduced letters into Greece, 
1519 years B. C. Thebes he built a few yeais afterwards. 

§ Cadmus is supposed to have been of Phoenician extraction. To 
him are ascribed 16 letters of the Greek alphabet. He thus essen- 
iially contributed to the literary distinction which Greece afterwards 

14. Lacedffimon, or Sparta, another distinguished state of 
Greece, was founded by Lelex, 1516 years B. C, but received 
its name from Lacedtiemon, its fourth king. The govern- 
ment continued in the family of Lelex till the return of the 
Heraclidae to the Peloponnesus, an event to be noticed in 
the coming period. 

§ Sparta was called after the name of the wife of Lacedremon, the 
great grand-daughter of Lelex. Sparta properly belongs to the 
metropolis — Lacedccmon to the kingdom at large. The Pelopon- 
nesus, in which Lacedaemon was situated, was the southern part of 


15. The events in Egyptian history, during the present 
epoch, refer chiefly to Nitocris and Sesostris, the one a fe- 

♦ See General Views. 

1921—1491 B. c. 33 

male, the oilier a male sovereign. Nitocris began to reign 
over Egypt, ir»78 years B. C, at Memphis. She afterwards 
united some other sovereignties to her dominions. 

The period when Sesostris began to reign cannot be easily 
fixed ; some place it before that of Nitocris, but others place it 
after her reign. 

The names of a few other kmgs appear, but httle is kno\\T) 
concerning their reigns. The successor of Sesostris is said to 
have been Pheron. and some think that Rameses-Tubaete was 
the king whose dreams Joseph interpreted. 

Nitocris siiccocded her brother, an Ethiopian, wlio was murdered 
by the Egyptians, and meditating revenge for his nntimely fate, 
put many of her subjects to death privately, and afterwards con- 
trived a building imder ground whither she dehided the chief ob- 
jects of her vengeance to a feast, and, in the midst of their mirth, 
overwhehned them with destruction, by turning a river upon them 
through a secret passage. Slie then ehided tlie rage of tlie popu- 
lace by taking refuge in a place well fortified with ashes. Iler person 
is said to have been extremely beautiful, but her disposition was cruel. 

Sesostris was tire most distinguished of all the Egyptian kings, 
and almost the only conqueror among them. Historians relate that 
his father was warned by Vulcan, in a dream, concerning the future 
conquests of his son, and that, in consequence of this dream, lie got 
together all the males born in Egypt on the same day with the prince, 
and had them luu'sed and brought up with him, upon the presumption 
that, being tlie companions of his youth, they would prove the most 
devoted warriors and faithful counsellors. 

Sesostris forming the design of conquering the world, set out with 
an army of 600,000 foot, 24,000 horse, and 27,000 armed chariots. 
His conquests were extensive, and he returned hoiue laden with the 
spoils of various subjugated nations, and followed by a surprising 
n\miber of captives. He rendered his power highly advantageous to 
his subjects, by enriching their country with useful works, and mag- 
nificent edifices. 

His behaviour, however, was grossly insolent to the kings and 
chiefs of the conquered nations, who waited upon him to present 
their tribute. He is said to have caused those princes, four abreast, 
to be harnessed to his car, instead of horses, tliat they might dravir 
him to the temple. 

In his old age he lost his sight, and then was so weak and wicked 
as to lay violent hands on Inmself. 


16. Tlie second dynasty of the Chinese emperors con> 
menced during this period, 1766 years B. C. It lasted 656 
years, under 30 emperors. Like the first dynasty, it was ter- 
Biinated by the vices of the last of them. 


5 Ching-tang was the founder of this dynasty. He is said to have 
had the most excellent qualities. His modesty was almost unparal- 
leled : he was the only person in the empire who thought he was 
unfit for so important a trust. He was often on the point of resign- 
ing his crown, but his nobles would not consent to it. 

Tayvre, one of his successors, being once terrified by a prodigy, 
which made him apprehensive of a revolution, received the following 
impressive lesson from his minister. " Virtue has the power of tri- 
umphing over presages. If you govern your subjects with equity, 
you will be beyond the reach of misfortune." 

V^xthing, another prince of this dynasty, after having for three years 
implored heaven to bless him with such virtues as were suitable to 
his station, is said to have seen, in a dream, a man represented by 
heaven to be his prime minister, whose features he well recollected 
when he awoke. 

Causing the man to be sought for, such a person was found in the 
condition of an obscure mason, working in a village, whence he was 
brought to court. Being questioned on a variety of points concern- 
ing government, he returned answers marked with so much wisdom 
as excited the highest surprise. 

The king, addressing him in a very proper manner, immedi- 
ately appointed him his prime minister, and received the great- 
est benefit from his pnident and skilful administration of govemr 

Distinguished characters in Period III. 

1 . Abraham, the immediate progenitor of the Hebrew na- 

2. Melchisedec, king of Salem, and " priest of the Most 
High God." 

3. Sesostris, an Egyptian hero and conqueror. 

4. Joseph, the chief ruler of Egypt under Pharaoh. 
.5. Cecrops, the founder of Athens. 

6. Cadmus, a Phoenician, who built Thebes, and introduced 
letters into Greece. 

1. Abraham was the son of Terah, and born in Chaldea. He 
was 75 years of age when his father died. After this event he was 
commanded by God to enter upon the land of Canaan, which God 
promised to give unto his posterity. In the year following, a fa- 
mine in the land of Canaan forced Abraham with his family to go 
into Egypt. 

In the same year, Abraham, with his nephew Lot, returned unto 
Canaan. They however parted at length, because the land was in- 
sufficient for both of their flocks. Lot went to Sodom— Abraham 
removed to Hebron. God blessed Abraham, and the promise of a 
posterity was confirmed to him again and again. 

In the 100th year of his age, Isaac, his son, was born to him, after 
his expectation had been long delayed. Passing through various 

1921—1491 B. c. 35 

scenes of life, lie v/as at length called to the severe trial of offering 
up his son Isaac at the command of the Deity. All his lofty hopes 
were reposed in that son, yet he hesitated not to execute the divine 

Just at the moment, however, in which he stretched forth his hand, 
to take the life of his son, God interposed, and satisfied with Abra- 
ham's uitentjon, accepted that in room of the deed, rescuing Isaac 
and commending the faith of the patriarch. Abraham died at the 
age of 175 years. 

2. Little is known of Melchisedec. When Abraham was retnrn- 
mg from the destruction of Chedorlaomer and his confederates, 
Melchisedec met and blessed him. The scriptural account is the 
following: "And Melchisedec, king of Salem, bnnight forth bread 
and wine ; and lie was the priest of the Most High God. And he 
blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, pos- 
sessor of heaven and earth. And he (Abraham) gave him tithes 
of all." 

The apostle says, in his epistle to the Hebrews, " Now consider 
how great this man Avas, unto wiiom even the patriarch Abraham 
gave the tentli of the spoils." 

3. Sesoslris was a king of Egypt. His age is so remote from every 
authentic record, that many ha ve supposed that the actions and con- 
quests ascribed to tliis monarch are wholly uncertain and fabulous. 
The amount of what has come down respecting him, as has al- 
ready appeared in part, is the following. When he ascended the 
throne, he became ambitious of military fame, and accordingly, at 
the head of a numerous army, he proceeded to make the conquest of 
the world. 

He subdued the most of Asia, and even invaded Europe, bringing 
the Thracians into subjection ; and, that the fame of his conquests 
might long survive him, he placed columns in the subjugated provinces; 
and, many ages after, this pompous inscription was read in several 
parts of Asia: "Sesostris, the king of kings, has conquered this terri- 
tory by his arms." 

At his return home, the monarch employed his time in encouraging 
the fine arts, improving the revenues of his kingdom, erecting tem- 
ples, building cities, and digging canals. He committed suicide when 
he had become old and infirm, after reigning 44 years. His era was 
1722 years B. C. 

4. Joseph is celebrated in sacred history, and no one's life was 
more eventful in itself, or has been described with greater felicity 
than his has been, in scripture. It is unnecessary to say over 
again M'hat has been said respecting this eminent person, espe- 
cially since the reference to scripture is so easy, and the reader who 
once begins the story of Joseph, can seldom feel disposed to leave 
it until it be finished. The triumph of innocence, and the suc- 
cess of piety, in this instance, show the care of God over good men, 
and may well lead them to put their confidence more and more in 

5. Cecrops was a native of Egypt. He led a colony to At- 


tica, and reigned over part of the covmtry. He married the 
daughter of a Grecian prince, and was deemed the first founder of 
Athens. He tauglit his subjects to cuUivate the ohve, and was the 
first who raised an altar to Jupiter, in Greece, and offered him sa- 

After a reign of 50 years, spent in regulating his newly formed 
kingdom, and in polishing the minds of his subjects, Cecrops died, and 
was succeeded by Crauaus, a native of the country. 

6. Cadmus was a Phcnician. He laid the foundation of Thebes. 
This fact is very much invested with fable, which needs not to be de- 
tailed. If Thebes, according to some, sprang up at the sound of 
Amphion's lyre, i. e. by encouraging the workmen, still Cadmus 
built a citadel which he called Cadmea, and thus formed the com 
mencement of a city. 

Cadmus was the first who introduced the use of letters into 
Greece, though some maintain that the same alphabet was in ex- 
istence among the native inlial)itants. This alphabet consisted 
only of 16 letters, to which 8 were afterwards added. The wor- 
ship of several of the Egyptian and Phcenician deities was also 
iutroduced by Cadmus. His era is reckoned to be 1519 years B. C. 


The Period of the Trojan War, extejidmg from the de ■ 
parture of the Israelites from Egypt, 1491 years B. C 
to the dedication of ^oloino7i^s temple, 1004 years B. C. 


Section 1. The history of the Israelites at this era 
assumes a very marked character. Oppressed by the Egyp- 
tian monarch, they cried unto God for deUverance, and a di- 
vine deUverancc they experienced. 

Moses, selected as the instrument of saving his countrymen, 
was in due time called to his work ; and, after a series of ini- 
racles, which he |)erformed by the divine assistance, he led the 
people out from before Pharaoh, into the borders of the pro- 
mised land. 

The consequence to many of the Egyptians was their de- 
struction ; for Pharaoh and his army pursuing the Israelites 
tlirough the Red Sea, were overwhelmed with its waters. 

After wandering in the wilderness 40 years, and frequently 
rebelling against God, the Israelites weie conducted by the 
hand of Moses in sight of Canaan, when he died, without en- 
leiing it himself, 1447 years B. C 

149^—1004 E. c. 37 

§ The story of Moses, and of his agency m dehvering the Israelites, 
IS very inlcre^iting and instructive ; but we have no room for its pai- 
ticulars. We will, however, mention some incidents, subsequent to 
the retreat of the Israelites from Egypt. 

The Irsraelites were no sooner delivered from the Egyptians, than 
they murmured against Moses, on account of the w_ant of food ; to 
satii^fy them, God sent first a great quantity of quails, and the next 
morning manua, which fell regularly every day, except on sabbath 
days, during the 40 years they remained in the wilderness. 

Again the people murmured for water, and Moses, by the Lord'3 
command, made a supply to issue from a rock. At this junc- 
ture, the Amalekites attacked Israel, and were defeated by Jo- 
shua. The people soon after arriving at Mount Sinai, God gave 
them his law. During, however, the absence of Moses in the mount, 
they fell into idolatry, in consequence of which 3000 of them were 
put to death. 

In the course of the second year after the retreat from Egypt, 
Moses numbered the children of Israel from 20 years old and up- 
wards, and there were found 603,550 men able to go to war, besides 
the Levites. 

About this time, 12 men were sent to spy the land of Canaan, 
who, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, reported unfavourably 
vvhich caused the people to murmur. Upon tliis offence, God con- 
demned all those who v/ere twenty years old and upwards when 
they came out of Egj^pt, to die in the wilderness, except Joshua and 

As a punishment for their murmurs, the Israelites began to trave. 
in the wilderness 1489 years B. C. At this time Korah, Dathan, and 
Abiram, revolting against Moses, VN^ere swallou-ed by the earth, with 
r50 of their associates. In 1452 years B. C, the Israelites began 
their conquests, by the defeat of the kings of the Amorites, Bashan, 
Moab, &c. 

At the age of 120 years Moses died on Mount Nebo, in the land of 
Moab, having first taken a view of the promised land. 

2. The successor of Moses was Joshua, who conducted 
tne people into the promised land, having, by the divme 
command, mostly destroyed the wicked nations that inha- 
bited it. 

After this event, the Israelites, with some intermission, 
were directed by leaders, called Judges, for the space of 356 
years. They paid a high respect to these ofTicers, and also 
to the priests, but they acknowledged no other king than God. 

As the people at length became weary with this state of 
thmgs, and desired a Icing, so as to be like the nations around 
them, a king was, in the divine displeasure, granted to them. 

§ Joshua having led the Israelites to the banks of the Jordan, whose 
waters divided to aflbrd them a passage, conducted them safely over 



it. He conquered 31 cities in the course of six years. He died 1420 
years B. C. 

The people were perpetually inclined to forsake the worship of 
Jehovah, and to pollute themselves with the abomuiations of the hea- 
then. For this they were repeatedly brought into bondage, and con- 
sequent distress. Their Judges were the instruments of delivering 
them on these occasions. 

One occasion wi\s as follows. The Israelites, being brought into 
the power of the Midianites, after se^^en years of suffering, they cried 
unto the Lord, who sent an angel to Gideon to announce to him that 
he was chosen to deliver Israel from their oppressors. 

By divine direction, Gideon retained of 32.000 men whom he had 
collected, only 300 men, and Avith them, each carrying a lamp con- 
cealed in an eartlien vessel, to be broken at a proper opportunity, he 
so terrified the Midianites, that they fled in confusion, and turned 
their swords against one another. 

Samson also, on another occasion, delivered his countrymen by a 
series of extraordinary efforts of strength and courage which we 
cannot particularly recount. It may be only mentioned, that, at the 
conclusion of his course, having been betrayed by his wife, and 
deprived of his strength — upon its return, he pulled do\^ai, by a sin- 
gle exertion of his muscular energy, the temple of Dagon on the 
heads of his enemies, the Philistines, with whom he perished in the 
general ruin. 

Samuel, the last and most eminent of these leaders, and a prophet 
also, rendered signal service to his countrj-mcn, especially by the 
moral influence which he exercised over them. When old, however, 
he took for his assistants in the governmeyt, his two sons, whose 
mismanagement occasioned murmurs among the people, and a de- 
sire to have a king. 

3. Saul, the son of Kisb, was the first king of Israel. Hav- 
ing been privately anointed by Samuel, he was afterAvards 
publicly proclaimed, 1079 j^ears B. C. His reign was prospe- 
rous at first, but at length was characterized by crime and ill 
success. He perished miserabl)^ 

He was succeeded by David, who, thougli he erred in seve- 
ral instances, was a man of distinguished talents, braver)', and 
piety ; he raised his people to the highest pitch of national 
prosperity and happiness. The A\i£e and ricli Solomon was 
his son and successor. He laid the foundation of a magnifi- 
cent temple, 1011 years B. C. 

§ Saul, having spent an unhappy life, and being at war with the Phi- 
listines, had his army routed, and three of his sons slain, and he him- 
self, having received a wound, and fearing to fall info the hands of 
Lis enemies, took a sword and fell upon it. 

David had been previously anointed king, but he at first reigned 
only over the tribe of Judah. But after the death of Ishbosheth. a 

1491—1004 B. c. 39 

son of Saul, who had assumed the government of the tribes, he reign- 
ed over the whole of Israel, 

He spent a very active and perilous life, and among tlie conquests 
he made were the Philistines, tlie IMoabites, the Ammonites, and 
the Syrians. He liad at length some domestic troubles, and was 
in danger from an insurrection of his subjects, bat he lived to see 
his enemies destroyed, and he left a rich and flourishmg realm to his 


4. The history of the Caxaanites, and some of the neigh- 
bouring nations or tribes, is involved in that of the Jews dur- 
ing this period. They were mostly subdued by Joshua, but 
seemed to revive at diiirerent times, to the great annoyance of 
the Israelites. From the time of Solomon, they can scarcely 
be said to have had a national existence. The remnants of 
them, except the Canaanites, properly so called, who after- 
waids went inider the appellation of Phoenicians, were swal- 
lowed up in the great monarchies that successively existed in 


5. The Phqjicicians are known m history principally as 
a navigating and commercial people, among whom the arts 
were early cultivated. Their country was divided into seve- 
ral small kingdoms ; but the most considerable of their sove 
reigntics were the cities of Sidon and Tyre. We know no- 
thing of tlie kings of Sidon till the present and succeeding pe- 
riods. Hiram was king of Tyre, and contemporaneous with 
David and Solomon. 

§ Sidon, according to Josephus, was built by Sidon, the eldest son of 
Canaan. Tyre was founded by the posterity of Sidon. Herodotus 
gives to the older Tyre a great antiquity. The new city, reared op- 
posite to the ancient, on an island, is said, by Josephus, to have been 
built in the year B. C. 1255. 

The Phcpuicians are regarded as the earliest navigators, merchants, 
and workmen, of the world. We learn from ancient I'ccords, that 
they carried on trade, not only over all the coasts of the Medi- 
terranean, but e\en over the ocean, as far as England, whence they 
exported tin. 

The early kings are not known, except those who had some com- 
merce with the Jews. To Hiram, Icing of Tyre, both David and So- 
lomon applied when proposing to build a tem{)le to the Lord. He 
helped them by furnishing, not only precious materials, but also a 
great number of workmen. After a glorious reign, Baleazar, his son, 
eucceeded him. 



6. The history of Greece during this period is pursued 
first in a few details, respecting some of its dilferent sovereigii- 

The kings akeady named, who had governed Athens, had 
raised it to a considerable degree of civilization. But the king 
who laid the principal foundation of Athenian greatness, was 
Theseus. He united the 12 cities of Attica into one confede- 

§ Theseus is said to have founded a more perfect equahty among 
the citizens, in consequence of which, the state rather resembled 
a repfibUc than a monarch}^ Owing to the inconstancy of the 
people, he was banished from the country, notwithstanding his many 

7. Codrus, the last Athenian king, devoted himself to the 
good of his subjects. With him royalty was abolished, since 
the people thought no man Vv^orthy of succeeding him. This 
change occurred towards the close of the present period, viz. 
1069 years B. C. 

§ Codrus being engaged in a war with the Heraclida, was told by 
■;he oracle that the army would be victorious whose chief should 
perish. He, therefore, with a chosen band, threw himself into the 
nottest of the battle, and turned the fortune of the day in favour of his 
countrymen, at the expense of his own life. 

A dispute for the succession arose between two of his sons, and be- 
fore they could accommodate their difference, the Athenians abolish- 
ed royalty altogether, but placed Medon, one of the claimants, at the 
head of the state, with the title of Archon. This office was for life 
during more than 3 centuries; afterwards it was reduced to 10 years, 
and finaUy to one year. 

8. Corinth, having been seized by Sysyphus, was governed 
in his family 250 years. The last king of this race was de- 
posed l)y the Heraclidae, 1099 years B. C. 

9. The first great enteiprise of the Greeks was the Argo- 
nautic expedition, 1263 years B. C. It was led by Jason, and 
is supposed to have been both a military and a mercantile ad- 
venture. Its destination was to Colchis, the modern Mingre- 
lia, in Asia Minor. 

§ According to some, the object Avas to open the commerce of the 
Euxine sea, and to secure some establishment on its coast. Ac- 
cording to others, Jason wished to avenge the death of his kins- 
man Phryxus, and to recover his treasures, which had been seized 
by the king of Colchis. Hence, in the language of fiction or 
figure, it was the " Golden Fleece" that was the object to be rC' 

1491—1004 B. c. 41 

Tliis expedition was thought to be of so much importance, that all 
the lieroes of the age were anxious to engage in it. Among the 54 
reno«nied captains who were in the single sliip of Argo alone, in 
which Jason embarked, were Hercules, Tiiescus, Castor and Pollux, 
Pirithous, Laertes, Peleus, Oileus, «S:c. 

In the course of their voyage, they attempted to land for refresh- 
ment in a pan of Phrygia, but were prevented by Laomedon, king 
of Troy, for ^v•hich they took ample revenge on their return, by pil- 
laging that city. 

On their arrival in Colchis, Medea, the daughter of the king, fell 
in love with Jason, and, through her assistance, the Argonauts ef- 
fected the object of their vo}''age. On their arrival in Greece, Her- 
cules celebrated or instituted the Olympic Games. 

10. A dispute for the divided sovereignty of Thebes, be- 
tween the brotliers Eteocles and Polynices, gave rise to a war 
that was terminated by single combat, in which both were 
killed. This is called the war of the seven captains, and oc- 
ciured 1225 years B. C. 

The sons of the commanders slain in this war renewed the 
quarrel of their fathers, about ten years afterwards. This is 
called the war of the Epigonoi, a subject celebrated by Homer 
in a poem now lost. 

11. But the most celebrated event of this period, in the an- 
nals of Greece, is the Trojan war. It commenced 1193 
years B. C, and terminated in ten years. Troy was taken 
and burnt to the ground. This war was undertaken by the 
princes of Greece to avenge the wrongs sustained by IVIene- 
laus,king of Laceda^mon, whose wife, Helen, had been seduced 
away by Paris, a Trojan prince. The details of this war are 
derived from Homer ; but he is reasonably supposed to have 
related facts, for the inost part. 

§ Troy, the capital of Phrygia JMinor, was founded 1546 years B. C. 
by Scamander, who led thither a colony from Crete. Troas, the 
fifth in succession from Scamander, either built a new city, or en- 
larged the old one, and named it after himself, Troy. The Trojans 
were a brave and warlike people. 

The numlier of the Grecian warriors is supposed to have been 
about 100,000. Nearly all Asia I\Iinor was leagued with Priam, 
king of Troy. The Greeks, on landing at Troas, were warmly op- 
posed, and they spent the first 8 or 9 years in reducing such cities 
and islands as favoured the cause of Troy. At length the siege of 
that capital began, and the most heroic deeds were performed on both 
sides. At this juncture, the camp of the Greeks was visited by a pes- 
tilence, and a (iuarrel ensued between Agamemnon and Achilles, the 
Grecian leaders. 

The death of Patroclus, slain by Hector, impelled Achilles to 



return into the Grecian camp. Hector Avas killed by Achilles, 
and Achilles fell by the hand of Paris, who was himself slain by 
an arrow At last the Greeks gained possession of the city by 
stratagem, and utterly destroyed it. No vestige of its I'uins now 

Such of the Trojans as survived sought new settlements in distant 
regions. Antenor established himself in Italy, where he founded 
the nation of the Heneti. ^Eneas settled also in Italy, where he 
founded the kingdom of Alba. 

12. The war of the HeracUdee, among the Gi-eeks, began 
about 80 years after the destruction of Troy. Hercules, the 
son of Amphitryon, sovereign of MyceuEe, was banished from 
Ills country, with all his family, while the crown was pos 
sessed by an usurper. After a period of a century, his de- 
scendants, called Heraclidee, returned to Peloponnesus, and 
subduing all their enemies, took possession of the states of My- 
cense, Argos, and Lacedsemon. This return of the Heraclidae 
is an event often spoken of in history. 

13. A long period of civil war succeeded, and Greece, di- 
vided among a number of petty tyrants, became a prey to op- 
pression or anarchy. The difficulties of the times drove.many 
of the Greeks from lionie, who founded important colonies, as 
we shall hereafter learn. 


14. Concerning the Egyptians, during this period, very 
little is known with certainty. Apophis is thought to have 
been the Pharaoh who, together with his army, was drowned 
m the Red Sea. Amosis, Amenophis II., and one or two 
others, were warriors and conquerors. 

§ A few things may be subjoined respecting some of the Egyptian 
kings during this period. Mceris caused the celebrated lake, called 
by his name, to be dug, to receive the waters of the Nile, when the 
inundation was too abundant, and to water the country when it 
proved deficient. 

Hermes Trismegistes is celebrated for his philosophical writings. 
He added 5 days to the year, which before consisted only of 360. 
Amosis abolished the practice of human sacrifices, and conquered 
Heliopolis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt. 

Actisanes, king of Ethiopia, united Egypt and Ethiopia under 
his government. lie bore his prosperity with great prudence, 
and behaved himself in a most affectionate manner towards his new 

Having caused a general search to be made after the Egyptian 
robbers who infested the country, he commanded their noses to be 
cut oR] and then banished tliem to the remotest part of the desert, 

1491— 1004 E c. 4^ 

i)Cl\vcen Syria and Eg\-]:)t, where he built them a town, which, from 
the mutilation of its inhabitants, Avas called RliinocoJura. 

A Memphile of ignoble extraction was exalted to the throne. The 
priests cliaracterised him as a magician, and pretended tliat he could 
assume whatever form he pleased. His Egyptian name was Cetes, 
wliich the Greeks rendered Proteus. 

It was during his reign, that Paris and Helen were driven on 
the coasts of Egypt, in their passage to Troy, but when the Egyp- 
tian monarcli understood the shameful breach of hospitality which 
the young stranger had conmiitted, he ordered him to quit his do- 


15. The liistory of the kings of Lydia is very obscure. 
They were divided into three dynasties. 1. The Atydae. 
2. The Herachda3. 3. Tiie Mermnadee. The history of 
Atydae is altogether fabulous. Argon was the first of the He- 
raclid;p, and Candaules tlie last. Argon reigned about 1223 
years B. C. The Lydians are celebrated as merchants and 

§ Lydia is supposed to have been founded by Lud, son of Sheni. It 
was, however, called Lydia, from Lydus, one of its kings. It was 
previously called Maeonia, from Mebou, also one of its kings. It was 
conquered at length by the descendants of Hercules. 

Lydia Proper was, strictly speaking, at first only that part of 
Maeonia which was seated on the ^gean Sea ; but when the Greeks 
or lonians settled there, the ancient inhabitants were driven to the 
interior. The invaders named the sea coasts where they settled 
Ionia, after the country whence they had emigrated, or rather, 
whence they had been driven by the Heraclida ; while the Lydians 
gave their name to the new countries in which they settled. 

Long before the invasion of the lonians, the natives of Lydia were 
devoted to commerce. The earliest instance on record of a gold and 
silver coinage is found in their history. They were also the first 
people who exhibited public sports. 


10. Italy appears to have been inhabited at a remote 
era. So early as 12S9 years B. C. we read of a king named 
Janus, who, having arrived from Thessaly, planted a colony 
on the river Tiber. Four sovereigns succeeded him in La- 
tium ; during the reign of the last of whom, viz. Latinus, 
arrived iEiieas, the Trojan prince, in Italy. ^Eneas married 
Lavinia, the daughter of Latinus, and succeeded him in the 
sovereignty. After ^Eneas there was a succession of kings to 
the tune of Numitor, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, 
the founders of Rome. 


The history of these kings is, however, ver}^ obscure and 
confused, and very httle dependence can be placed upon it. 
Of the numerous petty kingdoms of which Italy was com- 
posed, those of Etruria and Latium alone deserve attention. 
The Etruscans are thought to have been a very polished peo- 
ple. The inhabitants of Latium were the immediate ances- 
tors of the Romans. A considerable part of Italy was doubt- 
less peopled by the Greeks. 

§ Italy, afterwards the seat of the Roman power, was peopled at 
an early era, though we cannot determine the particular point oi 
time, with certainty as to the country at large. The colony on the 
Tiber, as we have seen, Avas settled nearly 13 centuries before Christ. 
There is every reason to believe that a part of Italy was inhabited 
by a refined and cultivated nation, many ages before the Roman 
name was known. 

The Etruscans are justly considered as such a nation ; a fact 
which is indicated by the monuments in the fine arts which they 
have left, and some of which exist to this day. Their alphabet, re- 
sembling the Phoenician, disposes us to believe them to have been of 
eastern origin. 

Though many of the inhabitants of Italy originated from Greece 
and the east, yet a portion of them, it is believed, must have origi- 
nated from the Celtic or Gomerian tribes of the north, who entered 
Italy from that quarter.* 

The story of Latinns and ^Eneas is briefly as follows. At the 
time of the arrival of the latter in Italy, Latinus was engaged in a 
war with the Rutuli ; and, on hearing of this arrival, he 'mmedi- 
ately marched towards the strangers, expecting to find an unprinci 
pled banditti. 

But iEneas, though commanding a body of hardy veterans, held 
out the olive of peace. Latinus listened to his melancholy tale, and 
pitying the misfortunes of the Trojan exiles, assigned them a portion 
of land, on condition of their joining against the Rutuli. 

iEneas eagerly embraced the offer, and performed such essential 
service in the cause of the Latins, that this monarch bestowed on 
him his only daughter, Lavinia, in marriage, with the right of sue 
cession to the crown. 

Distinguished characters in Period IV. 

1. Moses, the first Hebrew lawgiver and leader. 

2. Joshua, a conqueror of Canaan, and pious mihtary 

3. Orpheus, the father of poetry. 

4. Musaius, a Greek poet. 

5. Samson, a judge of Israel, and endowed with extraor 
dinaxy strength. 

* See Edin. Rev. No. 80. Art. V. 

1491—1004 B. c. 45 

6. Saiiconiathon, a Phoenician, one of the eailiest writers 
of history. 

7. David, a king of Israel, a warrior and poet. 

§ 1. Moses, when an infant, having been exposed on the brhik of 
the river Nih^, in an ark of bulrushes, the daughter of I'liaraoh found 
the ark, saved the child, and liad him educated as her own son. At 
forty years of age, having renounced the honours of Pharaoh's court, 
he endeavoured to join his oppressed countrymen, but they would 
not receive him. After this, circumstances induced him to flee to 
the land of IMidian, where he married, and enjoyed a retirement of 
40 years. 

At the end of this period, God appeared to him in the mount of 
Iloreb, and ordered liim to return to Egypt, with a commission to 
Pharaoh, respecting liis release of the Israelites from bondage. He 
accomplished this object only after the inliiction of ten severe and 
awful plagues upon that monarch and his people. At length God 
saw fit, through Moses, to destroy Pharaoh and the flower of his 
military force in the Red Sea. 

From this period, Moses w^as employed in receiving the moral 
law from mount Sinai, in prescribing the form of the ceremonial 
worship of the Hebrews, in regulating their civil polity, in con- 
ducting their military operations, and in leading them through the 
wilderness of Sinai, in which they were doomed to wander during 
40 years. 

At the age of 120 he died on mount Nebo, in tlie land of Moab, 
having first taken a view of the promised land. This occurred 1451 
years B. C. Moses was a man of eminent piety and wisdom. 

2. Joshua was the successor of Moses, and led the Israelites into 
the promised land, over the river Jordan, whose waters divided to 
afford them a passaje. The first city which he conquered was Jeri- 
cho ; this was followed by the speedy reduction of 30 others. 

Having divided the land of Canaan among the ten tribes, Joshua 
died, aged 110, 1426 years B. C. 

3. Orpheus was the son of (Eager, or, as some say, of Apollo, by 
Calliope. The fictions of poetry have put into his hands a lyre, 
whose entrancing sounds stayed the courses of rivers, moved moun- 
tains, and subdued the ferocity of wild beasts. Doubtless the effects 
of his song, though not of such a nature, were considerable, in that 
rude and early age, on the minds of untutored barbarians. 

By the power of his music, as fiction reports, he regained his 
wife, Eurydice, from the infernal regions, but lost her again bi con- 
sequence of failing to comply with a certain condition, on which 
she was restored. The condition was, that he should not look be- 
hind to see Iter tiU he had come to the extremest borders of liell. 
Contrary to promise he did this, through the impatience of love, 
or by reason of fortretfiilness, and she vanished from before his eyes. 

Orpheus, according to story, was one of the Argonauts ; of which 
celebrated expedition he wrote a poetical a'^count. This, however, 
is doubted ; and the poems that pass und^r his name, are, with rea- 


son, ascribed to other and later writers. Tliere is little cause to 
doubt that such a person as Orpheus existed, and that he was a 
great poet and musician. The period assigned for him is 1284 
years B. C. 

4. Musaeus is supposed to have been a son or disciple of Linus or 
Orpheus, and to have lived about 1253 years before the christian era. 
None of his poems remain. A Musaeus, who flourished in the 4th 
century, according to the judgment of most critics, wrote "The loves 
of Leander and Hero." 

5. Samson was the son of Manoah, of the tribe of Dan. As he was 
raised up to avenge the Israelites of their oppressors, he was endow- 
ed with extraordinary strength. On one occasion, he slew 1000 Phi- 
listines with the jaw-bone of an ass. At various other times, he se- 
verely molested and distressed them. 

At length he was, through stratagem, betrayed by Delilah, and de- 
prived of his strength. It, however, soon returned; and he pulled 
down the temple of Dagon on the heads of his enemies, the Philistines, 
with whom he perished in the general ruin. Some parts of his cha- 
racter are very far from deserving imitation. His various exploits 
and follies are recorded, .Tudges xiv. xv. xvi. 

6. Sanconiatlion was born at Berytus, or, according to others, at 
Tyre. He flourished about 1040 years B. C. He wrote, in the lan- 
guage of his country, a history, in 9 books, in which he amply treat- 
ed of the theology and antiquities of Phoenicia and the neighbouring 

This history was translated into Greek by Philo, a native of Byb- 
lus, who lived in the reign of the emperor Adrian, Some few frag- 
ments of this Greek translation are extant. Some, however, suppose 
them to be spurious, while others maintain their autlienticity. 

7. David was the son of Jesse, and anointed king of Israel, while 
keeping his father's flocks, by Samuel, the prophet. He was a 
valiant, prosperous, and warlike prince, and raised himself and 
people to great eminence and renown. His name began to be 
known and celebrated, from the time that he slew Goliath, the giant. 
His military operations were planned with wisdom, and executed 
with vigour. 

He was distinguished as a sacred poet and writer of psalms; no 
one in this department has ever equalled him. Tiiese inspired pro- 
ductions are marked by loftiness, vigour, and felicity of expression 
—abounding in the sublimest strains of dfvotion, and conveying the 
most important trutlis and instructions to the mind. 

This pious prince was left to fall into scandalous sins, in a few in- 
stances, parlicularly in the seduction of Bathsheba, and the murder 
of Uriah, her husband ; but he bitterly repented of them, and was 
restored to the divine favour. He died, 1015 years B. C, after a 
reign of 40 years. 

1004—752 B. c. 47 


The Period of Homer, extending from the dedication of Solo- 
mon's temple, 1004 years B. C, to the founding of Rome, 
752 years 13. C 


Section 1. From the accession of Solomon to the throne 
of the Israelites, a period of profound peace and prosperity 
was enjoyed by that people throughout liis reign. The 
most important undertaking of tliis monarch, Avas the build- 
ing and dedication of the temple of the Lord at .Terusalem. 

Tliis magnificent structure Avas completed in seven yeare. 
The dedication was performed by the king, with the most 
solemn religious rites, in presence of all the elders of Israel, 
and the heads of the various tribes. 

This prince exceeded in wisdom all who went before him ; 
but, in his old age, he took many wives and concubines out 
of the idolatrous nations around him, who corrupted his 
heart. The Lord therefore declared, by the prophet Abijah, 
that he would divide the kingdom after his death, and give 
ten tribes to Jeroljoam ; which accordingly took place. 

§ The temple at Jerusalem was a most sumptuous and costly edifice. 
The value of the materials, and the perfection of the workmanship, 
rank it among the most celebrated structures of antiquity. It was 
not very large, being little more than 90 feet in length, 30 in breadth, 
find 45 in height ; but was finely proportioned, and, together with a 
grand porch, Vv-as splendidly ornamented. 

Towards the close of his reign, as a punisliment of his effeminacy 
and idolatry, the Lord stirred up certain adversaries against liim ; 
and, thouijh the principal evil threatened against Israel, was not to 
occur during his day, yet he had the mortification of knowing that 
it would be inflicted under the administration of his son ; and that 
his own conduct would be the procuring cause. 

We cannot help believing that he repented of his awful defection 
from duty, though nothing in the Bible is recorded concerning this 
point ; and all ought to be profited by the memorials which he has 
left of his wisdom, and general piety. 

2. Rehoboain, the son of Solomon, began to reign over the 
IsraeUtes 975 years B. C. Having refused to lighten the 
yoke his father had imposed on his subjects, ten tribes revolt- 
ed, and followed Jerolioam, an entei-prising domestic of the 
king. The tribes of Judali and Benjamin alone remained 


faithful to Rehoboam. From this time Judah and Israel aie 
separate kingdoms. 

3. The kingdom of the Ten Tribes, or the Israelites, dur • 
ing tliis period, was governed by a succession of vicious and 
idolatrous monarchs ; and wars and feuds, treachery and mur- 
der, mark their history in a shocking manner. Jeroboam was 
their first king. 

§ A few incidents in tlie lives of these kings may be noticed. 
Jeroboam, to prevent his subjects from going to Jerusalem to saeri 
fice, made two golden calves, which the people worshipped ; for 
which conduct, God declared that his whole house should be cut off, 

Zimri, the fourth after Jeroboam, enjoyed the crown only seven 
days. The city Tirzah, in which he was besieged by Orari, being 
taken, he burnt himself to death in his palace. 

Ahab, tlie sixth after Jeroboam, was the most impious king- who 
reigned over Israel. He married Jezebel, a daugliter of a king of 
the Sidoniaas, who excited him to commit all manner of wickedness. 
Among other things, he wantonly murdered Naboth, for refusing to 
give up his vineyard to Ahab. 

Jehu, a captain under Jehoram, was anointed king by the prophet 
Elisha ; and, though a wicked man, was the instrument of executing 
the Lord's vengeance upon his impious contemporaries. He kiUed 
Jehoram, and the 70 sons of Ahab ; and after liaving slain all the 
priests of Baal, he destroyed the miages, and the house of their god. 

Jehoash was successful as a warrior. He defeated Benhadad, 
king of Syria, in three battles. In a war against Amaziah, king of 
Judah, he took him prisoner, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and 
plundered the temple and the king's palace. 

Pekah, the last king during this period, madp war against Judah, 
with Rezin, king of Syria. Under his reign, part of tlie ten tribes 
were carried captive to Assyria, by Tiglath Pileser. 

4. Several of the kings of Judah. during the present peri- 
od, were pious men, and adhered to the worship of God. 
Others of them imitated the profligate kings of Israel. The 
people whom they governed, and who have survived to the 
present time, are called Jews, in distinction from Israehtes, 
the name once applied .to the whole twelve tribes. 

§ We will notice some of the transactions of their reigns. During 
the reign of Rehoboam, Sesac, king of Egypt, took Jerusalem, and 
carried off the treasures of the temple, and of the palace. 

Jehoshaphat carefully enforced the worship of God. The Mo- 
abites and Ammonites declared war against him ; but the Lord threw 
them into confusion in such a manner, that they destroyed ona 

Aliaziah, directed by the councils of Athaliah, his mother, acted 
wickedly. He went, witlr the vicious Jehoram, king of Israel, to 
war against Hazael, king of Syria. Wlrcn Jehu destroyed the 

1004—752 B. c. 40 

house of Ahab, he sought Ahaziah, who was hid in Samaria, and 
slew liim. 

Joash reigned with justice as long as Jehoiada, the high priest, lived. 
After his death, haviiig fallen into idolatry, Zechariah, the son oF 
Jehoiada, reproved him for this sin, and was stoned by the king's 
order. God then raised against him the king of Syria, Avho plun- 
dered Jerusalem. His own servants also conspired against him, 
and stew him in his bed. 

Uzziah made successful wars against the Philistines and Arabians^ 
IiUflxicatcd with prosperity, he went into the temple to burn incense 
upon the altar, and the Lord struck him with leprosy for his pre- 

Jotham, a pious prince, fought and orercame the Ammonites, and 
rendered them tributary. 


5. Greece, at the commencement of the present period, 
was in an unsettled state. By the emigration of many of 
Its inhabitants, colonies had been formed, particularly in Lesser 
Asia. Afterwards colonies were sent to Italy and Sicily. 
These, owing to the freedom of their governments, soon ri- 
valled their parent states ; a circumstance wdiich induced the 
latter to put an end to despotism, and to adopt popular consti- 
tntions. In this \vork of reformation, Lycurgus, the legislator 
of Sparta, was distinguished. 

6. It may be mentioned, in connexion wnth this subject 
and j^reviously to an account of the reformation of Sparta, 
that the poems of Homer were introduced from Asia into 
Greece by Lycurgus. He met w'th them in his travels in 
that region, carefully preseived them, and brought them 
home on his return, 886 years B. C Their effect on the na- 
tional spirit and literature of the Greeks, was at length highly 

§ Homer flourished about 900 years B. C. He was a poor blind 
man, and used to travel from place to place, singing his verses. 
But Ids genius was trauscendant. All succeeding ages have bowea 
to it ; and his poems have been taken as the model of all epic pro- 
ductions of any note written since his day. 

The present form of his poems is sup|)Osed not to have been the 
ancient form. They were probably produced in separate pieces and 
ballads; and were united into continuous poems, it is said, by cer- 
tain learned men, mider the direction of Pisistratus, king of Athens. 

The era of Grecian splendour was several centuries after the time 
of Homer ; but by the preservation of Ids poems, the prsgress of the 
tireeks in arts and literature was elTectually secured. 

7. Lycurgus, by his peculiar institutions, raised Sparta 


from a weak and distracted state, to superiority in arms ovet 
the other repubhcs of Greece. Sparta became tiuly republican 
in its government, though the form of royalty was retained. 
Its kings were merely the first citizens in the state, and ac- 
knowledged the superior authority of the Ephori and the 
people, to whom they were accountable. Their privileges, 
however, sufficiently distinguished them from the mass of the 

With many things in his institutions that were commend- 
able, there was much that was pernicious. His sole object 
seems to have been, to render the Spartans fit only for war. 
The chronological date of the commencement of this refor- 
mation, is 8S4 years B. C. 

§ After the return of the Herachdae, Sparta was divided between 
the two sons of Aristodeiniis, Eurysthenes and Procles, who reigned 
jointly. The oc<^'asioa of this was, that Aristodemus having been 
killed while his childrpii were infants, their mother was unable to 
leW wliicli of them was the first born, since they were twins. The 
Spartans consequently agreed that they should be joint kings. 

This double monarchy continued in the one line under 30 kings, 
and in the other line under 27 kings, during a period of about 880 
years. Polydcctes and Lycurgus were the sons of one of these 
icings. Upon the death of his brother, the crown devolved on Ly- 
curgus ; but his sister-in-law being with cliild, he resigned it. 

She however intimated to Lycurgus that if he would marry her, 
the child should be destroyed immediately upon its birth. Lycur- 
gus, with a view to save it, desired that she would send it to him, and 
he woidd dispose of it. Accordingly, the boy, as soon as he was born, 
was sent to his uncle. 

Lycurgus was at supper with a large party when the royal infant 
arrived, but he instantly took it into his arms, and holding it to the 
view of the company, exclaimed, " Spartans 1 beiiold your king." 
The [)eople were delighted, and the boy was called Charilaus. 

Lycurgus, witli a view to suppress the calumnies published against 
him by the faction of the queen, determined upon a voluntary exile. 
In his travels, he made it an object to acquire knowledge, and espe- 
cially to ascertain the best means of government. It was during 
this journey that he discovered the poems of Homer, as above men- 

Upon his recall to Sparta, he found things in so bad a condition, 
that he set about a reformation of the manners of the people. He be- 
gan his labom-s by instituting a senate to make laws, and see that they 
were executed ; this senate was composed of 30 members, the kings 
being of the mnnber 

He next made an equal division of the lands, so that all the Spar- 
tans shared it fairly between them. When he endeavoured to do the 
same with the furniture, clothes, &c. he found the rich very averse to 

1921—1491 B. c. 51 

his proposals. He therefore took another course. He substituted 
iron for gold and silver, as tlie medium of exchange. 

As this iron money was of no account among the neighbouring 
countries, the Spartans could no longer indulge in luxury, by pur- 
chasing foreign costly articles. The necessary arts of life he allowed 
to be practised only by slaves. 

He then connnandcd that all persons, even the kings themselves, 
sliould eat at public tables, and that these tables should be served 
only with plain food. This regulation, more than any otlier, offended 
the ricli citizens. They in a body and assaulted Lycurgus; and 
one of them, pursuing liim to a sanctuary, struck out his eye with a 

Lycurgus no otherwise punished this offender, tlian by making 
him his page and attendant. In time, these dinners, at which they 
served up a kind of soup, called black broth, came to be much re- 
lished, and very pleasant discourse often enlivened them. 

An admirable part of the ceremony at these public meals was the 
follo\\ing. When the company were assembled, the oldest man 
present, pointing to the door, said, " Not one word spoken here, goes 
out there." Tliis wise rule produced mutual confidence, and prevent- 
ed all scandal and misrepresentation. 

The children were taught in large public schools, and were made 
brave and hardy. All the people were accustomed to speak in short 
piihy sentences, so that this style of speaking is even now called af- 
ter them, laconic ; Laconia being one of the names of Lacedaemon. 

When Lycurgus had firmly establislied his new laws, he ensured 
their observance by the following contrivance. He left Sparta, after 
liaving made the people swear, that they would abide by his laws, 
imtil he should retu -ri. As he intended not to return at all, this was 
to swear that they would keep his laws forever. 

lAXurgus died in a foreign land. By some it is assented, that he 
starved liimself to deatli. His laws continued in force 500 years, 
during which time the Spartans became a powerful and conquering 

The institutions of this legislator were impaired by many blemishes. 
Tlie maimers of the Lacedaemonian women were suffered to be 
shamefully loose. The youth Mere tauglit to subdue the feelings of 
lumianity. The slaves were treated with the greatest barbarity. Even 
tlieft was a part of Spartan education. 

The object of this was to prepare tlieir minds for the stratagems of | 
war. Detection exposed tliem to punishment. Plutarch tells us of 
a boy, who liad stolen a fox and hidden it under his coat, and who 
rather chose to let the animid tear out his bowels, than to discover 
the theft. 

Sect. 8. The first of tlic Olympiads, an era by which 
the events in Grecian liistory are reckoned, occtTrred 776 
vears B. C. The Olympic games were first instituted about 
1 450 years B. C, but having fallen into disuse, were restored 


at difierent times, and from the period above mentioned, form 
a certain epoch in history. 

§ The natursx)f these games will be described under the " Gene- 
ral Views," at the close of this work. 


Sect. 9. Macedon, a kingdom in Greece, and sometimes 
considered distinct from it in its history, was founded by Ca- 
ranus, an Arrive and descendant of Hercules, about 795 
years B. C. The government continued in liis line 647 
years, i. e. till the death of Alexander ^Egus, the posthumous; 
son of Alexander the Great. 

§ The history of Macedon under its first kings is obscure, and pre- 
sents only some wars with the Illyrians, Thracians, and other neigh- 
bouring nations. It became, as we shall hereafter learn, very power- 
ful, and under Philip overturned the liberties of the other states of 


Sect. 10. After a chasm of 800 years in the history of 
the first kingdom of Assyria, we find a few particulars re- 
specting one or tw^o of its last sovereigns. Fid, who is men- 
tioned in scripture, subdued Israel in the reign of Menahem, 
wdio became his tributar}^ This Pul is supposed to be the 
king of Nineveh, who, with his people, repented at the preach- 
ing of Jonah. If this be the fact, he flourished about 80C 
years B. C* 

§ The object of Jonah's preaching was to denounce the divine 
judgements against this people on account of their wickedness. The 
prophet after great reluctance to obey the command of God, and a 
signal chastisement for his disobedience, repaired at length to Nine- 
veh, and executed his commission. 

The Ninevites took the alarm, and humbled themselves before 
Jehovah, in consequence of which tliey were delivered at that time 
from destruction. The Assyrian empire, of which Nineveh was the 
."apital, ended, however, soon afterwards, as we shall now learn. 

Sect. 11. iSat^danapalus was the last and the most vicious 
of the Assyrian monarchs. In his reign a conspiracy broke 
out, by which the kingdom was destroyed, 7f)7 years B. C 
Three monarchies rose from its ruins, viz. Nineveh, wdiich 

♦ Wc have here followed Uahcr, and not the autliors of tlic Universal Hia- 
Uiry. Usher, as we think, more consistently, supposes I'ul to be the father al 

1004—752 B. c. 53 

preserved the name of Assi/rla, Babylon, and the kingdom 
of the Medcs. 

§ Sardaiiapalus was tlie most effeminate of mankind. Ho never left 
his palace, but spent all his time with his women and his eunuchs. 
He imitated them in dress and pamtin^, and spun with them at the 
distaff. Being besieged in his city, by Arbaces, governor of the Medes, 
he at length set tire to his palace, and consumed himself, with his wo- 
men, euiuichs. and treasures. 


Sect. 12. Egypt conlinned to be governed by a race of 
kings, concerning whom the connnon accounts seem not to 
be very satisfactory. TJie most considerable or the best known 
of them were Shishak, Rhamses, Amenophis IV. and Thuo- 
ris. Shishak is mentioned in scripture, and he is by some 
authors considered the same as Sesostris. But we are dispo- 
sed to consider Sesostris as much more ancient, and have ac- 
cordingly spoken of him in a former period. 

§ Concerning ShisJial; it appears that he built many temples and 
cities, dug canals, and among other conquests, took Jerusalem and 
spoilt the temple. 

Rhamses possessed a very avaricious disposition. Diodorus in- 
forms us, that he was never at any expense either for the honour of 
the gods, or the welfare of his people ; but that his sole delight was 
in the augmentation of his private treasure, which, at his decease, 
amoimted to no less than 400,000 talents. 

Amrnopliis IV. is tliought to be the same with Memnon, whose 
famous statue was said to utter asoimd at the rising of the sun. The 
monument in which he was buried, is much celebrated for its niag- 
nificeuce. He acquired great renown by his expedition against the 

Thuoria lost the Egyptian possessions in the East; and after his 
death, Egypt, reduced within its natural boundaries, was divided 
among several little kingdoms for about A\ years. 


Sect. 13. The Pitcenicians, during this period, were go- 
verned by the successors of Hiram, of whom the first was 
Bcdeazar, his son ; and the se\'entli from him was Pygma- 
lion, the brother of tlie celebrated Dido. The cruelties of 
Pygmalion obliged her to lice to Africa, where she founded a 
mighty sovereignty, as will now be mentioned. 


Sect. 14. According to the most probable accounts, it was 
869 years B. C. when Dido arrived at Africa. The history 


of theCARTHAGiNiANS is dated from this event. She fixedher 
habitation at the bottom of a gulf, on a peninsula, near the 
spot where Tunis now stands. 

From this, Carthage arose, a city which afterwards became 
famous for its wealth and power, and from its connexion with 
the Roman wars. The early history of the people, who were 
called after the name of theii* principal city, is but little 
known. Its later history is involved in that of Rome. 

It is probable Dido might have found a few inhabitants in 
this place, whom its local advantages had induced to settle 
there ; but to her and her attendants, Carthage is doubtless 
mdebted for a regular foundation. 

The colony had the same language, and national charac- 
ter, and nearly the same laws, with the parent state. In the 
I '.eight of its splendour, it possessed a population of 700,000 
inhabitants, and had under its dominion 300 small cities, bor- 
dering on the Mediterranean sea. 

§ Pygmalion, wishing to posses.s himself of the immense riches of 
Sichseus, the husband of Dido, took an opportunity, while they were 
engaged in a chase, to run liim tlu-ough tlie body with a spear. The 
suspicion of his sister Avas awakened ; but, concealing her design, 
.she requested Pygmalion to furnish her with men and ships, to con- 
vey her effects to a small city between Tyre and Sidon, that she might 
live there with her brother i3arca. 

The king granted her request ; but Dido liad no sooner embarked 
her property on board, than her brother and others, who favoured 
her real design, set sail for Cyprus, whence they carried off a great 
mimber of young women, and tlien steered their course to Africa. 

The Tyrian monarch, thus defeated in his schemes, was about to 
send a fleet after the fugitives ; but the tears of his mother, and the 
threatening predictions of the oracle, pre-vented his intended revenge. 


Sect. 15. In Italy, at the time of Numitor, about 77.5 
B. C, there was a turn in events deserving our notice. Amu- 
lius, the brother of Numitor, being ambitious of the throne, 
usurped the government, and connected this act with the 
murder of the .king's only son, and with compelling Rhea 
Sylvia, his only daughter, to become a vestal. He thus 
meant to prevent any from becoming claimants to the throne. 

The event, however, frustrated the hopes of Amulius ; for 
from Sylvia sprung Remus and Romulus, twin brothers, who, 
at length overcoming Amulius, replaced their grandfather 
Niuiiitor, on the tluone. 

1004—753 3. c. 55 

§ Amulius, hear,ng of the birth of Renins and Romiilns, .so contrary 
to his expectations, ordered the mother to be buried ahve, the pun- 
ishment of incontinent vestals, and the cliildrcn to be thrown into the 
river 'I'iber. The latter sentence was executed, but the f(n-mer was 
prevented by the intercession of a daughter of Amulius. 

The infants, though put into the Tiber, were saved, since the bas- 
ket in which they were covered, floated on the surface. It was borne 
to the foot of the Aventine mount, and there stranded. According 
to some accounts, a she-wolf suckled them, which is incredible. 

According to otlier accounts, the woman who preserved and nursed 
tliem, was called Ijitpa, and as Lupa is the Latin word for she-wolf, 
tliis circumstance caused the mistake. 

The two brothers became shepherds, were fond of hunting wild 
beasts, and at length turned their arms against the robbers that in- 
fested the country. Having been informed of their high birth, they 
collected their friends, and fought against Amulius, their uncle, and 
killed him. 

Numitor, after an exile of 42 j'ears, was then called to the throne 
again, and was happj^ to owe his restoration to tlie bravery of his 
grandsons. Such were the youths who were destined by Provi- 
dence to lay the foundation of a city, which became the mistress of 
the world. 

Distinguished cJtaracters in Period V. 

1. Solomon, endowed wnth extraordinary wisdom, 

2. Homer, the greatest of the Grecian poets. 

3. Hesiod, an eminent Greek poet. 

4. Lyciirgus, a reformer of the Spartan repubUc. and wise 

5. Dido, a Tyrian princess, who founded Carthage. 

6. Isaiah, tlie greatest of the prophetical writers. 

§ 1. Solomon was the son of David by Bathsheha. He succeeded 
David in the kingdom of Israel. He was tlie wisest of mankind. In 
early life he appeared to be exemplary in piety, but was afterwards 
guilty of great defection from the strictness of religion. It is be- 
lieved, however, tliat he did not die an apostate. The temple whit^h 
he erected at Jerusalem in honour of the God of Israel, has also ren- 
dered his name immortal. 

He wrote the books of Proverlis, and Ecclesiastes, and the Canti- 
cles, all inspired by the Spirit of God. He died 975 years B. C. aged 
58 years, and having reigned 40 years. 

2. Homer was not only the greatest of the Greek poets, but the 
earliest whose works have survived the devastations of time. On 
these accounts he is styled the father of poetry, and indeed, so far as 
we can know with certainty, he is the most ancient of all profane 
classical w^-iters. 

The place of his nativity is unknown. Seven illustrious cities 
contended for the honour of having given him birth. His parentage 


and the circumstances of his life are also unknown, except in regarc* 
to the latter, it was agreed that he was a wanderivg poet, and that 
he was hlind. 

His greatest poems, (and they are among the greatest of uninspi- 
red books,) are tlie Iliad and Odyssey. Other works have been as- 
cribed to liim, but without having been sufficiently substantiated. His 
poetry is characterized by sublimity, fire, sweetness, elegance, and 
universal knowledge. 

The poems of Homer are the compositions of a man, who travel- 
led and examined, with the most critical accuracy. Avhatever he met in 
his way. jModern travellers are astonished to see the different scenes 
which his pen described, almost 3000 years ago, still appearing the 
same ; and the sailor who steers his course along the J^gean, beholds 
all the promontories and rocks which presented themselves to Nestor 
and IMenelaus, when they returned victorious from the Trojan war. 

The first appearance of Homer's poems in Greece, was about 200 
years after the supposed time of the bard. Pisistratus, tyrant of 
Athens, was the first who arranged the Iliad and Odyssey in the form 
in which they now appear to us. The Arundelian marbles fix the 
period in which he flourished, at 907 years B. C. 

3. Hesiod is generally considered as having been a contemporary 
of Homer. He was born at Ascra in Bosotia. His greatest production 
was a poem on AgricuUw^e, Avhich contains refined moral reflections, 
mingled with instructions for cultivating fields. 

His Theogony^ another poem, gives a faithful account of the gods 
of antiquity. Hesiod is admired for elegance and sweetness. Cicero 
highly commends him, and the Greeks were so partial to his moral 
poetical instructions, that they required their children to learn them 
all by heart. 

4. Lycurgvs flourished about 884 years B. C. He was regent of 
Sparta, until Charilaus, his nephew, had attained to mature 3'8ars. 
Then leaving Sparta, he travelled in Asia and Egypt, for the purpose 
of improving his mind, and observing the manners, customs, and po- 
litical institutions of different nations. 

Upon his return, he reformed the abuses of the state, banished lux- 
ury, and produced a system whicli gave rise to all the niagnanimity, 
fortitude, and intrepidity which distinguished the Lacedaemonians. 

Having established his laws, and engaged the citizens not to alter 
them until his return, he left his country, and, by a voluntary death, 
rendered that event impossible ; thus securing, as far as in his power, 
tlie perpetuity of his institutions. 

5. Dido, also called Elisso, was a daughter of Belus, king of 
Tyre, and married her uncle Sichajus. Her husband having been 
murdered by Pygmalion, the successor of Belus, the disconsolate 
princess, with a number of Tyrians, set sail in quest of a settlement. 
A storm drove her fleet on the African coast, and there she founded, 
or enlarged a city, that became much celebrated in the annals of 

Her beauty, as well as the fame of her entei-prise, gained her 
many admirers j and her subjects wished to compel her to marry 

1004—752 B. c. 57 

larbas, king of Mauritania, by whom they were Uireatened with war. 
Dido requested three montlis for consideration ; and, during that 
time, she erected a funeral pile, as if wishing, by a solemn sacrifice, 
to appease tlie manes of Sichseus, to whom she had vowed eternal 

When her preparation was completed, she stabbed herself on the 
pile, in presence of her people, and by this desperate feat, obtained 
the name of Dido, valiant icoman. The poets have made yi'ncas and 
Dido contemporaneous, but this is only a fiction, allowed perhaps by 
the rules of their art. 

6. Isaiah was th.e son of Amos, and of the lineage of David. He 
prophesied from 735 to 681 B. C. during the reigns of several kings 
of Judali. He is the greatest and the sublimest of the prophets. He 
reproved the sinners of his day with boldness, and exposed the many 
vices that prevailed in the nation. He is called the evangelical pro- 
phet, from his frequent allusion to, and prediction of Gospel times. 
He is said to have been cut in two with a wooden saw, by the cruel 
king Manasseh. 


7V«e period of the Roman ki?igs, extending from the 
fou7uling of Ro?Jie, 752 years B. C.^tothe battle of Ma- 
rathon, 490 years B. C. 

Sect. 1. Romulus began the building of Rome 752 B. C. 
His brother Renins was indeed concerned in the projected un- 
dertaking, but a dispute arising between llie l)rolhers respect- 
ing the place where the city should stand, they had recourse 
to arms ; in consequence of which, Remus lost his hfe. 

Romukis. only 18 years of age, was thus left to pursue the 
enterprise alone. On the Palatine hill he fixed as the spot, 
and enclosing about a mile of territory in compass, with a 
wall, he filled it with 1000 houses, or rather huts. To this 
collection he gave the name of Rome ; and he peopled it with 
the tumultuous and vicious rabble, which he found in the 
neighbourhood. At first it was nearly destitute of laws ; but 
it soon became a well regidated community. 

§ The liberty of building a city on those hills, where the two bro- 
thers had fed tlieir flocks, was granted to them by Numitor, the king. 
He assigned to them a certain territory, and permitted such of his 
subjects as chose, to resort thither in aid of the work. 

A division tiiking place, in regard to the particular spot where tlie 
city should stand, Numitor advised them to watch the flight of birds. 


a ciislom common in that age, when any contested point was to be 
settled. They took their stations on different hills. Remus saw six 
vultures ; Romulus twice as many ; so that each one tiicught himself 
victorious — the one having the first omen, the other the most com- 

A contest was the result ; and it is asserted that Remus was killed 
by the hand of his brother. Jumping contemptuously over the city 
wall, he was struck dead upon the spot by Romulus, who declared 
that no one should insult his rising walls with impunity. 

2. Romulus, having been elected king, introduced order 
and discipline among his subjeUs, which gradually improved 
imder his successors. 

He adopted many important regidations respecting the go- 
vernment and policy of his newly acquired territory, the wis- 
dom of which has been sanctioned by time. As some of 
these, and other institutions that were afterwards added, are 
to be presented under the General Yicws in this work, they 
need not here be given. 

3. Under tiie salutary regulations of Romidus, great 
numbers of men, from the small towns around Rome, Hock- 
ed to the city, and every day it increased in power and ex- 
tent. The most important event under the administration 
of Romulus, was the Rape of the Sabine virgins, by which 
the Romans were supplied with wives, and which caused the 
war that thence ensued between the Romans and Sabines. 

After conqtiering some of the neighbouring kings, Romu- 
lus was killed (it is supposed) by the Senators, having reigned 
37 years, and was succeeded, at the expiration of one year, 
by Numa Pompilius, a Sabine, the wisest and best of the 
Roman kings, 715 years B. C. 

§ In the want of women, Romulus proposed intern)arriagcs with the 
Sabines, his neiglibours. His proposal, however, was rejected wiiii 
scorn. He then tried the effect of intrigue and force. Inviting the 
neiglibourmg tribes to witness some magnificent s[vpctacle in the 
city, he liad the pleasure of finding thattlie Sabines, with tlieir wives 
and daughters, Avere among the foremost to be present. 

At the proper time, the Roman youth i-ushed in among them with 
drawn swords, seized the youngest and most beautiful of the women, 
and carried them off by violence. The virgins, at fii-st olfended by 
the boldness of the intrusion, at length became reconciled to their lot, 

Tiie Sabines, as might be expected, resented the affront, and flew 
to arms. After si-'veral unfortmiate attempts at revenge, the Sabines, 
with Tatius, their king, at their head, entered tlie Roman territories, 
25,000 men strong. HaAing by stratagem passed into the city, the^ 

752—490 B. c. 59 

conlJnued the war at pleasure. At length the Romans and Sabiiies 
prepared for a general engagement. 

In tlie midst of the fight, liovvever, the Sabine v/omen who had 
been carried off by the Romans, rushed in between the combatants. 
"If," cried they, "any must die, let it be us, wlio are the cause of 
your animosity ; since, if our parents or our husbands fall, we must, 
in either case, be miserable in surviving tliem." 

This movinji spectacle produced an effect. An accommodation 
ensued, it was agreed that Tatius and Romulus should reign jointly 
in Rome : that 100 Sabines should be admitted into the senate ; and 
that the privileges of Roman citizens, should be extended to such of 
the Sabines as chose to enjoy them. 

Tatius lived but five years after this ; and Romulus, taking advan- 
tage of this event, and elated by prosperity, invaded the liberty of 
his people. The senators opposed his encroachn)ents, and at length, 
it is .said, tore him to pieces in the senate house. 

When the throne was offered to Numa, he wished to decline it ; and 
il was not until his friends repeatedly urged him to accept it, that he 
gave up his own wishes to theirs, and for the good of his country 
consented to become king of Rome. 

He was a wise and virtuous man, and, before his elevation to tlic 
throne, lived contentedly in privacy. He proved excellent as a mo- 
narch, and reigned 43 years in profound peace, inspiring his subjects 
with the love of wisdom and virtue. 

He multiplied the national gods, built temples, and instituted dif- 
ferent classes of priests, and a great variety of religious ceremonies. 
The Fiaminos officiated each in the service of a peculiar deity; the 
Salii guarded the sacred bucklers ; the Vestals cherished the sacred 
fire ; the Augurs and Aruspices divined future events from the flight 
of birds, and the entrails of victims. 

4. The third king of Rome was Tullius Hostilius, who 
was tlected, and beg'an to reign, 672 B. C. His disposi 
tiori was v>-arlike. He subdued the Albans, Fidenates, a.nd 
other neighbouring states. The Sabines, now disunited from 
the Romans, became their most powerful enemy. Ttdlius 
reigned 33 years, and, according to some accounts, he wad 
killed by lightning. The most remarkable event during the 
reign of Tulhus, was the combat between the Horatii and 

In the war between the Romans and Albans, as their armies were 
about to engage, the Alban general proposed that the dispute .should 
be decided by single combat, and that the side whose champion was 
overcome, should submit to the conqueror. To this the Roman king 

It happened that there were three twin brothers in each army ; 
those of the Romans were called Horatii, those of the Albans, Cu- 
riatii J all remarkable for their prowess. To these the combat WiU 


assigned. The armies were drawn up in due order, and the brothers 
took to their arms. 

The signal being given, the youths rushed forward to the encoun- 
ter. They were soon engaged hand to hand, each regardless of his 
own safety, seeking only the destruction of his opponent. The three 
Albans were severely woimded, and loud shouts ran along the Ra 
man army. In a few seconds, two of the Romans fell and expired. 
The acclamations were heard amid the Albans. 

The surviving Roman now saw that all depended on him ; it was 
an awful moment. But he did not despair ; he manfully roused his 
spirits to meet the exigence of the occasion. Knowing that force 
ulone could not avail, he had recourse to art. 

He drew back, as if flying from his enemies. Immediately were 
heard the hisses of the Romans. But Horatius had the felicity to 
witness what he wished. The wounded Curiatii, pursuing him at 
unequal distances, were divided. Turning upon the nearest pursuer, 
he laid him dead at his feet. The second brother advancing, soon 
shared the same fate. 

Only one now remained on each side. The hisses of the Romans 
were turned into cheerings. But what was their exultation when 
they saw the last of the Curiatii stretched lifeless on the ground I 

What followed, it is painful to relate. When Horatius reached 
Rome, he saw his sister bitterlj^ lamenting the death of the Curiatii, 
one of whom she was engaged to marry. In the dreadful moment 
of ungoverned rage, he killed her on the spot. 

Horatius was condemned to die for his crime, but making his ap- 
peal to the people, he was pardoned, though his laurels and his cha- 
racter were forever tarnished. 

5. Rome was governed by four other kings, in succession, 
viz. Ancius Martius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and 
Tarquinius Superbus. 

Ancus inherited the virtues of his grandfather, Numa, and 
was, besides, a warrior; Tarquin enriched Rome with mag- 
nidcent works ; Servius ruled with pohtical wisdom ; but 
Tarquin the Proud pursued a course of systematic tyranny. 
Withhim ended the monarchical form of government at Rome, 
509 years B. C. 

§ Servius married his two daughters to the tvv'o sons of Tarquin, 
and then having established good government, was preparing to quit 
the throne and live in peace and retirement. But these intentions 
were frustrated. 

Tullia, one of his daughters, preferred her sister's husband to her 
own, and he was disposed to reciprocate so vile an attachment. To 
answer their base purposes, they both killed their respective partners. 
As one wickedness too surely paves the way for another, these flagi 
tious wretches next ])lotted the death of Servius. 

It will be read with horror, that not only did the cruel Tullia re- 
joice, when she heai'd that Tarquinius had murdered her father, but 

752— 490 b c. 61 

that when she rode forth in her chariot, to congratiiiate the base mur- 
derer, she would not permit her coacliman to indulge even his h\i- 
manity, who seeing the bleeding body of Servius lying in the street, 
was about to turn down another road, thinking, very rationally, that 
his mistress would be shocked to behold the mangled corpse of her 
old father. 

Tullia had expelled from her heart all natural feeling, and per- 
ceiving the hesiiation of the coachman, angrily bade the man drive 
on ; he did so, and the chariot-wheels of the daughter's car wcr 
stained with tlie blood of her gray-haired father. 

Tarquin, surnamed the proud, upon this event, was made king ; 
but though at first he ingratiated himself with the lower classes a! 
the people, j-et by his oppressive and tyrannical conduct, he at length 
became an object of universal detestation. His son Sextus having 
greatly indulged in detestable vices, became the occasion of his own 
and the king's ruin. 

This prince, and CoUatinus a noble Roman, and some officers, 
when with the army besieging Ardea, a small town not far from 
Rome, in the height of a debauch, were boasting what excellent 
wives each possessed. CoUatinus was cer*ain that his was the best ; 
hi their merriment, the young men mounted their horses, and set off 
for Rome, to discover whose wife was most properly employed iu 
the absence of her husband. 

The ladies were all found visiting and passing the time in amuse- 
ment and mirth, except Lucretia, the wife of CoUatinus. She was 
industriously spinning wool among her maidens at home. Sextus 
was so taken with the good sense and right behaviour of Lucretia, 
that lie fell in Io^■e with her, and wished her *o quit her husband, 
indulging at the same time the most unwarrantable designs. 

Lucretia, shocked at his vile proposals, and unable to survive her 
dishonour, killed herself for grief, which so distracted CoUatinus, that 
with Junius Brutus, and other friends, he raised an army, and drove 
Sextus and his infamous father from Rome. The people had suffer- 
ed so much under the tyranny of this king, that they resolved that 
he should never coine back, and that they would have no more kings. 

The cause of the interest which Brutus took in the death of Lu- 
cretia, was the following. His father and eldest brother had been 
slain by Tarquin. and unable to avenge their death, he pretended to 
be insane. The artifice saved his life ; he was called Brutus for his 
stupidity. When the infamous deed of the Tarquins was done, and 
the catastrophe which ensued wa.s known, he seized the occasion of 

Snatching the dagger from the wound of the bleeding Lucretia, he 
swore upon the reeking blade, immortal hatred to' the royal family. 
" Be witness, ye gods," he cried, " that from this moment I proclaim 
myself the avenger of the chaste Lucretia's cause," &c. This energy 
of speech and action, in one who had been reputed a fool, astonished 
Rome, and every patriot's arm was nei-ved against Tarquin and his 
adherents — against Tarquin and royalty. 



6. From a monarchy, Rome now became a republic, Avith 
a gradual increase of the power of the people from time to 
time. At first the nobles had much the largest share in the 
government. The supreme authority was committed to two 
magistrates, chosen from the patrician order every year, who 
were named consuls. Their power was nearly or quite equal 
to that of the kings, only it was temporary. Brutus and 
Collatinus were the first consuls, who, with several of their 
successors, w^ere engaged in hostility with the Ijanished king. 

§ Tarquiii, after his expulsion, took refuge in Etruria. where he 
enlisted two of the most powerful cities, Venii and Tarqninii; to es- 
pouse his cause. At Rome also he had adherents. A conspiracy 
having been formed to open the gates of the city to him, the republic 
was on the eve of ruin. 

It was however discovered in season, and the two sons of Brutus 
Having been concei'ued in it, he sternly ordered them to be beheaded 
m his presence. He put off the father, and acted only the consul — a 
dreadful necessity. 

Some time after, in a combat between the Romans and Tarquins, 
Brutus engaged with Aruns, son of Tarquin, and so fierce was the 
attack, that they both fell dead together. Brutus was honoured as 
the father of tlie republic. 

Tarquin now fled for aid to Porsenna, king of Clusium, who ad- 
vanced v/ith a large army to Rome, and had nearly entered it. The 
valour of one man saved ♦he city. Iloratius Codes, seeing the ene- 
my approach the bridge where he stood sentinel, and observing the 
retreat of the Romans, besought them to assist him. He told them to 
burn or break down the bridge behind him, whilst he went forward 
to keep back the enemy. 

He then remained alone fighting in the midst of his enemies, and 
when he heard the crash of the bridge and the shouts of the Romans, 
knowing that no way of entrance was left for the foe, he jumped into 
the river and swam over to his friends in safety. 

In the war with Porscima occurred another remarkable incident. 

ISIutius Scaivola, a noble j'oung Roman, upon leave obtained of the 
senate, disguised himself, and entered the tent of Porsenna. There he 
saw a man so richly drest that bethought he was the king, whom he 
contrived to kill, but it was only the king's secretary. 

While endeavouring to quit the camp, Mutius was seized and car- 
ried before Porsenna, wdio told him he would severely torture him if 
he did not betray the schemes of the Romans. Mutiusonly answered 
by putting his hand into one of the fires lighted near him, and hold- 
ing it steadily there. 

The king, seeing the courage and fortitude of this youth, leaped 
from his throne, and drawing the hand of Mutius from the flame, 
highly praised him, and dismissed him without farther harm. Peace 
was soon concluded upon this incident. 

752—490 B. c. 63 

7. The Latins, excited by Mamilius, Tarquin's son-in- 
law, declared war against the Romans, 501 years B. C. The 
common people, oppressed by the patrician order, had become 
disaffected, and refused to enlist into the service. In this 
crisis, the Romans resorted to the desperate measure of having 
a dictator, a magistrate with unlimited authority, for the pe- 
riod of six months. This was an efi'ectual resort in times of 

A few years after, the people, supposing their grievances 
not sufficiently redressed, rose in general insurrection, when 
the senate consented to create five new magistrates, called 
tribunes, who were to be annually selected by the people. 

These were to be sacred ; their office w-as to defend the 
oppiessed, pardon olienders, arraign the enemies of the peo- 
ple, and, if necessary, stop the whole machine of government. 
They were afterwards increased to ten. The popular or de- 
mocratic constitution of Rome may be dated from this period, 
400 years B. C. 

About this time, Coriolanus, a patrician and able warrior, 
being banished from Rome, for proposing the abolition of the 
tribunate, retired to the Volsci, among whom he raised an 
army, and advanced to besiege Rome. Attacking the city, 
lie would probably have conquered it, but he was turned from 
his purpose by the prayers and tears of his mother, wife, and 

§ A few particulars respecting Coriolanus must here be related. 
Passing over the circumstances of his banishment, we find tlial upon 
his entrance into tlie territory of tlie Volsci, he met a most friendly 
reception from Tullus Aufidius, a mortal enemy to Rome. 

Having advised this prince to make war against the Romans, he 
niarcliod at the head of the Volsci, as general. The approach of 
( 'oriolanus, at the head of so powerful an enemy, greatly alarmed 
the Romans, who sent him several ombassio^s to reconcile him to hip 
country, and to solicit his return, lie was deaf to all proposals ; and 
1 hough each successive embassy was made more and more solemn 
and urgent, he bade them prepare for war. 

At Rome, all was now confusion and consternation. The republic 
was nearly given up for lost. Coriolanus had pitchea his camp at 
only a very short distance from the city. As a last resort, it was 
suggested, that possibly his wife or mother might effect what the 
senate and the ministers of religion could not. 

Accordingly his mother, Veturia, and his wife, Vergilia, with his 
children, and the principal matrons of the city, undertook the 1?"*! 
tmbussy. The meeting of Coriolanus and this train, was in the high- 


est degree tender and affecting. In the sternness of his soul he had 
resolved to give tliem a denial ; but the authority of a mother, and 
the entreaties of a wife and of children, must be listened to. 

"My son," cried his mother, "hovi^ am I to consider this meeting / 
Do I embrace my son or my enemy ? Am I your mother or your 
oaptive 1 How have I lived to see this day — to see my son a banished 
man — and still more distressful, to see him the enemy of his coun- 
try ? how has he been able to turn his arms against the place that 
gave him life — how direct his rage against those walls that protect 
his wife, his children, and his gods 1 But it is to me only that my 
country owes her oppressor. Had I never been a mother, Rome had 
still been free." 

With these and similar woi-ds, and with the tears and entreaties of 
his wife and children, his stern and obstinate resolutions v/ere over- 
come. He was melted under them, and the feelings of a man rose 
superior to the honour of a soldier and the vengeance of a foe. The 
Volsci were marched from the neighbourhood of Rome, but the event 
fulfilled the sad prediction which he addressed to his mother, in re- 
ply — a prediction which only a Roman mother could hear — " O my 
mother, thou hast saved Rome, but lost thy son." 

The act of Coriolanus, of course, displeased the Volsci. He was 
summoned to appear before the people of Antium: but the clamours 
which his enemies raised M'^ere so prevalent, that he was murdered 
on the spot appointed for his trial. His body was honoured, never- 
theless, with a magnificent funeral by the Volsci, and the Roman ma- 
trons put on mourning for his loss. 

To show their sense of Veturia's merit and patriotism, the Romans 
dedicated a temple to Female Fortune. 

8. Greece, during this period, underwent several changes. 
After the institutions of Lycurgus had been a number of 
years in successful operation, those of Athens began to re- 
ceive attention from some of their wise men. The office ot 
archon had become decennial, at the beginning of this pe- 

In 648 B. C, the archons were elected annually, were 
nine in number, and all had equal authority. Under these 
changes the people became miserable, and a reform was at- 
tempted, first by Draco, and 150 years afterwards by the illus- 
trious Solon, 594 years B. C. At the request of the citizens, 
they each furnishc^d, during- his archonship, a written code 
for the regulation of the state. 

§ Draco was a wise and honest, but a very stern man. His laws 
were characterized by extreme severity. Very trifling offences were 
punished with death, " because," said Draco, " small crimes deserve 
death, and I have»no greater punishment for the greatest sins,"— a 
plan iJl adapted to the state of human society. 

752—490 B. c. 65 

Solon was one of the seven wise men of Greece. He established 
excellent rules of Justice, order, and discipline. But, though possess- 
ed of extensive knowledge, he wanted a firm and intrepid mind ; and 
he rather acconnuodated his system to the habits and passions of his 
countrymen, tiian attempted to reform their manners. 

lie cancelled the bloody code of Draco, except the laws which re- 
lated to nuu-der ; and he abolished the debts of the poor by an act of 
insolvency. He divided the Athenians into four classes, of which the 
three first consisted of persons possessing property, and the fourth of 
those who were poor. 

All the offices of the state were committed to the care of the rich ; 
but those who possessed no property, were allowed to vote in the 
general assembly of the people, in whose hands he lodged the su- 
preme power. 

He instituted a senate, composed of 400 persons, (afterwards in- 
creased to 500 and 600,) who had cognisance of all appeals from the 
court of Areopagus, and with whom it was necessary that every 
measure should originate before it was discussed in the assembly of 
the people. In this way he sought to balance the weight of the po- 
pular interest. 

Solon committed the supreme administration of justice to the 
court of Areopagus. This court had fallen into disrepute, but So- 
lon, by confining its numbers to those who had been archons, great- 
ly raised the reputation of the body. 

" The following anecdote of Solon and Thespis is worthy of remem- 
brance. Thes[)is was an actor of plays. Solon having at one time 
attended those shows, which were then very rude, called Thespis, 
who had been acting various characters, and asked him if he was 
not ashamed to speak so many lies I 

Thespis replied, " It was all in jest." Solon, striking his staff on 
tlie ground, violently exclaimed, " If we encourage ourselves to speak 
falsely in jest, we shall run the chance of acquiring a habit of speak- 
ing falsely in serious matters." Such a sentiment is worthy of the 
wisdom of Solon. 

9. Scarcely Imd Athens bej^uii to enjoy the benefit of 
tliese new rea^ulations, when Pisistratns, a rich and ambi- 
tious citizen, usurped the supreme power, (B. C. 560,) which 
act Solon w\i3 unable to prevent. He and his posterity exer- 
cised it during; 50 years. 

Hippias and Hipparchu'^, his sons, who succeeded him, en- 
joyed a peaceable crown for a time, but were at length de- 
tlnoned, and democracy was restored. 

§ Pisistratus secured the favour of the people by the following ex- 
pedient. Wounding himself, he ran into the market place, and pro- 
claimed tliat his enemies had inflicted the injury. Solon, with con- 
tempt, said to him, " Son of Hippocrates, you act Ulysses badly ; he 
hurt himself to deceive his enemies ; you have done so to cheat your 



The populace, as is generally the case, being deaf to the voice of 
reason, Pisistratus became tyrant, or king of Athens. He secured 
the affections of the people by his splendour and munificence. He 
was eminent for his love of learning, and the fine arts. He adorned 
Athens with many magnificent buildings. 

The restoration of democracy was undertaken by Harmodius and 
Aristogiton, who were citizens in middle life. They succeeded 
eventually, though they both lost their lives in the attempt. Aristo- 
giton was previously tortured, having fallen into the hands of Hip- 
pias. By the aid of the Lacedaemonians the object was accomplish- 
ed, and Hippias, who at first escaped the fate of his brother, was at 
length dethroned. 

Passing into Asia, he solicited foreign aid to place him in the so- 
vereignty. Darius at this time meditated the conquest of Greece. 
Hippias took advantage of the views of an enemy against his native 
country, and Greece soon became involved in a war with Persia. 

10. Under the institutions of Lycurgus tlie Spartans had 
become a race of warriors. Being in the neighlwurhood of 
Messenia, they were ahiiost constantly at war wdth that 
state. The first Messenian war began 743 years B. G. and 
lasted 19 years. There were two other periods of conten- 
tion between Sparta and Messenia, but the latter was final- 
ly subdued. The territory was seized and its inhabitants 
were enslaved. 

§ During one of these wars, the Lacedaemonians, it is said, bound 
themselves by oath not to return home till they had conquered the 
Messenians. Despairing, however, of ever returning, they sent or- 
ders to the women of Sparta to recruit the population, by promiscu- 
ous intercourse with the youiig men, who being children when the 
war began, had not taken the oath. 

The offspring of this singular and improper order were denomina- 
ted Partheniae, or Sons of Virgins. 


11. The kingdom of Israel, tovv'ards the beginning of 
the present }3eriod, (721 B. C.) was subverted by Salmana- 
'/ar king of Assyria, or Nineveh. The Israelites were car- 
ried captive to Assyria, whence they never returned. This 
event occurred during the reign of Hosea, their last king. 

§ Hosea had reigned nine years, when Salmanazar made him tribu- 
lary. But Hosea having revolted, the Assyrian king besieged Sama- 
ria, the capital of the ten tribes, and after three years took and plun- 
dered it. 

Except a few, who remained in Canaan, the Israelites were disper- 
sed throughout Assyria, and lost their distinctive cliaracter. Those 
who remained in their native country became intermixed with stran- 
gers. The descendants of tliese mingled races were afterward.s 
known by the name of Samaritans. 

752 — 490 B. c. 67 

Thus, in a little more than two centuries after the separation of the 
ten tribes from those of Jiidah and Benjamin, were tliey destroyed 
as a nation, having, on account of their great sins, previously suffered 
an awful series of calamities. 


12. The kingdom of Judah from the commencement of 
this period enjoyed but a doubtful existence. It was invaded 
at dilierent times by the Babylonians, rendered tributary, and 
finally subdued. 

Nebuchadnezzar, within 115 years after the destruction of 
Samaria, took Jerusalem, and razed the city and its temple 
to its foundations. 

§ During the latter part of the kingdom of Judah, the greater por 
tion of its kings were impious. Two or three of them, however, 
were eminently religious. Such were Hezekiah and Josiah. They 
were both of them reformers, and destroyed the altars of idolatry. 

The idolatry of Ahaz was punished by the captivity of 200,000 of 
liis subjects, thougli they were afterwards sent back upon the remon- 
strance of the prophet Obed. Manasseh, an impious and cruel prince, 
v/as carried to Babylon, bound with fetters. This affliction, becom- 
ing the means of his repentance, God heard his supplications, and 
brought him again into his kingdom. 

13. Under Jehoiachin, who was carried captive to Baby 
Ion, together with his people, commenced the Seventy years 
(vaptivity of the Jews, 606 B. C. The king was after- 
wards released, but remained tributary to the king of Baby 

§ In the reign of Zedekiah, the next but one in succession after Je- 
hoiachin, Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians, and entirely de- 
molished. Zedekiah, after seeing all his children slain, had his eyes 
put out, and was brought in fetters to Babylon. 

14. The Jews having been in captivity to the Babylo- 
nians ju.-t 70 year.-', were permitted, by Cyrus, king of Persia, 
to return to their native land, 536 years B. C. This was 
accomplished under the direction of Zerubbabel and Joshua, 
tlieir leaders. 

They soon began the rebuilding of the temple, but their 
enemies prevented them from making any progress. Seve- 
ral years afterwards they commenced the work anew, and 
completed it in the space of foiu' 5'ears, 516 B. C Upon 
this event they celebrated the first passover. 

§ The return of the Jews from their captivity happened the first 
year of Cyrus, who, as we shall soon learn, had conquered Babylon, 
and terminated the Babylonian empire. 

The influence of adversity ou many of the Jews, seems to have 


been very favorable on this occasion. It brought them to repent- 
ance, and engaged them in the worship and ordinances of their re- 
ligion. The vessels of the temple, which Nebuchadnezzar had 
brought with him from Jerusalem, were all restored by the Persian 


15. Of the three kingdoms into which the ancient Assy 
rian empire was divided upon the death of Sardanapalus, 
Nineveh or Assyria comes first in order. Its first king ia 
supposed to have been Tiglath Pileser, 747 B. C. A few 
of his successors, during this period, were Sahnanazar, Sen 
nacherib, Esarhaddon, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar. 

Under tlie last of these kings the kingdom of Nineveh end 
ed. Babylon, its capital, was taken by Cyaxares 11. aided 
by Cyrus, and Belshazzar was killed, 538 years B. C. 

§ Salmanazar was the sovereign mentioned above, in the history of 
the Israelites. He destroyed the kingdom of the Ten Tribes. 

Of Sennacherib it is recorded in his war with the Jews, that having 
written a letter to Hezekiah full of blasphemy against the God of Is- 
rael, God, in order to punish him, when he was just ready to take Je- 
rusalem, sent an angel, who in one night smote 185,000 men of his 

Covered with shame, he returned to his own country, and there 
his two eldest sons conspired against and killed him in the temple of 

About 108 years after this prince, Nebuchadnezzar began to reign 
over the kingdom of Nineveh. He signalized his reign by many con 
quests, partictdarly of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. 

His heart being elated with success, God, to punish him for his 
pride, reduced him to such a state of insanity, that, wandering in the 
forests, he lived upon grass, like a wild beast. He recovered twelve 
months before his death, and, by a solemn edict, published through- 
out the whole of his dominions the astonisliing things that God had 
wrought in him. 

Labynit, or the scripture Belshazzar, became peculiarly infamous 
by profanely using the holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had 
brought out of the spoils of the temple. He was at length besieged 
.by Cyaxares II. king of the Medes, in conjunction with Cyrus. 

During tlie siege he made a great entertainment for his whole court 
on a certain niglit; but their joy was greatly disturbed by a vision, 
and still more by the explanation which Daniel, the prophet, a Jew- 
ish captive, gave of it to the; king, that his kingdom was taken from 
him, and delivered to the Medes and Persians. That very nighl 
Babylon was taken and Belshazzar killed. 


16. Babylon, the next kingdom in order of the second em- 

752—490 B. c. 69 

pire of Assyria, coiuinued separate not quite 70 years. Na- 
boimssur was its liist king. After a few successive reigns, 
and interregnums, it was subdued by Esarhaddon, one of the 
kings of Nineveh, and annexed to his dominions, (380 B. C 
§ The famous ;>stronomical epocha at Babylon, called the era of 
Nabonassar, coniinenccd from the reign of this prince. V/e are un- 
acquainted with tlie history of his successors, only Mcrodach seems 
to be the same prince who sent ambassadors to Hezekiah, to congra- 
tulate him on the recovery of his health. 


17. The last in order of the kingdoms that constituted 
the second empire of Assyria was that of theMEDES. After 
the destruction of the first Assyrian empire, the Medes enjoy- 
ed for some time the hberty they had acquired by their va- 
lour. They formed a repubhc ; Ijut anarchy having prevailed, 
they elected a king after 37 years. 

Dejoces, the f.rst king, was elected 690 5^ears B. C. The 
fourth king after him, viz. Cyaxares II. or Darius the Mede, 
having with his nephew, Cyrus, conquered Baljylon, reigned 
over it two years in conjunction with Cyrus ; after which the 
kingdom of the Medes, and indeed the whole Assyrian em- 
pire, was united to that of Persia, 536 years B. C. 

§ The Medes are supposed to be the descendants of Madai, the third 
son of Japhet, from whom they derived their name. They seem to 
have been independent tribes at first, and not to have been united 
under one monarcfiy till the time of Dejoces. 

They were governed by petty princes, and some are of opinion, 
that one of the four kings, who in the time of Abraham, invaded the 
southern coast of Canaan, reigned in Media. They were first brought 
into subjection to the Assyrian yoke by Ninus. 

Some time after they had shaken olT this 5'oke, they were govern- 
ed by kings of their own, who became absolute, and were controlled 
bj'' no law. Of Dejoces it is recorded, that he no sooner ascended 
tlie throne, than he endeavoured to civilize and polish his subjects. 
fie built the beautiful city of Ecbatana, and made it the capital of his 

He tlien contrived a code of laws for the good of the state, and cau- 
sed them to be strictly obeyed. In a war with Nebuchadnezzar I. 
his capital was plundered, and stripped of all its ornaments, and 
falling into the conqueror's hands, he was cruelly shot to death with 

Phraortes, his successor, was much more fortunate, and conquered 
almost all upper Asia. Cyaxares I. a brave prince, made war upon 
the kingdom of Ninev(!h, to avenge the wrongs inflicted by Nebu- 
chadnezzar, A battle ensued, in which the Nincvites or Assyrians 



"*ere defeated ; but a formidable army of the Scytliians having invaded 
Media, Cyaxares marched with all his forces against them. 

The Medes, however, were vanquished, and obliged to make an 
alliance with the Scythians, who settled in Media, where they re- 
mained for 28 years. Finding that they could not get rid of their 
troublesome guests by force, they elTected it by stratagem. The 
Scythians being invited to a general feast, which was given ia every 
family, each landlord made his guest drunk, and in that condition 
massacred him. 

After this event, Cyaxares entered into a war with the Lydians. 
This war continued five years. The battle fought in the fifth year, 
\vas remarkable on account of a total eclipse of li;e sun, which hap- 
pened during the engagement, and which was foretold by Thales, the 

The Medes and Lydians, equally terrified, immediately retreated, 
and soon after concluded a peace. Two more princes succeeded, viz. 
Astyages and Cyaxares II. Astyages married his daughter to Cam- 
byses, king of Persia, of which marriage Cyrus was tlie issue. After 
the death of Cyaxares, Cyrus united the kingdoms of the Medes and 


18. From tlie clays of Cyrus the Great, 536 years B. C 
the Persian empire holds a distinguislied place in ancient 
history. It was originally of small extent, and almost un- 
known ; but after being founded by Cyrus, it included all 
India, Assyria, Media, and Persia, and the parts adjoining to 
the Euxine and Caspian Seas. It is sometimes called the 
Medo-Persian empire. 

Cyrus is represented as a prince of an excellent character, 
and he obtained the surname of Great, from his heroic action:^ 
and splendid achievements. Having undertalcen an expedi- 
tion against the Scythians, he was surprised and slain by 
means of an ambuscade from the enemy, 529 years B.C. 

He was succeeded b}'^ his son Cambyses, who is called in 
scripture Artaxerxes, and who added Egypt to his empire. 
Cambyses was succeeded by Darius, 522 years B. C, the son 
of Hystaspes, who by a stratagem ol^tained the sovereignty. 

§ The first inhabitants of Persia were called Elamitcs, and descended 
from Elam the eldest son of Sliem. During, iiowevei', more than 10 
centuries we liave little information relative to tlieir liistory. Che- 
dcrlaomer, the only king of Elam recorded in liistory, conquered the. 
king of Sodoiu, but was defeated by Abraliam. This incident i» 
mentioned in Scripture. 

Cyrus was born but one year after his uncle Cyaxares. The man- 
ners of the Persians were admirable in those days, great simplicity 
of dress, and food, and behaviour, universally prevailed, so that Cyrus 

752—490 B. c. 71 

wns plainly and wisely educated, as he was treated like other chil- 
dren of tjis own age. But he surpassed them all, not only in aptness 
to learn, but in courage and in address. 

Whea he wa.s yet a boy, his mother took him to visit his grAnd- 
father, but the pride and luxury of the court of Media quite surprised 
and disgusted him. Astyages was so charmed with the sensible con- 
versation and artless manners of the prince, that he loaded him with 
presents. Cyru?, however, gave them all away to the courtiers, ac- 
cording to their merits, or their services rendered to himself. 

Sacas, the cup-bearer, he neglected, because he did not let him visit 
Astyages when he pleased ; and when Astyages lamented his neglect 
of so good an ofuccr, " Oh," said the young prince, " there is not 
much merit in being a good cup-bearer ; I can do as well myself." 
He then took the cup, and handed it to his mother with great modesty 
and gracefulness. 

Astyages admired his skill, but lauglnngly observed, " the young 
waiter had forgotten one thing." " What have I forgotten 7" asked 
Cyrus. " To taste the wine before you handed it to me and your mo- 
ther." " I did not forget that, but I did not choose to swallow poison." 

" Poison !" exclaimed the king. " Yes, there must be poison in the 
cup, for they who drink of it sometimes grow giddy and sick, and 
fall down." " Then do you never drink in your country ?" inquired 
Astyages. " Yes, but we only drink to satisfy thirst, and then a lit- 
tle water suffices." 

Many similar anecdotes are recorded of this prince, which may be 
iearnt from larger histories. Having reduced all the nations from 
the iEgean sea to tlie Euphrates, he advanced towards Babylon, and 
at length entered it by stratagem. Having caused deep and large 
ditches to be dug all around it, he, on a certain night, when all the 
Babylonians were engaged in feasting and merriment, ordered the 
dams of the ditches to be thrown open, that the waters of the Euphra- 
tes might run into them. 

By this mean.s, the channel of the river, which ran through the city, 
was left dry, so that the troops entered it without opposition. Tlie 
guards were surprised and slain, together Avith the king and all his 
family. The kingdom of Babylon was thus destroyed for ever. 

Two years after this, Cyrus reigned over his vast empire alone 
during seven years, in the first of which he published the famous 
edict for the return of the Jews. 

Of Cambyses, the son of Cyrus, it is recorded that he conqttered 
Egypt, which remained under the Persian yoke 112 years. He made 
himself master of Pelusium. the key of Egypt, by the following 
stratagem. He placed in front of his army a great number of those 
animals considered sacred by the Egyptians, who not daring to injure 
them, made no opposition to the Persian army. 

After an impostor named Smerdis, who reigned 7 months, Darius, 
a descendant of Cyrus on the mother's side, ascended the throne. 
In his time it was tiiat the Jews were permitted to rebuild their tem- 
ple. After a war against the Scythians, he turned his arms, as we 
uhrjU soon spe. anainst the Greeks. 



19. In the history of the Lydians, the last of its dynasties, 
was tliat of the Meimnadie. Gyges, one of the chief officers 
of Candaules the king, having murdered the latter, became 
possessed of his queen and throne, 718 years B. C. He was 
the fust of the Mermnadte race. The fourth prince after him 
was Croesus, so celebrated for his riches. His kingdom was 
conquered by Cyrus. 

§ A circumstance worthy of record occurred in the contest between 
Cyrus and Croesus. After Croesus was taken prisoner, he was con- 
demned by the conqueror to be burnt alive. When the unhappy 
prince was led to the funeral pile, he exclaimed aloud three times, 
Solon ! Solon ! Solon ! 

Cyrus immediately demanded, why he pronounced that celebra- 
ted philosopher's name with so much vehemence in that extremity. 
Croesus answered, that the observation of Solon, "Tliat no mortal 
could be esteemed happy till the end of life," had forcibly recurred to 
his recollection. 

Cyrus was struck with the remark, and, as if in anticipation of his 
own tragical end, ordered the unhappy king to be taken from the pile, 
and treated him ever after with honour and respect. 


20. Egypt, during the present period, was governed by 
the following kings — Sabbacon, Tharaca, Pharaoh-Necho, 
Psammenitus, and a few others. Under the last of these, 
525 B. C. Egypt was conquered by Cambyses, king of Per 
sia, to which power it was subject more than a century. 

§ Sabbacon, a king of Ethiopia, it seems, conquered Egypt. He 
killed Nechus, king of Sais ; burnt Bocchoris, another king, to death, 
and forced Anysis the blind to retire into the morasses. During his 
continuance in Egypt, he acquired a high reputation for wisdom and 
integrity. He finally relinquished the sceptre, and returned into 
Ethiopia, because he would not massacre the priests, agreeably to a 
suggestion said to have been imparted unto him by the tutelar god 
of Thebes. 

Tharaca, called in scripture Tirhakah, made war against Senna- 
cherib, king of Assyria. After him there was an anarchy of two 
years, and an aristocracy of twelve governors for fifteen years. 

Pharaoh-Necho waged war against the Assyrians and Jews, killed 
Josiah king of Judah, captured Jerusalem, imprisoned Jehoahaz, 
and appointed Jehoiachim king. 

Psammenitus reigned only six months before the invasion of Cam- 
byses, and the subjection of his kingdom. He was kindly treated at 
first by the conquerer, but thirsting for an opportunity to revenge 
himself, lie was condemned to drink bull's blood, and died wretch- 

752—490 B. c. 73 

Distinguished Characters in Period VI. 

1. Romulus, founder and first king of Rome. 

2. Sappho, a Greek poetess, inventor of the Sapphic verse. 

3. iEsop, a Phrygian philosopher and fabulist. 

4. Solon, a legislator of Athens, and one of the wisest men 
of (jreece. 

5. Thales, founder of the Ionic philosophy. 

6. Cyrus, a wise and successful prince, who conquered 
most of the East. 

7. Anacreon, a Greek poet, and father of the Anacreontic 

8. Pythagoras, a Grecian philosopher. 

§ J. Romulus was a son of Rhea Sylvia, and grandson of Numitor, 
king of Allia, and born at, the same birth with Remus. His story 
has already been lold. As the founder of Rome his name \s immor- 
tal. Ills virtues were those of a military chieftain and adventurer 
ill a rude age. He is net undistinguished as a legislator, though his 
institutions had almost exclusively a warlike tendency. 

After a reign of 37 or 39 years, he was killed, as is supposed, by 
the senators. The fable, however, on this subject is, that as he was 
giving instructions to the senators, he disappeared from their sight — 
an eclipse of the sun, which happened at that time, being favourable 
to the rumor that he was taken up to heaven. The Romans paid 
liim divine honours under the name of Quirinus, and ranked him 
among the twelve great gods. 

2. Sappho was born in the island of Lesbos, about 600 years B. C 
She is celebrated for her poetical talents and beauty. Her tender 
attachments were extremely violent, and the conduct into which they 
betrayed her must be reprobated by every virtuous mind. She con- 
ceived such a passion for Phaon, a youth of Mytilene, that upon his 
refusal to reciprocate it, she threw herself into the sea from Mount 

She composed nine books in lyric vei'ses, besides epigrams, elegie^ 
&c. Of all these compositions nothing now remains but two frag- 
ments, one of which is preserved by Longinus ; though they were 
all extant in the age of Horace. Her poems were admired for their 
sublimity, sweetness, and elegance ; yet they were highly objection- 
able, it is .said, on account of their licentiousness. 

3. ^Esop flourished about 580 years B. C. Those entertaining and 
mstructive fables which he composed, have acquired for him a higlv 
reputation, and he is generally supposed to have been the inventor 
of that kind of writing. He was originally a slave, and had several 
masters, but procured his liberty by the charms of his genius. Fall- 
ing into the hands of an Athenian philosopher, he was enfranchised. 

He travelled over the greatest part of Greece and Egypt, but re- 
sided much at the court of Croesus, kmg of Lydia, by whom he was 
sent to consult the oracle of Delphi. In this commission ^Esop b^ 


haved himself with great severity, and sarcastically compared the 
Delphians to floatmcr sticks which appear large at a distance, but are 
nothing when brought near. 

The Delphians. offended with his caustic remarks, accused him of 
some act of sacrilege, and pretending to have proved it against him, 
threw him down from a rock. He is said to have been short and 
deformed in his person. 

4. Solon was born at Salamis and educated at Athens. After de- 
voting the early oart of his life to philosophical and political studies, 
he travelled over the greatest portion of Greece ; but was distressed 
with the dissentions that prevailed among his countrymen. 

Having, hoAvever. been elected archon and legislator of Athens, he 
made a reform in every department of the government. He institu- 
ted the Areopagus, regulated the Prytaneum, and his laws flourished 
iti full vigour above 400 years. He died, as some report, in Cj'prus, at 
the court of king Philocyprus, in his 80th year, about 558 B. C. 

5. Thales was born at Miletus, in Ionia. Like the rest of the an- 
cients, he travelled in quest of knowledge, and for some time resided 
m Crete, Phcenicia, and Egypt. Under the priests of Memphis he 
was taught geometry, astronomy, and philosophy, and enabled to 
measure with exactness, the height and extent of a pyramid, by its 

His discoveries in astronomy were great, and he was the first who 
calculated accurately a solar eclipse. Like Homer, he looked 
upon water as the principle of every thing. In founding the Ionic 
sect of pb*Jlosophy, which distinguished itself for deep and abstruse 
speculations, his name is memorable. 

He died in the 96th year of his age, about 548 years B. C. His 
compositions are lost. 

6. Cyrus subdued the eastern parts of Asia, and made war against 
CrcEsus, king of Lj^dia, whom he conquered, B. C. 548. He invaded 
the kingdom of Assyria, and took the city of Babylon, by drying the 
channels of the Euphrates, and marching his troops through the bed 
of this river, while the people were celebrating a grand festival. 

He afterwards marched against Tomyris, the queen of the Massa- 
getae, a Scythian nation, and was defeated in a bloody battle, B. C. 
1530. The victorious queen, who had lost her son in the previous 
encounter, was so incensed against Cyrus, that she cut off his head, 
and threw it into a vessel filled with human blood, exclaiming, '• Sa- 
tisfy thyself with blood, which thou hast so eagerly desired." 

According to Xcnophon, Cyrus possessed many excellent traits of 

7. Anacreon had a delicate wit, but he was certainly too fond of 
pleasure and wine. All that he wrote is not extant ; though his odes 
remain, and their sweetness, gayety, and elegance have been admi- 
red in every age. With " flowers, beauties, and perpetual graces," 
they hhve a hurtful moral tendency. 

He lived to his 85th year, and after every excess of pleasure and 
debauchery, choked himself with a grape stone, and expired. His 
statue was placed in the citadel of Athens, representing him as aa 

752—490 B. c. 7S 

old drunken man, singing, with every mark of dissipation and in- 

8. Pythiagoras was bom at Samos. In his 18th year he obtained 
the prize for wrestling at the Olympic games. He afterwards tra- 
velled in Egypt, Chalda^a, and llie east, and at length, in his 40th 
year, he retired to Crotona, in Magna Graecia. 

Here his universal knowledge gained him friends, admirers, and 
disciples, and a reformation took place in the morals of the people. 
The world is indebted to him for the demonstration of the 47th pro- 

f)Osition of Euclid, respecting the square of the hypotheu'use. By 
lis ingenious discoveries in astronomy he traced the true solar sys- 
tem. The time and place of his deatta are unknown. 


Tlie Period of Grecian Glory ^ exteiiding from the Battle 

of Marathon, 490 years B. C. to the birth of Alexatider, 

356 years B. C. 


I. The Greeks, soon after the expulsion of Hippias, the 
king of Athens, became involved in a war with Persia. Un- 
der Darius, the Persians invaded Greece, 496 years B. C. 
His first fleet was wrecked ; but a second of 600 sail, con- 
taining 500,000 men, ravaged the Grecian islands, and an 
immense army poured down on Attica. 

Miltiades, at the head of the Greeks, met the Persian hosts, 
and defeated them on the plain of Marathon. The Persians 
lost 6300 men in that battle, while the Greeks lost but 190. 
The Grecian force did not exceed 10,000 men. The date 
of this engagement is 490 years B. C. and one of the most 
important in its consequences that history records. 

§ Ambition and revenge in the breast of Darius, gave rise to his 
project of invading Greece. The Athenians had rendered assistance 
to the people of Ionia in attempting to throw off the Persian yoke, 
and had rav;iged Sardis, the capital of Lydia. Darius soon reducing 
the lonians to submission, turned his arms against the Greeks ; while 
the exile Hippias, basely seconded the plans of the Persian monarch. 

One expedition in a great measure failed ; and it was some time 
before another could be gathered and prepared to act, so that it was 
six years from the period in which the Persian invasion first com 
menced, to the battle of IMarathon. Previously to the descent on 
Attica, the Persians, under IMardonius, had attacked Thrace, Macedo- 
nia, and the neighbouring provinces. 

Marathon, where the Grecian and Persian forces met, was a small 
lowTi by the sea side. The Greeks were led by ten generals, each 


of whom was to command for one day by turns, and Miltiades was 
to take his turn as the others, although lie was cliief general. 

Aristides, (one of the ten,) had sense enough to see the evil of such 
a plan, and generosity to give up his honours, for the benefit of his 
country. When it was his day to command he resigned it to Miltia- 
des, because, as he said, " Miltiades is the best general." The other 
generals saw the propriety of this conduct, and resigned to their 
commander in like manner. 

Miltiades, liowever, thought it his duty not to act till his proper day 
came round, but he probably made the necessary preparation. TTie 
armies engaged in a fierce and obstinate battle. Themistocles, a 
brave man, and the compeer of Aristides, fought nobly by his side. 
From the skill with which Miltiades had placed his troops, as much 
s^ from the valour of those troops, the battle of Marathon was won 
by the Greeks. 

A soldier covered with the blood of the enemy ran to Athens with 
the news, and had just strength enough left to say, " Rejoice ! the 
victory is ours !" and tlien fell down dead, from his fatigue and 

Not long after this service rendered to his country, Miltiades, who 
at first was loaded with honours, died in prison, where he was thrust 
by the Athenians, because he could not pay a fine which they order- 
ed him to pay. On a false pretence of treachery to his coimtry, this 
great general had been condemned to death, and afterwards the sen- 
tence of death was changed to the paying of a fine. 

Greece, particularly Alliens, abounded with great men about this 
time. A little tale or two concerning Themistocles may be interest- 
ing here. At a time when he was great in power, he laughingly 
said, that " his son was greater than any man in Greece.*' " How te 
that ?" said a friend. " Why," replied Themistocles, " tlie Athenians 
govern Greece, I command the Athenians, his mother commands 
me, and this boy commands liis mother." 

Themistocles was an able general, and saved his country in one 
instance or more. But he was not an amiable man. Ambition was 
his god. Plutarch relates that after the battle of Marathon, in which 
Miltiades gained so glorious a victory, Themistocles was observed to 
court solitude, and indulge in a profound melancholy. 

Upon inquiry made of him respecting the cause of his mental de- 
jection, he replied, that " tlie trophies of Miltiades would not permit 
him to sleep." Indeed all his feelings and conduct showed how 
completely ambition had gotten the mastery over him, and howmuch, 
consequently, he wished to be master of Athens and of Greece. Yet 
under the ungrateful treatment, which he afterwards received from 
his countrymen, he \\'ould not betray the land that gave him birth, 
tliough he had an opportunity of doing it. 

2. On the death of Darius, Iiis son Xerxes prosecuted the 
war against Greece. Dining the early part of this war were 
fought the celebrated battles of Thermopyla' and Plata^a on land, 
and those of the straights of Salamis and Mycale on water. 

490— 35G B. c. 77 

The battles of Theimopylae and Sulamis took place 480 
years B. C. ; and those of Plataea ar'^a Mycale, 479. Leoni- 
das, Themistocles, Aristides, Pausanias, and several others, 
distingiiislied tlioniselvcs in the defence of Greece, and ac- 
(juired lastinj^ renown by tlieir achievements. 

Xerxes brought over with him 2,000,000 of fighting men, 
besides vast numbers of women and domestics— =-the largest 
army and assemblage of persons recorded in history. This 
innnense force was eirectually resisted, during two days, at 
the pass of Thermopylae, by (3000 Greeks. 

Their valour, though it could not finally arrest the progress 
of the Persians, cost the latter the lives of 20,000 warriors. 
Athens vvas soon reached, which the Persians pillaged and 
burnt. The women and children, however, had been pre- 
viously conveyed to a place of safety, and tlie men betook 
themselves to their fleet. 

§ Xerxes was a vain mortal. He ordered a passage to be cut 
through tlie liigli mountain of Athos, in Macedonia, and thus a canal 
was made for his ships. He is said to have written a letter to 
Mount Athos, in A\liich he " commanded it not to put stones in the 
way of his workmen, or he would cut it down and tlu-ow it into the 
sea," and he ordered tlie labourers to be chastised to make them work 

When he saw, from a high hill, the plain covered with his soldiers, 
and the sea with his ships, he at first, in the pride of his heart, called 
himself the most favoured of mortals ; but when he reflected, that in 
a hundred years, not one of the many thousands whom he beheld 
would be alive, ho burst into tears at the instability of all human 

Almost all the small cities of Greece submitted to the Persian king 
when he sent to them, as vvas the custom, for earth and water; 
which was the same as to ask them, whether they would receive 
him as their conqueror. Sparta and Athens, with the small towns 
of Thespia and Plata;a, akmc refused to receive the heralds and to 
send the token of homage. 

Every thing gave way before the march of Xerxes, until he came 
to tiie pass of Tliermopyla;. On this spot Leonidas, one of the two 
reigning kings of Sparta, with his 6000 of bravo soldiers, awaited his 
coming. Xerxes, after a weak attempt to corrupt him, imperiously 
summoned him to give up liis arms. "Let him come and lake 
them," was the short answer of tliis true native of Laconia. 

The bravest of the Persian troops were ordered out against Leoni- 
das, but they were always driven back with disgrace. At last a 
wretch went and informed the king of a secret path, by which he 
could mount an eminence wliich overlooked the Grecian camp. 
The Persians gained this advantageous post during the darkness of 



the night, and the next morning the Greeks discovered that they had 
been betrayed. 

Leonidas knew tliat it was in vain to expect his small army could 
conquer the endless forces of Xerxes ; he therefore sent away his 
allies, and kept with him only his 300 Lacedaemonians. He had been 
told by the oracle that either Sparta or her king must perish, and he 
longed to die for the good of his country. 

Xerxes marched his vast army against this heroic little band. Leo- 
nidas fell among tlie first, bravely fighting, and covered with wounds. 
Of the 300 heroes, only one escaped to bear to Sparta the news that 
her valiant warriors had died in her defence. 

Xerxes having arrived at Athens, found it desolate and deserted. 
He burnt down its citadel, and sent away its finest pictures and 
statues to Susa, the capital of Persia. The Athenians having man- 
ned their fleet, soon attacked that of the Persians, and put it to flight 
after a very short, but severe engagement. Themistocles command- 
ed on this occasion. 

The Persian king had seated himself on a high mountain, that he 
might see his Persians overcome the Greeks, but when he saw the 
issue of the battle, so contrary to his expectations, he hastened with 
a part of his army across the Hellespont. 

A second overthrow awaited his army by land ; for IVIardonius, 
his general, at the head of 300,000 Persians, was defeated with im- 
mense slaughter, at Plataea, by the combined army of Athenians and 
Lacedaemonians, amounting to a httle over 100,000 men, led by Pau- 
sanias and Aristides. 

On the same day with this battle, the Greeks engaged and destroy- 
ed the remains of the Persian fleet at Mycale. Thus gloriously to 
the Greeks, ended the celebrated expedition of Xerxes against Greece. 

3. From the time of the battles of Plataea and Salamis, the 
ambitious schemes of Xerxes were at an end. He left Greece 
suddenly, and his inglorious life was soon after terminated 
by assassination. The military glory of the Greeks was now 
at its height. They were for the most part united in oppo- 
sing the common enemy. Their danger was the cause of 
their union, aud their union was the cause of their prosperity. 

4. About 10 years after the return of Xerxes into Asia 
with a part of his forces, Cimon, son of Miltiades, expelling 
the Persians from Thrace, destroyed the Persian fleet at the 
mouth of the river Eurymedon, and landing his troops, sig- 
nally defeated their army the same da}^ 

Some years afterwards he destroyed a Persian fleet of 300 
sail ; and landing in Cilicia, completed his triumph by de- 
feating 300,000 Persians under Megabyzes, 460 years 13. C. 
Artaxerxes, who had succeeded his father Xerxes, soon sued 
for peace. The terms were higlily honourable to the Greeks. 

490—356 B. c. 79 

{ The prosperity and military glory of the Greeks contimied 50 
years ; after wliich, upon the return of the peace with Persia, the 
martial and llio patriotic spirit heijan visit)ly to decline in Athen^s. 
Still, as will soon ajipear, tlie following age, called the age of Pericles, 
was an era of t!ie higliest splendour, so far as literature, taste, and 
tlie fine arts were concerned. 

Cinion M'as as renowned as his father Milliades. lie was joined 
with Aristides at one time in the comniand of tlie Athenians; yet, 
notwithstanding tlie important services which they rendered to their 
country, they were both punished by the ostracism,* and scarcely 
with any pretext. 

Before Cimon was banished, besides the victories he gained for 
Athens, he had greatly improved the city; he planted groves and 
shady walks ; he erected fine places for exercise and public speak- 
ing. The celebrated tragic poets, iEschylus and Sophocles were 
wont to recite their pieces before him. Cimon was not less devoted 
to his ungrateful countrymen after his return from banishment. His 
victories procured the peace above mentioned. In it, he stipulated 
for the freedom of all the Grecian cities of Asia. 

Of Aristides, who was called " the just," many interesting anec- 
dotes are recorded, but we have room for oidy two. 

Once when he was carrying a prosecution against his enemy, and 
sentence was about to be pronounced, before the accused had spoken, 
Aristides entreated that the man might be heard in his defence, and 
even helped him to make it. 

On another occasion, when he was judge, a trial came before him, 
in which one of the parties thouglit to irritate him against the other, 
by declaring tliat the other had said and done many injurious things 
against Aristides. " Do not talk about tliat," said Aristides, " tell 
me only what harm he has dorie to thee, it is thy cause I am judg- 

5. The authority in Athens became for a time divided be- 
tween Cimon and Pericle?. In a few years, however, Peri- 
cles stood at the head of the Athenian republic. His will had 
almost the force of law. He adorned Athens with the most 
magnificent structures, and rendered it the scat of learning, 
taste, and the fine arts. He laboured, however, under the re- 
proach of ha\'ing corrupted the manners of the people, by hi3 

Under his administration commenced the Lacedeemonian 
war, 431 years B. C, which lasted 28 years. He died three 
years after its commencement, and was succeeded in tlie 
government of Athens by Alcibiades, who ran a similar 
course, though with less integrity. Alcibiades repeatedly ex- 

•See " General Viewa." 


perienced the ingratitude of his countrymen — a conduct which 
ne eagerly retahated. 

The Lacedtemonian war ended in the humiliation and 
submission of Athens. The Athenians agreed to demolish 
their port, to limit their fleet to 12 ships, and to undertake for 
the future, no enterprise in war, but under the command of 
the Spartans, 405 year B. C. I.ysander, the Spartan com- 
mander, signalized himself in this war. 

§ Pericles was remarkable for the dignity of his manners, and the 
elegance of his speech. For 40 years he secured an unbounded au- 
thority. Athens, at this time, Avas considered as in its highest state 
of refinement and knowledge, and with Sparta, ranked as the first of 
the cities of Greece. 

When some persons complained that Pericles spent too much of 
the public money in beautifying the city, he M'ent into the assembly of 
the people, and asked, " whether, indeed, they thought him extrava- 
gant?" The people said, "yes." "Then place the expense at my 
charge instead of }'ours," answered Pericles, " only let the new build- 
ings be m.arked with my name instead of yours." 

The people were either so pleased with the spirit of his reply, or were 
po jealous of the fame which Pericles might acquire, that they cried 
out, " he might spend as much as he pleased of the public treasures." 

At a critical time in the Peloponnesian war, Pericles Avas taken 
off in consequence of the ravages of a terrible plague which then 
aflflicted Athens. That plague was one of the most malignant and 
fatal which history relates to us. 

Beginning in Ethiopia, it swept over several countries in its course, 
and finally rested in Athens. It surpassed the efforts of the medicaJ 
art to cure it. Few or no constitutions could withstand its attacks. 
The nature of the disease was such that it threw its victim into a 
sort of despair, so that he was disabled from seeking or applying 

It was dangerous for friends to offer their assiotance to the diseas- 
ed ; and the situation of the Athenians was such, in consequence of 
being shut up by an invading army, that the malignity of the pesti- 
lence was greatly increased. They fell down dead upon one another 
as they passed along the streets, and the dead and the dying were 
mingled together in the utmost confusion. 

In this complication of distress, Pericles displayed a great soul. 
He was able to inspire courage into the drooping hearts of his coun 
trymen ; but after some fresh plans of conquest adopted during a 
mitigation of the pestilence, he was himself cut off by the plague, 
which had broken out anew. 

On his death bed his friends attempted to console him, by recount- 
ing his glorious deeds, particularly his military successes, and the 
montiments he erected to commemorate them. " Ah," exclaimed the 
dying statesman and hero, " you have forgotten the most valuabla 
part of my character, and now the most pleasant to my mind— tliat 

490—356 B. c. SI 

none of my fellow-citizens have been compelled, through any act 
of mine, to put on a mourning robe." 

Tiie occasion of the Lacedaemonian war was as follows: — Corinth 
having been included in the last made treaty between Athens and 
Sparta, tlie Corinthians in waging war with the people of CorcyrSj 
an ancient colony of tlieir own, solicited the aid of Atlicns, as did 
also the people of Corcyra. 

'Hie AthenLans took tlic part of the latter— a measure which ex- 
ceedingly displeased the Corintliians, and was considered as viola- 
ting their treaty witli Sparta. On tliis ground war was declared be- 
tween Atliens and Laced^emon, each being supported by its respec- 
tive allies. This war distracted and enfeebled Greece. 

Alcibiades, who bore a conspicuous part in it on the Athenian 
side, during the interval of a truce with Sparta, persuaded his coun- 
trymen to try the conquest of Sicily, and was sent as the general of 
the troops. When he was gone, his enemies raised an accusation 
against him, and tJic fickle people directed him immediately to re- 

Alcibiades, fearing to return whilst tlie Athenians were so incens- 
ed against him, fled away secretl}'', and when he was told that for 
his disobedience, all his property was confiscated, and that he him- 
self was condemned to death, " I will show them that I am alive," 
he exclaimed. 

He first fled to Argos, and next to Sparta, where he gained all 
hearts by conforming to their plain dress and simple food. But the 
king of Sparta perceiving that Alcibiades aflfected to appear what he 
was not, was by no means backward to disapprove liim, which in- 
duced the Athenian to quit Sparta, and seek protection in Persia. 

Athens was now governed by a council of 400, and the tyranny of 
these was so great, that Alcibiades was sent for to assist in restoring 
the liberty of tlie people. The Spartans, with some vessels, were 
watching the cit\', to take advantage of the confusion tliat prevailed. 
Alcibiades, with tlie small fleet he had collected at Samos, attacked 
the Spartans, destroyed their ships, and soon after entered Athens 
in triumph. 

The Athenians being again displeased with Alcibiades, he left tlie 
city to avoid their displeasure. He at length retired to live in a 
small village in Phrygia, with a woman called Timandra. The 
Spartans persuaded the Persians to destroy him. 

Accordingly, a party of soldiers went to his house, and fearing his 
known courage, dared not to enter it, but set fire to the building. 
Alcibiades rushed out, and the barbarians from a distance (for they 
feared to approach him) killed him with darts and arrows. Timan- 
dra buried the corpse decently, and was the only mourner of thia 
once powerful man. 

The defeat of the Athenian fleet at .Egos Potamos, by Lysander, 
was the means of bringing the tedious Lacedaemonian war to a close. 
The taking and plundering of Athens were the consequence of it 
Having gained possession of the city, Lysander buint down the 
houses and demolished the walls. It was said that hi was so cruel u3 


to add insult to misfortune, by ordering music to be played whilst 
tlie walls were destroyed. 

G. Ly Sander, after the redaction of Athens, abolished the 
popular form of government in that state, and saibstituted that 
of the thiity tyrants, which was absolute. Many of the dis- 
tinguished citizens tied from their country ; but T.'hrasybulus, 
aided by a body of patriots, expelled the usurpers, and once 
more re-established the government of the people, 403 years 
B. C. 

§ The thirty tyrants were as many Lacedsemonian captains, to 
whom the government of tlie Atlienians Avas delegated by Lysander. 
They held their authority but tliree years. To Lysander, history 
ascribes the first great breach of his country's constitution, bj'' the 
introduction of gold into that republic. 

7. The persecution and death of Socrates, the philosopher, 
took place about this time, (401 years B. C.) This transac- 
tion has thrown a dark stain on the Athenian character. 
He was destroyed contrary to every principle of reason and 

§ Socrates was the friend and tutor of Alcibiades. The sophists, 
whose manner of reasoning he turned into ridicule, represented him 
as an enemy to the religion of his country, because, without con- 
forming to the popular superstitions, he led the mind to a knowledge 
of the Deity, the Creator of the universe ; and to the belief of a fu- 
ture state of reAvards and punishments. 

Ife made a noble and manly defence, in all the consciousness of 
innocence ; but in vain. He was condemned to die by his inimical 
judges. One of his disciples lamenting before him that he sliould 
die innocent, " Would you have me die guilty ?" replied Socrates, 
with a smile. 

The juice of hemlock, or something resembling hemlock, a liqiior 
which was said to cause death, by its coldness, was administered to 
the philosopher. He continued calmly conversing witla his friends, 
to the last moment of his life. 

S. In the same year with the death of Socrates, occurred 
the celebrated retreat of 10,000 Greeks, under Xcnophon, 
from Babylon to the banks of the Euxine. This is considered 
the most remarkable retreat on record. It was accomplished 
in a few months, the soldiers traversing a hostile country of 
1 (jOO miles in extent, amidst incredible hardships and dangers. 
They lost only 1500 men. 

§ The Greeks came into the situation above mentioned, in conse- 
quence of assisting Cyrus, a younger brother of Artaxerxes Mnemon, 
\ in his attempt to dethrone the latter. Cyrus failed in the attempt, 
\ in a battle near Babylon, and lost his life. The Greeks, v.'ho amount- 
ed to 13,000 at first, were reduced to 10,000, and in this situation 


490—356 B. c. 82 

were under tlie necessity either of submitting to the enemy, or of 
making good their retreat. 

The latter they both chose and accomplished. The Greeks were 
led by Clearckus on this expedition, but he having trusted himself 
among the Persians, was basely delivered up to the king, by whosp 
order he was beheaded. In this exigency they elected Xenof)Vion, a 
young Athenian, as their commander, under whom they were to 
effect their retreat. 

They observed the greatest order and discipline ; and though in 
the midst of vindictive enemies, and with deserts, hills, mountains, 
rivers, and even the sea before them, they arrived with an inconsi 
derable loss, at the banks of the Euxine. Xenophon himself has 
written an admirable account of this retreat. 

Tlie Greek cities of Asia having taken a part in this enterprise of 
the Greeks, Sparta was engaged to defend her countrymen, and 
consequently was involved in a war with Persia. The disunion of 
the Grecian states, and especially the hostility of Athens against 
Sparta, rendered the war disastrous to the Spartans ; who, to avoid 
destruction, sued for peace, and obtained it, by the sacrifice of all her 
Asiatic colonies, 387 years B. C. 

9. Among the Grecian states, Thebes became particularly 
distinguished during the latter part of the present period. 
It had been comparatively obscure before. The Thebans 
contending among themselves, the Spartans interfered in the 
contention, and seized on the Theban fortress. This mea- 
sure brought on a war between Sparta and Thebes. 

Athens at first united with Thebes, but at length Thebes 
stood alone against Sparta and the league of Greece. Pe- 
lopidas and Epaminondas were the Theban leaders, who 
greatly distinguished themselves in this war. The celebra- 
ted battles of Leuctra and Mantinea were gained by the The- 
bans over their enemies, the one 371 years B. C., and the 
other S years afterwards. In the latter engagement, the great 
Epaminondas was slain. 

The ravages of this contention among the Grecian states, 
may be said to have paved the way for their entire subjugation 
by a foreign pow-er. 

§ The fortress at Thebes, which the Spartans had seized, was kept 
by the latter during four years, but the angry and deceived Thehans 
took their revenge. A party of them, headed by Pelopidas, putting 
on women's clothes over their armour, entered among the Lacedae- 
monians, at a feast given to them, and cut their principal otficers to 

Archias, the chief Spartan, had that very day received a letter from 
Athens to inform him of the whole plot, but he had very improperly 
thrown aside the letter without looking into it, saying, " business to- 
morrow." He was the first man killed, and thus lost his life for a 


neglect of his duty, in suffering the pleasure he enjoyed in the com- 
panj'^ of his friends, to make him forget the interests of his country. 

Epaminondas, the friend of Pelopidas, who had acted with the lat- 
ter, was, upon the expulsion of the Spartans from the citadel, called 
from a quiet and private life to become the general of the Theban 
army. He was as much celebrated for his wisdom and virtue, as for 
his bravery. Of all the excellencies of his character, he gained the 
most respect for his strict regard to truth, as he was never known to 
be guilty of a falsehood. In the battle of Leuclra, the Theban army 
was much smaller than that of Sparta ; but the skill of their general^ 
in disposing the force to the best advantage, and the valour of the sol- 
diers and officers, more than made up for the difference in numbers. 
Besides, the Thebans were fighting for their liberty ; the Spartans 
only for conquest. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that the 
Thebans prevailed. 

Pelopidas shared the danger and the glory of his friend ; yet when 
these valiant generals returned to Thebes, they were both called be- 
fore the tribunal of justice for the crime of keeping their command 
too long. Both were acquitted ; yet the enemies of Epaminondas 
caused him to be elected a city scavenger, on purpose to disgrace and 
vex him. But what might have been a disgrace to a mean person, 
was no disgrace to this noble Theban. He accepted the office, saying, 
"If the office will not give me honour, I will give honour to the office." 

Epaminondas fell in the battle of Mantinea, and in the moment of 
victory. A javelin had pierced his bosom, and becoming disabled, a 
fierce contest arose between his foes and friends for the possession of 
his person. The Thebans at length bore him from the field. Epa- 
minondas, though in extreme agony from his wound, thought only 
of his country ; and when informed that the Thebans had conquered, 
he said, " then all is well." 

He drew the weapon from his bosom, as no one around him had the 
fortitude to do it, it being miderstood, from the nature of the wound, 
he would expire as soon as it was extricated. The glory of Thebes 
rose with this man, and with him it expired. 


10. In the history of Rome, during this period, we may 
observe an additional change in its constitution of govern- 
ment. It became, in effect, a democracy 471 years B. C. 
The supreme authority passed from the higher order, into 
the hands of the people. The popular character of the go- 
vernment had been theoretically established before, but it be- 
came now practically democratic. 

§ This change Avas completed by Volero, a Roman tribune, who 
obtained a law for the election of magistrates, in the comitia held by 
the tribes. Before this time, the comitia, by centuries and by curiae, 
could not be called but in virtue of a decree of the senate, after consult- 
ing the auspices, and in those comitia the tribunes had been hitherto 
elected. In the comitia held by tribes these restrauits were miknown 

490—356 B. c. 85 

11. Soon aftcnvards, (450 B. C.) upon the invasion of the 
/Equi and Yolsci, the Romans liad lecaurse to the despotic 
measure of choosing a (hctator. Quinctius Cincinnatus was 
appointed. He was called from tlie plough to this office. 
After having rescued a Roman army from destruction, de- 
feated a powerful enemy, and rendered other signal servicea 
to his country, he hastened to resign his power at the end of 
16 days, though he might have held it 6 months, the term for 
which dictators were appointed. 

§ Cincinnatus was fixed upon as the wisest and bravest man be- 
longing to the commonwealth. lie cultivated a small form of four 
acres with his own hands. The deputies of the senate found him 
following his plough in one of his little fields. They begged him 
to put on his gown, and hear the message from the senate. 

Cinciiuiatus anxiously asked, "if all was well '?" and then desired 
his wife Racilia to fetch his gown from their cottage. After wiping 
offthednst and dirt with which he was covered, lie put on his robe 
and went to the deputies. They saluted him dictator, and bid him 
hasten to the city, which was in the greatest peril. 

A handsome barge had been sent to carry him over the river, for his 
farm lay on the opposite side of the Tiber. His three sons, with his 
friends, and several of the senators, were ready to receive him when 
he landed at Rome, and to carry him in a pompous procession to the 
house prepared for him. 

The very next morning he began to fortify the city, and marshal 
the soldiers for battle ; and he very soon gained a great victory, and 
made the officers of the enemy pass under the yoke. His administra- 
tion was entirely satisfactory to all parties, though the times were ex- 
tremely turbulent. He most probably saved Rome from destruction, 
by his wisdom and valour. 

He was chosen dictator on another emergency, many years after- 
wards, in his 80th year, and then also acted with vigour and wisdom. 

12. In 451 years B. C. ten persons who were called the 
Decemviri, were elected to frame a code of laws, and were 
invested with ahsolute power for one year, during which all 
other magistrates were suspended. They afterwards caused 
their laws to be engraven on 12 tables, and placed in the most 
conspicuous part of tlie city. 

These laws were long preserved and acted upon, and are 
to this day respected in some parts of Europe. They how- 
ever manifested the stern spirit of the people, and like those 
of Draco, might be said to be written in blood. Nine crimes* 

* Parricide v/as very properly included as one of those crimes. But to the 
honour of the Romans it sliould be observed, tiirit this crime was not knowTi to 
becommittcd during- more than GOOyearsfrom the building of the city ]_,. Qg. 
tiufl was the ftrst parricide. 



of very different complexions were punishable with death, one 
of which was nightly meetings. 

§ The Romans had no code of laws until that which was formed and 
digested by the decemviri. The number of the laws was increased 
from time to lime by the senate and people. Each decemvir, by turn, 
presided for a day, and had the authority, with its insignia, 
the fasces. The nine others acted solely as judges in the determina- 
tion of law-suits, and the correction of abuses. 

Their government lasted only three years. Its dissolution was 
highly tragical. Appius Claudius, one of the ten, fell in love with the 
beautiful Virginia; she was engaged to marry Icilius, formerly a tri- 
bune of the people, and would not therefore listen to the proposals 
of Appius. 

He therefore, to get possession of the lovely virgin, procured a 
dependant to claim her as his slave. The claim was made to Appiuji 
himself, Avho pronounced an infamous decree, by which she was de- 
clared to be the property of this profligate minion of his own. 

Virginius, her father, who was falsely sworn to have stolen hei 
from the dependant of Appius, was at a distance with the army 
Intelligence, however, by means of IciJius, was conveyed to him re- 
specting the transactions in the city, and he returned with all imagi- 
nable speed. 

Finding, notwithstanding his true and simple tale that Virginia 
was his daughter, that he could not preserve her from the licentious 
decemvir, he now begged to give her his parting embrace. His re- 
CjUest was granted. He clasped his child in his arms, while she clung 
round his neck, and wet his cheeks with her tears. 

As Virginius was tenderly kissing her, before he raised his head, he 
suddenly plunged a dagger into her bosom, saying, " Oh ! my child, 
by this means only can I give thee freedom." He then held up the 
bloody instrument to the now pale and frighted Claudius, exclaim- 
ing, " By this innocent blood, Appius, I devote thy head to the infer- 
nal gods." 

All was now horror and confusion. Icilius showed the dead body 
lo the people and roused their fury. Virginius hasted to the camp 
bearing with him the dagger reeking with his daughter's blood; and 
instantly the camp was in an uproar. The power of the decemviri 
and the senators could not still the tumult. 

Appius would have been torn to pieces at once, but he found the 
means of escape and vohmtary death. Public tranquillity was at 
length restored, by the consent of the senate to abolish the decemviri. 
The consuls were now restored, together with the tribunes of the peo- 
ple, 499 years B. C. 

13. A law for the intermarriage of the patricians and pie 
beians at Rome was passed 445 years B. C. In the same 
year military tribunes were created. These were in lieu of 
the consuls : they were six in number, three patricians and 
three plebeians. The consuls, however, were soon restored. 

Coriolanus, meeting his mother, tvife, ^c. P. 64. 

Virginius threatening the Tribune. P- Sf' 

490-^356 B. c. 87 

In 437 years B. C. was established the office of censors, 
whose duty it was to make the census of the people every 
five years. 

§ Tlie people, in their desire for still more power, endeavoured to 
break down the only two barriers that separated the patricians from 
tiiemsclves. Tliese were, one, the law which prevented their inter- 
marriage ; and the other, tlie constitutional limitation of all the highei 
offices to the patrician order. 

Tlie first point, after a long contest, was conceded— the other was 
partially evaded. The senate sought a palliative in the creation of 
the military tribunes above mentioned. This measure satisfied the 
people for a time. 

The new magistracy of the censors was highly important. In 
addition to making the census, it was incumbent on the censors to 
inspect the morals and regulate the duties of the citizens. It became, 
in after times, the function only of consular persons, and after them, 
of the emperors. 

14. The dissentions between the different orders of the 
people, raged with violence ; but the senate, not long after 
their concession to the people, adopted for themselves a very 
wise expedient. This was to give a regular pay to the troops, 
an expense defrayed by a moderate tax on the citizens. 
From this period soldiers were to be obtained, and the senate 
had the army under its. control. Roman ambition now be- 
came systematic, and irresistible. 

15. Veil, the rival of Rome, was besieged by the Romans, 
and after a siege of ten years, was taken by Camillus, 391 
years B. C. Two years after, Falerii, the capital of the Fa- 
lisci, surrendered to the same general. The dominion of 
Rome, confined hitherto to a territory of a few miles, was 
now rapidly extend^-d. 

§ The siege of Vcii was attended with much expense of blood and 
treasure to the Komans. They nearly despaired of taking it; but 
upon the appointment of Camillus dictator, things soon assumed a 
different aspect. lie secretly wrought a mine into the city, which 
opened into the midst of tlie capital. 

Then giving his men directions how to enter the bread), the city 
was instantly filled with his legions, to the utter confusion of the be- 
sieged. Tims, like a second Troy, was Veil taken after a ten years' 
siege, and Camillus, according to the manner of the Roman kings, 
enjoyed the honour of a triuniiiph. 

It is related, that during the attack of Falerii, a schoolmaster be- 
trayed into the Imuds of Camillus all his scholars, expecting to obtain 
a handsome reward for his treachery. The boys happened to be 
the sons of the principal Falisci, and the Roman general was given 


to understand, that they would probably deliver up their city to re- 
cover their children. 

The noble Roman, shocked at this perfidious action, sent back the 
boys in safety to their parents, and giving each of them a rod, bade 
them whip the traitor into town. This generous behaviour of 
Camillus accomplished more than his arms could have done. The 
place instantly submitted, leaving to the Roman the conditions of the 
surrender, which were of course very mild. 

The brave Camillus, becoming at length an object of envy or 
jealousy with the people, he was obliged to quit Rome, and live at 
Ardea, a town in its neighborhood, butthe}^ had reason afterwards to 
be ashamed of their injustice. 

16. Soon after the!?e successes, Rome experienced a terrible 
calamity. It was taken, devastated, and burnt by tlie Gauls, 
under Brennus, 385 years B. C. The capitol, however, was 
preserved. This the barbarians besieged, but they were soon 
expelled the city by Camillus. 

§ The Gauls were a branch of the great Celtic nation, and inha- 
bited regions beyond the Alps. These they had penetrated at ditfer- 
eiA periods, and a portion of this people had already settled in small 
towns at the foot of the mountains. This people, it seems, on some 
occasion, had undertaken the siege of Clusium, a city of Etruria. 
The Clusians, who were not of a warlike character, immediately en 
treated the mediation of the Romans. 

The latter sent ambassadors to Brennus, but without success. 
These ambassadors then retired to Clusium, where they appeared at 
the head of the Clusians in a sally against the besiegers. Upon this, 
Brennus, in great displeasure, marched directly against Rome. 

In this condition, an army was drawn out to save the city ; but the 
numbers and impetuosity of the barbarians were such, that no ef- 
fectual resistance was made. Tlie greatest part of tlie citizens fled 
for protection to the neighbouring cities ; the young and brave men 
entered into the capitol, resolved to hold out to the last against the 
enemy ; and the aged senators assembled in the senate-house, deter 
mined patiently to await their fate. 

Soon after they entered the citj^, Brennus, and some of his soldiers, 
went into the senate-house. The venerable appearance of these no- 
ble old men rendered the Gauls afraid or unwilling to harm them. 
A soldier at last gently shaking the beard of Papyrius, the old Roman 
was so offended at tlie act, that he struck the man on his head with 
an ivory staff he had in his hand : this slight blow instantly aroused 
the fury of the barbarians ; they massacred tlie senators on the spot, 
and set fire to the city. 

In this season of distress, the Romans did not give up all for lost. 
The little band, shut up in the capitol, made every possible arrange- 
ment for defence. Tliey were assauUrd in vain. At tliis juncture, 
Camillus, forgetting all liis private wrongs, gathered an army, with 
which he entered Rome, and immediately put the barbarians to 

490—350 B. c. 89 

A singular occurrence, showing the providence of God in the go- 
vernment of tlie world, attended the siege of Rome. 

The Capitol was at one time nearly taken by surprise : a number 
of Gauls having climbed up the steep rock on whicli it stood, were about 
to kill the sentinels and make tliemselves masters of the place, when 
some geese, kept near the spot, being awakened by tlie noise, began 
to flutter their wings, and cackle loudly, so as to arouse the soldiers. 
This little circumstance saved the capitol, and perhaps the Roman 
name from extinction. 

17. The constitution of Rome was still farther altered 
about this time, 367 years B. C. The plebeians obtained the 
right of having one of the two constils chosen from among 
them. The mililaiy tribunes were abolished the next year. 
V^'om this period the Roman pov\^er began rapidly to rise. 

§ The vanity and ambition of a young woman produced this change 
m the government of Rome. Fabius Ambustius, a patrician, had 
married two daughters, one to a plebeian, and the other to a patrician. 
The wife of tlie plebeian, envious of the honours of her sister, pined 
with discontent. 

Her father and brother, learning the cause of her unhappinesa. 
promised her the distinction which she desired. By their joint en- 
deavours, after much tumult and contest, they succeeded in obtain 
ing for the plebeians the right of admission into the consulate. Lu- 
cius Sextius was the first plebeian consul. The husband of the ple- 
beian lady, viz. Licinius Stolo, was the second. 


18. The kingdom of Egypt, which had been conquered by 
Cambyses, king of Persia, was, tmder Darius Nothiis, a dis- 
tant successor, restored by Amyrtha^iis, 413 years B. C. It 
continued independent for 60 years, under eight kings. 

At the expiration of this term it was subjected again to the 
Persian yoke, by Artaxerxes Ochus. 

§ No very interesting particulars occur in this portion of the Egyp- 
tian historj^ It is necessary only to observe, that it was by means 
of aid afforded to them by tlie Greeks, that the Egyptians, after they 
had revolted, under Amyrthajus, were enabled to withstand the Per- 
sian force which sought to reconquer them. It was under a king 
called Nectanebis that Egypt again lost her independence. 


19. The history of the Persian empire, during this period, 
is mostly involved in that of the Greeks, with whom tlie for- 
mer was so frequently at war. Darius, Xerxes, and Arta- 
xerxes II. as we have seen, were, during most of their lives, 
engaged in this war. Concerning the rest of the Persism 
sovereigns, there is Uttle interesting to be communicated. 



§ Artaxerxes I. we are told, killed his brother Darius, being de- 
ceived by Artabaniis, who imputed the murder of Xerxes to that 
prince: but upon being acquainted with the truth, he put Artabanua 
and all his family to death. During his reign the Egyptians at- 
tempted to shake off his yoke, but were soon obliged to submit. 

Xerxes II. was assassinated by his brother, Sogdianus, 45 days af- 
ter he ascended to the throne. Sogdianus, who assumed the govern- 
ment, enjoyed the fruits of his fratricide only six months and a 
half, when he was smothered in ashes, (a mode of torture invented 
on this occasion, and afterwards inflicted on great criminals,) by or- 
der of his brother Ochus, who took the name of Darius Nothus. 

Darius Nothus was a weak prince, in whose reign it was that the 
Egyptians recovered tlieir independence. Artaxerxes II. succeeded 
him, who was surnamed Mncmon, by the Greeks, on account of his 
prodigious memory. He killed his brother Cyrus, who had taken 
arms against him, in single battle. Tlie 10,000 Greeks who retreat- 
ed under Xenophon, served in the army of this Cyrus. 

Ochus succeeded him, who poisoned his brother, and murdered all 
the princes of the royal family. He invaded Egypt, plundered the 
temples, and killed the priests. But his chief minister, enraged at 
tlie ruin of his country, poisoned him. 


20. The king-dom of Macedon, which was governed, dur- 
ing several hundred years, by the descendants of Caranus, 
was comparatively unknown till the time of Philip, who was 
also a descendant of Caranus. Philip soon gave it celebrity. 
Previously to the ])irth of his son Alexander, he had con ■ 
quered Thessaly, Peeonia, and lUyricum. He liad also gain* 
ed a victory over the Athenians, at Mythone, 360 years B. C. 

§ Philip ascended the throne by popular choice, in violation of the 
natural right of tlie nearer heirs to the crown ; he secured his power 
by the success of his arms against the neighbouring nations. He was 
brave, artful, and accomplished, and by his intrigues gained over, at 
an early period of his career, many Greeks to favour his interests. 

Inhis war against theunited P?eonians, Illyrians, &c. hemetAvith sin- 
gularly good fortune. Parmenio, his general, Avas sent against the 
Illyrians, and he himself marched an army intoPffionia and Thrace, 
where he was signally successful. On his return, a messenger ar- 
rived with news of Parmenio's victory ; and soon after came another, 
informing him that his horses had been victorious at the Olympic 

This was a victory that he esteemed preferable to any other. Al- 
most at the same time came a third messenger, who acquainted him 
that his wife, Olympias, had brought fortli a son, at Pol la. Philip, 
terrified at so signal aluippiness, which the heathens generally con- 
sidered as a bad omen, exclaimed, " Great Jupiter, in return for so 
many blessings, send me a slight misfortune." 

490—356 B. c. 91 

Distinguished Characters in Period VII. 

1. Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher. 

2. Herodotus, a Greek, the father of profane history. 

3. Pindar, the chief of the Grecian lyric poets. 

4. Phidias, a Greek, the most famous sculptor of antiquity. 
6. Euripides, an eminent tragic poet of Greece. 

6. Sophocles, an eminent tragic poet of Greece. 

7. Socrates, the greatest of heathen moralists. 

8. Thucydides, an eminent Greek historian. 

9. Hippocrates, the father of medicine. 

10. Xenophon, a celebrated general, historian, and philo 

§ 1. Confucius was born in the kingdom of Lt\, which is now t)ie 
province of Chan Long, 551 years B. C. He was a man of great 
knowledge and extensive wisdom, was beloved on account of his vir- 
tues — rendered great service to his country by his moral maxims, 
and possessed much influence even with kings, as well as with his 
countrymen in general. He died in the 73d year of his age. 

2. Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus. His history describes 
the wars of the Greeks against the Persians, from tlie age of Cyrus 
to the battle of Mj^ale. This he publicly repeated at tiie Olympic 
games, when the names of the Muses were given to his nine books. 

This celebrated work, which has procured its author tlie title of 
father of history, is written in the Ionic dialect. Herodotus is among 
the historians, wluit Homer is among the poets. His style abounds 
with elegance, ease, and sweetness. He also wrote a history of As- 
syria and Arabia, but this is not extant. 

3. Pindar was a native of Theljes. His compositions were courted 
by statesmen and princes, and his hymns were repeated in the tem- 
ples, at the celebration of the festivals. Some of his odes are extant, 
greatly admired for grandeur of expression, magnificence of style, 
boldness of mctay>hors, and harmony of numbers. 

Horace calls him inimitable ; and this eulogium is probably not 
undeserved. After his death, his statue was erected at Thebes, in the 
public place where the games were exhibited, and six centuries after- 
wards it was viewed with pleasure and admiration by the geogra- 
pher Pausanias. He died B. C. 435, at the age, as some say, of 86. 

4. Phidias Avas an Athenian. He died B. C. 432. His statue of 
Jupiter Olympius passed for one of the wonders of the world. That 
of IMincrva, in the Pantheon of Athens, measured 39 feet in height, 
and was made of gold and ivory. 

5. Euripides was born at Salamis. He was the rival of Sophocles. 
The jealousy between these great poets, was made the suliject of suc- 
cessful ridicule by the comic poet Aristophanes. It is said that he 
used to shut himself up in a gloomy cave, near Salamis, in which he 
composed some of his best tragedies. 

During the representation of one of his pieces, the audience, di». 


pleased with some lines in the composition, desired the writer to 
strike them off. Euripides heard the reproof with indignation, and 
advancing forward on the stage, he told the spectators, that he came 
there to instruct them, and not to receive instruction. 

The ridicule and envy to which he was exposed in Athens induced 
him to retire to the court of Archelaus, king of Macedonia, where he 
was entertained with the greatest munificence. He was here how- 
ever destined to meet a terrible end. It is said the hounds of the king 
attacking him, in one of his solitary walks, tore his body to pieces, 
407 B. C. in the 78tli year of his age. 

As a poet hp is peculiarly happy in expressing the passions of love, 
especially the more tender and animated. He is also sublime, and the 
most common expressions have received a most perfect polish from 
his pen. His productions abound with moral reflections, and philo- 
sopliical aphorisms. 

The poet was such an enemy to the fair sex, that some have called 
him the woman hater. In spite of his antipathy he married twice ; 
but his connexions were so injudicious, that he was compelled to di- 
vorce both his wives. From this cause may have arisen his erro- 
neous conceptions of the female character. Of 75 tragedies, only 19 

6. Sophocles was born about 497 B. C. He was distinguished not 
only as a poet, but as a statesman and general, and filled the office of 
archon with applause. 

Twenty times he obtained the prize of poetry from his competi- 
tors. Of one hundred and twenty tragedies which he wrote, seven 
only are extant, but these prove him to have carried the drama 
almost to perfection. 

Accused of insanity by his children, who wished to obtain his pos- 
sessions, the poet composed and read his tragedy of Oedipus, at Co- 
lonos. Asking his judges whether tlie author of such a performance 
could be insane, he was at once acquitted, to the confusion of his un- 
grateful offspring. 

He died in his 91st year, through excess of joy, at hearing of his 
having obtained a poetical prize at the Olympic Games. 

7. Socrates was a native of Athens. He followed the occupation 
of his father, who was a statuary, for some time ; and some have men- 
tioned the statues of the Graces, admired for their simplicity and ele- 
gance, as tlie work of liis own hands. He was called away from this 
meaner emplojnnent, for which, liowever, he never blushed, by a 
friend ; and philosophy soon became his study. 

He appeared like the rest of his countrymen in the field of battle, 
and he fought with boldness and intrepidity. But his character ap- 
pears more conspicuous as a philosopher and moralist, than as a 
warrior. He was fond of labour, bore injuries with patience, and 
acquired that serenity of mind and firmness of countenance which 
the most alarming dangers could never destroy, or the most sudden 
calamities alter. 

He was attended by a number of illustrious pupils, whom he in- 
structed by his exemplary life, as well as by his doctrines. He spokp 

490—356 B.C. 93 

with freedom on every subject, religious as well as civil. This inde- 
pendence of spirit, and that visible superiority of mind and genin^ 
over the rest of his countrymen, created many enemies to him, ana 
at length they condenmed him to death, on the false accusation oi 
corrupting tlie Athenian youtii, of making innovations in the religion 
of the Greeks, and of ridiculing the gods which the Athenians wc"*- 
shipped. lie drank the juice of the hemlock in the 70lh year of iiis 
age, and died 401 B. C. 

Socrates believed the divine origin of dreams and omens, and was 
a supporter of the doctrine of the inmiortality of the soul. From K'-s 
principles, enforced by his example, the celebrated sects of the Pia- 
tonists, Stoics, Peripatetics, &c. soon after rose. 

8. Thuc3'dides was born at Athens. He early appeared in the 
Athenian armirs, but being unsuccessful in some expedition, he was 
banished Athens, in the 8th year of the Peloponnesian war. Pie then 
wrote his history of the important events of that war, to its 21st 

So deeply was Thucydides inspired by the muse of history, that 
he shed tears when he heard Herodotus repeat his history of the 
Persian wars, at the public festivals of Greece ; the character of his 
interesting work is well known. He is considered highly authentic 
and impartial, and stands unrivalled for the fire, conciseness, and 
energy of his narrative. 

Thucydides died at Athens, where he had been recalled from exile, 
in his 80th year, 391 B. C. 

9. Hippocrates was born in the island of Cos, B. C. 406. He im- 
proved himself by reading in the tablets of the temples, the diseases, 
and means of recovery of individuals. He was skilful, and devoted 
hisAvhole time to medical applications ami professional duties. Some 
say he delivered Alliens from a dreadful plague. 

According to Galen, his opinions were respected as oracular. Hia 
memory is still venerated, and his writings, few of which remain, 
procured him the epithet of divine. He died in the 99lh year of his 
age, 3G1 B. (-., free from all disorder of the mind and body, and after 
death, received the highest honours. 

10. Xenophon M-as an Athenian. He Avas bred in the school of 
Socrates, and ac<inired great literary distinction. He served in the 
army of Cyrus the younger, and chiefly superintended the retreat of 
the 10,000, after tlie l)attle of the Cunaxa. He afterward followed 
the fortunes of Agesilaus, and acquired riches in his expeditions. 

In his subsequent retirement he composed and wrote for the in- 
formation of posterity, and died at Corinth, in his 90th year, 359 
B. C. He continued the history of Thucydides, wrote a life of C}"-- 
ms the (ireat, and collected Memorabilia of Socrates. The simpli- 
city and elegance of Xenophon's style have procured him the name 
of the x\theiiian muse, and the bee of Greece. 



The period of Roman Military Renown, extending from 
the Birth of Alexander, 356 y>cars B. C. to the destruc- 
tion of Cartilage, 146 years B. C. 

Sect. 1. At the commencement of tliis period, the Greeks 
U'ere greatly embroiled in domestic dissensions, and were fast 
faihngfrom the enviable height to\Yliich their arms and na- 
tional spirit had formerly raised them. They Avere no longer 
the people they had been, and were prej^aring to receive the 
yoke of a master. Fi-om that time their history is connected 
with that of the Macedonian monarchy. 

An attempt of the Phocians to plunder the temple of Del- 
phos, excited the sacred war, in which almost all the states be- 
came involved. The assistance of PhiUp being solicited by 
the Thebans and Thessalians, he commenced hostilities by 
invading Pliocis, the key to Attica. The eloquence of De- 
mosthenes roused the Athenians to arms. But their struggle 
was unsuccessful. 

Philip met them at Cheroneea, gained a comj)lete victory, 
and Greece fell into the hands of the conqueror. This event 
is dated 338 years B. C. He however chose not to treat them 
as a conquered people. The separate governments retaiiied 
their independence, subject only, in their national acts, to the 
control of Philip. After his death they hoped to recover their 
liberty, but tliey only changed masters. 

§ The sacrilege of the Phocians in robbing the temple of Dclphos, 
subjected them to a summons to appear before the Amplilct)^onic 
council, to answer for their crime. A fine being imposed, disputes 
arose, which could be settled only by arms. The war continued 10 

The interference of Philip at this juncture was, as might hare 
been expected, fatal to the liberties of Greece. Ileconirivcd toliave 
tlie Phocians expelled from the Amphictyonic council, and to be him- 
self chosen ill their place. 

The elocpience of Demosthenes delayed for a time the fate of 
G.eece. He was ever stirring up the Athenians against Philip and 
satirizing that king. His speeches were called Philippics, since they 
v\'ere directed against Philip, and hence Philippics has been a term 
signifj-ing " spceclies against any person." 

Demosthenes, it is well known, had to contend against many n» 

356—146 B. c. 95 

tural impediments, in attaining the art of addressing a popular assem- 
bly. As a proof of his triumphant success, it is recorded, that 
iEschines, a rival orator, once repeated a speech of his own, and one 
of Demostlienes. His own was much applauded, but that of Demos- 
thenes applauded much more. " Ah !" said the generous ^Eschines, 
" how woidd you have applauded it, had you heard Demosthenes 
speak it." 

Soon after the battle of Cheronaea, Philip, calling a general coun- 
cil of the states was appointed commander in chief of the forces of 
Greece ; but on tlie eve of attempting the conquest of Persia, he was 
assassinated by Pausanias, a captain of his guards, from private re- 
sentment. The hopes inspired by his death proved abortive, as the 
Greeks soon came under the yoke of his successor. 

2. Greece was entered by Alexander, son of Philip, 336 
years B. C. He obliged the Athenians to submit, burnt 
Thebes, and was declared commander in chief of the Grecian 
forces, in the expedition against Persia, which he began the 
next year. 

§ Alexander was 20 years old, when the death of Philip raised him 
to the throne. The celebrated Aristotle was his teacher, and under 
him, the youthful prince early desired to distinguish himself. He 
read much ; Homer's Iliad he especially studied. 

When very young, he managed the fiery war-horse Bucephalus, 
which no one else dared to mount. In honour of this steed, he af- 
terwards built a city which he called Bucephala. When he attended 
his father to battle, he manifested not only valour, but skill ; and once 
had the happiness to save his parent's life, when it was in great dan- 
ger from an enemy. 

At Corinth he saw Diogenes, named the Cynic, because he affect- 
ed gi-eat dislike to wealth and rank, and lived in a strange, rude man- 
ner. Alexander asked him whether he wanted any thing. " Yes," 
said Diogenes, " I want you to stand out of my sunshine, and not to 
take from me, what you cannot give me." 

Alexander admired this speech, and directly remarked, " W^ere I 
not Alexander, I would be Diogenes." As if he had said, " Had I not 
all things as Alexander, I would desire to scorn all things as Dio- 

Before his expedition into Asia, which will soon be mentioned, he 
was resolved to consult the oracle at Delphos ; but as he visited the 
temple on a day on which it was forbidden to ask the oracle, the 
priestess refused to go into the temple. Alexander, unaccustomed lo 
denial, seized her by the arm and drew her forwards. " Ah, my son, 
you are irresistible !" exclaimed the priestess. " These Avords," lie 
observed. " are a sufficient answer." 

The Grecian states had revolted after the death of Philip ; but 
Alexander, in a few successful battles, brought them into subjection. 
In an assembly of the deputies of the nation at Corinth, he commu- 
nicated to them his resolution of undertaking the conquest of Persia, 
agreeably to the designs of his father Philip. 


3. Alexander, at the head of the Grecian forces, invaded 
Persia 335 years B. C. He was then not 22 years of age. 
He took with him only 35,000 men, and with this small force, 
he conquered not only Persia, but Syria, Egy}3t, India, and 
several othei- countries, and meditated the design of proceed- 
ing to tlie Eastein ocean, which, however, he was obliged to 

He accomplished his immense undertaking within the 
short space of six years. On his return home, while he tar- 
ried at Babylon, he died suddenly in a fit of debauch, as some 
have maintained, in the 33d year of his age, and the 13th of 
his reign. Alexander was not destitute of some traits which 
we love in human beings ; but in a moral point of view, ho 
must be regarded as a mighty murderer, and enemy of hu- 
man happiness. 

§ The first exploit of Alexander in this expedition, was the passage 
of the Granicus, which he effected notwithstanding the opposition of 
the Persians, who lost 20,000 men in the conflict. The fruit of this 
victory was tiie submission of all Asia Minor. 

The next encounter between the Macedonians or Greeks, and the 
Persians, was in 333 B. C, near the town of Issus, in which the lat- 
ter lost 100,CH)0 men ; and the motlier, wife, and children of Darius, 
the Persian monarch, fell into tlie hands of Alexander. 

After this victory he overrun all Syria, took Damascus, where he 
found the treasures of Darius, destroyed Tyre, entered Jerusalem, 
stormed Gaza, subjugated Egypt, and visited the temple of Jupiter 
Ammon, in the Lybian desert, where he caused himself to be pro- 
claimed the son of that fictitious deity ; on his return he built the 
city of Alexandria. 

Returning from Egypt he foimd Darius with his forces concentra- 
ted on the eastern bank of the Tigris ; a battle ensued at Arbela, 331 
years B. C, in which 300,000 Persians were slain, or as some, with 
greater probability, say, 40,000, and but 500 Macedonians. Darius be- 
took himself to flight, and was slain by Bessus, one of his lieutenants 
Babylon, Suza, and Persepolis, fell into the hands of the conqueror, 
who set fire to the last, at the instigation of the courtezan Thais. 

Having finished the conquest of Assyria, Persia, and Media, 
Alexander crossed the mountains of Caucasus, entered Hyrcania, and 
subdued all the nations south of the Oxus. He then, passing into 
Sogdiana, overtook the perfidious Bessus, and put him to death- 
While in Sogdiana, he killed the veteran Clitus, his friend, in a fit ol 

In 328 B. C. he projected the conquest of India. Penetrating be- 
yond the Hydaspes, he defeated Porus, a king of that country. He 
still continued his course to tlie East ; but when he arrived at the 
banks of the Ganges, his soldiers, seeing no end to their toils, would 

356—146 B. t. 97 

go no farther. He returned to the Indus, and pursuing his course 
southward by that river, he arrived at the ocean, whence he des 
patched his fleet to the Persian Gulf. 

After his arrival at Babylon, he gave himself up to much intempe- 
rance, but was still projecting new conquests, when death suddenly 
put an end to his career. Alexander possessed some generosity of 
nature, but his vicious habits often overpowered it. Intoxication and 
the love of conquest render his name odious to a good man. 

One or two instances of amiable native feeling, will show what h 
might have been, could he have controlled his violent passions. 

He conducted himself very dutifully towards his mother, listened 
to her reproofs with mildness and patience, and when Antipater, whom 
he left to govern Macedonia in his absence, wrote a long letter com- 
plaining of Olympias, the king said, with a smile, " Antipater does 
not know that one tear shed by a mother, will obliterate ten such 
letters as this." 

WTien lie conquered Porus, who was seven and a half high, this sin- 
gularly tall man, as he was introduced to Alexander, was asked by him 
how he would be treated, "Like a king," replied Porus. Alexander 
was so much pleased with this answer, that he restored his kingdom to 
him, and ever afterwards treated him with kindness and respect. 

4. The conquests and acquisitions of Alexander were divi- 
ded, soon after his death, among thirty-three of his principal 
officers. Four, however, of his generals, at length obtained 
the whole, 312 years B. C. having partitioned the empire 
among themselves. It then constituted four considerable 

The names of these generals were Ptolemy, Lysimachus, 
Cassander, and Seleucus. Egypt, Lybia, Arabia, and Pales- 
tine, were assigned to Ptolemy ; Macedonia and Greece to 
Cassander ; Bithynia and Thrace to Lysimachus ; but the 
remaining territories in Asia, as far as the river Indus, w^iich 
were called the kingdom of Syria, to Seleucus. 

The most powerful of these divisions was that of Syria, 
under Seleucus and his descendants, and that of Egypt imder 
the Ptolemies. Only Ptolemy and Seleucus transmitted their 
empires to their children. 

§ Alexander nominated no successor. He had a son, called Her- 
cules, by one of his wives, named Barsine. He also left a brother, 
Aridajus. Aridaeus, and another son of Alexander, born subsequent- 
ly to the conqueror's death, and called after his own name, were 
soon destroyed. Hercules and Barsine, and Cleopatra, the only sis- 
ter of Alexander, shared the same fate, not long afterwards. 

Thus his whole family became extinct. Of this deatruction, the 
contentions of his generals were the cause, and the cause of those 
contentions was the neglect of appointing a successor. The vanity of 


human grandeur, in this instance, appears peculiarly striking. Of the 
wars and intrigues of these generals among themselves, we need 
give no account, as they are not interesting. Some subsequent 
events, relating to them or their sovereignties, will be mentioned in 
the proper place. 

5. From the period of Alexander's death, the history of the 
Grecian states, to the time of their suljjugation by the Romans, 
presents only a series of uninteresting revolutions. This 
people had lost theii' political distinction. The last effort made 
to revive the expiring spirit of liberty, was the formation of 
the Achaean league, which was a union of 12 of the smaller 
states, for this object. 

This took place 281 years B. C, but it effected little, 

§ Immediately after Alexander's death, Demosthenes made one 
more effort to vindicate the national freedom, and to rouse his coun- 
trymen to shake of the j^oke of Macedon ; but it was too late. The 
pacific counsels of Phocion, suited far better the timid or languid 
spirit of the people. Antipater, who governed Greece a short time 
after Alexander's death, demanded tliat Demosthenes should be de- 
livered up to him. But Demosthenes prevented this by comnritting 

Phocion, though lie opposed Demosthenes, was one of the most 
em.:nent men of Greece. He recommended peace : inasmuch as he 
was honest himself, he did not suspect the cunning of the enemy of 
his country. After having been chosen general 45 times, and after 
having performed the greatest services for his country, he was con- 
demned to die by the ungrateful Athenians. 

When about to swallow the dose of hemlock, that was to poison 
him, he was asked what message he would send to his son. " Tell 
him," said this virtuous old man, " that I desire he will not remember 
the injustice of the Athenians." 

The government of the Achaean league was committed to Aratus, 
of Sicyon, with the title of Praetor, a young man of great ambition, 
who immediately conceived the idea of freeing the whole country 
from the Macedonian dominion. But this plan was defeated by the 
jealousy of the greater states. 

Sparta refused to follow the guidance of the PraBtnr of Achaia, and 
Aratus, forgetful at once of the interests of his country, thought of 
nothing but to wrpak his vengeance against Sparta. For this purpose 
he solicited the ixA even of the Macedonians themselves. 

6. Macedonia and Greece were now preparing to follow 
the fate of all the nations within the grasp of Roman ambi- 
tion. Their period of conquest was ended ; that of their 
subjugation was at hand. The Romans, as we shall soon 
learn, had become the most powerful of the contemporary na- 

356—146 B. c. 99 

An occasion was ofTeied for the interference of the Romans 
in the affairs of Macedonia and Greece — an occasion which 
w as eagerly embraced. Macedonia, with its last king, Per- 
seus, first fell, 167 years B. C. Twenty-one years afterwards, 
(ircece surrendered its independence to Rome, whose legions 
w ere led by the consul Mununius. This event was hastened 
by the dissensions which the Romans fomented between the 
difiercnt states of Greece. 

An insult, said to have been received by the deputies of 
Rome from tlie Achaans, furnished the pretext for an attack 
on Greece. From this time, Greece became a province of 
Rome, under the name of Achaia. 

§ The occasion of the introduction of the Romans into Greece, was 
an invitation frojn tlie iEtolians, to assist them in repelling an attack 
by Macedonia. Nothing could have better suited the wishes of the 
Romans. Perseus, a successor of Alexander in the part of his em- 
pire which fell to Cassander, was then king. 

lie persuaded the Achaeans to join him in his preparations against 
Rome. After being sometimes the conqueror, and sometimes the 
conquered, he was at last vanquished by Paulus iEmilius, at Pydna, 
and himself and all his family taken prisoners. They were carried 
to Rome, and served to swell the train of the conqueror. Perseus 
starved himself to death, and INhicedonia became a province of Rome, 

The Romans had, in effect, conquered Greece, by their arts, before 
tliey made use of their arms. They had corrupted many of the 
principal Greeks; and, on the pretence above mentioned, they marched 
their legions against this once renowned people. Metellus, the con- 
sul, began the war, which Mummius completed. 

(Corinth, in which the Greeks made a last stand, was razed and 
burnt to the ground. Diaeus, who commanded the Greeks in this 
city, killed his wife, to prevent her from falling into the hands of the 
encmj', and then took poison, of which he died. Corinth was de- 
.stroyed the same year which witnessed the destruction of Carthage, 
146 B. C, which latter event we have referred to the beginning of the 
next period,— having anticipated this item of the Grecian history. 

Some time previously to the subjugation of Greece, Philopoemen 
was selected to command the forces of the Achaean cities. lie was 
an admirable man ; but, in one instance, he stained his character by 
his conduct towards tlie 8partan>;, numbers of whom he cruelly 
b'jtchercd, when that city A\as taken l)y him. 

He was, however, called to sutler in his turn; for, at 70 years ol 
age, he was taken prisoner, when besieging Messena. The Messe- 
nians were so delighted to possess this illustrious man in bondage, 
that they dragged him in chains to the public theatre, for crowds to 
gaze upon him. 

At night, he was put into a dungeon, and the jailor carried to him 
a dose of poison. He calmly received the cup, and, having beard 


that most of his friends had escaped by flight, he said, " tlaen I find 
we are not entirely unfortunate," and, drinking off the fatal draught, 
without one murmur, laid himself down and expired. 

About this same time, Sparta had a king called Nabis, who was 
notorious for his cruelty and avar-ce. Most of the wealthy citizens 
lie banished from Sparta, that he might seize their riches, and many 
he caused to be assassinated. He had received Argos from Philip, iu 
pledge for some money which he had lent that monarch. He there 
practised the most shocking cruelties. 

He had invented a machine, in the form of a statue, re ml)ling his 
wife, the breast, arms, and hands of which were full of pegs of iron, 
covered with magnificent garments. If any one refused to give him 
money, he was introduced to this machine, which, by means of cer- 
tffm springs, caught fast hold of hmi, and, that he might deliver 
himself from this exquisite torture, he readily granted whatever Na- 
bis desired. 


7. Rome, at the commencement of this period, under cir- 
cumstances more favourable for conquest than it ever had been 
before, was not long- in subduing the petty nations within a 
moderate distance of its territory. The name of " Gauls" still 
inspired some terror, but the Romans soon began to despise 
theiTij after they had repressed one or two invasions. 
■ 8. Having subdued all their neighbours, such as the Her- 
nici, the iEqui, the Yolci, &c. the Romans began to look for 
greater conquests. They soon found an occasion against the 
Samnites, a numerous and warhke people inhabiting the south 
of Italy, with whom they were engaged in war 71 years. 
This war commenced 343 years B. C. A war with the La- 
tins commenced three years afterwards. The Latins were 
soon subjvigated. 

§ Tlie Samnites possessed that tract of country, which at this day 
constitutes a considerable part of the kingdom of Naples. They 
were a far more formidable enemy, both as to numbers and disci- 
pline, than the Romans had hitherto contended with. Two consuls 
were at first sent against them. The fortune of Rome attended one 
of them ; but th? other, Cornelius, was involved in difficulty. 

Having been surrounded by the Samnites, his army must have per- 
ished had not the tribune Decius, with 400 men, made a diversion 
iu his favour. Decius advanced to seize a hill in the midst of the 
enemy. This bold attempt cost the life of cvciy one of his soldiers. 
Decius alone escaped, but he preserved the army of the consul. 

In the war with the Latins, at this time a distinct nation, again 
Titus Manlius, who was consul, gave a most remarkable instance of 
well meant, but mistaken severity. He had ordered the Roman sol- 
diers not to quit their reinks, without permission, on pain of death. 

356—146 B. c. 101 

A son of the consul happened, witli Jiis detachment, to meet a troop 
of Latins, headed by Melius. 

Melius scoffingly addressed the Romans, and at last dared their 
young connnander to fight him. Tlie son, Ibrgetl'ul of the orders of 
his father, or regardless of them, in his indignation, sprang forward 
to the encounter, and soon conquered tlie Latin. Then gathering to- 
gether tlie arms of the fallen foe, he ran to his father's tent, and 
throwing tlicin ;it his feet, told his storj'. 

But tragical was the issue. The consul turned from him, and or 
daring tlie troops to be assembled, tlius addressed him in their prO' 

"Titus Manlius ! you this day dared to disobey the command oJ 
3'our consul, and the orders of your father ; you have thus done aiv 
injury to discipline and military government, and must, by your 
death, expiate your fault. Your courage has endeared you to me, but 
I must be just; and if yo\i have a drop of my blood in your veins 
you will not refuse to die, when justice demands it. Go, lictor, and tia 
him to the stake." 

The astonished young man showed his noble spirit to the last, and 
ns cahnly knelt down beneath the axe, as he had bravely wielded his 
sword against the enemies of his country. The whole Roman armies 
mourned his early death. How unnatural were even the virtues of 
the Romans, in many histances ! 

9. Tlie war with the Samnites continued with occasional 
suspensions, but was destined to end only with their ruin. 
The Romans were generally successful in their battles, 
though, in one instance, a Roman army experienced a signal 
mortification, in being obliged to pass under the yoke. 

The Tarentincp, having become the allies of the Samnites, 
shared tlicir fate. The Samnites were completely subdued, 
272 years B. C, although, in the mean time, the Romans had 
on hand a war with some other states, as will be soon men- 

§ During the war with the Samnites, their general, Pontius, de- 
coyed the Romans into a defile, in whicli they were wholly in the 
power of their enemies. Rejecting tlie advice of his father, which 
was either to ])ut tliem all to death, or liouourably to free them, ho 
chose a middle course, and determined to disgrace them. 

For that purpose, he obliged the Roman soldiers, with their officers 
leading the way, to pass half naked under the yoke— a sort of gal- 
lows made of three spears, two beiinr fixed firmly in the ground, and 
one laid across on the top of the others. This was considered an in- 
eufiferable disgrace. 

The Romans keenly felt the indignity, and not having tlieir power 
in the least crippled by this means, only became the more impatient 
to subdue tlieir rivals. They had soon an op])ortunity of inflicthig 
upon the Samnites a similar odium, and of obliging them at length to 
eue for peace. 



10. The Romans had a short contention with the Tus- 
cans, 312 B. C. During two successive years, they were de- 
feated, — in the last by Fabius. But the most important war, 
about this time, was tliat in which they were engaged with 
Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. 

The aid of this celebrated general had been sought by the 
Tarentines. as allies with the Samnites, in their united con- 
test with Rome. He landed in Italy with 30.000 men, and a 
train of elephants, and commenced an attack on the Romans. 

After various turns of fortune, he was at last totally defeat- 
ed, with the loss of 20,000 men, and returned with haste to 
his dominions. From this time, the hostile states, left to bear 
alone the weight of the Roman powder, were no longer for- 
midable, and all Italy submitted to Rome, about 270 years 
B. C. 

§ Pyrrhus was born to be a warrior ; but warriors make themselves 
miserable. When he was preparing to comply with the invitations of 
the Tarentines, Cineas, a wise and good man, asked him what were 
his intentions and expectations ? 

" To conquer Rome," said Pyrrhus. 

" And what will you do next., my lord ?" 

" Next, I will conquer Italy." 

" And what after that ?" 

" We will subdue Carthage, Macedonia, all Africa, and Greece." 

" And when we have conquered all we can, what shall we do ?" 

"Do ! then we will sit down, and spend our time in comfort." 

" Ah ! my lord !" said the reasonable Cineas, " what prevents our 
being in peace and comfort now ?" 

Having arrived in Italy, he speedily conquered the Romans under 
their consul Lsevinius. This victory was thought to have been gain- 
ed by the effect produced by the elephants of Pyrrhus's army, the 
Roman horses taking fright at the sight of these huge animals. Pyr- 
rhus was surprised at the valiant and skilful conduct of the Romans, 
for, at that time, all people, except those of one's own nation, were 
considered barbarians, rude and unknowing. 

After the first battle, observing the noble and stern countenances 
of his enemies, as they lay dead on tlie field, Pyrrhus, awed into re- 
spect, cried out, in the true spirit of military ambition, " O with what 
ease could I conquer the world, had I the Romans for soldiers, and 
had they me for their king !" He gained a second victory, but after 
that he found himself losing ground daily, and was glad to leave 
Italy before he was entirely conquered. The people of Sicily had 
sent to him for assistance ; thither he went. 

In Sicily, he also experienced a change of fortune, at first prospe- 
rous, and then adverse. So that he once more returned to Italy, being 
almost driven from Syracuse by the Carthaginians. The Romans 

356—146 B. c. 103 

fell before him again ; but at last, they terribly defeated him, and he 
was obliged to return with haste to his own couiitry. 

An anecdote, illustrating the generosity of the Romans and of Pyr- 
rhus, and sliewing that tliis was the age of Roman virtue, is worth re- 
cording. One of the pliysicians of Pyrrhus told the Romans, that 
he w^ould poison his nnrster, if they would give liim a large reward. 
Fabricius, tlie Roman general, was shoclced at this treachery, and di- 
rectly informed Pyrrhus of it, sending away the pliysician with 
scorn; "for," said the general, "we should be honourable even to 
our enemies." Pyrrhus would not be outdone in generosity, and ex- 
pressed his gratitude by sending to Rome all his prisoners without 
ransom, and by desiring to negotiate a peace. 

11. The diil'ereut states of Italy had now lost, their inde- 
pendence ; but after their conquest, they did not all bear the 
same reloition to Rome. Thek privileges were unequal, va- 
rying according to the dilTerent terms granted to the con- 
quered, and afterwards modified according to their fidelity 
to the parent state. Some were entirely subjected to the Ro- 
man laws ; others were allowed to live under the original in- 
stitutions ; and some were tributary, and others allies. 

The success of the war with Pyrrhus, gave the Romans 
reputation abroad. They now seemed to themselves to be 
equal to any enterprise. They had long been jealous of the 
growing power of Carthage, and easily found a pretext for 
declaring war against tliat republic. It was alleged that 
Carthage had rendered assistance to the enemies of Rome. 

Thus commenced what is commonly called the first Punic 
War, 264 years B. C. It lasted 23 years. The Romans 
were in general victorious, though they were once, under Re- 
gulus, severely beaten before the gates of Carthage. Their 
first attempts in naval warfare were made during this conten- 
tion. Tliey were highly successful in them, although the Car- 
thaginians had been long celebrated for their enterprise and 
courage on the ocean. 

The Romans Avon several naval battles, and took the 
strongest of the Sicilian towns, Sicily being the principal 
scene of the war. The i/l success of the Carthaginians, re- 
duced them to the necessity of making peace on very humili- 
atmg terms. They were requiied to quit Sicily, retiun all the 
prisoners they had taken, and pay 3,200 talents of silver. 

§ The Mamcrtines, who inhabited a small section of the island of 
Sicily, had put themselves under the protcctionof Rome, with a view 
to ward off impending ruin, with which the Carthaginians threatened 
ihem, as allies of Hiero, king of Syracuse. The Romans, too prou J 


to dignify the Mamertines with the name of alhes, instead of pro- 
fessing to assist them, boldly declared war against Carthage, alleging 
as a reason, the assistance not long before rendered by Carthage to 
the southern parts of Italy, against the Romans. 

Such was the frivolous pretext for this sanguinary war. It was the 
object, both of Carthage and Rome respectively, to reduce Sicily en- 
tirely to its sway. Tlie Carthaginians had already possessed them- 
selves of a considerable part of it. The Syracusans at first having 
confederated with the Carthaginians, at length turned against them. 

Agrigentum was taken from the Carthaginians, after a long siege; 
end a fleet of the Romans, the first they ever possessed, and which 
they had equipped in a few weeks, defeated that of Carthage, in a 
most signal manner. A second naval engagement soon followed, at- 
tended with like success, the Carthaginians, imder Hanno and Hamil 
car, losing 60 ships of war. 

These victories so much encouraged the Romans, that they boldly 
crossed the IMediterranean sea, and landing in Africa, took the small 
town of Clypea. Regulus, the leader, Avas ordered to remain there, 
and continue, as pro-consul, to command the troops ; but he earnestly 
requested to return home, as he had a small estate of seven acrea 
which required his care. 

A person was directed to perform this service, and then Regulus, 
satisfied that his wife and children woidd have food, willingly devo- 
ted himself to his public duties. The Carthaginians had procured 
forces from Sparta under Xantippus, and thus supported, defeated 
the Romans, and took Regulus prisoner. 

Regulus having been kept in prison several years, was then sent to 
Rome to propose peace, and an exchange of prisoners. He was first 
obliged to take an oath that he would return to Carthage, if he did 
not succeed in his proposals. AVhen this noble Roman made his ap. 
pearance among his countrymen, they were all touched by his mis- 
fortunes, and were willing to purchase his freedom, by granting the 
request of his enemies. 

But he would not allow his country to suflfer for his sake, and, 
though he knew that torture and death awaited him at Carthage, he 
besought the Romans to send him back, and to refuse the Carthagi- 
nians their prisoners. The senate, with the utmost pain, consented 
to this disinterested advice; and, in spite of the tears of liis wife, tlie 
embraces of his children, and the entreaties of his friends, Regulus 
returned to Carthage. 

The sequel may be easily conjectured. As soon as the Carthagi- 
nians saw him come back with a denial, they put him to every kind 
of suffering they could invent— to the most barbarous tortures, all of 
which he bore with patient silence. He died as heroically as he had 

After various successes on both sides, the Romans gained two na- 
val battles, and thus so etfectually crippled the strength of the Car- 
thaginians on their own element, tliat they sought a peace by great 
sacrifices. The island of Sicily was now declared a Roman province, 
though Syracuse maintained her independent government. 

356—146 B. c. 105 

12. A peace of twenty-lliree years' continuance subsisted 
between Rome and Carthage, during wliich time the Ro- 
mans had two short contentions — first with the Illyrians, and 
next with the Gauls. Over both of tliese nations the Roman 
arms tiiumplied. The temple of Janus, which was never 
shut (luring' a time of war, was now shut for the second time, 
since tbe foimtl.iiion of the city, 235 B. C. The Romans, 
at this eia, becan to cultivate the arts of peace, and to acquire 
a taste for literature. 

§ The war with die Illyrians was owing to depredations committed 
by them, on the t'-ading subjects cf Kome. Redress being reuised, 
the consuls mart-lied against tlieiii, and most of the Illyrian towns 
were obliged to surrender. The war with the Gauls was occasioned 
by the irruption of these barbarians upon Italy. The Romans oppo- 
sed them, will; such success, that they lost two kings, and in one bat- 
tle alone 40,000 men killed and 10,0G0 taken prisoners. 

13. The [ oace between the Romans and Carthaginians was 
rather a matter of policy than of inclination. The Carthagi- 
nians particularly had improved the time in preparing for re- 
venge. They began the aggression in the second Punic war, 
by laying siege to Saguntum, a city of Spain, in alliance 
with Rome. Their leader in this war was the celebrated Han- 
nibal, son of Haniilcar, under whom the first Punic war was 
principally con.ductecl. The son inherited the fiither's enmity 
lo the Romans, and was greatly superior to him in talents. ; 

The war commenced 218 years B. C, and lasted 17 years. 
It was at first highly favourable to the Carthaginians, and 
Rome was thrown into imminent danger, and great distress, 
by the victories of Hannibal, who had carried the war into 
Italy. But the Roman fortune began at length to prevail, 
and Hannibal avos recalled to save Carthage itself, inas- 
much as Sci})io the Roman general, who triumphed in Spain, 
had passed over into Africa, and spread terror to the gates of 

Hannibal and Scipio met at Zama ; the battle of that 
place decided the fate of the war, and the Carthaginians sued 
for peace, which they obtained only by abandoning Spain, 
Sicily, and all the islands — by surrendering all their prisoners, 
and nearly the whole of their lieet, by paying 10,000 talents, 
and by engaging to undertake no war without the consent of 

§ Of Hannibal it is recorded. t>i"» ^'-'-en onlv nine years of «" ' 


the instance of his father, he took a solemn oath at the ahar, decla 
ring himself the eternal enemy of the Romans ; and never had they 
so terrible a foe. Like most other great soldiers, he was capable of 
bearing fatigue and hardship, heat and cold, good and bad fortune in 
the extreme, with entire equanimity, and williout shrinking. 

He was simple in dress, rigid in self-government — he ate, drank 
and slept only so much as to support his iDody,_Rnd give him strength 
to perform the intentions of his great mind. If, h.owcver, we are to 
believe the accounts of his enemies, he was not without striking 
moral defects — being cruel, negligent of his truth and honour, and a 
scorner of the religion of his country. 

Hannibal crossing the sea from Africa to Euroj , and taking Sa- 
guntum, in Spain marched through Spain, and over the Pyrennean 
hills into Gaul, along the coast of that country, and over the lofty 
Alps crowned with snow, to Italy — a land journey of 1000 miles. 
Such an exploit had never been done before. The difficulties of the 
way would have disheartened any other man. In addition to this he 
passed through various barbarous tribes, with most of whom he was 
obliged to fight for a passage ; the Gauls among the rest attempting 
to oppose his progress. 

He arrived in Italy with only 20,000 foot and 6000 horse. "NVlien 
he began this wonderful enterprise he was only 26 years old. 
Several Roman generals of approved talent and valour opposed him ; 
yet he w^as on the point of making himself master of proud Rome. In 
the first engagement near the Ticinus, the Romans were defeated, 
and they lost two other important battles at the Trebia and the lake 

Advancing to Canna;, the Carthaginians were opposed by the 
whole force of Rome ; but in vain. Their fine army under their 
consuls was totally routed. Varro gave orders for the battle against 
the wish of his colleague Paulus iEmilius ; but the encounter once 
begun, ^milius fought with the utmost skill and bravery, and died 
covered with woimds. 

Just before his death he was found sitting on a stone, faint and 
streaming with blood. Tlie soldier who discovered him, besought 
him to mount his horse, and put himself under his protection. " No,"' 
said iEmilius with gratitude, " I will not clog you with my sinking 
frame ; go hasten to Rome, and tell the senate of this day's disaster, 
and bid them fortify the city, for the enemy is approaching it. I will 
die with my slaughtered soldiers, that I may neitlier suffer the in- 
dignation of Rome myself, nor be called upon to give testimony 
against my colleague, to prove my own innocence." 

It is an opinion generally entertained, though by no means certain, 
that if Hannibal had marched directly to Rome, after tlie battle of 
Canna;, tlie fate of the republic would have been inevitable. But 
this lie did not see fit to attempt. The tide of success now began to 
turn against liim. Wintering his troops in the luxurious city of Cap- 
ua, they lost much of their virtue. 

The Romans concentrated all their strength, even the slaves, arm- 
ed in the common cause j and victory once more attended the staa 

356—146 B. c. 107 

dards of Rome. Hannibal retreated before the brave Marcellus. 
The forces of the king of Macedon, who had joined the Carthaginians, 
were also defeated at this juncture. 

^^'Tlile Fabius, who was now opposed to Hannibal, conducted the 
war prosperously, by always avoiding a general engagement, the 
younger Scipio acconipHshed the entire reduction of Spain. Asdrubal 
was sent into Italy after a long delay, to tlie assistance of his brother 
Hannibal, but was defeated by the consul Claudius, and slain in battle. 

Scipio, having triumplied in Spain, passed over into Africa, where 
liis path was marked witli terror and victory. This policy he had 
himself suggested to tlie Roman senate, as the only probable means 
of driving the Cartliaginians from Italy. According to his expecta- 
tions, when Carthage perceived the danger to Avhich itself was ex- 
posed, Hannibal was recalled to protect his native land. He had been 
• absent 16 years. 

Scipio was an antagonist worthy of Hannibal. When he was 
very young, he saved the life of his father in a battle ; and after the 
fatal o\'ertlirow at Cann<e, hearing of some young men who thought 
of abandoning their country, he, with a few other resolute spirits, 
suddenly entered the room where they w'ere deliberating, and fiercely 
drew his sword and exclaimed, " whoever is against Rome, this sword 
is against him." The young men, intimidated by liis resolution, or 
inspired by his spirit, took a vow with lam and his companions, to 
fight for their country whilst a drop of blood remained in their veins. 

The meeting at Zama, in Africa, between Hannibal and Scipio, the 
two greatest warriors in the world, was highly interesting. They gazed 
on each other with mutual aweand admiration. Hannibal invainstrove 
to procure honourable terms of peace. The youthful Roman, however, 
answered him with pride and disdain; and the armies prepared for battle. 

The contest Avas dreadful ; but the superior vigour of the Romans, 
notwithstanding the skill of the Carthaginians, prevailed. The latter 
lost 40,000 men in killed and in prisoners, and were thus obliged to 
conclude a fatal peace. Carthage was nearly ruined. As to Hanni- 
bal, he survived this battle several years ; but being hated and hunted 
by the Romans from place to place, he comiiiitted the uiijusliliable act 
of suicide, so common in ancient times. 

"Let us relieve the Romans of their fears," said he, "by closing 
the existence of a feeble old man." He died at 70 years of age, at the 
court of Prussias, king of Bythynia. The second Punic war ended 
with the batUe at Zama, B. C. 201. 

14. The Roman cloniiiiion now rapidly extended. Other 
%nctories over other enemies attended the arms of the repubHc. 
Philip king of Macedon was defeated by the Romans inider 
Flaminius in Thessaly, 197 years B. C. The Gauls received 
eome signal overthrows. 

§ The war with Philip is called the first Macedonian war, and was ter- 
minated by the request of Philip for peace, which the senate granted 
the second year of the contest. The second Macedonian war, which 
terminated the monarchy, as also that which put a period to Grecian 


liberty, have already been narrated in the history of Macedonia and 

15. Five years afterwards, or 192 years B. C, commenced 
the Syrian war, under Antiochus the Great. This ended m 
his entire defeat, and in the cession to the Romans of all 
Asia Minor. The pretext of this war was, that Antiochus 
had made encroachments on the Grecian states, who were 
then called the aUies of Rome. These successes, by pouring 
wealth into Rome, began to cormpt the simplicity of the an- 
ci-ent manners. 


16. The history of Sicily is considerably included in that 
of Rome and other nations, but a few particulars may deserve 
a separate notice. In early times the government was a 
monarchy, but it afterwards became a republic, and continued 
such, except at Syracuse, the monarchy of which, after 60 
years, was re-established in the person of Dionysius the Elder. 

The Sicilians were frequently engaged in wars with the 
Carthaginians, and the latter, in the com'se of time, possessed 
themselves of a considerable part of the island. It was the 
scene and the object of the first Punic war ; and in the se- 
cond, the whole of it was brought under the sway of Rome, 
by the consul Marcelliis, 212 years B. C. 

§ This important island in the Mediterranean sea, the granary of 
Italy, was settled in an early age of the world, though the exact pe- 
riod is unknown. The Phoenicians h?'^. sent colonies thither before 
the Trojan war. The Greeks at later periods made considerable set- 
tlements in the island. The Corinthians founded Syracuse, which 
became the most renowned of the Greek cities of Sicily. 

The regal government exercised in the various parts of the island, 
having become excessively tyrannical, was the cause of its being 
abolished in all the cities held there by the Greeks. Dionysius, how- 
ever, a person of mean birth, but great talents, found the means of 
reviving the monarchy at Syracuse, and though thrice expelled on 
account of his tyranny, he re-assumed the sceptre, which he transmit- 
ed to his son, Dionysius the Younger. 

This weak and detestable tyrant had been well educated by the 
great Plato ; but he soon forgot all the good that had been taught 
him. He so provoked his virtuous brotlier-in-law Dion, (whom the 
jealousy of the nobles had banished,) by marrying Dion's wife to one 
of his courtiers, that the latter led an army to Syracuse, drove the 
tyrant from his throne, and recovered his wife. In the hands of Dion 
the government was administered with much moderation and ability ,• 
but this excellent sovereign was at last cruellv murdered 

356— 146 B.C. 109 

At his death Dionysius again ascended the tlirone, and was again 
driven from it ; and after all' his various fortunes, it is said he became 
a school-master at Corinth. The brave and humane Timoleon, a 
Greek, was the person who accomplished the second banishment of 
this tyrant. Tiniolcnu was ^ent for to assist the Syracusans against 
the Carthaginians, and having defeated them, he entered Syracuse in 

Dionysius, being unfit to rule, surrendered himself and his citadel 
into his hands, and was sent to Corinth. Timoleon again defeated 
the Carthaginians mider Asdrubal and Amilcar, and at length sub 
dued all the enemies of Syracuse. After having served Syracuse 
and the Avhole island to the extent of his power, he gave up Ids 
authority, and lived tlie rest of his days in tranquil retirement. 

A few years after the battle of Caranaj, Marcellus the Roman con- 
sul, laid siege to Syracuse ; and in spite of the wonderful machines 
constructed and employed by Archimedes, he finally took it. Mar- 
cellus, wlio was acquainted with the extraordinary abilities of this 
man, when the city had fallen into his hands, gave orders, that 
Archimedes should be conducted to him in safety. 

When the city was taken, this philosopher was so absorbed in 
study, that he was not aware of the event, until a soldier, rushing into 
liis apartment, bade him rise and follow him. Archimedes desired him 
to wait a moment until he had solved the problem that he was work- 
ing. The soldier, not understanding what he was talking about, and 
provoked at his disobedience, drew his sword and killed him on the 
spot. Marcellus was greatly disappointed at this event. 


17. Dining the present period the kingdom of Syria, oi 
Syro-Medio, rose into importance under its fotinder Seleiicug 
Nicator, or the Conqueror, 312 years B. C. In the first divi- 
sion of Alexander's empire, the country anciently called Syria, 
fell to the lot of Antigonus. But Seleucus, a distinguished 
and able officer in the empire, revolted, and made war upon 
Antigonus, who being slain at the battle of Ipsus, Seleucus 
remained possessor of his dominions. The sovereigns of this 
new kingdom, after him, were known under the name of Se- 

§ SjTia was first inhabited by the posterity of Aram, the youngest 
son of Shem. The kings of this country were little known till the time 
of Alexander the Great, except what is related of them in the Bible. 
Hadadezer made an unsuccessful war against David. Benhadad was 
three times defeated by Ahab and Ahaziah. A few other particulars 
are related of the Syrian kings, till Syria was made a province of 
the Assyrian Empire by Tiglath-Pilescr, who defeated and slew Re- 
zin, the king of Syria, in battle. 

18. The second and last division of Alexander's empire 
was formerly mentioned. Seleucus who retained Syria, to 


which other possessions were added, made war upon Lysi- 
inachus, who had reduced Macedonia under his sway. Lysi- 
machus was lolled, and Seleucus seized on his kingdom. But 
the conqueror was assassinated the same year, by Ptolemy 
Ceraunus, who afterwards reigned at Macedon. 

§ Of the Seleucidag, or successors of Seleucus, to the end of this 
period, the following epitome may be given. Antiochus Soter, or the 
saviour, succeeded the conqueror. Of this Antiochus it is recorded, 
that when a young man, he fell in love with one of his father's wives, 
a young and beautiful woman, to such a degree, as to be nearly re- 
duced to death. 

His physician discovering, from the agitation of his pulse at the 
sight of Stratonice, (the name of the object of his passion,) the true 
cause of his disease, made it known to Seleucus the father. From 
affection to the son he renounced Stratonice, and gave her to him in 
marriage, 280 B. C. 

Antiochus Theos, or tlie God, invaded Egypt. During his ab- 
sence the provinces of the East were entered i^y the Parthians, who 
founded a new kingdom. The Bactrians also became independent. 
He made peace with Ptolemy Philadelphus, and married his daugh- 
ter Berenice, after repudiating his wife. The king of Egypt being 
dead, he took back his former wife, who poisoned him, Berenice, and 
her son, 261 B. C. 

After the reigns of Seleucus Callinicus, and Seleucus Ceraunus, re ■ 
specting whom nothing remarkable took place, Antiochus the Great 
ascended the throne. He was at first engaged in subduing some of 
his revolted governors. Afterwards he invaded Media, Parthia, Hyr- 
cania. Bactria, and even India, 223 B. C. 

Having planned the conquest ef Asia Minor, and taken some places 
there, an embassy was sent by the Romans, desiring him to desist. 
This brought on the war M^th the Romans which has been particu- 
larly detailed. In this attempt he first conquered a part of Greece. 
Here the Romans defeated him, and being closely pursued by Scipio 
Asiaticus, he was beaten again in Asia. Among one of the conditions 
of peace was the delivery of his son Antiochus, as a hostage to the 

Scleucits Philopater, who was left by his father to govern Syria, 
during his absence, next ascended the throne, 187 years B. C. Hi» 
general Heliodorus, in attempting to rob the temple of Jerusalem of 
its treasures, was repulsed by the hand of God, and rigorously chas- 
tised. He poisoned Seleucus after his return. 

Antiochus Epiphanes, the son who was delivered as a hostage to 
the Romans, and exchanged, after chastising Heliodjrus, gained pos- 
session of the throne, 175 years B. C. In attempting to reduce Egypt 
under his dominion, he was stopped by a Roman ambassador, who 
obliged him to return. 

Incensed at this, he vented his rage against the Jews, took Jerusa- 
lem, slaughtered 40,000 persons, and made as many prisoners. The 
Jews, however, revolted, and under Judas Maccabaeus defeated seve- 

35G— 146 b. c. Ill 

ral of his generals. These ^\'al•s will be detailed in the history of the 
Jews. Antiochus, in attempting to exterminate the Jews, perished in 
great torments. 

Antiochus Eupator and Demetrius Sotcr continued the war with 
the Jews, and Alexander I5ala«, tlie last sovereign, during this period, 
abandoned himself to a life of debauchery. 


20. In the history of the Jews at the commencement of 
this j)eriod, we have to notice the favour which was mani 
fested towards them by Alexander the Great, who granted to 
them the freedom of their country, laws, and rehgion, and ex- 
empted them from paying tribute every seventh year. 

In their dei)cndent state, they had continued to enjoy a de- 
gree of prosperity mider the soveieigns of Persia, even after the 
time of Cyrus. His successors, down to the era of Alexander, 
had, in general, treated them with much kindness. But with 
the latter expired the prosperous state of Judea, 324 years 

§ Darius, son of Cyrus, favoured the Jew^s during his long reign. 
Xerxes confirmed their privileges. Under Artaxerxes they were still 
more favoured through the influence of his queen Esther, a Jewess. 
From this prince, Ezra obtained very liberal donations to be applied 
to the service of the temple, and authority to re-establish the govern- 
ment according to the divine constitution, 480 years B. C. 

Several years afterwards, under the same prince, Nehemiah his 
cup-bearer, obtained leave to go to Jerusalem and rebuild its walls. 
He and Joiada the high priest reformed many abuses respecting 
tithes, the observation of the sabbath, and the marrying of strange 

In tlie latter period, to wliich our accounts more particularly refer, 
it is recorded that Jaddus, the high ])riest, in his priestly attire, met 
Alexander tlie Great, and shewed him the prophecy of Daniel, in 
which liis conquest was foretold. 

21. From this time, 323 years B. C, Judea was succes- 
sively invaded and subdued by the Egyptians and Syrians, 
and the inhabitants were reduced to bondage. In conse- 
quence of an invasion by Antiochus Epiphanes, about 170 
years B. C. the sacrifices ceased among the Jews, and there 
scarcely existed any external signs of their peculiar civil or 
religious polity. 

Such persecutions roused the Jews to drive the Syrians 
from Judea, which they gloriously achieved under Judas 
Maccaba^us, 166 years B. C. 

§ Under the priesthood of Onias I., Ptolemy, governor of Egypt 
taking advantage of the circumstance that the Jews would not fight 


on the sabbath, captured Jerusalem on that day, and carried off 
100,000 persons, whom, however, he afterwards treated kindly. 

When Eleazer was high priest, he sent to Ptolemy Philadelphus 
six men of every tribe, to translate the sacred scriptures into Greek. 
This translation is the celebrated one called the Septuagint, 277 

Jason, 170 B. C, on false reports of Antiochus' death, raised great 
disturbances in Jerusalem, with a view to recover the high priest- 
hood. Antiochus (Epiphanes) irritated by the frequent revolts of 
the Jews, marched to Jerusalem, slew 80,000 people, took 40,000 
captives, and then entered the temple and plundered the treasures. 

Antiochus having commanded the Jews to observe the rites of the 
heathen, and to eat of the sacrifices, some of the more conscientious 
among them chose rather the loss of hfe ; among whom were a mo- 
tlier and her seven sons, who expired in dreadful tortures. The same 
yeai" the king's commissioner, who was entrusted vrith this iniquitous 
business, was killed by Mattathias and his five sons, who thereupon 
lied into the wilderness. 

Judas Maccabffius, at the head of those who fled into the wilder- 
ness, made war against Antiochus, and defeated several of his gene- 
rals. The king hearing of the defeat of his troops in Judca, took an 
oath, that he would destroy the whole nation. As he hastened to 
Jerusalem, he fell from his chariot, and died miserably. 

In a battle with a general of one of his successors, Judas was killed, 
Jonathan his brother succeeded, and was made high priest, 153 years 
B. C. A younger brother had been previously killed. The remain- 
der of tlie history of the Maccabees is to be pursued in the next suc- 
ceeding period. 


22. Egypt, having been in subjection 30 years since it 
was last brought under the Persian yoke, was sul)dued by 
Alexander the Great, 332 years B. C. He appointed Ptol- 
emy Lagus its governor, who, after the conqueror's death, be- 
gan a new dynasty of kings, called Ptolemajans or Lagidae 
323 years B. C. 

This dynasty lasted 294 years, and ended in Cleopatra. 
Of the sovereigns that belong to the period now treated of, we 
find the names of six of various characters. 

Ptolemy Lagus, called also Soter or Saviour, was a man of great 
abilities, and endeavoured to restore Egypt to its ancient splendour. 
fie erected the famous library at Alexandria. He subdued Syria, 
Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Jerusalem. 

Ptolemy Philadclpluis, or Lover of liis brother, pursued the steps 
of liis father in a great measure. He protected commerce, arts, and 
sciences, and erected magnificent buildings. Ptolemy Evergetes, or 
the Benefactor, Wfus not only a lover of science, but an author. He 
spared no pains to enrich his library. 

Ptolemy Philopater, or Lover of his father, a surname probably 

:^56— IIG B. c. 113 

given liim in derision, being suspected to have put his father to death, 
was a cruel prince. He slew his brotlier, murdered his queen, and 
ordered all tlie Jews witliin his dominions to abjure their religion, 
wliich however they refused to do. 

Ptolemy Epiplianes, or the Illustrious, was famous only for his 
vices. He suffered every thing to fall into disorder, and was at last 
poisoned by his subjects. 

Ptolemy Pliilometer, or Lover of his mother, engaged in an un- 
successful war against Syria, in which he was taken prisoner, and 
the crown given to his brother Physcon ; but after Philometer re 
gained his liberty, they reigned jointly. 


23. The histoiy of Parthia begins at this era. Arsaces, 
a nobleman, descended as some think from Artaxerxes 
Mnemon, king of Persia, revolted from Antiochus Theos, 
king of Syria (256 B. C.) and fonnded the new kingdom of 
Parthia, which at first consisted only of the province so called 
From him his successors are called Arsacida?. 

§ The single province of Parthia was not large ; but the Parthian 
empire included not only Parthia, but Hyrcania, Sogdiana, Bactria, 
Persia, Media, and several other regions. Parthia was first sub- 
ject to the Medes, afterwards to the Persians, and lastly to Alexander 
the Great : upon whose death, it fell to tlie share of Seleucus Nicator ; 
and his successors held it till the reign of Antiochus Theos. 

They were a warlike people, and the best horsemen and archers in 
the world. For the sake of war, they neglected agriculture, trade, 
and aU other callings. 

2 1. The Arsacidai were in general conquerors^ and greatly 
extended their dominions from time to time. Mithridates I. 
the fifth from Arsaces, was a man of uncommon wisdom and 
courage. He reduced the Bactrians, Persians, Medes, and 
Elynifi^ans, and extended his dominions into India, beyond 
the boundaries of Alexander's conquests. 


25. The third dynasty of the emperors of China, which 
commenced 1110 years B. C, ended during this period 
viz. 246 years B. C. It included 35 emperors. It is called 
the dynasty of Tcheou. 

The fourth dynasty, which began at the latter date, lasted 
43 years, terminating 203 years B. C. It included four em- 
perors. It is called the dynasty of Tsin. 

§ Chaus the fourth emperor of the third dynasty Avas excessively 
fond of hunting. In the pursuit of that sport, he did incalculable 
damage to tlie crops of his subjects. Their remonstrances being un- 
heeded, they determined to destroy him. For this purpose, as he 

K 2 


was wont to pass a large river, on his return from the chase, in a 
boat which waited for him, they caused one to be built of such con- 
struction as to break in pieces before it reached the opposite shore. 
Entering his boat, he and his attendants soon went to the bottom. 

Ching, the second emperor of the fourth dynasty, left a monument 
of his power, which still astonishes those that behold it, viz. the fa- 
mous wall, 500 leagues long, which separates China from its north- 
ern neighbours. He suppressed the tributary kingdoms, and reduced 
them to their former state of provinces. 

Elated with his success, he became ambitious of being thought the 
first sovereign of China. With this view he ordered all the historical 
writings and public records to be burned, and many of the learned 
men to be buried alive, that past events might not be transmitted 
to posterity. 

Distinguished Characters in Period VIII. 

1. Plato, an eminent Grecian philoso}iher, called the 

2. Apelles, the greatest of the painters of antiquity. 

3. Alexander the Great, conqueror of most of the world 
known to the ancients. 

4. Demosthenes, the prince of orators. 

5. Aristotle, the ablest logician and philosopher of antiquity. 

6. Euclid, the greatest master of mathematical science. 

7. Theocritus, the father of pastoral poetry. 

8. Zeno, the founder of the Stoic school of philosophy. 

9. Archimedes, a famous geometrician of Syracuse. 

1. Plato was born about 429 years B. C. His name, Aristocles, was 
changed to Plato, from the largeness of his shoulders. He Avas 8 
years the pupil of Socrates, after whose death, he travelled into 
foreign countries. When lie had finished these, he retired to the 
groves of Academus, where he was attended by a crowd of noble and 
illustrious pupils. 

His learning and virtues were topics of conversation in every part 
of Greece ; he was elegant in his manners, and partook of innocent 
pleasures and amusements. He died in his 81st year, about 348 B. C. 

The works of Plato are numerous ; they are all in the form of a 
dialogue, except twelve letters. The ancients and even the learned 
moderns have highly respected and admired the writings of this great 
philosoplier. They display unusual depth of tiiought, and singular 
elegance, melody, and sweetncssof expression. Amongother trutlis, he 
maintained by many powerful arguments the immortality of the soul. 

2. Apelles was born in the island of Cos, and lived contemporary 
with Alexander, who would suffer no other to draw his picture. His 
Venus rising out of the sea, was purchased by Augustus, and placed 
m a temple at Rome. The lower part had .sustained some injury 
v.'hich no artist could repair. He wrote some pieces which were 
extant in the age of Pliny. 

356—146 B.C. 115 

One of his piclures of Alexander exliibited the conqueror with a 
thunderbolt in his hand. The piece was finished with so much skill 
and dexterity, tluit it used to be said that there were two Alexanders : 
one invincible, tke son of Philip : the other inimitable, the produc- 
tion of Apelles. The date of his death does not appear. 

3. Alexander was born at Pella in Macedonia, 355 B. C. At the 
age often years he was delivered to the tuition of Aristotle, and early 
followed his faliier to the field. When he came to the throne, he in- 
vaded Asia, as has been already described, defeating Darius in three 
great battles, reducing Egypt, Media, Syria, and Persia, and spread- 
ing his conquests over a part of India. 

On his return from India he stopped at Babylon, where he died in 
his 32d year, from excess in drinking, or as some think, from poison. 
He aspired to be thought a demigod, but was humane, liberal, and a 
patron of learning. With many valuable qualities, much is it to be 
regretted that he should have been the scourge, by being the conqueror 
of the world. 

His tender treatment of the wife and mother of Darius, who were 
taken prisoners, has been greatly praised. 'Ilie latter, who had sur- 
vived the death of her son, killed herself when she heard that Alex- 
ander was dead. He was guilty of many extravagant and profligate 
actions ; yet amidst them all he was fond of candour and truth, and 
after any act of wickedness, appeared to be stung witJi grief and re- 

When one of his ofl^cers read to him as he sailed on the Hydaspes, 
a history which the officer had composed of his wars with Porus, 
and in which he had too liberallj' praised him, Alexander snatched 
the book from his hand, and threw it into the river saying, "AVliat 
need is there of such flattery ? Are not the exploits of Alexander suf- 
ficiently meritorious in themselves, without the colouring of false- 
hood ?" 

The death of his friend Clitus, of which he was the author, while 
it might be in a degree palliated, shewed how capable he was of re- 
gret for a wrong action. Clitus had greatly abused Alexander ; they 
were both heated with wine and passion. The monarch after bear- 
ing the abuse for some time, ordered CUtus to be carried out of his 

The latter, however, soon returned, and renewed his invectives. 
Alexander giving loose to his indignation, stabbed ilie \fteran ; but 
was so immediately shocked with what he had done, that he was 
about to kill himself on the spot, and was only prevented by his 

4. Demosthenes was only seven years old when his father died, 
and his guardians, proving unfaithful to their trust, squandered his 
property, and neglected his education. He was therefore indebted 
to his own industry and application, for the discipline of >iis mind. 

By unwearied eflTorts, and by overcoming the greatest obstacles, 
such as weakness of the lungs, difficulty of pronunciatit m, and un- 
couth habits of body, he became the greatest orator in the world. 
That he might devote himself the more closely to his studies, he con- 


fined himself to a retired cave, and shaved half of his head, so thai 
he could not decently appear in public. 

His abilities as an orator soon placed him at the head of the go- 
vernment, and in this capacity he roused and animated his country- 
men against the ambitious designs of Philip. He also opposed Alex- 
ander, and made every effort to save his country. When the gene- 
rals of Alexander approached Athens, he fled for safety to the temple 
of Neptune, and there took poison to prevent himself from falling 
into their hands, in his GOth year, B. C. 322. 

5. Aristotle possessed one of the keenest and most inventive ori- 
ginal intellects ever known. His writings treat of almost every branch 
of knowledge in his time ; — moral and natural philosophy, metaphy- 
sics, mechanics, grammar, criticism, and politics, all occupied his pen. 

His eloquence also was I'emarkable. He was moderate in his meals, 
slept little, and was indefatigably industrious. That he might noi 
oversleep himself, Diogenes Laertius tells us, that he lay always with 
one hand out of the bed, holding in it a ball of brass, which, by its 
falling into a basin of the same metal, awaked him. 

Though educated in the school of Plato, he differed from his mas- 
ter', and at length formed a new school. He taught in the Lyceum. He 
had a deformed countenance, but his genius was an ample compensa- 
tion for all his personal defects. As he expired, he is said to have ut- 
tered the following sentiment. " I entered this world in impurity, I 
have lived in anxiety, I depart in perturbation. Cause of causes, 
pity me I" If he lived in scepticism, as is affinned, he hardly died 
in it. His death occurred in his 63d year. 

6. Euclid was a mathematician of Alexandria. He flourished about 
300 years B, C. He distinguished himself by his writings on music 
and geometry, but particularly by 15 books on the elements of mathe- 
matics, which consist of problems and theorems, with demonstrations. 
His elements have gone through innumerable editions. He was 
greatly respected by antiquity, and his school, which he established 
at Alexandria, became the most famous in the world, for mathe- 

7. Theocritus flourished at Syracuse in Sicily, 282 years B. C. He 
distinguished himself by his poetical compositions, of which 30 Idy- 
lia, and some epigrams, are extant, written in the Doric dialect, and 
admired for their beauty, elegance, and simplicity. 

He excelled in pastorals. He clothes his peasants with all the rusti- 
city of nature, though sometimes speaking on exalted subjects. It is 
said he wrote some invectives against Hiero, king of Syracuse, who 
ordered him to be strangled. 

8. Zeno was a native of Cyprus. In early life he followed commer- 
cial pursuits ; but having been shipwrecked, to divert his melancholy, 
lie took up a book to read. The book was written by Xenophon, and 
so captivated was he, that from this time he devoted himself to plii- 

Becoming perfect in every branch of knowledge, he at length 
opened a school in Athens, and delivered his instructions in a porch, 
ia Greek called stoa. He was austere in his manners, but his life was 

146— 80 B. c. 117 

an example of moderation and sobriety. He taught philosopiiy 48 
years, and died in his 98th year, B. C. 204. A stranger lo diseases and 
indisposition, virtue was his chief good. 

9. Archimedes was born at Syracuse. At the siege, by Marcellus, 
he constructed machines which sunk some of the Roman sliips, and 
others he set on (u-e with burning glasses. These ghisses are supposed 
to have been reflectors made of metal, and capable of producing their 
eflcct at the distance of a bow shot. 

He was killed at the taking of tiie place, 208 B. C. by a soldier, who 
was ignorant of his character, and while the philosopher was enga- 
ged in his studies. Some of his works are extant. 


The pei'iod of the civil icar between Marius and S'l/lla, 
extending fro7n the destruction of Carthage, 146 years 
B. C. to tJte first campaign of Julius Casar, 80 years 

B. a 


Sect. 1. This period, as well as that which follows, pro- 
perly begins with the affairs of the Romans — a people, 
already possessing vast power and resources, and destined to 
become in a short time, the conquerors of the whole civilized 
portion of the human family. 

Following the course of their victories, we next light upon 
their final conquest and destruction of Carthage, the most 
formidable rival Rome ever possessed. That city fell under 
tiie hands of the conquerors 146 years B. C. The war, of 
which this was the result, had commenced four years before. 
The Romans were the aggressors, having invaded Africa at 
a favourable juncture, when the Carthaginians were engaged 
in a war with another power. 

Carthage fell, notwithstanding the desperate eObrts of its 
inhabitants, and was converted into a pile of rains, with the 
extinction of the Carthaginian name. 

§ Wlien the indications of Roman liostility appeared, the Cartha- 
ginians, who had sulfered so severely in the last war, recoiled at the 
idea of contest with the conquering Romans. They therefore 
sent a deputation to Rome to settle the matter pacifically, if possible. 
The Senate gave no decisive answer. 

A second deputation followed, but it sought in vain to avert tlie 
threatened evil. The demands made upon the Carthaginians were 
in the highest degree disgraceful to Rome. They were commanded 


to promise implicit obedience, and to send 300 hostages as a seci i.y 
for tlieir future good conduct. The promise was given, ana the 
Carthaginians yielded up their children, as the required hostages. 

Tliey were liext ordered to give up all their arms ; this order was 
also obeyed: and to consummate their degradation and the cruelty of 
the Romanes, they were required to quit their beloved city, and allow 
it to be levelled to the ground. The Carthaginians, as might have 
been expected, were fired with indignation, and resolved unani- 
mously that if they could not saA-e their capital, they would perish 
With it. 

Despoiled, however, of their arms, they could at first effect but 
little, although they exerted every nerve, in raeeiing the foe. Their 
women cut off their long fine hair to be twisted into cords for bows; 
they brought out all their gold and silver vessels to be converted into 
arms, for these were the only metals they had left. 

The Romans were astonished at the resistance thcj^ experienced ; 
many times were they repulsed from the walls, and many were the 
soldiers slain in the various attacks. Indeed, it is tliought by some, 
that Carthage would not finally have been taken, had not one of her 
own officers basely gone over to the enemy. The affairs of the 
Carthaginians declined from that time. 

Scipio J]]milianus cut off their supplies of food, and blocked up 
the haven. The persevering citizens cut out a new passage into the 
sea. He next attacked and cut to pieces the army they had station- 
ed without the walls, killing 70,000 men, and taking 10,000 prison- 
ers. After this he broke through the walls, and entered the city, 
pulling or burning down houses and temples, and public buildings, 
with indiscriminate fury. 

Asdrubal, the Carthaginian general, delivered himself and citadel 
to the conquerors ; but his wife and children, with numbers of the 
citizens, set fire to the temples, and rushing into llum, perished in 
the flames. So completely was this once beautiful city destroyed, 
that the place on which it stood cannot be discovered ; it was burning 
17 days, and was 24 miles in circumference. 

All the cities which befriended Carthage, shared her fate ; and the 
Romans gave away the lands to their friends. 

2. Soon after the ruin of Carthage, viz. 137 years B. G. 
the Numantines, a people of Spain, overcame the Romans in 
battle : but three years after this defeat, Numanlin, tlie finest 
and largest city in Spain, was taken by the Ilomans, and 
he inhabitants, to escape falUng irto the hands of these cruel 
conquerors, set fire to their city, and all of them perished in 
the llames. Thus Spain became a province of Rome 134 
3'eais B, C. 

§ Previously to the defeat of the Romans by the Numantines, there 
had been a war between tlie Romans and Spain, which lasted 9 years. 
Fabius, who was sent to manage this war, gained a victory over ouo 

146— so B. c 119 

o*" the leaders of the Spanish forces, who was obliged to retire into 

The reverse wliich theRomans met with in the contest with Numan- 
tia, was highly dif^graceful to thcni. Tliirty thousand of their num- 
ber were conquered by 4000 Nuniantines. The consul, Manciiuis, was 
recalled, and Scipio was sent into Spain, who restored the discipline 
of the troops. He soon defeated tlie Nuniantines, Avho, being reduced 
to the last extremity, perished as above described. 

3. Rome at this time, (133 B. C.) was beginninir to be 
greatly disturbed by internal dissensions. Attains, king of 
Pergamns, having, by his last will, made the Romans his 
heirs, Tiberius Gracchus, a tribune of the people, proposed 
that the money should be divided among the poor. This 
caused a great disturbance, during which Gracchus was 

About twelve years afterwards, Caius Gracchus, brother to 
Tiberius, having opposed the senate, and become popular and 
powerful, exposed himself to the resentment of the nobles, 
who marked him out for destiiiction. In consequence of some 
riots, tlie consul Opimius pursued him so closely, that to avoid 
falling into his hands, he accomplished his own death, by the 
assistance of a servant. 

§ The Gracchi were sons of Cornelia, the daughter of Scipio Afri- 
canus, the conqueror of Hannibal. She was left a widow with tAvelve 
children. Tlie following circumstance places her character in a very 
favourable light. A lady once came to visit her, who prided herself 
much on her jewels, and after shewing them to Cornelia, asked to 
see hers in return. Cornelia waited till her sons came home from 
school, and then prcsf ntiiig them to her guest, said, " Behold, madam, 
these are my jewels.-' 

The interference of Tiberius, her elder son, in behalf of the poor, 
had given great offence to the rich. At a public meeting he chanced 
to put his hand to his head, and those who wished his downfall im- 
mediately said that he was desirous of a crown, and in the uproar 
that ensued, he lost his life. 

At his death, the populace placed his younger brother at their 
head. Caius Gracchus was only 21 at this time, and had lived a life 
of great retirement, yet he did much good, and caused many useful 
acts to be passed. He was temperate and simple in his food, and of 
an active and industrious disposition. His love and respect for his 
mother were remarkable. At her request he withdrew a law he much 
desired to have passed : and so much was lie esteemed, that a statue 
was erected to the memory of his mother, with this inscription, 

Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi," a tribute honourable to both 
parent and children. 

The tumults attending the attempts of the Gracchi to remove the 
corruptions of the higher orders at their expense, were a prelude to 


Jhose civil disorders, which now rapidly followed to the end oi the 

4. The Romans, though corrupt at home, still displayed 
their valour abroad. Besides some small states which tliey 
had acquired on the north and east, they defeated Jugurtha, 
king of Numidia, about this time. The war with him com- 
menced 111 years B. C, and was finished under Marius 108 
B. C. The consequence to Jugurtha was the loss of his king- 
dom and life. 

After an engagement in which 90,000 of the Numidian 
army were slain, he was betrayed and made prisoner, and 
the senate finally condemned him to be starved to death in 
a dungeon. Jugurtha's own conduct occasioned his calamity, 
though the senate of Rome acted with singular cruelty. 

In this war Metellus the consul was leader at first, but 
Marius found means to supplant him, and to succeed in 

§ Jugurtha, who was grandson of the famous Massinissa, that 
sided against Hannibal, sought to usurp the crown of Numidia, by 
destroying his cousins, the sons of the late king. He succeeded in 
murdering the elder brother ; and the younger, applying for aid to 
Rome, failed of success, since Jugurtha bribed the senate, who de- 
creed to him the sovereignty of half the kingdom. 

He then made war upon his cousin, and finally put him also to 
death. The displeasure of the Roman people being excited by this 
conduct, the senate were constrained to summon him to Rome, to 
answer for his perfidy. He accordingly went thitlter, and pleading 
his own cause in person, he again, by bribery, secured the favomr of 
/.he senate. 

A repetition of his base conduct in reference to his cousin, drew 
upon him, however, the vengeance of the Romans. Metellus was 
sent against him ; and in tlie space of two years, Jugurtha was over- 
thrown in several battles, so that he was forced to negociate a peace. 
The negociation, however, was soon laid aside. 

Metellus had very much broken the strength of the Numidian 
king, before Marius succeeded to the command. Having by his arts 
ODtained the consulship, Marius enjoyed the reputation of putting an 
end to the war. This man was the glory and the scourge of Rome. 
He was born of poor parents, and inured from infancy to penury 
and toil. His manners were as rude as his countenance was forbid- 

He was thus prepared, however, to become a great general. His 
stature was extraordinary, his strength incomparable, and his bravery 
undaunted. When he entered the country of Jugurtha, he quickly 
made himself master of the cities that yet remained to the latter. 

Bocchus, king of Mauritania, at first assisted this prince, but fear- 
ing at length for his own crown, and understand inf^ ihni the Rmnanc 

146—80 B. c. 121 

would be satisfied with the delivery of Jngiirtha into their hands, he 
resorted to this treacherous measure, and the Numidian, dragged in 
chains to Rome, (;\'i)crlenced the fate above recorded. 

5. After a short war with the Teutoiies and Cimbri, of 
whom several huiuUed tliousands were slain under Marius, 
the Romans fell into a contention with the allied states of 
Italy. This was called the Social War, and was entered into 
on the part of the states, with a view to obtain the rights (/ 
citizenrihip, 9i years B. C, 

This war ended in an allowance of those rights, to such of 
the allies as shoidd return to their allegiance. It cost the 
lives of 300,000 of the flower of Italy, and was conducted by 
the ablest generals, on both sides. 

6. Following this was the commencement of the Mithridatic 
War, 89 years B. C. Sylla, who had distinguished himself in 
the social war, was appointed to the command of the expe- 
dition against Mithridates, to the great disappointment of Ma- 
rius. This measure was the foundation of those dreadful 
dissensions by which Rome became soon distracted. 

Within the space of three years, Sylla g-reatly humbled the 
power of Mithridates, and at the expiration of that time re- 
turned to Rome, burning with revenge against his enemies, — 
Marhis and his accomplices. 

§ Mithridates was a powerful and warlike monarch, whose dominion 
at this time extended over Ca])padocia, Bitliynia, Thrace, Macedon, 
and all Greece. Me was able to bring 250,000 infantrj^ into the field, 
and 50,000 horse. He had also a vast number of armed chariots, 
and in liis port 400 ships of war. 

The Romans desired to attack him, and they wanted no other pre 
tence, than his having invaded some of those states that were under 
the protection of Rome. Sylla entered with spn-it on the war, and 
soon had an oppotuiiity to acquire glory by his arms. 

This general who now bcg;ui to take the lead in the commonwealth, 
belonged to one of tiie most illustrious families in Rome. His person 
was elegant, his air noble, his manners easy and apparently sincere ; 
he loved pleasure, but glory still more ; and fond of popularity, he de- 
sired to please all the world. He rose by degrees into office, and 
soon eclipsed every other commander. On this account he received 
the present appointment, in opposition to the claims of Marias. 

In the course of the war, wliich had now commenced in earnest, 
Mithridates having caused 150,000 Roiuans, who were in his domin- 
ions, to be slain in cold blood, next sent his general Archelaus to op- 
pose Sylla. Archelaus, however, was defeated near Athens, with the 
loss of an incredible number of his forces. 

Another battle followed, by which the Roman general recovered 
all tiie countries that had been usurped by Mithridates ; so that both 


{)arties desired a cessation of arms, Mitliridates on account of his 
osses, and Sylla on account of his designs against Marius. 

7. Before much prog-ress was made in the Mithridatic war, 
the contention between Marius and Sylla had begun, 88 years 
B. C. Sylla having been recalled from Asia, refused to obey 
the mandate of the senate, and found his anny well disposed 
to support him. They required their leader to march them 
to Rome. He accordingly led them on, and they entered the 
city sword in hand. 

Marius and his partisans, after some resistance, fled fi'om the 
city, and Sylla ruled for a time in triumph. He soon returned, 
however, into Asia, to finish the war he had undertaken. In 
the mean time, the party of Marius recovered strength, and he 
returning to Italy, and joining his forces to those of Cinna, his 
zealous partizan, laid siege to Rome. The city he compelled 
to absolute submission. 

After putting to death all whom they considered their ene- 
mies, they assumed the consulship. But Marius, in a fit of 
debauch, died a few days after ; and Ciima at no great inter • 
val followed, having been privately assassinated. 

§ After Sylla had entered Rome in arms, his object, with the exeep)-- 
tion of a few vindictive measures, seemed to be to give peace to the city, 
and it was not until he had effected this object, as he supposed, that 
he departed upon his expediton against Mithridates. By confining 
his efforts solely against Marius, he had, however, overlooked a for- 
midable rising opponent in Cornelius Cinna. 

This man, who was of noble extraction, ambitious, bold, and enter 
prising, had sufficient influence to raise an army with a view to con- 
tend against the supporters of Sylla. Just at this juncture, Marius, 
having escaped a thousand perils during his absence, returned, with 
his son, to the gates of Rome. An army of veterans and slaves, the 
latter of whom he had promised liberty, flocked to his standard, and 
burning with revenge, he entered Rome, having previously received 
the submission of the senate. 

Tragical occurrences followed ; for senators of the first rank were 
butchered in the streets, and every personal enemy which Marius or 
Cinna had, that could be found, was put to death. In a month Mari- 
us died, having satisfied his two prevailing passions of ambition and 
revenge ; and while Cinna was preparing to meet Sylla in arms, he 
perished in a mutiny of his own soldiers, by an unknown hand. 

8. Sylla soon returned to Italy, victorious over his foreign 
enemy, and joined by Cethegus, Pompey, and other leaders, 
gave battle to those Romans who had been opposed to him, 
and entirely defeated them. Rome now for the first time re- 
ceived a native master. A most dreadful massacre and pro* 

146—80 B. c. 123 

scription followed, in which Sylla designed to exterminate 
every enemy he hud in Italy. 

§ The army opposed to Sylla M'as headed by young Marius, son of 
Caius, and although it was more numerous than that of Sylla, it was 
less united and disciplined. Several misfortunes, however, happen- 
in.'? to the forces of Mariu.'j, they soon yielded. 

A large body of the Samnites, who, at this time, were in the interest 
of Marius, had carri(-d the war to the gate of Rome. They were on the 
point of success, when Sylla met them, and a most obstinate contest 
ensued. Sylla found himself victorious. On the field of battle 50,000 
of the vanquished and the victors lay promiscuously in death. Sylla 
now became undisputed master of his country, and entered Rome at 
the head of his army. 

But he entered it to accomplish the purposes of the direst revenge. 
A long list of senators, and Roman knights, together with an unnum 
bered multitude of the citizens, he caused to be put to death. This 
work of destruction he extended throughout the principal towns of 
Italy. He permitted his soldiers to revenge their private injuries, 
and thus almost indiscriminate massacres took place. 

0. Such violence, however, could be supported only by an 
increase of power. Accordingly Sylla invested himself with 
the Dictatorship, thus designing to give an air of justice to his 
monstrous oppressions. This dictatorship commenced 82 years 
B. C, and lasted not quite three years. Rome was now be- 
ginning to settle into a despotism, having passed through all 
the forms of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. From 
this time, though nominally a republic for a number of years, 
it never freed itself from the yoke of despotism. 

Sylla, as perpetual dictator, was Avithout a rival in authority, 
and absolute master of the government. Every thing was 
done as he exacted. The least opposition aroused his ven- 
geance. The peo})le saw nothing before them but the pros- 
pect of hopeless slavery, for, while they were amused with the 
show of their former government, Sylla took care that none 
but his own creatures should be elected to any office. 

It was at this crisis, however, that, contrary to all expecta- 
tion, Sylla laid dovv'n the dictatorship. The step was unac- 
countable, and the reasons of it have ever remained hidden 
from mankind. 

§ He retired in safety. Of all that great multitude Avhich he had so 
often insult(!d and terrified, none were found hardy enough to reproach 
or accuse him, except one young man who pursued hiiu, with bitter 
invectives, to his own door. 

Sylla, without re])lying to so low an adversary, turning to those 
who followed, observed, " That this fellow's insolence would, for the 


future, prevent any man's laying do^vn an office of such supreme 

Retiring into the country, in order to enjoy the pleasures of tran- 
quillity and social happiness, if such a wretch could enjoy either, he 
did not long survive his abdication, dying of a most filthy disease — a 
loathsome and mortifying object to human ambition. 

A little before his death he made his own epitaph, the tenor of 
which was, " that no man had ever exceeded him in doing good to his 
friends, or injuries to his enemies." 


LO. The affairs of Syria, under the Seleucidee, or succes 
Bors of Seleucus, to the end of this period, were in a very uii- 
prosperous state. A succession of massacres and usurpations 
took place, till the time of Tigranes, king of Armenia, whom 
the Syrians invited to reign over them, 85 years B. C. Indeed 
Syria existed in independence but a few years after the pre- 
sent period, having been made a province of Rome soon after 
the commencement of the next succeeding period, viz. 64 
years B. C. 

§ The following are the names of some of the Seleucidae of the pre- 
sent era. The first was Demetrius Nicator, or the conqueror, who 
reigned five years, but was then confined to his palace for a long 
time. He aftertVards recovered his dominions, and reigned four 

After him Tryphon usurped the sceptre, and reigned four years. 
He was at length killed by his own soldiers. 

Antiochus Sidetes, the second son of Demetrius Soter, next ascend- 
ed the throne of his ancestors. He made war against Jerusalem, and 
obliged it to capitulate, but he granted the Jews a peace upon reason- 
able conditions. 

In attempting to recover all the provinces that belonged to the Sy- 
rian empire, of which Parthia was one, he made war against Phraates, 
king of Parthia, but being obliged to separate his troops and put 
them into winter quarters, the inhabitants of the country resolved on 
their destruction, and massacred them all in one day. Including at- 
tendants, they amounted to 400,000 persons. 

After this prince were Seleucus V. Antiochus Gryphus, who reign- 
ed 29 years, Antiochus IX. who was slain by a son of Gryphus; and 
one or two others whose names need not be mentioned. 

The Syrians having suffered so long, and so severely, under the 
turbulent princes of the race of Seleucus, resolved to exclude them 
from the throne. This they accomplished by sending an embassy to 
Tigranes, and inviting him to accept of the sovereignty. 

Tigranes complied with their request, and swayed the Syrian 
sceptre 18 years in perfect peace. Engaging afterwards in a war with 
the Romans, Lucullus the consul defeated him, and took the city of 
Tigranocerta, 69 years B. C. 

146—80 B. c. l2o 

After this, Antioclnis Asiaticus, a son of one of tlie former kings of 
Syriii, was acknowiedjxed asking by Lucullus, and reigned peace- 
ably for tlie space of four years ; but at the expiration of that time 
he was driven from the throne by Porapey, and Syria was reduced 
to a Roman province. 


1 1 . Pursuing the history of the Jews under the Maccabees 
It appears!, that the brothers of Judas Maccabteus availed 
theniseh'es of their advantages with perseverance and suc- 
cess. By their exertions they estabhshed the independence cf 
their coiuitry, and changed its repubhcan government to a vi- 
gorous monarchy. 

John Hyrcanus, son of Sunon Maccabeeus, uniting in his 
person tiie oiBces of high priest and generahssimo of the 
army, subdued the enemies of his country, ceased to pay ho- 
mage to the kings of Syria, firmly established his govern- 
ment, and is celebrated for his many valuable qualities, 135 
B. C. He reigned 28 years. 

His sons assumed the title as well as the power of kings ; 
and the high-priesthood remained in his family, though not 
in the person of the monarch. His descendants are distin- 
guished in the history of the Jewish nation, by the appella- 
tion of the Asmoiiean dynasty, which continued about 126 
years, "^riie independence of Judea was, however, drawing 
near to its close, an event which will be noticed in the suc- 
ceeding period. 

§ Concerning Ilrycanus it may be further recorded, that he seized 
on several of the defenceless cities of Syria, and thus accomplished 
a complete deliverance of his nation from the oppression of Syria. 
He also made some conquests, both in Arabia and Phoenicia, turned 
his victorious arms against the Samaritans, and subdued Idumea. At 
the time of his death he had raised his nation to a considerable de- 
gree of wealth, prosperity, and happiness. 

Of Aristobulus, one of the sons that reigned after Hyrcanus, it is 
recorded that he caused his brother Antigonns to be killed on suspi- 
cion of disloyalty ; that his mother claiming a right to the sove- 
reignty by virtue of Hyrcanus' will, was barbarously starved to 
death, — and that her other sons were kept in close confinement. 

This tyrannical persecutor a.'jsumed tlie royal diadem, which had 
not been worn by any of his predecessors, and effected the conquest 
of Iturea. His successes, however, were soon interrupted by sick- 
ness ; and the deep remorse he felt on account of the treatment of his 
mother, produced a vomiiing of blood, which speedily closed hv* 
wicked life and reign. 




12. Egypt, during- this period, continued under the rule 
of the Ptolemsean dynasty. Tlie nation increased in mag- 
nificence and consequence during the reigns of the Ptolemies. 
Their reigns, however, were disturbed by many plots and in- 
surrections, which arose between the different states over 
which the princes had dominion. 

These states Avere so numerous, as at one time to include 
33,333 well peopled cities. 

§ Of the first Ptolemy in this period, viz. Physcon, we remark, that 
he was so called on account of his corpulency ; but the name which 
he assumed was EA'ergetes, or the Benefactor. This was changed by 
his subjects into Kakergetes, or the Evil Doer, for he was the most 
cruel, Visicked, and despicable of the Ptolemies who swayed the Egyp- 
tian sceptre. 

He murdered the child of his wife Cleopatra in his mother's arms. 
He caused all persons to be put to death who had lamented the fate 
of the young prince, and gave free permission to the foreVjners who 
composed his guard, to plunder and massacre the inhabitants of 
Alexandria. That wealthy city was accordingly stript of its inhabi- 
tants, and repeopled by strangers whom he had invited thither. 

These, and many other enormities, rank him among the most bru- 
tal of mankind. Ptolemy Lathyrus shcceeded Physcon. His mother, 
Cleopatra, however, contrived to dethrone him, and to place his bro- 
tlier Alexander on the throne. The latter retained the title of king 
18 years. After his death, Lathyrus re-assumed the government. 

To Lathyrus a most inhuman action is attributed, in liis war with 
the Jews, on a certain occasion. Having taken up his quarters after 
a victorious battle, in the neighbouring villages of Judea, he caused 
all the female and infant inhabitants to be murdered, and their muti- 
lated limbs to be put into boiling caldrons, as if he designed to make 
a repast for his army. He wished to inspire the Jews with terror by 
representing their enemies as cannibals. 


13. Parlhia continued, during this period, to be governed 
by the Arsacidae, or descendants of Arsaces. This empire, 
which was greatly extended at one time, and which under 
Mithridates I. enjoyed the height of its grandeur, was soon 
afterwards consideralily aliridged. The principal sovereigns 
during this peroid, were Phraates II. Artabanus II. and Mi- 
diridates 11. 

§ Phraates H. when preparmg to mvade Syria at a certain time, 
found liini.-elf under the necessity of fighting the Scythians, whom 
he had called to his assistance against Antiochus, and to whom he 
refused to pay the promised sum, on account of their not arriving 
before the defeat of the Syrians, 

146—80 B. c. 127 

III order to strengthen liis army he enlisted all the Greek merce- 
naries, wiio, following Antiuchus, were prisoners ; but these Greeks 
having been treated with cruelty during their captivity, resolved to 
have revenge ; and in the first engagement deserted to the Scythians, 
and in conjunction with them attacked the Parthians, cut their army 
to pieces, killed the king, and ravaged their country. In tliis battle 
the Chinese also assisted the Scj'thians, which is their first appear- 
ance abroad, which history records. They had previously been con- 
fined to their own country in their wars and transactions. 

Distinguished Characters in Period IX. 

1 . Polybius, a learned historian, a\;!io wrote the history of the 
Greeks and Romans. 

2. ApoUodorus, a Greek grammarian. 

3. Lucilius, an early Roman poet. 

4. Marins, a celebrated Roman general and consul. 

5. Sylla, an able general, eminent for his success and cm 
elty in war. 

6. John Hyrcanus, a liberator of the Jews, and father of the 
Asmonean dynasty. 

§ 1. Polybius was a native of Arcadia, in Greece. He was initiated 
in tlie duties, and made acquainted with the qualifications of a states- 
7nan, by his father, the instructer of Philopoeuien. He fought against 
the Romans in the war of Perseus, but was taken and brought pri- 
soner to Rome, where he was befriended by the younger Scipio. 

Polj'bius acquired an intimacy with the powerful Romans, and 
was prv;sent at tlie taking of Carthage and Numantia. After the death 
of Scipio, he retired to Megalopolis, where he died in his 82d year, 
about 124 years B. C. He wrote a universal history in Greek, divi- 
ded into 40 books, wliieh began with the first Punic war, and finished 
with tlie conquest of Macedonia, by Paulus. 

The greatest part of this valuable history is lost. Five books, and 
numerous fragments, remain. It is highly authentic aiiil accurate. 

2. ApoUodorus flourished about 115 years B. C. He wrote a his- 
tory of Athens, besides other works. But of all his compositions no- 
thing is extant, except his Bibliotheca, a valuable work, divided into 
three books. 

3. Lucilius was a Roman knight, born at Aurunca,and distinguished 
by his virtuous and inoffensive character. He is considered as the 
first great satirical writer among the Romans, and indeed as the 
founder of satire. He Avas superior to his poetical predecessors at 
Rome ; he wrote with great roughness and inelegance, but with much 
facility, and he gained many admirers. 

Blackwell says, that he was " a writer of such keennes of temper 
and flowing wit, as fitted him to strike out a new road. iie\'er trod by 
poet before." Some, however, admired him beyond his real merits. 
Of 30 satires which he wrote, nothing but a few verses remains. He 
died at Naples m the 46th year of his age. 


4. Marius was born of obscure and illiterate parents, but became 
one of the most powerful and cruel tyrants, that Rome ever beheld 
during her consular government. He became seven times consuL 
He destroyed the Ambrones, Teutones, and Cimbri, who were pre- 
paring to invade Italy, and raised a civil war, to oppose the power ol 
Sylla, as has been narrated in this History. He died B. C. 86, after 
he had filled all Rome with blood. 

Among the instances which are mentioned of his firmness, this 
may be recorded. A swelling in the leg obliged him to apply to 
a physician, who urged the necessity of cutting it off. Marius gave 
it, and saw the operation performed without a distortion of the face, 
and without a groan. The physician asked the other, and Marius 
gave it with equal composure. 

5. Sylla was the inveterate enemy of Marius, between wh*m, as 
we have seen, the most bloody wars were waged. He was descended 
from a noble family, but was poor in early life. He afterwards be- 
came immensely rich. He first entered the army under Marius, as 
quajstor, in Numidia. He afterwards had the administration of the 
Mithridatic war. 

In his wars with Blarius, Sylla acted the tyrant to a terrible ex- 
tent, and t\ie streets of Rome he filled with devastation and blood. 
As perpetual dictator, he exercised the most absolute authority ; but 
at length abdicated and died at Puteoli of a most loathsome disease, 
in his 60th year, 78 B. C. Mankind have never understood the cause 
of his abdication. He and Marius both sought in their last sickness 
to drown the stings of conscience by continual intoxication. 

6. John Hyrcanus was prince and high-priest of the Jews, after 
his father. He restored his nation to independence, from the power 
of Antiochus, king of Syria, and died 106 years B. C. He was illus- 
trious by his virtues, as well as by being the father of a race of princes. 
He was succeeded on the throne of Judea by a son of the same name. 


TTie period of RomunLiteratnre^ extending from the first 
campaign of Julius Cccsar, SQ years B. C to the nativitt/ 
of Jesus Christy or the commencement of the Christian era. 

Sect. I. Rome, at the commencement of this period, had 
greatly extended its dominions, and was fast becoming a uni* 
versal empire. Abroad the Romans triumphed — but at home 
their affairs -were in a melancholy and distracted state. The 
form of public liberty remained, but the reality had principally* 
departed. The civil dissensions of Marius and Sylla had pro* 
trated many of their most valuable mstitutions. 

80 B. c. 129 

IJefore these dissensions were brought to a close, a man be- 
gan to appear on the stage, who was destined to destroy the 
last remnant of the Hberties of his country. This man was 
.lulius Ca'sar. In his lirst military enterprise, 80 years B. C, 
in the siege of IMytilene, under Thermus, the ])ra;tor of Asia, 
Ins bravery and talents were rewarded with a civic crown. 

Soon after this he returned to Rome to prosecute his studies, 
and for a time refused all interference in the feuds which were 
then prevailing. Before he had finished his studies, however, 
he raised troops to repress the incursions of Mithridates, and 
was successful in saving or rescuing several of the eastern 
provinces from liis grasp. 

§ From this time liis ambitious views were too apparent, and in seek- 
ing office and popularity, he was but too successful. Ho had escaped 
with difficulty the proscriptions of Sylla, who was persuaded to let 
him live, though tliat tyrant dreaded Caesar's aljililies. 

Caesar was descended from one of the first families in Rome, and 
Iiad married a daujxhter of Cinna. His powerful name and connex- 
ions he strengthened, by arts of tlie most consummate policy and ad- 
dress. His ])owcis of mind were of the highest order, and he excelled 
in whatever branch of pursuit he engaged. 

He was in person slender, tall, and delicate, and was reputed to be 
the handsomest man in Rome. He had a habit of running his finger 
under the nicely adjusted cxiris of his head, when he appeared in pub- 
lic assemblies : this led Cicero to remark, " that one would hardly 
imagine that under such a fine exterior, there was hatching the de- 
.struction of the liberties of Rome."' 

Of his feats in war, and the important part lie acted in the common' 
wealth, we shall have occasion to speak, in following the order of 

2. After tlie death of Sylla, contention broke out anew; 
for the terror of his power had created a short interval of a 
dreadful repose. 

Catulus and Lepidus settled their difficulties only by arms — 
and the War of Sertorious,and the Servile AVar ensued. These, 
liowever, were safely terminated after a few years. The war 
of Sertorius commenced 77 years B. C. The Servile War 
commenced 73 years B. C. 

§ Lepidus, who was consul, wishing to anmd all the acts of Sylla, 
was opposed by his colleague Catulus. To carry his jjoint he found 
It necessary to use force, and accordingly he raised an army in his 
government of Gaul, with which he approached, in hostile array, to- 
wards Rome. 

Catulus, to whom Pompey and his forces were joined, met him at 
t he Milvian Bridge, two miles from Rome, and gave him battle. Le- 


pidus was entirely defeated, and escaping into Sardinia, soon died of 
grief. His party, liowever, did not expire witii hiai. 

A more dangerous enemy still remained in Spain. This was Ser- 
torius, a veteran soldier, who had been bred inider Marius, his equal 
m courage — his superior in virtue. Banished from Rome by Sylla, 
he had found a refuge in Spain, whither all, who fled from Sylla's 
cruelty, resorted to him. Having gained the affections of its warlike 
inhabitants, he resisted, during eight years, the Roman power. 

Metellus, and afterwards Pompey, were sent to bring liim to sub- 
mission, but he often came off victorious, and was even threatening 
to invade Italy, when he was suddenly destroyed by the treachery 
of one of his lieutenants. The revolted provinces of Spain quickly 
submitted to Pompey. 

The Servile War took its rise from a few gladiators, who broke 
from their fencing-school at Capua, and having drawn a number of 
slaves after them, overthrew the force that was sent against them, 
and from this success, their number soon increased to an army of 
40,000 men. 

With this strength, and headed by Spartacus, their general, they 
sustained a vigorous war of three years in the very heart of Italy, 
and even talked of attacking Rome ; but Crassus, havi'.ig assembled 
all the forces in the neighbourhood of the capital, destroyed the 
greatest part of them, and among them Spartacus, fighting bravely 
to the last. 

3. The War whicli had been carried on against Mithrida- 
tes, and which Sylla had suspended by means of a peace, 
was renewed about this time, 72 years B. C. This was one 
of the most important wars which the Romans ever waged. 
Mithridates defeated the successor of Sylla, and contracting 
an alliance Avith Tigranes, king of Armenia, began to be quite 
formidable to the power of Rome. 

LucuUus, however, an experienced general, was sent against 
him, and defeated him in several engagements, with immense 
loss. Tigranes also felt the weight of the Roman arm ; and 
both, doubtless, would have been obliged soon to pue for peace, 
had not LucuHus, by means of intrigue, been deposed from 
liis command, and Glabrio appointed in his stead. 

After this, Mithridates met with success again, till Pompey 
was appointed to take the command against this powerful 
enemy of Rome. Under the auspices of this great general, 
the Roman arms were completely victorious, and the wai 
terminated about G3 years B. C, wnth the death of Mithri- 

§ Mithridates was the undaunted enemy of Rome during 25 years. 
His resources in wealth and soldiers were great, and his bravery and 
lalciits were equal to his resources. The Roman general with whom 

80 B. c. 131 

he had finally to contend, was an antagonist worthy of him, in every 
respect. Pompey had already become a favourite hero of the Ro- 
man people. 

He had generally boon successful in his military enterprises, and 
in the commission wiiich he had recently received of managing the 
war against the pirates of the Mediterranean, he had shewn equal 
intrepidity and skill. Pleased witli his success, the people had en- 
trusted to him tlie sole management of the Mithridatic war, with an 
almost unlimited authority. 

His power would have rendered him extremely dangerous to the 
liberties of his country, had he been an enemy to those liberties. But 
though highly ambitious, he was desirous rather of glory tlian of do- 
minion. He wislied to be the first man in the state, and for this rea- 
son entered into a contest with Crassus for the favour of the people, 
as he afterwards fought against Csesar, in behalf of the republic. 

In the Mithridatic war he manifested his qualities as a general. 
He first proposed terms of accommodation to Mithridates. But 
these were refused ; and the king, collecting an army from the wrecks 
of his former power, was about to carry the war into Armenia. In 
this project, however, he was disappointed, and was obliged to flee. 

Pompey, nevertheless, overtook him before he had time to pass the 
Euphrates. It was then night, but being compelled to engage, it is 
said the moon, shining from behind the Roman army, lengthened 
their shadows so mucli, that the archers of Mithridates shot their ar- 
rows at these, mistaking the shadow for the substance. 

He was overthrown with great loss ; but he broke through the Ro- 
man army with a few hundred horse, and escaped. Here, after wan- 
dering through the forests several days, leading his horse, and sub- 
sisting on fruits which were found in his way, he met with a few 
thousand of his troops that had survived the engagement, who con- 
ducted him to one of his magazines, containing the treasures deposi- 
ted to support the war. 

After this he sought aid from several princes ; but though he failed 
in this attempt, and though he was betrayed by his unnatural son, he 
still aimed at great designs, and even in the heart of Asia, he pro- 
jected the invasion of the Roman empire. Upon being apprized of 
his intentions, a mutiny ensued, which was promoted by his son. 

Being obliged to take refuge in his palace, he sent to his son for 
leave to depart, with olT(;rs of the remnant of his kingdom to him. 
The monster, however, denied this request, and sternly conveyed a 
message to the old man, intimating that death was now all that he 
could expect. 

This instance of filial ingratitude aggravated all his other calami- 
ties ; and he sought fur his wives, children, and himself, a voluntary 
death. They all readily consented to die with their monarch, rather 
than to undergo the horrors of a Roman captivity. 

4. After defeating Mithridates, Pompey made very nume- 
rous and extensive conquests, setting up and deposing kings 
at his pleasure. He at lengtli marched against Jerusalem, 


and after besieging it tliree months, took it — 12,000 of ita 
defenders having lost their hves. He then returned to Rome, 
enjoying the most splendid triumph that ever entered its 
gates, 61 years B, C. 

§ Darius, king of Media, and Antiochus, king of Syria, were compel- 
led to submit to tlie clemency of Pompey, while Phraates, king of 
Parthia, was obliged to retire, and send to entreat peace. From 
thence, extending his conquest over the Thurseans and Arabians, he 
''educed all Syria and Pontus into Roman provinces. 

In his conquest of Jerusalem after gratifying his curiosity with the 
holy things of the place, he restored Hyrcanus to the priesthood and 
government, and took Aristobulus with him to grace his triumph. 
This triumph lasted two days. In it were exposed the names of 15 
conquered kingdoms, 800 cities taken, 29 cities repeopled, and 1000 
castles brought to acknowledge the empire of Rome. 

The treasures that were brought home amounted to near 20,000,000 
of our money {$ ;) and the trophies and other splendours of the pro- 
cession, were sucli, that the spectators seemed lost in the magnificent 
profusion. The glory, rather than the real prosperity of Rome, was 
increased by these victories. While Pompey and the Roman arms 
were triumphant abroad, the city was near its ruin, by means of a 
conspiracy in its very bosom. 

5. Sergius Catiline, a patrician by birth, at this time, (B. C. 
64) plotted the downfall of his country. His object was to 
rise on its ruins to wealth and power ; and accordingly asso- 
ciating with him a number of ambitious, profligate characters 
like himself, he hoped to throw Rome and all Italy into a state 
of tumult and insurrection, and to destroy the lives of the most 
distinguished of the citizens. 

But the vigilance of Cicero, who was consul, frustrated this 
horrible project. Taking the necessary precautions, he secured 
the conspirators that were in Rome, and ordered them to exe 
cution, according to law. Catiline, who had fled, soon raised 
an army, and coming to battle with the forces of the republic, 
he was overthrown, and himself and his whole army were 
given to the sword. 

Cicero, by his abilities, patriotism, and zeal for the public 
good, w^as raised to the most enviable height of glory and re- 

6. Pompey, after his triumphal entrance into Rome, sought 
to be the first man in the republic. His contention was more 
particularly with Crassus, who, on account of his wealth, 
possessed an influence at this time next to that of Pompey. 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 133 

Ceesar, who was also aspiring after the same distinction, sought 
to accomplish his object by uniting these rivals. 

This union he brought to pass, and thus he avoided making 
himself an enemy to either of them, and enjoyed the favour 
of both. From a regard to tiicir mutual friend, Pompey and 
(.'rassus agreed to a partition of power with Caesar, and thu.^ 
was formed the First Triumvirate, B. C. 59. 

Cffisar was chosen consul. He increased his popularity, by 
a division of lands among the poorer citizens, and strengthened 
his interest with Pompey, by giving him his daughter in 
marriage. The coalition between Pompe}^, Crassus, and 
(^'aesar, constituted a power distinct from the senate or the peo- 
ple, and yet dependent on both. It was exceedingly detri- 
mental to the pulilic liberties. 

7. Having divided the empire between them, these three 
individuals prepared for their respective destinations. Ceesar. 
however, previousl}^ to his departure, had the address to pro- 
cure the banishment of Cicero from Rome, and thus removed 
one of the greatest obstacles to his career of ambition. He ac- 
complished this object by means of his partizans, particu- 
larly Clodius, the tribune, 58 years B. C. 

The pretext for this base act, was the illegality of certain 
measures pursued in the suppression of Catiline's conspiracy. 
Through the interest of Pompey, liowever, Cicero was at 
length recalled from exile, Avith distinguished honour. 

^ Cicero continued to be the watchful guardian of the few remaining 
liberties of his country. He was the greatest man of the Romans, if 
not of all antiquity. His virtues were as conspicuous as his talents. 
He appeared, liowever, to have one foible, and that was vanity. He 
desired to unite in his character incompatible qualities ; and to be 
thought not only the greatest orator, but the greatest jester iu 

In his zeal for the public good, Caesar Ijad reason to fear him. To 
procure his banishment from the city, he favoured the designs of 
Clodius, who was Cicero's inveterate enemy, and in this he was 
joined by Pompey. Clodius, as tribune, caused a law to be passed, 
importing that any who had condemned a Roman citizen unheard, 
should himself be banished. This was designed to have a bearing 
on Cicero, in regard to his proceedings against Catiline. 

Being impeached on this law, Cicero was banished 400 miles from 
Italy, his houses were ordered to be demolished, and his goods set 
\ip for sale. In vain did he protest against the iniquitous sentence ; 
the people had ungratefully forgotten their benefactor, and sixteen 
montiis did he spend in solitude and grief. He bore his exile wiili 
Uie greatest impatience. m 


Pompey, who had concurred in the banishment of Cicero, at 
length saw his mistake in the growing reputation and power of his 
rival, Caesar. To prop his own sinldng fortunes, he needed the aid of 
Cicero, and interceding in his favour, procured his recall to Rome, 
57 B. C. 

8. Caesar, who had the government of Transalpine Gaul 
and Illyria, nobly sustained the mihtaiy glory of his country, 
ill the wars which he waged on its account. In Gaul. Ger- 
many, and Britain, he spread the terror of his arms. His 
landing on the British isles, and his success in subduing the 
savage and hardy natives, is a memorable event in history. 

His invasion of Britain took place 55 years B. C; and hi.s 
subjugation of a considerable part of the country was eflocted 
at two different times, in the course of one year, 54 B. C. But 
the urgency of affairs at home, delayed the progress of his 
arms in Britain. 

§ Cffisar, in the first year of his government, subdued the Helvetii, 
■who had left their own country, and attempted to settle tiiemselves 
in tlie more inviting regions of the Roman provinces. Two hundred 
thousand of their number perished. The Germans, with Ariovistu.s 
at their head, were next cut off. The Belgoe, Nervii, the Celtic 
Gauls, the Suevi, and other warlike nations, were all successively 
brouglit under suljjection. 

At length, urged by the desire of conquest, he invaded Britain. 
But upon approaching the shores, he found them covered with men 
to oppose his landing, and it was not without a severe struggle, that 
the natives were put to flight. Having obtained other advantages 
over them, and bound them to obedience, he passed over to the conti- 
nent during winter quarters, meditating a return in the spring. 

The absence of the conqueror inspired the Britons, naturally fond 
of liberty, with a resolution to renounce the Roman power. But in 
a second expedition, Cfesar so intimidated them with repeated victo- 
ries, that they no longer resisted hi the plains, but fled to the forests. 
Here, however, they were unsafe, and soon yielded to the necessity 
of suing for a peace. 

In the course of nine years this ambitious general and waster of 
hum^u life conquered, together with Britain, all that country which 
exteuQS from the INIediterranean to the German sea. It is said that 
he took 800 cities ; subdued 300 different states ; overcame 3,000,000 
men, I,0OO,0(X) of whom fell on the field of battle, and the remainder 
made prisoners of war. Notwithstanding the plaudits of the world, 
how little glory was there in all this I 

9. The death of Crassus, which occurred in an expedition 
against the Parthians, 53 years B. C, put an end to the 
Triumvirate. After this event, Ceesar and Pompey, whose 
union was far from being sincere, began each to entertain the 
idea of supreme, undivided dominion. . Both were extremely 

so B. C. — CHRISTIAN ERA. 135 

powerful ; but Cccsar had superior talents, and an invincible 
army devoted to his interests. The main body of the people 
were also in favour of Caesar who had won them by his libe- 

The strength of Pompcy lay in the favour of the consuls, 
and the good wishes of the Roman senate ; and several legions 
were also at his coiinnand. In attitudes so imposing, and 
with resources so vast, it is not surprising that, in tliose dege- 
nerate times, each should be encouraged to expect the posses- 
sion of supreme power. 

The contest for superiority was not long a contest of plans 
and feelings merely — it soon became a contest of blows. The 
result of this terrible civil war was disastrous in the extreme 
to Pompey and the republic. At Pharsalia, in Tliessaly, 
Caesar and Pompey met in battle, in which Pompey was en- 
tirely defeated, with the loss of 15,000 men killed, and 24,000 
taken prisoners, 48 yems B. C. Being soon after in the power 
of Ptolemy, king of Egypt, to whom he had fled for protec- 
tion, he Avas basely murdered. 

§ Near the expiration of the term of his government, Ceesar applied 
to the senate to be continued in his authority. This apphcation the 
senate refused. Cnesur then deterrauied to appeal to arms for what 
he clioso to consider as his right. Having, by the sanction of an 
oath, engaged the services of his army in his favour, he began to draw 
towards the confines of Italy, and passing the Alps with his third 
legion, stopped at Ravenna, from whence he wrote a letter to the 
consuls, declaring that lie was ready to resign all command, if Pom- 
pej'' would show equal submission. 

But the senate being devoted to Pompey, was determined to de- 
prive Cfesar of his command, and consequently passed a decree, by 
which he was to be considered an enemy to the commonwealth, if 
he did not disband liis army within a limited time. 

Caesar, nothing at all intimidated or deterred from his project, 
marched his army to the Rubicon, a small river which formed the 
boundary between Italy and Gaul. This boundary the Roman.s 
considered as sacred, and not to be passed with impunity, since they 
had solemnly devoted to tlie infernal gods, and branded with sacri- 
lege and parricide, any person who should presume to pass it, with 
an a;iny, a legion, or even a single cohort. 

At this spot, he f(>r a moment hesitated, as if profoundly impressed 
with the fearful consequences which must result from the step he was 
about to take. Ilis misgivinjjs, however, subsiding, he said to one of 
his generals, " the die is cast," and putting spurs to his horse, he 
plunged in, and with liis soldiers soon gained the opposite shore. 

Terror and indignation seized the citizens of Rome, as the news 
of this transaction reached their eai-s. Pompey was not ii4 sufficient 


force to meet the enemy, and accordingly quitted tlie city, and led his 
soldiers to Capua, where he had two legions. From that place he 
passed over at length into Macedonia, followed by the consuls, and a 
large body of the senators. At the same time, he caused levies to be 
raised over both Italy and Greece. 

In two months, Caesar having made himself master of all Italy, 
entered Rome in triumph, to the great joy of most of the people, lie 
secured to himself the supreme authority and the public treasures , 
and having made profession of respect for the citizens and liberties 
of Rome, and adjusted the concerns of the city, he left it in a few 
days, and set out to take the field against his enemies. 

The lieutenants of Pompey havitig possession of Spain, Cassar 
marched directly thither, leading his army again over the lofty Alps. 
In the course of 40 days he subdued the whole coinitry, and return- 
ed victorious to Rome, where, during his absence, he had been nomi- 
nated dictator. He was soon after chosen consul also. His dictator- 
ship he relinquished at the expiration of eleven days. 

In the meantime, Pompey's preparations were such as became the 
crisis which was approaching. He had received from the sovereigns 
of the East very considerable supplies, as well as the assurances of their 
friendship. He was master of nine Italian legions, and liad a fleet of 
500 large ships, under the conduct of an experienced commander. 

The nobles and most distinguished citizens of Rome, flocked daily 
around his standard ; and he had at one time above 200 senators in 
his camp, among whom were the great names of Cicero and Cato. 
Pompey's party glorying in their numbers and strength, were confi- 
dent of success. 

Caesar, with a courage bordering on rashness, nnmediately sought 
his rival, and desired to bring him to an engagement. Near Dyrra- 
chium the opposing armies were so situated that it became necessary 
to fight. The result was by no means decisive, though it was favoura- 
ble on the whole to Pompey, who afterwards led his troops to Phar- 

Previously to this encounter, a circumstance took place, displaying 
th-e lofty spirit of Cajsar. For the purpose of liastening the arrival 
of a reinforcement, he conceived the design of passing over to Brun- 
dusium in the night, by embarking in a fishcrman-s boat at the mouth 
of the river Apsus. This he accordingly did witli great secrecy, 
having disguised himself in the habit of a slave. 

When they had rowed off a considerable way, the wind suddenly 
changed against them — the sea began to rise in billows, and the storm 
increased to an alarming degree. The fisherman, who had rowed 
all night with extreme labour, was often inclined to put back, but 
was dissuaded by his passenger. At length, however, he conceived 
liimself unable to proceed, and yet he was too distant from land to 
hope for making good his return. 

In this moment of despair he was about 1o give up the oar, and 
commit himself to the mercy of the waves, when Cpesar discovering 
himself, commanded him to row boldly — " Fear nothing," cried he, 
" you carry Caesar and his fortune." The fisherman was encouraged 

80 B. C. — CHRISTIAN ERA. 137 

to proceed, but the wind finally forced them to make for land, and 

Soon after the affair at Dyrrachium, the hostile armies found them- 
selves on the plains of Pharsalia. Ca3sar invited and provoked a 
battle, by all the arts in his power. Pompey had secured an advan- 
tageous situation, unA it was by the artifice of decamping and indu- 
cing the enemy to follow him, that Caesar drew him from it. 

When Ca?sar perceived the effect of his stratagem, with joy in his 
countenance he informed his soldiers that the hour was come which, 
was to crown their glory, and terminate their fatigues. His forces, 
however, were much exceeded bj^ those of Pompey, who led an 
army of 45,000 footmen, and 7000 horse, while the troops of Caesar 
did not number more tJian 23,000 men, only 1000 of whom were 
cavalry. But they were better disciplined than those of Pompey. 

Awful was the moment of meeting. The armies were both Roman, 
mingled indeed witli foreigners, and the first in the world — the leaders 
were consummately brave, and the interest at stake was the dominion 
of Rome. Every heart was fired and every arm nerved. The generals 
both addressed their armies previously to the engagement, and urged 
them to sustain the reputation of their ancient bravery. 

The battle commenced on the part of Caesar. But the cavalry of 
Pompey were too numerous for tlieir adversaries. Caesar's men were 
forced to retire. Their general had foreseen this result, and had made 
the requisite disposition of his forces. Six cohorts in reserve, who 
had been ordered to discharge their javelins at the faces of Pompey's 
cavalry, were, at this crisis, brought up to the engagement. The sin- 
gle circumstance of the manner of their fighting determined the fate 
of the battle. Pompey's cavalry, who consisted of the younger part 
of the Roman nobility, valued themselves upon their beauty, and 
dreaded a scar in the liice, more than a wound in the body. They 
were therefore frightened from the field by the unusual mode of at- 
tack, and thus the day was lost to Pompey and the republic. 

The loss of Ca?sar was inconsideralile, 200 men only being slain. 
His cleTiiency towards his vanquished enemies deserves to be noticed. 
Most of the prisoners he incorporated with the rest of his army, and 
to the senators, and Roman knights, who fell into !his hands, he gave 
liberty to retire wliithcrsoevcr they pleased. The letters which Pom- 
pey had received from several persons v/ho wished to be thought neu- 
tral, Caesar committed to the flames without reading them, as Pom- 
pey had done upon a former occasion. 

Caesar followed up his victory witli the greatest energy, and after 
Pompey's flight in.«tantly pursued him. He did not however over- 
take him alive. Pompey had hvvn destined to suffer the extremity ot 
misery. His foil was from the sunmiit of power to the most abject 
dependence, and it was as sudden as it was terrible. Escaping from 
the field of battle, and wandering along the beautiful vale of Tempe, 
in the greatest agony of mind, he finally found the means of sailing 
to Lesbos, where he had left his wife Cornelia. 
' Their meeting was tender and distressing to the last degree. The 
news of her reverse of fortune had caused Cornelia to faint, and for 



a considerable time life appeared to be extinguished. At length re- 
covering herself, she ran quite through the city to the sea-side. Pom- 
pey received her without speaking a word, and for some time sup- 
ported her in his arms, with silent anguish. When words found 
their way, the tenderest expressions of affection and grief were mu- 
tually uttered. 

But it became necessary to flee, and sailing to the coast of Egypt, 
they sought the protection of Ptolemy, whose father had formerly 
found in Pompey a benefactor. The mmisters of the king wishing 
to court the favour of Csisar, basely proposed to receive and then 
murder their guest, as he approached the shore. This diabolical coun- 
sel prevailing, Achillas, and Septimius, the latter by birth a Roman, 
were appointed to carry it into execution. 

Accordingly, in the very sight of Cornelia, as Pompey arose to go 
ashore, supporting himself upon his freedman's arm, Septimius stab- 
bed him in the back ; when the warrior, perceiving what would be his 
fate, silently resigned himself to it, at the same time muffling his face 
with his robe. 

The freed man of Pompey, after the people had retired, found the 
means of burning the body of his master, from which the head had 
been separated, and over the tomb the following inscription was 
afterwards placed : " He whose merits deserve a temple, can now 
scarcely find a grave." Caesar soon reached Egypt ; but the head of 
Pompey, wdiich was immediately presented to liim, and from which 
he turned his face in horror, informed him, that he had now nothing 
to fear from a man who had so lately contended with him for the em- 
pire of the world. 

10. War was Caesar's element. He found an occasion of 
gratifying his ruling passion in Egypt. In a contest between 
Ptolemy and his sister Cleopatra, he interposed in behalf of 
the latter, and at length brought Egypt under the Roman 
voke, 48 B. C In two years after, he subdued Pharnaces, 
king of Pontus. 

§ Cleopatra, thougli sister to Ptolemy, was nevertheless married to 
him, and both jointly held the throne. The ambition of Cleopatra 
prompted her to aspire after undivided authority. Tlie charms of 
her person were unequalled, and conquering even the conqueror of 
the world, they engaged him in a war which was alike and de- 
sirable. After the reduction of Egypt, Cajsar, forgetful of the re- 
etpect due to his character, abandoned himself to pleasure in the com- 
pany of Cleopatra. 

From such a course, however, he soon broke off, for hearing of the 
revolt of Pharnaces, son of Mithridatcs, who had seized upon Chal- 
cis and Armenia, he bent his way tlnther. In the battle of Zela, he 
signally chastised the offending monarch. "I came, I saw, I conquer- 
ed!-' is the expressive language in which Ids report was conveyed to 
the Roman senate. 

11. Leaving" the scene of conquest in the East, Cecsar has- 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 139 

iPiicJ to Rome, wliere his presence was greatly needed. An- 
tony, who acted as liis deputy, had created disturbances which 
( 'cesar only coukl ijuell. Italy was divided, and the party of 
Pompey was yet extremely formidable. Caesar, however, soon 
restored tranquillity to Rome. 

But at this tiuie the two sons of Pompey, with Cato and 
Scipio, were in arms in Africa, assisted by Juba, king of Mau- 
ritania; thither Ca\-ar hastened, and at Thepsus, meeting them 
in battle, overthrew Jiem with little or no loss on his side. 
Scipio, in attemjiting to escape into Spain, fell among the 
enemy, and was slain. Cato, confining himself in Utica, at 
first thought of resisting the victorious Caesar, but finding hia 
followers irresolute, he deUberately put an end to his own life. 

This event finishing the war in Africa, Caesar returned in 
triumph to Rome, 45 years B. C. By an vuiparalleled display 
of magnificence and by unbounded liberality, he courted and 
obtained the favour of the great body of the people, xilmost 
every honour and title was conferred npon him. He was 
styled fiither of his country, was created perpetual dictator, 
received the title of emperor, and his person was declared 

§ The story of Cato is deeply tragical. This extraordinary man dis- 
laycd at once the /irmiiess and tlie depravity of his nature. Wlieii 
le found it in vain to attempt to animate liis soldiers against Crcsar. 
lie resolved to die. After supping clieerfull}', lie came into his bed- 
chamber, where \\c laid lumself down, and witli deep attention, read 
Fome time Plato's Dialogue on the immortality of the soid. 

Perceiving soon tliat his sword had been removed from the head of 
his bed, he made inquiries respecting it of his domestics; but while 
he was like to obt.iiu no satisfaction from them, his son, wlio had 
caused it to be taken away, entered with tears, and besought him, in 
the most humble and alTectionate manner, to change his resolution j 
but receiving a stcn-n reprimand, he desisted from his persuasions. 

His sword being ;* length handed to him, his tranquillity returned, 
and he cried out, " Wow am I master of myself." He then took up 
the book again, which he read twice over, and fell into a profound 
Bleep. Upon waking, he made some inquiry of one of his freedmen, 
respecting his friends, and then shutting himself up in the room 
alone, he stabbed himself; but the wound not being immediately mor- 
tal, with a most ferocious resolution, he tore out his own bowels, and 
died as he had lived, a stoic. By this deed he has blackened his cha- 
racter, to all futuriiy. • 

12. The state of affairs in Spain called Caesar again into 
that country, 45 years B. C. Two of the sons of Pompey 
were in arms, and it was not without severe fighting thaJ 



Caesar subdued the remnant of his enemies in Spain. He re 
turned to Rome to receive new demonstrations of t)ie ahnosl 
slavish homage of its citizens. 

Finding himself in peace, he turned his attention more than 
ever to the improvement of the empire. He aflected great 
moderation in the enjoyment of his power, though he was evi- 
dently eager of its acquisition. He however turned it to a 
good account. He made no discriminations between his 
friends and foes : he was liberal alike to both. He adorned 
the city with magnificent buildings, undertook to level several 
mountains in Italy, and to drain the Pontine marshes, impro- 
ved the navigation of the Tiber, reformed the calendar, and 
meditated distant conquests. 

13. His brilliant course, however, was destined shortly to 
end. He was suspected of aiming at royalty ; and though 
many of the people felt greatly obliged l^y his clemency and 
munificence, yet they detested the name of king. This cir- 
cumstance urged 6U of the senators, who were actuated by 
the love of liberty, though some of them seem to have been 
impelled also by private resentment, to league together Avith 
a view to deprive him of his life. This they accomplished in 
the senate house on the ides (15th) of March, in the 56th year 
of his age, 44 B. C. 

§ Caesar enjoyed all the power of a monarch ; and though he might, 
in the first instance, have ambitiously sought it, yet it was conferred 
or allowed by the free consent of the people. But the name of king 
was not to be endured. The particular occasion of envy or alarm 
among the friends of libcrtj^, was the neglect, on the part of Coesar, of 
rising from liis seat, when tlie senate was conferring upon him some 
special honours. 

From that time it began to he rumoured that he was about to take 
the title of king. Whether such was his purpose cannot now be de- 
termined, tliough it cannot be well conceived why lie should desire 
that einpty honour, when he possessed the reality. The conspiracy 
which was formed against him, was headed by Brutus and Cassius, 
the one his friend— the other his enemy. Brutus owed his life to 
the clemency of Caesar, whom the latter spared at the battle of Phar- 
salia ; and he was not destitute of a strong personal attachment to 
the dictator. 

The conspiracy which had been formed, happened in some way 
or other to be known by two or three individuals ; but the means ta- 
ken to apprize C<icsar of it, failed. As he proceeded to the senate, on 
the day agreed upon by tlie conspirators, a slave hastened to carry 
him information, but could not come near him for tiie crowd. Arte- 
oiidorusj a great philosopher, wlio had discovered the whole plot,de- 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 141 

livered him a memorial, but Cresar gave it, with other papers, to one 
of liis secretaries, without reading it. 

As soon as he had talvcn liis place, the conspirators came near him 
under pretence of saluting him ; and Cimber, who was one of them, 
pretending to sue for his brotlier's })ardon, approacned in a suppliant 
posture, and so near as to take hold of the bottom of his robe, which 
prevented C? from rising. 

'I'his was the signal agreed on. Casca, who was behind, stabbed 
him, though slightly, in the shoulder. Caesar instantly turned round 
and wounded him in the arm. However, the conspirators were now 
all in action, and sm-rounded him. He received a second stab in the 
breast, while Cassius wounded him in the face. Still he defended 
liimself with great vigour, rushing among them, and throwing dowTi 
such as opposed him, till seeing Brutus who had struck a dagger in 
liis thigh., he yielded himself to his fate, first exclaiming to his friend, 
in a subdued and languishing tone, " And you, too, my son !" 

I le fell, covered with his robe, before him, and pierced with 23 

The character of a despot and conqueror, as such, is to be detest- 
ed. Cajsar enslaved his fountry, and waded to dominion through 
rivers of blood. His elevation cost the lives of 1,C00,000 human be- 
ings. We may be permitted to express our abhorrence of such con- 
duct, and to regret that transcendant talents (for such he possessed) 
ehould have been perverted to so base a purpose. 

The darkness of this picture is however relieved by some lines of 
light — if it were not so, Caesar woidd have been a monster. Besides 
the splendid endowments of his genius, he was distinguished by 
liberality, clemencj', and modesty. He always spared a vanquished 
enemy ; and perhaps no despot, in his personal feelings and private 
character, was ever more amiable. How much then is it to be laments 
ed, that such qualities should have been united to an insatiable am- 
bition ! 

14. The death of Caesar produced an unheard of crisis in 
luinian affairs. There was no longer any tyrant, yet liberty 
was extinct ; for the causes which dcstroj'ed it kept it from 
reviving. The senate and people mutually distrusted each 
other. There was a very general feeliug of sorrow and in- 
dignation arnong the latter at the murder of Ca;sar, nor could 
the senate at all mitigate or repress it. 

Mark Antony. ?. man of consmnniate military talents, but 
profligate in the extreme, exposed the bleeding body of Caesar 
iu the forum. This sight, together with the bloody robe, pro- 
duced an electric effect on the multitude, which was height- 
ed to an excessive degree, by means of an artful and inflam- 
matory harangue delivered by Antony on the occasion. The 
conspirators were obliged to flee the city in order to save their 


At this juncture, (43 B. C.) a second triumvirate was form- 
ed, consisting of Antony, already mentioned, Lepidus, who 
was immensely rich, and Octavius, afterwards surnamed Au- 
gustus, wlio was Caesar's grand nephew and adopted heir. 
This was a most bloody triumvirate. As they divided the 
supreme authority among themselves, by concert, they stipu- 
lated that all tlieir respective enemies should l)e destroyed, 
though those might happen to be the best friends of each as- 
sociate who was reciuired to sacrifice them. 

§ Lepidus gave up his brother Paulus to the vengeance of one of his 
colleagues. Antony permitted the proscription of his uncle Lucius j 
and Augustus, to his eternal infamy, sacrificed the great Cicero. 
Three hundred senators, and 2000 Roman knights, besides multitudes 
of worthy citizens, were included in this horrible proscription. 

1 5. The conspirators were not suffered long to escape the 
vengeance of the friends of Ctesar. Octavius and Antony 
now marched against them in Thrace, where they had a for- 
midable army of 100,000 men, comnianded l\y Brutus and 
Cassius. An engagement took place at Philippi, 42 years 
B. C, which decided the fate of the empire. It was won by 
Octavius and Antony, or rather by Antony alone, for Octa- 
vius was destitute not only of military talents, but even of 
personal bravery. 

The death-l)low was now given to Roman liberty. The 
republican party was entirely subdued, and Brutus and Cas- 
sius, its leaders, escaped the hands of their enemies, only by a 
voluntary death. 

§ The loss of the battle at Philippi bj^ the republicans, was occasion- 
ed principally through the hasty despair of Cassius. Brutus, on his 
part, had been victorious, — Cassius had suffered a severe loss, but 
would have been relieved by Brutus, had he not ordered himself to 
be killed in the meantime, in consequence of havinij mistaken a body 
of Brutus's cavalry, who was approaching him, for that of the enemy. 

When Brutus was informed of the defeat and death of Cassius, he 
seemed hardly able to restrain the excess of his grief for a man, wliom 
lie called " the last of the Romans." He bathed the dead body with 
his tears. Antony offered him battle on the ensuing day ; but it was 
the policy of Brutus to delay, and even to attempt to starve his cne- 
mjs he probably might have done it. 

The soldiers of Brutus, however, urged a battle, nor would they 
submit to a refusal. After a respite of a few days, Brutus took the 
field. He fouglit Avith the resolution to conquer, but some unhappy 
movement of a part of his troops turned the fortune of the day, and 
all was lost. He followed the fate of Cassius. 

Retiring out of the way of the enemy, with Strato, his master ia 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 143 

oratory, he requested the latter to put an end to his hfe. After much 
eohcitation Strato rchictantly assented, and averting his face, pre- 
sented the sword's point to Brutus, who threw himself upon it, and 
immediately expired. 

Octavius being sick at this time, took no part in the battle of Phi- 
lippi Indeed his presence, had it been afforded, would have been of 
little service to the combatants, since he possessed neither skill nor 
**ourage. He had, however, gained a large share of popularity with 
the Roman peoi)lo, partly on account of his name, and his relation- 
ship to Cccsar, and partly on account of his personal appearance, and 
accomplishments. These were in the highest degree prepossessing. 

He was destined, as will soon appear, to be m.uch more successful 
than the other Triumviri, and even at length to place himself at the 
head of the empire. 

16. The power of the Triumviri being established upon 
the ruins of the commonwealth, they began to think of en- 
joying the homage to which they had aspired. Lepidus, how- 
ever, was soon deposed and banished. Antony took his way 
to the East, where, at Athens, he spent some time in philoso- 
phic retirement, and afterwards passed from kingdom to king- 
dom, attended by a crowd of sovereigns, exacting contribu- 
tions, and gi\ing away crowns with capricious insolence. 
While Octavius, with consummate art, was increasing his fa- 
voiu- with the people by his munificence, and contriving the 
means of attaining to supreme power. 

§ It may be necessary to observe here, that there were properly 
four individuals at this period, who were the masters of the Roman 
empire. Some time after the formation of the second triumvirate, 
Sextus Pompey, son of Pompey the Great, was admitted to a share 
of the authority and possessions of the state, in connexion with the 

An occasion of war soon occurring, Octavius had the good fortune 
to deft^at Pompey in a naval engagement, through the skill and in- 
trepidity of Agrippa, his friend and associate in war. This event oc- 
curred 32 years U. C. Augustus had now no competitor for the em- 
pire of the >vorld, save Mark Antony. 

17. Antony having summoned Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, 
to answer for her disaffection to tlie Roman cause, was caught 
in the toils of love by the artifices of the beautiful cjueen. In 
his infatuation he forgot ambition and empire, in devotion to 
the object of his guilty passion. Octavius saw in this mad- 
ness the presage of his ruin. 

On Cleopatra, her lover had lavished the provinces of tlie 
empire, for which he was declared a public enemy, and as for 
her sake he had divorced Octavia, the sister of Octavius, the 


latter embraced the opportunity, which he had eagerly de- 
sired, of declaring war against him. 

An immense armament, principally naval, (the land for- 
ces being merely spectators,) came to an engagement near 
Actium, on the coast of Epirus, 31 years B. C. The conflict 
was decisive. Cleopatra, who attended Antony, deserted him 
with her galleys, in the midst of the engagement. 

Such was his infatuation, that he immediately followed 
her, leaving his fleet, which after a contest of some hours, 
yielded to tlie squadron of Octavius. The conqueror pursued 
the fugitives to Egypt ; and the infamous Cleopatra proffered 
terms to Octavius, including the surrender of her kingdom 
and the abandonment of Antony. 

After an mv uccessful attempt at resistance, Antony antici- 
pated his doom by falling on his sword. Cleopatra also soon 
after saw fit to fiiistrate the design of Octavius, which was to 
carry her in chains to Rome as an ornament to his triumph, 
by seeking a voluntary death. 

Octavius was now left without a rival, with the government 
of Rome in his hands. Egypt, which had existed a kingdom 
from immemorial ages, from this time became a province of 
Rome, 30 years B. C. 

§ The story of Cleopatra will be briefly told under the history of 
Egypt for this period. Antony, her lover, had few superiors in war, 
and he was the idol of his army. He was, however, profligate in the 
extreme, and his infatuated conduct in relation to the Egyptian 
queen, while it showed the native strength and tenderness of his pas- 
sions, has imprinted an indelible stain on his character as a hero. 
His weakness in this respect was the cause of his ruin, and prevented 
the acquisition of universal empire, which he might perhaps have 
otherwise obtained. 

In the struggle between Antony and Octavius, the strength of the 
East and o-f the West were arrayed against each other. Antony's force 
composed a body of 100,000 foot, and 12,000 horse ; while his fleet 
amounted to 500 ships of war. The army of Octavius mustered but 
80,000 foot, but equalled his adversary in the number of his cavalry ; 
while his fleet was only half as large as Antony's ; but the shipa 
were better built and better manned. 

The fortune of tlie day in llie battle of Actium, was determined by 
the flight of Cleopatra with 60 galleys. Yet with this diminution of 
the fleet, and with the abandonment of it l,>y Antony himself, it fought 
with the utmost oljstinacy for several hours, till partly by the con- 
duct of Agrippa, and partly by the promises of Octavius, it submitted 
to the conqueror. The land forces of Antony soon followed the ex- 
ample of the navy, anl yielded to Octavius without striking a blow. 

80 B. C. — CHRISTIAN ERA. 145 

18. The Roman empire had now become the largest 
which the world luid ever seen : and Octavius, now named 
Augustus, holding the principal offices of the state, was, in 
effect, the absolute master of the lives and fortunes of the Ro 
man people. During a long administration he almost effaced 
the memory of his former cruelties, and seemed to consult 
only the good of his subjects. 

His reign constituted the era of Roman taste and genius, 
under the auspices of Meca?nas, his chief minister, who was 
tlie most eminent patron of letters recorded in histor3^ 

Seventeen years Ijefore the close of his life and reign, ac- 
according to the true computation, (not the vulgar era,) our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was born in Judea — an 
event more important than any other that ever took place in 
our world. 

§ AugusUis pursued a pacific course, and restored order to the state 
During the period of his administration of the government, the tem- 
ple of Janus, which was shut only at the prevalence of general peace, 
was closed for the first time since the commencement of the second 
Punic war, and only the third tiniefromlhebuildingofRome. Itwas 
precisely at this happy and singular crisis of human affairs, that the 
liirih of our blessed Saviour happened. 

The administration of Augustus was however fatal to liberty ; 
though that circumstance itself tended to general tranquillity', since 
the corruption of manners required the most absolute restraint. By 
masterly strokes of policy, he united all intenists and reconciled all 
differences. He disguised his new des[)otism. under names familiar 
and allowed by that constitution which he had destroyed. 

lie claimed to himself the title of emperor, to preserve authority 
over the army ; he caused himself to lie created tribune, to manage 
the people ; and prince of the senate, to govern that body. After he 
liad fixed himself in the government, he long hesitated whether he 
should restore to Rome its liberty, or retain his present situation. The 
examples, and the differing fortunes of Sylla and Caesar, were before 
him, and operated on his hopes and fears. 

Disclosing his feelings to Agrippa, who had assisted him in gaining 
the empire, and to Meca^nas, liis principal minister and adviser, the 
former suggested the wisdom of his resigning it — the latter dissuaded 
him from taking such a step. The opinion of Meca?nas, as it was on 
the whole more agreeable to Augustus, was followed, and perhaps 
mankind have little reason to regret it, considering what was the 
awful corruption of the times. 

Through the counsels of this great minister, Augustus fostered 
learning and the arts to the highest degree, and specimens of human 
intellect then appeared, which have rarely been equalled among man- 
kind. Genius enjoyed all the rewards and all the consideration that 
it could claim. 



The authority which Augustus usurped, he, from pohcy, accepted 
only for ahmited period, sometimes for ten, and sometimes for only 
five years ; but at the expiration of the term, it was regularly be- 
stowed upon him again. 

His situation, which was above all equality, generated virtues to 
which, in all probability, he was naturally a stranger. He sometimes 
condescended to plead before the proper tribunals, for those he de- 
sired to protect, for he suffered the laws to have their proper course. 
One of his veteran soldiers entreated liis protection in a law-suit, 
Augustus, taking little notice of his request, desired him apply to an 
advocate. "Ah!" replied the soldier, "it was not by proxy that I 
served yoii at the battle of Actium." 

This reply p'eased Augustus so much, that he pleaded his cause in 
person, and gained it for him. 

He was so aftable, that he returned the salutations of the meanest 
person. One day a person presented him with a petition, but with 
so much awe, that Augustus was displeased v/ith his meanness, 
" What ! friend," cried he, " you seem as if you were offering some- 
thing to an elephant, and not to a rnan : — be bolder." 

A part of his long reign of more than 40 years belongs to modern 
history, but we may here speak of it as entire. During the whole of 
it he cultivated the arts of peace. The wars which were carried on 
in the distant provinces aimed rather at enforcing submission, than 
Ht extending dominion. He was however successful in almost all of 
them. The defeat of his general. Varus, in Germany, was the most 
serious disaster which he experienced. The choicest troops of the 
empire constituted the army of Varus, and they were entirely cut off 
in the forests of that country. 

In his domestic life, Augustus was less happy and fortunate, than 
as master of the Roman people. His wife, Livia, was an imperious 
woman, and controlled him at her pleasure. Her son, Tiberius, who 
at length succeeded to the empire, possessed a suspicious and obsti- 
nate temper, and gave him samuch uneasiness, that he banished him 
for five years at a distance from Rome. But his daughter, Julia, by 
his former Avife, afflicted him more than all the rest, through her ex- 
cessive lewdnes? The very court where her father presided, was 
not from ncr debaucheries. 

Augustus lost a favourite son, who, it is supposed, v/as taken off by 
poison, lest he should supplant Tiberius. The emperor was often 
heard to exclaim, " How happy should I have been had I never had 
a wife or children !" He died during an absence from Rome, at Nola, 
of adysentery, in the76th year of his age, after reigning 41 years, 14 A. C. 

19. Little is to be said, separately, of the history of other 
nations during this period, as ihey were mostly swallowed up 
in the Roman empire. We can notice only two or three, and 
these are very mnch blended with the Roman history, being 
included in the number of the Roman provinces before the 
end of the present period. First, Judea comes under review. 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 147 


The Jews at this time were ruled by the sacerdotal and 
royal family of the Maccabees, under the title of the As- 
nionean dynasty, but they were in the last stages of their 
independent existence. When Pompey came to Jerusalem 
to settle the affairs of Judea, he restored Hyrcanus with the 
title of Prince of the Jews, and conferred the government of the 
countr}^ on Antipater, an Tdiimean proselyte, G3 years B. C. 

§ 111 the civil wars between C2esar and Pompey, the former sent 
Aristobulus, whom Pompey had carried captive to Rome, into Judea, 
to engage the Jews in his (Caesar's) cause, but he was poisoned by his 
enemies. At the same tnne Pompey ordered his son Alexander to 
be beiieaded. 

20. After one other revolution in the person of Hyrcanus, 
tl'.e famil}^ of the Herodians was seated on the throne of Ju- 
dea. Herod, called the Great, son of Antipater, w^as declared 
king of that country, by a decree of the Roman senate, 37 
years B. C His reign was splendid, but distinguished by a 
singular degree of prolligacy. 

§ Sometime after his estabhsliment on the throne, Herod, in order 
to please Mariamne, the daughter of Hyrcanus, whom he had married, 
appointed her brother, Aristobulus, High Priest ; but perceiving that 
lie was much beloved by the Jews, he caused him to be drowned 
while bathing. After the battle of Actium he went to Rhodes to 
meet Augustus, who confirmed his title of king of Judea. Upon his 
return he condemned to death his wife, Mariamne, and her mother, 

From this hour his life was a continual scene of misery and fero- 
city. At the instigation of his third son, he sentenced to death Aris- 
tobulus and Alexander, his children by IMariamne, and the next year 
Antipater himself experienced the same fate. His last moments also 
were stained with the l)lood of the children of Bethlehem and the 
neighbourhood, whom he ordered to be slain, in the hope that the 
infant Jesus Christ would fall among them. 


21. The fiimily of the Lagidic, continued to rule Egypt. 
Alexander H. was on the throne at the commencement of tliis 
period. Cleopatra was the last sovereign. The intermediate 
sovereigns were Ptolemy Auleles, Berenice, and Ptolemy 
Dionysius, who reigned for a time jointly with Cleopatra. 

With the death of this queen ended the family of the La- 
gidiie, after having ruled in Egypt about 294 years. Egypt 
was now reduced to a Roman province, and governed by a 
PraHor sent thither from Rome, 30 years B. C, 


^ Ptolemy Dionyshis was 13 years old at the time of his fatlier's 
death, by whose will he was nominated to the succession, on condi- 
tion of his marrying his sister Cleopatra, then 17 years of age. The 
Romans were appointed guardians of these children. Cleopatra 
married her brother, and they reigned jointly, till, dissatisfied with 
the Roman ministry, she retired to Syria and Palestine, where she 
raised an army, and advanced under the waUs of Pelusium, to give 
battle to the ministers of her husband. 

At this moment, as we have before learned, Pompey,variqui.shed at 
Pharsalia, took refuge in Alexandria, and was assassinated by order 
of Ptolemy. Julius Caesar, pursuing his rival, arrived soon after- 
wards, and endeavoured to compromise the differences between the 
king and the queen. For a short time they were reconciled ; but 
Ptoleni)', renewing the Avar not long afterwards, was defeated and 
drowned in the Nile. 

Cleopatra then married her youngest brother, a boy of eleven years 
of age, and already affianced to his sister Arsinoe. Him, liowever, 
she soon poisoned, 43 B. C. ; and assumed the sole government. After 
the arrival of Mark Antony in Egypt, and his captivatiou by Cleo- 
patra, her character became still more remarkable for corrui> 
tion. The beauties of her person were incomparable ; and in polite 
learning, in brilliancy of wit, and m tunefulness of voice in lier con- 
versation, she was as irresistible as in her personal charms. These 
qualities, joined to an extreme profligacy of manners, rendered her 
one of the most dangerous foes to virtue that ever lived. 

When summoned to present lierself before Antony for the first 
time, her appearance was so splendid and fascinating, that the Ro- 
man warrior rather adored than judged her. Every decoration was 
employed to heighten the most consummate loveliness of features, and 
gracefulness of motion. Holding Antony in the chains of a base 
passion, she ruled him at her pleasure. 

The profusion of riches displayed at her feasts was astonishing. 
Antony holding the wealth of })lundered provinces, with his utmost 
•efforts could not equal tlie queen in the sumptuousness of her enter- 
taimnents. It was at one of these feasts that the incident mentioned 
by Pliny occurred. 

Cleopatra, having laid a considerable wager that she could expend 
more than 50,000/. upon one repast, caused one of the pearls that she 
wore in her ears, which was valued at the above named sum, to be 
dissolved in an acid, and tlien swallowed it. Slie was then preparing 
to melt the otlier in a similar manner, but some one liad the address 
to divert her from her design. 

After the bat'lc of Actium, Octavius used every effort to secure the 
person of tlie queen, .-lud to eff('ct the death of Antony, by her means. 
lie promised her his protection and friendsliip if she Avould kill him. 
This she peremptorily refused to do, but consented to deliver his 
person and the kingdom of Egypt into tlie enemy's hand. 

Antony, who had before meanly sought his life of Octavius, open- 
ing his eyes to his danger, and to the perfidy of Cleopatra, at first 
made some faint and ineffectual attempt at resistance, and then in liis 

80. B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 149 

fin-y attempted to a\cnge himself of tlie queen. She, however, 
ehuied liis purpose l)y taking flisht to a monument, which she liad 
erected for her safety, and gave out a report that she had killed her • 

Upon this news, Antony forgot his resentment — his former affec- 
tion rushed into his heart, and his cup of calamity was full. He 
resolved to follow her example, and die a Roman death. At the mo- 
nunt he had Mien upon his sword, the news of the queen's death 
was conlradictcd, and Antony, weltering in his blood, and stil 
breathing, consented to be carried to see the queen. 

After being pulled up to the top of the monumert where Cleopa- 
tra was, by means of ropes let down and fastened t.* him, a scene of 
anguish and aftcctiou was presented whicli can scticely be conceived. 
Suffice it to say, he died in her arms, bedewed ^^ith her tear.s, and 
almost stifled with her caresses. 

The queen, though at length taken by Octavius, and apparently 
secured by the strict guard v/hich he placed over her, found an op- 
portunity of poisoning herself by means of an asp, which she applied 
to her arm, the sting of which instantly threw her into a fatal lethargy. 
In such a miserable end were these victims of guilt involved. 


22. Under tlie Arsacida^, Parthi a continued to enjoy some 
ronsequence dining this period. Its principal sovereigns 
were Pliraates III. Orodes I. and Pluaates IV. 

§ Orodes I. was no sooner on the throne, than he was attacked by 
Crassus, the Roman consul, to whom Syria was allotted in the par- 
tition of the provinces of the empire between him, Ca>sar, and Pom- 
pey, 53 B. C. The Parthia:i armies were commanded by S\irena, a 
general of extraordinary wisdom and valour. Crassus being led by 
the king of Edessa into a barren country, his army was completely 
defeated, and himself taken and killed. 

Orodes, jealous of Surcna's glory, caused him to be put to death soon 
after, and entrusted the command of his army to Pacorus, his own 
Kon, who made great conquests in several countries, but who was 
soon after defeated and killed by Ventidias, the Roman general. 
Orodes, overwhelmed with grief, became insane ; but having recovered 
in so nu; degree, he associated his eldest son Pliraates his partner in 
Ihe throne. 

The infamous wretch first attempted to jioison his father, but that 
only curing him of the dropsy, he stifled the old man in bed, and 
murdered all his brothers. AVhen Augustus came into Asia, he 
obliged Pliraates to restore the ensigns taken from Crassus, and after- 
M'ards from Antony, and to deliver four of his sons as hostages. 
Divine Providence punished him in a remarkable manner, as he 
was killed by a conspiracy of his concubine and his own son, 
13 A. C. 

Disluiffuishcd CJiaracters in Period X. 

1. Lucretius, a Roman didactic poet. 



2. Julius Caesar, a successful warrior and elegant writer. 

3. Cicero, the prince of Roman orators and philosophers. 

4. Catullus, a Roman epigrammatic poet. 

5. Sallust, the first philosophical Roman historian. 

6. Varro, the most learned of the Romans. 

7. Cornelius Nepos, an eminent Roman historian. 

8. Virgil, the prince of Roman poets. 

9. Horace, the greatest of the Roman l3"ric poets, 

§ 1. Lucretius was early sent to Athens, where he studied philo- 
sophy. He embraced the tenets of Epicurus. In his poem of the 
Nature of Things, he is the advocate of atheism and impiety, and 
earnestly endeavours to establish the mortality of the soul. His mas- 
terly genius and unaffected elegance are, however, every where con- 

He wrote Latin better than any man ever did before him, and had 
he lived in the polished age of Augustus, he would have been no 
mean rival of Virgil. He wrote his poem while he laboured under 
a delirium, occasioned by a philtre, administered by means of the jea- 
lousy of his wife or mistress. He died, some say he destroyed him 
self, in liis 44th year, about 54 B. C. 

2. Julius CcEsar was the son of Caius Cfesar, who was descended 
from Julius, the son of iEneas ; in his 16th year he lost his father; 
and Sylla, aware of his ambition, endeavoured to remove him ; his 
friends, however, interceded, and obtained his life ; but Sylla warned 
them to be upon their guard against that loose-girt boy, alluding to 
Caesar's manner of wearing his tunic, or coat, loosely girded ; " for in 
him," said he, " are many Mariuses." 

He procured many friends by his eloquence, and obtained the office 
of high priest; after passing through different dignities, he was sent 
governor into Spain ; and, upon his return, being elected consul, he 
entered into an agreement with Pompey and Crassus, that nothing 
should be done in the state without their joint conciu-rcnce. After his 
consulsliip, he had the province of Gaul assigned him ; which, with 
wonderful conduct and bravery, he subdued in 10 y^ars, carrying the 
terror of his arms also into Germany and Britain, till then unknown 
to the Romans. 

Pompey now became jealous of his power, and induced the senate 
to order him to lay down his conunand ; upon which, he crossed the 
river Rubicon, the boundary of his province, and led his army to- 
\vards Rome, Pompey and all the friends of liberty fleeing before 

Having subdued Italy in sixty days, Caesar entered Rome, and 
seized upon the money in tlie public treasury : he then went to 
Sjiain, where he conquered the partisans of Pompey under Petreius, 
Afranius, and Varro; and, at his return, was created dictator, and 
soon after consul. Leaving Rome, and going in search of Pompey, 
the two hostile generals engaged on the plains of Pliarsalia ; the army 
of Caesar amounted only to 23,000 men, while that of Pompey 

80 B. C. — CHRISTIAN ERA. 151 

ninounted to 45,000 ; but the superior generalship of the former pre- 
vailed, and lie was victorious. 

Making a generous use of his victory, he followed Pompey into 
Egyj)t, wiiere he heard of his nuirder, and making the country tri- 
butary to his power, lie hastened to suppress the remainder of Pom- 
pcy's party in Africa and Spain. Triumphing over all his enemies^ 
he was created perpetual dictator, received the names of imperator 
and father of his country, and governed the people with justice. His 
engrossing all the powers of the state, and ruling with absolute au- 
thority, created general disgust ; a conspiracy was therefore formed 
against him, by more than sixty senators, the chief of whom were 
Brutus and Cassius. He was stabbed in the senate house, on the 15tli 
of March, B. C. 44, in the 56th year of his age ; he at first attempt- 
ed to make some resistance, but seeing Brutus, his intimate friend, 
among the conspirators, he submitted to his fate, and covered with 
23 wounds, fell at the foot of Pompey's statue. 

Caesar is perhaps the most distinguished character in history. His 
talents in war and literature were equally great. Amidst his military 
enterprises he found time to be the author of many works, none of 
■u'hich remain except seven books of commentaries, or memoirs of his 
wars; these are much admired for their elegance, as well as correct- 
ness of stj-le. He spoke in public with the same spirit with which 
lie fought, and had he devoted himself to the bar, would doubtless 
have rivalled Cicero. 

3. Marcus Tullius Cicero was the father of Latin eloquence, and 
the greatest orator that Rome ever produced. He was the son of a 
Koman knight, and having displayed promising abilities, his fiither 
procured for him tlie most celebrated masters of his time. He served 
one campaign under Sylla, and returning to Rome, appeared as a 
pleader at the bar, where the greatness of his genius, and his superior 
eloquence, soon raised him to notice. passed through the lower honours of the state, he was 
made consul in his 43d year. Catiline, a profligate noble, with many 
dissolute and desperate Romans, conspired against their country ; but 
all their projects were baflled by his extreme vigilance ; Catiline was 
defeated in the field ; and Cicero, at Rome, punished the rest of the 
conspirators with death. 

He received the thanks of the people, and was styled the father of 
his country and the second founder of Rome ; but his refusal to 
agree to the arbitrary measures of Caesar and Pompey, caused him 
lobe exiled ; he did not bear his banishment with fortitude ; and was 
overjoyed when, after 16 month's absence, he was restored witli ho- 
nour to his country. After much hesitation, he espoused the cause of 
Pompey against Caesar ; and when the latter was victorious at Phar- 
salia, Cicero was reconciled to him, and treated with great humani- 
ty ; but as a true repul)lican, he approved of Caesar's murder, and 
thus incurred the hatred of Antony, who wished to succeed in 

Octavius, afterwards called Augustus Caesar, Antony, and Lepidiis, 
having formed a third triumvirate, agreed on a proscription of Uieir 


enemies ; Octavius struggled two days to preserve Cicero from the 
rengeance of Antony, but at last gave him up ; in his attempt to 
ascape, he was overtaken by a party of soldiers, who cut off his head 
and right hand, and brought them to Antony ; this happened B. C. 
43, in the 64th year of his age. 

He is to be admired, not only as a great statesman, but as an ora- 
tor, a man of genius, and a scholar, in which united character, he 
stands unriwalled ; his conduct was not always that of a patriot, and 
he is frequently accused of timidity. 

4. Catullus was a poet of Verona, whose compositions are the off- 
spring of a luxuriant imagination. He directed liis satire against 
Caesar, whose only revenge was to invite the poet, and hospitably en- 
tertain him at his table. Catullus was the first Roman v/ho imitated 
with success the Greek writers, and introduced their numbers among 
llie Latins. 

Though the pages of the poet are occasionally disfigm-cd with in- 
delicate expressions, the whole is written wifli great purity of style. 
He died in the 48th year of his age, B. C. 40. 

5. Sallust was educated at Rome, and made himself known as a 
magistrate, in the office of qufestor and consul. He was a man of 
depraved and licentious manners. He married Terentia, the divorced 
wife of Cicero, and hence the immortal hatred between the historian 
and orator. 

Of his Roman history little remains ; but his narrative of the Ca 
tilinarian conspiracy, and tlie wars of Jugurtha, are extant. 

His descriptions, harangues, &c. are animated and correct, and the 
aiuhor is greatly commended for the vigour of his sentences. He 
died in his 51st year, 35 B. C. 

6. Varro wrote 300 volumes, which are all lost, except a treatise, 
De Re Rustica, and another De Lingua Latina. The latter he wrote 
in his 80th year, and dedicated to Cicero. In the civil wars, he was 
taken by Caesar and proscribed, but escaped. His erudition and ex- 
lent of information were matter of wonder to Cicero and St. Augus- 
tine. He di(!d in his 88th year, B. C. 28. 

7. Cornelius Nepos enjoyed the patronage of Augustus. He was 
the intimate friend of Cicero and Atticus. He possessed a most deli 
cate taste and lively disposition. He composed several works, but bis 
lives of illustrious Greeks are all tliat remain. He has ever been ad- 
mired for the clearness and precision of his style, and the delicacy 
of his expressions. He died 25 j'ears B. C. 

8. Virgil was born at Andes, a village near Mantua, about 70 years 
B. C. Having lost his farms in the distribution of lands to the sol- 
diers of Augustus, after the battle of Philippi, he repaired to Rome, 
where he obtained an order for the restitution of his property through 
tlie interest of Mec<nnas. When he sliowed this order to the centu- 
rion who was in possession, he nearly killed Virgil, and the latter 
escaped only by swimming across a river. 

Virgil, in liis Bucolics, or Pastorals, celebrates the praises of hi.s 
illustrious patrons. He undertook his Georgics in order to promote 

80 B. C. CHRISTIAN ERA. 153 

llie siiuly of agriculture ; and the design of the ^Eneid is thought to 
have been to reconcile the Komans to a monarchical government. 

By his talents and virtues he acquired the friendship of tlie empe- 
ror Augustus, and the most celebrated personages of his time. He 
died at Brundusium, in the 51st year of his age, B. C. 19, leaving his 
immense possessions to iiis friends, and was buried in the neigh- 
bourhood of Naples, where his tomb is still to be seen. 

9. Horace was born atVenusia; his father, although poor, took 
him to Rome when a boy, and educated him with great care. At 
the age of twenty, he went to Athens to study philosophy, and then, 
with tiie rank of military tribune, attended Brutus to the civil wars. 
In the battle of Philippi he saved himself by flight, and returned to 

Finding his father dead, and his fortune ruined, he applied himself 
to writing verses; and his talents soon recojmnended him to the 
protection of Virgil, IMeeaenas, and Augustus, with whom he after- 
wards lived on terms of the greatest intimacy and friendship. He 
died in the 57ih year of his age, B. C. 8. 




Tlie few notices which the Bible has transmitted to us, respecting 
the Antediluvian world, bein^ mostly confined to the moral history 
of its inhabitants, leave us greatly in the dark in respect to its phy- 
sical and geographical facts, the state of the arts, political institutions, 
and similar subjects. We are here chiefly guided by analogy, and 

Sect. 1. Surface of the Earth. — The earth's surface, there, 
is reason to behove, at that period, differed somewhat from its 
pi-esent state. Concerning this subject, however, there are dif- 
ferent opinions. We inchne to that whicli supposes that there 
were not those inequalities in the surface of the earth whicli 
now appear — at least in so great a degree, and that it was 
thus more uniformly adapted to the purposes of culture, and 
to the support of its inhabitants. 

§ The opinion of Dr. Burnet, that the primitive earth was no more 
than a crust investing the water contained in the abyss, is somewliat 
plausible. This crust breaking into innumerable pieces, at the time 
of the deluge, would naturally sink down amidst tlie mass of waters, 
to various deptlis, and thus cause the mountains and valleys which 
now exist. 

The convulsions occasioned Dy that terrible event, would be likely 
to disfigure the earth's surface in a measure, and render it less plea- 
sant as the abode of human beings. Indeed the mouulains and liills, 
(1)0 valleys and plains, in many instances, appear as if they had been 
shaped and fasliioned by some '-war of the elements." Their form 
and appearance are precisely such, as we sliould coi^jecture would be 
produced from the force of tlie retiring waters, in vast eddies and 

2. The Seasons. The seasons might have Ix^en diHerent 
from what they are at ])resent. Conjecture has assigned to 
tlie Antediluvian world but one season, and that an " eternal 


spring." This would be the fact, if, as some philosophers 
suppose, the plane of the earth's orbit was then coincident 
with that of the equator. They now make a cont>iderable 
nngle with each other, and this alteration is concluded to 
have taken place at the time of the deluge. Besides, the va- 
riety of the seasons is never mentioned in scripture, till after 
the tlood. 

§ On this supposition an ingenious, but fanciful French writer,* 
htis accounted lor the production of the deluge itself. He imagines, 
that in consequence of this cliange, whatever miglit be its cause, the 
vast masses of ice which had collected for ages in the cold regions of 
the globe, being acted upon more immediately by the heat of the sun, 
suddenly melted, and overflowed the earth. 

3. Population and Longevity. Nothing can be deter- 
mined with certainty respecting the extent of population. 
Some imagine that it was very great, far exceeding what it is 
at present. This is inferred from the surprising length of men's 
lives, and from the muiierous generations that were then con- 
temporary. But from various circiniistances, the probability is. 
that it was much smaller, and that mankind were not widely 
diffused over the earth. 

§ If any thing on this subject may be ascertained or fairly conjec- 
tured, from the discoveries of geology, the opinion of Cuvicr, a great 
adept in that science, is probably correct, viz. that previously to the 
last considerable convulsion of our globe, the human race inhabited 
only some narrow districts. It is well known that while shells, fos- 
sils, and the bones of animals, have been found in the earth's surface, 
in great abundance, thus exhibiting the ruins of the deluge, few or 
no human remains have been discovered, under such circumstances. 

If these latter exist, they must be in some circumscribed parts of 
the earth, such as Asia or Africa, where the labours of the geologist 
have not been so particularly bestowed, or they may lie buried under 
some mass of waters. Of course the population of the antediluvian 
world must have been mostly confined to those quarters of the globe, 
or to one of them. 

The longevity of the antediluvians was remarkable. The contrast, 
ui this respect, of that age of the world and the present times is so 
great, as to liave given rise to many conjectures assigning the cause 
or causes of their longevity. We need not interest ourselves in these 
conjectures, as nothing can be known with certainty, except it may 
be remarked, tltat the air immediately after tlie flood was most likely 
nnich contaminated and rendered unwholesome. 

How far this circumstance should have afiectcd the pristine con- 
stitution of the human body, thus shortening the life of man in suc- 
cessive ages, down to the present common standard, is left to the cu- 

♦ St Pierre. 


rious to inquire. If there were no physical causes of this change, 
God could have effected it without them. It is his own record that 
tlie life of man was abridged. 

4. Religion. In regard to the religious rites of the prime- 
val race of men, it can only be affirmed, tliat they offered sa- 
crifices, both of animals and of the fruits of the earth. The 
Sabbath, we know, was instituted inmiediaiely after the crea 
tion, and it is not likely that its observance was ever wholly 

§ The descendants of Seth, the son of Adam, were for some tmio 
distinguished by their worship of God and observation of religious 
rites, while those of Cain were notorious for their irreligion and pro 
fligacy. These lived separately till intercourses by marriage Avere 
formed between them ; and then the pure reHgion and morals of the 
descendants of Seth were corrupted, and the whole world became 
alienated from God. 

5. Arts and Sciences. These must have been cultivated 
in a degree, and in some of their branches might have been 
more than we are aware. If we consider that human life 
was several hundred years in extent, there was space for vast 
improvements in those arts and sciences that weie once disco 
vered. It is much to be doubted, however, w^iether many of 
tiiem were known. 

The last generation of Cain's line found out the art of 
working metal ; and music seems to have been invented about 
the same time. A knowledge of agriculture, architecture, and 
perhaps of astronomy, was possessed. 

§ Some suppose that man, in the infancy of the world, was aided by 
inspiration ; but even if left to the ordinary operation of his faculties, 
he might have been no stranger to knowledge and mental improve- 
ment. Still, from the difficulty of originating knowledge, and from 
the vices of the antediluvians — their probable devotion to gross sen- 
sual pleasures, they seem not to have been as extensively acquainted 
with the more intellectual objects of human pursuit, as their descend- 
ants were a few ages after the flood. 

We have some accounts, though not from an authentic source, of 
discoveries made in astronomy by the posterity of Seth. These dis- 
coveries, it is said, were engraved on two pillars, the one of brick, 
and the other of stone. The latter, it is affirmed, existed after the 
deluge, and remained entire in the time of Josephus, that is, nearly a 
century after Christ. If this were a fact, it is singular that no other 
memorial of their intellect should have appeared. It is here given, 
however, as it is found on historic record. 

6. Government. On the topic of government, there is 
hardly a foundation for conjecture. The most probable, is 
Uie patriarchal form of government ; that ^ the government 


which was held by the heads of separate families. A num- 
ber of ihe^e mi^ht perhaps combine, and place them- 
e 'Ives iiader the direction of some common ancestor. This 
is the most natural form of government, and indeed no men- 
lion is made in the Bible of kingly authority until after the 

§ Still, as some suppose, this form of government might have been 
set aside by tyranny and oppression ; and the change would proba- 
bly take place, much sooner among the descendants cf Cain, than 
those of Setli. It is thought that alter the union of the families of 
Cain and Seth, all mankind constituted but one nation, divided into 
several disorderly associations, and living in « ^tate of anarchy, which 
C'«"cumstances would have hastened the progress of wickedness. 

7. Co7imiercc. The intercourse of the antediluvians might 
liave been easy, because they probably lived contiguous to each 
other. Yet it is evident that they had no idea of navigation, 
for had vessels been in use, some families might have escaped 
the disasters of the flood, besides that of Noah. 

§ It is likely that there was not that necessity for commerce, as there 
has been since. For this opinion, reasons might be given, but tha 
•subject is not sufficiently important . 

Ass7jria, {including Babylonia.) 

8. Extent and Cities. Assyria generally comprehended 
the territory lying between Armenia, Babylon, Mesopotamia, 
and Media. The Assyrian dominion, at times, extended over 
many parts of Asia; its capital was Nineveh, on the Tigris, 
built by Ashur. The coimtry is now called Gurdistan. 

§ Nineveh was built on a very spacious plain. It was 15 miles in 
length, 9 broad, and 47 in circumference, according to Diodorus 
Siculus and Strabo. On the walls, Avhich were 100 feet high, three 
chariots could pass together ; they were defended hy 1500 towers, 
each 200 feet liigh. From the numlx^r of infants which it contained, 
as mentioned in the book of Jonah, it is computed that the inhabitants 
amounted to more thr.n 600,000 at that time. 

. Its situation is indicated, as some suppose, by vestiges on the Tigris, 
opposite Mosul, retaining the name of Nino. 

Babylonia, which was afterwards united to Assyria, was 
made up principally of Mesopotamia, the modern Diarbec. Its 
capita], Babylon, at length the capital of the whole empire, 
was bisected by the Euphrates, from N. to S., and formed a 
square, whose sides subtended the four cardinal points. The 
city stood on a large plain. Its walls were in thickness 8? 
feet, in height 350 feet, and in compass 60 mile-s. These 
were drawn about the city in an exact square. 


§ As a more particular description of Babylon, it may be stated, that 
on each side of this great square were 25 gates of solid brass. Be- 
tween every two of these gates were three towers ; four others were 
at the corners ; and three more between those on the corners and the 
gate on either side. 

The other parts of the city, some of whicli we will describe, cor- 
responded with the magnitude of the walls. The strerts, bridge, quays, 
the lake, ditches, canals, palaces, and hanging gardens, and above all, 
the temple of Belus, were so many wonders. From the 25 gatea 
ran as many streets, in straight lines, so that the wliole number of 
streets was 50, crossing each otlier at right angles. There were also 
four half streets, round the four sides of the city, next the walls, each 
of them 200 feet wide ; the rest being about 150 feet. 

The whole city was thus cut into 676 squares, each of which was 
two and a quarter miles in circumference. Round these squares, on 
every side towards the street, stood stately houses three or four stories 
high, witli large spaces between them, and the areas within the squares 
filled up with yards, gardens, and pleasure grounds. 

The celebrated hanging gardens were composed of several large 
terraces, one above the other. The ascent from terrace to terrace 
was by stairs ten feet wide, and the whole pile was sustained by vast 
arches, strengthened by a massy wall of great thickness. On the tops 
of the arches were first laid prodigiously large flat stones. Over these 
was a layer of reeds mixed with bitumen, upon which were two tiers 
of bricks, closely cemented together with plaster. Tlie whole wa.s 
covered with thick sheets of lead, upon which lay the mould of the 
garden. This mould was so deep that the largest trees might take 
root in it, and covered with these and other plants, and every variety 
of flowers; nothing could be conceived more grand and picturesque. 

The temple of Belus, at its foundation, consisted of a square, each 
side of which was a furlong in length ; it consisted of eight towers, 
built one above another, decreasing gradually to the top, and was a 
furlong in height. 

9. Government and Laws. The government both of 
Assyria and Bab^ionia was strictly despotic, and its sceptre 
hereditary. The \vhole centered in tiie person of the king ; 
all decrees issued from his mouth ; he even afTccted the power, 
and claimed the worship which belonged only to the divinity. 

§ The great conquerors of the East always courted retirement, as 
being too glorious to be beheld by vulgar eyes. Thus they contrived 
to keep in subjection a number of nations of different languages and 
manners, to a person who must have been a stranger to almost all of 
them. They adminstered their government by officers of various de- 
scriptions, civil and military. 

Of the three classes of cfficers, the first had the charge of the vir- 
gins, and were expected to judge of all matters relating to the connu- 
bial state ; the second took cognizance of theft ; and the third of all 
other crimes. 

The laws (if the empire were in general vague and uncer- 


tain, depending wholly upon the will of the sovereign ; but 
one was fixed and irrevocable, which obhged all, especially the 
poorer sort of people, to marry. 

§ Their punishments were unfixed and arbitrary, according to the 
disposition of ihe sovereign. We read of beheading, cutting to pieces, 
turning the criminal's house into a dunghill, and burning in a fiery 

10. Religion. The Chaldeans, properly so called, were 
both the priests and the literati of the country. They were 
devoted to tlie business of religion, and pretended to skill in 
the prediction of future events. They dealt in charms, incan- 
tations, and explanations of dreams, and of the extraordinary 
phenomena of nature. They built temjiles to the stars, as be- 
ing the subordinate agents of the divine power, and by wor- 
shipping them, they expected to obtain the good will of the 
deity. From this they descended, by a natural process, to the 
worship of objects on earth, as the representatives, or favour- 
ites of the stars, or of the deity, through them. Thus idola- 
try arose not long after the flood, among the earliest of nations 
- — the people left on the plains of Shinar, subsequently to the 
dispersion at Babel. 

§ It is evident tliat this was the origin of image worship, since the 
names of the principal gods of the heathen in general, are those of the 
sun, moon, and five primary planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury 
and Venus. 

The norrid custom of sacrificing human victims to conci- 
liate their gods, was first practised by the Babylonians, and 
from them it was communicated to the superstitious of the sur- 
rounding nations. 

§ There are traces of their ancient cruelty to be discerned in the 
worship and rites of the Assyrian goddess "of Hierapolis, to whom 
parents, without remorse, sacrificed their children, by throwing them 
down a precipice in her temple. 

11. Omionis. The principal and most singidar of their 
customs, was the manner in which they disposed of their 
women in man iage. No man had any power over his own 
daughters, l^ut as soon as they were marriageable, they were 
put up to auction ; and the price obtained for the more beau- 
tiful was assigned as a dowry to the more homely. 

§ The consequence of this practice was, that all their young women 
were disposed of in marriage — the beautiful for their charms, the 
homely for their wealth. 

Another singular custom was their festival called Sacca, 


During this festival, which lasted five days, the servants com' 
manded their masters, one of them being, for the time, con- 
stituted chief over the house, and wearing a kind of royal 
garment, called Zogana. 

§ They had other extraordinary customs, but some of these are too 
mdecent to be named. In general, they were the most sensual and 
abandoned people on the face of the earth. 

12. Learning. The Babylonians were famed for learning, 
particularly the Chaldeans, who were their j^riests, philoso- 
phers, astronomers, soothsayers, &c. As in many other coun- 
tries after them, they were divided into several sects, distin- 
guished by their peculiar characteristics. 

They were the first who cultivated astronomy, discovered 
the exact motions of the planets, and pretended to understand 
the uifluence these had over things below, and from that to be 
able to foretel future events. The latter was embodied into a 
kind of science, called astrology. 

§ From this origin of astrology, fortune telling, and similar arts, 
we perceive at once their opposition to religion and rectitude. 

The learning of the Chaldeans was not acquired after the manner 
of the Greeks, but by tradition from father to son. The only busi- 
ness of the learned was to apply themselves to the instructions they 
received. They never departed from early principles, and hence 
made no great advances in the sciences. 

13. The Arts. The Babylonians, properly so called, ap- 
pUed themselves to tlie useful arts. Their immense buildings, 
which could not have been erected without much skill in ge- 
ometry, prove that they must have been good mathematicians 
and mechanics. 

They never attained to any superior excellence in painting 
and statuary. Music and poetry were probably but little at- 
tended to ; and in physic they had no regular science. 

§ They exposed tlieir sick in the streets, to be cured by any who, 
passing by them, saw fit to prescribe for their diseases. 

The Babylonians were great architects, ingenious in casting metals 
and in their manufactures— particularly in their manufactures of 
embroideries, magnificent carpets, and fine linen. So superb Avere 
some of their articles of dress, that we read, in the Roman history, of 
Cato selling a Babylonian mantle, which had been left him by inhe- 
ritance, as being what he was ashamed to wear. And it is said that 
at Rome more than 6000/. had been paid for a suit of Babylonian 


14. Geography. China, in ancient times, included nearly 
the same territory that it does at present, so far as we can now 

CHINA. 161 

ascertain^ The Greelcs and Romans, through whom most 
of our acfjuaintance with antiquity is derived, had no imme- 
diate Jviiowledge of that country ; only they mention Serica, 
and another nation of northern Sina?, as constituting its west- 
erly provinces. 

As, however, the Chinese are not at all given to foreign 
conquests, and liave for many centuries remained the same 
people in their government and institutions, we may conclude 
that the ancient territory was the same, or nearly the same, as 
tlieir modern. It is not our design to state its boundaries or 
extent, except to say, that it constituted a considerable portion 
of eastern Asia, and was separated from Tartary, on the north, 
by its prodigious stone wall of 1500 miles in length. 

§ But few general views of this country in other respects can be 
here given, since we have been presented, in this work, with only a 
small portion of its civil history ; and since from the unchangeable 
character of the people, these views will answer for an interesthig 
article in modern history. 

15. Government. The original plan ci the Chinese go- 
vernment was patriarchal. Obedience to the father of each 
family was enforced in the most rigorous manner, and the 
emperor was considered as the father of the whole. Every fa- 
ther was absolute in his own family, and might inflict any 
punishment short of death ; and every mandarin of a district 
had the power of life and death over all its members, though 
the emperor's approbation was requisite to the execution of a 
capital sentence. 

§ Since the invasion of the Tartars, as we shall hereafter learn, the 
government is called an absolute monarchy, tliough its great funda- 
mental principles from the beginning have been preserved. 

10. Relis^ion. The ancient Chinese adored a supreme be- 
ing, under the name of Changti, or Tien; they also wor- 
shipped subaltern spirits, supposed to preside over kingdoms, 
provinces, cities, rivers, and mountains. Their worship was 
by prayer and thanksgiving, without any mixture of idola- 
trous })ractices. 

§ There are now different sects, whose characteristics belong to 
the details of modern history. 

17. The i^ciences and Arts. The Chinese understood 
some of the sciences, but seemed to make no progress in them 
from age to age. Of mathematics, astronomy, and physics, 
they appear to have been quite ignorant for so civilized a peo- 



pie. The knowledg^e of medicine was very limited among 

In the arts, at an early age, they attained to a certain point 
of advancement, which they never exceeded. It is affirmed 
that they manufactured glass 200 years before the Christian 
era ; that they knew gunpowder from time immemorial , 
and that they invented piinting in the time of Julius Caesar; 
but these and other inventions were in a very imperfect state, 
and have remained so to this day. In agriculture, however, 
and a few other arts, they seem, from a very early period, to 
have been highly distinguished. 

§ On the whole, coiisiderincr their ancient state, and knowing fho 
agreement of their present state with it, no people whatever appear 
to have been so singular and mysterious, and possessed of such a 
mixture of wisdom and imbecility. 


§ A little before the Cliristian era, Egypt was one of the most dis- 
tinguished countries of the ancient world, and enjoyed, from the ear- 
liest times, a large share of relebrlt)', on account of its learning and 
its magnificent public works. In commercial importance, at the 
time first spoken of, it was much superior to contemporary nations. 

IS. Situation., Name, and Division. Egypt was an ex- 
tensive country, bounded on the east by Arabia and the Red 
Sea, and by Lylna on the w est, and was properly a long val- 
ley, following the course of the Nile from S. to N. 

The ancient name was Mitzraim, and is now retained in 
that of Mesr, under the Turks. 

Egypt was divided into three principal parts, distinguished 
by the appellations of the Upper Egypt, or Thebais ; the Mid- 
dle Egypt, or Heptanomis ; and the Lower Egypt, which in- 
cludes the Delta. 

19. Cities. There were many cities in this country, whosa 
niins attest their almost unparalleled magnificence. Among 
these were Thebes, Memphis, Arsinoe, Heliopolis, and Alex- 
andria, besides many oth(!rs. 

§ Thebes was situated in Upper Egypt, on both sides of the Nile. 
It was called by the Greeks, Diospolis, and was one of the most il- 
lustrious cities in the world. It is distinguislicd in lionier liy the epi- 
thet of Ilecatompylos, or having a 100 gales. In the time of its splen- 
dour, it could send into the field, by each of its gates, 200 chariots, 
and 2000 fighting men. 

Its extent is said to have been 52 miles ; and so great was its wealth, 
that after it had been plundered by the Persians, 30O talents of gold 
and 2300 of silver, were found among the remains of the pillage. 


Tlic ruins of this astonishing city occupy a circumference of 27 
miles on cillier side of the Nile, and contain several villages, the chief 
of which is Luxor. Habon, on the western side, contains many stu- 
pendous monuaicnts. Thebes was severely treated by Cambyses, by 
Ptolemy Philopater, and under Augustus, for its rebellion. In the 
adjacent mouiuains arc hewn sepulchres of the ancient kings. 

A remarkable feature of these ruins is their size. Every thing i? 
colossal. The smallest pillars of the temples are between 7 and 8 
feet in diameter, and some of the largest are 11. Obelisks, Sphinxes, 
and other momunents of huge dimensions, in different poshions, as- 
tonish the modern traveller, as he gazes on these wonders of human 
power and art. 

Memphis, supposed to have been founded by Menes, the first Egyp- 
tian king, was for several ages the metropolis of the whole kingdom. 
It contained manj^ beautiful temples, the most splendid of which is 
said to have been that of the god Apis. This city stood on the western 
bankof the Nile, 15 miles south of the Delta. 

Strabo saw its palaces in ruins. Vestiges of it were appai'ent in the 
fifteenth century, b\it are no longer in being. The Nile may have co- 
vered them. 

Alexandria was reckoned next to Rome for the grandeur of it? 
buildings, and richness of its materials. It stood on the western side 
of the Delta, and was built by Alexander the Great, 332 B. C. It was 
the capital of Eower Egypt, and the metropolis under the Ptolemies. 
The ancients assert that it was built in the form of a Macedonian 
cloak, and occupied about 15 miles. The royal palace constituted a 
fifth part of the city. 

Alexandria rose to the first rank in the ancient world, as the great 
mart for exchange between the east and west. Its commercial ad- 
vantages continued for a number of ages. It was further distinguished 
by scliools for philosophy, physic, theology, astronomy, and genera' 

20. Monuments and Works of Art. Many of these are 
magnificent Leyond conception, and show to what a high state 
of improvetiient the inhabitants, at a remote period, had car- 
ried the arts. Tliey still excite the admiiation of every tra- 

Besides the cities that have been named, the most celebra- 
ted of these works of ancient grandeur, are Lake Moeris, the 
Labyrinth the Catacombs, or Mummy Pits, and the Pyra- 

§ The lake Moeris has been affirmed to be the most wonderful of 
all the works of the kings of Egypt, the pyramids not excepted. The 
ancients described it as measuring 3G00 stadia in circumference; but 
modern travellers assure us that its breadth docs not exceed half a 
league ; that it is about a day's journey in lensth, and that its circum- 
ference is about 12 or 15 leagues, which will be found sufficientlj' 


prodigious, wlien we consider that it was performed by human la- 

This lake, in the deepest part, has fifty fathoms of water, and is 
fed from the Nile, by means of a channel cut for that purpose. It 
was built by a king of the name of Moeris, whose object was to cor- 
rect the irregularity of supply in the waters of the river, receiving 
its superabundance, or making up its deficiency. 

The Labyrinth was an enormous structure of marble, built partly 
under the ground. It was designed as a pantheon of all the Egyptian 
deities, and as a place for the assembly of the magistracy of the whole 
nation. It contained no less than 3000 chambers, 1500 of which were 
subterraneous, and set apart for the sepulchre of the kings who built 
the labyrinth, or for the abodes of the sacred crocodiles. 

These were never shewn to strangers ; but Herodotus informs us 
that he viewed every room in the upper part, in which he found suf- 
ficient to fill him with astonishment. Innumerable exits by difl'erent 
passages, and infinite returns, afforded him a thousand occasions of 
wonder. The highest decorations in polished columns and exquisite 
sculptures, were every where seen. 

The Catacombs were subterraneous galleries of prodigious extent, 
appropriated to the reception of the dead. These sepulchres of the 
ancient kings are hewn in free-stone rock, and apparently formed 
upon one general plan, though diflfering in the construction of their 
respective parts. These contain the orenerations that are gone. Some 
of the embalmed bodies are perfectly preserved, though they have 
been dead 3000 years. 

The Pyramids were deservedly classed by the ancients among the 
wonders of the world. There are said to be twenty of them in differ- 
ent parts of the country ; but there are three superior to the rest in 
size and magnificence. These are on the western side of the Nile, in 
the neighbourhood of the ancient Memphis. 

The largest of them is 481 feet in height, measured perpendicularly, 
and the area of its basis comprehends eleven English acres of ground. 
This is a size which would exceed all belief, had it not been actually 
and repeatedly measured by modern travellers. It has steps entirely 
round it, made with polished stones, so large that the breadth and 
depth of every step is one single stone. The smallest stone is 30 feel 
in length. The number of steps amounts to 208. 

These works are proved, by modern researches, to have been royal 
sepulchres, but their foundation is lost in antiquity. Tliey are sup- 
posed, however, to have been erected between one and two thousand 
years B. C. It is asserted by Pliny and Diodorus, that no less than 
360,000 men were employed in erecting the largest pyramid. It is 
said also tiiat twenty years were spent in the work. 

21. Government and Laws. The Egyptians were 
among the earliest nations, if not the very earhcst. who had 
regular estal)hshccl governments nnd civil regulations. Their 
govcrnnient was a despotic, hereditary nionarcliy, yet so mo- 
dified by prescribed usages, as to promote the puljhc v^elfare. 

EGYPT. 165 

§ Their monaichs were restricted to a certain mode of living, and 
even tlieir time seems to liave been portioned out, and set apart for 
particidar employments, by the sacred Egyptian books. They were 
confined to exactness, not only in public transactions, but in their 
private life. They could neither batlie, take the air, nor converse 
witii their queens but at certain times. Tlie choice of their provisions 
was not left to themselves, but their tables were furnished with the 
most simple food, (generally veal or goose,) and their allowance of 
wine was extremely moderate. 

These restraints were entirely acceptable to the Egyptian monarchs, 
and during the period in winch they prevailed, the country greatly 
flourished, and was filled with works of incomparable magnificence 

In the administration of public affairs, each nome, or pro- 
vince, had its respective governor, who ordered all things with- 
in his jurisdiction. The lands were divided into three parts, 
of which one was allotted to the maintenance of the priests, 
and to religious uses ; the second was appropriated to the 
king, for defraying the charges of his wars, &c ; and the 
third part was designed for the soldiers. The husband- 
men, taking the lands at an easy rent from the king, priests, 
and soldiers, devoted the whole of their attention to agricul- 
ture ; and the son continually succeeded the father in his oc- 
cupation. They thus became the most famous for tillage of 
any in the world. 

22. Mythology. The boasted laws of the Egyptians sink 
m our estimation, from the influence which a knowledge of 
Llieir base idolatry and superstitions produces in the reflecting 
mind. They had a vast number of gods of different ranks, 
but their two principal ones were Osiris and Isis, supposed to 
have been the sun and moon. From Egypt the stream of 
idolatry flowed over the nations. 

§ The idolatry of this people was so gross, that exclusive of the 
v/orship tliey paid their pretended gods, they actually bestowed di- 
vine lionours on animals, insects, birds, and even vegetables, as 
leeks and onions. Tlieir sacred animals were, during their lives, kept 
in consecrated enclosures; fed with most delicate ibod, washed and 
anointed with frequency, and their burial, after death, attended with 
the heaviest expense. We are credibly informed that in the reign 
of Ptolemy, the Apis dying of old age at Memphis, his keeper ex- 
pended in his funeral, about 13,000Z. above all his substance. 

23. Education. In the education of their children, the 
Kgy[)tians exercised great care, and the children aa ere brought 
up with the strictest frugality. The priest instructed them in 
ozithmetic, geometry, and other branches of useful literature ; 


aiid their fathers, or nearest relations, taught them as early as 
possible, their paternal art or profession. 

24. Domestic Habits, Manners, and Customs. The 
wsual drink of the people was the water of the Nile, which 
was very palatable and fattening. They used ajpo a superior 
l>everage made of barley, so that we are possibly indebted to 
them for the first invention of beer. Cleanhness was a particu- 
lar characteristic of this people, who scoured their drinking 
vessels every day. 

§ As great singularities among them, we may notice the inconsistent 
employments of the men and women ; the former being engaged in 
spinning and domestic concerns, while the latter were employed in 
trade and business; the kneading of dough Avith their feet; the tem- 
pering of mortar with their hands; and the promiscuous residence of 
men and beasts in the same apartment 

At their principal feasts, it was a very singular custom to bring in 
the coffin of a friend after supper, with the image of a dead man 
carved in wood and painted, which was carried to all the company 
with this strange admonition : " Look upon this, and be merry; for 
such as this now appears, thou shalt be, when thou art dead." 

25. Literature and Arts. Egypt was the parent of 
learning and philosophy. According to the scriptures, Moses 
was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Geometry 
is generally believed to have been found out in Egypt, in con- 
sequence of the measurement of those lands that were annu- 
ally overflowed by the Nile. The science, however, was most 
probably but little extended by them. 

§ Arithmetic, astronomy, and a kind of algebra, were also cultivated 
in Egypt ; and it is certain this nation first adjusted the length of the 
year to the annual revolution of the sun, by adding to their twelve 
months of thirty da}^s each, five additional days and six hours. Medi- 
cine and the art of embalming were early cultivated among them, 
particularly the latter. They were very famous also in magic. 

In architecture, painting, sculpture, «S:c. they must have made great 
proficiency, as is evident from the astonishing works of art which 
yet remain. 

26. Trade. Egypt early engaged in commerce, as its 
6-ituation was peculiarly favourable for that object. We read 
in scripture that the Midianites and Ishmaelites traded thither, 
BO early as the time of Jacob. It is certain also that Solomon 
estiiblished a very considerable trade in those parts. 

27. Language. The Egyptian language is one of the 
most ancient in the w orld, and probably an original tongue. 
It is, in some measure, preserved in the Coptic, even to this 
time, though that language is but little understood. 



28. Country. The country in which this ancient and di- 
vinely favoured people lived was Palestine. It extended from 
Coelo-Syria, to Arabia Petrea ; on the west it had the Medi- 
terranean, and on the east Arabia Deserta. Its territory was 
very limited. 

The country of the Hebrews is also called by several other names, 
as the Land of Canaan, the Holy Land, Judea, &c. ; and the people 
themselves were variously called, as the People of God, Israelites, 
Jews ; the last more commonly in the latter period of their history. 

Upon the entrance of the Israelites into Palestine, it was 
divided into twelve different portions, whicli were assigned to 
the twelve several tribes into which they were separated. 

29. Remains of ancieitt Woi'ks. Among these are Ja- 
cob's Well ; the Pools of Solomon, Gihon, and Bethesda ; and 
the Sepulchral Monuments. 

§ Jacob's well is highly venerated by Christian travellers on ac- 
count of its antiquity. It is hewn out of the solid rock, about 3.5 
yards in depth, and three in diameter, and is at present covered with 
a stone vault. 

The Pools of Solomon, supposed to have been made by order of 
that monarch, appear to have been a work of immense cost and labour. 
They are three in a row, and disposed in such a manner, that the 
water of the uppermost may fall into the second, and of the second 
into the third. They are of equal breadth, viz. about 90 paces ; their 
length varies, the longest being 220. They are all walled and plas- 
tered, and contain a large quantity of water. 

The Pools of Gihon and Bethesda are similar vvorks, and may be 
ranked among the most stately ruins. 

The Sepulchral Monuments are scattered all over the country. 
The most magnificent pieces of antiquity of this kind are the royal 
sepulchres witliout the walls of Jerusalem. They are all hewn out of 
the solid marble rock, and contain several spacious and elaborate 

30. Cities. Of these there were not many that were large. 
Jerusalem, the metropolis of the country, and the centre of the 
Jewish worship, was the most celebrated, and indeed no place 
on the globe has been more celebrated, taking into view its 
sacred associations. Hebron, Gaza, and Ascalon. were also 

Jerusalem was built on several hills, the largest of which 
was Mount Zion ; it formed the southern part of the city. 
On the east of the second, or lower city, was mount Moriah, 
on which stood the magnificent temple of Icing Solomon. 


§ Jerusalem, when enlarged by David, Solomon, and other kings, 
became a most renowiied city, and as such is mentioned by the Greek 
historian, Herodotus, under the name of Cadytis. The city with its 
temple was destroyed by the Chaldeans, about 600 years B. C. The 
second temple, which had begun to decay, was rebuilt by Herod tlio 

The destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, was A. D. 70. Under Adri- 
an, a new city, altogether Roman, and called JEYia, was built, but 
there was an alteration of its site. Zion, the principal quarter of the 
ancient city, was not comprised within the new city. It subsists at 
present, but in a deplorable condition, inhabited by a motley group 
of Turks, Jews, and Christians. 

Hebron was a place of high antiquity, and the sepulchre of Abra- 
ham and his family. In the time of the crusades, it bore the name of 
St. Abraham : and the Arabs, who ahvays respect their primitive 
names, call it Cabr-Ibrahim, or the Tomb of Abraham. 

Gaza and Ascalon, on the coast, preserve tlieir names, as also 
others. Gaza was remarkably strong, and surrounded with walls and 
towers, after the Philistine manner. It was taken by Caleb, but soon 
after regained by the ancient inhabitants, who kept possession ot it 
to the time of Samson. It passed into various hands, till finally il 
was pillaged by Alexander, and a second time destroyed by the Mao- 

Ascalon was also a maritime tOAvn of great strength, but was soon 
reduced, after the death of Joshua, by the tribe of Judah. It was once 
adorned with several magnificent edifices ; but it is now dwindled 
into an inconsiderable village. 

31. Religion. Tlie history of the rehgion of this people, 
which was called Judaism, is the history of tme rehgion in the 
ancient world. It is now eclipsed by the radiance of the 
Gospel, which has come into its room, abrogated what waa 
ritual in it, and confirmed its great general principles and 

§ Religion flourished variously among the people, according to the 
piety or irreligion of their priests, leading men, or sovereigns. In ge- 
neral, though they had a succession of Avise and holy prophets, the 
nation, as such, was peculiarly obstinate and rebellious, and continu- 
ally inclined to forsake the worship of God, and to fall into the idola- 
trous practices of its heathen neighbours. 

On this account repeated and severe judgments were sent among 
them. Tliey were visited, at various times, with all the ministers of 
divine vengeance — they were conquered, pillaged, and carried into 
captivity, and soon after the Christian era, ceased to exist indepen- 
dently, and were scattered among all nations. 

They are now known, particularly the tribes of Judah and Benja- 
min, wherever they are dispersed, as the descendants of Abraham, 
preserving still their national name and peculiarities. Concerning 
the other ten tribes we have no certain knowledge of their separate 


existence, at this day. Propliecy has been remarkably fulfilled in the 
case of this peopie. 

The gi'eat general truths of religion were revealed to this 
people, and to them alone of all the nations of the earth. The 
iDeing, perfections, and government of God, the moral law, 
prescribing the duties man owes to God, to his fellow men. 
and to himself, the awards of eternity, with a thousand par 
ticidar precepts of a spiritual kind, were exphcitly declared to 
this nation. 

The peculiarities of their ritual worship rendered them 
also a most favoured community. By these they were de- 
eigned to be preserved a people distinct from all the rest of 
the world, to be kept from idolatry, and to be prepared for the 
great salvation, which was to he accomplished not only for 
tliem, but for all nations, in " the fulness of the time." 

§ The peculiar rites of Judaism were admirably adapted to honour 
their Creator, and to render themselves completely happy. Its sacri- 
fices were at once calculated to convince them of their sins, and to 
shadow forth the vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God. 

32. Government. The government of this people wap pro- 
perly a Theocracy, as being under the immediate direction of 
God. In this they were distinguished from all other nations. 
He was considered as the sole dictator of every important 
transaction, and supreme monarch of the Israelites. 

33. Manners and Customs. The most interesting of 
these related to the rite of circumcision, to their diet, diver- 
sions, high places, mourning for the dead, and bmials. 

§ The rite of circumcision has distinguished them as a people, 
from the beginning. It was always accompanied with great feasting, 
and other demonstrations of joy. At this time the child was named 
in the presence of the company assembled, among whom bread and 
wine were distributed. 

Their diet, except on festivals, seems to have been extremely plain. 
Bread, water, and vinegar, were in common use. Honey was es- 
teemed a peculiar delicacy, and the milk of goats was reckoned ex 
cellent for food. 

Their diversions seem to have consisted chiefly in social repasts, 
music, and dancing. The two latter partook of a religious character. 
Games were never introduced into tlicir commonwealth. 

Their high places were of two sorts; those where they burned in- 
cense and offered sacrifices to the true God ; and those where they 
committed various abominable idolatries. 

Their mourning for the death of friends was expressed by rending 
their garments, tearing their hair, heaping dirt or ashes upon their 


heads, wearing sackcloth next their skin, and lying upon the bare 

As to their burials, it is known that they denied sepulture to none 
but such as were guihy of suicide, and not even to these, but till after 
sunset. From the pains which the patriarchs took to provide a place 
of burial for themselves and their descendants, it is evident they con- 
sidered it a heavy calamity, to be denied a burial, and a favour to be 
interred among their ancestors. Their sepulchres were on their own 
lands, and, where practicable, cut into a rock. 

34. Learning. The Israelites excelled in the knowledge 
of theology, and they had places of public mstruction called 
the schools of the prophets. Tiiey seem to have had but Utile 
knowledge of astronomy. 

Their language was the Hebrew, the genius of w^hich is 
pure, primitive, and natural ; and it is highly probable that 
they had the art of writing very early. The materials on 
which they wrote were tables of stone ; but mention is made 
also of rolls, w^iich were doubtless more in use. These rolls 
are supposed to have been made of skin, or some other pliable 
substance. \ 

35. Arts. The arts in which the Israelites made the 
greatest proficiency were those of war, husbandry, poetry, and 

§ Their situation made them a warlike people, surrounded as they 
were by enemies. Their arms of offence were broad crooked swords, 
javelins, slings, bows and arrows, and two-edged swords. Their 
arms of defence were shields, helmets, coats of mail, breast plates, 
and targets. 

Their attention was much confined to their lands and domestic 
avocations, and few trades or manufactures vvere carried on among 
them before the reign of Solomon, except such as were absolutely ne- 
cessary. After Solomon's time, pride and luxmy increased with great 
rapidity. Tiie causes of a change from great economy and simplicity, 
to their opposites, were laid indeed in the reign of David. 

Poetry is said to be the only fine art in which they were peculiarly 
excellent ; and in that they are inimitable. Their inspired produc- 
tions, in poetry, if not in prose, as to native energy and felicity, are 

36. Commerce. With respect to commerce, it appears tlial 
they received rich stuffs, linen, gold, (fcc. from Tyre, in ex- 
change for their corn, balm, and other excellent commodi- 
ties ; but they were totally ignorant of navigation. Solomon 
employed foreign sailors in the ships which lie sent to foreigu 

§ The country of the Canaanites has been already described, as it 

GREECE. 171 

was the same with that of the Hebrews, who, some time after they 
left Egypt, drove out the ancient inhabitants of the Land of Canaaiu 

37. Customs; Manners, Arts, and Sciences. Tii these, aa 
well as in language, they may be supposed to have ditlered 
widely from each other, accordiug to their different situations. 
It is easy to discern the dillbrent classes of merchants, artifi- 
cers, soldiers, shepherds, and husbandmen. 

§ Those who resided on the sea-coasts were merchants, in which 
capacity tliey will be considered wlien spoken of as Plioenicians 
Those who resided in fix'cd abodes and walled places, cultivated the 
land. Shepherds and soldiers led a more wandering life. As to war, 
they were by no means deficient in courage, craft, or policy. 

38. Religion. Their religion seems to have been undefiled 
to the days of Aliraham, when Melchisedek among them was 
a priest of the jMost High God ; but after this period they 
must have degenerated apace. They compelled their chil- 
dren to pass through fire to Moloch, and their wickedness be- 
came extreme. 


39. Appearance and Face of the Country. This country, 
rendered illustrious by the intellectual elevation of its inhabi- 
tants, was a res^ion of enchanting beauty. Its mountains 
and valleys, lakes and rivers, sufficiently diversified the sur- 
face, while their grandeur or their softness imparted an inef- 
fable chann to every prospect. It enjoyed a delightful cli- 
tnatc and exuberant soil. 

§ The classical reader need not to be reminded, that among a 
thousand other spots endeared to association, were Pindus and Par- 
nassus, the seats of the muses ; Athens, filled with the monuments of 
art and genius ; woody Arcadia, sacred to Pan, and the haunt of shep- 
herds ; and Thcssaly with its fields of pleasure, where 

" The smooth Pencus from its glassy flood 
Reficcts purpureal Tempe's pleasant scene." 

40. tSitifation, Extent, and Division. Greece occupied a 
large peninsula between the south of Italy and Asia Minor, 
about 400 miles long and 150 broad. It had Epirus and 
Macedonia on the north, the Mediterranean on the south, and 
the Ionian and vEgean seas washed, the one its western, and 
the other its erstern borders. 

§ In subseffucnt times, Epirus and Macedonia were considered aa 
parts of Greece, and then the northern boundary was constituted by 
Elyricum, Moesia, and Thrace. 

Greece consisted of two principal divisions — Greece, pro- 
perly so called, and Peloponnesus. 


§ Greece proper included the following States ; 1. Attica. 2. Bceo- 
tia. 3. Acarnania. 4. iEtolia. 5. Locris. 6. Doris. 7. Phocis. 8. Thes- 
sal>. 9. Epirus. 10. Macedonia. 

Peloponaesiis included the following states; 1. Achaia. 2. Elis. 
3. Arcadia. 4. Messenia. 5. Laconia. 6. Argolis. 

Connected with Greece were many islands in the seas 
wliich surrounded it, the principal of which singly, or in clus- 
ters, were Euboea, Lemnos, the Cyclades, Crete, Cythera, Za- 
cynthus, Cephalonia, Corcyra, Tenedos, Lesbos, &cio, Samos, 
and Patmos. 

41. Names. Greece was called Hellas by the natives, and 
its inhabitants Hellenes. From their different tribes they were 
denominated by the poets, Achivi, Danai, Argivi, Pelasgi, 
lones, Dores, and ^Eoles. 

42. Interesting Localities. Almost every considerable 
place in Greece is marked by some circumstance in its natu- 
ral features, or by some achievem.ent or event in its history, 
w^hich connects it in the minds of scholars with the most de- 
lightful associations. Several of these localities may be 
grouped together, as below. 

§ Peloponnesus took its name from Pelop», who reigned there. 
Mycenae \vas the city of Agamemnon. At Nemea. aames were insti- 
tuted in honour of Hercules, for killing the Neaieun lion. In Epidau- 
rus, ^sculapius was worshipped. Lerna gave name to the Le'nasan 
Hydra, a monster destroyed by Hercules. 

Amyclaj abounded in trees, and was honoureii with a splendid 
temple of Apollo. Helos was a place which the Spartans took, redu- 
cing the inhabitants to slavery, and hence all their slaves were called 
Helotes. Near TaBnarus, the most southern point of Europe, was a 
cave through which Hercules is fabled to have dragged Cerberus from 
the infernal regions. On the mountain Taygetus, the Spartan women 
celebrated the orgies of Bacchus. 

Elis, was famous for its horses. At Olympia, the Olympic games 
were celebrated in honour of Jupiter— they date from B. C. 776, and 
form the epoch of Grecian chronology. Corinth was famous for its 
brass, a mixture of copper with some small quantity of gold and 

Arcadia was the country of musicians and shepherds, and sacred 
to Pan, the rural deity. Mercury was born on mount Cyllenc. Her- 
cules destroyed the harpies of the river and lake Stymplialus. At the 
Isthmus, games were celebrated in honour of Neptune. 

Eleusis was famous for the celebration of the mysteries of Ceres, 
in which secrecy was enjoined to the votaries, and the breach of it 
punished witli deatli. In Attica were mount Hymettus, celebrated for 
its honey, and mount PciUelicus, for its quarries of marl)le. The Boeo- 
tians were reckoned characteristically dull, though there were some 
pplciidid exceptions. 

GREECE. 173 

ChcBfortea was the birth-place of Phitarch, and remarkable for the 
defeat of the allied stales of Greece, by Philip, which ruined that ce- 
lebrated nation. Not far from this, was the cave of Trophonius, where 
oracles were delivered, and wliich rendered such as entered it me- 
lancholy for the rest of ihcir lives. Thcspia was sacred to the IMuses. 
Tanagra was infamous for its cock-fighting exhibitions. At Deiium 
stood a temple of Apollo; and the moimtain of Helicon, and the 
fountain Aganippe, were consecrated to tlie Nine. 

Phocis, the Greeks conjectured, was not only the centre of Greece 
but of the whole earth. Delplii was rendered illustrious for the tern 
pie and oracle of Apollo, whose responses were alwa)'s delivered by 
a priestess. Parnassus, and the foimlain of Castalia at its foot, were 
the haunts of the Muses. Anticyra was famous for the production ol 
hellebore, once reputed a specific in maniacal cases. 

Narix was the native place of Ajax. Thermopylae was a famous 
pass, justly reckoned the key of Greece, and is immortalized from the 
self-devotion of Leonidas. Where narrowest, there was room only 
for a single carriage, a ridge of impassable mountains being on the 
west, and the sea on the east, with d?ep and dangerous morasses. 

The J^^tolians constituted the best cavalry in Greece. Naupactus 
was so called from the number of ships built there, but its site is now 
overflowed by the sea. Acarnania was famous for its horses. On the 
promontory Lcucate, "Avas the rock from which disappointed lover? 
sought either death or a cure, by leaping into the sea. 

Through the lake of Acherusia ran the river Acheron, and into the 
latter flows the Cocytus, both of which, on account of their mviddi- 
nesp, were feigned by the poets to be rivers of hell. In the interior ot 
Eplrus, was the most ancient oracle of Greece, the grove, or vocal 
oaks of Dodona, sacred to Jupiter. 

Chaonia received its name from Chaon, the companion of llelenus, 
the son of Priam, who was inadvertently killed in hunting. Pindus 
was holy to Apollo and tlie Nine. The Acroceraunian mountains 
were so called from their tops being struck willi tlnmder. 

The vale of Tempo was reckoned the most delicious spot on earth, 
five miles in length, but in general very narrow. It had mount Olym- 
pus at the north, and Ossa at the south. These motmtains, with Peli- 
on, according to story, were piled one upon another, ly tlie giants in 
their v/ar with the gods, to scale heaven. The celebrated spear of 
Achilles, v/liich none but himself coidd wield, was cut down on Peli- 
on ; Thcssaly was renowned for excelleut horses. 

Larissa was the city of Achilles, lleraclea was so called from Her- 
cules, Avho is said to have consumed himself in a burning pile, on the 
top of (Eta, near this place. Othrys was the abode of ilie Centam's. 
On the banks of Amphrysus, A])oIlo used to feed the flocks of Admc- 
tus. Pierus, towards the confines of ?,Iacedonia, was sacred to the 
Muses. 'J'he women of Thcssaly are said to have possessed remark- 
able skill in magic. 

Athos was a mountain through which Xerxes caused a canal to be 
rut for the passage of his army. Several towns stood upon it whose 
inhabitants were remarkable for their longevity. Stagira was the 



birth place of Aristotle, whence he is called the Stagirite. ApoUonia 
was a place where learning was much cultivated. Strymon was the 
river along the banks of which Orpheus is imagined to have lament- 
ed his lost Eurydice. 

In the island Corcyra were the celebrated gardens of Alcinous, 
which produced fruit twice a year. Ithaca was the residence of Ulys- 
ses. Cicero compares it to a nest in a rock. The Slropliades were a 
cluster of islands fabled to be infested by harpies. The inhabitants 
of ^gina were famed for being the first people that coined money. 

Delos was the birtli place of Apollo and Diana. It was said to be 
a floating island. Paros was the birth place of Phidias and Praxi- 
teles, and celebrated, moreover, for the finest marble. Naxos was fruit- 
ful in vines, and therefore sacred to Bacchus. Crete was celebrated 
for its hundred cities, and for the laws of Minos established there. 
The Cretans were celebrated archers. 

Rliodes was famous for its brazen colossus, or image of the sun, 
about 105 feet high. The metal which composed it loaded 900 camels 
Patmos was the island to which the apostle John was banished, and 
v/here he wrote the book of revelation. Scio was famous for its wine 
and earthen wares. Lemnos was sacred to Vulcan. In the forum of 
its principal town was tlie statue of an ox, made by Myron, the back 
of which, at the winter solstice, was overshadowed by mount Athos, 
though 80 miles distant. 

43. Cities. Of these there were several, the capitals of the 
tUffereiit states of which Greece was composed, as Athens, 
Sparta, Corinth, Tliebes, Ar^os, and others. But of these, 
Athens and Sparta were by far the most renowned. 

Athens, the capital of Attica, was so called from Athenae, 
one of the names of the goddess Minerva, the protectress of 
the city. It was called by the ancients, for its glory in the arts 
and sciences, the learned city, the eye of Greece, the school of 
the world. 

It was situated in a large plain, about five miles from the 
sea, having in the midst of it, a motmt. In its most flourish- 
ing state, according to Dio Chrysostom, it was 2.5 miles in cir- 
cumference. It was divided into the upper city or citadel, and 
the lower city. Both contained 440,000 inhabitants, the fax 
greater part of whom were slaves. 

§ The citadel was built on the rocky mount already mentioned. It 
'.vas called the Acropolis, or the upper city. Wlien from tlie increase 
of its inhabitants, the lower grounds were occupied by buildings, 
those constituted the lower city. 

Tlic upper city was 16 miles in circumference, and was surround- 
ed by a strong wall, beautified by 9 gates, to one of which, called the 
^rand entrance, the Athenians ascended by steps, covered with white 

UREECE- 175 

Tlie lower city contained all the buildings that surrounded the ci- 
tadel, and was encompassed with strong walls. 

In the ciLodel were several magnificent edifices, the chief of 
which were the temple of Neptune, and the beautiful temple 
of IMinerva, called Parthenon. These still continue. The lat- 
ter is justly es^teemcd one of the noblest remains of antiqi'ity. 
It is 229 feet long-, 101 broad, and 69 high. 

In the lower city, the most magnificent structure of Athens, 
and scarcely paralleled in the ancient world, was the temple 
of Jupiter Olympus. It was supported on marble columns, 
and was half a mile in circuit. 

In both portions of Athens there were many other splendid 
structures, and monuments without number, some of the 
proudest efforts of art and genius that the world ever beheld. 

§ Athens had three harbours on the Saronic gulf, whiclnvere joined 
to tlie city b}' two walls, called the long walls. The length of one 
of those was five miles, that of the other nearly the same. 

There were several Gymnasia, or places of exercise, in and near 
Athens, the principal of which were the Academy, the Lyceum, and 
the Cynosarges. 

A Gymnasium was a large edifice designed to accommodate many 
thousands of people together, with places for the exercises of the 
youtli, and with apartments for philosophers, rhetoricians, &c. to de- 
liver their lectures. A garden and sacred grove were attached to this 

Sparta, called also liaccda-mon, was built upon the banks 
of the river Eurotas, and at the foot of mount Taygetus. It 
was the capital of the province of Laconia. It was of a circu- 
lar form, and about 6 miles in circumference. The houses 
were not built close together, but divided into different villa- 
ges, according to the ancient manner of the Greeks. It was 
destitute of walls, till it fell under the dominion of tyiants, 
after the time of Alexander. The bravery of its citizens was 
its defence. 

§ Spartawas divided into different villages, according to the ancient 
manner of the Greeks. Of lliese villages there Avere five, built round 
an eminence at diflVrrnt distances, each of which was occupied by 
one of the five tribes of Sparta. 

The prevailing manners were hostile to external splendour, and 
therefore the lioiisrs of tlie Spartans were destitute of ornaments. The 
great Square, or forinn, however, in which several streets terminated, 
was embellished willi temples and statues. It also contained the pub- 
lic edifices, in which the assemblies of the various bodies of magistrates 
were held. 

Sparta was also adorned with a large number of monumentSj in 


honour of the gods and ancient heroes. Religious respect was shown 
to the memory of Hercules, Tyndarus, Castor, Pollux, Leoniilas, «Scc. 
In the environs of the city were courses for horse and foot raises, and 
places of exercises for youth shaded by beautiful plane trees. Indeed, 
Sparta was surrounded, to a great extent, with vineyards, olive and 
plane trees, gardens, and summer houses. 

Corinth, the capital of Achaia, was seated on the Istlimus, 
which separates Peloponnesus from Attica. It lay between 
two seas, and had two ports, one on each coast. Its citadel 
stood on the peak of a hill called Acrocorinthus. This city 
was one of the best peopled and most wealthy in G reece. It 
was destroyed by Muinmins, the Roman general, during the 
Achaean league. Corinth was partly reliiiilt by Julius Caesar. 

§ The neat order of the pillars which are used at this day, in the 
decoration of all fine buildings, took from this city the name of Co- 
rinthian pillars. Its citizens made high pretensions to politeness, 
philosophy, and learning. 

Corinth enjoyed its liberty, and immense traffic, till B. C. 146, when 
it was taken and burned by the Romans. It was then deemed the 
strongest city in the world, and was a distinguished seat of opulence 
and the fine arts. Since that period it has been often burned, plun- 
dered, and subjugated, till of late, under the tyranny of the Turks, it 
was so decayed, that the population did not exceed 1500 souls, one 
half Mahometans, and the otlier half Christians. 

Thebes, the capital of BcEotia, was situated on the river 
Ismenus. It had seven gates, with walls about seven miles 
in circumference. It was demolished by Alexander, and re- 
built by Cassander. Under Epaminondas, the Thebans be- 
came masters of Greece ; but in Strabo's time (15 or 20 years 
A. C.) Thebes was only an inconsiderable village. 

§ In the dreadful period of its demolition by Alexander, 6000 of it? 
inhabitants were slain, and 30,000 sold for slaves. Tlie house in 
which the great lyric poet Pindar was born and educated, was ordered 
to be spared, and all the rest to be destroyed. 

41. Government. In general the government of Greece 
partook of a republican character, though it varied at different 
periods, and was in lixct different in the several states. In some 
of them it exhibited the features of monarchy or aristocracy. 
They frequently entered into leagues and confederacies with 
each other, and in this respect bore some faint rcsembiance to 
the present government of the United States of America. 
But on this article we are under the necessity of speaking of 
the respective states of Greece, chiefly Athens and Sparta, 
who were, in general, so superior to the rest. 

GREECE. 177 

Government of Athens. 

§ The government of Athens was at first monarchical, but after the 
death of Codrus, it became in a degree democratic. 

Classes of the inhabitants. The Athenians were divided 
into three classes, citizens or fieemen, foreigners or sojourners, 
and slaves. Citizens were the privileged class, who held ex- 
clusively the offices of government. The privileges of citizen • 
ship were obtained with difficulty, and deemed of great value 
They were conferred only by an assembly of the people, except 
where they were inherited by those whose parents were citizens. 

§ The citizens of Athens were divided into ten tribes; but they were 
not hmited to the city, a part of them residing in the small boroughs 
of Attica. These tribes were named after certain ancient heroes ; 
each tribe was again subdivided into three parts, and each of these 
into 30 families. 

Sojourners were persons who came from a foreign country, 
and settled with their families in Attica. They were per 
mitted to exercise trades in the city, and were protected by the 
government, but had no vote in the assembly, nor could they 
be raised to any office. 

§ In some -instances, when they had rendered important services, 
they were adopted into the class of citizens. 

Slaves or servants were distinguished into two sorts. The 
first consisted of free born citizens who, through poverty, were 
forced to serve for wages. These could either change their 
masters or release themselves when able to procure a subsist- 
ence. The second sort were wholly at the disposal of their 
masters, and in general placed beyond the hope of procuring 
tlieir own freedom, or leaving it as a legacy to their childj'en. 

§ Sometimes slaves obtained their freedom by fighting for the re- 
public, or purchased it by means of their savings. 

Magistrates. The Athenian magistrates were divided into 
three sorts, distinguished by the different methods of their 
election. Those were, 1. the Chirotoneti, chosen by the people 
in a lawful assembly, in which they voted by holding up their 
hands. 2. The Cleroti, first approved l)y the people, and then 
dravvni by lot. 3. The Ereti, extraordinary officers appointed 
by particular tribes, to take care of any business. 

§ The poorer citizens were eligible to office ; yet it was seldom that 
any but the most distinguished persons, were actually appointed as 
magistrates. The candidates were required to give an account of 
their past life in the public forum. 

Magistrates, while in oflice, were liable to be tried on an accusation 
of neglect of duty ; and after their term of ofl!ice had expired, they 


were obliged to render an account of their conduct. During thirty 
days, any man who chose might bring a complaint of mal-adminis- 

The usual governinent of Athens was carried on by the 
Archons, the Senate of 500, and assemblies of tlie people. 

The Archons held the supreme executive power. They 
were elected annually, and by the second metliod above 
named, viz. l>y lot. They wore garlands of myrtle, were pro- 
tected from violence and insult, and were exempted from 
certain taxes. 

§ The archons were nine in number. The first was called archon, by 
way of eminence. He decided on causes between married persons, 
also concerning wills, divorces, and legacies. He was the general 
guardian of orphans. Some other important concerns were assigned 
to him. 

The second archon was styled Basileus, and wore a crown. The 
third archon was called Polemarch. The six remaining archons 
were named Thesmothetaj. Their respective duties need not be de- 
scribed. Suffice it to say, that the concern of the arclions, as such, 
was the execution of laws and the general sui)erintcndence of the 
republic. Subordinate magistrates regulated minor details in the 

The Senate of five hundred Avas elected annually by lot, 
from the diderent tribes. The business of this body was to 
consider all proposals intended to come before the people, and 
to see tbat nothing improper should be submitted. 

§ The power of this senate was considerable. Tliey debated aA 
measures of public interest and welfare, examined ihe acounts of 
magistrates, took care of the fleet, and could punish for offences not 
prohibited by any law. 

Assemblies of the people were convened for tlie pinpose of 
consulting on what was most beneficial to the commonwealth. 
The right of attending them was enjoyed by all the freemen 
of Athens. Strangers, slaves, women, and persons who had 
received an infamous punishment, were excluded. They 
were lield four times every 35 days, and also in cases of pecu- 
liar emergency. 

§ The smallest number of which an assembly could legally consist 
was 6000 citizens. The assemblies decided respecting peace or war; 
received ambassadors; confirmed or abrogated laws; nommated to 
almost every important office, &c. 

Here was the field in whicli the good or the bad influence of the 
orators of Athens was exerted ; in wliich tlu ir talents were elicited, 
and their fame acquired ; in wliich Pericles "thundered," iEschincs 
charmed, and Demosthenes ruled the hearts of men. 

There were also other bodies of men occasionally concerned 

GREECE. 179 

in the government of Athens, as various courts, particularly 
that celebrated one called Areopa2:ns. 

The name of this court was taken from the place where it was hold, 
viz. Mars' Hill. It was in the greatest repute throughout Greece 
for the wisdom and justice of its proceedings. It took cognizance of 
crimes, abuses, and innovations either in religion or government, it 
inspected the laws and public manners. 

'J'he strictest projjriety of conduct was required of the members 
Expulsion followed any act of gross immorality. To laugh during 
the sitting of the court, was thought a very blameable levity. 

There was an absurd peculiarity in the government of 
Athens, which should not be omitted. It was ostracism, a 
kind of popular judgment so call from ostrakon, a shell, or tile, 
on which votes were written. 

§ The following was the process in this condemnation. The people 
being assembled, each citizen writing on a shell the name of the 
individual most obnoxious to him without the allegation of a crmie, 
carried it to a certain part of the market place fixed for this pur])0se. 
and deposited it there. These shells were numbered in gross by the 
archons. If they did riot amount to 6000, the ostracism was void. 
If they amounted to this number, the archons, laying every name by 
itself, pronounced liim, whose name was written by the major part, 
banished for ten years, with leave to enjoy his estate. Hence it was 
that so many eminent citizens suffered from the ingratitude or the 
spleen of the Atlienians. 

Government of Sparta. 

Classes of the inhabitants. The inhabitants of Sparta 
consisted of citizens and slaves, or Helots. The citizens were 
divided into two classes, the Homoii, and the Ilypomiones. 
The privileges of these varied ; the former were ehgible to 
office ; the latter consisting of the poorer citizens, the freed- 
men and their sons, were allowed only to vote at the elections. 

The slaves, or Helots, were much more numerous than the 
citizens. Their services were similar to those of servants 
in general, though less severe than those of servants elsewhere 
m Greece. 

Kings. The republic of Sparta had two magistrates, called 
kings, but they differed from those of most other nations. 
They formed a check upon each other, and their power 
otherwise was very limited. 

§ Every montli they took an oath that they would rule according to 
the laws; one of thom command(!d the army, while the otlier usually 
remaujcd at homo to administer the laws. As first citizens of the 
state, they presidetl in the senate, but their peculiar prerogative waa 
to superintend the religion of the stale. 


Senate. This body consisted, together with the two kings, 
of twenty-eight members, who were above sixty years of age, 
and elected to the office for Ufe, and on account of their virtue. 
Their duty was to consider all questions respecting peace or 
war, and other important affairs of the republic. 

Ephori. The Ephori were five magistrates, elected annu- 
ally by the citizens, to inspect the education of the youth, and 
the administration of justice. 

Assemblies. The public assemblies were held to decide on 
matters laid before them by the Senate. There were two of 
these bodies ; one was called the general assembly, attended 
l)y all the freemen of Laconia ; the other, the lesser assembly, 
composed of the Spartans alone, who exceeded thirty years of 

It is to be noticed, that tlie kings, as well as the other magistrates^ 
ronstituted a portion of these bodies. 

Government of the other States of Greece. 

Like Athens and Sparta, the government of the other 
sovereignties of Greece was, for the most part, repubhcaa. 
In some of them there was a preponderance of aristocracy, in 
others of democracy. Thebes was more nearly a monarchy. 

§ Many of the sovereigns of Thebes were celebrated for their mis- 
fortunes, such as Laius, CEdipus, Polynices, «S;c. 

Pertaining to the government of the Greeks, as a confede- 
rated body, was the Amphictyonic Council. This was an as- 
sembly composed, at first, of a few states in the northern parta 
of Greece, but afterwards of twelve states, the object of which 
was the decision of all diderences between cities, and to try 
Buch offences as openly violated the laws of nations. 

§ The number of deputies usually sent to this council wfis two from 
each state. It met twice a year. The vernal assembly was held al 
Delphi, and the autumnal at Tliermopylae. 

45. Military Affairs. The armies of the different states 
of Greece consisted, for the most part, of citizens, whom the 
laws of their country obliged at a certain age to appear in 
arms, at the summons of tbe magistrate. \ 

§ The main body of the Grecian armies was composed of infantry. 
The rest rode in chariots, upon horseback, or upon elephants. 

The Greek arms were at first made of brass, and the boots, 
and some other parts, of tin. Iron became afterwards the 
chief material. The defensive arms were a helmet, a breast 

GREECE. 181 

plale, and a plate for the back, greaves to defend the leg's, 
guards for the hands, a sort of belt which covered a part of 
the body in front, and a shield. 

The offensive arms were the spear, or pike, the sw^ord, the 
pole axe, a club of wood or iron, the bow and arrow, darts or 
javelins, and slings. 

§ The Greeks, however brave in the- field, were very inefficient in 
undertaking the siege of walled towns. Their armies were generally 
the militia of the country, called out to temporary service. 

The severest punishments were inflicted by the Lacedaemonians 
on deserters, or cowards, who fled from battle. They forfeited all the 
privileges and honours of citizens ; it was a disgrace to intermarry 
with them ; they might be beaten by any who met them, without 
the liberty of self-defence ; and they wore some distinguishing dress 
as a mark of infamy. 

Archilochus, the poet, was banished Sparta for writing an epigram, 
in which he jestingly related the loss of his shield. 

46. Naval Affairs. The Greek ships consisted chiefly of 
three sorts : ships of war, those of burthen, and those of pas- 

§ Ships of passage were used as transports ; ships of burthen served 
as tenders, and were usually of a roimd form ; ships of war contained 
the men and the w^eapons by which the naval engagement was car- 
ried on, and were distinguished by the several orders or banks of 
oars which they possessed. These were not fixed in a vertical line 
over each other, but back of each other, ascending gradually in the 
form of stairs. 

47. Religion. The Greeks, who w^rc heathens, wor- 
shipped great numbers of gods and demi-gods, whom they 
divided into three classes : — celestial, marine, and infernal. 
They were all subject to Jupiter, who was considered the 
fiither of gods and men. The above classes are according to 
their degrees of dignity. 

§ The gods of Greece arc described by the poets according to tradi- 
tion, and with such embellishments as poetic genius could invent. 
As the Greeks had no sacred books, these fictions, sanctioned also by 
the priests and legislators, were the only authority for the popular 

The account we here give of the mythology of the Greeks is to be 
regarded as a description only of their principal deities, and under the 
forms in which the poets, sculptors, and painters, represented them. 
If this article should appear to be somewhat particular, compared 
with the others respecting Greece, it is because the mythology of this 
country is the same nearly Avith that of the whole ancient world, and 
is necessary to be known in reading the Grecian and Roman classics. 
The celestial deities were Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, Mercury 


Bacchus, Vulcan, Juno, Minerva, Venus, Diana, Ceres, and 


Jupiter was the son of Saturn and Cybele; and born at the same 
birth with Juno, on mount Ida in Crete. He deposed his father, and 
divided the world between himself and his l)rethren, Neptune and 
Pluto. Neptune had the jurisdiction of the sea, and Pluto that of the 
infernal regions. The sovereignty of heaven and earth he reserved to 

One of his great exploits was the conquest of the Titans, or giants, 
who heaped mountains upon mountains to scale heaven. Jupiter 
was guilty of indulging the basest lusts, although he is generally re- 
presented as the father of men and gods, as shaking heaven with his 
nod, and governing all things, except the Fates, by his power as su- 
preme. His altars were never defiled with human sacrifices. 

He is generally represented as a majestic personage, seated on a 
throne, with a sceptre in one hand, and thunderbolts in the other, 
and at his feet an eagle with expanded wings. 

Apollo was the son of Jupiter and Latona, and born in the island 
of Delos He presided over music, medicine, poetry, divination, the 
fine art;;, and archery. For his offence in killing the Cyclops, he was 
banished from heaven, and obliged to hire himself as a shepherd to 
Admetus, king of Thessaly, in which employment he remained nine 

His adventures on earth are represented as extraordinary. Among 
others he flayed Marsyas alive for contending with him in music ; he 
caused Midas to receive a pair of ass's ears for preferring Pan's mu- 
sic to his ; he turned into a voilet the beautiful boy Hyacinthus, whom 
he accidentally killed with a quoit j and his mistress Daphne he me- 
tamorphosed into a laurel. " 

He is represented as a tall, beardless youth, with rays round his 
head ; sometimes he holds a lyre in his hand, sometimes he has a 
bow, with a quiver of arrows at his back. 

Mars was the son of Jupiter and Juno. He was the god of war, 
ai>d patron of all that is bloody, cruel, and furious. The horse, the 
wolf, the magpie, and the vulture, were offered to him. He had his 
temples in all nations, as well as among the Greeks and Romans. 
Diu'ing the Trojan war Mars was wounded by Diomedes, and hastily 
retreating to heaven, complained to Jupiter, that Minerva had direct- 
ed the weapon of his antagonist. 

He is represented as an old man, armed and standing in a chariot, 
drawn by two horses, called Flight and Terror ; his sister Bellona, 
was his charioteer. Discord goes before him in a tattered garment 
with a torch, and Anger and Clamour follow. 

Mercury, the son of Jupiter and Maia, was the messenger of the 
gods, the patron of travellers, shepherds, orators, merchants, thieves?, 
and dishonest persons. His exploits abundantly support this charac- 
ter. Mercury was doubtless some enlightened person in a remote 
age, wlio, on account of his actions or services was worshipped after 
his death. His Greek name, Hermes, signifies to interpret or explain, 
and he appears to have taught men the arts of civilization. 






GREECE. 183 

He is represented as a naked youth, standing on tiptoe, having a 
^vinged cap on liis head, and winged sandals on his feet ; in one hand 
he held a rod, and in tlie other a purse. 

Bacchus was tlie son of Jupiter and Semele, and the god of wine. 
His festivals were celebrated by persons of both sexes, who dressed 
themselves in skins, and ran alx.nit the hills and country shouting, 
and accompanying their siiouts with drums, fifes, and flutes. Tliese 
solemnities were attended with disgusting scenes of drunkenness and 
debauchery. The fir, yew, and fig tree, the ivy and vine, were sacred 
to him. 

Bacchus is depicted as a corpulent and ruddy youth, crowned with 
ivy and vine leaves; liolding in his hand a small javelin bound with 
vine leaves ; his chariot is drawn by lions. 

Vulcan, the god of fire, and ])atron of those who wrought in the 
metallic arts, was the son of .lupiter and Juno. He was kicked out 
of heaven by Jupiter, for attempting to deliver his mother from a 
chain by which she was suspeud'^d. He continued to descend nine 
days and nights, and lighted on the island of Lemnos, but was crip- 
pled ever after. 

Vulcan was the artificer of heaven ; he forged the thunderbolts of 
Jupiter, also the arms of gods and demi-gods. Though deformed, 
squalid, and sooty, he is made the husband of Venus and father of 

Vulcan is represented as working at a forge. One hand raising a 
hammer ready to strike, the other holding a thunderbolt with pin- 
cers on an anvil. An eagle waits to carry it to Jupiter when 

Juno, styled the queen of heaven, was both the sister and wife of 
Jupiter. She was born at Argos, or as some report, in Samos. In 
her cliaracter she was haughty, jealous, and inexorable, though the 
ancients held her in great veneration, inasmuch as she presided over 
power, empire, and riches, and was the special protectress of mar- 
riage and child birth. 

She was lofty, graceful, and magnificent in her face, figure, and 
motion, and of all the pagan divinities her worship was the most so- 
lemn and general. 

She is represented seated on a throne, or in a chariot drawn by 
peacocks, with a diadem or fillet adorned witli jewels on her head, 
and a golden sceptre in her hand. Iris, displaying the rich colours of 
the rainbow, is her usual attendant. 

Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, sprang completely armed from 
the liead of Jupiter. She was the most accomplished of all the god- 
desses, and the only divinity that seemed equal to Jupiter. She was 
a henificent goddess, and instructed in shipbuilding, navigation, spin- 
ning, and weaving. Her worship was universally established, but 
Athens claimed lier ])articular attention. 

Slie is represented as a majestic female, of commanding aspect, 
armed with a helmet, breastplate, shield, and spear. By her side, or 
on her crest, is an owl, the bird wliich is sacred to her. 

Venus, the goddess of love and beauty, was the daughter of Jupi- 


(er and Dione, or as some say, she sprung from the froth of the sea. 
She was licentious in a high degree, and her worship was celebrated 
with the most disgraceful ceremonies. The most beautiful of her 
temples were those of Paphos, Cnidus, Cythera, and Idalia. The 
island of Cyprus was her favourite residence. 

She is represented as a beautiful woman, elegantly attired, and girt 
about the waist with a cestus, or girdle, that had the power of inspi- 
ring love. 

Diana was the queen of the woods and the goddess of hunting. 
She devoted herself to perpetual celibacy, and had for her attendants 
80 nymphs, all of whom abjured the rites of marriage. Among 
plants, the poppy and dittany were sacred to her. 

She is represented as a tall, majestic woman, lightly clad, with a 
crescent on her forehead, a bow in her hand, a quiver on her shoul- 
ders, her legs bare, and buskins on her feet. 

Ceres the goddess of corn and harvest, was the daughter of Sa- 
turn and Cybele, and the first who taught to cultivate the earth. She 
was a beneficent goddess, but led a licentious life. To her honour the 
Eleusinian mysteries were celebrated. 

She is represented as a majestic and beautiful woman, crowned 
with ears of corn ; in one hand she held poppies and ears of corn, 
and in the other a lighted torch. 

Vesta was the goddess of fire, and guardian of houses and hearths. 
She ever remained a virgin, and received the first oblations in sacri- 

She was represented in a long, flowing robe, a veil on her head, a 
lamp in one hand, and a javelin in the other. 

The marine deities were Neptune, and liis wife Amphi- 
trite, Oceanus and his wife Thetys, Triton, Proteus, Nereus, 
and his sister and consort Doris, &c. 

Neptune, the brother of Jupiter, was second in rank among the 
gods, and reigned over the sea. Conspiring against Jupiter, he was 
defeated, banished from heaven, and for one year made subject to 
Laomedon, king of Troy, where he assisted to build the walls of that 

Neptune is represented seated in a chariot made of a shell and 
drawn by dolphins and sea horses, surrounded by tritons, nymphs, 
and sea monsters. On his head he wears a crown, and in his hand 
holds a trident, or sceptre, with three prongs. 

Oceanus, a sea god, was the son of Ccclum and Vesta. He was 
called the father, not only of rivers, but of animals. He and his wife 
Thetys arc said to have had 3000 sons. 

Triton, also a sea god, was the son of Neptune and Amphitrite ; 
he was his father's companion and trumpeter. 

Half of him resembles a man ; the other part is like a fish ; his two 
feet are like the fore feet of a horse; his tail is cleft and crooked like 
a half moon ; and his hair resembles wild parsley. 

Nereus, a sea god, the son of Oceanus, was the father of fifty daugh- 
ters by his wife Doris, who were called Nereids, 













Proteus, fhe son of Oceanus, a god of the sea, could foretell future 
events, and change himself into any shape. 

Tlie infernal deities were Pluto and liis consort Proserpine, 
Plutus, Charon, the Furies, Fates, and the three judges, Mi- 
nos, iEacus, and Rliadanianthus. 

§ Pluto, who exercised dominion over hell, M-as the brother of Ju- 
piter. Tlie goddesses all refusing to marry him on account of his de- 
formity and gloomy disposition, he seized Proserpine, the daughter 
of Ceres, in Sicily, opened a passage through the earth, carried hei to 
his residence, married, and made her queen of hell. No tcanples were 
raised to his honour. 

He is represented seated on a throne of sulphur, from beneath 
which flow the rivers Lethe, Phlegellion, Cocytus, and Acheron. His 
countenance is stern ; on his head is a radiated crown ; in one hand a 
sceptre with two teeth, called a bident, and in the other, two keys 
_ Plutus, an infernal deity, was the god of riches. He was lame, blind, 
mjudicious, and timorous. 

Charon was the ferryman of hell, an old man with \vhite hair a 
long beard and garments, deformed with filth, in speech morose and 
ill-tempered. Every ghost paid a small brass coin for his fare. ' 

None could enter Charon's boat without a regular burial ; without 
this, they wandered a hundred years, amidst the mud and slime of 
the shore. By him departed souls were ferried over the four rivers ot 
hell, and carried to Pluto's palace. 

The Furies were three in number, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Mcgara. 
They liave the faces of women, their looks are full of terror, they 
hold lighted torches in tlieir hands, and snakes lasli their necks and 
shoulders. Their office is to observe and punish the crimes of bad 
men, and torment tlie consciences of secret offenders. 
• Tlie Fates were tliree daughters of Jupiter by Themis. Their 
names were Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They decided on the 
fortunes of mankind. Clotho drew the thread of life, Lachesis turned 
the w^heel, and Atropos cut it with lier scissors. 

Minos, iEacus, and Rhadnmanthus, were the three judges of the 
souls of the dead. They assigned various punishments to the wick- 
ed, adapted to tlieir crimes; to the good they gave a place in the de- 
lightful realms of Elysium. 

There were many other divinities of various characters and 
descriptions : as, Cupid, tlie god of love; the Muses, who pre- 
sided over poetry, music, dancing, and the hberal arts ; tlie 
Graces, &c. 

§ Cupid, representing the passion of love, was a beautiful winged 
boy, with a bow and arrows, and often with a bandage over his eyts. 
Sometimes he is bestriding tlie back of a lion, playing on a lyre ; 
sometimes he appears mounted on a dolphin ; at otliers,'^breakina the 
winged thunderboh of Jove, or amusing himself with cliildish diver- 

The Muses were the daughters of Jupiter by Mnemosyne. They 
were nine in number viz. 



1st. Calliope, who presides over eloquence and heroic or epic poo- 
try, such as Homer's Iliad. 

2d. Clio, who presides over history. 

3d. Erato, the muse ol elegiac or lyric poetry. 

4th. Euterpe, presiding over music. 

5th. Melpomene, the inventress and muse of tragedy. 

6th. Polyhymnia, tlie muse of singing and rhetoric. 

7th. Terpsichore, who presides over dancing. 

8th. Thalia, the muse of pastoral or comic poetry. 

9th. Urania, who presides over hymns and sacred subjects, and is 
the muse of astronomy. 

The Graces were the daughters of Bacchus and Venus, and three 
in number. They were supposed to give to beauty its attractions, and 
to render even homeliness pleasing. 

They are usually represented as young and blooming virgins, 
fightly clad, and holding each other by the hand, to show the mutual 
affection that subsisted between them. 

Besides these, there were rural deities, as Pan, Sylvanus, 
Priapus, Aristseus, Termhius, and others. There were also 
the Sirens, Gorgons, Harpies, Dryads, Naiads, Nereids, Tri- 
tons, Lares, Penates, Fauns, Satyrs, Pales, and a vast number 
of Nymphs. 

§ Pan was the principal among the inferior deities, and was the god 
of hunters, shepherds, and country people generally. 

Sylvanus was next to Pan, and presided over woods. Priapus pre- 
sided over gardens. Aristseus invented the art of extracting oil from 
olives, and found the use of honey. Terminus was considered as 
watching over the boundaries of lands. 

The Sirens were three fabulous persons, who were said to have the 
faces of women, and the lower parts of their bodies like fish. They 
had such melodious voices, that mariners were often allured by them 
to their own destruction. 

The Gorgons, three sisters, had the power of transforming those 
into stones who looked at them. 

Tne Harpies are said to have beenwingedmonsters which had the 
face of a woman, the body and wings of a vulture, claws on the hands 
and feet, and the ears of a bear. 

The Dryads were nymphs who presided over the woods. 

The Naiads were nymphs of springs and fo\uitains. 

The Nereids were nymphs of the sea, and daughters of Nereus and 

The Tritons were sea gods, wilh their upper parts like a man, and 
their lower parts resembling a fish. 

The Lares and Penates v/cre inferior deities who presided over 
houses and families. 

The Fauns and Satyrs w^ere rural demi-gods, the one attending on 
Pan, and the other on Bacchus. 

Pales was the goddess of shepherds and pastures. 

The Nymphs were celestial and terrestrial j the former guided the 





Melpomene. Polyhymnia. 




GREECE. 187 

heavenly bodies, the latter presided over the woods. They are repre- 
sented as beautiful creatures, inhabiting every forest and glen. 

The worship of these divinities was conducted by priests 
dressed in costly habits, who offered sacrifices of animals, 
fruits, perfumes, &c. These sacrifices were sometimes ap- 
companied by prayers, music, dancing, &c. Human victims 
Avere occasionally sacrificed. 

§ The Greeks derived their religion principally from Egj'pt ; but 
by degrees the legitiators, poets, and priests, extended it, till the 
multitude of gods was almost innumerable. Thirty thousand ob- 
jects of worship have been enumerated among them. These deities 
were supposed frequently to mingle in the affairs of men, and are re • 
presented as being stained with almost every vice. 

Temples were erected, festivals instituted, games celebrated, and 
sacrifiees offered, with more or less pomp to all these gods, as also to 
tlie souls of departed heroes. 

The religion of the common people consisted chiefly in the exter- 
nal honours paid to their gods, and an attendance upon sacrifices and 
ceremonies, thougli these were performed with great reverence. 
With respect to a future state of existence, the philosophers seem to 
have been in doubt. The poets inculcated a belief in Tartarus, or 
Hell, and Elysium, or Paradise. Women were not encouraged with 
any hope of immortality. 

Of Hell they have drawn a picture in the most gloomy 
and horrific colours, where men who have been remarkable 
for wickedness are tortured with a variety of miseries adapted 
to their crimes. 

The prospect of Elysium is described by Homer, Hesiod, 
Pindar, and others, as beautiful and inviting in the highest 
degree. In that delight ftil region, there is no inclement 
weather, but soft Avinds blow from the ocean to refresh the 
inhabitants, who live without care or anxiety ; there reigns 
perpetual sunshine and serenity of sky ; and the f rtile earth 
produces thrice in a year delicious fruits for their sustenance. 

With the religion of the Greeks were connected their tem- 
ples, oracles, games, &c. 

The principal temples of tlie Greeks were those of Diana, 
at Ephesus, of Apollo, in the city of Miletus, of Ceres and Pro- 
serpine, at Eleusis, and that of Olympian Jove, at Athens. 
These were all bitilt of marble, and adorned with the finest 
ornaments. The most celebrated Grecian temple, however, 
was that of Apollo at Dclphos, which was revered and resort- 
ed to by all the siurounding nations, 

§ Statues of the gods, to whom these structures were dedicated, 
were erected in or near the centre of the building, and enclosed by a 


railing. Sacrifices of various kinds were made before these statues 
the ceremonies of which were generally conducted by the priests. 

Temples among the heathen most probably owe their origni to 
the superstitious reverence paid by the ancients to the memory of 
their deceased friends and benefactors. As most of their gods were 
eminent men, who were consecrated after death ; so the first heathen 
temples, we naturally infer, were stately monuments erected in ho- 
nour of the dead. 

Oracles were consulted by the Greeks on all important oc- 
casions, and their determinations were held sacred and invio- 
lable. There were certain temples, in which future events 
were made known to those who devoutly sought to know the 
will of superior powers. Certain priests or priestesses commu- 
nicated this supposed will. 

§ Well have they been called lying oracles, in comparison with 
the clear predictions of the prophets of Jehovali in the scriptures 
The most celebrated oracles were those of Apollo, at Delphi and De 
los, the oracle of Jupiter, at Dodona, and that of Trophonius. 

The public and solemn games in Greece were the Olym- 
pic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian — four in number. The 
contests at these games were running, leaping, throwing the 
quoit, boxing, and Nvresthng. Horse races and chariot races 
were also in repute. Besides these, there were contests in 
wliich musicians, poets, artists, and philosopliers, engaged for 

These occasions drew together people from all parts of 
Greece, and even strangers from foreign countries. The ut- 
most emulation obtained to secure the prizes, which were 
wreaths of various evergreens ; and the highest honours and 
respect were shown towards the victors. Their praises were 
universally celebrated. The effect of these games on the 
national spirit was remarkable. 

§ The Olympic Games were instituted by Hercules in honour of 
Jupiter Olympius, 1222 years B. C, and renewed after a long period, 
first by Lycurgus, 884 B. C, and next by Coroebus, 776 B. C. The 
last period is the era of the first Olympiad. An Olympiad was the 
space (which was four years,) intervening between one celebration 
and another— the Greek method of computing time. The victors 
were crowned with olive. 

The Pythian Games were celebrated every fifth year, in the second 
year of every Olympiad, near Delphi, in honour of Apollo. The vic- 
tors were crowned with laurel. The exercises were nearly the same 
as at the Olympic. 

The Nemean Games, which were mstituted by Hercules, were ce- 
lebrated every third year at the town of Nemea, with the usual ex 
ercises. The victors were crowned with parsley. 

GREECE. 189 

The Isthmian Gamos were celebrated near tlie Isthmus of Corinth, 
whence Ihey derived tlu'ir name. Tlicir occurrence was every third, 
and afterwards every fifth year. The victors were crowned witli gar- 
hinds of pine leaves. 

48. Literature. In literature, Greece was the glory of 
the whole eartli. No nation, ancient or modern, has ever 
surpassed tlte Greeks in literary taste and genius. Since 
their tmie, great advances have indeed been made in the sci- 
ences, strictly so called, and in some branches of polite learn- 
ing ; yet in cliastc and beautiful composition, in hveliness of 
fancy, in sweetness of periods, in the various forms of intel- 
lectual effort under the names of poetry, oratory, and history, 
they are still uinivalled, in mere human productions. 

§ The Greeks derived a part of their learning from Egypt and 
PiKBnicia, but tliey originated much of it, and liere consists then pe- 
culiar gkrry. The praise of invention belongs to them, and even of 
perfection in some departments. 

Cadmus taught them the alphabet 1519 years B. C. It then con- 
tained but 16 letters, and the motliod of writing was from left to 
right, and from right to left alternately. This circumstance essenti- 
ally contributed to the rapid advances made by the Greeks in civili- 
zation and knowledge. 

Poetry, in Greece, was extremely ancient. It was cultivated 
even before the introduction of letters. In the various forma 
under which it is usually arranged, there are specimens of 
surpassing excellence, and names that can never be forgotten. 

§ In epic poetry, we find the sublime Homer, and the moral Ilesi- 
od. In lyric poetry, shine the gay Anacreon, the sweet Sappho, and 
the fanciful and daring Pindar. 

In the drama we meet the names of the wild ^Eschylus, the pa- 
thetic Euripides, the pure and grand Sophocles, and the delicate Me- 
nander. In pastoral poetry, we read of the easy Bion and the ele- 
gant Moschus ; and every classical scholar knows, that Theocritus is 
only another name for simplicity and nature. 

Oratory was greatly cultivated among the Greeks, parti- 
cularly in Athens, whose institutions were rather more free 
than was elsewhere the case in Greece. It became an object 
of attention soon after the Persian invasion, about 480 years 
B. C It was cultivated with singidar success— was bold and 
vehement at first, but afterAvards more refined and elegant. 

§ Here Pericles awed, by the majesty of his expressions ; Thucy- 
dides, who was an orator, as well as a historian, arrested the thoughts 
of others, by the force of his own. Here Isocrates soothed the ear by 
harmony of periods, and Demosthenes flaslied conviction and im- 
pelled to action, by the united energy of liis gesture, voice, and ar- 


History, after those earlier ages in which poetry was the 
vehicle of recorded events, was cultivated with an interest and 
success demanded by its importance. The Greeks possessed 
several most disting-uished historians. 

§ Such were Herodotus, who was characterized by a simple and 
elegant style and engaging manner ; Thucydides, whose reflections 
were profound, and fidelity unequalled ; Xenophon, who combined 
simplicity of style with sagacity of observation. 

Philosophy among the Greeks, was divided into various 
schools or sects. The professors of philosophy arose from the 
early Rhapsodists — men who recited the poems of Homer and 
others at the public games, commenting at tlie same time 
upon them, and who, having established schools, were digni- 
fied by the name of sophists, or teachers of wisdom. The 
Grecian philosophy, was, however, merely speculative, and 
seldom based upon facts. 

§ The principal sects of philosophy in Greece were the Ionic, the 
most ancient, founded by Thales ; the Italian, by Pythagoras ; the 
Socratic, by Socrates; the Cynic, by Antisthenes; the Academic, by 
Plato ; the Peripatetic, by Aristotle ; the Sceptical, by Pyrrho ; the 
Stoic, by Zeno ; the Epicurean, by Epicurus. 

These sects were distinguished by certain peculiarities of doctrine, 
as for instance, the Italian taught the transmigration of souls ; the 
Socratic insisted on the excellence of virtue; the Cynic condemned 
all knowledge, society, and the arts of life ; the Academic dealt ia 
ideal forms, and mystical theogony ; the Peripatetic exhibited the 
model of a perfect logic; the Sceptical inculcated universal doubt; the 
Stoic decried all weakness, and made insensibility a virtue ; and the 
Epicurean pointed to pleasure as the supreme good. 

The Peripatetic sect, or the school of Aristotle, has exerted the 
greatest influence over the human mind. It reigned in the schools 
through 1600 years. 

The principle of all things was a subject of special research by the 
philosophers of Greece. It may be curious to know their opinions 
on this topic. 
Anaximenes, taught that this principle consisted of - - Water. 

Thales, - - Water. 

Anaxagoras, Infinite air. 

Archelaus, Matter and Spirit. 

Ileraclitus, _ . - - Fire. 

Democritus, .._ Atoms. 

Pythagoras, - - - - Unity. 

pliito, -_._--- God, Idea, and matter. 
Aristotle, ----- Matter, Form, and Privation. 
Zeno,- - God and Matter, (the only things without beginning.) 
Epicurus, Matter and empty Space. 

The seven wise men of Greece, who are found in the ranks of phi 

GREECE. 191 

io?ophy, were Tliales, of Miletus; Solon, of Athens ; Bias, of Priene; 
Chilo, of Laceda?mon ; Cleobulus, of Lindos ; Pittacus, of Mitylene ; 
and Periander, of Corinth. 

49. The arts. Greece, in the age of Pericles, about 430 
B. C, abounded in architects, sculptors, and painters. It was 
then in the zenith of its glory in literatnre, as well as the arts. 
Indeed this was tiie taste of the public mind, until after the 
death of Alexander. Even to this day, Greece, particularly 
Athens, is the instructress of the world in those monuments 
of its arts and genius that yet remain. 

In the useful and necessary arts of life, the Greeks never 
made any great improvement. Agriculture, manufactures, 
and commerce, were left for other nations to perfect. But in 
the fine arts, appropriately so called, Greece was superior to all 
ancient nations, and probably not excelled by any modern. 
Indeed, we may say that the Greeks carried architecture, 
sculpture, and painting, to perfection. 

§ This people invented that system of architecture, which is univer- 
sally considered the most finished and perfect. 

The Greek architecture consisted of three distinct orders, the Doric, 
the Ionic, and the (.^orinthian. The Doric possessed a masculine 
grandeur, and sublime plainness. The Ionic was marked with 
gracefulness and elegance. The Corinthian affected the highest mag- 
nificence and ornament, by uniting the characteristics of all the orders. 

In sculpture, ihe Greeks excelled no less than in architecture. 
Specimens of their art in this respect are perfect models. The Dying 
Gladiator, the Venus, and the Laocoon, of the Greek sculptors, have 
an imperishable fiune. 

In painting, though very few specimens have descended down to 
us, they are supposed also greatly to have excelled. The works of 
Zeuxis, Apelles, Parrhasius, Protogens, and Timanthes, which have 
perished, were highly extolled by ithe writers of antiquity. 

In music, the Greeks appear to have been less conspicuous than 
several modern nations. 

50. Private and domestic LAfe. The dress of the Greeks, 
as well as of otlier ancient nations, differed much from that of 
most modern nations. 

The men wore an inner garment called tunic, over which 
they threw a mantle ; theu" shoes, or sandals, were fastened 
under the soles of their feet with thongs or ropes. 

The women, particularly in Athens, wore a white tunic, 
which was closely Ijound w ith a broad sash, and descended in 
waving folds down to the heels ; also a shorter robe, confined 
round the waist with a ribbon, bordered at the bottom with 


Stripes of various colours ; over this they sometimes put on a 
robe, which was worn gathered up hke a scarf. 

In the earlier ages of Greece, its inhabitants used no cover- 
ing on their heads ; but in after times tliey wore hats, that 
v/ere tied under the chin. Women, however, always had 
their heads covered. 

§ The Athenians wore in their hair golden grasshoppers, as em- 
blems of the antiquity of their nation, intimating that they were sprung 
from the earth. 

In Sparta, the kings, magistrates, and citizens, were but little distin- 
guished by external appearance. The military costume was of a red 

The Greeks, in general, set a high value on scarlet colour, and a 
etill greater on purple. 

The meals of the Greeks were usually four in number : 
Breakfast was taken about the rising of the sun ; the next 
meal at mid-day ; then came tlie afternoon repast ; and lastly 
the supper, which was the principal meal, as it was taken aftei 
the business of the day. 

5 At Sparta they ate together at public tables, and the chief part of 
their food consisted of black broth. 

In the earliest ages, convivial entertainments were generally acl9 
of public devotion, but afterwards we find them in use in private iife< 

There were also political feasts, in which a whole city, tribe, oi 
other subdivision, met together. 

Water and wine were used for drinking. Perfumed wines were 
introduced at the tables of the rich. Every thing capable of sustain- 
ing life was used as food. The Greeks generally were very fond offish. 

Hot baths were very numerous, and bathing in them, and anoint- 
ing the body, with a change of clean clothes, were usual in preparing 
for a feast. When guests were invited, men and women were never 
invited together. 

Seats, on which persons sat upright, were employed ; but, as luxury 
prevailed, couches were introduced, on which the guests reclined 
while feasting. 

The marriages among the Greeks were lawful only as the 
consent of parents or other relatives could be obtained. This 
institution was greatly encouro ged in all parts of Greece. Want 
of esteem, and sometimes the infliction of punishment, attended 
the failure of entering into the connubial state. 

§ Polygamy was allowed only after times of great calamity, such as 
war or pestilence. Socrates married a second Avife on this account. 
Violations of the marriage contract, though the punishment was se- 
vere, were often committed. 

The Grecian women seldom or never appeared in strange company, 
but were confined to the remote parts of the house, into which no male 


visitants were admitted. When they went abroad, they wore veils 
to conceal their faced. It was disreputable, however, to appear much 

In some parts of Greece, parents might expose their children, in 
certain cases. Cliiklren were required to maintain their parents in 
old age ; but by the laws of Solon, if a person did not bring up his 
children to some useful employment, they were to be exempted from 
such an obligation. 

The funerals of the Greeks were attended with many ce 
remonies, showing that they considered the duties belonging 
to the dead to be of the highest importance. In their view, it 
was the most awful of all imprecations, to wish that a person 
might die without the honours of a funeral. 


51. Country. Phcenicia was little more than a naiTow slip 
of ground situated between mount Libanus and the sea. It 
had Syria on the north and east, Judea on the south, and the 
Mediterranean on the west. 

52. Cities and Remains. Sidon was the capital, and a 
maritime town of considerable extent, and provided with au 
excellent harbour. It was distinguished by a high degree of 
opiUence and refinement. 

Tyrus, called the daughter of Sidon, was built upon an 
island south of Sidon, and 25 miles distant. It was ornament- 
ed with many magnificent buildings. 

§ Sidon is often mentioned by Homer, but Tyrus never. Tyrus 
Was joined by Alexander to the main land, and time has consolidated 
liis work. 

The walls of Tyre were 150 feet high, with a proportionate breadth. 
Old TjTC, on the continent, was destroyed by the Assyrians. It was 
new Tyre that Alexander took after a siege of seven months. A few 
fishermen's huts are among its ruins. 

Other principal, cities were Aradus, Tripoli, Byblus, Sarepta, and 

Some vestiges of the splendour of this ancient land are still 
in existence. The ruins of Sidon exhibit many fine columns 
and other fragments of marble. 

§ A double column of granite, consisting of one entire block, 80 
feet long, has been noticed among the ruins of Tyre. 

53. Navigation and Colonies. The Phoenicians, con- 
fined between the sea and movmtains, acquired power and 
aggrandizement by navigation. Their navigators were fa- 
mous for their skill and intrepidity. They engrossed the 
commerce of the western hemispliere. 


They formed establishments on both sides of the Mediter- 
ranean, and even on those of the western ocean. In the time 
of Abraham, they were known to be a commercial and enter- 
prising people. 

§ Carthage, Utica, Gades, &c. were colonies founded by the inha- 
bitants of Tyre. 

54. Sciences, Arts, and Manufactures. From the earliest 
periods, the Phoenicians were addicted to philosophy. The 
sciences of arithmetic and astronomy were invented or im- 
proved by them, and they are known to hnve introduced let- 
ters into Greece. 

§ Before the time of the Trojan war, Moschiis, a Sidonian, ex- 
plained the doctrine of Atoms. In latter ages, we read of some emi- 
nent philosophers ; among them was Boethius, Antipater, Diodatus, 
and Apollonius. 

In manufactures they were skilled. Glass, purple, and fine 
linen, were products of their own invention. 

In architecture they were so versed, that Solomon sought 
their aid in erecting his magnificent temple. 

55. Religion. As the Phoenicians were so nearly connect- 
ed with tlie immediate descendants of Noah, they were pro- 
bably instructed in the worship of the true God ; but they be- 
came at length inunersed in idolatry and superstition. 

The principal objects of their mistaken adcration were Beelsmen, 
or the sun, Baal, Astarte, the " queen of heaven," Hercules, Adonis, 
and the Patfeci, certain small statues, Avhich being venerated as the 
tutelar gods of sea-faring men. were always carried about in the 
prows of their vessels. 

One of these idolatrous objects Milton describes in mellifluous 

" With these in troop 
Came Ashtoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd 
Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns ; 
To whose bright image, nightly by the moon 
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs." 


56. Qountry. The country of the Lydians had Mysia on 
file north, and Caria on the south. It constituted an inte- 
resting portion of Asia Minor. 

§ The inhabitants on the coast, who were lonians divided into 
twelve small states, gave their name to a dialect of the Greek lan- 
guage — Ionic. 

57. Cities. The principal cities were Ephesus, illustrious 
in classic and in christian antiquity ; Sardis, the ancient me- 

ROMANS. 195 

tropolis ; Philadelphia, in which were celebrated the common 
feasts of all i^sia ; and a few others. 

§ Ephesus was fanioiis for the temple of Diana, one of tlie seven 
wonders of the Avorld, completed 220 years after its foundation. This 
temple was 425 iVet in length, and 200 in breadth. The roof was sup- 
ported b)- 127 colunms 60 fcft high, placed there by so many kings. 
The rich offerings brought into it were immense. 

This temple was burnt on the night that Alexander was born. 
Erostratus perpetrated fliis villany merely to eternize his name. It 
rose, however, from its ruins, with augmented splendom-. 

Ephesus was famous also as the place where a flourishing christian 
church was planted by the apostle Paul ; and it now stands a monu- 
ment of the fulfilment of our Saviour's threatenmg: " Thy candle- 
stick shall be removed out of his place." 

The city is now a mass of ruins. The whole contains only 40 or 
50 Turkish families, who live in cottages of dirt. Not a single family 
here exists to invoke the name of Jesus. Says Gibbon, " The deso- 
lation is complete. Tlie temple of Diana, or the church of Mary, will 
equally elude the search of the curious traveller." 

58. Cliaracter. The Lydians, under Croesus, and some of 
his predecessors, were a very warlike people ; but after the 
introduction of the Persian luxuries, they became indolent, vo- 
luptuous, and cfl'eniinate. 

59. Customs. They are said to be the first people that in- 
troduced the coinage of gold and silver to facilitate trade ; the 
first that sold by retail ; that kept taverns and eating houses ; 
and invented public games, which were therefore called ludi 
by the Romans. 


GO. Country — its name., situation, and division. The 
country of this renowned people, from their having ruled over 
a great f)art of the civilized world, becomes an interesting ob- 
ject to the scliolar or reader. They inhabited that part of 
Europe which is now called Italy, and their beginning was at 
Rome, its capital. From the latter they were denominated 

§ Italy had other names, as Hcsperia, Ausonia, CEnotria, and Sa- 

It had the Alps on the north, the Tyrrhene sea on the 
west, the Adriatic on the east, and the Grecian sea on the 

The whole territory was divided into Cisalpine Gaul, Italy 
Proper, and Magna Grax-ia. 

^ Its principal districts were Cisalpine Gaul, Etruria, Umbria, Pi- 


cenum, Latium, Campania, Samnium, the Hirpini, Apulia, Calabri^^ 
Lucania, and the Brutii. 

61. Interesti)ig localities of Italy. Italy as well as Greece 
furnishes many recollections of this kind, that are so pleasing 
to the student of antiquity. 

§ Andes, near Mantua, was the birth-place of Virgil, Comumthatof 
the younger Pliny, Verona of Catullus, and Patavium of Livy. Ra- 
venna was the residence of the emperors of the west when driven 
from Rome. The river Po is famous for the death of Phaeton, who, 
as the poets mention, was thrown down into it by the thunder-bolts 
of Jupiter. 

Padusa, one of the mouths of the Po, was said to abound in swans. 
Rubicon was a mountain torrent, Avhich it was forbidden to pass with 
an armed force, under dreadful imprecations. Tlie inhabitants of 
Etruria were famous for their skill in augury, early civilization, and 
resolution, and were conquered by the Romans, only after much 

Circeii was the residence of the fabled enchantress Circe. Tusculum 
was the villa of Cicero. Capua was celebrated for its wealth, volup- 
tuousness, and soft climate. Near the promontory of Cumee was the 
residence of the Sibyl. At Nola, east of Naples, bells were fii-st in- 
vented. The eruption of Vesuvius, A. C. 79, overwhelmed the cities 
of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae,and destroyed the life of Pliny. 

The city of Arpi was founded by Diomedes. Venusia was the 
birth-place of Horace. The coimtry of Apulia was celebrated for its 
wool. Brundusium was the port for passing from Italy to Greece. 
Rudiae was the birth-place of Ennius. Tarentum was founded by the 

Paestum in Lucania was famous for its roses. On the coast was 
Metapontum, the school of Pythagoras. Thurium was also called 
Sybaris, from the effeminacy of its inhabitants. Petilia was built 
by Philoctetes, after the Trojan war. 

Sicily was famous in antiquity for the birth of Ceres, the rape of 
Proserpine, the giant Enceladus, mount ^Etna, and the Cyclops, with 
the whirlpool Charybdis, opposite to Scylla on the Italian coast, ob- 
jects of terror to mariners. Sicily was the storehouse of Italy. 
Mount Eryx was celebrated for its temple of Venus. The plains of 
Enna, where Proserpine was carried away by Pluto, abounded in 

Lipara was famous for its fruits : its raisins are still in high repute. 
Vulcan had forges here. Sardinia was called by the Greeks, Ichnu- 
fla, from its resemblance to the print of a foot. It was famous for 
wormwood and bitter herbs, and its air was unwholesome. Corsica 
was celebrated for its box and yew trees. TJrciniiun, founded by a 
son of Ajax, is now Ajaccio, and celebrated in modern times as the 
birth-place of Napoleon Buonaparte. 

62. Capital of Italy^ and tSeat of the Roman Empire. 
The great city of Italy and the Romans was Rome. Her© 

R( MANS. 197 

was the beginning of this celebrated people. The city was 
small and mean at fust, but in the course of ages became 
magnificent be)'ond conception. 

The city was built on seven hills, Mount Palatmus, Capi- 
tolhius, Gluirilinu.s. Viminalis, Esquilinus, Coelius, and Aven- 
tinus. The Palatine hill was the residence of the kings and 
emperors. On mount Capitohnus, were the Capitol and 
Tarpeian rock. 

STlie seven hills on which Rome was built are not very distinctlj' 
marked, particularly now that the rubbish of so many ruined buildings 
has, in the course of more than 2500 years, filled up the spaces be- 
tween them. In any place the ground is about 20 feet deep above 
the old pavement. The summit of the Capitoline hill is only about 
120 feet above the level of the Tiber. 

In the times of the republic were built the most magnificent aque- 
ducts, which conveyed water from a vast distance for the service of 
the city, and some of which supply modern Rome; whilst the vast 
ruins of others excite wonder and astonishment. The Circus INIaxi- 
inns was of an oval shape, and afforded accommodation for 150,000 
people to see the chariot races and other games. 

The ruins of the theatres of Pompey and INIarcellus still remain. 
The Coliseum, built by Vespasian and Titus, for shows of gladiators 
and wild beasts, was capable of containing 100,000 people, and its 
magnificent rcniuias are still the most remarkable object at Rome, 

The Pantheon or Temple of all the gods, was built by Agrippa, 
in the time of Augustus, and its solid construction promises it a dura- 
tion for many centuries yet to come. 

The columns of Trajan and Antoninus excite th^ admiration of all 
beholders. Baths of immense number and extent were made chiefly 
in the times of the emperors, and the ruins of those of Titus, and Ca- 
racalla, still rem-iin. The vast tomb of Adrian is now the castle of 
St. Angelo. The catacombs are very extensive, but it is uncertain for 
what purpose they were used. Several vast tombs still remain, one 
of which was used as a fortress in the middle ages. The triumphal 
arches of Severus, Titus, and Constantine, still adorn the ancient 

The extent of the walls is stated by Phny to have been 13 miles 200 
paces. A somewhat larger space was enclosed by Aurelian. Tho 
modern city encloses also within the walls, the Vatican hill. More 
than three fourths of the space within the walls are now covered 
with vineyards, and the modern city is built chiefly in the ancient 
Campus Martins. Every where are seen magnificent ruins. Egyp- 
tian obelisks, Mocks of oriental granite, ancient and modern buildings, 
which still render Rome the most interesting city of the whole earth. 

The principal public place in the city was the Forum. — This was 
a large open space of oblong shape, where the people held their as- 
semblies, justice was administered, and public concerns were trans- 
acted. It was surrounded in its whole extent with arched porticoes. 



\vhich included spacious halls, where courts of justice sat and decided 
the affairs of individuals. 

The Campus Martins was a large plain without the city, along the 
river Tiber, where tlie athletic exercises and sports of the Roman 
youth were practised. It was adorned with many noble structures, 
and monuments commemorating the deeds of their ancestors. 

63. Political Stale. Tlie political state, or government 
among the Romans, varied very much during the successive 
periods of their existence. At first it was a monarchy : next 
it became a republic with a preponderance of aristrocratic 
power, w hich gradually gave w^ay to the influence of the people. 
A state almost of anarchy followed, which soon settled down 
into a despotism. That portion of history which we call ancient, 
includes and ends with the commencement of Roman des- 
potism under Augustus. 

The kings of Rome were not absolute or hereditary, but 
limited and elective. They could neither enact laws, nor 
make w^ar or peace, without the concurrence of the senate 
and people. 

§ They wore a golden crown, and carried an ivory sceptre. They 
.«!at in a curule cliair, which Avas made or adorned with ivory, and 
they were attended with twelve lictors, carrying fasces, which were 
bundles of rods with an axe placed in the middle. They convened 
the senate, assembled the people, conducted the army, and ap- 
pointed the qurestors or treasurers of the public money. 

The Roman people were divided into four classes. 1. The 
Senate or Patrician order. 2. The Ecjuestrian order or knights. 
3. The Plebeians or mass of the people. 4. The Slaves. 

The Senate was composed of 100 old men, and afterwards 
of 200 or more, who were the council of the king. By them 
most of the business of the state was transacted. They were 
called Patres, that is, Fathers. The Patrician lamilies were 
descended from these fathers. They constituted not an he- 
reditary nobiUty, but were accounted noble, because the mem- 
bers had filled high oflfices. 

§ For some centuries, the senate consisted of 300 members, and in 
the time of Julius Cnesar, of 900. Augustus reduced the number to 
000. They were first chosen by the kings, afterwards by the consuls, 
and last by the censors. Tliey were distinguished by a particidar 
dress, and had separate seats at the public spectacles. 

In their ofiicial character, this body was usually assembled three 
times a month, but was frequently called together on other days for 
special business. A senatus consultum was a decree passed by a 
major jty of the senate, and approved by the tribunes of tlie people. 

The Knights were not originally a separate order, but coa- 

ROMANS. 199 

sistcd of siicli citizens as could maintain a horse for the Avars. 
They seem to have become a separate order at some period 
under the kingS; but afterwards the knights were chosen by 
the censors, and presented with a horse and a gold ring, at 
the public expei\^e. 

§The knights formed the public revenues. Every year on the 15th 
July, they went in procession from the Temple of Honour or of Mars, 
without the city, to tlie capitol, on horseback, bearing wreaths of olive 
in their hands. A certain proi erty (3,229 pounds) was required as 
a qualification to be made a knight. 

The Plebeians, or mass of the people, were the remainder 
of the Roman citizens after the Patricians and Equites or 
knights. They were called Plebs or Populus. Those who 
lived in the country were Plebs rustica, and were considered 
the most respectable. The Plebs urbana consisted chiefly of 
mechanics, or poorer citizens who followed no trade, and partly 
maintained themselves from the largesses of corn, (fcc, distri- 
buted among them. 

§ The whole body of the people was at first divided into tribes three 
in number, and each tribe was subdivided in ten curisc or wards. 
Other divisions Avere afterwards made. To the three tribes, Servuis 
TuUius added a fourth. Augustus afterwards divided Rome into 14 

Besides his addition of a fourth tribe, Servius made a division of 
the people into six classes, and each class into several centuries or 
portions of citizens, so called, because they were required to furnish, 
support and equip 100 men in Avar. These six classes were formed 
according to their property ; the first composed of the richest citizens, 
and the 6th, whicli Avas the most numerous, of the poorest. The 
centuries amounted to 193. 

The slaves constituted a large portion of the poptilation of 
Rome. Their lives Avere at the disposal of their masters. 
They were not oidy employed in domestic services, but in 
various trades and manufactures. They Avcre sometimcf? 
highly educated, and instructed in the liberal arts and profes- 
sions, as that of physic. 

§ They Avere considered as mere property, and publicly sold in a 
market-place — often chained by the leg. If capitally convicted, their 
punishment Avas crucifixion. 

During the Saturnalia, or Feast of Saturn, slaA'es Avere alloAved great 
freedom, and masters at that time AA'ould Avait upon them at table ; 
the same license Avas i^ermitted on the Ides of August. 

Slaves might be set free by various forms of law. Slaves thus 
emancipated had the names of Liberti and Libertini. Their children 
were not equally honourable Avith other citizens ; but their grand- 


cliildren were reckoned Ingenui, or in every respect on an equality 
witli them. 

With a view to connect together the different orders, it waa 
provided by Roniukis, that each plebeian should choose a pa- 
trician to be h-is patron, whose chent the plebeian was called. 

§ The patron was to protect his client, to give him his advice and 
forward his interest. The chent was to be ready to assist his patron 
on all occasions. In elections, the clients exerted themselves on be- 
half of their patrons. 

The Romans had usually three names, the Preenomen, 
Nomen, and Cognomen, as in Piiblius Cornelius Scipio. 

§ Publins is the name of the individual, to distinguish him from 
another of the same family, as Cains Lucius, &c. Cornelius shows 
that he was of a certain family, the gens Cornelia ; and Scipio, that 
he was of a division of the family, the Scipios being one out of many, 
into which the whole stock of the gens Cornelia was divided. 

The Roman citizens were not merely the inhabitants of 
Rome and its environs, but the freedom of the city was granted 
to other parts of Italy, and afterwards to foreign cities and 
tov\'ns in the empire, whose inhabitants, by this means, en- 
joyed the same rights as the Romans. 

The power of the people in Rome was expressed in their 
public assemblies. The name given to these assemblies, in 
their transactions, was Comitia. The Comitia were summoned 
by some magistrate, to pass laws, to elect magistrates, to de- 
cide conceining peace and war, and to try persons guilty of 
certain heinous offences. 

§ There were three kinds of Comitia, the Curiata, the Centurlata, 
and the Tributa. The Comitia Curiata consisted of an assembly of 
the resident Roman citizens, who were divided into thirty curiae, a 
majority of which decided all matters of importance that were laid 
before them. 

The Comitia Centuriata were the principal assembly of the peo- 
ple. They elected Consuls, Preetors, Censors, and sometimes a Pro- 
consul, also the Decemviri, the military Tribunes, and a priest call- 
ed Rex Sacrorum. They gave their votes, divided into the centuries 
of their classes, according to the census. The place of their meet- 
ing was the Campus Martins, and all Roman citizens, though residing 
in the country, as well as city, had a right to act, in their several 

The Comitia Tributa were an assembly of tlie people in which 
they voted, as they were separated into tribes, according to their 
wards. At these comitia were created subordinate magistrates, fis 
iEdiles, Tribunes of the people, Quasstors, &C. The laws, called 
Plebiscita, were passed at these assemblies. 

Persons who souglit olFices and preferment were called candldati, 

ROMANS. 201 

from a white garment which they wore. They canvassed the people 
and solicited their votes. 

After the time of Augustus, the comitia fall into disuse. The for- 
malities were observed, but these were soon after dropped, and the 
annual magistrates were either chosen by the senate or nominated by 
the emperors. 

Tlie Roman magistrates were elective, and divided into 
ordinary, extraordinary, and provincial. The ordinary magis- 
trates, who were stated, and always in the republic, were the 
consuls, censors, tribunes, aediles, and quaestors. The extra- 
ordinary, who were temporary magistrates, were the dictator, 
the deceinvirs, the military tribunes, and the interrex. The 
provincial magistrates, who were appointed to the government 
of the provinces, were at first praitors, afterwards pro-consuls 
and pro-pra.'tors, to whom were joined quaestors and lieu- 

§ Consuls, after the banishment of the kings, were put in the room 
of the latter, to perform the duties of royalty. They were two in 
number, and hel ' tlieir office for one year. At first they had nearly 
the same badges of authority, except the crown. The eligible age to 
be made consul was forty-three, but extraordinary circumstances 
might justify an earlier age. 

The Tribunes of the people were officers whose duty it was to 
guard and protect the plebeians in their rights, when the patricians 
became oppressive. Their power was contracted at first, but at length 
became very great. Unprincipled men in this office often converted 
the public assemblies into scenes of violence and blood. 

The censors were appointed to take an account of the number and 
fortunes of the people. Their power at first was limited, but after- 
wards, became so great, that it w'as deemed the most honourable 
office in the state. There were two censors elected every five years, 
and they continued in office only one year and a half. 

The Praetors, whose rank was next to that of the consuls, and 
whose place when vacant they supplied, were appointed to adminis- 
ter justice and convoke assemblies of the senate and people. They 
also presided at certain public games. There was at first but one 
praetor, but afterwards several. 

The Pro-consuls and Pro-praetors usually governed the provinces 
of the empire. To them were joined quaestors and lifniteaants. They 
had the highest rank within their province. Tiie power of the pro- 
consuls and pro-praitors was much the same, the former being sent to 
the larger provinces. 

The iEdiles were so named from their having a particular care 
of the aedes or buildings, as the temples, baths, aqueducts, theatres, 
&c. They were distinguished into C'urule and Plebeian aediles. The 
curule aediles superintended the ])ublic games, and occupied a more 
honourable place in the senate than the plebeian aediles, who w^ere 
assistants to the tribunes. 


The Quaestors were appointed for the manageme'it of the public 
revenues. At first they were two in numlier, but afterwards, as the 
empire extended, they amounted to many. Two of them, the city 
quaestors, remained at Rome, and tlie rest, who were military and 
proviunial quaestors, accompanied tlie army and provided for the 
payment of the soldiers, or attended the consuls or praetors into their 
provinces, and regulated the tribute. 

The Dictators were magistrates, with absolute power, appointed on 
extraordinary occasions, or in cases of imminent danger. The terra 
of their office was six months. 

Their power supreme in peace and war. They could raise and 
disband armies, and decide matters, without consulting the senate 
and people. The consuls submitted to their commands. As a check 
to their power, they were liable to be called to an account for the 
abuse of it, after it was resigned. 

The Decemviri were ten men appointed, on particular occasions, 
to collect and promulgate laws, &c. They were chosen for one year, 
but had interest s-.ifficient to be reappointed for another. They pro- 
posed the laws (.•; the twelve tables. 

The Military Tribunes had consular power in public affairs; they 
mediated between the patricians and plebeians, at a time when they 
could not agree in the election of consuls. 

An interrex was appointed to hold the elections at Rome, when the 
consuls or dictatoro were absent. 

64. Religion,. The gods of the Romans were nearly the 
saiiie as those of Greece. The priests of their rehgion did 
not form a distinct order of the state ; but were selected from 
the most honourable citizens for that oflice. They were of 
two kinds — those that were common to all the gods ; and 
those that were appointed to some one divinity in particular. 

Of the former, the principal were the pontifices, the au- 
gures, the haru;- pices, the quindecem-viri, and septem-viri. 
These were all subordinate to the pontifex maximus, or high 

■5 The pontifices were judges in sacred things, and prescribed what 
was to be done in cases where there was no law. The pontifex maxi- 
mus was the supreme arbiter. The pontifices were 15 in number. 

Tl-.e augures, who were the same in number, were expected to pre- 
dict future events, and to determine whether any action would be 
fortunate or not. They divined in various ways.— among others 
by the flight, cliirping, or feeding of birds. They had great authori- 
ty in the state, as notliing important in peace or war could be deter- 
iniiied Avithout them. 

The haruspices were required to inspect the beasts offered In sacri- 
fice, and by them to obtain omens with respect to the future. 

The quindecem-viri were 15 officers who kei)t the sibylline books, 
in which was written tlie future history of Rome. I'hese were said 
to have been procured from a woman of extraordinary appeajrance io 

ROMANS. 203 

the time of Tarquin the Proud, and were kept in a stone chest nndc 
the Capitol. The quindeceni-viri consulted these books in times of 
great calamity, to provide what should be done, and thus the popular 
fear was assuaged. 

The septem-viri were seven priests who presided at sacred feasts, 
games, or processions. 

As an iiistauce of tlie kind of priests that were appropria- 
ted to particular deities, we may mention the Vestal Virgins. 
These were consecrated to the worship of Vesta. 

§ The Vestal Virgins guarded perpetually the sacred fire of Vesta. 
They were obliged to observe strict chastity on pain of death. For 
ten years they learned the sacred rites, for ten years they performed 
them, and other ten years they spent in teaching others ; and after 
that they might marry, if they could. 

65. MUitarij Affairs. The Romans weie a nation of 
soldiers, and all their institutions had a tendency towards the 
encouragement of a military spirit. It was l)y discipline, skill, 
and valour, that they conquered the world. 

It was the duty of every citizen to be a soldier, should hia 
country call for his services, from the age of 17 to 46. 
Those afiected by disease, or exercising public functions, were 
exempted. For 350 years from the building of R»ome, no pay 
was allowed to those who served in the arm3^ 

§ No man could be appointed to any honourable magistracy, with- 
out having been ten years in the army. After Latium and the states 
of Italy were subdued or admitted into alliance, troops were raised 
among them in the same manner as at Rome. 

About the time of Marius, a very great change took place 
in the mode of enlisting and supporting the armies. The 
infantry after that time, consisted of the poorer citizens, and 
mercenary soldiers from every part of Italy. The cavalry no 
longer consisted of Roman knights, but of horsemen, raised 
in Italy and in the provinces, serving for hire. 

The Roman legion was a correct display of military ar- 
rangement and discipline. Each legion, when full, contained 
6000 men di\ ided into 10 cohorts or battalions, with other 
Bubdivisions. Each legion had a wing of 300 liorse attached. 
It is to be noticed, however, that the numbers of the legion 
varied at different periods, from 3000 to 10,000 and 11,000. 

The dependence of the Romans was on the strength of 
their infantry. 

§ Tlieir defensive arms consisted of a helmet, a shield four feet 
long and two broad, a coat of mail, and greaves for the thighs. Their 
weapons of assault were two long javelins or pila, and a sword. 


The pilum was a long heavy spear, and a terrible weapon in the 
hand of a Roman. No defensive armour or covering could resist itg 
force, when propelled so as to reach its object. Its length was about 
six feet, and its head consisted of a triangular point of steel 18 inches 
long. The distance from which it was commonly thrown, varied 
from ten to six yards. When the pila were discharged, the Roman 
soldiers rushed upon the enemy with their swords. 

The Roman sword was a short two-edged blade of fine temper, 
adapted to the purpose of striking or thrusting. The latter was deem- 
ed the most efficacious. 

The legions were usually drawn up in three lines. The first was 
called hastati, and consisted chiefly of young men. The second line 
was called principes, consisting of men of middle age ; and the third 
line triarii, consisting of veterans of tried valour. 

Besides these heavy armed legionaries, there were light-armed 
troops, who were chiefly employed in using slings, bows and arrows, 
and throwing light javelins. They advanced before the rest of the 
army, and annoyed the enemy as much as possible. 

When the army approached the enemy, the light-armed troops 
discharged their arrows and slings, and as they drew nearer, threw 
their darts rapidly, and retreated through intervals between the 
ranks, or by the flanks, and rallied in the rear. The hastati thea 
threw their long javelins, and commenced an attack with their swords. 

WTien repulsed or fatigued, they retired leisurely into the ranks ol 
the principes, or behind them, if necessary. The triarii were a body 
in reserve. If unable to drive back the enemy, a retreat was all that 
could be hoped for. 

In besieging a town, the method of the Romans, and in- 
deed of all ancient nation.s, differed much from that of <he 
moderns, since the use of cannons, and was inferior to the 

Tlie principal engines of attack among the Romans were 
the catapultse, which discharged heavy stones ; the balistae, 
which discharged arrows, and the aries or battering ram, 
which was the most effective as applied against the wall. 

§ The aries was along beam, like the mast of a ship, armed at one 
end, with iron in the form of a ram's head. It was suspended in such 
a manner, that 100 men, who were frequently changed, by violently 
thrusting it back and forth, could break almost any wall, that it could 
be made to reach. 

To protect the soldiers in this work, various contrivances were 
adopted, such as slicds called testudincs, or tortoises^ from their re- 
semblance to the sliell of that fish, and sheds called vineae, con- 
structed of wood and hurdles, and covered with earth and raw hides, 
so that they could not be set on fire. 

The form of a Roman camp of two legions, was a square 
of nearly 700 yards on each side, with tents and quarters, laid 

Olympic Games, — Chariot Race. P. 188. 

Olympic Games, — Boxing. P. 188. 

Battering Ram. P. 204. 

ROMANS. 205 

out in the most regular order. A rampart of 12 feet high 
Furrounded this square, and it was enclosed by a deep and 
broad ditch. 

§ This was the rfToct of caution, an excellent feature of Roman disi*- 
pline. No circumstances as to fatigue, or the absence of danger, 
could induce tho legions of Rome to neglect a regular encampment. 
When their camps were to be left, nothing could exceed the celerity 
of their movements. Each soldier loading himself with his provi- 
sions and utensils, a weight of 60 pounds, besides his very heavy 
armour, would march by regular step, 20 miles in the space of six 

The Roman soldiers were among the best in the world. From the 
constant practice of athletic exercises, they were inured from infancy 
to hardiness and fatigue, and bred to that species of life which a sol- 
dier leads in actual warfare. Their bravery and knowledge in the 
art of war were not exceeded, if they were equalled, by any nation ot 

The rewards of soldiers who had distinguished themselves 
were various kinds of •rowns, ornaments of the persons and 
arms, and donations in money or lands. But the highest 
object of Roman ambition was the honour of a triumph. Tbio 
was a grand, solemn procession through the city to i]ie capi- 
tol; granted to the victorious general and his army by a decree 
of tlie senate, or by the people. 

§ The procession which constituted a triiunph, marched from the 
Camj)us Martins tiirough the most public streets to the capitol. Mu- 
siciansof various kinds led the way ; oxen, with gilt horns and ribbons, 
intended for sacrifice, followed, with priests in their dresses of cere- 
mony. Then tho standards taken from the enemy, the arms, spoils, 
&c. were carried in procession. The captives followed in chains. 

At length came the general in a robe of purple and gold, with a 
crown of laurel on his head, and other personal brilliant decorations. 
He stood in a gilded chariot adorned with ivory, drawn by four milk- 
white horses. His friends and relations accompanied him, and the 
principal officers were on horseback beside his chariot. His victori- 
ous army, crowned with laurel, and singing songs of victory, came last. 

An ovation was a triumph also, but accompanied with less splen- 

66, Fleets. The Roman ships were extremely small 
compared with modern vessels. They were quickly con- 
structed and quickly riianned. Sailors and rowers were hired 
to navigate. Soldiers AWre put on board to fight. 

§Tlie success of the Romans at sea was owing rather to the valour 
of their men, than to their skill as mariners. Their object in sea- 
battles, was to api)roach the enemy as quickly as possible, fasten the 
ships together, and fight hand to hand. 

Until the first Funic war, the Romans were wholly ignorant of the 


naval military art. A Carthaginian galley was the first model. So 
little skill was required in building their ships, that we find them on 
one occasion, fitting out, and sending to sea, a fleet within 45 days 
after the trees were cut down. 

The size of the ships was reckoned by the number of banks of oars, 
placed in benches on the sides of the ship, called triremes, quadri- 
remes, &c. 

67. Agricidiure. In the earliest and best ages of their 
existence, the Roman people were much given to agriculture. 
Except that they were frequently interrupted by war, they 
might be considered as an agricultural people. They were 
at once soldiers and farmers. 

Many of them residing out of the city, and yet denizens of 
Home, were called from the plough to the army. This was 
the case with several of their most distinguished men and 
generals, as Q. Cincinnatus, M. Curius, Cato the Censor, and 
Scipio Africanus. 

The pursuits of agriculture were however abandoned, after 
the acquisition of wealth by foreign conquests and commerce. 
Menials and slaves tilled the ground, and the people aban- 
doned themselves to every species of luxury and sensuality. 

§ The attention of the early Romans to husbandry was partly the 
eflfect of necessity. The lands having been divided into equal and 
m'nute portions, each one v/as obliged t(^ labour for a subsistence. 

The greater number of the farmers visited the city only on every 
ninth day, which was the market day. They went there for the pur- 
poses of barter, the procuring of necessaries, and the examination of 
the new laws which were posted on the capitol and in the market- 
place, some days previously to their adoption by the people. 

We may obtain a better conception of the agricultural turn of this 
people, from knowing a few of their common maxims on this subject, 
than from any description. Those maxims were such as the fol- 
lowing : 

1. He is a thriftless farmer that buys any thing which his farm can 

2. He is no husbandman who does any work in the day time, that 
can be done in the night, except in stormy weather. 

3. He is worse who does on work days, what he may do on holy- 
days ; and 

4. He is the worst of all who in a clear sky works within doors, 
rather than in the field. 

08. Amusements and Public Spectacles. The drama, 
though the government was long unfriendly to it, became an 
amusement of the Roman people. Comedies were the most 
popular, and very few Roman tragedies remain. 

ROMANS. 207 

On the stage, pantomimes were much in use, and rope 
dancers occasionally diversified the entertainment. 

§ Rude plays, made up v.ith music, dancing, and buflfoonery, were 
iu uric in the earlier periods of tlie republic ; but the first regular play 
was written by Li\ius Andronicus, in the year of the cily 512. 

The comic actors wore a low-heeled shoe called soccus; the tragic 
actors wore a mask, a flowing robe, and a high-heeled shoe called co- 
llnirnus. Only temporary theatres were used at first. 

The senate correctly judging that theatrical amusements were inju- 
rious to the public morals, so late as tlie year of the city 599, ordered 
a theatre, building under the direction of the censors, to be pulled 
down. Pompey the Great, was the first who built a theatre of hewn 
stone, and the remains of this vast edifice still continue, and are used 
by the present Romans for the baiting of bulls. 

There were various public games, connected however witli 
the religion of the Romans, which were sources of much licen- 
tious entertainment. Those of the Circus Maximus were 
most frequented. The shows exhibited in that place were 
chariot and horse-races ; contests of strengtli and agility ; 
mock-fights on horseback ; combats of wild beasts, and of 
men with wild beasts ; representations of horse and foot bat- 
tles : and mimic naval fights. 

§ The ferocious taste of the Romans was much gratified with the 
combats of wild beasts, and of men with the latter. Criminals were 
condemned to fight vv'jth wild beasts ; others did so for hire, or from 
native ferocity of character. 

For the amusement of the people, lions, leopards, bears, elephants, 
and all kinds of wild boosts, Avere sent from Africa and the provinces. 
Pompey, on one occasion, treated the people with the spectacle of 
500 lions, which were despatched in five days. 

■^riie gladiatonal shows, however, had superior attractions 
for the Romans. It is painful to observe this most distin- 
guished people finding their chief pleasure in the combats, 
wounds, and death of multitudes of their fellow-creatures. 
Yet not only tlie populace, but the knights, senators, and 
Roman ladies of distinction, eagerlj'^ crowded to the sight. 

§ The first gladiatorial shows were exhibited about the year of the 
city 490, by two brothers called Bruti, at the funeral of their father. 
Afterwards they were exhibited by the magistrates at regular periods, 
and at length they became the chief means of obtaining favour with 
the people. They were not entirely abolished till the reign of Theo- 
dosius the Great. 

Incredible numbers of captives, &c. Avere destroyed on these occa- 
sions. Trajan exliibitcd games for 123 days, when 10,000 wild beasts 
were killed, and 10,000 gladiators fought. During the reign of Clau- 
dius was exhibited the spectacle of 19,000 men slaughtering one ano- 
ther on a certain lake, for the amusement of the Roman populace. 


Gladiators consisted chiefly of slaves, captives, and condemned 
malefactors ; but sometimes free-born citizens became gladiators for 
hire. Even persons of noble birth were induced to display their 
skill and courage before the people, in these combats. 

There were various sorts of armour, and various modes of fighting. 
One mode was the use of the net. With that a gladiator would en- 
tangle his opponent, by casting it over his head; and suddenly 
drawing it together, could despatch him with his dart. If he missed 
his aim, he betook himself to flight, preparing his net for a second 
cast, while his opponent in the pursuit endeavoured to despatch him, 
before ho could have an opportunity. 

Amphitheatres were erected for the convenience of the spectators. 
The most celebrated was the Coliseum already mentioned. Large 
coverings were drawn over the amphitheatres, as a screen from the 
heat cf the sun, or from rain. 

69. Education. The system of education among the 
Romans, when in their most intellectual state, that is, about 
the time of Cicero, was much to be admired. The utmost 
attention was bestowed on the early formation of the mind 
and character. 

The Roman matrons themselves nursed their children. 
Next to the care bestowed upon their morals, a remarkable 
degree of attention seems to have been given to the language 
of children. The attainment of a jjure and correct expression 
was a great object. The honours of the state were the prize 
of eloquence. The politeness which characterized the Romans 
shewed itself particularly in their speech and gesture. 

§ The education of the Romans at first suited their rude state of soci- 
ety and their simple manner of life. But upon their intercourse with 
the Greeks, a more liberal form of education was adopted. Public 
schools were opened for the reception of youth of both sexes. In 
literature and the accomplishments of polished life they were alike 

From the earliest dawn of reason a course of disr-ipline was pur- 
sued by some matron of the family ; and as children grew towards 
manhood, they were habituated to all the atiiletic exercises that 
could impart ability or grace, and fit them for the profession of arms. 

At the a^e of 17 they were invested with the manly robe, and young 
men of family were placed under tlie protection of some senator of 
distinguished reputation in jurisprudence. Allliongli he was not con- 
sidered a preceptor, yet under his auspices they were initiated mto 
public business. 

Eloquence and the military art were the surest roads to prefern>ent. 
These accordingly were made commanding objects of pursuit with 
the Roman youth. Eloquence was taught as a science at public 

From the care which the Romans bestowed upon the education of 

ROMANS. 209 

their youth, both male and female, arose the large number of great 
men and eniin(?nt women wliich Rome has produced, and the vir- 
tues* witli wliicli tiiey were adorned, during the brilliant era of the 
republic. Happj', could their liistory be closed at that epoch ; but the 
tide of luxury at'icrwards swept away the most valuable of their in- 

70. Literature. Previously to their imercouise witli 
Greece, the Romans, though a sensible and energetic, were 
a rude and illiterate people. Their language for a long tim 
was in a very imperfect state. The very i^v; fragments of 
sentences which have come down to us from an early peiiod,_ 
such as are found in the " Fratres Arvales," and " Leges Re- 
giie," show a great dilference between the language tlien in 
use, and that which was employed during the age of Au- 

After successive improvements, the Romans became re- 
nowned in literature during the last named period. The mas- 
ter-pieces of Greece, kindled the fire of emulation. Roman 
literature, in the Augustan era, was inferior to that of the 
Greeks, only because it was necessarily less original and more 
imitative than theirs. In some respects the Romans improved 
upon their models. Poetry, histor}^, oratory, philosophy, and 
the various kinds of fine writing, were cultivated with great 

§ The dawning of Roman literature appeared in the writings of 
Livius Andronicus, Plantirs, Ennius, Ca;cilius, and Terence. Tliesc 
writers improved and polished the language, partly by original com- 
positions, and partly by translations from the Greek. 

Poetry among the Romans, as with most other nations, 
appears to have been the earliest intellectual eflbrt. Of this we 
have an instance in the Fescennine verses, mentioned by 
liivy, which are ;iupposed to have been a rude poetical dia- 
logue. This doubtless proved to be the germ of the stage. 
Other species of poetry naturally followed. 

§ The names that adorned the Roman drama were Livius Andro- 
nicus ; Ennius, wiio more especially improved it ; Plautus, who 
wrote with strengUi and spirit ; Cajcilius, who is reckoned the best 
of the Roman dramatists ; Terence, who excels in simplicity and pu- 
rity ; Accius, and Pacuvius, who though rough in style shewed 
strength of genius. All these except the two last were comic wri- 

The lyric poetry of the Romans owns the names of Catullus, the 
earliest in this kind of poetry ; and Horace, the greatest among the 
Romans, if not of antiquity, though he is highly to be censured on 
account of his occasional iudeiicacy. 


210 m.Nr.iiAr, Vikw«. 

Ill clcpinc poolry, Propcrtins, niid 'ribiillns poiirod tlioir londorand 
«'I»i|.^nnl flrniiis, iinil Ovid iitlcrcd the lnii<:;ii!iL;(' of nnliirn mid paHsion. 
The Ivv'ii Inst cspcciidly olTcml uii llu' bcdic of iiiDiids. 

Of siiliric pnclry, l.iicilliiis is snid to hr the inventor : Iforncc nlso 
oxeelled in tins species of poetic composition. Sonw; otlii-r iianios 
lunont^ tlie Konians, in(; dislni^nislied iis siiln'ists, imt tlicy belong to 
H siilisetpient eni. 

In dnluelie poetry, I.iicretins is a t^reiit name; imd of ei^ic poetry 
Viryil IS prmce amoni; tlie Komiins. Homer amitn;,' tlie (Jreeks, and 
Virt;d anion;.^ tlie Homims, have come(h)\vn tons with almost ccpial 

History \vii« ciihivated hy llieKoiH.iiis with miiili succcpH, 

|vnliciiliiily diiiiiif; llio AugiiHlan njje. 

§ Tlie most eminent of their historians wen; Salhist, who exrelh'd 
in the |)hiloso|)|iy of lustory ; ("n'sar, w lio wrote with |)nri1y and siiii- 
plieity ; l>nt especially l,iv\-, whose jiid/Miient, ])eis|)iciiity, copious- 
1H<9!I, and eliH|iience, place juiii at the head ol Ikomaii historical wri- 

Ointnry was u IbvonriU^ study nt. I'onie, ;i.^ it led to the 
liighent lioiKHirsof llic stivte. The iimsi distiiii;iiishcd sctm- 
toiH nie Hiiid to hiivo oxorciscd their l,'ileiils in puhhc spoalc- 
ijig', ill Ixdiidfor iho poor luid o|)|)ressed. The chjiraclerislics 
ol Kiuiiaii elo(pieiiee wen; seriousness,, and ma- 

§ ,T. (~?ii'sar, Ilortensins, and parliciilarly Cicero, di^tinmiished lliem- 
Belves as pnhiie speaker.s. Of Ca'sar il is said that " lie spoke with 
tlie same force with wliicli lie foimlit." Iloilcnsius was eclipsed 
only by Cicero. And Cicero is the rival of Demosthenes in fame. 

iMiiloso|iliy iimde its (irsi appearance at Woine, in (he in- 
(riv.d helwceii the war with Perseus, and (hi; third l?unic. 
war. Il was derived rmiii (ireiviv The various isyiHteins of 
the (heck philosophy, had their respective part i.-Jaiis at Uoino. 
§ A few IiMrned Acluraiis, bamshcd from their comilry, and arrivinir 
«l llalv,<lill\ised a (aste for philosophy, polite learniiii.;, and the edu- 
cation of youth, Keariii", foreimi mimnrrs with foreign studies, the 
wnale hamshed (he Creek ])hilosophers from IJome. Hut (he Allie- 
nimi emhassv arrivin<r soon after, hrouidit thither Carneades and 
<'ritolaus, who revivi-d the taste for (he (Jreek pliiloso|ihy. 

'I"he svsleiu of the Stoics was at first mor(> ticuerally received, as 
this comporicil with the national ctiaracler. Anion); (lie lioiiian sto- 
icM, were Scipio, l,;vlius, inul iheyouuLicr (^a(o. 

'I'he philosophy of Aristotle was little known in i{oiiii' till the time 
of Cicero. Cralippus and 'ryranuiou then taujViit his system with 
great repu(a(ioii. 

The Old ami New Acadcmv had each its advocates luid discijiles 
Marcus llnitiis, mid Terentius VaiTO, were oruameiits of the fornicr- 
Of till) New Academy, Cicero iiiusl be ouusidcrcd as llic i>riucipnl 

KOMi\NS. 211 

pupporler, though his design seems to have been rather to ilhisfrate 
the (ircek pliilf)S(iphy in general. He was the greatest of theKonian 
pliilosoplic Ts, if not on the wliole the greatest man of all antiiiiiity. 

Witii the indoduction of hixurj^, the philosophy of Epicnrns be- 
came fasliionable. The poet Horace was a devotee to this system, as 
also Lucrctins, and many others, who very liberally indulged their 
appetites, and tanght otiiers to indulge them. 

Pliysics, or luituial pliilosopliy, seems to have been little 
cultivated by the Romans or by the Greeks before tiieni. 
^'arro is the only name conspicuous in this department, in the 
annals of antiquity. 

In some instances, splendid libraries were attached to the 
{galleries of some afllucnt ])atricians, who patronized learning. 
These libraries were open to the inspection of the learned and 
curious, and contributed greatly to the advancement of know- 
ledge at I?omc. 

§ Among these, the library of Lucullus was remarkable, not only 
for the number and variety of the books, and specimens of art, but for 
the liberal use to whicli it was devoted. 

71, Arts. The Romans are not to be compared with the 
Greeks, as to native taste and inventive genius, as the fine 
arts are concerned. They admired and imitated the master- 
[)ieces of Greece. But in execution, for the most part, they fell 
Kliort of their models. By help derived from Grecian genius, 
ihey have, however, left many wonderful specimens in the 
arts, particularly in architcctiue. 

§ Tlieir conquest of Greece secured to them as spoils the noble 
productions of Greece in painting and statuary. With these the 
wealthy Roman citizens adorned the city, its temples, and porticoes, 
and their own private dwellings. 

The names of few Koman artists occur. Vitruvius wrote the only 
hook on architecture that is now extant. He shews that lie was a 
master of his ])rofession. In great and magnificent works, Rome haa 
jnanifested her unbounded wealth and luxiu-y. 

Jn the mechanic arts some inventions occur, and a degree 
of perfection was attained among the Romans of ancient his- 
tory. These however have been greatly extended and im 
proved in more recent ages; and many comforts which Ave 
enjoy, derived from a knowledge of mechanism, were un- 
known to tliis people. 

§ Such conveniences as glass windows and chimneys in houses, 
not to mention many others, the Romans did not possess : though 
their ingenuity su[)|)lied the want, in part, by various expedients. 

72. Dniin'slic Life ami Alnnncrs. The houses and furni- 
lure of the early Romans were entirely plain in their con- 


slmction. When luxury commenced in Rome, this plainness 
was laid aside, and the decorations of art were assumed in a 
degree. At this latter period, and before luxury reached its 
utmost bounds, each house contained one spacious hall, in 
which the family assembled, and which served all the pur- 
poses of society. 

§ Towards the close of the repiibUc, however, various apartments 
were constructed for the reception and entertainment of company, 
and in the time of the emperors, their embeUishment was carried to 
the highest point of perfection. The eating rooms were remarkable 
for their grandeur. 

The tables were originally made of ordinary wood, square, and on 
four feet ; but the form was afterwards changed to circular, or oval, 
supported on a single carved pedestal, and they were richly inlaid 
with ivory, gold, or silver, sometimes with the addition of precious 

We read of a single table formed of a kind of wood, called citron 
wood, with which we are unacquainted, that cost upwards of eight 
thousand pounds sterling. A canopy was suspended over the table, 
to guard it, as it is said, from dirt of the ceiling. This, however it 
may have added to the decoration of the apartments, does not convey 
a very favourable idea of the cleanliness of the Romans. 

Originally, the Roman villa was nothing r.iore tlian a farm-house 
of a very humble description ; but at length the word lost its original 
signification, and was used to denote the abode of luxury and opu- 
lence. We have fortunately a complete and beautiful description of 
one, and that his own, in the works of Pliny the younger. They 
were very numerous about Rome, and very magnificent. 

The meals of the earlier Romans were very simple and 
frugal. The articles of food, and the furniture of tlie table, 
were coarse. But afterwards they became costly and luxuri- 
ous to the highest degree. The epicurism of the later Romans 
was enormous. 

At first they sat npright on benches, but at last adopted 
the habit of reposing on couches. Their principal meal was 
their supper, taken a little before four o'clock, P. M. Their 
breakfast was not a regular meal ; it was taken by each one 
separately and without order ; and their dinner was a very 
slight repast. Their supper was their last regular meal, 
lliough it was sometimes followed by a collation, called com- 

§The diet of the earlier Romans consisted of milk and vegetables, 
with a coarse kind of pudding which served in the room of bread. 
They rarely indulged in meat, and wine was almost unknown to 
them. Thoy banished epicures from among them. 

The change which took place in the latter days of the republic, 

ROMANS. 213 

and in the beginning of the empire, was very striking. Notwithstand- 
ing sumptuary bnA s, epicurism advanced willi great rapidity, till 
finally it reached such a height, that viands were esteemed only m 
proportion to their cost. 

Thus, Maltese cranes, peacocks, and rare singing birds, although 
hardly eatable, were esteemed great delicacies, and their tongues and 
brains still greater ; oysters from the coast of Britain were more 
prized than their own, though the former would never have been 
eaten fresh ; and we are told of a singular sur-muUet, which had 
reached a size somewhat larger than common, having been sold for 
a sum equivalent to fifty guineas. 

The Romans used wine of the most costly kinds at their feasts. 
The age of it was often very great. We read of some that was 200 
years old. The Grecian wines wei-e in greater estimation than even 
llie Italian. They used also mead, metheglin, and other fermented 
liijuors. Such was their depravity, they contrived that even water 
sliould contribute to inebriate them. 

Gluttony was indulged to such a disgusting excess, that emetics 
were used to enable the stomach, already gorged with a full meal, to 
bear a further load. This doubtless was not a universal practice, 
neither, however, was it confined to a few individual instances. 

The services of the tables were at first only of earthen-ware, or 
wood. The use of plate was then almost unknown. At a later peri- 
od plate became so general, that it was as common, as it had been 
previously rare, and in the time of the emperors, it was frequently 
of gold. 

The couches on which they lay down at supper were somewhat 
similar to the modern sofa. The ladies at first did not adopt this 
practice, and the indulgence was never extended to young people of 
either sex. 

Each couch could accommodate three or four, but seldom five 
persons, who laid in a reclining postm'e, on the left arm, having 
the shoulders elevated with cushions, and the limbs extended be- 
hind whoever was next ; so that the liead of tlie one was opposite 
to the breast of the other, and in serving themselves, they made use 
only of the right hand. I'here were m;uiy olhei' singular customs 
observed at their suppers, which we have not time to enumerate. 

Daily Bathino; was practised by the Roman people, both m 
warm and cold water. Vast quantities of water were brought 
to Rome, for this and other purposes, by means of a(iiieducts. 
These atiueducts were magnificent works, as also the baths 
both public and private which were erected. 

§ The use of linen, which was unknown to the Romans, has ren- 
dered this practice for a long time obsolete in Italy ; but in the times 
of whicli we speak, it was ne(;essary for the purposes of cleanliness 
as well as luxury. The remains of some of the baths, are the most 
astonishing works of Roman grandeur and magnificence. 

Bathing commenced witli warm and ended with cold water. On 


leaving the bath the people were anointed with scented oils, and 
went immediately to supper. 

The Dress of the Romans consisted chiefly of the toga and 
the tunica. The toga or gown worn by the citizens only, was 
loose and flowing, and covered the whole body : it was made 
of wool, had no sleeves, and was disposed in graceful folds, 
with a view to improve the appearance of the wearer. 

The toga virilis, or manly gown, was assumed by young 
men at the age of seventeen. 

The tunica or tunic, was a white woollen vest, which came 
down a httle below the knees before, and to the middle of the 
leg behind, and was fastened about the waist by a girdle, 
which also served as a purse. 

§ Women wore a tunic as well as the men, but witli this difference, 
at first, that it reached down to the feet of the women, and had 
sleeves. Afterwards the men wore the tunic in the same manner. 

Hats and Caps, though known, were worn only on journeys or at 
the public games. In the city they usually went bare headed, or co- 
vered themselves with the corner of the toga. 

Ladies of distinction had many waiting maids, who were appro- 
priated to particular services ; and the duties of the toilet, though not 
perhaps so well understood as in modern times, were as assiduously 
attended to. 

Jewels, bracelets, rings, and various expensive ornaments, were 
worn in great profusion. The convenience of pins was not known, 
nor were glass mirrors, though there were substitutes for them. 
Pure woven silk and linen were little known and used till the time 
of the emperors, and not at all known during nearly the Avhole peri- 
od of the republic. 

Marriage was an institution higlily countenanced among 
the Romans. Severe laws were at times enacted to restrain 
cehbacy, though neve'r with much eflect. Fathers of large 
families were particularly respected. Marriages with foreign- 
ers were strictly forbidden. The vahdity of the transaction 
depended on the legal age of the parties, and the consent of 

§ Boys were considered marriageable at fourteen ; girls at twelve. 
A marriage was never solemnized witliout consulting the auspices, 
and offering sacrifices to the gods ; particularly to Juno ; and the ani- 
mals immolated on the occasion, were deprived of their gall, in allu- 
sion to the absence of every thing bitter and malignant in the pro- 
posed union. Tlie mode of marriage and tlie jnultitude of ceremo- 
nies attending it cannot here be described. 

Marriage, among tlie Romans, was not indissoluble. A husband 
might repudiate bis wife; for several reasons, besides that of having 
violated her conjugal faith. But to the honour of the Romans, more 

ROMANS. 215 

than four cerUuries elapsed without any suit among tliem for divorce, 
or complaint of adultery. Afterwards divorces became very frequent, 
and for the most frivolous causes. 

Fathers at Rome were generally invested with the power of life 
and death over tlicir children. Exposure of infants was at lirst some- 
what frequent, but at length nearly ceased. The adoption of children 
by married persons who were childless was very common, on ac- 
count of the i)rivileges connected with having children, whether by 
issue or adoption. 

The funeral rites of the Romans were solemn and impres- 
sive. During tlie greater part of the commonwealth, the dead 
body was buried. Towards the close, the practice of burning 
the dead was generally introduced, till it became universal. 
After the introduction of Christianity into the empire, it fell 
into disuse. 

§ It was a received opinion among the ancients, that the manes of 
the deceased were propitiated by blood. It was on this account their 
custom to slaughter, on the tomb of the deceased, those animals to 
which, while he was living, he was most attached ; and in the more 
barbarous ages, men were the victims of this horrid superstition. 

" Arms, trappings, horses, by the hearse were led 
In long array — the achievements oflhe dead. 
Then piniun'd, with their hands behind, appear 
The unhappy captives, marching in the rear, 
Appointed ollerings in the victor's name, 
To sprinkle with their blood, the funeral flame." 

Dryden's Virgil. 

Many of the Roman sepulchres still exist in the gardens of their 
villas or by the public roads, (for inhumation was not allowed with- 
in the walls,) with their various monumental inscriptions. 

722 Foreign Commerce. The foreign commerce of the 
Romans appears very unimportant, compared with the exten- 
pive mercantile transactions of oiu" own times. Their trade, 
if we except the corn received on accotmt of government from 
Sicily and the Levant, consisted of little else, than articles of 
mere luxury. Their purchases were made in bullion, as they 
had no exportal)le mantifactures of their own. This circum- 
stance necessarily restricted their commercial dealings. 

§ They traded, it is true, not only to the ports of the Mediterrane- 
an, but to the East Indies, and occasionally even to England ; but the 
interests of commerce were little understood, and less a[)preciated. 
Traffic was dishonourable, and they who engaged in it were held in 
contempt. The consequence was, that it was relinquished to slaves 
and freemen, who teldom possessed the means to conduct it on an 
extensive scale. 

Their merchant ships were large, if they reached the burthen of 
fifty tons. 



73. Situation and Cities. Syria lay on the east coast 
of the Mecliteiranean below Cilicia. The coast was called 
Phoenicia, and below it was Palestine. On the south it had 
Arabia and the Euphrates. 

Its towns and noticeable places were Antioch, Daphne, 
Seleucia, Damascus, Heliopolis. and Palmyra, or Tadmor. 

Antiocli at one time, was inferior only to Rome and Alexandria 
in greatness and population. It is now almost depopulated, though 
its strong Avails on both sides of the Orontes, remain. 

Daphne was a place consecrated to luxury, and enchanting from 
its cool fountains and shady groves of laurel, cypress, &c. Milton 
compares the garden of Eden to it — 

— " Nor that sweet grove 
"Of Daphne by Orontes." — 

Seleucia was on the sea near the mouth of the Orontes. — The bard 
again speaks of 

" The roj'al towers 
Of great Seleucia, built by Grecian kings." 

Damascus was the capital of the Phoenicia of Libanus. Its fertile 
and irriguous valley has ever been famous among the orientals. 

Heliopolis, under the name of Baalbeck, has the remains of a mag- 
nificent temple dedicated to the sun. The Avhole edifice, and parti- 
cularly the roof, glittered with gold. 

Palmyra gave the name of Palmyrene to a vast plain, which was 
united to the desert of Arabia. The bibJe and Joseiihus inform us it 
was founded by Solomon. It maintained a great commerce between 
two divisions of the ancient hemisphere. The remains of lofty edi- 
fices manifest its former magnificence, and attract the curious and 
astonished traveller. 

74. Character of the ancient Syrians. The ancient 
Syrians were miserable idolaters. 

An instance of their worship is thus described by the poet before 

' Tammuz came next behind, 

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allur'd 
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate. 
In am'rous ditties all a summer's day : 
While smooth Adonis from his native rock 
Ran purple to the sea, sui)posed with blood 
Of Tammuz yearly wounded." 

They were also somewhat of an efTeminate race, and re ■ 
markable for hidinir themselves from the sun, in caves, on the 
decease of their relatives. 

75. Language. The Syrian language became a distinct 
tongue, so early as the time of Jacob. It was spoken not 
only in Syria, but also in Mesopotamia, Chaldeea, and Assy- 

PERSIA. 217 

rla. After the Babylonish captivity, it was introduced into 

§ The Syriac is an easy and elegant, though not a very copious 
tongue. It abounds in many Greek words. 


7G. Extent. Carthage has been briefly described in tlie 
body of this work. It may only be stated here that with its 
ports, it comprehended an enclosure of 23 miles. It had a cita 
del named Byrsa, on an eminence. 

§ Its military prowess was at its height, under Hamilcar and Hanni- 
bal. The city was destroyed by the second Scipio, B. C. 147. It 
then burned incessantly during 17 days. It was rebuilt by Roman 
colonies. Its decay may be traced from the seventh century, when 
It fell into the hands of the Saracens. 

77. Government and Character of the People. The 
Carthaginians were governed as a republic, and had two 
persons yearly chosen among them with regal authority. 
They were very superstitious as a people, and generally 
offered human victims to their gods. They also bore the 
character of being faithless and treacherous, and the proverb, 
Punic faith, is well known. 


78. Situation, cf*c. Parthia had Hyrcania on the north ; 
Aria on the east ; Carmania on the south ; and Media on the 
west. It was a healthy country, but sterile. The people 
were governed l)y an absolute monarch. 

§ The ancient Parthians were originally a tribe of Scythians, who 
being expelled from their native land, took up their abode in this part 
of 'Asia. They were a strong and warlike people, and accustomed 
from their infancy to the exercises of horsemanship and archery. 

The peculiar custom of discharging their arrows while they were 
retiring full speed, has been greatly celebrated by the ancients. 
Their flight was more formida'ole than their attack. 

They totally neglected agriculture, trade and navigation, and their 
morals were dreadfully depraved. Their religious principles were 
much the same as those of the Persians. Their sovereigns affected 
to be gods. 


79. Ext 672 1 and Situation. Ancient Persia extended 
about 2800 miles in length from the Hellespont to the mouth 
of the river Indus ; and about 2000 miles in breadth, from 
Pontus to the mouth of the Arabian gulf 

80. Govei-nment. The government of Persia was an ab- 



solute monarchy. The crown was hereditary, and generally 
bestowed on the eldest of the deceased king's legitimate chil- 

§ The kings of Persia received almost divine honours from their 
6 objects. No one could approach the seat of majesty without pros- 
trating himself, or remain in the presence, without holding his hands 
within his sleeves. Death was the consequence of violating this 

Herodotus mentions that Xerxes being once in great danger by 
sea, many of his attendants sti-ove who should first leap overboard to 
lighten the vessel, and sacrifice themselves for the preservation of 
their prince. 

The royal palace at Persepolis was extremely magnificent. Tlie 
roofs and sides of the apartments were entirely covered with ivory, 
silver, gold, or amber. The throne was of fine gold and adorned 
with precious stones. The royal bed was also of gold, and two cof- 
fers were placed by it, both containing 8,000 talents. 

The Persian monarchs, for the most part, lived only to gratify their 
sensual appetites. All the delicacies and rarities of the world were 
sought for tlieir table. Cicero informs us, that the revenues of whole 
provinces were lavished on the attire of their favorite concubines, one 
city being compelled to supply them with ornaments for their hair, 
another for their necks, &c. 

81. Education. The Persians are said to have paid 
more particular regard to the education of their children, than 
any other nation. A son was nevei' admitted into the pre- 
sence of his father, till he had arrived at the age of five 
years, lest, if he should die before that period, his parents 
might be too heavily afflicted by his loss. 

§ At the age of five, learned masters taught the children of the better 
families, in learning and moral virtues, taking with them the utmost 
pains, and bestowing upon them the greatest care. 

82. Punis/wieiits. The punishments in general were se- 
vere, as cutting off the right hand, decapitation, pressing to 
death between two large stones, &.c. 

§ The most severe punishment known in Persia, was the inhuinan 
one of fastening the culprit between two boats, in such a manner that 
he was unable to move, though his head, hands and feet were left 
imcovered. His face, exposed to the rays of the sun, was smeared 
with honey, which invited innumerable swarms of flies and wasps to 
torment him, while the worms that bred in his excrements devoured 
his bowels ; and the executioners compelled him, by thrusting sharp 
iron instrument into his eyes, to receive nourirfluuent for the express 
purpose of prolonging his excruciating agonies. One victim is r&> 
corded to have lived 17 days under this complication of torments. 

83. Military Art. The Persians were all trained to mili- 
tary exercise, but more particularly to the use of the bow. 


Tliey never fought in the night, nor used any stratagem in- 
dependent of their own valour. 

§ When they designed to make war upon any nation, they had tlie 
singular custom of sending heralds to demand of them earth and 
water, thereby commanding them to acknowledge the king of Persia, 
as sovereign lord of their country. 

84. Rclig-ion. Their religion was in a degree idolatrous, 
though less so than that of the nations around them. They 
professed to worship the one all-wise and omnipotent God 
though they held fire to he holy, and the purest symbol of 
the divine nature. In connexion with this, they had a super- 
stitious regard of the sun. They honoured also other elements, 
as the earth, the air, and water. 

§ The Persians are supposed to have been originally instructed 
in the worship of the true God by llieir progenitor Elam, but soon 
to have fallen into the heresy of Zabiisni. Fi'om this they are 
thought to have been recovered, and to have afterwards engaged in 
superstitious acts of reverence to the celestial bodies. 

In ancient times, they were destitute of temples, but erected altars 
for the preservation of their sacred fires, on the tops of mountains. 
At length Zoroaster persuaded them, for the sake of convenience, 
to build over each, a pyreum or fire-temple. This Zoroaster is sup- 
posed by some to have been a native of Persia, and a restorer of the 
religion of the Masi. 


1. All the nations of antiquity, except the Jews, were 
heathens and idolaters. Their system of religion was called 
Polytheism, as acknowledging a plurality of gods. They 
worshipped divinities by various representations, called idols. 
Forsaking the service of the only living and true God, as 
made known at first by traditionary, and afterwards by wa"itten 
revelation, they paid that homage which is due to him, to 
those that are by nature no God. 

2. Besides angels, as presiding over paiticular kingdoms, — 
the heavenly bodies, men, beasts, birds, fishcvS, virtues, vices, 
diseases, and evil demons, were esteemed deities, and had tem- 
ples built for their worship. 

Among the Egyptians, tlie principal deities were Osiris and Isis, 
supposed to be tlie sun and moon. The people however liestowed 
divine honours on animals, birds, insects, and even vegetables, as Iceka 
and onions. The poet Juvenal intimates that their religious exercises 
were not greatly esteemed l)y the Romans. In fact, they exceeded 
all tlie other ancients m tliese absurdities, and were extremely de- 
based by their vile superstitions. 


The Babylonians and Arabians adored the heavenly bodies. They 
supposed that the angels resided in the stars, and governed the world 
under the supreme deity. Among the later Babylonians, Belus be- 
came their Jupiter, to whom a magnificent temple was erected in 

The Canaanites and Syrians worshipped Baal, Tammuz, Magog, 
and Astarte. Moloch was the Saturn of the Phcpnicians and Car- 
thaginians. To him, human victims, particularly children, were im- 
molated. Baal-peor was the idol of the IMoabites — his rights were 
detestable and cruel. Dagon was the chief god of the Philistines ; his 
figure was compounded of a man and a fish. 

In the mythology of the Scythians, the god of war was their 
favourite divinitj^, and to him were consecrated groves of oaks of 
extraordinary size. Horses were sacrificed, and every hundredth 
man taken in battle. 

In the mythology of the Celts, the Druids had the direction of theo- 
logical concerns. Their rites were performed in groves, and they paid 
superstitious reverence to the misletoe. Human victims were often 
offered; colossal images of wicker-work, filled with human criminals, 
were consumed by fire. 

The Persians in their religion rejected, for the most part, the com- 
plicated popular system of polytheism. They believed in one su- 
preme God who formed and governed all things. They, however, 
preserved the sacred fire, as it was called, which was kindled by con 
secrated sun-beams. Their rites at first were plain and simple, and 
their priests were called magi. These tenets of their primitive reli- 
gion gradually degenerated into Zabiism, or the adoration of celestial 

The mythology of the ancient Hindoos resembles, in some of its 
features, that of the Egyptians, Persians, and Scythians. It is a 
strange mixture of a few truths with many Avild fables. It divides 
the world into ten parts, setting over each a guardian spirit. The 
deity Brahma is made the creating power, Vishnu is the preserver 
and pervader, and Narayda, the mover on the waters. 

3. The multitude of gods as an object of faith, is preposter- 
ous and wicked ; but the elegant forms and agreeable fictions 
that mythology furnishes, are admirably adapted to the pur- 
poses of poetry, statuary, and painting. The imagination 
revels in a region fairy and enchanting. 

§ The theology of Pagan antiquity, according to Scscvola and Var- 
ro, was of three sorts. The first of these may well he called fabulous, 
as treating of the theology and genealogy of their deities, in Avhich 
they relate sucli things as are infinitely unworthy of tlie divinity, 
ascribing to them, thefts, murders, adulteries, and all manner of 

This kind of theology is condemned by the Aviser sort of heathens 
as trifling and scandalous. The writers of this sort of theology were 
Sanchoniathon the Phoenician; and Orpheus, Hesiud, Pherecydes, 
&c., amojig the Greeks. 


Tlie second kind called physic or natural, was studied and taught 
by tlie pliilosopluTS, who rejecting tlie multiplicity of gods introduced 
by the poets, brought their tlieology to a more natural and rational 
form. Tiiey siijtposed that there was but one supreme God, which 
thej'' connnonly make to be the sun, at least an emblem of him ; but 
at too great a distance to mind the affairs of the world, and therefore 
devised certain demons, which tliey considered as mediators between 
the supreme God and man. 

The speculations of the philosophers related to the doctrines of these 
demons, to tlieir nature, tlieir office, and regard to men. Writers o. 
tliis class were Thales, Pythagoras, Plato, and the Stoics. 

The third kind of tlieology called politic or civil, was instituted by 
legislators, statesmen, and politicians. Tlie first among the Romans 
was Nmna Pompilius. This part of the Pagan system chiefly re- 
spected their gods, temples, altars, sacrifices, and rites of worship, 
and was properly their idolatrj', the care of which belonged to the 
priests. The wiiole was enjoined on the common people, to keep 
them in obedience to tlie civil state. 

4. In liie fictions of niytliology, particularly those of Greece 
and Rome, many things are allegorical and mystical, the 
true sense of which, though not accommodated to the vul- 
gar apprehension, the refmccl and liberal may explain. This 
suggests one use to be derived from the study of the Pagan sys- 
tems of religion. We learn tlie religious views of antiquity. 

Another use of it is, tiiat tlie classic authors cannot be 
read WMth advantage without a knowledge of mythology ; and 
the classic authors, it is not to be doubted, are the best 
models of fine writing extant, and are necessary to improve 
the taste. Connected with this also is the fact, that a know 
ledge of mythology can alone enable us to understand and be- 
come acquainted with anti(iue statues, medals, paintings, &c. 

§ The gods of ancient paganism were some mundane, and others 
supermundane. The mundane are tliose who were supposed to fab- 
ricate the world, and the supermundane are those who produce 
essences, intellects, and souls. Hence they are distinguished into 
three orders. Of the mundane gods likewise, some are tlie causes of 
the existence of tlie world ; others animate it ; others again harmo- 
nize it, thus composed of different natures; and lastly, others guard 
and preserve it when harmoniously arranged. 

Since also these orders are four, and each consists of tilings first, 
middle, and last, it is necessary tliat the governors of these should be 
twelve. Hence Jupiter, Neptune and Vulcan fabricate the world. Ce- 
res, Juno and Diana animate it; Mercury, Venus and Apollo harmo- 
nize it ; and lastly, Vesta, Minerva and Mars preside over it with a 
puardian power. 

But the truth of this may be seen in statues as in enigmas. For 
Apollo in marble holds in his liands a lyre j Minerva is invested wiUi 


arms; and Venus is naked, since harmony produces beauty and 
beauty is not concealed in subjects of sensible perception. 

As these gods primarily possess the world, it is necessary to con- 
sider the other mundane gods as subsisting in them, as Bacchus in 
Jupiter, ^Esculapius in Apollo, and the Graces in Venus. We may 
also behold the spheres with which they are connected, viz. Vesta 
with the earth, Neptune with water, Juno with air, and Vulcan with 
fire. But Apollo and Diana are assumed for the sun and moon; the 
sphere of Saturn is attributed to Ceres ; ether to Minerva; and heaven 
IS common to them all. 

The above are a few instances of the real sense of the fictions of 
mythology. Many of the philosophers in these fictions concealed 
their better knowledge, often conveying lessons of wisdom under the 
veil of allegory. The geiuiine Pagan creed, as given by a heathen 
philosopher, Maximus Tyrius, is the following : 

" There is one God, the king and father of all things, and many 
gods, sons of God, ruling together with him. This the Greek says, 
and the barbarian says, the inhabitant of the continent, and he that 
dwells near the sea ; and if you even proceed to the utmost shores of 
the ocean, there too there are gods, rising very near to some, and 
setting very near to others." By the rising and setting gods he means 
the stars, which according to the Pagan theology, are divine animals, 
oo-operating with the first cause in the government of the world. 

5. A survey of the lieathen mythology presents httle to 
view but absurdity, and the various forms in which human 
corruption is exhibited. The people at large, whatever the 
philosophers understood by these " phantasms and monsters," 
received them as literal truths, till it became dangerous to 
shake the faith of communities, or disturlj the public religion. 

§ In this state of tilings continued the gentile world, until the light 
of the gospel was sent among them. Those were times of ignorance. 
The people were unacquainted with the true God and the worship 
of him — with the Messiah and salvation by him. 

The moral world at present is gloriously illuminated. The Bible 
has scattered the dark shades of spiritual and intellectual night. We 
behold " one God and one Mediator between God and men," seated 
uijon the throne of the universe ; possessed of boundless wisdom, 
power, purity, goodness ; tlie Creator, tlie Preserver, the Ruler, and 
the Redeemer of his creatures ; ever present in all parts of his crea- 
tion, ever providing for its general happiness. 


Discoveries, Inventions, and Improvements of Early 


Sect. 1. The little that can be gathered concerning the 
state of society, and the progress in inventions and improve- 
ments before the flood, has already been exhibited. In the 
account of individual nations, something also has been said 
concerning their intellectual culture and useful works of ait. 
A few particulars may be added on these topics, with a view 
to illustrate more fully the advancement of society in the states 
of antit[uity. Special reference v. ill here be had to mecha- 
nic inventions, respecting which, less has been said hitherto, 
than on the subject of the fine arts and general literature. 

.Sufficient evidence exists, that mankind at a remote period of an- 
tiquity, must have made considerable progress in the arts of Hfe. The 
circumstances under which Egypt is presented to us by Moses, in 
the book of Genesis, indicate that its inliabitants were at that time a 
cuhivated people. No doubt, the progress of invention in their very 
favourable situation was quite rapid. From them, even the Israelites, 
at the early period in which Moses wrote, must have learned much 
in respect to the useful arts. The same was tlie case with the Ba- 
bylonians, Phoenicians, and other nations. Still, though some arts 
liave been lost during the lapse of ages, antiquity cannot compare 
witli modern times in the necessaries, comforts, and luxuries of life. 

2. At first, necessity, and afterwards convenience, urged 
the cultivation of the arts. The useful arts are the product 
of necessity. The higher branches of knowledge are the 
fruit of comparative ease and leisure. 

Among, the earliest arts, is the construction of huts, and 
of weapons, adapted to war and hunting. 

Astronomy is among the earliest of the sciences, and is said 
to have originated with the Chaldeans, probably, through the 
influence of superstition. The occupation of the Chaldeans, 
many of whom were shepherds, watching their flocks by 
night, w'as favourable for the observation of the heavenly 

Geometry was found out by the Egyptians. They were 
led to the cultivation of this science, by having occasion to 
measure the lands annually disturbed by the overflowing of 
the Nile. 

Medicine was among the early sciences. The simplest 
means of cure answer for rude nations. JMore complex means 
are required for cultivated nations, who have more complex 


Agriculture is not practised till the tribes of men become 
stationary, and hold property in the soil. The acquirement, 
protection, and recognition of property, generally, is the first 
step from a savage towards a civilized life. The first property 
consisted of sheep, goats, and oxen ; and the care of these 
was the earliest and simplest occupation of husbandmen. In 
this stage of husbandry, all the country was open and com- 
mon to any occupier ; but as soon as any man could call a 
spot his own, and could secure to his family the produce of it, 
its cultivation w^ould be a great object. Hence, arose the art 
and science of agriculture, properly so called. 

§ Agriculture flourished less in Greece than in Rome. The Romans 
were remarkably versed in the knowledge of this useful branch of 
human pursuit. Their greatest citizens and warriors were, by turns, 
cultivators of the soil. The Israelites before them, and the Egyp- 
tians also, were devoted to this employment. The moderns, however, 
it is believed, have made the greatest proficiency in agriculture, as they 
have in most of the sciences and practical arts of life. This is the 
natural effect of time, of prolonged study, and multiplied experi- 
ments. In many of the fine arts, the ancients are still our masters. 

Architecture was an elegant art, in which antiquity excelled. 
Tlie necessary and useful were all that was first sought in 
buildings. Luxury aimed at ornament. Hence, arose the 
five beautiful orders of architecture, viz. the Tuscan, the Do 
ric, the Ionic, the Corinthian, and the Composite. The Greekb 
perfected this art. 

3. But we may properly notice a few of the minuter divi- 
sions of ancient art and contrivance. Among these were the 
following : 

Enibalnibig. — The ancients had an imperfect knowledge 
of the mode of preserving those bodies that were subject to 
decay. They relied principally on brine, honey, or a covering 
of wax ; but each of these was defective, and far inferior to 
that by spiiitsof wine, which combines the advantage of pre- 
venting putrefaction, with that of perfect transparency. The 
more scientific modern process, employed in anatomical prepa- 
rations, was wholly imknown. The Egyptians, however, 
were fomoug for embalming dead bodies. 

§ The method of preventing corruption by means of brine, was 
the most ancient, as it was the most apparent, and the easiest of 
execution. It has been supposed to have originated in Persia, and 
Dion Cassius says, that when Pharnaces sent tiin body of his father, 
Mithridates, to Pompey, he had it placed in briue j but it seems pro 


bable, thai in the East, nitre was more frequently employed for this 
purpose than common salt. 

The custom of preserving dead bodies in honey, was also employ- 
ed at a very early period. The remains of several Spartans, who 
died in foreign countries, were thus prepared for transmission to 
their native home. The body of Alexander the Great, is also said, 
by some authors, to have been thus deposited, although we are told 
by others, that it was embalmed in the manner of the Egyptians. 

In the East, dead bodies were sometimes covered over with wax, 
and tliis practice, which was early introduced into Europe, gave riee 
to that of wrapping the remains of persons of distinction in waxed 
cloths, which has continued down even to the present day. 

The Egyptian method of embalming, consisted in first extracting 
the brain through the nostrils, and injecting some viscous unguent 
in their stead ; then opening the belly, and taking out the intestines, 
the cavity being washed with palm wine, impregnated with spices, 
and filled with myrrh and other aromatics ; this done, the body was 
laid in nitre during seventy days, at the end of which, it was taken 
out, cleansed, and swathed in fine linen, which was gummed, and 
ornamented with various painted hieroglyphics, expressive of the de- 
ceased's character and rank. This was done only for persons of the 
highest distinction. Less expensive methods were used for others. 

Roads and Street Pavements. — The public accommoda- 
tions of the most splendid capitals of antiquity, were few in 
comparison with those of modern large towns. The streets 
of ancient Rome were only partially paved, during its most 
brilliant era, and are described by authors of that period as 
being filled with dirt. A few other cities are supposed to 
liave been paved, but this is a matter of doubt. 

Though the Greeks and Romans were indifferent to their 
streets, yet they paid particular attention to their great public 
roads. These, in some instances, were magnificent works. 
'J' ravelling, however, was not generally rapid in those times. 

§ There was no part (»f the Roman policy which so effectually pro- 
moted the good of mankind, or which has transmitted such exalted 
ideas of the imperial grandeur, as the number and magnificence of 
the roads. Though constructed principally for military purposes, 
they were of vast utility to the districts which they traversed, and 
proved the most efficacious means of promoting the comfort and 
civilization of the conquered people. Occasionally, there were in- 
stances of extraordinary celerity in travelling. We are informed 
by Pliny, that 'I'iberius travelled two hundred miles in a day and 
night, on being despatched by Augustus to console his sick brother, 
Germanicus. But the ordinary rate of travelling, even on their ex- 
celleni roads, was slow in comparison of wdiat it is at present. 
Cicero speaks of a messenger coming from Home, to his government 
of Cilicia, in Asia Minor, in forty-seven days : hcu tarn longe! as 
the orator exclaims, on finding himself so far removed from the 


scene of his glory and exertions. To convey letters from Rome to 
the neighbourhood of Gibraltar, required, according to Pollio, forty 

Mode of convey'uig Intelligence. — The oldest method of 
communicating tlie news, with which we are acquainted, was 
by means of public criers. Another mode was to post up a 
written advertisement against a column in some public place. 
§ Public criers among the Greeks and Romans were under the su- 
perintendence of the police, and were generally employed by indi- 
viduals, in the same manner as they still are in the country towns ol 
England. The mode of posting was resorted to by the Roman 
government, to promulgate its edicts, and even, it is supposed, for 
imparting more trivial information of general import. Historians 
appear to have collected materials from them ; nor is it improbable, 
that copies were taken by individuals and dispersed about the city, 
or sent to their friends in the provinces. 

Glass. — The origin of the art of making glass, like that 
of many other valuable inventions, is probably due to chance. 
It is said to have been discovered in Syria. From ancient au- 
thors, it is supposed not to have been made in Rome, before 
the reign of Tiberius. 

§ Pliny mentions that glass was first accidentally discovered by 
some travellers while dressing their food by the ri\er Belus, in Syria. 
Being obliged to make a fire on the ground, where there was a great 
quantity of the herb kali, that plant burning to ashes, its salts incor- 
porated with the sand, and thus became vitrified. The accident be- 
coming known, the inhabitants of the neighbouring city of Sidon, 
availed themselves of it, and soon brought the art into use. It seems 
to be a corroboration of this account, that tlie most ancient glass- 
houses, with wliich we are acquainted, were erected in Tyre. Pre- 
viously to the time of Tiberius, the Romans imported glass from the 
East, and vessels of glass were among their most costly pieces of 
household furniUire. 

Mirrors. — There is reason to believe, that artificial mirrors 
were made almost as soon as the ingenuity of man was ex- 
erted on mechanical objects, and as every solid body capable 
of receiving a fine polish, would suit tbis purpose, we find, 
tliat the oldest mirrors mentioned in histor}-, were of metal. 
Silver, however, afterwards came into use, and the greatest 
number of ancient mirrors was made of that metal, as it is the 
most fit of tlie unmixed metals for this purpose. Inferior mir- 
rors were also made, some of a mixture of co]>pcr and tin, and 
bset ; some of obsidian stone, and others of other substances. 
Glass minors were most probably unknown to the ancients. 
§ Metal mirrors are spoken of in the Bible, under the term looking- 
gla-ss, as incorrectly translated. 


At Rome, as the satirists declare, no young woman was withoul a 
silver mirror. 

Tlie date of the invention of glass mirrors is somewhat a matter 
of dispute. From Pliny, it is thought, that they were attempted in 
the glass-house? of Tyre, but it does not appear that the experiments 
he speaks of, wliatever they were, met with success ; and moreover, 
it is certain, that tliough glass was used by tlie Komans, their mir- 
rors were alludt d to among articles of plate. 

Linen. — Linen, it is supposed, was fn?t manufactured in 
Egypt. It is certain, that it was first obtained, and Europe 
was for a long lime supplied, from that country ; and that the 
invention was very ancient appears from the fact, that mum- 
mies are generally found swathed in linen. The Greeks, 
however, were unacquainted with it, and it was not until 
the second century of the Christian era, that it was first intro- 
duced into Rome. Before that period, the tunic or under gar- 
ment of the Romans was made of wool. 

Woollen. — The oiigin of the arts of spinning and weaving 
is lost in the obsciuity of fable. The Egy{)tians ascribe the 
invention to their Isis, and the Hindoos trace it to the remo- 
test period of their fabulous history ; but this applies only to 
cotton and flax ; for in those countries wool is not produced. 
Yarro says, that the sheep was introduced into Greece by Her- 
cules, and it is probable, that the first attempts to manufac- 
ture wool in Europe, were made by the Atlienians. The 
chief seat of the Roman manufacture was at Padua, whose 
workmen are to this day highly celebrated. 

§ Sheep came originally from Africa, but in that country, the ani- 
mal bears hair instead of wool ; and it is only in colder countries 
that its covering gradually acquires a woolly texture. It was long, 
most probably, before sheep became domesticated in the northern 
countries, whose inhabitants, living in immense woods, were con- 
tented, for ages, with their fine furs. It was only till a late period of 
ancient history, that the people of the north of Europe employed 
artificial means of clothing. 

Among botli the Greeks and Romans, spinning was the chief em- 
ployment of the women. In weaving, the machinery, though perhaps 
rude in its construction, was, in principle, siiuilur lo that still in use. 
The process of fulling and preparing the dotli, ^('ems to have re- 
sembled the modern practice in every essential point, except that of 
shearing tlie nap, witli which tlie ancients do not appear to have been 

Di/eing. — Few arts can lay claim to greater antiquity 
than that of dyeing, and still fewer attained, in ancient times, 
so great a degree of perfection. It certainly preceded paint- 


ing, and appears to have been known in the earliest ages of 
the Jews, Babylonians, and Egyptians, who selected and ap- 
plied colours for stuffs, cotton, linen, and silk, with the greatest 
judgment and dexterity. These were extracted from the ani- 
mal, vegetable, and mineral kingdom ; and without confining 
themselves to cloth or silk, they dyed equally well, leather, 
ivory, tortoise-shell, the hair of animals, wood, earth, wax, 
and even imparted a permanent colour to marble. 

Steel. — The invention of steel is of very great antiquity. 
Although we do not find any distinct mention of it in the Old 
Testament, still, it is clear, that it was known to the Greeks, in 
the time of Homer, and received from them several names, the 
most common of which was stomoma. Chalybs, was also a 
name given to steel, from the Chalybes, a people inhabiting the 
southern shore of the Euxme, between Cholcis and Paph- 
lagonia, a country which was renowned for its works of iron 
and steel. 

§ The steel of the ancients was capable 0/ being hammered, and 
was not near so brittle as the hardest with which we are acquainted. 

These, and many other inventions and discoveries, which cannot 
here be described, characterized ancient times ; but modern ages have 
added greatly to the number, and improved many of those which 
were before known. 
















H A 11 T F O II D : 






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, 

By Edward Hopkins, 
In the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut. 


Modern History presents so wide and varied a field, 
that a volume of the ordinary size is scarcely adequate to the 
purpose, of pointing out all even of the more striking objects 
which such a field contains. Indeed, comparatively little can 
be hoped to be achieved in a very condensed narrative of the 
events of modern ages, on the common plan. It would be 
apt to become a barren outline, or dry abstract, with little to 
interest or instruct the mind of the reader, and this, almost 
from the necessity of the case. The conciseness whicli is 
studied would preclude all minute relation, and with that the 
chief charm of history. The character of many publications 
of this class, otherwise very valuable, has suffered from such 
a cause. By the use of two sizes of type, this inconvenience 
is remedied in a degree, if there be sufficient skill in the e <e- 
cution ; and a considerable space within a given compass, is 
thus allowed, for lively and entertaining matter not essen- 
tially connected with the leading facts or frame-work of 
liistory. The latter, necessarily dry in themselves, and having 
few attractions for common minds, but very important (o 
every one who would obtain a correct idea of the course rf 
events, may be all confined to the larger type : and thus, 
while a very brief epitome of history is presented in that 
part, the reader is at the same time, by means of the smaller 
type, made acquainted with details which will enliven the 
nan'ative, and the better impress the more material facts on 
his mind. This is one great advantage of reading history on 
the plan of the present work — a plan which has of Lite been 
adopted with much success ; — though the work possesses other 
peculiarities, which, whether they are happy or not, the 


reader, it is believed, will not fail to perceive. The'autboi 
would only add, that in preparing this outline of history, he 
has consulted a large number of valuable authors, from 
whom he has taken whatever was suited to his purposes, in 
many instances with little variation even in language, though 
he has generally endeavoured to maintain a homogeneous 
style and manner — that he has exercised much care in select- 
ing the materials and topics, and in connecting and arranging 
them — that he has aimed at scrupulous fidelity in the state- 
ment of facts, and impartiality in estimating their value — 
and that he has occasionally interwoven in the narrative such 
moral remarks, and attempted throughout to exhibit such a 
spirit, as to render history not merely an agreeable exercise 
to the understanding, but an impressive lesson to the heart. 



General Remarks, 



General Division. 

Ten periods, 

Period L 


History of the Roman Empire, 

: ,- • • 



• . 



, . 


Persia, . : 

: : : • 





Distinguished Characters, 

Period JI. 


History of the Roman Empire, contmued, , . , 


Persia, continued, : 

'. '. i . 


China, continued. 

'. '. '. 


Disdnguislied Characters, 

Period in. 


History of the Roman Empire, continued, : : ; 


Kingdom of Italy, 



Persia, continued, 

• • « • 


China, continued. 

• • . • 



• • • • 



• . 





Distinguished Characters, 

Period IV. 


History of the Arabs or Saracens, 



Eastern or Greek Empire, 



Kingdom of Italy, continued. 


Spain, continued, 

• ■ • 


Prance, continued, . 



Distinguished Characters, 

Period V. 


History of the New Western Empire, 



France, continued, . 



Italy, continued, 

• • • 


Spain, continued; 




• * ♦ . 


England, continued, 

• • • • 


Eastern Empire, continued, 

. • . 


Ciiina, continued, 



Saracens, continued, 


Distinguished Characters, 

Period FT. 


Crusades, . : 

• • 


History of France, continued, . 



England, continued, 



Germany, continued, 



Eiastorn Empire, continued, , . , 


Saracens, continued, 



China, continued, 

• . . • 


Dtstinguished Characters, 



Period Vn. 
Hiitoiy of the Turkish Empire, 

Italian Slates, continuecl, 

France, continued, . 

England, continued, 

Germany, continued, 

China, continued, . 
Distinguished Characters, 

Period Vm 
History of the Turkish Empire, continued, . 

Italian States, continued, . . 

France, continued, . . 

England, continued, . . 

Germany, continued, . . 

Spain, continued, . . . 

Holland, , : . : 

America, .... 
Distinguished Characters, 

Period IX. 

History of France, continued, . 

Great Britain, conthiued,' , . 

Germany, continued, . . 

Spain, continued, 

Turkish Empire, continued, 

British Colonies in Nortli America, 


Distinguished Cliaracters, 

Period X. 

History af Sweden, continued, . 


Germany, continued, 


Russia, continued, . 

England, continued, 

France, continued, 

Italian Stiites, continued, 

S|iain, continued, 

Netherlands, contiiuied, 

Turkish Empire, continued, 

China, continued, 

Persia, couiinueJ, 

India, . . 

United States, 

South Americet, . 

Disdnguished Characters, 

General Views. 

Feudal System, .... .... 

Chivalry, .....•• t > 

Romances, . ....•••• 

Pilgrimages, . : : : : ^ : _ . • • 

Manners and Character of the Gothic or ScandinaTiDn nntinim . . 

Learning and Arts, ........ 

Discoveries and Inventions, ....... 

Incidents and Curious Purt'culars, ...... 

Present state of several Nations in Agriculture^ Road% ConTcyaooefB, IntereonrBe, 
E>lucation, Trade, Manufactures, &c ..... 

Christian Church, ...•.•• 





Sec. 1. Writers who have divided History into Ancient 
and Modern, are not agreed as to the most convenient sepa- 
rating Hne between them. Some liave taken the subversion 
of the Western Empire of the Romans as the dividing 
period ; and others the establishment of the New Empire of 
the West^ under Charlemagne. We however agree with a 
third, and jjrobably a more numerous class, who adopt the 
commencement of the Christian Era as the line of separa- 
tion. In this there is an evident propriety. 

2. It is the epoch from which civilized nations reckon time, 
both backwards to the beginning of creation, and forwards to 
the end of the world. Add to this, the event (the birth of 
Christ) that forms this era, is the most important of events. 
It has had a commanding influence upon all subsequent his- 
tory. It has altered the aspect of all human affairs, and 
it will alter them more and more, as Christianity becomes ex- 
tended. Tiie state of the civilized world was also singular. 
A change had taken place in the establishment of a mighty 
despotism, which was destined to oppress the nations, through 
many successive generations. 

§ The period from which we commence Modern History, cannot 
be contemplated with too deep an interest. It was a remarkable era 
in Divine Providence. "The fullness of the time was come" — the 
ancient order of things was drawing to a close, and new scenes in 
the moral world, were henceforth to (je presented to the view of mar. 
kind. It is therefore associated with our most solemn thoughts of 
the dispensations of the Supreme Being towards his creatures. It 
is the period whence we dale the commencement of the spiritual re- 
novation of the world. 

The state of the world, in a political point of view, also deserves 
consideration. The principal nations were reduced under one head. 
Wars and dissentions, of long continuance and infinite ferocity, ha- 
nng terminated in one most formidable power, the whole earth en- 
joyed an unheard of calm. Mankind, for a short time, tasted the 
sweets of peace, though in servitude. One man was master of 


the lives and fortunes of all the rest, and therefore even the spirit ol 
conquest could scarcely desire more. 

3. The authenticity and the abundance of the materials 
of modern history, will be hailed with peculiar satisfaction by 
the inquirer after truth. A considerable portion of ancient 
history is plunged into darkness and uncertainty, from a va- 
riety of causes. And the scantiness, in some instances, of 
the materials from which it is drawn, is often perplexing 
But both the ecclesiastical and civil records of modern histo- 
•y, illustrate, with desirable fullness, the state of the times. 
Jt must be owned, however, that the rage of the barbarians 
who subverted the Roman Empire, has deprived us of some 
means of information which we should otherwise have pos- 
sessed. But it is wonderful, after all, that so many monu- 
ments of the earlier periods of modern history, have come 
down to us. 

§ Tlie causes that have operated to render some portions of an- 
cient history obscure, are such as the lapse of numerous ages; a se- 
ries of great revolutions, in consequence of which the memory of 
• many events was lost ; the fury of barbarians, by which numerous 
monuments of early times have been destroyed ; and more than all 
the rest, the designed or accidental destruction of libraries. 

Some noble collections of books perished before the Christian era, 
particularly the celebrated library of Alexandria. This library was 
founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 284 years B. C, and con- 
sisted of a vast collection of records, histories, poems, and other 
works. The number of volumes w^as reckoned at 400.000, and they 
might have been as many as were in all the world beside. Before 
the art of printing, books were comparatively scarce ; and of some, 
there might have been no other copies than those contained in this 
library. It perished in the flames of Alexandria, when Julius Caesar 
took that city. 

In later ages, large libraries have been destroyed, particularly the 
same library at Alexandria after it was revived, and collections had 
been made during several centuries. In the latter instance 700,000 
volumes perished. But books by this time had been mucli more 
multiplied, and though numerous destructions took place, many have 
survived the wrecks of ages. 


Modern History may be divided into ten periods. They have 
each their peculiar characteristic, by which they may be always re- 
membered, and by which distinct views of the subject are designed 
to be imparted to the mind. 

Period I, will extend from the Nativity of Jesus Clirist, 


to the reign of Constantine the Great, 306 years A. 0. This 
is the period of the Ten Persecutions of Christians. 

Period II, will extend from the reign of Constantine the 
Great, 306 years A. C, to the Extinction of the Western 
Empire, 476 years A. C. This is the period of the Nor- 
thern Invasions. 

Period III, will extend from the Extinction of the Wes- 
tern Empire, 476 years A. C, to the Flight of Mahomet, 
622 years A. C. This is the period of the Justinian Code, 
and the Wars of Belisarius. 

Period IV, will extend from the Flight of Mahomet, 622 
years A. C, to the Crowning of Charlemagne at Rome, 800 
years A. C. This is the period of the Establishment of the 
Saracen Dominion. 

Period V, will extend from the Crowning of Charle- 
magne at Rome, 800 years A. C, to the First Crusade, x J95 
years A. C. This is the period of the New Western Em,- 

Period VI, will extend from the First Crusade, 1095 
years A. C, to the Founding of the Turkish Empire. 1299 
years A. C. This is the period of the Crusades. 

Period VII, will extend from the Founding of the Tur- 
kish Empire, 1299 years A. C, to the Taking of Constanti- 
nople, 1453 years A. C. This is the period of the Papal 

Period VIII, will extend from the Taking of Constan- 
tinople, 1453 years A. C, to the Edict of Nantes, (Nantzf) 
1598 years A. C. This is the period of the Peformation. 

Period IX, will extend from the Edict of Nantes, 1598 
years A. C, to the Death of Charles XII, of Sweden, 1718 
years A. C. This is the period of the English Com,mon- 

Period X, will extend from the Death of Charles XII, 
of Sweden, 1718 years A. C, to the final Restoration of the 
Bourbons, 1815 years A. C. This is the period of the Ame- 
rican and French Revolutions. 



The period of the Ten Persecutions of Christians, extend 
ing from the Nativity of Jesits Christ, to the Reign 
of Constantine the Great, 306 A. C. 


Sec. 1. The great event with which this period properly 
commences, is the Birth of Jesus Christ. It belongs to 
the Roman History, only from the fact that Judea, the coun- 
try of Our Saviour, was held in subjection to Rome. It is 
strictly an event of the Jewish History, and is hereafter to be 
more fully noticed under that head. 

Here it maybe mentioned only, that the Birtliof Jesus oc- 
curred, according to the common reckoning, in the 31 st year of 
the reign of Augustus, 752 years after the building of Rome, 
and in the 195th Olympiad, under the consulship of Cains Ju- 
lius Caesar. It is the general opinion of the learned, how- 
ever, that our Saviour was born four years earlier than this 
date, viz. in the 27th of Augustus, and that the common 
reckoning or era is a mistake. 

According to this opinion, Jesus, in the year 1, A. C, (the 
vulgar date) was really four years old. 

§ It is a circumstance worthy of remark, that the temple of Janus, 
at Rome, which was always open in time of war, and shut only du- 
ring peace, was shut at the period of our Saviour's birth, and that, 
for the third instance only, during the space of more than 700 years. 

2. Rome had been an empire in the more proper sense of 
the word, from the beginning of the reign of Augustus. At 
the time of the nativity of Christ, the empire was at the me- 
ridian of its splendour, or perhaps a little past it. Most of the 
nations had bowed to the Roman yoke ; and luxury and the 
arts poured in upon the queen of cities. 

It had been for some years the most powerful dominion of 
the ancient world, and continued thus to be for several suc- 
ceeding centuries. The times, however, were degenerate, 
and the real strength of the Roman empire, if it had not be- 
gun to diminish at this epoch, was certainly not greater than 
during the last days of the repubhc. A few nations after- 
wards were added to its sway, but these rather weakened than 
augmented the power of Rome. The wide extent of its do- 


minions, we shall hereafter see, was one of the causes of its 
decline and downfall. 

But the pomp and glory of so great a monarchy, continu- 
ed long- after the seeds of weakness and decay were sown. 
Distant nations admired and dreaded the splendid spectacle. 
Ambassadors from every region daily arrived at Rome, to do ho- 
mage to her greatness, or to seek her friendship and assistance. 

3. Augustus, who first established a despotism over the 
Roman people, died 14 years after the 1)1 rth of Christ. The 
events which took place between the birth of Christ and the 
death of Augustus, pertaining to the Romans, were neither 
many nor important. 

During this interval, Augustus adopted Tiberius, and fi- 
nally associated him in the empire. Archelaus, king of Ju- 
dea, was deposed, and that country became strictl}^ a Roman 
province. Germanicus, grandson of Augustus, successfully 
commanded in Pannonia, and Q,. Varus was signally defeat- 
ed by the Germans, with the loss of three Roman legions. 

4. Luxury and the arts having enervated the Roman peo- 
ple, and the former civil wars and the consequent calamities 
having paved the way for a different order of things, in the 
quiet establishment of despotism under Augustus, their fate 
from this time was fixed. He found no difficulty in riveting 
thek chains, and for long ages, a series of despots, most of 
them monsters of vice and cruelty, ruled with a rod of iron, 
this once liberty-loving people, and mistress of nations. 

§ Amidst the refinements and elegancies of modern times, con- 
nected with our ideas of the progressive improvement of society, we 
are perhaps inclined to overlook and undervalue the ages of antiqui- 
ty. Many seem to forget what scenes of brightness and grandeur 
have illumined the nations before us, and how mournfully those 
scenes arc departed. 

The pensive, contemplative mind, however, does justice to such a 
subject ; and no instance of human greatness of old, strikes such a 
'nind more forcibly, than that of the proud empire of Rome, under 
tier Cffisars. The memorial is both pleasant and mournful to the 
soul. The mixture of misery with its splendour, renders it, if any 
thing, more touching and impressive. 

5. Tiberius, who liad been named in the will of Augus- 
tus as his successor, immediately assumed the government, 
14 years A. C. He was the son of Augustus's wife, Livia, 
ay a former husband, and had distinguished himself in war. 

During the first eight or nine years of his reign, he put on 


the appearance of justice and moderation, practising the most 
consummate dissimulation. His vicious and tyrannical dispo'^i- 
tion was indulged during this time in a very covert manner ; but 
afterwards it was openly manifested, and carried to a most ter- 
rible extreme. His cruelties and debaucheries were enormous. 
The first objects of his suspicions were Agrippa Posthu- 
mus, a grandson of Augustus, whom he ordered to be execu- 
ted in compliance with the pretended will of that emperor ; 
and the accomplished Germanicus, his nephew and distin- 
guished general, whom he caused to be secretly poisoned. The 
Roman people indulged in unbounded sorrow, upon the death 
of Germanicus. 

Afterwards, when he gave a loose to his passions, the best 
blood in Rome flowed. By means of Sejanus, a Roman 
knight whom he took into his confidence, and who exceeded 
even Tiberius in dissimulation, he exercised the most shock- 
ing cruelties towards his subjects. Sejanus first fell a victim 
to his crimes, in attempting to assume the government him 
self; and a few years after Tiberius was strangled or poison 
ed by one of his oflficers. 

§ From the 12th year of his reign, Tiberius was persuaded by Se 
janus to abandon Rome, and to retire to the island of Caprea, as » 
more convenient place for the indulgence of his indolence and de- 
baucheries. His gloomy and cruel disposition also followed him 
there, and by means of this base minion, he perpetrated all manner 
of crimes. 

At this time he was 67 years old, and the unpleasantness of his 
person comported with the deformity of his mind. He was quite 
bald in front ; his face was disgustingly ulcerated, and covered over 
with plasters ; his body was bent forward, while its unnatural tallness 
and leanness increased its ugliness. He now gave himselj' up to every 
excess. He spent whole nights in eating and drinking, and he ap- 
pointed two of his table companions to the first posts of the empire, for 
no other merit, than that of having sat up with him two days and two 
nights, without interruption. These he called his friends of all hours. 

His libidinous indulgences were still more detestable, and the most 
eminent women of Rome were obliged to sacrifice to him their virtue 
and honour. 

His jealousy, which fastened on persons of the highest distinction, 
induced him to condemn them to death on the slightest pretences. 
Indeed to such an extent were legalized murders carried, that he be- 
gan to grow weary of particular executions, and therefore gave or- 
ders that all the accused should be put to death together, without 
further examination. The whole city of Rome was filled vdth 
slaughter and mourning. The place of execution was a horrible scene ; 


dead bodies putrifying lay heaped on each other, while even the friends 
of the wretched convicts were denied the satisfaction of weeping. 

In putting to death sixteen out of twenty senators wlioni he had 
chosen for liis council, he uttered a sentiment never to be forgot- 
ten in the records of human cruelty. " Let them hale me, so long 
as they obey me." This monster often satisfied his eyes, with the 
tortures of the wretches who were put to death before him ; and in 
the days of Suetonius, the rock was still shown from which he or- 
dered such as displeased him to be thrown headlong. 

He died in the .seventy-eighth year of liis age, and twenty-third 
of his reign. 37 A. C. 

G. At this time the Romans were arrived at the highest 
pitcli of cfleniiiiacy and vice. The wealtli of ahnost every 
nation in the empire, liavinij long circulated through the 
city, brought with it the luxuries peculiar to each country. 
Rome was one vast mass of pollution, and sensuality. It 
was thought a refinement upon pleasure to make it unnatu- 
ral. Abating their genius, there never was a more detesta- 
ble people, than the Romans at this epoch, and indeed, du- 
ring the continuance of the empire. Cruelty and lust were 
essential ingredients in the Roman character. 

§ It was a burst of joj', says Chateaubriand, which Tiberius was 
unable to repress, on finding the Roman people and senate sunk 
below even the baseness of his own heart. 

Again, according to this writer, death formed an essential part of 
tiie festivities of the Romans. It was introduced as a contrast, and 
for the purpose of giving a zest to the pleasures of hfe. Gladiators, 
courtezans, and musicians, were procured to enliven entertainments. 
A Roman on quitting a iiaunt of infamous pleasure, went to enjoy 
the spectacle of a wild beast devouring human victims, and quaffing 
their blood. 

7. Cahgula had been adopted by Tiberius foi' his heir and 
successor in the empire. He was the son of Germanicus, 
and grand-nephew of Tiberius, and so called from Caliga. 
a short buslcin wliich he wore, in imitation of tlie common 
sentiiiels. He commenced his reign immediately on the 
death of Tiljerius, 37 years A. C. and at liis accession, was 
\ popidar from the virtues of his father. 

He connnenccd his reign with a show of clemency and 

* moderation. He restored some of the forms of the republic 

• which his predecessor had entirely disregarded, and he abol- 
' iahed arbitrary prosecutions for crimes of state. But t)a*anni- 

cal by nature, in less than eight months he acted out liis 
real disposition, in cruelties, extortions, and impieties, which 
' surpassed even those of Tiberius. 



Joining absurdity and extravagance to vice, he became 
supremely contemptible, as well as detestable. Indeed, his 
follies and absurdities were peculiar to himself, so that accord- 
ing to an idea of Seneca, he was one of those productions oi 
nature, in which there was the greatest possible combination 
of vice and power. He died by assassination, in the fourth 
year of his reign and 29th of his age. A. C. 41. 

§ Among the cruelties of this imperial monster, were his murder 
of Gemellus his kinsman, of Sileniis his father-in-law, of Grecinus 
a senator of noted integrity, who refused to witness falsely against 
Silenus ; afterwards, his killing many of the senate, and then citing 
them to appear as if they had killed themselves ; indeed, the sacri- 
fice of crowds of victims to his avarice, or suspicion. 

He condemned many persons of the highest quality to dig in the 
mines, and to repair the high-ways, for ridicuhng his profusion 
He cast great numbers of old and infirm men, and poor decrepid 
housekeepers, to wild beasts, in order to free the state from such un- 
serviceable citizens. He frequently had men racked before him 
while he sat at table, ironically pitying their misfortunes, and blam- 
ing their executioner. And as the height of insane cruelty, he once 
expressed the wish " that all the Roman people had but one neck, 
that he might dispatch them at a single blow." 

His impieties, and the depravation of his appetites, made him 
still more a disgrace to human nature. He claimed divine honours, 
and caused temples to be built and sacrifices to be offered to him- 
self, as a God. He caused the heads of the statues of Jupiter and 
some other gods to be struck off, and iiis own to be put in their 
places. He emploj'ed many inventions to imitate thunder, ana 
would frequently defy Jupiter, crying out in a sentence of Homer 
" Do you conquer me or I will conquer you." Scarcely any lady 
of quality in Rome escaped his depraved solicitations. He com- 
mitted incest with his three sisters, two of whom he prostituted to 
his vile companions, and then banished them, as adulteresses and 
conspiritors against his person. 

His follies and prodigality completed the infamy of his charac- 
ter. The luxuries of the former emperors were trifling, compared 
to his. He invented dishes of immense value, and had even jewels 
dissolved among his sauces. He sometimes had services of pure 
gold, instead of meat, presented before his guests ; observing, "that a 
man should be an economist or an empercu-." 

For his favorite horse Incitatus, he built a stable of marble, and 
a manger of ivory ; and appointed it a house, furniture, and a 
kitchen, in order to a respectful entertainment of its visitors. Some- 
times indeed, the emperor invited Incitatus to his ovv^n table ; and It 
is said tliat he would have appointed it to the consulship, had he 
r»ot been prevented by death. 

Tliese and a thousand other follies, particularly the building of a 
bridge three miles and a half across an arm of the sea in a ridicu- 


}oiis mannc?r, and which the first storm annihilated, constituted such 
a drain upon tlie public resources, as became exceedingly oppressive, 
df a fortune of £18,000,000 sterling left by Tiberius, none remained 
in a space little beyond one year. He of course put in practice all 
kinds of rapine and extortion. Professor Heeren remarks, that 
" he was more pernicious to the state by his insane prodigality, 
than by his savage cruelty." 

Against such awretch, wenaturally look for treason and conspiracies. 
After several attempts, his death was at length accomplished by Cassius 
Cherea. tribune of the praetorian bands, who was an ardent lover of 
freedom. Leagued with a number of conspn^ators, he met the em- 
peror in a little vaulted gallery that led to one of his baths, and 
struck him to the ground, crying out, " tyrant, think upon this." 
He was inmied lately dispatched by the other conspirators, who 
rushed in and pierced him with thirty wounds. 

8. A temporary confusion followed the death of Caligula, 
and ill this crisis of affairs, the senate attempted to restore 
the lepublic. But the spirit of Roman liberty had lied ; the 
populace, and in general the army, opposed the design. 
Claudius at this juncture, having been accidentally found 
in a lurking place, to which he had repaired through fear, 
some of the praetorian guards proclaimed him emperor, at 
the moment he expected nothing but death ; 41 A. C. 
Claudius was the uncle of Caligula, and grand son of Mark 
Antony and Octavia, the sister of Augustus. 

Claudius was a man below mediocrity in understanding 
and education ; and his capacity for business was even con- 
temptible. He became almost of course infamous for his vi- 
ces, and the dupe of his associates and even of his domestics. 
Many were the cruelties committed during his reign, though 
ihey seem to have been suggested principally l)y his wicked 
directors, among whom was the notorious Messalina, his wife. 

§ The stupidity of Claudius was siicli, that he was alike indifferent, 
whatever was done, and often was he .so operated upon by his fears, 
that he would consent to any act however unjust. His own family 
on one pretence or another was almost exterminated, and great num- 
bers of otliers fell a sacrifice to the jealousy of IVIcssalina and her 
minions, who ruled him at will. Tiie historian, Suetonius, assures 
us, that there were no less than thirty-five Senators and above three 
hundred knights, executed in Ins reign. 

One enterprise of importance marked his reign, and that 
was his expedition into Britain, 43 A. C He imdertook to 
reduce the island, and after visiting it in person, left his gene- 
rals, Plautius ai>d Vespasian, to prosecute a war, which waa 
carried on for several years with various success. The Silure* 


or inhabitants of South Wales, under their king, Caractacus, 
(Caradoc,) made a spirited resistance, though without avail in 
the end. Their king wals led captive to Rome. 

Messahna advanced in boldaess as in profligacy, but her 
excesses became the occasion of her destruction. The em- 
peror was persuaded to j)ut lier to deai.h for her shameless in- 
lidehty to him. Afterwards he married Agrippina, the daugh- 
ter of his brother Germanicus, who had poisoned her former 
husband, and who at length poisoned him. 

Making every effort to secure the succession to tlie empire 
to her son Domitius Aenobar!)us. (culled Nero,) she prevail- 
ed on Claudius to adopi him, and then effecting tlie death of 
her husband, she opened the way to the throne for one, who 
was destined to exceed in wickedness, if that were possible, 
any that went before him. Claudius was put to deatli in the 
fifteenth year of his reign and sixty-thu'd of his age. 

§ Among the illustrious sufferers iu the rcigu of Claudius, were 
Petus and his faithful Arria, whose story ought not lo he passed over. 
Cecina Petus associated in the revolt of Caniillu^, had endeavoured 
to escape into Dalmatia. Being apprehended, h ' was conveyed in 
a ship to Rome. Arria, who had been long the partner of his affee-» 
tions and misfortunes, entreated his keepers, to be taken in the same 

" It is usual," said she, " to grant a man of his quality a few slaves 
to dress, and undress, and attend him ; but I will perform all these 
ofnces, and save you the trouble of a more numerous retinue." Her 
fidelity, however, could not prevail. She therelbre hired a fisher- 
.nan's bark, and thus kept company with the ship in which her hus- 
band was conveyed, through the voyage. 

They had an only son, equally beautiful and virtuous. This youth 
died at the time his father was confined to his bed, by a dangerous 
disorder. However, the affectionate Arria concealed her son's deatli, 
and in her visits to her husband, manifested her usual cheerfulness. 
Being asked how her son did, she replied that he was calm, and only 
left her husband's chamber to give vent to her tears. 

When Petus was condemned to die liy his own hands, Arria 
used every art to inspire him with resolution ; and at length finding 
him continue timid and wavering, she took thepoinard, and stabbing 
herself in his presence, presented it to him saying, " it gives me no 
pain, my Petus." 

9. Rome at this era contained nearly seven millions inhabi- 
ta,nts, a number so prodigious that nothing but the best evi- 
dence could prevent our doubt of its accuracy. Corruption 
and luxury were excessive. The Roman miUtary spirit, 


though nmoh relaxed, still continued to awe mankind, by the 
terror of its nn-ne. 

10. Nero ClaiKlius, (the name he assumed,) the son of 
AgripjDina, succeeded to tlie empire (54 A. C.) under favora- 
ble circumstances, and like his predecessors, for a short time, 
promised to govern with moderation and justice. So well 
did he conceal his innate depravity, that scarcely any sus- 
pected that his viitues were feigned. 

The care of h's education had been entrusted to Seneca, 
the famous philosoplier, though he seemed not to have pro- 
fited under his instructer any otherwise than to become af- 
fected and pedantic. Wliile, however, he w^as controled by 
Seneca, and Burrhuss captain of the praetorian guards, a wor- 
thy and experienced oiTicer, Nero appeared just and humane ; 
but he could not long restrain the feelings of his base nature. 

At t!ie expiration of five years, he broke over all the bounds 
of decency and moderation, and pursued a course of conduct 
exceeding in puerility, levity, ferocity, and tyrarmy, what- 
ever had been done before him. He became one of the most 
odious characters recorded in histor}^. His flagitiousness was 
manifested in the murder of bis mother, his wife Octavia, 
his tutor Seneca, and Lucan the poet, and Burrbuss his bene- 
factor ; in extirpating many of the principal families of 
Rome on suspicion of treason ; in sotting the city on fire, 
charging the crime on the christians, and then punishing 
them with unheard of tortures; and in unnumbered other 
acts in which he outraged reason, and nature itself. 

His meanness and puerility almost surpass behef, and 
Rome contained not another so despicable a wretch in the 
char;icter of an actor, musician or gladiator. At length hav- 
ing become an object of perfect hatred and contempt, a re- 
bellion of his subjects headed i)y Vindcx, an illustrious Gaul, 
and Galba who commanded in Spain, crushed this imperial 
monster, in the thirtieth year of his age, after a reign of four- 
teen years, A. C. 69. Too cowardly to kill himself, he died 
by the hand of a slave, just as he was on the point of being 
taken, and delivered up to public justice. 

§ The burning of Rome I.)y Nero was an act of mere wantonness. 
Some one Isappening to say in Iiis presence, that the world might be 
burnt when he was dead, "Nay," replied Nero, "let it be burnt 
while I am living." Accordingly, as most historians report, he set it 
On fire, and standing upon a hisjh tower, he indulged the pleasure ol 

- 2* 


fancying it a representation of the burning c r Troy. The confla- 
gration continued nine days, and a great pan of tlie city was con- 

A conspiracy formed against him by Piso, but which was prema- 
turely discovered, opened a train of suspicions, that ahnost turned 
Rome into a field of blood. All who were implicated or suspected 
of being so, he executed without mercy. It was at this time that 
Seneca and Lucan suffered. 

No master was secure from the vengeance of his slaves, nor even 
parents from the baser attempts of their children. Not only 
throughotit Rome, but the whole surrounding country, bodies of sol- 
diers were seen in pursuit (^f tlie suspected and the guilty ; whole 
crowds of wretches loaded with chains, were led every day to the 
gates of the palace, to wait their sentence from the tyrant's own lips, 
who always presided at the tortures in person, attended by Tigelli- 
nus, one of the most abandoned men in Rome, but now his principal 

" The principal leason why the despotism of Nero and his pre- 
decessors was so quietly borne by the nation, lay in the fact, that a 
great part of them \vere fed by the emperors. From the monthly 
distributio-n of corn of the times of the republic, there now sprang 
up the extraordinary coriQ-iaria (gifts in corn or money) and vi- 
cerationes (distributions of raw flesh.) The times of tyranny 
were generally the golden days of the rabble." 

During the reip:ii of Nero, the Britons, under their tjueen 
Boadicea revolted, and defeated the Romans with tlie loss of 
70,000 men. The latter, however, avenged this loss at length 
by the slaughter of 80,000 Britons, which completely broke 
the British spirit and power. 

A war was also carried on against the Parthians, under 
the conduct of Coi])ulo, who obtained many victories over 
fhem. About this time also, ()7 A. C, the Jews, who had 
revolted under the tyranny of Florus the Roman governor, 
were massacred in great numbers. 

11. Galba, who was associated with Vindex, in the in- 
surrection which issued in tiie destruction of Nero, succeeded 
the latter in the empire {)8 A. C. Yindex, at the comnumce- 
ment of his revolt, generously proclaimed Galba emperor, 
and after the death of Nero, both the senate and the legions? 
under his command, sanctioned this measure. 

Before his elevation mankind thought well of Galba. His 
descent was illustrious. His reputation as a commander 
tood high, and no stain was cast on his courage or virtue. 
Compared with his predecessors, he was certainly a respecta- 
ble emperor. In seeking to accomplish two important ob 


jects, viz.. the punishment of the enormous vices then preva- 
lent, and the replenishing of the treasury, he was unduly 
severe ; and as he was natuially parsimonious, he became 
an object of contempt and ridicule. 

§ It was impolitic in Galba, to think of making the Roman people 
pass at once from the extreme of luxury to that of sobriety and 
economy. The state was too much corrupted to admit of such an 
immediate and total change. Tlie emperor's intentions, however, 
sliould have shielded him from reproach ; and had he not suffered 
his assistants to abuse his confidence, and had he been a little more 
e(|ual, moderate, and conciliatory in his administration, he would 
have been as well thought of when an emperor, as he was when a 
private person. 

It is mentioned as an instance of his severity, that upon some dis- 
respectful treatment of liim from a certain body of his subjects, he 
ordered a l)ody of horse attending him to ride in among them, and 
thus killed 7000 of them, and afterwards decimated tlie survivors. 

His parsimony is indicated by the follov/ing circumstances. He 
once groaned upon having an expensive soup served up for him at 
his table. To a steward for his fidelity he presented a plate of 
beans. And a famous player upon llie liute, named Canus, having 
greatly delighted him, he drew out liis purse and gave him five- 
pence, telling him it was private and not public money. His popu- 
larity sunk by such ill-timed parsimony. Through his love of 
money, some notorious villains purchased their safety. 

Galba reigned only seven months. He perished in the 
seventy-third year of his age, in conseqxience of the attempt 
of Otlio, one of his generals, to obtain the throne. Otho ex- 
pected to be adopted by Galba for his successor ; Ijut the 
emperor, discarding ail favouritism, sought the good of the 
empire by nominating tlie virtuous Pioo. Otho consequent- 
ly had recourse to arms, and thus accomplished the death both 
of Gal!)a and Piso. 

12. Otlio was now raised to tite throne, having received 
from the senate the titles usually given to the emperors, 69 
A. C. He began his reign with several signal acts of mercy 
and of justice. The character of this prince, an unusual oc- 
rurrence, was improved by advancement; in a private station 
he, was all that was detestable : but as an emperor he ap- 
[M.'arcd courageous, benevol(;nt, and humane. 

The good course, however, which he had marked out for 
himself, was soon terminated. He reigned only ninety-five? 
days. Vitellius, who had been proclaimed emperor l)y his 
army in Germany, gave Otho battle at a place near Mantua, 


where the army of the latter was defeated, and he in a fit of 
despair ended his life l)y his own hand, 69 A. G. 

§ Otho was descended from the ancient kings of Etruria. 

It has been observed that the last moments of Otlw's hfe were 
those of a philosopher. He comforted his soldiers who lamented 
his fortune, and he expressed his concern for their safety, when they 
earnestly solicited to pay him the last friendly offices before he stab- 
bed himself; and he observed that it was better for one man to die, 
than that all should be involved in ruin for his obstinacj'. 

No circumstance, however, can excuse the crime of suicide, a 
vice which was awfully prevalent among the Romans. 

13. Vitellius, upon his success, assumed the goverumenl 
69 A. C, hut he retained it only eight months. This wretch 
was not more given to cruelty, than to tlie infamous indul- 
gence of his appetites. Like Nero, he abandoned himself to 
every species of flagitiousness and excess. 

He perished justly. Vespasian, who at this time com- 
manded the Roman army in Egypt, was proclaimed emperor 
by his legions. Entering Ital}^, a great part of the coimtry 
submiltted to his arms, and even ViteHius meanly capitu- 
lated to save his life, by a resignation of the empire. 1^1118 
act of cowardice rousmg the indignation of the people, he 
was compelled to oppose Vespasian by force, but without 
effect. One of the generals of the coiujueror took possession 
of Rome ; and Vitellius, falling into the hands of a party of 
the enemy, was ignominiously put to death. 

§ Instances of the cruel di.-<position of this emperor are the follow- 
ing. Going to visit one of his associates who was in a violent fever, 
he mingled poison with his water, and delivered it to him with his 
own hands, in order to obtain his possessions. He never pardoned 
money-lenders who presumed to demand payment of his forme 
debts; but taking awaj' their lives he both cancelled their claims 
and succeeded to tlieir estate. 

A Roman knight being dragged away to execution, and crying 
out that he had made the emperor his heir, Vitellius demimded to 
see the will, where finding himself joint inheritor witii another, he 
ordered both to be executed, that he miglit enjoy the legacy alone. 

Gluttony, however, was his predominant vice. In order to be able 
to renew his meals at pleasure, he brought himself to au lial)it of 
vomiting. His entertainments were prodigiously expensive ; but 
oftener to others, than to himself. It has been remarked that had 
he reigned long, the whole empire would not have been sufficient to 
maintain his table. 

In one particular dish, did this imperial glutton out-do all the for- 
mer profusion of the most luxurious Romans. This was of .such 
magnitude as to be called the shield of Minerva, and was filled with 


a medley, made from the air-bladders of the fish called scarri, (he 
brains of pheasants and woodcocks, the tongues of the most costly 
birds, and tlie spawn of lampreys brought from the Carpathian sea. 
14. Vespasian, having been declared emperor, by the 
unanimous consent of the senate and the army, 70 A. C. 
was received with the greatest joy on his arrival at Rome. 
Though of mean descent, he deserved the pm-ple, and reign- 
ed during ten years, Avith great popularity. He was distin- 
guished by clemency, alFability, and a simple, frugal mode of 
life. His frugality, hoAvevcr, bordered upon avarice, A\hich 
was the principal defect of his character. 

In his administration of government, he acted under the. 
fonns of the republic, and even restored the senate to its de- 
liberative rights. The famous war against the Jews, was 
terminated during the reign of Vespasian, by the arms of his 
son Titus. After this, the empire was in profound peace, and 
the emperor, having associated Titus in the government, soon 
departed this hfe, to the universal regret of the Roman peo- 
ple, in the 70th year of his age, 79 A. C. 

§ It was some time before Vespasian could give security and 
peace to the empire. When this object was effected, he began to 
cbrrect the abuses Avhlch had grown up under the tyranny of his 
predecessors. He restrained the licentiousness of the army — degra- 
<!ed such senators as were unworthy of their station — abridged the 
ledious processes in the courts of justice — re-edified such parts of 
the city as had suffered in the late commotions — and extended his 
paternal care over all parts of the empire. 

Vespasian was liberal in the encouragement of learning and the 
arts. He was particularly kind to .Tosephus, the Jewish historian. 
Quintillian and Pliny, who flourished in his reign, were highly es- 
teemed by him ; and indeed the professors of every liberal art or 
science, were sure to experience his bounty. 

He died liy disease, a death quite unusual with the masters of 
Rome. Taken with an indisposition at Campania, which from the 
beginning he declared would be fatal, he cried out in the spirit of pa- 
ganism, "Metlunks I am going to be a god." AVhen brought to the 
last extremity, and perceivmg that he was about to expire, he decla- 
red that an emperor ought to die standing: and therefore raising him- 
self upon his feet, he breathed his last in the arms of his supporters. 

15. Titus succeeded to the empire upon the death of his 
father. 79 A. C. His character is celebrated as that of a 
highly humane, just and generous prince. He so devoted 
himself to acts of beneficence, that recollecting one evening 
that he had done none during the day, he exclaimed, "O, my 
friends, I have lost a day !" His reign was a short, but pros 


perous and happy one. He died in his 41st year, having,- 
reigned but little more than two years. His brother Domi- 
tian was suspected as being the author of his death. 

§ Before he came to the throne, his character was thought not to 
be "unexceptionable ; but whatever vices he had indulged in, he 
seems to have abandoned upon tliat event. It is related as an in- 
stance of the government of his passions, that he relinquished the 
hand of liis beloved Berenice, sister to king Agrippa, a woman ol 
the greatest beauty, and the most refined allurements. Knowing 
that the connection with her was disagreeable to the Roman people, 
he conquered his affections, and sent her away, notwithstanding 
their mutual affection, and all her arts. 

He was so tender of the lives of his subjects, that he took upon 
him the office of Higli Priest, in order to keep his hands undefiled 
with blood. He so little regarded such as censured or abused him, 
that he was heard to say, " When I do nothing worthy of censure, 
wliy should I be displeased at it ?" 

During his reign, Rome was three days on fire, without intermis- 
sion ; and this was followed by a plague, in which 10,000 persons 
were buried in a day. Titus, from his own resources, repaired the 
devastations of the city, and in all respects acted as a father to his 
people in their calamities. About this time the towns of Campania 
\vere destroyed by an eruption of Vesuvius. Upon this occasion 
Pliny, the naturalist, lost his life, by venturing too near the volcano. 

When Titus was taken ill, he retired into t^he country of the Sa- 
bines, to his father's house. There his indisposition was increased 
by a burning fever. Modestly lifting his eyes to heaven, though 
with a spirit which christianitj'- cannot approve, and without th^ 
hope it inspires, he complained of the severity of his fate, which 
was about to remove him from the world, where he had been em- 
ployed in making a grateful people happy. 

Domitian has incurred the suspicion of hastening his brother's 
end, by ordering him to be placed, during his agojiy, in a tub full of 
snow, where he expired. 

1.5-2 Domitian, upon the death of his brother, assumed the 
purple, 81 A. C. The beginning of his reign promised acoa- 
tinuance of their happiness to the Roman people. But the 
scene soon changed, and Domitian became a most execrable 
villain and tyrant. He condemned to death many of the 
most illustrious Romans, and witnessed, Avith the most fero- 
cious pleasure, the agonies of his victims. He caused him- 
self to oe styled God and Lord, in all the papers that were 
presented to him. Though not destitute of learning himself, 
he banislted the philosophers from Rome. 

His reign was an era of prodis^ality and luxury, as well as 
of inhumanity and baseness. The people were loaded witb 


insupportable taxes, to furnish spectacles and games for their 
amusement. His leisure was spent in the most degrading 
pursuits. One of the most constant occupations of his pri- 
vate hours, was the catching and killing of i''es. 

In his reign occurred the second great persecution of the 
christians, (that under Nero being tlie first) in which 40,000 
of that profession were destroyed. 

His general, Agricola, met with signal success in the ex- 
pedition against Britain, though Domitian derived liO renown, 
but rather disgrace from it, in consequence of his ungrateful 
treatment of Agricola. After a reign of 15 years, he was 
assassinated at the instigation of his wife. 

^ To the senate and nobility, Domitian was particularly hostile, 
frequently threatening to extirpate them all. He delighted to ex- 
pose them both to terror and ridicule. He once assembled the au- 
gust body of the senate, to know in what vessel a turbot might be 
most conveniently dressed. 

At another time, inviting them to a public entertainment, he received 
them all very formally at the entrance of his palace, and introduced 
them into a large gloomy hall, hung with black, and lighted with a 
few glimmering tapers. All around nothing was to be seen t)ut cof- 
fins, with the name of each of tlie senators written upon ihem, and 
other frightful objects, and instruments of execution. 

While the company beheld all these preparations with silent 
agony, on a sudden, a number of men burst into the room, clothed 
in black, with drawn swords and flaming torches, and after they 
had for some time terrified the guests, a message from the emperor, 
gave thf" company leave to retire. 

His death had been predicted by the astrologers. This circum- 
stance save him the most tormenting inquietude. His jealousies 
increasing with a sense of his guilt, he was afraid by day and by 
night ; and in proportion to his fears, he became more cruel. His 
stern air and fiery visage, directed and added poignancy to the tor- 
tures of his enemies. The gallery in which he was accustomed to 
walk, he ordered to be set round Avitli a ])el!ucid stone, which served 
as a mirror, to reflect the persons of all such as approached him from 
beliind. But hap]iily all iiis ])recautions Mere unavailing. 

"The fall of Domitian," says Heeren, "confirms the result of uni- 
' versal experience, that a tyrant has little to fear from the people, 
out so much the more from individuals, whose throats are in dan- 

His wife Domitia, having accidently discovered that her name 
was on the of those whom he intended to put to death, at once 
concerted measures to secure her safety by the destruction of the 
emperor. Engaging some of the officers of his household, and others 
who were also on the proscribed list, to enter into her plan, she had 
the good fortune soon to learn, that he was dispatched at midnight 


in one of the most secret recesses of his palace, whither he had re- 
tired to rest. 

The twelve Ccesars, as they have been denominated in 
history, ended with Domitian. In this niuuber, however. 
JuHus Cfesai is included, although Augustus w^as the first 
emperor strictly so called, and Nero was the last emperor of 
the Augustan family, 

16. Nerva was elected emperor by the senate, upon the 
death of Domitian, 96 A. C. He was the first Roman 
emperor of foreign extraction, (being a native of Crete), and 
chosen on account of his virtues. His advanced age and the 
clemency of his die^position, with perhaps a want of energ}'^, 
unfitted him to stem the torrent of corruption, and to cure 
the disorders of the empire. He however, adopted the ex- 
cellent Trajan as his succes;-or, and thus rendered a service 
to mankind which his adnnnistration otherwise could nevei 
have accomplished. He died 98 A. C. in the seventy-se- 
cond year of his age, having reigned sixteen months. 

§ During his short reign, Nerva made several good laws and regu- 
lations, and in every respect conducted himself like an indulgent fa- 
ther to his people. No statues would he permit to be erected to 
his memory, and he converted into money, such of Domitian's as 
had been spared by the senate. He sold many rich robes, and 
much of tlie splendid furnitxire of the palace, and retrenclied seve- 
ral unreasonable expenses at court, yet he was not at all avaricious 
of money. 

The following is a striking instance of his lenity. He had so- 
: lemnly sworn that no senator of Rome should be put to death by 
his cnuiraand, during his reign, from any cause Avhatever. 

This oatli he observed with such sanctity, that when two sena- 
tors had conspired his deatli, he sent for them, and carried them 
with him to the public tlieatre. There presenting each a dagger, 
he desired tliem to strike, as he was determined not to ward off the 

17. Trajan, now in the possession of the throne, 9S A. (\ 
was a native of Seville in Spain. He proved to be one of 
Rome's l)est sovereigns, splendid, warlike, munificent, cour- 
teous, and modest. The few vices he possessed were scarcely 
noticed amidst the blaze of his virtues, and the fame of his 
exploits. Tliis, perhaps, is an instance of human infirnuty 
in the estimation of character, since no vice should pass ur;- 
condemned. Tt is a matter of deep regret, that liis equit}', 
so visible in other respects, should be implicated by his con- 
duct towards the Christians, whom he suflfered to be mo- 


tested. The third great persecution of them took place during 

his re'igw. 

The boundaries of the empire were greatly enlarged by 
the victories of Trajan, in Dacia and the East. They never 
were so extensive, either before or after his time. The em- 
•.pire, however, was not improved l^y these conquests ; it soon 
lost them, for the conquered countries immediately re-appeared 
in arms, and ai length effected their independence. 

Learning and learned men were signally encouraged by the 
emperor's liberality. His public works are also much cele- 
brated. By his direction, the column still to be seen un- 
.der the name of Trajan's column, was erected. It is one of 
the most remarkable monuments of ancient Rome. He died 
rafter a reign of nineteen years, at ihe age of sixty-three, 
lis A. C. 

§ It was a characteristic of Trajan, that he so little feared his 
enemies, tliat he could scarcely be induced to suppose he had any. 
Being once told that his favorite. Sura, was false to him ; Trajan, 
to show how much he relied upon his fidelity, Avent in his ordinary 
manner to sup with him. There he commanded Sura's surgeon to 
.-be brought, Avhom he ordered to take off the hair about his eye- 
brows. He then made the barber shave his beard, after which, he 
went unconcerned into the bath as usual. The next day, when 
Sura's accusers were renewing their complaints ; Trajan informed 
them how he had spent the night, remarking, that "if Sura, had any 
designs against his life, he had then the fairest opportunity." 

The first war in which the emperor was engaged, Avas with the 
.Dacians, who, in the reign of Domitian, had committed numerous 
ravages upon the provinces. Trajan, suddenly appearing in arms 
on the frontiers of their country, awed them at once into a treaty of 
peace. As, however, this was soon after violated, he entered the 
hostile territory, and obtained a complete victory, though with a 
prodigious .slaughter of liis troops ; and Dacia became a Roman 
province. At his return to Rome he entered the city in triumph ; 
and tlie rejoicings for his victories lasted for the space of one hundred 
and twenty daj's, 

'i'vajan aferwards turned his arms eastward and speedily reduced 
Mesopotamia, Chaldea, and Assyria, and took Ctesiphon, the capi- 
tal of the Parthian empire. At length, sailing down the Persiaji 
gulpli, he entered the Indian ocean, conquering even the Indies ; 
part of which he annexed to the Roman empire. This enterprise, 
which, at one time, he intended to pursue to the confines of the 
■ earth, he was obliged to relinquish on account of the inconveniences 
. pf increasing age. 

Preparing to return to his capital in a style of unparalleled mag- 
,*a'.ficencej he was unable from infirmity to reach home ; and he died 



in the city of Seleucia, having refused to nominate a successor, le<5t 
he should adopt a person that was unworthy. 

It may serve to show liow highly Trajan was esteemed bj'' his 
subjects, that it was the practice, during two hundred years in 
blessing his successors, to wish them " the fortune of Augustus, and 
the goodness of Trajan." 

18. Adrian succeeded Trajan 118 years A. C. The 
wife of Trajan forged a will in tlie emperor's name, declar- 
ing Adrian iiis successor. Tliis designation was supported 
by the army, and Adrian ventured to assume the govern- 
ment. This emperor was a nephew of Trajan, and in most 
respects worthy of being his successor. He chose to cultivate 
rather the arts of peace than war, and judging that the hmits 
of the empire were too extensive, he abandoned all the con- 
quests of Trajan, and bounded the eastern provinces by the 
river Euphrates. He was, however, remarkably expert in 
military discipline. 

During an expedition of thirteen years, he visited in per- 
son all the provinces of his empire, and dispensed wherever 
he went the blessings of peace, justice, and order. In his ca- 
pacity as a sovereign, he rendered important services to his 
subjects — in private life, however, it is said that his virtues 
were mingled with an alloy of vices, arising chiefly from ir- 
resolution. He indulged in vanity, envy, and detraction, in a 
degree which was too manifest to be paUiated in a person of 
his exalted station. His virtues, however, were predominant, 
and Rome had few better emperors. His general knowledge, 
and hi? taste in tlie arts, were highly honourable in a sovereign. 
He died in the seventy-second year of his age, A. C. 138. 

§ Among his exploits, it is known that when he came to Britain, 
lie built a wall of wood and earth, between the modern towns oi 
Carlisle and Newcastle, eighty miles in length, to protect the Britons 
from the incursions of the Caledonians. In a war with the Jews, 
he killed in battle five hundred and eighty thousand of that people 
w!io had become rebellious, and built a city on the ruins of Jerusa- 
ein which he called Aelia Capitolina. In performing his long 
marches with his army, Adrian generally travelled on foot, and went 
without any covering on his liead. 

His cliaracter was'in many respects extraordinary, and none of 
the Roman emperors excelled him in variety of endowments. He was 
highly skilful in all the exercises both of body and mind. He was an 
author, orator, matliematician, musician and painter. His memory 
was so retentive, that he recollected every incident of his life, and 
he know all the soldiers of his army by name. 

He was the first emperor who wore a long beard, a fashion which 


he adopted to hide the warts on his face. His successor followed 
his example for the sake of ornament. 

Though Adrian aimed at universal reputation, he strictly attended 
to the duties of his station. Through his cares he began to fail in 
health and strength, and adopting for his successor Titus Antoninus, 
he sought the repose which lie needed. His bodily infirmities how- 
ever, daily increased, and his pain becoming nearly insupportable, 
he vehemently desired death. Antoninus with difficulty persuaded 
him to sustain life, though the emperor frequently cried out in his 
agonies, " How miserable a thing is it to seek death, and not to find 
it." Alas ! how pointed is the moral, that no station, however ex- 
alted, can exempt one from the infirmities of life and the sting of 
death. As he was expiring, the emperor repeated the following 
lines, as translated into English. 

O fleeting spirit, wand'ring lire, 

Tliat long has wanned my tender breast, 
Wilt thou no more my frame inspire 1 

No more a pleasing cheerful guest 1 
Whither, ah ! whitlier art thou flying 1 

To what dark, undiscovered shore ? 
Thou scemcst all trembling, shivering, dying, 

And wit and humour are no more. 

tjis reign was a prosperous one of twenty-two years. He died 139 
A. Caged seventy-two. 

19. Titus AiUoninns, stirnamed Pius, liaving been adopt- 
ed by Adrian, succeeded to the emjDire 138 A. C. His vir- 
tues were an ornament to human nature, and conferred innu- 
merable blessings on mankind. He preferred peace to con- 
quest, and yet whenever war became necessary, he carried 
it on with vigour anti success. He was conspicuous for jus- 
tice and clemency, and his love of the religion of his country. 

His reign was marked by few events, as the reigns of 
peaceable monarchs usually are. The most remarkable for- 
eign occurrences were the enlargement of the province of 
Britain by the conciuests of Urbicus, and the suppression of 
some forminable rebellions in Germany, Dacia, and the East. 
He died at the age of seventy-foiu", having reigned twenty- 
two years. A. C. 161. 

§ Such was the munificenco of Antoninus, that in cases of famine 
or inundation, he supplied with his own money the wants of the 
sufferers. Such were his humanity and love of peace, that when 
told of conquering heroes, he s:iid witii Scipio, that "he preferred 
the life and preservation of one subject to the death of an hundred 
enemies !" His regard of the christians was extraordinary for a 
heathen emperor. He declared that " if any should proceed to dis- 
turb Ihpin on account of their religion, such should undergo the 
same punishment which was intended against the accused." A de- 


gree of persecution nevertheless took place, contrary to the prin6i' 
pies of the emperor. 

He was a distinguished rewarder of learned men, whom he invi- 
ted from all parts of the world, and raised to wealth and honour,' 
Among the rest, he sent for Apollonius the famous stoic philosopher, 
to instruct his adopted son, Marcus Aurelius, whom he had previous- 
ly married to his daughter. 

Apollonius being arrived st Rome, the emperor desired his atten- 
dance : but the pliilosopher arrogantly answered that it was the 
scholar's duty to wait upon tlie master, and not the master's to wait 
upon the scholar. To this reply, Antoninus only returned with a 
smile, " that it was surprising how Apollonius, who made no difficul-' 
ty in coming from Greece to Rome, should think it so hard to walk 
from one part of Rome to the other," and immediately sent Marcus' 
Aurelius to him. 

In the midst of his labours in rendering his subjects happy, he was 
seized with a lingering illness, which terminated in death in the 
seventy-fifth year of his age, and the twenty-third of his reign. 

20. Marcus Aurelius Antonmus, the adopted son of Pius, 
now came to the throne, 161 A. C. His name before was 
Annius Veins, and he. together with Lucius Verus, his bro- 
thel, had been designated by Adrian to succeed to the govern^ 
ment, whenever Antoninus Pius should decease. Pius con-' 
firmed the adoption of Marcus, without once naming Lucius 
Verus. Marcus, however, upon assuming the empire, admit- 
ted his brother as a partner in the administration. 

They were perfectly opposite in character; Marcus Aurelius 
being as much distinguished for his energy and virtue, as" 
Verus was for imbecility, meanness, and vice. Aurelius was 
in every respect equal to his predecessor, and was even more 
conspicuous for his attachment to philosophy. This, as the 
stoics professed it, he has admirably taught and illustrated in- 
his Meditations. 

In the wars which were carried on during this joint reign, 
the worthless Verus brought disgrace upon the Roman name, 
wherever he commanded. Tlie Partliians, however, were 
repulsed by the legions of the empire, and a rebellion of the 
Germans was subdued. 

After the death of Verus, which happily soon took place, 
AureUus directed all his energies for tlie improvement and- 
happiness of his empire. For purposes of beneficence he 
visited the remotest corners of the Roman world. He died 
at length in Pannonia, in the fifty-ninth year of his age, and' 
nineteenth of his reign, A. C. 180. 


It wa? an infelicity of the otherwise admirable reign of 
Avu'elius, that t'-e christians at one time were violently perse- 
cuted. The fuiiilical Pagan priests were, however, the im- 
mediate instruments in this persecution, inasmuch as they 
ascribed to the christians the various calamities which the 
empire endured, under the excesses of Yerus, the attacks of 
the Ijarbarians, and the devastations occasioned by eartii- 
qtialce-^, famines, pestilences, and inundations. 

§ Aurelins loved retirement and philosophical contemplati(»n, ard 
improved for mental cultivaiicjn and enjoyment, all the leisure K*- 
coidd command. That, however, was far less than his wishes do 
tated. The disturbances in the empire called him frequently into 
the field, and until the dealii of his colleague, he suffered no small 
inquietude on his account. He was, however, successful in his mili- 
tary excursions. 

One deliverance which he and his army experienced on a certain 
occasion, borders on the miraculous. In a contest with the barba- 
rians beyond the Danube, tlie Roman legions unexpectedly, through 
the artifice of tiie enemy, found themselves inclosed in a place where 
they could neither fight, nor retreat. In this situation they became 
at length totally disheartened, from their long continued fatigue, t!ie 
excessive heat of the place, and their violent thirst. 

In these suffering circumstances, while sorrow and despair were 
depicted on every brow, Aurelius ran through the ranks, and used 
every effort to rekindle their hopes and courage. But all was in 
vain. At this crisis, and just as the barbarians were ready to follow 
them, we are told that tlie solemn prayers of a christian legion, 
then serving among them, produced sucli a shower of rain as instant- 
ly revived the fainting arm}'. From the same clouds, was discharged 
such a terrible storm of hail with thunder against tne enemy, as dis- 
mayed tliem, and made them an easy prey to the refreshed and in- 
Fpirited Romans. 

These circumstances arc related by pagan as well as Christian 
writers, only with this difference, that the latter ascribe the victory 
to tlieir own pi^ayers. the former to the prayers of their emperor. 
Aurelius, however, it seems, wtis favourably impressed in regard to 
the christians, since he immediately relaxed the persecution against 

Some other particulars will be related respecting Aurelius, in our 
biographical sketches. 

Upon tlie death of Aurelius the empire evidently declined. 

The em[ierors who succeeded were generally a Aveak or 

\^iciou3 race. The colossal si.ze of the empire caused it to 

sink by its own weight. Enemies on its borders oppressed 

it from without, and tumults and factions paralized it within ; 

patriotism and genius were l^ecoming rare, and corruption 

pervaded all orders of the community. 



At the period of Trajan's death, the < mpire comprehend 
ed the greater part of Britain, all Spain, France, the Ne- 
therlands, Italy, part of Germany, Egypt, Barbary, Bile- 
dulgerid, Turkey in Europe and in Asia, and Persia. At 
the demise of Aurehus, it was a Uttle diminished in size, but 
still too large to be preserved entire, amidst the profligacy of 
he times. 

21. Commodus, the son of Aurelius, had been nominated 
by his father to succeed him, and he accordingly now mounted 
the throne, 180 A. C. He had nothing but tlie merits of his 
father to commend him to the Roman people. He inherited 
tlie disposition of his infamous mother, Faustina, rather than 
of Aurelius. Tlie change from the reign of the father to 
the son was indeed a most gloomy one. It is a singular fact, 
that the most detestable of all the emperors was the son of 
the best. 

Commiodus was given to low vices and )nean pursuits--^ 
was fond of the sports of the circus and amphitheatre, the 
hunting of wild beasts, and the combats of boxers and gla- 
diators. His administration of the government was entirely 
weak, contemptible, and tyrannical. He perished by assas- 
sination, in the thirty-second year of his age, and the thiy- 
teenih year of his reign, 193 A. C. 

§ It had been happy for hniisclf and mankhid, had Commodus cul-' 
rivaled his mind, as he did his body, (for he was wonderfully expert 
in all corporeal exercises :) but he was averse to every rational and 
liberal pursuit. He spent the day in feasting, and the night in the 
vilest debaucheries. 

His cruelty combined with avarice and levity, cannot be loo strong- 
ly held up for the detestation of mankind. If any person desired 
to be revenged on an enemy, by bargaining with Commodus for a 
sum of money, he was permitted to destroy him in such a manner 
as he chose. He commanded a person to be thrown among wild 
beasts, for reading the life of Caligula in Suetonius. He would 
sometimes, in a frolic, cut off men's noses, under a pretence of shav- 
ing their beards ; yet he was himself so jealous of mankind, that he 
was obliged to be his own barber ; or as some liave said, he used to 
burn his beard, after the example of Dionysius, the tyrant. 

In imitating Hercules with his club and lion's skin, he would lu- 
rioiisly fall upon a company of beggars in the streets, and beat them 
to death ; having first dressed them up like giants and monsters, and 
giving them sponges to throw at him, instead of stones. 

In such a manner did this wretch spend his time, while the trou- 
bles- of his empire were daily increasing, and its strength and terrJ'- 


tories were diminishing by frequent warferes on the frontiers. He 

narrowly escaped destruction several times, from his personal exas- 
perated foes. But he was destined at length justly to fall. Hia 
favourite concubine, Marcia, who accidentally discovered the em- 
peror's determination to put her to death, with other conspirators, 
found the means of destroying him, partly by poison and partly by 

22. Perlinax, who had been fixed upon by the conspirators 
as the successor of Conniiodiis, was jo}'fully proclaimed by 
the praetorian guards, 1 93 A. C. Originally he w^as the son 
of an e)]franchised slave, but rose to esteem by his virtues 
and military talents. Applying himself to the correction of 
abuses with too unsparing and rash a hand, he alienated the 
affections of a corrupted people, and was deposed and mur- 
dered by the same guards that had placed him on the throne, 
after a reign of only three months, aged sixty-eight years. 
The loss which the empire felt in tlie death of such a man 
is greater than can be well conceived. 

23. Didius Julianus, next succeeded to the empire 193 A. 
C, having purchased it of the prstorian guards, who put it 
up to the highest bidder. At the same time, several com- 
manders in the distant provinces, were each proclaimed by 
their respective forces. These, however, lost their hves ex- 
cept Septimius Severus, who marched to Rome and seized 
the govermnent. Didius was hereupon deposed and put to 
death by the senate in the fifth month of his reign. 

§ Didius presents a striking instance of the cupiditj^ of the hu- 
man mind for power, and of tlie infelicities that attend it. He was 
a man of consular rank, and the richest citizen of Rome. Hearing 
tlio singular proclamation of the praetorian guards, and charmed 
With tlie prospect of unbounded dominion, he hastened to the camp, 
and bid the largest price for the empire. He gave to each soldier 
( 10,000 in number) the sum of G250 drachmas, which amounts to 
nearly 9,000,000 dollars, in the whole. 

From this period he was exposed to disappointment, mortifica- 
tion, insult, and danger. Indulging his ease and his avaricious dis- 
position, he soon offended those who made him emperor. He was 
contemptuously treated at lu>me, while two or more generals in the 
provinces abroad, disclaimed his autiiority. Upon the approach of 
Severus, he could raise no forces to meet him. He was nearly dis- 
tracted by the midtiplicity of counsels, and finally his perplexity 
and distress became extreme and overwhelming. 

Tlie senate, at this crisis, perceiving his timidity and irresolution,- 
i\?solved to abandon him, and to proclaim Severus. His death then) 
\Vas no longer problematical; and- though he persisted that he had' 


a riglit to enjoy his purchase for the natural period of his hfe, as he 
had been guilty of no crime, all did not avail. The executioners, 
obliging him to stretch his neck forward according to custom, im- 
mediately struck off his head. 

24. Septimiiis Sevems was now at the head of the Roman 
world, 193 A. C. He was an African by birth, and possessed 
a restless activity with an unbounded share of ambition. 
He was endowed with a hardihood and decision of character, 
which fitted him for any enterprise. His military talents 
were conspicuous, and the credit of the Roman arms w^as 
sustained dining his reign. In his administration of govern- 
ment he was generally wise and equitable, though highly 

In his expedition into England, he built a stone wall ex- 
tending from Solway Frith to the German Ocean, nearly on 
a parallel with that of Adrian. Severus died at York in 
England, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, after a reign of 
eighteen years, 211 A. C. He left the empire to his two 
sons Caracalla and Geta, whose dispositions gave the em- 
peror the greatest inquietude. 

§ The first act of Severus, even before he entered Rome, was to 
degrade the pra?torian soldiers, wliose irregularity had already be- 
come too conspicuous. These he stript of their title, and banished 
one hundred miles from the city. He soon after engaged ni a terri- 
ble conflict with Niger, his competitor in the East, wnom he finally 
conquered on the plains of Issus. Albinus also, his other competi- 
tor, wlio commanded in Britain, was soon after conquered in battle^ 
in one of the severest engagements recorded in the Roman history. 
It was fought in Gaul, and lasted from morning till night, without' 
any apparent advantage on cither side. It was decided at length by 
a body of reserve, in favour of Severus. 

His activity and love of conquest led him into the East, where he 
signalised his arms, and whence he returned in triumph to Rome. 
Having escaped a conspiracy formed by Plautian, to whom he had 
committed his domestic policy, he spent a considerable time in visit- 
ing the cities of Itah^ ; and finally in affording protection to all parts 
of his empire, he made an expedition into Britain. Tlie wall which 
he here built was eight feet broad and twelve feet high, planted with 
towers at a mile's distance from each other, and communicating by 
pipes of brass in the wall, which conveyed intelligence from one 
garrison to another with incredible dispatch. 

Having given peace to the island, and secured it against tlie irrup- 
tions of "the Caledonians, he began to feci the effects of age and 
fatigue; but he was more broken down by the irreclaimable life of 
Caracalla. Calling for the urn in which his ashes Avere to be en- 
dosed, he moralized on his melancholy condition in the following 

ROMAN empire; 33* 

rfeiriark. " Little urn," said he, "thou shalt now contain what the 
\Vorld could not contain." It is recorded that he hastened his death 
by purposely loading his stomacli with food, in his weak state. 

25. Caracalla and Geta were now established on the 
throne, 211 A. C. Their association in the empu-e created 
a mutual enmity, and indeed they were very unlike in native 
character. Caracalla was fierce and cruel to an extreme 
degree. Geta w^as mild and merciful. The former resolv- 
ing to reign alone, seized an opportunity to murder Geta in 
the arms of liis mother. During his reign of six years, he 
committed a continued series of atrocities. He was taken off 
by assassination, 217 A. C. 

Within this short period the empire was e\ery day declin- 
ing ; the soldiers were entirely masters of every election ; 
and both discipline in the army, and subordination in the 
^ate, were almost destroyed. 

§ The worst qualities of the worst emperors centered in this impe- 
rial wretch. He slew his friend Lsetius, his own wife Plautina, and" 
Papinian, the renowned civilian, for refusing to write in vindication 
of his cruelty — that upright man answering the emperor's request 
6y observing, " that it was much easier to commit a parricide than' 
to defend it." 

He commanded all the governors to be slain, whom his brother 
had appointed, and destroyed not less than 2000 of his adherents. 
Upon a certain occasion, he ordered his soldiers to fall upon a crowd- 
ed audience in the theatre, only for discounienancing a charioteer, 
whom he happened to favour. 

As might be expected, he was harrassed with awful terrors. He 
feared the day of his death, and that day was fast approaching. One 
Martial, a centurion of the guards, was prevailed upon by a higher 
officer, Macrinus, to give the emperor his death-wound, on a con- 
venient occasion, which was readily seized, and thus the world was 
freed from a monster, who was not only infinitely unfit to govern 
an empire, but was unworthy to live. 

26. Macrinus, who instigated Caracalla's death, was pro- 
claimed emperor, 217 A. C. Little is recorded respecting, 
him. He Avas a person of obscure birth, and was deemed 
severe by the soldiery, who had now become so licentious, 
that they could scarcely bear the gentlest corrections. liis 
attempts at discipline, together with the artifices of the grand- 
mother of Heliogabalus, alienated from him the alTections of 
the army, and he lost his life in the struggle to retain his 
power, after a reign of only fourteen montlis, 218 A. C. 

37. Heliogabalus was, by the army, raised to tiie throne 


when only fourteen years of age. The appointment of tho 
army, as usual, influenced the decisions of the senate and 
citizens of Rome. This emperor proved to be another mon- 
ster of wickedness of the same rank witli Nero, Commodus, 
and Caracalla. He lived to be only eighteen years of age, 
and yet lived long enough to hasten the fall of the empire, 
and to cover his name witii eternal infamy. He was mur- 
dered in the fourth year of his reign, 222 A. C. 

§ Heliogabalus was a natural son of Caracalla, a beautiful youth, 
and loved by the army. Surrounded by flatterers, he .soon yielded 
himself to their directions. His short life was but a tissue of effe- 
minacy, lust, folly, and extravagance. Some parts of his conduct 
were too indecent here to be described. 

In four years he married six wives, and divorced them all. He 
even assumed the dress and circumstances of a woman, and marri- 
ed one of his officers. After thai he took for husband, one Hierocles, 
a slave, whom he suffered to beat him severely when guilty of any 
excess, all which he endured with great patience, saying, that it was 
the duty of a wife to submit to her husband. 

His prodigality and epicurism were boundless. His supper 
generally cost six thousand crowns, and often sixty thousand. He 
always dressed in cloth of gold and purple, enriched with pi-ecious 
stones, and never twice put on the same habit. Whenever he took 
horse, all the way between his apartment and the place of mount- 
ing, was covered with gold and silver dust strewn at his approach. 

His cruelties were equal to his licentiousness. He often invited 
the most common of the people to share in his feasts, and made 
them sit down on large bellows full of wind, which by sudden ex- 
haustion, threw the guests on the ground, and left them a prey to 
wild beasts. It is even said he endeavored to foretel the secrets of 
futurity, by inspecting the entrails of young men sacrificed ; and 
that he chose for this horrid i)urpose, the most beautiful youths 
throughout Italy. 

These are a few of the thousand excesses, follies, and atrocities of 
a mad and vicious boy, who, with the possession of unlimited rule, 
could do as he pleased. 

Being persuaded by his grandmother Maesa, he adopted Alexan- 
der his coiisin-german as his successor ; but indignant that the af- 
fections of his army were bestowed upon the latter, he meditated 
revenge. His soldiers, however, perceiving his intention, took an 
o])portunity to secure his person, and having dispatched him, treated 
his body with the greatest indignity, and consigned it at length to 
the Tyber. 

28. Alexander Severus was declared emperor 222 A. C. 
He was a prince of a kind, beneficent, and energetic charac- 
ter, and highly accomplished in learning and the arts. Every 
way calculated to make his Gubjects happy, he was greatly 


honoured and esteemed by them. He was conspicuous also for 
his military talents, and for the defeat of the Persians and 
others during his reign. He thus restored the empire to its 
former limits : but this exertion of its remaining strength, 
rather hastened than delayed its decline. 

He was cut off by a mutiny among his own soldiers in the 
fourteenth year of his reign, and the twenty -ninth of his age, 
at the instigation of Maximinus, his successor, 235 A. C. 

§ As a specimen of his virtuous character we may mention, that 
he ever loved good men, and severely reproved the lewd and infa- 
mous. His remark is in point, when he decided a contest between 
the clu-istians and a company of cooks and vinters, about a piece of 
ground, which the one claimed as a place of public worship, and the 
other for exercising their respective trades. " It is better that God 
be worshiped there in any manner, than that the place should be put 
.0 the uses of drunkenness or debauchery." 

At the age of sixteen, when he ascended the throne, he had all 
the premature wisdom of age. His judgment was solid, and his 
talents were various. He was an excellent mathematician, geometri- 
cian, and musician. His taste in painting, sculpture and poetry was 

The first part of his reign was spent in a reformation of the abu- 
ses of his predecessors ; particularly in restoring the senators to their 
rank and influence. His first expedition, in the tenth year of his 
reign, was against th" ^arthians and Persians, whom lie opposed 
with a powerful army. In one decisive engagement, he routed the 
Persians with great slaughter. About the same time, several of his 
generals obtained signal victories, over various nations then at war 
with the empire. 

His manner of living was like that of the meanest sentinel ; when- 
ever he dined or supped, he sat with his tent open, that all men might 
be witnesses of his abstemiousness. He was at one time instructed 
by the famous Origen in the principles of Cln'istianity ; though it 
dues not appear that he embraced that religion. 

29. ^laximinus, wlio was accessary to tlie murder of Severus, 
ascended the throne upon this event. 23.5 A. C. He was the 
won of a Tlu-acian shepherd, and is represented by historians 
as a man of gigantic stature and Herculean strengtii. He was 
full eight feet in height, and perfectly symmetrical in form. 

He rose by degrees into power ; but though meritorious 
before his elevation, as a sovereign he was brutal and ferocious. 
He warred with the Germans, and wasted their country to 
the extent of four hundred and fifty miles, converting it al- 
most into a desert. His cruelties soon aroused the Roman 
people against him, and he was finally assassinated by his 
own soldiers in his tent, after a reign of three years, 238 A. C 


During the period of his power, the two Gordians, father 
and son were proclaimed emperors, but these soon perislied 
The senate then proclaimed Pupienus and Balbinus, who 
survived Maximinus. These measures were dictated by the 
anxiety which the Romans felt, to free themselves from that 

§ Maximinus is said to have delighted in acts of the greatest bar- 
barity, and no less than four hundred persons lost their lives, on the 
false suspicion of a conspiracy against his life. He caused to be re- 
moved from his sight or assassinated, many noble Romans, who, as 
he suspected, despised him, on account of liLs mean origin. 

Wlien he was apprised of the acts of the senate, appomting 
others to the supreme power, he raved and howled like a wild beast, 
and almost destroyed jiimself by beating his head against the walls 
of his palace. His fury, however, at length gave way to a spirit 
of revenge ; but his bloody machinations were soon stopped. His 
guards having been corrupted, murdered him while sleeping in his 
tent, as he was too formidable an object to be attacked while awake. 
Owing to his size, his strength was prodigious. He alone could 
draw a full loaded wagon. With a blow of his fist he could break 
the teeth in a horse's mouth, and with a kick of hs foot could break 
.its thigh. His voracity was proportioned to his size and strength. 
He generally ate forty pounds of flesh every dr-'-, and drank six 
gallons of wine. 

The Praetorian soldiers who were enemies to Pupienus and 
Balbinus, soon embraced an opportunity of despatching them 
• both, and accidentally meeting Gordian, grandson to one of 
the former Gordians, they proclaimed him emperor. The 
.senate and people had been too long controlled by the army, 
: on the subject of nominating the emperors, to withhold their 
consent in the present instance. 

30. Gordian accordingly assumed the empire 238 years 
A. C. He was no more than sixteen years old at (his time, 
and was a prince of very considerable merit. The Gothg, 
and also the Persians, who had invaded the confines of the 
emjiire on different sides, were repulsed by his arms. 

Towards the latter part of his reign, Philip, an Arabian, 
was cliosen praetorian pra^fect, under whose administration the 
j)eople began to be discontented. This state of things Philip 
fostered, till the odium against the emperor so far increased, 
that the prefect ventured to order his execution, with a 
view to his own preferment, an object which he accomplish- 
ed. Gordian's reign was a period of nearly six years. 

§ Gordian was a man so fond of learning, that he "had collected 
G2.000 books in his private library. 


31. Philip having- acquired the empire 214 A. C, by the 
murder of his benefactor, reigned five years, and then was 
liim?elf assassinated, while marching against Decius. 

§ Pliilip was an Arabian by birth, and received, in the manner of 
his death, a righteous retribution, on account of his own nefarious 
conduct in gaining the sceptre. 

32. Decius, whom Philip had appointed to command a 
revolted army, had been proclaimed before the emperor's 
death. Upon that event he began to assume the functions of 
government 249 A. C. His activity and wisdom would have 
stayed the progress of decay in the empire, if any human 
means could effect that object. But the tendency to this 
state of things was irretrievable and fatal. 

The profligacy and luxury of the times, the disputes be- 
tween the Pagans and Christians, and the beginning irrup- 
tions of the barbarous nations from without, were enfeebling 
the empire beyond remedy. 

Decius reigned but two years and six months, having been 
cut off, in a war with the Goths, by the treachery of Gallus, 
his general. 

33. Gallus, raised to the tlirone 2.51 A. C, by that part of 
the army which survived a defeat he had himself occasioned, 
reigned but two years and four months. He was a vicious 
sovereign, and during his reign the empire suffered incalcula- 
ble misery. He perished in a civil war, in which Aemilianus. 
his general, opposed him, and was victorious. 

§ It was in the time of Galhis, that a dreadful pestilence spread 
over the earth, threatening almost to depopulate it. 

34. Valerian, a commander of one of the armies of the em- 
pire, succeeded to the throne 254 A. C, contrary to the ex- 
j:>ectations of Aemilianus. In a war with the Persians, having 
been taken prisoner, he suffered unheard of hardships and in- 
sult, and at length was put to death in the most cruel manner. 

§ Sapor, the Persian king, happened to secure the person of Vale- 
rian. We are told that he always used the emperor as a footstool 
for mounting his horse, and that he often observed, "such an attitude 
was the best statue that could be erected in honour of his victory." 

The manner of Valerian's death is almost too liorrid to be men- 
tioned. His eyes were first plucked out, and afterwards he was flay- 
ed alive, when his skin was dyed red, and exposed in a temple. He 
was seven years a prisoner. 

85. Gallienus. son of Valerian, was chosen emperor 260 


A. C. He promised to avenge the insults and death of his 
father ; but after his elevation, he thought only of his own 
base pleasures, while the empire Avas attacked without, and 
distracted within. Thirty pretenders Avere at one time con- 
tending for the dominion of the state. Gallienus suffered a 
violent death. 

36. Upon the death of Gallienus, Flavius Claudius was 
invested with the purple, 268 A. C, agreeably to the wishes 
of the army, and the whole Roman people. He was an ac- 
tive, wise, and good prince ; but unhappily his reign was 
short, being less than two years. He died a natural death, 
which was more frequently the lot of the virtuous, than of the 
profligate emperors. 

§ Clandius opposed with success the Goths, Heriih, &c. who had 
invaded the empire on the north, in one instance destroying an army 
of 300,000 men ; and he hkewise overthrew the Germans, who had 
reared tlie standard of revoU. His energy stayed, for a short time, 
tl)e decUne of the empire. 

37. The army made choice of Aurelian as emperor, 270 
A. C. His parentage was obscure, but he was esteemed the 
most valiant commander of his age. After his elevation, his 
time was passed in repressing the irruptions of the barbarians, 
and particularly in carrying on a war with Zenobia, a prin- 
cess of Palmyra, commonly styled the Queen of the East, 
whom he conquered, and brought captive to Rome. With 
gi'eat courage and military talents, he was cruel. He fell in 
a conspiracy which was raised against him by some of his 

§ His strength was said to be so great, that in one single engage- 
ment, he killed 40 of the enemy with his own hand, and above 900 
at different times. The degeneracy of his people seemed almost to 
justify his severities, in punishing offenders ; but it is said that when 
he was about to sign certain edicts against the christians, who were 
an inoffensive people, he was deterred from the act, by a thunder-bolt, 
which fell so near his person, that his escape v/as thought to be mi- 

38. Several months elapsed before a new emperor was 
elected. At length Tacitus was prevailed upon to take the 
reins of government, 275 A. C He was a man of great me- 
rit, but unfortunately, to the empire, he died of a fever after a 
reign of only six months, at the age of 75. 

39. His successor was Probus, thougli a minority in the 


army chose Florian, a brother of Tacitus. Florian enjoyed 
this distinction but two months ; for upon the estabUshment 
of Probus in the empire, he sought a vohmtary death. 

Probus possessed uncommon activity, courage, and integri- 
ty, and was constantly engaged in war with the barbarians, 
and in suppressing the numerous factions whicli arose in his 
dominions. Ollending his soldiers by obUging them to drain 
an extensive fen in Sirmium, his native place, he wa«3 slain 
in a conspiracy which thev had fonned asrainst him, 282 
A. C. "^ 

§ Probus was born of noble parentage, and was early distinguish- 
ed by his excellent qualities. He was frequently the first man that, 
in besieging towns, scaled the walls, or that burst into the enemy's 

His energy and virtue, great as they were, could scarcely present 
a sufficient barrier to the tide of calamities that rushed upon the em- 
pire. In a war. however, with the Germans in Gaul, lie slew 400,000 
men ; and at various times repulsed many other enemies, particular- 
ly tlie Sarniatians, Goths and Blemii. The last were a people who 
had left the forests of Ethiopia, and possessed themselves of Arabia 
and Judea. 

Among those of his subjects who had rebelled against him, was 
Bonosus, who was remarkable as given to intoxication. The rebel 
being overcome, hanged himself in despair. Probus seeing him im- 
mediately after this event, pointed to his body, and with great hu- 
mour observed, '• There hangs, not a man, but a bottle." 

40. Cams, prretorian prefect to the deceased emperor, was 
chosen by the army to succeed hun 2S2 A. C He associated 
with him in command, his two sons, Carinus and Numerion. 
Carus, and his son Numerian, Avere worthy of the empire, 
but Carinus was given to vice. Their reign, however, was 
only of two years' continuance. Carus was smitten by a 
flash of lightning, in his tent, and his sons were killed soon 
after — Numerian by an act of treachery, Carinus in a con- 
test with Diocletian, who had been chosen emperor. 

§ Numerian was so affected by the death of his father, that through 
excess of weeping, he brought on a disorder in Ins eyes, in conse- 
quence of Avhich he was obliged to be carried in a close litter. In 
this situation he was luurdered by his ambitious father-in-law, Aper, 
who was soon cut off by the hand of Diocletian. 

41. Diocletian began his reign in 2S4 A. C, and two years 
afterwards, associated with himself in the empire his general 
Maximian. Under their united auspices, the enemies of 
Rome were fieijuently repulsed. At the expiration of about 


eight years from that time, they took two colleagues, Galerius 
and Constantiiis ; and bestowed upon each tlie title of Caesar. 

This state of things was novel. There was a four fold 
division of the government, with two emperors and two Cae- 
sars at its head, each having a nominal supremacy. Diocle- 
tian, however, was the master spirit that moved and controlled 
the whole. In this state, the government was administered 
a few years, when strange to relate the two emperors resigned 
their authority into the hands of the two Ceesars, and retired 
into private life 304 A. C. 

Diocletian seems to have been sincere in his abdication, as 
he contentedly spent eight oi' nine years in rural privacy, and 
in cultivating his garden. Maximian soon began to be dis- 
contented, and made several attemjjts, but in vain, to jesume 
his former powers. His intrigues in Britain, where Constan- 
tine and his son Constantine resided, cost him his life. Di- 
ocletian died about 312 A. C. Maximian jierished 310 A. C 

§ Diocletian's parentage was mean. Accord iiig to some he was the 
son of a scrivener; and according to other.;, of a slave. When 
elected to the empire he was forty years old, and owed his exalta- 
tion entirely to his merit, having passed through the various grada- 
tions of office, witn sagacity, courage, and success. He chose Ga- 
lerius for his associate, giving him the title of Caisar, with a view 
to secure his aid in opposing Narses, the king of Persia and Parthia, 
who had invaded Mesopotamia. In tliis enterprise they met with sig- 
nal success. Other enemies they subdued, except tlie northern na- 
tions, who, though repulsed and slaugjrtered in incredible numbers, 
were ever ready to embrace fresh opportunities of renewing liostilities. 

Diocletian, after his abdicatit)n of the empire, retired to his native 
country, Dalmatia, where he built a magnificent palace for his ac- 
commodation, near tiie town of Salona. Here he led a secure and 
quiet life. When some of his friends attempted to persuade him to 
resume the empire, he replied, " that if they knew his present hap- 
piness, they would rather endeavour to imitate than disturb it." 

Maximian was a native of Sirmium, in Pannonia, and was adopt- 
ed by Diocletian as emperor, on account of his courage and 
fidelity. He defeated many enemies of his country, though his 
arms in Britain were unsuccessful. He adopted Constantius as 
Caesar, with a view to oppose the claims of Carausius, a principal 
commander in Britain, who had proclaimed himself emperor. 

42. When Diocletian and iMaximiaii resigned their |)'>wcr, 
Constantius and Galerius were universally acknowledged 
304 A. C. Constantius governed the western parts of the 
empire. Galerius the eastern. They took in with them two 
partners, so that the empire was again under the guidance of 

JUDEA. 41 

four persons, all inve?ted with supreme authority; each having 
his distinct department. Severus and Maximian were the 
persons who were created Caesars. 

Constantius was a worthy character, Galerius was the re- 
verse. Constantius died at York, in Britain, 306 A. C, leav- 
ing his son Constantine as his successor. Galerius died four 
years afterwards of an extraordinary incurable disease. He 
had instigated Diocletian to persecute the christians. 

§ The western parts of the empire, or the dominion of Constantius, 
consisted of Italy, Sicily, the greatest part of Africa, together with 
Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Germany. The eastern parts, or the do- 
minion of Galerius, consisted of Illyricum, Pannonia, Thrace, Ma- 
cedonia, all the provinces of Greece, and the lesser Asia, together 
with Egypt, Syria, Judea, and all other oriental countries. 

An anecdote of the following kind is related of Constantius : — 
when he was persuaded to displace all the christian officers of his 
household ; though lie would not suffer the christians to be injured, 
he sent away in disgrace the few that complied, alleging, "tliat 
those who were not true to their God, would never be faithful to 
Iheir prince." 

43. From the commencement to the close of the present 
period, persecutions of (he christians more or less prevailed 
in the empire. At times, this unotfending class of the Ro- 
man subjects suilered in an extreme degree, from the edicts 
of the emperors. Historians have usually reckoned ten ge- 
neral persecutions of the christians. The names of the em- 
perors, under whom tbese persecutions v.ere experienced, 
were the following : — Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Antoninus, 
Severus, IVIaximiiius, Decius, Valerian, Aurelian, and Dio- 

Most of these emperors persecuted the christians from 
xTialignity, and for the gratification of their cruel dispositions. 
Others did it, (though their conduct was indefensible,) from 
ignorance or prejudice, aided l)y the spirit of the age, and 
the common corruption of om- nature. 

§ As this period is named from the persecutions which tiie pro- 
fessors of Christianity endured under the Roman emperors, it 
might seem proper here, to enter into some details on this subject. 
But a few of these will be included in an article on ecclesiastical 
history, to be embodied in the present volume. 


44. Judea, already under the sway of Rome, became a 
province of the empire G A. C. upon the banishment of Ar- 



chelaus, eldest son of Herod tlie Great. It was at the com- 
mencement of this period, that the birth of our blessed Saviour 
Jesus Clnist, as before noticed m the Roman history, took 
place. Herod, in addition to all his other crimes shed the 
blood of the children of Bethlehem, in the hope that the in- 
fant Jesus would foil among- them. He died miserably, soon 
after this transaction. 

(j In the reign of Herod, the sceptre, agreeably to ancient prophecy, 
having departed from Judah, by the control which the Romans had. 
over the government, Jesus CJn'ist was born in the year of the world 
4000. This has already been explained. We use, however, the 
vulgar era (4004) and assign the subsequent events according to that 
calculation. The mistake supposed to be made by the ancient chro- 
nologors has been too far sanctioned by Time, to benov/ remedied. 

His birth, which was announced by angels to the shepherds of 
Bethlehem, and which brought the eastern magi to worship him, 
exceedingly troubled Herod and the principal Jews, who became 
apprehensive of new wars and commotions. After finding out the 
place of his nativity, (viz. Bethlehem,) Herod determined on his 
death, by destroying all the children of tliat place and of its vicinity, 
" from two years old and under." 

The providence of God, however, had removed the lioly child be- 
yond his reach, inasmuch as his parents had fled with him, in the 
mean time, into Egypt. Herod's death soon occurring, they return- 
ed from Egypt, and dwelt in Nazareth, a city of Galilee. 

It IS not our design to detail events here, which more properly be- 
long to ecclesiastical history. We would only say, that after a labo- 
rious and useful life, in the third year of his ministry, and in the 
thirty-third of his age, Jesus Clirist expiated human transgression, 
by his death on the cross. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, the 
Roman gf)ve.rnor, upon a false accusation brought against him by his 
own countiymen, the Jews. 

This glorious personage, who was " God manifest in the flesh," 
rame into the world to save his people from their sins. In his hu- 
man nature lie was lineally descended from David, though the fami- 
ly at liie period of his birlh. had become obscure and reduced to 
poverty. 'I'he effects of his appearance in tlie world were from the 
beginning, decisive. The holy system which he taught, considering 
the hostility of man to truth and piety, was ditTused with great rapi- 
dity, under the ministry of the apostles. Reformation- of moral 
character was its aim, object and result. Its effects have ever been 
great, and such they will be to the end of time. 

The civil afiiiirs of the Jews, from the commencement of 
this era to the destruction of Jerusalem Ijy Titus Vespasian, 
are too unimportant to be particularly described. A brief 
summary of them follows. 

§ Archelaus, under whom Judea became in form a Roman pro- 

JUDEA. 43 

vince, possessed only a totrarcliy, or the fourth part of the kingdom 
of Jewry. The rest of llic country was divided into three more te- 
trarehics, whicli were those of Gahlee and Pctra^a possessed hy Herod 
Antipatas ; that of Ilura;a possessed by Pliilip, another son of Herod ; 
and that of Abilene possessed by Eysanias, who beins afterwards 
banished into Gaul, had his province go\'erned b}- Pontius Pilate. 

The successor of Archehuis was Herofl II. named Antipas, who 
married his brother Piiilip's wife. This was the incestuous marriage 
on account of which John the Baptist reproved Herod, as mentioned 
in the New Testament. It was in the time of this Herod that our 
Saviour's crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension, occurred. 

Herod 11. was succeeded by his son Herod the Great. Caligula, 
the emperor of Rome, at that time invested him with the tetrarchy 
of his uncle Philip, and conferred on him the title of king. The 
other tetrarchies fell to his possession shortly afterwards. It Avas 
this Herod who caused the apostle .fames to be martyred, the apostle 
Peter to be imprisoned, and was himself smitten by an angel and 
devoured by worms. 

His son Agrippa Minor, succeeded, and was the last king of Jew- 
ry. It was before him, that the apostle Paul pleaded in defence of 
die gospel. 

45. Durino; the reign of AgTip[)a Minor, Jerusalem was 
rtttacked by Titus (Vespasian) 70 A. D. The cause of this 
attack originated in the commotions and insurrections of the 
Jews, which were frequent aliout this time. This miserable 
people had sufl'ered greatly, from tlie injustice and extortion 
practised u\)on them by the agents of the Roman govern- 
ment, and they consequently rose in rebellion. 

A signal A'engeance fell upon their heads. Jerusalem was' 
beseiged, and one million of people are said to have perished 
on the occasion. To such distress were the Jews reduced by 
famine, that mothers murdered their children for food. The 
people suflTered greatly in other parts of Judea ; and though 
numbers remained in their native land, vast multitudes were 
dispersed over the face of the earth, on which they have ever 
since been wanderers. 

The reader of the Bible will see in these events, a re- 
markable fulfilment of the predictions of the ancient prophets 
and of our Saviour ; and he will also learn the evil and dan- 
ger of despising divine admonitions, and abusing religious 
privileges. The Jews are to this day a witness of the tiTith 
of scripture. 

§ Nero, who was emperor when the war with the Jews commenc- 
ed, entrusted the management of it to his general, Vespasian, who, 
accompanied by his son Titus, and a powerlul army, arrived in Sy- 


ria, 67 A. C. Vespasian soon after being chosen emperor, left orderS 
witli his son Titus, to continue the war, while he himself set out for 

Titus prosecuted the enterprise with diligence, and besieging 
Jerusalem, he toolc it within a few months, after an obstinate resist- 
ance on the pai't of its inliabitants. Twice, during tlie siege, Titus 
offered them very favourable terms, but so infatuated were they, that 
they not only refused his offers, but insulted at length his messenger, 
Flavins Josephus, in the most wanton and virulent manner. 

After this conduct, there remained no more mercy for the Jews. 
Titus caused the hands of those who had voluntarily sought shelter 
in the Roman camp, to be cut off, and sent them back to the city, 
and others lie crucified in the sight of their countrymen. Famine, 
in the mean time, was performing its dreadful work within the 
walls. When Titus entered the city he gave it up to be plundered 
by the soldiers, and most of its inhabitants were put to the sword. 

In pursuance of this general order, the city was destroyed to its 
foundations, and even tlie ruins of the temple were demolished. 
Josephus says that the number of prisoners taken during the whole 
time of the war was ninery-seven thousand ; and the number killed 
in the city during tl\e same period, amounted, as before stated, to 
one million. The Jews, who remained in the country, now paid 
tribute to the Romans, and were entirely subject to their laws. 

46. After this event .Terusalem was partially rebuilt, and itj 
1 IS the inhabitants attempted again to re!>el,biit were speedily 
overcome. Adrian, the emperor, incensed at the conduct of 
this stubborn people, resolved to level their city with the earth, 
that is to say, those new buildings. erected by the Jews, and 
to sow salt in the ground, on which the place had stood 
Thus was fulfilled a propliecy of our Saviour, who fore- 
told, that neither in the city nor in the temple, should one 
stone be left upon another. This therefore may be called 
the final destruction of Jerusalem, which took place 47 years 
after that of Titus. 

Adrian, however, soon built the city over anew, and called 
it Aelia Capitolina. It was a short lived change, for when 
the empress Helena, the mother of (Jonstantine the Great, 
visited the city, she found it in a forlorn and ruinous state. 


47. ThePARTniAN empire at the beginning of this period, 
continued under the sway of the first branch of the Arsaci- 
dse. Phraates IV. then possessed the throne. Three sove- 
reigns succeeded him, when after short reigns, the second 
branch of the x\rsacidai commenced. 

«- PERSIA. 45 

Verones I. was the hist of the three sovereigns of the first branch. 
He had been dispatchctl from Rome, where he was a hostage, to 
reign over the Parthiaiis, who liad hivited him to be their king ; 
but affecting the Roman dress and manners he incurred the dislike 
of liis people, and was driven from the throne, to make room for 
Artabanus, of the royal family of Media. 

48. The second braiicli of the ArsacidcE commenced 18 
years A. C. under Artabanus III. It lasted nearly two 
hundred years under thirteen sovereigns. The Romans oc- 
casionally defeated the Parthians and made them tributary, 
but could never keep them long under the yoke. To the his- 
tory of the Parthian kings, we attach very little importance. 
The empire was at length restored to the Persians after they 
had been subject to the prhices of Parti lia for the space of 
four hundred and seventy-five years. 

§ Artabanus V, the last of this branch, having refused to give his 
daughter in marriage to the emperor Caracalla, the Romans entered 
Parlhia and destroyed many cities ; but Macrinus, the successor of 
Caracalla, after a hard fought battle, concluded a peace with the 
Parthians. Artabanus was killed in battle by Artaxares, a Persian, 
who, revolting from the Parthians, restored the empire to Persia. 
The subsecjuent details belong to the Persian history. 


49. After the Persians had been subject to the Parthians 
during foiu' hundred and seventy-five years, from the time 
that they passed from under the Macedonian yoke, Artax- 
ares, an ignoble but courageous Persian, excited a revolt 
among his countrymen, which terminated in the restoration 
of the Persian empire. 223 A. C. 

Artaxares having accomplished his design, and ascended 
tlie throne, assumed the pompous title of king of knigs, and 
asserted his right to all the provhices of the ancient empire, 
which were now under the authority of the Romans. War 
therefore ensued between these two powers, and the Per- 
sians were terribly defeated in a single battle by Alexander 
Severus. They soon however regained the ground they had 

Artaxares was followed by a series of princes, the most 
conspicuous of whom during this period was Sapores I. who 
was his immediate successor. The dynasty which Artaxares 
founded, is known in history under the name of Sassanidte, 
iVoin Sassan, his father. 


§ Of Sapores, it is recorded that he conquered several cities in Syria 
and Mesopotamia, from the Romans, whicli liowever were recov- 
ered by tlie yomigest Gordian ; that in 258 he captured Antioch, 
penetrating into Cappadocia, and besieging Ca?sara, which being 
taken through treachery, ahiiost all the inhabitants were slain, and 
the city reduced to ashes. The next year tlie emperor Valerian 
having advanced into the east, was taken prisoner, and treated M'ith 
the greatest cruelty, as has already been described. Sapores, after 
considerable reverse of fortune, having become odious to his subjects 
for his cruelties, was assassinated by the Satraps. 

Hormisdas II. was the last prince of this period. He enjoyed a 
peaceful reign. After his death, the lords of the country' seized his 
son and conlined him in a tower, because he threatened to cause tiiem 
all to be flayed alive, for not rising in token of obedience to him 
at a royal banquet, on a day when he returned from hunting. The 
queen being pregnant, the magi, by placing the crown upon her 
own person, affected to crown the prince, who, they persuaded 
themselves, would be born of her. 


50. In the history of China, the fifth dynasty which com- 
menced about 200 years before the christian era, terminated 
during the present period, viz. in tlie year 221 A. C. It is 
called the dynasty of Han, and lasted four hundred and 
twenty-four years, under twenty-five emperors The head of 
this dynasty was Lien-pang, a soldier, who, overcoming" the 
last emperor, and ascending the throne, took the name of 

§ Kao-Tsou reigned with clemency and moderation. In his 
reign, paper, ink, and hair pencils, still used in Ciiina instead of pen's, 
were invented. He was one of the few emperors wlio governed for 
themselves. Under the rest, the euiuichs obtained great authority. 

Vuti, one of the princes of tlii.s family, was a great encourager ol 
learning, and ordered tlie morality of Confucius to be taught in the 
public schools. He fell under the power of a strong delusion, in 
endeavouring to discover a liquor which would make him immor- 

The sixth dynasty began 221 A. C. ; and ended 265 
A. C. It is called the dynasty of Heoti-Han, and lasted forty- 
lour years. China at this time was divided into three empires, 
under three branches of the dynasty of Ifan. The various 
parts terminated at difTerent periods, although the whole be- 
came reunited at length unrler the seventh dynasty in 265. 


Distinguished Characters in Period I. 

1. Livy, the prince of Roman historians. 

2. Ovid, a distinguished Roman poet. 

3. Tibuliusj a famous elegiac poet of Rome. 

4. Strabo, a celebrated geographer and historian. 

5. Seneca, a Roman moralist and philosopher. 

6. Lucan, a Roman epic poet. 

7. Pliny, (the elder) the earliest writer on natural history 
whose works are extant. 

8. Q,uintilian, an eminent Roman advocate and rhetori- 

9. Tacitus, an eminent philosophic historian. 

10. Plutarch, the principal l)iographer of antiquity. 

11. Juvenal, an eminent satirical poet. 

12. M.Antoninus, a Roman emperor and philosophical wri- 

13. Tertullian, ) , i r^i • *• •. i i 
14 O "o- > learned Ghristian writers, commonly cal- 

1 -." ^, '^ . ' ( led fathers. 
15. Cyprian, ) 

§ 1. Livy was a native of Padua, but passed the greatest part of his 
life at Naples and Rome, particularly at the court of Augustus. Of 
his life not much is known, yet his fame was so universally spread, 
even in his life time, tnat an inhabitant of Gades, now Cadiz, travel- 
led all the way to Rome, merely to see the man whose writings had 
given him so much pleasure. Livy died at Padua in his sixty-se- 
venth year, A. C. 17. 

This writer is principally known by his history of the Roman em- 
pire. It originally consisted of 140 books, of which only 35 are ex- 
tant. In this work he is alwajs great— clear, spirited, bold, and 
masterly in description. The high rank wliich he holds among his- 
torians will probably never be disputed. He often copied from his 
contemporaries and predecessors, and especially from Polybius. 

2. Ovid was born at Sulmo, on the 20th ol" March, about 43 years 
B. C. His father intended him for tlu; bar; but though his pro- 
gress in the study of eloquence was great, yet nothing could divert 
him from paying his court to the muses. Kvorj^ thing he wrote 
was expressed in poetical munbors. His name soon became known, 
and the great genius(;s of the age honoured him with their notice, and 
some of them with their correspondence. Augustus also patronized 
him with the utmost liberality. 

The days of his prosperity were not many. For some cause, 
which is not ascertained, thcemperor banished him to a place named 
Tomos on the Euxinc Sea. Here he spent the remainder of his life, 
and he spent it in unmanly repining and impatience. He offered 
the most abject flattery to Augustus, but both he and his successor 


Tiberius were inexorable. Ovid died in the 7th or 8th year of his 

The poems which he left behind him have, the most of them, sur- 
vi^-ed to the present time. They are characterized by sweetness and 
elegance, though often debased by indelicacy of expression. Ovid 
every where paints nature with the hand of a master. His Fasti, a 
part of which is lost, are thought to be the best written of all his 
poems. It is known that the poems of Ovid were favourites with the 
great English bard, John Milton. 

3. TibuUus was a Roman Knight. He at first engaged in the 
toils of war ; but dissatisfied with such a life, he afterwards gave 
himself up to literary ease, and to the pleasures of an enervating Ita- 
lian climate. His favorite study was the writing of love verses. In 
these elegant trifles he shewed himself an accomplished poet. Four 
books of elegies are all that remain of his compositions. They are 
so beautiful in language, and so pure in sentiment, that Tibullus is 
deservedly ranked as the prince of elegiac poets. 

4. Strabo was a native of Amasia, and died 25 years A.. C. His 
geographical work, divided into 17 books, is the only coiuposition of 
his remaining. This is justly considered an elegant, classical, and 
learned work. It is written in Greek, and contains an account of 
the most celebrated places and countries of the world. Strabo tra- 
velled through most of the regions he has described, in quest of ac- 
ciu'ate information. Among his books which have been lost, are 
historical commentaries. 

5. Seneca (Lucius Annasus) was born at Cordova, in Spain. He 
became early distinguished for uncommon abilities, and acquired at 
the bar, the reputation of an eloquent pleader ; but he relinquished 
this road to fame, and became a candidate for public employments. 
He obtained the office of quaestor, but by a shameful indiscretion, 
having incurred the displeasure of Caligula, he was banished to the 
island of Corsica. In five years he was recalled by the empress 
Agrippina, to superintend the education ol' lier son Nero, which of- 
fice he discharged with honor. 

Nero becoming impatient of the restraint, which his preceptor im- 
posed upon liis vicious inclinations, pretended tliat Seneca had con- 
spired with Piso against his life, and sent a messenger to Seneca to 
acquaint him that he must die ; permitting him to choose the manner 
of his death. The philosoplier received the mandate with cheerful- 
ness, and ordered the veins of his legs and arms to be opened. The 
blood however flowed slowly — poison and the warm bath were 
tlierefore resorted to : but being without efiect, he was at last smotli- 
ercd in the vapour of a stove. His death took place in his seventy- 
second year, 65 A. C. 

6. Lucan was a native of Corduba, and nephew of Seneca. He 
early went to Rome, where his rising talents procured liim the favour 
of Nero. He had the imprudence, however, to enter into a poetical 
contest with his imperial patron, and obtaining an easy victory, a? 
might have been expected, he ever afterwards was an object of the 
emperor's hatred. The insults to which the poet was continually 


Exposed, provoked his resentment to sucli a degree, that he joined 
Piso in his conspiracy against that monster. The discovery of the 
plot, of course, consigned him to death. He died a young man, be- 
ing only in his 26th year. 

Of his works, his Pharfalia only remains. This poem celebrates 
the wars of Ca;sar and Pompey, and is nnfinislied. It has been va- 
riously estimated. The moral grandeur of its sentiments has been 
generally acknowledged, L)ut some think him more of an orator than 
a poet. 

7. Pliny (the elder) was born at Verona, of a noble family. He 
was distinguished in civil life, as well in scientific pursuits. To hi.s 
public duties he attended througli the day, but the night he devoted 
to study. He lost no time by idleness or dissipation. Every mo- 
ment tliat could be spared from business was occupied in the cultiva- 
tion of iiis mind. He turned his attention more particularly to Nature. 

His work on Natural History, comprised in 37 books, is full of 
erudition. It takes in a wide range of topics, and is written in an 
interesting and sprightly manner, although the style possesses not 
the graces of the Augnstan age. He wrote one hundred and sixty 
volumes of remarks and annotations on the various authors whom 
he had read, l)ut these have not reached us. 

His love of knowledge cost him his life. An eruption of Vesu- 
vius happening at the time when he lay at Misenum, where he com- 
manded a tleet, he was induced to approach the mountain, for the 
purpose of making his observations on tlie interesting phenomenon. 
While thus occupied, he was overtaken by the buniing lava which 
poured from the volcano, and sutTocated and scorched, he soon per- 
ished. This memorable event happened in the 79th year of the Chris- 
tian era. 

8. Quintilian was a native of Spain. After twenty years labo- 
rious employment in teacliing rlietoric, and in pleading at the bar at 
Rome, he retired to enjoy the fruits of his labours and industry. 
Here he dedicated his time to the study of literature, and to com- 
position. His success as an author, and the favours of the emperor 
Domitian, afforded him a high delight. But no situation is perfect- 
ly happy — tlie death of his wife and two sons, filled him with almost 
inconsolal)lc grief. He died 95 A. C. 

His Institutions, in 12 books, is the most perfect system of ora- 
tory extant. In this work, he delineates that which goes to consti- 
inle a perfect orator, together witli all the preparation necessary. 
Tliis work remained undiscovered until the fifteenth century. 

9. Tacitus was the son of a Roman knight, and born in the reign 
<»f Nero. His genius and talents procured him tlie favour of several 
emperors in succession, and he was raised at last to tlie consular 
dignity. He was not destitute of distinction as an orator, but he is 
eiiiefiy known to mankind as an historian. A peculiar friendship 
existed between him and Piiu}', tliough the one was sternly partial 

i to a republican government, and the other was a great admirer of 
imperial power. 
The compositions of Tacitus were contained in thirty books, of 



which there now remain only twenty-one. Of these, his Annals in- 
clude sixteen, and his History of the Roman Emperors five. Taci- 
tus has many excellencies of style. Its most striking characteristic, 
perhaps, is conciseness. He has great force and depth of thought, 
and is candid and impartial in his statements. In his biographical 
sketches, he displays an uncommon knowledge of human nature. 
The History of the Reign of Tiberius, is his masterpiece. Some 
have complained of him as being obscure. 

10. Plutarch was a native of Cha^ronea. He died at an advanced 
age, in his native place, about the 140th year A. C. Having travel- 
led in quest of knowledge tln-ough Egypt and Greece, he retired to 
Rome, where he opened a school, with great reputation. Trajan, 
who admired his abilities, honoured him with the office of consul, 
and with the government of Illyricum. 

After the death of his imperial patron, he removed from Rome to 
Chaeronea ; in which delightful retirement, he composed the great- 
est part of his works. His Lives of Illustrious Men, is the most 
esteemed of his productions. Hisp'recision and fidelity are remark- 
able. In his style, he is energetic and animated ; though distin- 
guished neither for purity nor elegance. Sometimes he is too cir- 
cumstantial ; yet, on the whole, he has been pronounced to be the 
most entertaining and instructive of all tlie writers of ancient history. 

il. Juvenal was born at Aquimnu, in Italy, and died in the reign 
of Trajan, 128 A. C, at an advanced age. He came early io Rome, 
where he applied himself at first to declamation, and afterwards to 
the writing of satires. 

Sixteen of tliese pieces are extant. In them, he is an animated, 
.severe, and bold reprover of vice, and displays also much humour. 
He, however, defeats his object, in a great measure, by the gross- 
ness and indecency of his manner. His correctness in delineation 
is the result of experience and age. He has been called, with some 
reason perhaps, the last of the Roman poets. 

12. M. Antoninus, whose history has been given before, was born 
at Rome, in the 12lFt year of the christian era, and died on an ex- 
pedition against the Marcomanni, in the nineteenth year of his reign. 
He was a prince of great talents and virtue. His death was regret- 
ted by mankind as a public loss, and tlie greatest honour was paid 
to his memory. According to the superstition of the times, he was 
ranked among the gods, and in almost every house his statue was 

His book of Meditations has been mucli admired by scholars and 

13. 'J'ertnllian lived at Carthage, and flom-ished in tlie reigns of 
Severus and (^aracalla. He was originally a pagan, but afterwards 
embraced Christianity, and became one of its ablest defenders. His 
writings evince that he possessed a lively imagination, fervid elo- 
quence, strenglli of reasoning, and a considerable acquaintance with 
style. His Apology for the Christians, and liis Prescriptions, are the 
best esteemed of liis innn(;rous works. The historian Gibbon, calls 
him the "stern" Tertullian. 


14. Origen was born at Alexandria, about tlie year 185, and died 
in 254, having been presbyter of that city. He wrote in Greek. He 
was mucli celebrated for his parts and learning. He was endowed 
with imaffected humility and modesty, and was extremely rigid in 
following the christian rules. In the sixty-ninth year of his age, he 
suficred martyrdom. His works are many, and include a number 
of homilies, commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, and different trea- 
tises, besides his Hcxa{)la. This last work first gave the hint for 
the compilation of our polyglot Bibles. Mosheim calls him the lu- 
minary of the christian world, during the age in which he lived ; 
but observes, that he failed in justness of judgment, and was given to 
the Platonic philosophy. 

15. Cyprian was a native and a bishop of Carthage. He was 
born about the beginning of the third century, of heathen parents, 
but became a convert to Christianity, and was a principal father of 
the church. To be more devoted to purity and study, he is said to 
have ab;'.ndoned his wife ; and, as a proof of his charity, he dis- 
tributed his goods to the poor. He wrote eighty-one letters, besides 
several treatises, and rendered his works valuable, by the informa- 
lion he conveys respecting the discipline of the ancient church. 

He was beheaded as a martyr, at Carthage, September 14, 258 
A. C. Moshiem speaks of him as possessing the most eminent abili- 
ties and flowing eloquence, i)ut rather too attentive to the ornaments 
jf rhetoric. 


TJie period of the Norlhcni Invasions, exteridhig.froni the 
Reign of Constantine the Great, 300 years A. C. to 
the Extinciion. of the Western Empire, 476 years A. C. 

Sec. 1. The empire of Rome, as has ah'cady appeared, 
had been for several years imder the sway of a number 
of masters, on all of whom tiie burden of government 
c(nuilly devolved. At the time when Constantine was pro- 
claimed in Britain 306 A. C. upon the death of his father 
Constaiitius, tlie two Caesars, Severus and Maximin, had 
already l)een proclaimed 305 A. C. — Maxcntius, son ofMax- 
unian, had about the same time, 300 A. C, declared himself. 
The next year Licinias was created emperor by Galerius, 
>vho had never willingly owned Constantine. These were 
Constantino's conipetitors, and in the course of a few years 
lie hved to see them either destroyed in various ways, or 
overcome in battle, and himself remaining the sole master of 
the Roman world. 


Constantine has been styled the first christian eiriperor. 
Whatever may have been his real character, as far as religion is 
concerned, it is certain that he stopped the persecutions of the 
christians — that he publicly favoured Christianity — defend- 
ed it against its enemies, and tolerated the profession of it in the 
empire. Indeed, under his auspices it became tlie religion 
of the state, and that great change in the Roman govern- 
ment took place, which, from a persecuting, made it a protect- 
ing power. For the inliuence whicii Ciu-istianity exerted 
over tiie public conduct of this emperor, a cause has beeji as- 
signed, possessing a miraculous character, viz. : his seeing a 
pillar of light in the heavens in the form of a cross, bearing 
the inscription — " By this conquer." 

Whether this were a real sight, or a mere insaginatiou, it is 
asserted in the records of the times, as an undoubted fact ; 
and if it were such, we may readily account for the part 
which Constantine acted, even should we b(; forced to doubt 
the integrity of his religious principles. 

§ The first exploits of Constantine were directed -atjainst the Franks,, 
who had then overrun Gaul. It was in 311 or 312, Vv'hen he was 
marching against IMaxentius, and reflecting on tho mutabiUty of the 
world, and the opinions whicli then divided the attention of man- 
kind, that he saw the piihir of light mentioned above. Tliis was in 
the latter part of the day, and on the following night, Jesus Christ 
is said to have appeared to him vi'ith the same sign. 

In consequence of these appearances, the emperor caused a roj'ai 
standard to be made, hearing a figure similar to that he had seen, 
and commanded that it should be Carried before him in his wars. 
Soon espousing tlie cause of Christianity, he entered Italy, and ad- 
vancing towards the gates of Rome, he attacked and defeated Max- 
entius, who. in attemining an escape, was drowned in tlie Tiber. 
The next day Constantine was received into the city as a deliverer. 

In 314, a war was kindled between Constantine and Licinius, but 
it soon ended in a peace. Nine years afterwards, hostilities broke 
out again, when Licinius after two defeats was obliged to abdicate, 
leaving the government to Constantine alone. 

2. The administration of Constantine varied very much, 
in the dillerent periods of his life. It was far more com- 
mendable at the beginning, than it at length became. His 
natural tem|)er was severe and cruel, and the latter pan ot 
his reign was marked by several acts of intolerant zeal, and 
sanguinary rigour. In protecting and countenancing the 
Christian religion he deserves our approliation, although it 
must be acknowledsred that hcbroufj-htit into too close an al- 

Conversion of Constantine. P. 52. 

St. Bernard preaching to the Crusaders. P. 134. 


liance wi'.ii (lie civil power, to consist with its higliest pros- 

§ The cliaraclc ■ f Constantine has been the subject of extravagant 
eulogy, or violent censure, according as friends or foes have been 
concerned in drawing it. We shall do well perhaps to strike the 
balance between the different representations — the prejudices of the 
cotemporary pagans against it we should little regard, nor should 
we think too much of the panegyric which was resorted to for its 
vindication, by the professed Christians of his day. It was a highly 
mixed character which he possessed. 

This emperor was the author of an essential change in tlie 
Roman affairs, in another respect besides that of religion. In 
transferring the seat of tlic empire from Rome to Constantino- 
ple, he airected its condition during the remainder of its ex- 
istence. This step accelerated the destruction of the decay- 
ing fabric. His motives in this project cannot be accurately 
determined — whether they had reference to ideas of poHcy 
and advantage, or purely to resentment on account of affronts 
received at Rome Whatever they were, his own reputation 
and the pul)Iic interests were injured. 

The eiliict of this measure, though not immediately felt, 
was at length fatal. After the government was apportioned 
among the emperor's sons, there was such a division of the 
forces of the empire, that the northern barbarians, who 
fought with superior numbers, and had been hitherto re- 
pidsed, now began to prevail and to encroach on the pro- 

In an expedition against the Persians, Constantine died at 
Nicomedia, in the thirtieth year of his reign, and sixty-third 
of his age. 

§ The new seat of empire is said to have been pointed out in the 
following manner-— Constantine had made choice of a situation at 
Chalcedon, in Asia Minor ; hut it seems, in laying out the ground- 
plot, an eagle caught up the line and flew with it over to Byzantium, 
a city wliicli lay upon the opposite side of the IJosphorus. 

Here, therefore, it was deemed expedient to fix the seat of empire; 
and Constantine, after having built a capitol, an amphitheatre, 
many cliurchesand other pu!)lic works, and many magnificent edi- 
fices, and after having dedicated the city to the God of martyrs, re- 
paired thither, with liis wliole court. 

From this period to the reigns of Ilonorius and Arcadius. 
when the empire was divided into two distinct sovereignties^ 
the histories of Rome and Constantinople are necessarilv 



3. The Roman world had long been cDmposv- lof discord 
ant parts, and the work of corruption and dissolation was ai 
this time making a rapid progress. The immense mass was 
kept together for a period longer, only by the vigorous exer- 
tion of despotism. The fabric naturally tottered to its fall, 
when the Pagan principles of religion, which constituted an 
essential part of its foundation, were removed. The arm of 
power then supplied the props that npheld it, and this, more 
emphatically than was ever the case Ijefore. 

§ The Roman armies at this era, were debased by the intermixture 
of Scj^thians, Goths, Germans, and other barbarous tribes ; and Con- 
stantine, from a timid pohcy of guarding against mutinies of the 
troops, reduced the legion from its ancient complement of 5000 and 
upwards, to 1000 or 1500. 

4. Before his death, Conslaiitine had settled the empire on 
five princes — his three sons and two nephews. His sons were 
Constantine II., Constans, and ( 'onstantius II. The nephews, 
who were Cccsars, were named Dalmatius, and Annibalianus. 
Their sovereignty ccmmmenced 337 A. C. 

Immediately upon the accesssion of these princes, Con- 
stantius contrived to destroy the two Caesars, with five others 
of his cousins and two of his uncles. Soon after this. Con- 
stantine entered into a contention with Constans, and was 
killed ; and Constans in a few years perished in atten)pting 
to quell a revolt among his subjects. Constantius, therefore, 
remained in the })ossession of the whole empire. He reigned 
twenty-four yeciis in misfortune and dishonour. 

§ Domestic broils, and insurrections of the troops,had left the west- 
ern frontiers of tlie empire exposed to the barbarians. The Franks, 
Saxons, A) emanni, and .Sarmatians had devastated the fine countries 
on the Rhine, and tlie Persians had kept up a succession of wars in 
the eastern provinces. At first Constantius obliged the Persians to 
retire ; but he was afterwards overcome in nine signal battles. 

His cousin Juhan. he created Ca3sar, but afterwards regarding liin^ 
with jealous}'^, and hearing that he was proclaimed emperor. Con- 
stantius marched against him. but died on the road. He had reach- 
ed his 45th year. In pcu-son he was diminutive, but capable of 
exertion when occasion required ; he was tempcrate,but extremely 
uxorious ; and in a word, inherited the defects without the abilities 
of his father. He was much engaged in theological controversy, 
but his religious principles or character cannot inspire us with any 
great respect. 

5. Julian, commonly called the apostate, on account of his 
relapsing into paganism from a Christian education, was 


acknowledged by the senate, 361 A. C. His army had pre- 
viously proclaimed him emperor, much against his will ; but 
the insult he received from Constantius, who exacted submis- 
sion to himself as the supreme head, determined him to assert 
his claims by force of arms. After due preparation and 
vigorous efforts, he was happily released from this necessity, 
by the death of Constantius. 

Julian had already restored the glory of the Roman arms 
by repres.-ing the invasions of tlie barbarians. He was noj 
without several noble traits, and was fitted by knowledge ana 
energy to govern a great people. His enmity against the 
holy religion of Jesus, was deservedly his greatest defect. 
To this lie added bigotry in favour of paganism, supersti- 
tion, and no small share of a foolish credulity. He was ad- 
dicted to the studies of magic and astrology. 

He immediately began the reformation of abuses of various 
kinds, but declared in favour of paganism, re-opened the tem- 
ples, and without directly persecuting, did much to injure 
(Jhristians and their cause. In 363, he attempted to rebuild 
the temple at Jerusalem ; but certain miraculous appearances, 
it is said, prevented the execution of his design. During the 
^arne year, in a war with the Persians, while pursuing a vic- 
torious course, and in a successful engagement, he received a 
mortal wound. He had reigned but three years, and lived 

§ The ciianiiig and the niaUr e of Juhan, appeared, in treating the 
Christians with contcnipt. lie removed tliem, as visionaries, from 
all employments of public trust. He refused them the benefit of 
the laws to decide tho;ir difierences, because their religion forbade 
a contentions spirit; andthry were debarred the studies of literature 
and philosophy, as this would subject them to the perusal of pagan 

Julian, like many others opposed to Christianity, employed wit 
and ridicule against this relifjion ; for he was an author as well as a 
warrior, it is said in ai)ology for him, that he used tliese weapon 
in self-defence — that he was first lampooned by the Christians. 
However tiiat may bo, religion is a subject too .sacred to be treated 
in tliat manner. One of his works against the Christians, was Mi- 
sophog-on, or beard hater. 

liis Caesars is the most famous of his compositions, being a satire 
upon all the Roman emperors, from Julius Caisar to Constantine. 
This philosophical fable, according to Gibbon, is "one of the most 
agreeable and instructive jiroductions of ancient wit.'' 

His last raonients were spent in conversation with a philosopher 


on the immortality of the soul — he expressed his expectation cf 
being united with heaven, and with the stars,* which was one of 
his astrological vagaries, and he breathed his last without indicating 
the least sorrow for his fate, or the suddenness of his death. 

His attempt to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem, was made with a 
view to furnish a specious argument against prophecy, and of course 
the truth of revelation. The prodigies on the occasion, which prevent- 
ed the completion of the wor]<, are attested by contemporary writers, 
such as Ammianus Marcel! inus, and Gregory Naziar.zen. This 
article of history lias been tlie subject of much dispute. But whether 
Xve allow or not that the prodigies, such as earthquakes and balls of 
fire, happened, to the annoyance of the workmen and to the destruc- 
tion of tlieir commenced work, it is evident that something prevented 
the work, for the temple was never rebuilt, and thus our Saviour's 
prophecy remains as yet unsuspected. " Jerusalem is to be trodden 
down of the Gentiles till the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled." 

6. Oil tlie death of Julian, the race of Constantiiis Clorus 
became extinct, and the Roman world was without a bead, 
and without an heir. In tliis situation, the army finally fixed 
on Jovian, a Pannonian, and the emperor's first domestic, as 
his successor, 363 A. G. Jovian made peace with the Per- 
sians, by the cession of five provinces ; for on Julian's death 
tlie army was brought to the brink of destruction, and by 
such a sacrifice only could he save it and himself. 

This emperor applied himself to restore tranquillity to the 
Church. He displayed the banner of the cross, and reversed 
the edicts of Julian respecting Christianity. His reign, which 
continued only seven months, was mild and equitable. He 
died suddenly at the age of thirty-three years. 

5 While Jovian was on his march to secnre the palace of Constan- 
tinople, his wife with an imperial train hastened to meet him, car- 
rying with her their infant son. The moment of embracing her 
husband seemed to be at hand : but the distressing news of his death 
which was immediately communicated to her, most cruelly disap- 
pointed her hopes. He had died the night before, as some report, by 
sutTocation from tlie vapour of charcoal. 

7. Valentinian I., after a delay of a few days was elected 
emperor by the army. 364 A. C. One month after, he asso- 
ciated his brother Valens, in the empire, and gave him the 
eastern provinces. From this period, the division of the em- 
pire into Eastern and Western, became fixed and permanent. 

* This was in agreement with tlie doctrine of Pythagoras and Plato, which 
seems to exclude any personal or conscious immortality. 


The empire, however, was still considered as one body. On 
the East, the Persians were making inroads. The West 
was continually invaded by the northern barbarians. The 
latter were repelled by the emperor in many successful bat- 
des. He favoured the Christian religion, and his domestic 
administration was equitable and wise. His temper, howe- 
ver, was violent. He died on an expedition against the Ale- 
manni, 367 A. C. 

§ It is said that the barbarians against whom he had last taken 
arms, had piovoi<ed him beyond all endurance, so that when ih.eir 
ambassadors came to sue for mercy, his anger was raised to such a 
height, and his tones and gestures wore so violent, that he ruptured 
a blood vessel, and expired on the spot. 

In the East, Yalens held a weak and inefficient sceptre. 
Engaged in the Arian heresy M'hich he favoured, he threw 
the provinces into confusion and contention, and at the same 
lime exposed his dominions to the inroads of the barbarians, 
who came under the profession of friends and allies. He 
died in 378 A. C. 

These were the Goths who emigrated from Scandinavia, 
and who, together with several other barbarous nations, will 
soon be described in this account of the Roman empire, since 
they are so intimately connected with its destiny. 

§ In 376, Valens permitted vast hordes of the Goths, who had been 
driven out of their couiUiy by the Uims, to settle in Thrace. Here, 
however, they soon plundered the very country conceded to them as 
an asylum. The emperor luistened to oppose them, but he was de- 
feated in the famous battle of Adrianople, two thirds of his army 
having been cut to pieces. 

Being himself womided, he was carried into a cottage, where on 
llie same day he was burnt alive by the barbarians, who set fire to 
the cottage, without knowing that it contained the emperor of the 

8. Gratian, a son of Yalentinian, succeeded his father, 
367 A. C. He soon became possessor of the whole en)pire, by 
■the death of Valens. Upon this event, he took Theodosius 
as his associate, on whom he conferred the eastern provin- 
ces. He began to reign in his 17th year, and died at the 
age of 24 years. He was a well disposed prince, but defi- 
cient in energy of character. 

§ Gratian undertook to destroy the remains of paganism ; but 
Rome, at the time, happening to be afllicted by a severe famine, the 
favourers of that superstition ascribed Uie calamity to the wrath of; 


the gods. A general dissatisfaction ensued, and Maxinius, who 
commanded in Britain* taking advantage of this state of things, cau- 
sed himself to be proclaimed emperor. Gratian marching into Gaul 
to oppose him, Avas deserted by his soldiers, and killed at Lyons, 371 
A. C. 

9. Valentinian II. was the successor of his bi other Gra- 
tian. Being dispossessed by Maximus, he took refuge with 
Theodosius, who was then reigning in the East, and whe 
restored him to the throne. From that time he ruled with 
justice. After wearing the crown for several years, he was 
strangled by a Gaul named Arhogastus, who had assumed' 
9,n authority over his sovereign, 392 A. C. The tyrant Eu- 
genius, whom the Gaul caused to be proclaimed on this oc- 
casion, was defeated and put to. death by Theodosius. 

10. In the East, after the death of Valens, Theodosius 
succeeded to the throne, 379 A. C He was deservedly sur- 
named the Great. The barbarians he repelled with success, 
and he secured the prosperity of his people by wise and salu- 
tary laws. It was during his reign, that Christianity obtain- 
ed the entire ascendency over paganism, as the religion of 
the Roman people. 

After the death of Valentinian IT., the whole empire came 
into possession of Theodosius ; and he was the last who reign- 
ed over both the East and West. Previously to his decease, 
he divided the empire between his two sons, a.ssigning the 
West to Honorius, and the East to Arcadius. From this 
era they became two distinct empires, and will be treated of 

§ Theodosius the Great, was the son of Count Tlieodosius, a very 
able general, who had been beheaded by the order of Gratian. To 
9,tone for his injustice, Gratian chose the Count's son as his colleague, 
and gave him the East for his portion. A few days after his elec- 
tion, he gained a signal victory over the Goths, who immediately 
sued for peace. 

In the year 390, Theodosius cruelly punished the inhabitants of 
Thessalonica. who had killed tlieir governor on a certain occasion; 
by sending iiis soldiers against the place, and putting 7000 to the 
sword. Such, however, was the hifluence of St. Ambrose, that he 
obliged the emperor, by a public penance, to expiate his crime. 

In religion, Theodosius espoused the orthodox party. His faith 
is said to have been confirmed by an argument adapted to the mean-" 
est capacity. lie had conferred on Arcadius, his eldest son, the ti- 
tle of Augustus ; and tlie two {)rinces were seated on a throne to re- 
ceive tlic homage of their subjects. Among others who offered theis 


homage, was Ampliilocliiiis, bisliop of Icenium. He, however, ap- 
proached Theodosius alone with reverence, the son he accosted with 

The monarch, offended by the conduct of the bishop, gave orders 
that he should be thrust from his presence; but while the guards 
were engaged in this act, the good bishop exclaimed, "Siicli is the 
treatment, O emperor! which the king of heaven has prepared for 
those impious men who affect to worship the Father, but refuse to 
acknowledge the co-equal dignity of his divine Son." 

This declaration had the effect of propitiating tlie emperor, and 
fixing his mind more strongly than before, in the faith. 

11. The Roman empire had now become excessively 
weakened by its unwieldly extent, and had aUeady suffered 
much from the incursions of its barbarous neighbours. It 
was, however, destmed to suffer far more in the end, from the 
last named source. Tts separation into two empires, favoured 
the projects of the barbarians, who, from this pciiod, poured in 
like a torrent upon these cullivated regions. The Western 
empire in a few years was coni|)Ietely overwhelmed. 

A short accotnit of the barl^arous nations, wdio acted so con- 
spicuous a part in this tiagedy, seems to be demanded in this 

The Huns were a fierce and savage nation, at first in- 
habiting the vast deserts which border China on the north. 
A part of them, owing, it is said, to civil wars, retired to the 
westward, and settled to tlse north of the Caspian sea, near 
the source of the r'wev Ural. 

§Froin thence, 376 A. C. advancing towards the Pakis Mfcotis 
(sea of Asof ) under Balamir, their chief, they subdued the Alains, 
and forced such of them as were capable of bearing arms to join 
them; tlie remainder tliey put to death. Vv'ith this accession of 
strengtli and numbers, they fell upon the Ostrogoths and Visogoths, 
and liaving driven them away from their country, took possession 
of it themselves. This was a region extending from the Tanais U) 
the Dar.uijo. Their subsequent history, we shall find identified witli 
the Roman affairs. 

The Alains inhabited the north of Asiatic Sarmatia, and 
were known to the Romans in the time of Pompey. Under 
the first emperors, they several times invaded the frontier 

§ Those of them who escaped the arms of tlie Huns, pushed their 
way towards Pannonia, whence advancing still further to the west, 
thej'' united with the Suevi and the Vandals, and continuing iheii 
migrations, they finally settled in lAisitania, now Portugal, where in 
477. they were conquered by the Visogoths. 


The Vandals issued from Scandinavia, now Sweden, and 
crossing the Baltic, first settled in a part of Germany. On 
account of increasing numbers, they again emigrated, and 
taking their course eastward, possessed themselves of the 
country towards the Tanais, whence they made several in- 
cursions upon the Roman provinces. 

§ They at length formed a jimction with the Siievi and Alains, and 
marched into Spain, apart of which they settled, and called after their 
name, Vandalusia or Andalusia. Their history downward, is pursued 
in that of the Romans. 

The Goths came originally from ScaiKiinavia. They first 
settled in Pomerania, whence advancing towards the east. 
they took up their abode to the north of the lake Aloeotis. 
Here they were div'ided into Visogoths, or Goths of the West, 
and Ostrogoths, or Goths of the East. 

§ Being overcome by the Huns, they were forced to abandon their 
last settlement, and a part of them took refuge in Pannonia, where 
they remained till they formed the new kingdom of Italy, hereafter 
to be mentioned. 

The Heruh also, originated in Scandinavia. They first emi- 
grated towards the East, and settled on the borders of the 
lake MiEOtis. They afterward returned towards the West. 

§ It is said that coming to the ocean, they embarked for Thitle, one 
of the Shetland islands, or,, as others suppose, what is now called 
Iceland, where they finally settfed. As we shall soon learn, the first 
sovereign of the new kingdom of Italy was a chief of the lleruli. 

The Gepidse were another Scandinavian tribe. They 
first planted themselves on the Vistida, whence they advan- 
ced east towards the Tanais. 

§ Here being subdued by Attila, the Hun, they served under him 
in liis expedition to Gaul. U[)(>n liis death, they shook off the yoke. 
They were finally destroyed by the Lombards. 

The Suevi were a warlike rmtion of Gei-mnny, inhabiting 
that part of it in which Berlin is now situated. They were 
great wanderers, and often changed their habitations. 

§ In 40G. they entered Gaul witli the Alains and Vandals, wilii 
whom they passed into Spain, in a part of which '.hey established a 
monarchy. This was aftervv'ards destroyed by the Visogoths. 

'^rhe Burgundians first inhabited what now constitutes the 
)<ingdom of Prussia. From tliis country they were afterwards 
CApelled by the Gepidse. They frequently crossed the Rliine, 
and invaded Gaul, and brought trouble on the empire. 

There were other minor tribes of barbarians, of which no 
particular account need be here given. They were such as 


the Bulgari, Alemanni, Venetli, &c. Other rude nations also, 
who followed in the train of these conquerors, "wall be noticed 
at the proper time. 

12. In the Western Empire, Honorius, who held the sceptre 
by the appointment of his father, Tlieodosius, proved him- 
self a degenerate son. Stilicho, a famous warrior, had been 
appointed guardian or minister to Honorius, during the mino- 
rity of the latter ; and it was owing to the vigour of the min- 
ister, and not at all to the merits of the emperor, that the 
barbarians of the north were repelled for such a length of time. 
Alaric, king of the Goths, had penetrated into Italy, but 
was defeated by Stilicho near Pollentia, 403 A. C. But this 
able general, having, through the baseness of the emperor, 
been afterwards beheaded, 408 A. C, Alaric again advanced 
and beseiged Rome. The promise of a large sum of gold 
delayed his purposes of vengeance. As, however, it was ne- 
ver fuKilled, Alaric took the city, and committed some part of 
it to the flames, 410 A. C. 

The pillage lasted six da3^s, and multitudes of its inhabi- 
tants were massacred. During the space of more than six 
hundred years, Rome had not been violated by the presence 
of a foreign enemy ; and even long before, as w' ell as during 
that period, her power had been feared abroad. 

§ Tlie weakness of Honorius, among other causes, encouraged the 
attack of the barbarians upon the empire. From the wilds of Scan- 
dinavia, that northern hive, as it has been fitly called, as well as from 
the east, they issued in almost incredible numbers. Previously to 
their descent upon Italy, the Goths, under Alaric, had spread their 
devastations quite to the borders of the eastern capital, and through 
the classic fields of Greece. 

Stilicho made a stand against the invaders. AMiile they beseiged 
Asta, where the forces of Honorius had taken refuge, Stilicho cut 
his way through the Gothic camp under the walls of that place, and 
thus rescued the emperor. The Goths afterwards pitching iheir 
camp in the vicinity of Pollentia, were suddenly attacked by Stilicho, 
and several thousands of them were slain. Amoii>j the captives was 
the wife of Alaric, who was compelled to implore the clemency of 
the victor. The Goths, however, were but partially checked in con- 
sequence of this victory. 

Stilicho might, perhaps, have delayed for some time the fall of the 
empire, but iiis plans were frustrated by the machinations of his. ri- 
vals, and he fell a victim to the suspicions of the ungrateful emperor, 
408 A. C. 

Alaric had long stood in a menacing attitude, and now prepared 
to complete his designs upon Italy. About this time, vast nmnbers 



of Gotlis pouring down upon Germany, forced the nations whom 
they dispossessed, to fall upon Italy. These joined their arms to 
those of Alaric, Avho made an attack on Rome. 

He met with success ; and this great city, which liad so long been 
the terror of the world, was sacked, plundered and partially burnt, 
410 A. C, by the savage tribes of Germany and Scythia. The popu- 
lation of Rome, at this time, might amount to 1,200,000 men ; but 
the nobles were wholly sunk in luxury and effeminacy, and the 
populace had become exceedingly debased, by the manimiission of 
slaves or the influx of foreigners. They were nothing more than 
the shadow of their ancestors in bravery and spirit. Hence the suc- 
cess of the arms of the barbarian. 

The catastrophe which Rome experienced, was hastened also by 
famine. War had prevented the cultivation of the lands, and the 
ports being blocked up, the citizens were reduced to the greatest ex- 
tremities — human flesh Avas publicly sold. 

Treachery completed the work. The Salarian gate was opened 
at midnight, by some of the Romans themselves, and the enemy 
rushed in. The scene was dreadful ; for although the conqueror, in 
his magnanimity had given orders that none except the armed 
should be killed, great numbers of citizens were put to death, and 
larger numbers still, were reduced from aflluence to want and cap 
tivity. Though tlie city was pillaged and set on fire, it is thoughi 
that few, comparativ'ely, of its magnificent edifices were destroyed. 

Alaric now prepared to invade Sicily and Africa, luit 
death suddenly put an end to his ambitious projects. He 
died after a short illness. Honorius, instead of improving 
this opportunity to recover his lost provinces, entered into a 
treaty with Ataulfus, Alaric's successor, gave hirn in mar- 
riage his sister, Placidia, and ceded to him a portion of Spain. 
By these and other acts, Honorius suflined the empire, by 
degrees, to pass from the dominion of the Romans. Ho- 
norius continued to reign till the year 422. 

13. Valentinian HI. was crowned two years after the 
death of Honorius, 424 A. C. He w^as the son of Constnn- 
tius, a general of Honorius, and during seven months, an as- 
sociate with him in the government. In 439, the emperor 
/ost his dominions in Africa, by the revolt of Count Boniface, 
who delivered that part of the empire to the Yandals. 

§ Aetius, a general of Valentinian, being jealous of Boniface, by 
means of his artifices drew the latter into a revolt, and was em- 
ployed on the part of the empire to punish him on this account. 
Boniface defeated the first army that was sent against him ; but dis- 
trusting his strength to cope singly with his enemies, he was in- 
duced to call in the assistance of Genseric, king of tlie Vandals. The 
hieasure. however, was ruinous to his cause. 


The Vandal having thus obtained a footing in Africa, wi;ich he 
greatly desired, could not be prevailed on afterwards, by the offer of 
large ?ums of money, to retreat. Although the compact between 
the two generals was, that they should divide Africa between them, 
Genseric occupied the whole country, except three cities, and these 
ne soon took. 

Shutting up Boniface in Carthage, he compelled him, at the ex 
piralion of a year, to surrender; and the Roman general experienced 
Ihe mortification of beholding all Africa, which he had once saved, 
ravaged in the most wanton manner by the barbarians whose assist- 
ance he had invited. The kingdcm which Genseric thus establisli- 
ed, did not last quite a century. 

The other provinces of the empire were protected against 
the invasion of the barbarians, by Aetius. The Huns, at this 
time, had begun to make their ravages in the empire. Under 
Attila, their leader, in 445, they first overran Illyricum, 
Thrace, Dacia, and Ma;sia,and laid the Romans under tribute. 
Soon afterwards, with an army of 500,000 men, Attila in- 
vaded Gaul, and threatened the destruction of the em- 
pire. The forces of the Romans, under Aetius, met him in 
l)attle, on the plains of Chalons, and defeating him, with the 
loss of 160.000 men, checked his progress for a time. 

Not long after, however, he invaded Italy, and Valentin- 
ian being shut up in Rome, by the arms of the barbarian, 
was compelled to purchase a peace. Attila dying suddenly, 
in the midst of his successes, the empire of the West was 
saved from imiDediate destruction. 

§ The march of the Huns was extremely desolating. To their 
leader, Attila, the victims of his ambition have given the expressive 
appellation of "Tiie Scourge of God." He first invaded the East, 
wliicii he ravaged at pleasure; its emperor, Theodosius, iieing dis- 
posed rather to conciliate his favour by a tribute, than to attempt 
his expulsion by force of arms. Disdaining so mean spirited an 
enemy, lie turned to the West ; where his appearance has already 
been described. His body was secreily buried, enclosed in three 
coflins, tlie first of gold, the second of silver, and the third of iron. 
Tlie men wlio dug liis grave were put to death, lest they should re- 
veal llie place of his burial. 

Aetius, whose military talents had been so serviceable to 
the empire, soon fell a victim to the jealousy of the eunuch 
Heraciius, anrl Valentinian stabbed him witli his own hand. 
The next year the emperor himself was assassinated. 

14. Maximus II. wlio had instigated the murder of Val- 
entinian, was proclaimed, 455 A. C. He married Eudoxia, 


the widow of his predecessor, to whom lie imprudently re- 
vealed his guilt in the assassination of the emperor. To re- 
venge this deed, she called in tlie assistance of Genseric, 
king of the Vandals. Upon his arrival, Maximus fled, but 
he met the vengeance of his people, who stoned him to death 
on account of his cowardice. 

§ Maximus was a Roman senator of the Ancian family, and was in- 
cited to the destruction of Valentinian, by the dishonour which the 
latter had cast upon his wife. However respectable Maximus was 
in private life, his abilities were inadequate to stay the fall of the em- 
pire, had he been longer contirmed. 

Eiidoxia had reason to repent of her imprudence. The 
call upon Genseric for aid, well comported with his private^ 
sinister aims. After he had landed in Italy, with an army 
of Moors and Vandals, he took Rome, delivered it up to pil- 
lage during several days, destroyed many of the monument? 
of ancient genius, and conveyed the empress and her two 
daughters back with him in triumph to Carthage. 

15. From the death of Maximus, 455 A. G. there was a 
succession of eight empeiors, during twenty years ; at the 
expiration of which, as we shall soon learn, the empire ter- 
mmated. Little more than their names can be mentioned 

§ Avitus was acknowledged in Gaul by his troops. Having crea- 
ted Ricimer, a Roman senator, general of his armies, the latter soop 
entered into a conspiracy against his benefactor; and Avitus, at first 
arrested and deposed, at last died while on the road to Italy, 457 
A. C. Ricimer, though an able commander, was a savage and tur- 
bulent demagogue. 

Majoriaa was proclaimed after the deposition of Avitus. He 
made an unsuccessful attempt against the kingdom of t!ie Vandals 
in Africa. This emperor published several wise laws for the refor- 
mation of abuses, but the reputation which he acquired for wisdom 
and virtue, excited the jealousy of Ricimer, who deposed and slew 
him, 461 A. C. 

Severus HI. was created emperor by Ricimer, who governed un- 
der his name. Ricimer, after the expiration of four years, found it 
convenient to poison the nominal master of himself and the empire. 

Athemius was called to the empire by the united suffrages of 
the senate, the army, and the people, in 4C)7. To attach Ricimer to 
his interest, who was become extremely formidable, he gave him, 
his daughter in marriage. Ricimer, however, soon having a dif- 
ference with his father-in-law, besieged and pillaucd Rome. Du- 
ring this transaction the emperor was murdered. 

Olybrius, who was sent with an army by Leo, emperor of thp 


East, to protect Athemius against Ricimer, was seduced by the lat- 
ter and proclaimed emperor, but died three months after, 472. 

Glycerus, an obscure soldier, favoured by a Burgundian prince, 
assumed the title of emperor at Ravenna; but Leo had conferred it 
on Julius Nepos, wlio look Glycerus prisoner, and caused him to be 
consecrated bishop of Salona, 473. 

Julius Nepos was proclaimed at Rome 474. The next year, Ores- 
tes, a Panuonian, wliom he sent into Gaul, revolted, and besieged the 
emperor in Ravenna. Nepos escape<l into Dalmatia, where at the 
end of five years he was assassinated. 

Augustulus son of Orestes was made emperor by his father. 
After a reign of eleven months, he was taken prisoner by Odoacer 
king of the Heruli, and sent into Campania, where he lived hi a 
private station. 

1(». Tu the Eastern Empire, after its final separation from 
i'.he West, in the time of Theodosius, 395 A. C., there were 
i.ransactions wliich deserve our notice. Theodosius, as we 
have seen, assigned the East to his son Arcadius. This 
piince was then eighteen years of age, and he proved to be 
both weak and dissolute. He sulFered liimseH'to be governed 
by favourites, and at length l)y Eudoxia, his empress, wlio 
made it her great object to plunder the revenues of the state. 

17. Thedosius II. son of Arcadius, succeeded to the em- 
pire 408. He has tlie reputation of having been a prince of 
mild disposition, and piety of conduct, but otherwise desti- 
tute of those qualities that are essential to a sovereign. But 
his deficiencies were supplied by the genius and address of 
nis sister, Pulcheria, who aided in the administration of the 
the government. The latter part of his life was greatly dis- 
turl)ed by the invasions of the Barbarians. 

§ Pulcheria, whose talents for government were extraordinary, 
sought to strengthen her influence and power, by securing for her 
brother a companion in marriage, who, as she ho[)ed, would ever be 
grateful to her benefactress. The person on whom her choice, as 
well as that of Theodosius, fell, was the beautiful and learned Athe- 

Chance had made her known to Pulcheria. She was the daughter 
of an Athenian pliiiosopher, who had taken the greatest care of her 
education. Sucli was Ids conviction of her entire accomplishment 
in every respect, 'that in the disposition of his properly, he left his 
two sons the whole of it, except one hundred pieces of gold, with 
the declaration lliat " her own good fortune would be sufficient for 

With a view to obtain her just sliarc of the inheritance from lier 
brothers, after slie had tried t!ie forinsof law in vain, the Athenian 
maiden came to claim the interference and protection of Pulcheria, 



at Constantinople. Her sense and merit highly pleased the pi-incesg, 
and i:i connection with her charms, won the heart of Theouosius. 
In 431 she embraced Cliristianity, and was baptised by the name of 
Eudocia, and the same year was imited to the emperor in marriage. 
She treated her brothers with singular magnanimity, raising them 
to the rank of consuls and prfefects, and though she at length lost 
the affections of Theodosius on an imputation of infidelity, and 
chose to retire to Jerusalem, she ever protested that she was wholly 
nnocent. She died about 460, ten years after the death of her 

18. Mai'cian, a native of Thrace, was called to the llirone 
by Pulclieria 450, whose hand also he received in marriage. 
After a reign of seven years, he departed this life, while pre- 
paring for a war against Genseric, king of the Vandals. 

§ Marcian possessed some eminent qualities, as is evinced by his 
reply to Attila when the latter claimed the annual tribute, consented 
to by Theodosius. " I have," said he, " gold for my friends, and 
iron for my enemies." 

19. Leo I., also a native of Thrace, was called to the em- 
pire on the death of Marcian 457 A. C. He reigned till 
nearly the period of the destruction of the Western empire. 
He had some domestic enemies, who gave him trouble; though 
he finally crushed Asper, through whose influence he had 
been raised to the throne, and who at length revolted against 
his mastei'. During the latter part of his reign, his domi- 
nions were much ravaged by the Goths. He died a natural 
death, at an advanced age, 474 A. C. 

§ liBo Tst has been greatly praised by some historians, and cen- 
sured by others. An instance of his temperate firmness m resisting 
the oppression of his patron Asper, is recorded as follows: — 

Asper had presumed to reproach him with a breach of promise, 
in regard to a certain appointment. "It is not proper," said he, in- 
solently shaking the purple, "that the man who is invested with 
this garment, sliould Ix! guilty of a falsehood." "Nor is it proper,'- 
retorted Leo, " that a prince should be compelled to resign liis own 
judgment and the public interest, to the pleasure of a subject." 


20. Of Persia, daring this period, we have only to say in 
general, tliat it was governed successively by eight princes, of 
whom Sapores II. was the most distinguished ; that at the 
begitming, and towards the conclusion of the period, the na- 
tion wnrrcd against the Romans; but that through the inter- 
mediate space, the most profound peace subsisted between the 

CHINA. 67 

two powers. A few particulars respecting some of the Per- 
sian sovereigns, will appear below. 

§ Saporcs, II., who was crowned before his b;rth, in ihe person of 
his mother, began to persecute the Christians of nis dominions in 326. 
In a few years after, he endeavoured to recover the five provinces 
yielded by liis grandfather, Narses, to the Romans, but was terribly 
defeated Ijy Constantius. After this event, he gained a celebrated 
battle at Sirigate, in Mesopotamia, andtook several cities. 

In the war with Julian, in 303, he was pursued into the very 
Iieart of his dominions, but was delivered by the death of that em- 
peror. He died in 390, after a reign of seventy years. His charac- 
ter was a compound of pride and ferocity. He cruelly persecuted 
the Christians, during forty years. 

Saporcs III., was a wise prince ; he lived at peace with the Ro- 
mans, and died lamented. Under Isdigartes I., a persecution of the 
Christians commenced, wliicli continued fifty years, during his reign 
and that of some of his successors. 


21. During this period, the seventh dynasty of the empe- 
rors of China terminated ; as also the eighth, a little after the 
conclusion of the period. 

Under the first of these, the empire, which had been divi- 
ded into three, became united. It continued one hundred and 
fifty-five years, under fifteen emperors. It is called the di- 
nasty of Tcin-ou-ti. The eighth was the dynasty of Song. 
It began under a revolted general, 420 A. C, and lasted fifty- 
nine years, under eight emperors, 

§ One of the sovereigns of the 8th dynasty, whose name Avas Venti, 
was killed by his own son, and the ])arricide fell by the hands of 
his brother. The latter made himsrif many enemies by the freedom 
of his speech, for whicli, in the end, lie lost his life. One of his 
wives, whom he had ofTended by calling her old, stifled Inm in his 

Distinguished Characters in Period II. 

1. Lactantius, an elegant writer, and an al^le defender of 
Christianity : sometimes called the Christian Cicero. 

2. Ossian, a Caledonian bard. 

3. Eusebius, an eminent ecclesiastical historian. 

4. Eutropius, a Latin historian and sophist. 

5. Julian, a Ronvin emperor, an acute, but malignant in- 
fidel philosopher. 

G. Basil, the Great, an eminent father in the church. 


7. Greenery Nazianzen, a theological and polemical \\ riter. 

8. Claudian, an elegant Latin poet. 

9. St. Chrysostom, and I Learned and eloquent ministers 

10. St. Augustine, '\ and writers. 

§ 1. Lactantiiis proved the truth of the Christian religion, and ex- 
posed the absurdities of paganism. He was the most eloquent of 
the ecclesiastical Latin writers of his age. His principal works. 
are his treatises concerning the Divine Wrath, and the Works of 
God, and his Divine Institutions. The last, in seven books, is written 
with uncommon elegance and purity. As a theologian, he had 
some errors. He died in 325. 

2. Ossian was a rude Caledonian. He is supposed to have flou- 
rished in the fourth century, and to have been the son of Fingal. 
He wrote in Gaelic ; and the poems that go by his name, translated 
by Macpherson, are marked by a simple and sublime wildness. If 
they are really Ossian's, he must be considered as the first of the poets 
of this period. There is, however, strong ground of doubt, in respect 
to the authenticity of these poems, as a whole. 

3. Eusebius died in 333 A. C. He was bishop of Caesarea, and 
enjoyed the favour of Constantine. He opposed Arius, although he 
held to a certain disparity and subordination in the Godhead. He 
was a man of immense readUig, and was greatly versed in ecclesi- 
astical history and sacred erudition. He distinguislied himself by 
his writings, which consisted of an ecclesiastical history, the life of 
Constantine, evangelical pi-eparations, and many other treatises, 
most of which are now lost. 

4. Eutropius lived in the age of Julian, under whom he was a 
soldier in the war against Persia. He is supposed to have been a 
Roman Senator. He wrote several works ; but none of them re- 
main except his Roman History. This was an epitome of the trans- 
actions of Rome, from tlie age of Romulus to the reign of Valens. 
It is characterised by conciseness and precision, but not by elegance. 

5. Julian, as has been already narrated, was elevated to the throne, 
301 A. C. He then, although he had been educated according to the 
principles of the Gospel, publicly disavowed its truths, and offered 
solemn .sacrifices to all the Gods of Ancient Rome. This change of 
religious opinion, was attributed to the austere maimer with which 
he was instructed in Christianity; thougli others at^cribe it to his in- 
tercourse with the philosophers of Athens, and their influence over 
his mind. From tliis circumstance, the appellation of apostate, has 
been attached to him. Some of Ids writings have been preserved, 
in which he has shown great powers of ridicule in a bad cause. But 
we need not repeat the particulars that have already been given, res- 
[jecting his ciiaracter and writing.s. 

6. Basil, snrnamed the Great, was bishop of Ciiesarea. He was 
persecuted by Valens, for refusing to embrace A.rianism. Accord- 
inof to Mosheim, "in point of genius, controversial «kill, and a rich 
and flowing elotjucnce, he was surpassed l)y very I'evv oCJus contem- 
poraries." He died in 379. 


7. Gregory Nazianzen, was siirnamed the divine. He was patri- 
irch of Constantinople, but the right to that station being disputed, 

he abandoned it. His birtli occurred in 32 1, and his death in 389. 
He held an honourable place among the theological and political wri- 
ters of the times. His writings compare well with those of the Gre- 
cian orators, in elo(pience and variety. His sermons are better 
adapted to philosophers than common hearers, but are, nevertheless, 
not wanting in seriousness and devotion. He most ably defended 
(he orthodox faith concerning the Trinity. 

8. Claudian was a native of Alexandria, in Egypt, and flourished 
in the age of Honorius and Arcadius. His style is not corrupted by 
the false taste of the age. But although he wrote elegant verses, 
lie depicted no powerful passions, and exhibited no commanding 
genius. His matter was meagre, but his language was pure, his ex- 
pressions happy, and his numbers melodious. His best compositions 
are his poems on Rufinus and Eutropius. 

9. St. Chrysostom, John, was so called on account of his extraor- 
dinary eloquence. He was born at Antioch, of a noble family, about 
354, consecrated bishop of Constantinople in 398, and died in 407. 
His works are voluminous. He was an elegant preaclier, and pos- 
sessed a noble genius. On account of his severity in opposing the 
corruption of the times, he procured himself many enemies. He was 
go great a disciplinarian, that he even recommended to private be- 
lievers, though very injudiciously, the use of outward violence, in re- 
sisting the wickedness of men. 

10. St. Augustine was bishop of Hippo, in Africa. He led an aus- 
tere life, and died in his seventy-sixth year, 430 A. C. He distinguish- 
ed himself by his writings, and his reputation is great, even to this 
day. He was characterised by a sublime genius, an unintermitted 
pursuit of truth, an indefatigable application, an invincible patience, 
a sincere piety, and a subtle and lively wit. The solidity and ac- 
curacy of his judgment, were not, however, proportionable to his 
eminent talents in other respects. 

Augustine's book concerning the City of God, has been pronounced 
to be " a work extremely rich and ample in point of matter, and fill- 
ed with tlie most profound and diversified erudition." In all his 
writings, this father displayed an extensive acquaintance with Pla- 
to's philosophy. 


The period of the Justinian Code, and of the Wars of 
Bclisarius ; extending from the Extijiction of the 
Western Empire, 476 years A. C, to the flight of 
Mahomet, 622 years A. C. 

The dark ages, as they have been commonly called, crramenced 


with Ihis period. The human intellect, and the state of society, ha(J 
i''v some time previous, been retrograde. But upon the conquest of 
ilie Western Empire by the barbarians, the darkness became more 
especially obvious, and we shall find it prevailing^ over the nations, 
'.liough with some intervals of light, nearly 1000 years. It is believ- 
ed, however, that mankind have been apt to overrate, in some res- 
pects, the infelicities of the dark ages, and to forget, that after all, 
strong proofs were at times afl"orded, of intellectual vigour, and of the 
high enjoyment of life. A few men of distinguished abilities ap- 
peared during the present period, though, in general, the age is not 
to be compared with several that preceded it. 

Sec. 1. We have now to record the melancholy extinction 
of the Western Empire of the Romans — an empire, the most 
powerful that has ever existed. This event occurred, 476 
A. C. upon tlie taking of Rome by Odoacer, prince of the 
Heruli. Romulus, surnamed Augustulus, was at that time 
on tiie throne. Odoacer, having- subdued Italy, and taken 
its capital, spared the life of Augustulus, upon condition of 
his resigning tlie empire. 

§ The empire having been long beset on every side by barbarians, 
great numbers of them were admitted into the Roman legions, to 
jjrotect it against the rest. These, in the reign of Augustulus, having 
revolted, demanded a third part of the lands of Italy, as a settlement 
for themselves and families. This being refused, they advanced to 
Rome, under Odoacer, and as conquerors, held the country. 

Odoacer was an officer of the emperor's guards, at the head of the 
barbarians wlio had enlisted in the armies. Wiien he had secured 
Rome, Augustulus, who was a feeble youth, was directed to express 
his resignation to the senate, while that body, in an epistle to Zeno, 
emperor of the East, disclaimed the necessity of continuing the im- 
perial succession in Italy, since, in the submissive language of adula- 
tion, they observed, "the majesty of the monarc!i of Constantinople, 
was sufficient to defend both the East and the West :" at tlie same 
lime they begged the favour, that the emperor would invest Odoacer 
with the title of patrician, and the administration of the diocese of 
Italy. Their request was granted, and to Augustulus, w^as assigned 
a splendid income, to support him in a private station. 

Thus the Western Empire of Rome jiassed from tlie hands 
of its ancient masters, into the possession of the barbarians, 
who had so long harassed it by their invasions. As an em- 
pire, it had existed more than five hundred years, computing 
the time from the battle of Actium. The whole [leriod of 
its duration, from the building of (he city, was more than 
twelve hundred years. 

The ruin of tlie Roman empire, was the result of its great 
extent, connected with its moral corruption. The perfections 


of God are concerned in accomplishing, b}^ natural causes, 
the extinction of enormously guilty nations. Rome, having 
become a mass of luxury, weakness, and profligac}^, fell, at 
last, an easy prey to the barbarous tribes that poured in upon 
its dominions. 

§ The Northern invaders did not originate the catastrophe which 
Rome experienced ; tliey scarcely hastened it. As much of crime 
and barbarism a^ they brousrlit witli them, they became, upon their 
settlement in the south of l']urn[)e, as reputable, at least, as the na- 
tive citizens themselves. Without the agency of these invaders, 
darkness and barbarism would have visited the Roman world, from 
the operation of causes within its own bosom ; especially from the 
extreme profligacy and irrelision which prevailed among all classes. 

While the Roman empire in the 'West, thus fell into ruins, the sis- 
ter empire in the East, which appealed to be in a similar situation, 
not only continued to stand, but even existed for the space of nearly 
one thousand years more, though in comparative imbecility and de- 
pression. It existed, notwithstanding it suffered all the internal 
evils which ])roduce the ruin of a state, and was shaken by all the 
storms, which burst upon the nations, during the middle ages. 
This phenomenon, which has not a parallel in the history of the 
world, may, in some measure, be explained from the almost impreg 
nable site of its capital alone, in connexion with the despotism, 
which sometimes remains the last support of fdlen nations. 

We shall continue the portion of its history belonging to this 
period, before we bring into view the new state of things, consequent 
on the occupation of Italy and the West by the barbarians. The 
recent kingdom which they loundcd, deserves a separate account. 

2. The Eastern Empire of the Romans, sometimes called 
the Greek Empire, and the Empire of Constantinople, was 
at this time. (474 A. C.) under the sway of Zcno. son-in-law 
to Leo. He was odious, on account of his debauchery ; and 
after having once fled from his throne, and been restored to it. 
and engaged in the 3upi)ression of several conspiracies, he 
met with a miserable end, being buried alive. He reigned 
about seventeen years. 

§ Leo TI., son of Zeno, and grandson to Leo I., Avas designed for the 
empire ; but beinsr of tender ajre when his ffrandfathcr died, Zeno 
was made regent.' But the death of the child, the same year, left 
Zcno in the possession of the throne. The intrigues of the empress 
Verina, his mother-in-law, embiUered his life, and distracted his 
reign. Slic aided one or two of the conspiracies that were carried 
on against him. 

He came to his end by an awful act of Ariadne, his wife. She 
loved him not, and profiting by an epileptic fit, to which the emperor 
was subject, caused him to be precipitately interred. When the 


sepulchre was opened, a few days after, it was found that Zeno had 
devoured the flesh off his own arms. 

3. Anastasius, an officer of the palace, marrying the widow 
of Zeno, was raised to the throne, 491 A. C. He was old 
at this time, but reigned about twenty-seven years. The 
beginning of his reign was auspicious, but it was otherwise 
in the end. He died a natural deatli, in his eightieth year. 

4. Justin 1., the Thracian, ascended the thione after the 
death of Anastasius. He governed with great prudence. In 
526, he sent the celebrated Belisarius against the Persians, 
wIjo had broken the truce subsisting between the two em- 
pires. The emperor, however, died before the conclusion of 
the war, having reigned about nine years. 

§ Justin was the son of a ploughman, and rose by his talents to 
the first military dignities, before he was chosen emperor. He was 
so illiterate, however, as to be unable to write his own name, and 
secured respect, only by the good sense which he manifested in the 
choice of his counsellors. 

5. Justinian I., nephew of Justin, assumed the reins of 
government, 527 A. C. His personal character was far from 
inspiring respect ; but his reign was successful, and he was 
extremely fortunate in his generals and counsellors. The 
exploits of his generals, and the production of the code of 
laws that goes by his name, of which the learned Trebonian 
was the author, form an era in history. 

Towards the brave and noble Belisarius, the warrior who 
at first fought his battles, the emperor was ungrateful in the 
extreme. This great general, by his arms and policy, pre- 
served his master on his throne, when his expulsion from it 
was hkely to be effected, by the civil factions which raged at 
Constantinople. He also defeated the Persians in three san- 
guinary battles, in different years ; destroyed the kingdom of 
the Yandals in Africa, and recovered that province to the em- 
pire; and wrested Itfuy from its Gothic sovereign, restoring it 
for a short space of time, to the authority of its ancient masters. 

Italy, however, was once more subdued by the Gotlis. 
From this time the fortunes of Belisarius began to change. 
He was compelled to evacuate Italy, having been more than 
once recalled, through the emperor's meanness and jealousy. 
On his linal return to Constantinople, his long services were 
repaid witli disgrace, and he was superseded in the command 
-jf the armies, by the eunuch Narses. 


§ Belisarius, more than any other general during the later periods 
of the empire, revived the fainting glory of Rome. On the plains 
of Dara, he defeated the Persians, with great slaughter; and his eon- 
duct, in the sedition of Constantinople, secured the esteem of the 
emperor. When Justinian, by favouring a certain faction,* had near- 
ly involved himself in destruction, and was about to seek his safety 
in flight, Hehsarius, amidst the uprpar and confusion which pre- 
vailed, came to the aid of his master. A corps of three thousand 
veteran troops he led against the populace of Constantinople, and it 
is computed that no less tlian thirty thousand persons perished in 
the carnage. So signal a chastisemc ut had the effect of overawing 
the infuriated and divided citizens ; and the games of the circus, out 
of which the contention arose, were, during several years, interdicted. 

The war which Belisarius carried on against the Vandals, in Africa, 
was marked by signal success; but no particulars need to be rciated, 
except that Belisarius was recalled by the jealousy of Justinian, and 
that his victories and prompt obedience, secured liim the honours of 
a triumph. 

In the war against the Gothic power in Italy, 537 A. C. Justinian was 
equally fortunate through the exploits of his illustrious lieutenant, 
and equally mean in his conduct towards this hero. The Gothic 
forces were obliged to retire before the Roman army, upon its land- 
ing in Sicily and Italy. Resistance was made, but in vain. The fame 
of Belisarius, iiad inspired even the degenerate Romans with courage. 

Long before this general readied Rome, the Gothic king had 
abandoned it ; and though the policy was singular, the latter did it 
with a view to Avrest the city from the hands of Belisarius, at some 
future time. In the course of a few jnonths, Vitiges, the Gothic 
king, advanced towards Rome, at the head of one hundred thousand 
warriors. The inconsiderable army of Belisarius, however, per- 
formed prodigies of valour, and not only defended Rome, during a 
long siege, but, with the aid of some reinforcements from the East, 
obliged the Gothic king to retire, first to Ravenna, and at last to sur- 
render all the towns and villages of Italy. 

This wiis no sooner effected, than the jealousy of Justinian re- 
manded his lieuten;mt to Constantinople ; nor was the latter allowed 
the honour of a second triumph. But tliough the conduct of the 
emperor towards him was utterly despicable, the admiration of the 
people was an ample indemnity. 

Tiie valour of Belisarius, at this era, saved the East ; but there is 
no time to recount his achievements. Sufiice it to say, that the 
necessity of the emperor, induced him again to appoint Belisarius 
to the command of Italy, inasmuch as it had been nearly overrun. 

* There were two dictions in Constantinople, which were distinguished by a 
diversit}' of colour. The support of one or other of these, became necessary, to 
every candidate for civil or ecclesiastical honors. The greens were attached to 
the family or sect of Anastasius : the lihies were devoted to orthodoxy, and 
Justinian. The latter, the emperor favoured during five years, thougli their 
tumults endangered equally his own safety, and tiie peace of t!ie city. 



during this interval, by the arms of the brave and virtuous Totila. 
No sooner, however, had he a prospect of driving the Gothic king 
from Italy, than he was called off to some less important warfare, 
which was intended as a disgrace to him. 

The declining years of tlie life of this hero, were passed in Con- 
stantinople ; but even at that late period, they were crowned by a 
victory, in which he saved the ungratefnl .lustiniiui and his capital 
from, the ravages of the Bulgarians. The unnatural suspicions of 
ihe emperor followed him to the grave; for even in extreme old 
age, he suffered in his property and comforts, for a time, from the 
false imptitation of conspiracy. 

Nai'ses, who was able in cotiiicil, was also successful in 
war. He had the honour of completing the conquest of Ita- 
ly, by defeating Tolila, in a decisive engagement, in which 
the Gothic king was slain. Under the title of duke, Narses, 
gaining some other victories, governed Italy with ability foi 
thirteen years. 

.Tustinian died in his eighty-third year. He would be but 
little thought of by mankind, were it not for those illustrious 
men who fought his battles, and presided in his councils. He 
had the sagacity to perceive their merits, and happy would it 
Jiave been, had he possessed the magnanimity to reward them. 
His vices were meanness, vanity, caprice, and tyranny : his 
v'irtues were chastity, temperance, vigilance, and studiousness. 
v'v'e pretend not to determine which preponderated. 

Imposing as was Ins reign, he lived in a miserable age. 
His sulijects wei'e continually atllicted by war, pestilence, and 
famine. The empire shone out with a degree of brilliancy 
under his auspices, but after bis death it shone no more. Its 
history, so far as it is necessary to notice it, is henceforth 
made up, more than ever, of disasters, miseries, and crimes. 

6. Upon the death of Justinian, his nephew, Justin II. 
ascended the throne, .565 A. C. He was a man of weak in- 
lellect, and was governed by his consort, Sophia, though his 
L'ltentions appear to have been good. The troubles and cala- 
(nities which befel his family and empire, threw him into an 
incurable frenzy. In consequence of this event, Tiberius, his 
son-in-law, was associated in the empire. It was soon after Jiis 
eievaiiua, that the Lombards established themselves in Italy. 
In his reign, not only was Italy lost again to the empire, 
but Africa desolated, and the East ravaged by the Persians. 
5 The advice whiclv .lustin gave to Tiberius, upon tlie introduction 
of the latter to the empire, was worthy of any prince. " Love. ' 


said he, "the people as yourself; cultivate the affections, and main- 
tain the discipline ol the army ; protect the fortunes of the rich, 
and relieve the necessities of the poor." The last four years of his 
life were passed in tranquiUity. He reigned nine years alone, and 
four in connexion with Tiberius. 

7. Tiberius, who assumed the name of Constantine, was 
sole possessor of the throne in 578. His reign was short, 
but it was rendered glorious by his defeat of the Persians. 
He was accounted a just, humane, temperate, and brave 

§ On his death-bed, Tiberius bestowed his diadem on his son-in-law, 
Maurice, who had proved himself an excellent general. 

8. Maurice, a native of Cappadocia, ascended the throne 
582 A. C. He reigned twenty 3'ears, m almost continual 
turbulence. He chose his predecessors for his model, nor 
was he destitute of sense and courage, in whatever he under- 
took for the welfare of his subjects. Avarice is said to have 
been his great failing ; but it is more probable, that his rigid 
\nrtue and economy were not duly appreciated in those cor- 
aij)t times. 

In 602, he obliged his army to take up their winter quar- 
ters beyond the Danube, upon which a revolt ensued, and 
Pliocas, being proclaimed emperor, advanced to Constantino- 
ple. Mainice and his children were cruelly slain. 
§ After Maurice fell into the hands of Phocas, the jealous and cruel 
rebel caused the emperor to be dragged from his sanctuary at Chal- 
cedon, and his five sons to be mur.'lered, one after the other, before 
Ills eyes. Maurice bore this agonizing sight with such firmness and 
resion:ition, that he repeated, witli streaming tears, at every wound, 
the words of David, "Thou art just, O Lord ! in all thy judgments." 

Wlien a nurse generously concealed a royal infant, and otlered her 
own to the executioner, Maurice was too rigidly honest not to reveal 
the deception. The tragic scene was closed with the execution of 
the emperor himself, who fell on the dead bodies of his children. 
Whatsufl'erings have not princes and their families been often called 
to sustain — sufferings far surpassing the common lot of men ! 

9. Phocas seated himself on the throne 602 A. C. His 
character was despicable. His empire was ravaged by the 
Persians, and numerous seditions arose to disturb his peace. 
At kist, Heraclius, governor of Africa, sent his son against 
him with a fleet, whicli quickly arrived at Constantinople. 
Tlie emperor, forsaken by liis people, on whom he had inflict- 
ed all manner of cruelties, was soon beheaded, and his body 
was treated v.iih the greatest indignity. 


§ The cruelty of Phocas towards the family of his predecessor 
knew no bounds. He finally caused the innocent empress, Constan- 
tina, and her three daughters, to be executed on the same spot where 
her husband and sons had suffered, three years before. 

10. Heraclius I., was crowned 610 A. C. His reign ex- 
tended several years into the next succeeding period. The 
Persians ravaged his empire ; but terribly defeating them in 
six succcGsive campaigns, he brought them to a peace. He 
reigned more tlian thirty years. 

During the last part of his reign, the foundation was laid of the 
caliphate of the Saracens, under the impostor Mahomet, whose his- 
tory will claim our attention at the beginning of the next period. 


11. The kingdom wliich was estabUshed on the ruins of 
the Western Empire of the Romans, is sometimes called the 
KINGDOM OF ITALY. That couutry was held and governed, 
for the most part, by its northern conquerors, through the 
space of nearly three hundred years. During this time, 
however, there were several transfers of the sovereignt}^, from 
one of the barbarous tribes to another. The Heruli, who 
conquered the country in 476, held it till 493. It then passed 
from their hands into the possession of the Goths, or Ostro- 
goths, who held it till the year 568, when the Lombards seiz- 
ed and conquered the country. They were masters of the 
greatest portion of it, a little more than two centuries. The 
period of which we treat, will carry the history of Italy only 
through a part of the above named space of time. 

12. The kingdom of the Heruli in Italy, was of short con- 
tinuance. Odoacer, their king, reigned thirteen years without 
opposition ; but at the conclusion of that period, Theodoric, 
king of the Ostrogoths, or Eastern Goths, invaded Italy, and 
after a struggle of four years, defeated and slew Odoacer, 
usurping his dominions, 493 A. C. 

§ In the year 489, Theodoric twice overcame Odoacer in battle ; but 
being betrayed by one of his general officers, he retired to Pavia, 
where he was besieged by Odoacer. In his distress, Theodoric called 
in the assistance of the Visogoths, and gained a third victory in 490. 
Odoacer, shutting himself up in Ravenna, vigorously defended the 
place for three years. He was at last forced to enter into a treaty 
with Theodoric, and obtained a stipulation that 1 's life should be 
spared. The Gothic monarch, however, perfidiously caused him tc 
be assassinated. 


]2i The kingdom of the Ostrogoths (eastern Goths) 
began, 493. Tlieodoric, (commonly surnamed the great,) 
their king, was now acknowledged the sovereign of the coun- 
try, and fixed his residence at Ravenna. He was an Arian 
in principle, but protected the Catholics. He reigned about 
thirty-three years. His administration of government showed 
him to be an able prince. The people were probably bene- 
fitted by a change of masters. 

§ Theodoric, at the age of six years, was given as a liostage to Leo 
I. and remained thirteen years at ('onstantinople. He succeeded 
his father in Pannonia in 475. His success in his invasion of 
Italy, has already been mentioned. After a few years, hisdominions 
consisted not only of Italy, and Sicily, but also of Dalmalia, 
N'oricum, the two lJlioetia.s, Pannonia, and Provence. The latter 
[)art of liis reign was tarnished by cruelty and suspicion. In 
the indulgence of these propensities, he put to death the celebrated 

13. The successors of Theodoric, in the Gothic kingdom 
of Italy, were seven in number. It was during the reign of 
several of these monarchs, that the events already related re- 
specting the invasion and conquest of Italy by Belisarius and 
Narses, occurred. The best known of the Gothic kings of 
this country are Theodotus, Vitiges, and Totila. After the 
death of Theias, the last of them, the Goths endeavoured, 
under several leader-, to re-er^tablisli their dominions, but 
were subdued by the eunuch, Narses, who administered the 
government as duke, till 567 A. C. 

14. The kingdom of the Lombards followed, in 568 
A. C. Alboin, king of this people, was invited into Italy by 
Narses, to avenge the insult he received from the emperor, 
Justin II., in his recall. Alboin penetrated into Italy, and 
was proclaimed its king at the date above nientiuned. He 
reigned but a short time. 

§ His end was tragical, its it perhaps deserved to be. Having killed 
Cuiiiniund, king of the GepidLe, in a single combat, he married Ro- 
semond, that king-s beautiful daugliter, and made a drinking cup of 
her father's skull, out of which he obliged his queen to drink. She 
dissembled her indignant feeiin;;s, but applied to two officers for re- 
venge. One of them had been alfronted by the king, and the other 
she knew was enamoured of her person. These slie admitted into 
the chamber where the king slept, who was immediately murdered, 
while she contrived to effect her escape to Kavenna. 

15. During the remainder of the present period, there 
were four kin-js, the successors of Alboin, but none of them 



were distinguished. An anarchy, of ten year's continuance 
look place after the death of one of the kings, during which 
Italy was governed by thirty dukes. 

§ Autharis, one of the kings, after his accession, in 584, confirmed 

the dukes in their autliority, on condition of their paying him half 

of their revenues, and serving under his command in times of war, 

with troops levied within their respective jurisdictions. This is con- 

idered by some, as the origin of the feudal system. 


1(3. Severi kings in succession, swayed the sceptre of 
Persia during this period. Of these, Chosroes II., the great, 
was the most conspicuous. During much of the time, the 
Persians were at war witii tlie Romans. Sanguinary battles 
were fought, and provinces were taken and retaken. The 
Romans at last penetrated into Persia. 

§ Chosroes II. was a warrior. He repeatedly overcame the Roman 
generals, and was as often, perhaps, overcome. In one instance, 
however, he cut to pieces an army of 50,000. The Greek histo- 
rians, who probably exaggerate the matter, represent him as a fe- 
rocious monster. He doubtless had the vices of liis predecessors, 
but surpassed them in great qualities. He reigned nearly fifty years. 

Chosroes HI., son of Hormisdas, possessed the hateful character 
of a parricide. He caused his father to be beaten to death. He re- 
ceived, however, a terrible retribution, in the treatment he expe- 
rienced from his own son. Siroes, the eldest of his sons, liaving re- 
volted, and secured the kingdom, slew all his brothers in his father's 
presence, cast the latter into a prison, where he caused him to expire 
in insuflerable torture, by being incessantly pricked with the points 
of arrows. 

Soon after the expiration of the present period, Persia was 
invaded by the Saracens, and it was not long before it be- 
came a ])art of the empire of the Caliphs. 


17. In the history of China during this period, we find 
four dynasties of its emperors, from the 9th to tlie 12th in- 
clusive. Ti^ey were of short continuance, and included the 
reigns of seventeen sovereigns. Several of these appear to 
have been wise and virtuous men. In the reign of Yang-ti, 
in 605, many canals were cut through the empire, by which 
several rivers were united, and great facility given to com- 

§ One of the sovereigns of the twelfth dynasty, is said to have had a 
v-ery solid, penetrating mind. He loved his people, and did every 

SPAIN. 70 

thing in his power to promote their happiness. He built public 
granaries, which were every year filled with rice and corn, bj'^ the 
opulent, to be distributed among the poor in times of scarcity. He 
improved their music and eloquence. Against corrupt judges, he 
was always inexorable ; and excluded from all public employments, 
tliose whose rank, in life did not render them respectable. 


Before the Empire of the "West was finally subverted by the 
Northern Barbarians, some of the nations which once constituted it, 
had been lost to the empire. This was tiie case, particularly, with 
Spain and Britain. Italy, the seat of the empire, and according to 
the best accounts, France, may date their separate existence, only 
from the annihilation of the Roman power. After that event, these 
several nations, and indet^d all the rest of western Europe, were de- 
tached f:iom one anotlier, and held by the native inhabitants, or go- 
verned liy different tribes of the barbarians of the north. VVe must 
therefore consider them in their separate sovereignties, according to 
the eras in whicli they began to exist independently. We begin 
with Spain. 

IS. SfaiNj wliile constituting a portion of the Roman 
empire, was invaded by the Suevi, the Alains, and the Van- 
dals, about 40(i years A. C, and mostly subdued by these bar- 
jjarous tribes. ExpeUing the Romans, they divided the 
country, a part of vvhicli, viz. Yandalasia, or Andalusia, still 
benr.s tlie name of one of these tribes, (the Yandals.) 

The Alains. in 418, were mostly exterminated by the Os- 
tiogoths. The Suevi remained in the possession of the coun- 
try, under a succession of their kings, till the year 585. The 
Vandals had early, viz. in 427, passed into Africa, and settled 
there, upon the invitation of Count Boniface. 

The Visogoths, who entered Spain in 531, conquered the 
greatest part of the country i^y tlie year 585, and erected a 
monarchy, which existed till 712, when they were subdued by 
the Saracens, or Moors. 

§ Spain was anciently called Hesperia or Western, on account of its 
situation, as being the extreme west known to the ancients. It was 
called also Iberia, from the river Iber, now the Ebro. The name 
Hispania, or Spain, is said to be derived from a Piioenician word, 
Sphavisa, which me.-^ns, abounding vvilli rabbits; these animals, ac- 
cording to Sfral)o, being very numerous in Spain. 

Its original inhabitants were Celtes, of the same race with those 
of France, and who passed over from that country into Spain. The 
I'ertility of the soil, induced the Phcenicians, wiio were the earliest 
naviiiators, to open a trade v.ith Spain, and they built the city of 
( 'ades. now Cadiz. This was about 'JOO vears B. C. 


This country has been often conquered, both hi ancient and more 
modern times. About 500 years B. C, it was in part subjugated by 
the Carthaginians, who held their conquest three centuries. The 
Romans then succeeded as masters, in whose power it remained six 
hundred years. From tlie Romans, as we have already learned, it 
was wrested by the northern barbarians. These, as we shall see, in 
the next Period, are destined to be displaced by the followers of 

It is deemed unnecessary to detail any events under the kings oi 
the barbarous tribes who governed Spain, as they possess scarcely 
any interest. Euric may he considered as the founder of the Gothic 
monarchy of this country. 


19. France, anciently called Gaul, immediately previous 
to the dissolution of the Roman Empire of the West, vv^as di- 
vided between the Romans, Visogoths, Franks, and Burgun- 
dians. A few years after that event, viz. 581 A. C, Ciovis, 
Icing of the Franks, obtained, by degrees, possession of the 
country. He is therefore considered the true founder of the 
French monarchy, as before him, the Franks held only a few 
provinces on the right bank of the Rhine. From this people, 
ancient Gaul, obtained the name of France. The kings who 
have reigned in France, seem to be divided into four dynas- 
ties, v'vA. the Merovingian, the Carloviiigian, the Capetian, and 
the Bourbon. The race of which we are now speaking, the 
first in oi'der. derived its name from MerovcEUS, the grand- 
father of Clovis, who reigned over that portion of the Franks, 
who had obtained, in some former age, a settlement in the 
country. The Merovingian dynasty continued till 7^'-t. 

§ The FranlvS were supposed to have been of German origin, and 
to have inhaliited the country between the Rhine and the Weser, 
which now forms part of Holland and Westphalia. Some believe 
them to have consisted of a mixed multitude of various tribes, living 
beyond ilie Rhine, who, when Germany was invaded by the Romans, 
imited in defence of their common liberty, and styled themselves 
Franks, i. e. free men. Of the clans into which they were divided, 
thoSalii, and Ansuarii, were the most considerable. Between the 
y>?ars 234 and 254. they made an irruption into Gaul, but were sig- 
nally overthrown by the Romans under Aureiian, then a military 
iribime. They finally obtained a footing in that country, about the 
year 284 A. C. 

Succeed ing this event, they had many conlontions with the Romans, 
in which they often conquered, and were, ofteiior, perhaps, defeated. 
By t!ie time, however, hi whicli the emperor (^onstans reigned, they 
were generally at peace with the Romans, and several of ih^m en- 


joyed places of distinction in the armies and at court. The petty 
sovereigns who preceded Clovis, were Pharamond, wlio made the last 
settlement of the Franks in Gaid, Clod io,Merov(rus, and Childeric I. 

Clovis made many conquests : first over the Romans in the battle 
of Soissons : ^hen over the king of Thnringia, wlio had inv.-xled his 
dominions ; afterwards over the Germans in the battle of Tolbiac ; 
and finally over the Visogoths under Alaric, when he subdued all the 
south of Gaul. In his contest witli the Germans, 496 A. C, he in- 
voked the God of Clotilda, a Christian princess, ^vhom he had mar- 
ried three years before. In consequence of his victory, he became 
professedly a believer, and together witli three thousand of his sub- 
jects, was baptised on Christmas-day, the same year. 

About thirteen years afterwards, he cruelly murdered most of his 
relatives, which shewed how little influence Christianity had over 
him. Clovis made Paris the seat of his kingdom. He died, 511. 

Clovis was followed by a scries of obscure kings, through 
tlie remainder of this period. They need not, tlierefore, be 
mentiuned particularly. They were, in general, weak and 
wicked, and plunged the nation into deeper barbarism than 
i( was under during the Roman dominion. 


20. England, whose ancient name was Britain, had been 
abandoned by the Romans fifty years, when the Empire of the 
West was subverted. In the mean time, the inhabitants, who 
weve left defenceless, sulfered from the encroachments of their 
northern neighbours, the Picts and Scots, and in their distress, 
solicited several of the warlike tribes of the continent, for assist- 
ance. The Jutes first arrived for that purpose. These were 
soon followed by the Angles and Saxons, in 451, from the 
shores of the Baltic. The object was soon accomplished, for 
which the Britons had invited them into their country. Their 
enemy was repulsed ; but they found a more formidable ene- 
my in tlieir protectors themselves. 

The Saxons, procuring large reinforcements from German}', 
turned their arms against the Britons, and took possession of 
the country. It was not, however, without a long nnd severe 
sfruggle, of nearly one lumdred and fifty years, that this con- 
quest was achieved. The result was, the establishment of 
seven distinct states, or sovereignties, which were governed, 
more than two hundred years, by their respective kings. 
These states are usually called the Heptarchy. 

§ The island of Britain, before it was known to the Romans, was 
inliabited by a very rude and uncivilized people. They were either 


naked, or clothed only with the skins of beasts, having their bodies 
painted with various colom's. Hence is supposed to be the origin 
of the name, Britain, wliich is derived from a British word, brit, sig- 
nilying painted. The name England was given to the country, from 
the Angles, a tribe of those continental nations, who conquered it in 
tlie fiftli and sixth centuries. 

Tlie island was originally settled, in all probability, by a colony 
from Gaul, v/ho were called Celtes or Gaels, the remains of whom 
are chiefly in Wales, in the highlands of Scotland, and in the north 
of Ireland. The period of their settlement is quite uncertain. The 
Phoenicians, indeed, traded very early with the inhabitants of Corn- 
wall, for copper and tin, but they were unacquainted with the inte- 
rior of the country. Tiie Romans have given us the earliest authen- 
tic information respecting it. This commences with the first inva- 
sion by Julius Crcsar, 55 B. C. 

Caesar began the dominion of the Romans in Britain ; but the 
island was subdued, only by degrees, under the Roman leaders who 
succeeded him. Forty-three years A. C, it was again invaded by 
the emperor Claudius, whose general, Ostorius, defeated ("aractacus, 
king of the Britons, took him jirisoner, and sent him to Rome, in 51. 
In the reign of Nero, 61 A. C, Suetonius defeated Boadicea, queen of 
the Iceni, (inhabitants of Norfolk and Suffolk,) slaying 80,OCO men 
in a single battle. Boadicea, however, had previously obtained 
several victories over the Romans, by her gallant conduct. She com- 
mitted suicide, rather than fall into the hands of the conqueror. 

Agricola, who governed Britain in the reigns of Titus, Vespasian, 
and Domitian, formed a regular plan for suliduing the whole island, 
and rendering the acquisition advantageous to the conquerors. Foj 
this purpose he penetrated into Caledonia, (Scotland,) defeated the 
natives in various encoimters, and established a chain of forts be- 
tween the Friths of Clyde and Forth. 

Subdirng most of the island, he soon diffused among the Britons a 
knowledoe of the arts of peace. He introduced among them, laws 
and government ; taught them to value the conveniences of life, 
and reconciled them to the language and manners of their masters. 

To protect the southern inhabitants against the Scots, Adrian, in 
121, built a wall in the north part of Britain, between the river 
Tyne, and tlie Frith of Solway. This was afterwards strengtlieiKnl 
with new fortifications, by Severus, in 208. From this period, till 
the abandonment of Britain by the Romans, in 426, the inhabitants 
enjoyed miinterrupted tranquillity. 

As has been already mentioned, the Romanized I?ritons, when left by 
their masters, were thrown into a defenceless state. Their long peace 
had somewhat enervated them, and they were unable to resist the 
attacks of their barbarous neighbours on fiie north. It was Vorti- 
gern, one of their kings, who invited the CJerman tribes to his pro- 
Tection. The latter gladly availed themselves of the opportunity to 
visit a country long known tf) them in their piratical voyages to its 
coasts. Ilengist and Ilorsa, two brothers, were t.lieir leaders on this 


Dccasion, and with only IGOO warriors, in conjunclion with the 
Soutii Dritons, they conipeUed the Scots to retire to tlieir mountains. 
After the SaxcMis, from being tiie protectors, had become the con- 
querors of Britain, and founded tiie Heptarcliy, liistory records 
nothing that is very interesting respecting them, until tlie time of 
Egbert the Great, who became sole king of England, in 827. We 
may ttierefore pass over the English history, until that period, only 
remarking that the Saxons, wlio were partially acquainted with 
christianitj' before, were more fully converted to the faith, by the 
labours of the monk Augustin, in 597. 

Dlsling7iished Characters in Psriod Til 

1. Procliis, a learned PLitonist antl unbeliever 

2. Boetiiiiis, a Roman poet, and Platonic philospher. 

3. Procopius, a Roman historian — sometimes denominated 
the last of the classic writers. 

4. Cassiodorus, the hi-^torian of Ravenna, and tutor to 
Theodoric, the Gothic king. 

5. Belisarius, an heroic and successful general of Jus- 

6. Gild as, the most ancient British writer extant. 

1. Proclus was born at Constantinople, in 410, and died in 485 
A. C. He was a pliilospher among the later Platonists. In the 
chair of the academy, he taught pliilosophy with great reputation. 
Such was his industry, that frequently, in the same day, he pro- 
nounced five lessons, and composed seven hundred lines. " His sa- 
gacious mind," says Gibbon, " explored the deepest questions ol 
morals and metapliysics, and he ventured to urge eighteen argu- 
ments against the Christian doctrine of the creation of the world." 
This, as might have been expected, proved to be labour hi vain. 
'J'he foundations of truth can bo overturned by no human sagacity, 
Iiowevcr great. 

2. Boethius, who was distinguished both as a poetic and prose 
writer, was descended from one of the noblest families of Rome. 
In consequence of having remonstrated, with great spirit, against the 
tyranuy of Tlieodoric, he was beheaded in prison, by the command 
of that king, in 521. Boethius wrote many philosopliical works,, 
the greater part according to the manner of the logicians; but his 
ethic composition, concerning the "Consolation of Philosophy." 
is his chief performance, and has always been justly admired, 
both in re?peft to the matter and the style. Mr. Harris, in liis 
"Hermes," observes, tiiat, "with Boethius, tlie last remains of Ro- 
man dignity may be said to have sunk in the western world :" and 
Mosheim testifies, that he " shone with tlie brightest lustre, as a 
philosopher, an orator, a poei, and a divine; ami, both in elegance 
and subtilty of genius, had no ofjual in the sixth century.'* 

3. Procopius belonged to Ca?sarea, in Palestine, and flourished in 
534. He was secretary to Belisarius, whom he greatly celebrated 


in his History of the Reisn of Justinian. This history is dividet 
into eiglit bool'Cs ; two of \\'hich give an account of the Persian war, 
two of the Vandals, and four of the Goths, to the year 553 : which 
was afterwards continued in five boolis, by Agalthias, till 559. The 
historian is thought to be too severe upon the emperor, though his 
performance, in other respects, has a high character. Some con- 
sider him as the last of the Roman classic authors. 

4. Cassiodorus was a man of eminence, in many respects, and. 
called, by way of distinction, " the senator." He united the states- 
man and author in his character. He was born in Italy, about 463, 
and died at near one hundred years of age. His writings relate 
chiefly to history, theology, and criticism. He was inferior in abili- 
ties to Boethius, but still was very respectable. 

5. Belisarias was truly a Roman in spirit, and the greatest gene- 
ral of his age. His life and exploits have been already told us, as 
particularly as this work will admit. In a degenerate and effemi- 
nate age, he put forth an energy, and acquired a fame in war, which 
wonld bear a comparison with the first leaders of the most favoured 
days of the republic. He was, however, as distinguished by his 
misfortunes as he was by his victories, owing to the ingratitude of 
Justinian; and he spent his last days, it is said, under the frown of 
his master, and, as some report, in actual want. 

6. Gildas was a native of Vv^ales. He was surnaraed, The Wise. 
As the most ancient of the British writers, he deserves a notice 
here. His famous " Epistle," was written A. C. 560, and is a most 
severe censure of the depravity of the Britons at that time. He 
lias some things well calculated to invite the attention of the learned. 


TJie Period of the esiahlisJiment of the t^aracen Domi- 
nion ; extending from the flight of Mahomet, 622 years 
A. C. to the croiDnins^ of Charlemagne, at Rome, 800 
years A. C. 


During this period, the darkness in Europe very much increased, and 
the times exhibited a melancholy contrast to the former splendid 
eras of Grecian and Roman refinement and literature. But while 
the human mind sunk in Europe, it rose in the East, under thf^ 
auspices of the Saracens, where it was for a short time displayed, 
not only in the energies of a warlike superstition, but, at length, in 
the cultivation of the arts and learning. The history of this people is 
connected with a remarkable change in the aspect of human affairs. 
Sec. 1. The Arabs, in all ages, have lived as wander- 
ers, in a stale of independence, and have never been sub- 
dued by any of the great conquerors of the world, though al- 
most always at war with then* neighbours. They derive 


liieir origin from Ishmael, and, before the time of Mahomet, 
they professed a reUgion which was a mixture of idolatry and 

The name Saracen, which was at length applied to most 
of the Arabian nations, is derived from a tribe that occupied 
the north-western part of the country. This people, before 
the time already referred to, had forsaken their deserts, and 
made themselves useful or formidable (according as their ser- 
vices were purchased or neglected) to the respective empires 
of Rome and Persia. 

Mecca, on the Red Sea, in 569, gave birth to Mahomet, 
(or Mohommed.) their pretended prophet. In 609, when he 
was about 40 years old, he began to concert a system of mea- 
sures, the issue of which, was the establishment of a new re- 
ligion in the world, and of an empire, which, spreading over 
many countries, lasted more than six centuries. The reli- 
gion still remains. 

His impostures were not, at first, well received. The citi- 
zens of Mecca, even, opposed them. Forsaking his native 
city, where his life was in jeopardy, lie fled to Medina, at the 
epoch called by the Mahometans, the hegira, or flight, Avhich 
was in the year 622, and the 54th year of Mahomet's age. 
By the aid of his disciples at Medina, he returned to Mecca 
as a con(iueror, and making numerous proselytes, he soon 
became inaster of Arabia and Syria, was saluted king in 627, 
and, in the midst of his successes, died suddenly in 632. He 
left two branches of his family, who became powerful caliphs 
of Persia and Egypt. 

§ As Mahomet will be spoken of again, as one of the distinguished 
characters of this period, it will be ininecessary to add many par- 
ticulars here, respecting either his life, or the religion of which he 
was the founder. Some historians are of the opinion, that he at- 
tempted only an inconsiderable change in the creed of his coun- 
trymen, and that the mighty revolution whieli followed his efforts, 
was, in respect to Arabia, almost wholly political. 

In his flight, tliis bold leader gained Medina with much difficulty, 
but being well received, he made it the place of his future residence. 
FJesidos those who tied with him, and shared his fate, he was soon 
followed and joined by many of the principal citizens of Meccii. 
Amongst his followers were Amrou, the future conqueror of Egypt ; 
Saad, who afterwards overran Persia; Obeidah, whose fortune it 
was to subdue Syria and Palestine ; and the very celebrated Kal^d 
Kben al Walid. 



Though IMahomet met with some reverses at first, he was no 
sooner aided by such men as Amrou and Kaled, than he overthrew 
whatever opposed him. After the submission of Arabia to his arms, 
tlie Arabs and Greelcs were brouglit into contact ; and the former 
were prepared to encroach on tlie remnant of the Roman empire. 

Mahomet owed liis success, in part, to several moral causes, origi- 
nating in the state of society ; such as the corruption of the true re- 
ligion, the ignorance of mankind, and the prevailing licentiousness 
of the times — also to the nature of his doctrines, which, among other 
things, promising a sensual heaven, were suited to the depravity of 
the heart, and the taste of the voluptuous Asiatics ; and, not least of 
all, to powerful political revolutions. It happened the same year in 
which Mahomet left Mecca, that a destructive war, as already men- 
tioned, took place between the Eastern empire and Persia. Hera- 
clius, the emperor, in six campaigns, penetrated to the heart of the 
Persian dominions, almost destroying that power, and greatly weak- 
ening his own. Neither of them, therefore, were in a condition to 
resist the torrent of Arabian fanaticism. Such was the prospect of 
Mahometanism, when its author met his fate. 

The followers of this impostor, term their religion Islam, 
and themselves Musslemen, or Moslems, i. e. true believers. • 
The book containing their creed, which was produced by 
Mahomet, in successive portions, and which he pretended te 
derive from the angel Gabriel, is culled the Koran. Theij 
priests are called moolahs or imans. IMahomet propagated 
his religion by the sword, and taught, that to profess any 
other religion, was a just cause of hatred, and even of murder. 

2. The successors of Mahomet, in the dominion which he 
established, are called Cahphs, a word which means suc- 
cessors, or ^dcars. The first caliph was Abu-beker, the fa- 
ther of one of the wives of Mahomet. It is said tha' the im- 
postor, on his death-bed, appointed AH, his son-in-law, as hii:' 
successor, but the influence of Abu-beker with the army was 
sucli, that he, by tliis means, secured the caliphate. 

Thus the foundation was laid for a mighty contention, 
and over the body of Mahomet arose that schism, which, at 
this distant period, weakens the power of Mahometanism, and 
may eventually terminate its very existence. The sects are 
two, and tlie ground of dispute is the right of succession t,o 
?.Iahomet. Their names are Sheas or Shiites, and the Son- 
nites. The Sheas, who believe in Ali, as the true successor, 
are chiefly Persians. The Sonnites, who believe in Abu- 
beker, consist of the inhabitants of East Persia, Arabia, Tur- 


key, &c. The Sonnites receive the Koran only, whereas the 
Sheas adopt the traditions also. 

In respect to conquest, Abu-beker pursued the course of 
Mahomet, and, with the aid of his general, Kaled, obtained 
an important victory over the emperor Heraclius, and en- 
larged the Saracen dominion. He died in the third year of 
his reign, having betjueathed the sceptre to Omar. 

§ When llie sceptre was offered to Omar, he modestly observed, 
"that lie had no occasion for the place." " But the place has occa- 
sion for 3^011," replied Abu-beker. He died, praying that the God of 
Mahomet would ratify his choice. It was so far regarded by Ali, 
his rival, that the latter treated him with the respect due to a consti- 
tuted superior. 

Omar commenced his reign in 633. In one campaign he 
wrested from the Greek empire, Syria, Phojnicia, Mesopo- 
tamia, and Chaldea. In the next campaign, the whole em- 
pire of Persia was brought under the Mahometan yoke. 
Egypt, Lybia, and Numidia, were at the same time con- 
quered by the generals of Omar. 

} Amrnu, one of his generals, by the order of Omar, destroyed the 
famous library at Alexandria, consisting of 700,000 volume^. The 
order of Omar betrayed liie ignorance of a savage, and the illibera- 
lity of a fanatic. "If," said he to Amrou, " these writings agree 
with tlie Koran, they are useless, and need not be preserved: if 
they disagree, they are pernicious, and ought to be destroyed." Omar 
was finally assassinated. 

Othman succeeded Omar, in 645. He added Bactriana, 
and a part of Tartary, to tlie Saracen empire. Upon the 
death of Othman, Ali, the son-in-law of Mahomet, was elect- 
ed to the calipliate. His name is still revered in the east, and 
by none of the caliphs was he excelled, either in virtue or 
courage. After a sli irt but glorious reign of five years, he 
was assassinated by a Mahometan enthusiast, or reformer. He 
iuid removed the seat of the caliphate from Mecca to Cuja, on 
the Euphrates. 

§Ali married Fatema, the daughter of Mahomet, hut Ayesha, the 
widow of the prophet, and daughter of Abu-beker, bore an immortal 
iiatred against the husljand and posterity of Fatema. In a battle 
\i^liich Ali fought with a superior number of rebels, who were ani- 
mated by tlie counsels of Ayesha, he was entirely victorious. 
Ayesha, it is said, had seventy men, who held the bridle of her 
camel, successively killed or wounded ; and the cage or litter in 
wliich she sat, was stuck throughout with javelins and darts. 

3. Within less than half a century, the Saracens reared a 


powerful empire, and were formidable to all the nations 
around them. In 100 years, their dominion extended from 
India to the Atlantic, comprehending Persia, Syria, Asia 
Minor, Arabia, and other regions in the east, as also Egypt, 
North Africa, and Spain. 

Of the race of Omar, already mentioned, there were nine- 
teen cahphs who reigned in succession ; after which, began 
the dynasty of the Abassidee, descended from Abbas, the 
uncle of Mahomet. Almansor, second caliph of this race, 
built Bagdad, and made it the seat of the Saracen dominion, 
in 762 A. C. He introduced the culture of the arts and sci- 
ences among the Saracens. 

§ It was during the reign of Almansor, that Abu Hanifa, the 
founder of the first of the four sects of the oonnites, died in prison af 
Bagdad. He had been confined tliere for refusing to be made a 
judge, declaring that he had rather be punished b}' men than by 
God. Being asked why he declined the office, he replied, " If I 
speak the truth, I am unfit ; but if I tell a lie, a is not fit to be a 
judge." It is said that he read over the Koran 7( iiO times, while he 
was in prison. 

Haroun al Raschid, a caliph who ascended tiie tluone in 
785 A. C.j and was contemporary with Charlemagne, was a' 
famous prince, and celebrated patron of letters. His reign is 
regarded as the Augustan age of Saracen literature. Many 
of our proverbs and romances are to be referred to this period. 
Al Raschid was also a brave and victorious sovereign, and 
distinguished by equity and benevolence. He died in about 
809 A. C. 

The sciences to whicli the Arabians chiefly devoted their 
attention, were medicine, geome'^-y, and astronomy. Poetry, 
and works of fiction, especially the One Thousand and One 
Nights, were the products of tliat period. Literature was cid- 
tivated also in Africa and Spain, under the auspices of 4he 

§ Soon after Al Raschid's accession to the Caliphate, he invaded 
and ravaged a part of the Greek empire, with an army of 135,000 
men. Having taken the city of Heraclea, he reduced it to ashes; 
after which copquest he made himself master of several other places. 
He then attacked the Lsland of Cyprus, whose inhabitants suffered 
extremely from the invasion. The Greek emperor was so intimi- 
dated by this success, that he immediately made peace with the 
caliph, accompanied with a tribute. 

Several interesting anecdotes are related of this caliph, two of 
vVhich follow. Being once in Eg>pt, he saitl to his courtiers, 


The king <!" Ihis country formerly boasted himself to be God; in 
consequcii; e, tlierefore, of such pride, I will confer the government 
of it on the mean •t of my slaves." 

As he was marc, i in if one day at the head of his troops, a woman 
came to him to compluin that some of the soldiers had pillaged her 
house. Me said, " woman, iiast thou not read in tlie Koran, that 
princes, when they passed with their armies through places, de- 
stroyed them 7" " True," replied she, " but then it is also written in 
the same book, that the houses of those princes shall be desolate on 
account of their acts of injustice." This fearless repartee, was so 
well liked by the caliph, tliat he forthwith ordered that restitution 
should be made. 


4. The Eastern Empire, which liad alone survived the 
ruin of the Roman world, retained a portion of its ancient 
splendour. Tt was destined, however, soon to lose several 
valuable provinces, as has already appeared, in relating the 
victorious career of the Saracens. The conquests Avhich 
HeracUus I. made in Persia, were wrested from him by that 
enthusiastic and wairing jwople. They next deprived the 
empire of its Syrian and African dependencies. 

During these events, several emperors successively filled 
the throne of Constantinople, after Heraclius. But very 
little need be said concerning any of them. It was in the 
reign of Constanline III., Pagonatus, that the Saracens, G72 
A. C. besieged Constantinople for five months, but were 
obliged to retire. They returned for seven years in succes- 
sion, but were every time defeated by Callinicus, who in- 
vented an inextinguishable fire, by which he destroyed their 

§ The Greek, or liquid fire, was made prlncipallyofnaptha, or liquid 
biiunien. mixed with some sulphur and pitch, extracted from green 
firs. Water, instead of extinguishing, quickened this powerful 
agent of destruction. It could be damped only by sand, wine, or 
vinegar. It was a period of lour lunuired years, before the secret of 
its composition was obtained from the Greeks. The Mahometans at 
length discovered and stole it. It continued to be used in w^ar, down 
to the middle of the fourteenth century, wlien gunpowder was in- 

Justinian II., who succeeded Constantine in GS5, was a 
second Nero, or Caligula. He ordered, at one time, a general 
slaughter of the hihabitants of Constantinople, but lie was de- 
throned the same day, and sent into exile with inutiiated 




features He recovered his throne by i he assi lance of the' 
Bulgarians, and exacted a dreadful vengeance on his ene- 
mies. He was at last beheaded. Some of the emperors who 
followed during the remainder of this period, were, Leo HI., 
Constantine IV., Leo IV., and Constantine V. The first three 
of these were strongly opposed to images, as used in churches. 

§ The mother of the last Constantine, was regent during her son's 
minority. Her name was Irene, and she proved herself a monster 
of wickedness. She obliged the sons of Constantine IV. to receive 
the priesthood, and afterwards ordered them to be murdered. She 
was singularly cruel towards her own son, who, for attempting to 
govern by himself when of age, was, bj'- her orders, scourged and 
confined in the interior of the palace. In 790, he was restored to 
liberty by the people, when he, in his turn, imprisoned his mother. 

Two years after, she was apparently reconciled to Constantine, 
and by encouraging him in his vices, obtained an unhappy ascend- 
ency over him. Being rendered odious to his sirbjects, especially 
in consequence of repudiating his queen and marrying one of her 
women, by the advice of Irene, an insurrection took place. This 
was as she expected ; and afforded a pretext for her cruel machina- 
tions. Being left with the army in By thinia, she despatched several 
officers to depose her son. 

Arriving at Constantinople without being suspected of such a 
design, they put onl the emperor's eyes in so barbarous a manner, 
that he died, three days afterwards, in the most excruciating pain. 
Irene then remained in possession of the empire for five years ; and 
in order to confirm lier authority, she made overtures of marriage to 
Charlemagne, king of France. Her design, however, being di- 
vulged, a revolt ensued, in which Nicephorus, great treasurer of the 
empire, being lead(T, Avas proclaimed, and Irene deposed. 

Having thus obtained the purple, and secured the riches of Irene, 
Nicephorus banished her to the isle of Lesbos, where the want of a 
decent provision obliged her to earn a scanty subsistence by the la- 
bours of the distaff. Here this miserable woman died of vexation, 
having enjoyed her ill-gotten power but six years after the murder 
of her son. 


5. The Kingdom of Italy, which was formed as 
already related, continued until nearly the close of the pre- 
sent period, viz. 77d A. C. It had been fifty years under 
the sway of the Lombard kings. During the remainder of 
its existence, (viz. 150 years,) seventeen kings reigned over 
the country. The principal of these were Cunibert, Luit- 
pian-d, Rachisius, Astolphus, and Desiderius or Didier. 
Luitprand possessed the greatest talents of all the Lombard 


kings. Under Didier the kingdom of Italy came to an end. 
He was defeated by Charlemagne, his father-in-law, and 
Italy was afterwards incorporated into the new empire of the 

§ A few particulars concerning these kings, are as follows. Under 
CunibcTt, Italy was invaded by the duke of Brescia, and they met 
in battle on the banks of the Adda. Before the battle, a deacon of Pa- 
via, named Zeno, who bore a great likeness to Cunibert, offered to 
take his armour and supply his place at the head of the army. 
Zeno was consequently killed, and Cunibert obtained a signal vic- 
tory, and afterwards enjoyed a peaceable and happy reign. 

Luitprand availed himself of an opportunity, soon after the com- 
mencement of his reign, to add to his dominions by conquest. His 
first efforts were directed against Raveima, which was betrayed into 
his hands. He afterwards took several other cities. The next year, 
however, Eutychius, exarch of Ravenna, reconquered a great part 
of his dominions, with the help of the Venetians, whom Pope Gre- 
gory II. excited against Luitprand. 

The king, resolving to avenge himself on the Pope, became re- 
conciled to Eutychius, and they both advanced towards Rome. The 
Pope, however, met the king, and appeased him by his eloquence. 
In two successive instances, in his attempts upon tlie Pope and Rome, 
he was diverted from his design. 

Rachisius, in 749, five years after the commencement of his 
reign, under the pretence of some infractions of u treaty with the 
people of Rome, besieged a city which belonged to the Pope. Rut 
the Pope had such influence with him when they met, that the king 
was persuaded to renounce the world, and retire to the abbey of 
Monte Cassino. His queen and daughter, at the same time, founded 
a monastery of nuns, near that abbey, whither they retired and took 
the veil. 

Astolphus took Ravenna, and seized upon all the dependencies of 
that principality, not far from the year 7.50, but soon lost them, by 
the intervention of Pepin, king of France, who made war upon him. 
lie died in 756, of a fall from his horse. 

Didier, meditating the conquest of Ravenna, sought the protec- 
tion of the French King, by marrjing one of his daughters to 
Charlemagne, and the other to his brother Carloman. A dilTcrence, 
however, having arisen between Charlemagne and his fathcr-m-law, 
the French monarch divorced his wife. Didier highly resented this 

Applying to the Pope to favour liis projects, and failing in the at- 
tempt, he attacked the papal territory, and endeavoured to seize on 
the person of the Roman pontiff'. Charlemairnc, however, coming 
seasonably to his assistance, met the Lombard king in battle, and 
taking pos.scssion of his .sovereignty, sent the royal family to be con- 
fined in monasteries in P'rance. The French king thus put an end 
fo tlie Lombard dominion in Italy, and was himself declared, by lh6 
Pope, king of Italy, and patrician of Rome. 



6. Spain continued under the dominion of the Visogotba 
till the year 712. It was then conquered by the Saracens, 
who invaded the country from Mauritania, in Africa, whence 
they were called Moors. A small part of the north of Spain, 
never fell under the dominion of that people. Pelagius, the 
successor of the Gothic sovereigns, founded there the httle 
kingdom of Asturias, in 718 ; and Garcias Ximenes, that of 
Navarre, in 758. 

§ The Saracens, in their descent upon Spahi, easily overran the 
country. They had lately founded, in Africa, the empire of Mo- 
rocco, which was governed by Muza, viceroy of the caliph Waled 
Almarnsor. Muza sent his general, Tariff, into Spain, who attack- 
ing Don Rodrigo, or Roderic, the Gothic king, in a decisive battle, 
overcame and slew liim. The conquerors succeeded to the sove- 
reignty. Abdallah, son of Muza, married the widow of Roderic, and 
thus the tw^o nations formed a perfect union. 

7. Spain, in this manner conquered by the Saracens, w^as 
allotted to governors dependent on the Anceroy of Africa, till 
Abdalrahman, the last heir of the family of the Omiades, 
formed it into an independent kingdom, and fixed his resi- 
dence at Cordova. Tliis was about the year 756 A. C. 

It may be remarked here, that all that part of the kingdom 
of Spain which was under the dominion of the Moors, em- 
braced the religion of their conquerors ; but the two northern 
provinces above named, remained true to the Christian faith. 

Abdalrahman, at Cordova, laid the foundation of a flour- 
isliing empire, which lasted for a considerable period. He 
greatly encouraged learning, and thus vied with Haroun Al 
Raschid at j^agdad, as a patron of letters. Cordova l^ecame 
renowned as one of the most enliglitened spots in Europe, 
under several succeeding reigns. 

§ The part of Spain which remained independent of tlie Moorish 
yoke, presents little that is important in its history. We may there- 
fore pass it over with the remark, that its Christian sovereigns be- 
came rather strengthened than weakened in their power from time 
to time. 


8. In France, the weak race of the Merovingian kings 
contiiuied to hold the sovereignty, till the year 751 A. C. 
On the death of one of them, viz. Dagobert II., (638) who 
left two infant sons, the government, during their minority, 
was assumed by their chief ollicers, termed Mayors of the 



Palace. Under the management of these ambitious men, 
die kings of France enjoyed little more than the name. 

In the time of Thierry, grandson of Dagobert II., the ce- 
lebrated Pepin d'Heristel was mayor of the palace. He re- 
stricted Thierry, nominally the sovereign of the two great 
divisions of the Frank monarchy, (Austrasia and Neustria) 
to a small domain, and ruled France during thiity years with 
great wisdom. 

The son of Pepin, whose name was Charles Martel, was 
still more celebrated than his father. Under three kings, he 
governed France witli signal abiUty, having succeeded to the 
office of mayor of the Paliace. 

§ After his fatlier Pepin's death, Charles was confined by his mo- 
ther-in-hiw, in prison. But escaping thence, he was proclaimed duke 
of Austrasia, and took possession of the sovereign authority over all 
the kingdom. He made war several times on Cliilderic, his first 
nominal sovereign, and finally secured him as a prisoner. 

9. Charles was victorious over all his domestic foes, and 
his arms kept in awe the neighbouring nations, whom he fre- 
quently defeated. But the most signal service which he ren- 
dered to France, to Emope, and to mankind at large, was 
his victory over the Saracens, in 733 A. C. These destroying 
fanatics threatened all Euro}3cwith subjugation to the Maho- 
metan dominion and religion ; and, but for their providential 
ilefeat by Charles Martel, might have been, to this day, ihe 
masters of the civihzed world. 

§ The Saracens penetrated into France from Spain. They were led 
by Abderame, a consummate general, who commanded in the name- 
of tite caliph, and who soon defeated the duke of Aquitain. After 
tliis victory, his desperate bands were about to overrun the king- 
dom. Here, however, the genius and bravery of Charles rescued 
the nation from destruction. He brouglit tliem to a general action 
between Poiclicrs and Tours, and notwithstanding their bravery 
and numl)ers, lie succeeded in defeating tlicm with immense slaugh- 
ter. They afterwards rallied in the vicinity of Narbonne, but were 
again defeated, and at last driven out of the French territory. 

By this event, the terror with wiiicii the Saracens had inspired 
Europe was greatly diminislied, and Cliarles obtained for liimself 
the surname of Martel, or the Hammer. 

After the death of Tliierry IV., Charles, without placing 
another king on the throne, continued to govern as before, 
with the title of duke of France. After several more victo- 
ries over his enemies, Charles dying, bequeathed the govern- 
?nent of France, as an undisputed inheritance, to his two sons 


Pepin le Bref, and Cailoman. As maj'ors of the palace, the 
one governed Austrasia, and the other Neustria and Burgun- 
dy. The nominal sovereign, at this time, was Childeric III., 
a weak and insignificant prince. The sole administration 
devolved at length on Pepin, as Carloman renounced the world 
and became a monk. Pepin, whose talents were powerful, 
e-ind whose turn of mind was warlike, governed with great 
efficiency, and conquered several of the neighbouring tribes. 
In the year 751, he assembled a parliament at Soissons, 
where he was proclaimed king of France, having first obtain- 
ed the sanction of Pope Zachary. Childeric was confined in 
a convent, and thus ended the Merovingian race of kings. 
The Carlovingian now succeeded. 

§ Pepin was called Le Bref, or the short, on account of tlie lowness 
of his stature, his height being only four and a half feet. Soon after 
he was crowned, lie marched against the revolted Saxons, whom he 
defeated ; and pursuing his brother Grippo into Aquitain, he united 
Septimia, now Languedoc, to the crown. His brother, who was a 
turbulent spirit, and gave him disquiet, at length perished. Tepin 
was thus left to pursue without molestation his useful designs. 

10. Having been crowned the second time, by Pope Ste- 
phen II., in return for tliis service, Pepin marched against the 
Lombards, who had invaded the principality of Ravenna, and 
tlireatened Rome itself. The Lombards were spared, only 
by the surrender of Ravenna, which Pepin bestowed on the 
Holy See. Thus commenced the temporal authority of tlie 

The Saracens, who still possessed a part of the south of 
France, were forced by his arms from the countiy, and thus 
the limits of his dominions were extended in that quarter. 
After a splendid and successful reign, he died of a dropsy in 
the chest, at the age of fift3'-three or fifty -four years, 768 A. C. 
§ It is related of this monarch, that his diminutive size was compen- 
sated by an uncommon strength of body. Having been told that 
several of his courtiers had secretly ridiculed his personal appear- 
ance, he invited them, on the next day, to attend the spectacle of a 
fight betv/een a lion and a bull. When the two combatants were let 
loose, the lion leaped on his adversary, and the bull was in danger 
of instant destruction. " Is there any among you," exclaimed the 
king to the courtiers that surrounded him, " who has sufficient re- 
solution to oblige the lion to let go his hold ?" No one spake. 
"Mine, then, shall be the task," said Pepin, elevating his voice ; and 
leaping into the amphitheatre with a drawn sword, he approaclied 
the lion, and with a single blow separated the head from tlie body. 

11. The dominions of Pepin were, at hi.s death, divided 


't)etween his two sons Charles and Cailoman. The latter 
dying two years afterwards, Charles came into possession of 
the whole kingdom. The exploits and poUcy of this prince, 
procured for him the title of Great, which was incorporated 
with his name, Charlemagne,* as he is known in history. He 
excelled all the sovereigns of his age, both as a warrior and 
statesman, although he is said to have been extremely illite- 
rate. With a great reputation for talent, he has, however 
descended to us as being deficient in several moral quaUties, 
particularly in humanity. 

His cruelty was exercised chiefly upon the Saxons, with 
whom he was engaged in war during thirty years. Tlieir 
bravery and love of freedom gave him intinite trouble. They 
revoked no less than six times, and were as often reduced by 
force of arms. As a means of subduing their bold and fero- 
cious character, he attempted to convert them to Christianity ; 
but their obstinacy induced him to resort to compulsory pro 
cesses for this end. Several thousands of them were but- 
chered on their refusal to receive Christian baptism. 

Besides his success against the Saxons, Charlemagne put 
an end to the kingdom of tlie Lombards in Italy, as has al- 
ready/ been narrated ; he successfully encountered the arms 
of the Saracens : defeated numerous barbarous tribes, and ex- 
tended his empire bc3'^ond the Danube. 

§ Notwithstanding the siiort stature of his father. Charlemagne is 
said to have been seven feet in height, and of a robust constitution. 
He was no less signalized for activity and vigour of mind. His su- 
pervision of his dominions was m.ost strict and vigilant. He heard 
and saw every thing for himself. He discoimtenanced luxury, en- 
couraged industry, and sought to elevate the social and intellectua. 
fliaractor of his subjects. 

When he saw any of liis courtiers sumptuously dressed, he would 
invite them to a hunting party, in the course of wliich he led them 
into tlie wilds and forests. On their return, he would not permit 
tlieni to ciiange their garments which the thorns liad torn. Afte" 
showing tlicm his uninjured .sheepskin cloak, as a contrast to their 
tattered vestments, he would say, by way of advice or reproach, 
'■ Leave silks and finery to women ; the dress of a man is for use, 
not for sliow." 

In lus wars, Charleinagnc met with scarcely a disaster. The only 
considerable reverse that he ever experienced, was wlion he was re- 
crossing the Pyrenees, after conquering Navarre, and a part of Ar- 
ragon. The rear of liis army was then cut to pieces by the Gascons, 
In the plains of Roncevaux. On this occasion, liis nephew, the cele- 
♦ Charlenia^'ne — Charles the Great, 


brated champion Roland, lost his hfe — an event which laid the foun 
dation of the " Orlando Furioso" of Ariosto. 

As the reign of Charlemagne extends several years into 
the following period, we shall resmne it, at the commence- 
ment of that period, with a sketch, in the biographical de- 
partment, of his more private history and character. 

Distinguished Characters in Period IV. 

1. Mahomet, an Arabian impostor, and founder of the re 
ligion which is called by his name. 

2. Adhelme, a British theological writer. 

3. Bede, a venerable English historian. 

4. Clmrles Martel, the father of a race of kings, and con 
queror of the Saracens. 

5. John Damascenus, a Christian writer, strongly tinctured 
with the Aristotleian philosophy. 

5 From the paucity of great men during this period, genius and 
learning must have been at a low ebb indeed, and the human mind 
greatly debased and neglected. 

1. Mahomet, as has already been stated, was born at Mecca, in 560 
A. C. The tribe from which he descended, was that of the Koras- 
hites, the most noble in Arabia. His immediate ancestors seem, 
however, to have been undistinguished ; and though liis natural ta- 
lents were gi'eat, it is certain that his education was inconsiderable. 
lie acquired knowledge, but not from books. Intercourse with man- 
kind had sharpened his faculties, and given him an insight into tlie 
human lieart 

The steps he took in propagating his religion have already been 
detailed in part. It may be added, that the main arguments v/hicli 
IMahomet employed to persuade men to embrace this imposture, were 
promises and threats, which he knew would work easiest on the 
minds of the multitude. His promises related chiefly to paradise, 
and to the sensual delights to be enjoyed in that region of pure wa- 
ters, shady groves, and exquisite fruits. Such a heaven ^vas very 
taking with the Arabians, whose bodily temperament, habits, and 
bLU-ning climate, led them to contemplate images of this sort with ex- 
cessive pleasure. 

On the other hand, his threats were peculiarly terrific to this peo- 
ple. The punishment attending a rejection of his religion, he made 
to consist of evils, that seemed most insufferable to their feelings. 
The reprobates would be permitted to drink nothing but putrid and 
boiling water, nin- breathe any, save exceedingly liot winds ; they 
would dwell forever in contimud fire, intensely burning, and be sur- 
■■ rounded with a black, hot, salt smoke, as with a coverlid, &c. ; and. 
to fill the measure of tlieir fears, by joining the present Avith the fii- 
■turclife, he threatened most grievous pimishments in this world. 

As it was one of the impostor's dogmas, that his religion m-ight be 


(iefendeJ and propagated by the sword, he invented the doctrine of 
a rigid fate, to reconcile the minds of the timid, and add ardour to 
the brave, under the exigencies of war. He taught tliat those who 
were slain in battle, though they had tarried at home in their houses, 
must, nevertheless, have died at that very moment, — the time of 
every man's life being before appointed by God, in that unqualified 
sense ; that is, without reference to means. 

jMahomet was distinguished for the beauty of his person. He had 
a commanding presence, a majestic aspect, piercing eyes, a flowing 
heard, and his whole countenance depicted the strong emotions of 
uis mind. His memory was retentive, his Avit easy, and his judg- 
ment clear and decisive. In his intercourse with society, he observed 
the forms of that grave and ceremonious politeness, so common to 
his countr_v. His natural temper may not have been worse than that 
of many others; but the imposture which he forced upon mankind, 
was an instance of most daring impiety and wickedness. 

Mahomet persisted in his religious fraud, or fanaticism, to the last. 
On his death bed he had asserted, that the angel of death was not 
allowed to take his soul, till he had respectfully asked the permission 
of the prophet. The request being granted, Mahomet fell into the 
agony of dissolution ; he fainted with the violence of pain, but re- 
covering his spirits in a degree, he raised his eyes upwards, and look- 
ing steadfast]}^, uttered with a faltering voice, the last broken, tliough 
articulate words, " O God ! — pardon my sins. — Yes, — I come — among 
my fellow-citizens on high ;" and in this manner expired. 

2. Adhelme was the first bishop of Sherbourne, (England.) He 
is said to have been nephew to Ina, king of the West Saxons. The 
period of his death was 709. He composed several poems concern- 
ing the Christian life, but his fancy was quite inditferent. He wrote 
in Latin, and is reported to be tlie earliest Englishman who wrote in 
tliat tongue. A translator of his writings, speaks of him as pro- 
foundly versed in Greek, Latin, and Saxon. 

3. Bede, who was surnamed the Venerable, was an English monk. 
ll'm birth place was Wearmouth, in the bishopric of Durham, where 
He v/asborn in 673 or 673. He is celebrated as a writer on Eccle- 
siafetical histor}^ In his youth he studied with great diligence, and 
soon became eminent for learning. Such was his fame, that he was 
frequently consulted on various subjects, bj^ scholars from different 
parts of tlic country. 

He published his excellent Ecclesiastical history of England, in 
731, when he was about fifty-nine years of age. He wrote other 
works, particularly an epistle to llie bishop of York, which exhibits 
a more curious picture of the state of the church at that time, than 
is elsewhere to be found. Tliat epistle was the last of Bede's wri- 
tings. His last sickness, was a consumiUifin, ending in an asthma, 
whicli he supported witli great firmness. During his weaknr^s, he 
never remitted the duties of his place, being employed the wtiole of 
tiie time in instructing the monks. He appears to have been a 
person of geiuiine piety. His death was in 735. 

4. Charles IMartel was the son of Pepin d'Heristel, and duke of 



Austrasia. He succeeded his father as Mayor of the Palace, as has 
before been stated. That he was a man of great capacity, appears 
from the record of his exploits. As the progenitor of the Carlo- 
vingian race of kings, and conqueror of the Saracens, when they 
were upon the point of overrunning all Europe, he is entitled to a 
very respectful notice in the page of history. Divine Providence 
seems to have raised him up for a great purpose, in checking the 
conquering career of the followers of the false prophet. The pro- 
digious number of 375,000 Saracens, he is said to have defeated and 
slain. He died in 741. 

5. John Damascenus flourished in the eighth century, dying about 
the year 750. His birth-place was Damascus. He was liberally 
educated, and early made great progress in literature. He succeed- 
ed his father, as counsellor of state to the Saracen Caliph of Damas- 
cus. Becoming zealous for the forms of religion, and warmly es- 
pousing the cause of images, he greatly offended Leo Isauricus, the 
Eastern emperor. 

There is a wild legend of the times, that the emperor caused the 
hand of Damascenus to be cut off, and that it was miraculously re- . 
placed by the kind interposition of the Virgin Mary. After a while, 
he is said to have retired from public affairs, and spent the remain- 
der of his life in solitude. In this situation he wrote books of divini- 
ty, of which he left many behind him. He is not generally thouglit 
to have been an evangelical writer. Mosheim says that he surpassed 
all his contemporaries among the Greeks and Orientals, but was su- 
perstitious, and absorbed in a vain philosophy. 


The Period of the Neio Wester?!, Efnpire; extending from 
the Crowning of Charlemagne^ 800 A. C, to the First 
Crusade, 1095 years A. C. 


Sec. 1. Tlie New Western Empire, so called, includedthe 
dominions of Charlemagne, or the conntries of which he ^\-as 
acknowledged as the sovereign, in 800 A. C It wfis at (his 
period that the title of Emperor of the West, was conferred 
upon him. He was established in that august sovereignt)^, 
b}^ being cro\vned at Rome, by Pope Leo III. 

It is thought by some, that had he chosen Rome as the 
seat of his government, and at death transmitted an undivi- 
ded dominion to his successor, the fallen empire of the Ro- 


inans might have once more been restored to prosperity and 
greatness. But Charlemagne had no fixed capital, and divi- 
ded, even in his Ufe-time, his dominions among his children. 
The countries, included under tlie title of the New Western 
Empire, were principally France, Burgundy, Germany. Ita- 
ly, and a part of Spain. The Empire, as such, continued 
hut a short time. One country after another separated from 
it under the successors of Charlemagne, and Germany, at last, 
became the sole seat or representative of the Empire. Be- 
fore the expiration of the present Period, the structure reared 
by the French monarch, was dissolved. After pursuing the 
lew details of the empire as a body, we shall resume our 
narrative of the individual countries, in their separate or in- 
dependent state. 

§ The occasion and the manner of the crowning of Charlemagne, 
were as follows : 

He was wont to pass annually, from the Pyrenees into Germany, 
and tlience into Italy. In approaching Rome for the last time, the 
Pope despatched a messenger to meet him with the keys of the Con- 
fession of St. Peter, and the standard of the city of Rome. From 
this union of religious and military attributes, it was evident that 
Charlemagne was on the eve of becoming emperor. 

Accordingly, on Christmas day, which was then the day of the 
new year, being present at the service of the mass, and on his knees 
before the altar, the Pope came suddenly behind him, and placed on 
his head the Crown of the Caesars. This act was followed by loud 
acclamations among the populace. An august title, which had lain 
dormant for .several centuries, was thus revived, but it did not restore 
Rome to its ancient splendour, for reasons which were given above. 

(Jharlemagne lived nearly 14 years after he became Emperor of 
the West. He died at Aix-la-Chapelle, in the 72d year of his age, 
and the 4Gth of his reign. 

2. Charlemagne was succeeded, 814 A.C., by Iiis son, Louis 
the Debonaire, or the Mild. Of the lawful children of Charle- 
maijne, Louis alone survived his father, and all the imperial 
dominions came of course into his liands. except Italy, which 
the emperor had settled on Bernard, one of his grandsons. 

The reign of Louis was highly calamitous. In 817, he 
associated his eldest son, Lothaire, in the empire, and gave 
Aquitain to Pepin, his second son, and Bavaria to Louis, his 

A disagreement occm-ring between liouis and Bernard, 
king of Italy, the latter was subdued, and had hi'^ eyes pur 
out, in con3e> |:ience of which lie died three days after. The 


murder of his nephew affected Louis with such a degree of 
remorse, that he performed pubhc penance on account of the 

The children of Louis greatly eml)ittered, and even short- 
ened his hfe. First quarreUing among themseh^es, they then 
attacked their father ; and as he was alternately subdued 
and restored, his spirits were at length broken, and he died 
after an inglorious and turbulent reign, 840 A. C. 

§ Louis had a son by a second wife, named Charles, who, as will 
soon appear, became king of France upon the death of his father.— 
As a second partition of the empire was made, in order to give a 
share to this younger son, the other brothers were highly distiflfect- 
ed. This was one occasion of their contention. 

When Louis found his end approaching, lie set aside for Lothairc, 
a sword and a golden sceptre, the emblems of the empire he intend- 
ed for him, on condition, however, that he should abide by the parti- 
tion in favour of Charles. As he did not make any mention of his 
son, Louis of Bavaria, (Pepin had already deceased,) it was intimated 
to the old king, that as a christian, he ought n(^t to leave the world, 
without bestowing upon Louis his pardon, riie dying monarch 
shook his hoaiy locks, and pointing to them with emotion, replied, 
"I pardon him, but you may tell him, that it ^\ : s he who has brought 
down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave." 

3. Charles, surnamcd the Bald, succeeded Louis the mild, 
in a part of his original dominions, 840 A. C. Soon after 
his accession, followed the terrible battle of Fontena)^, between 
the three brothers now left, viz. Lothaire, Louis and Charles, 
in which Cbarles and Louis were victorious. Lothaire, as 
the appointed emperor, had wislied to obtain the possession of 
all his father's territories, and refused to allow the partition in 
favour of Charles. But being overcome in the battle of Fon- 
tenay, he was obliged to relinquish his pretensions, and to 
accede to such a division of the empire, as his brothers now 
made among themselves. 

Lothaire, who preserved the title of emperor, had, assigned 
to him, Italy, and several of the southern provinces of France. 
Louis had the whole of Germany. France, including Neus- 
tria and A(juitain, fell to the lot of Ciiarles. Thus the line 
Empire of the West, founded by Charlemagne, was lost to 
the house of France, by the separation of Germany from 
that house. Instead of remaining hereditary, the crown be- 
came elective, ;iftcr it had passed, as it did finally, into the 
hands of tlie Germans. 

§ The IniUle of Fonlenay was fought '.vifli the greatest obstinacy. 


Historians agree in stating that 100,000 men perished on that occa- 
sion. Lothaire fled to tiie Saxons, yet hxid lus plans in sucli a man- 
ner as to obtain from his brothers a portion of the empire. 

In the reign of Charles, France Avas plundered by the Normans, 
who had begmi their depredations even in the time of Charlemagne. 
But their progress wa^j then inconsiderable. In 843, however, they 
sailed up the Seine, and plundered Rouen ; while another fleet en- 
tered tlie Loire, and laid waste the country in its vicinity ; the ma- 
rauders not only securing great quantities of spoil, but carrying 
men, women and children into captivity.. In 845, they entered the 
Seine again with a fleet, and advanced to Paris. Its inhabitants fled, 
and the city was burnt. With another fleet they approached to Bor- 
deaux, and pillaged it. Charles, instead of repressing the incursions 
of these barbarians with his arms, purchased their forbearance with 

(1.) Lothaire, the emperor, died in 855. Before his death, 
he divided his dominions among his throe sons. Louis II. 
was the son who succeeded him with the title of emperor. 
He was a brave and virtuous sovereign, and died 875. 

(2.) Louis, to whom Germany was assigned, was a power- 
ful monarch, and rendered himself formidable to his neigh- 
bours. He died 876. Upon this event, Charles marched 
with a large army to seize his dominions, but he was soon 
defeated by his nephew Carloman, the son of Louis II., ha- 
ving been lirst crowned emperor by the Pope. 

(3.) Charles, on the death of Louis II., son of Lothaire, 
(875) assumed the eiTipire, or, as is said, purchased it from 
pope John VIII., on condition of holding it as a vassal to the 
Holy See. This prince, after contending for the space of two 
years, with the possessors of the other portions of the empire, 
with various success, died of poison. 877 A. C. His reign 
must be pronounced, on the v.hole, to liave been a weak and 
inglorious one. 

He was the first of the French monarchs, wlioniade dig- 
nities and titles hereditary. Under the distracted reigns of the 
Carlo\ingian kings, the grandees obtained great power, and 
commanded a formidable vassalage. They chose to reside 
on their territorial possessions, and refused to take any inter- 
est in the general concerns of the country. Intrenched in 
their castles and fortresses, they defied the power of tlw; go- 
vernment, while the country was disturbed and desolated by 
thf'ir feuds. 

The Empire of tlic AS'est being now efi^ec'aially disinem- 


bered, tholigh there were afterwards temporary junctions of 
its different parts, we may properly resume our narrative of 
the several countries in their separate state. As the power 
which formed this empire emanated from France, it is natural 
to speak of this first. Indeed, we have been under the neces 
sity of noticing it already more than the rest. Germany, not 
having had a political existence before the era of Charlemagne, 
will be new on the list of nations. 

4. Louis IT., the Stammerer, succeeded Charles, as 
king of France, 877 A. C. Nothing of importance occurred 
during his reign, which was a short one, of only nineteen 
months. His two sons, Louis III., and Carloman, became 
joint possessors of the throne upon his death. Their reign 
was short, but it was characterized by union, vigour, and a 
degree of success against their enemies, the Normans. They 
died, the one in 882, and the other in S84. 

§ Their deaths were each accidental. Louis, in pursuhig a young 
female wlio fled from him, struck his head against the door, and 
was killed by the blow. Carloman, who survived him but a short 
time, in hiinting a wild boar, was wounded by a spear which one of 
his attendants launched against the animal. To save the attendant 
from the blame tliat might be attached to the act, Carloman report- 
ed that lie had been wounded by the wild boar. Though he lived 
several days, he persevered in keeping the cause of his death a 

5. Charles, surnamed the Fat, was chosen by the peers ot 
France to fill the vacant tluone, 885. He was brother and 
successor to Louis II., the German, and son of the Louis, to 
whom Germany was originally assigned. For a short time, 
France and Germany were again under the same sway. At 
the expiration of two years, howevei', Charles was deposed 
on account of his cowardice, and the imperial dignity was 
transferred to Germany. 

Tbe lioltiiity then elected Eudes, count of Paris, to fill 
the throne. 887, till Charles, a younger brother of Louis III., 
and Carloman, should attain to the age of manhood. Upon 
ihe death of Eudes, Charles, who was surnamed the Simple, 
was introduced to the soveieignty, 898, but he was deposed 
oy Robert, the brother of Eudes, in 922. Robert was suc- 
ceeded by Ralrho. or Rodolj)h, duke of Burgundy, the year 

FRANCE. 103 

§ Charles the Simple, died in prison, 929. He was a weak mo- 
narch, and despised by liis nobles. It is said, however, that in bat- 
tle, he killed the vaUant Robert with his own hand. lJp*in the death 
of Charles, Rodolph was in quiet possession of the throne. 

It was dnring the reign of Charles that the Normans invaded 
Neustria, which was ceded to them in 911. To Rollo, their chief, 
tlie king gave his daughter, Giselle, in marriage. From this people 
ihe country was called Normandy, and it is from this race of war- 
riors, that we shall trace the future conquerors of England. 

6. Louis IV., the son of Charles the Simple, was called to 
the throne of France, in 936. He was surnamed Outremer, 
or Transmarine, on account of having been brought up in 
England. During his reign, and that of his successor, Lo- 
thaire, Hugh the Great, the most powerful lord of France, 
directed, for the most part, the government. The same situ- 
ation was held by his son, Hugh Capet, under Louis V., the 
successor of Lothaire. When Louis died, Hugh, like another 
Pepin, placed himself on the throne of France. 

§ The corruption of these times, and the peculiar uncertainty and 
infelicity attending the condition of kings, are manifest, from the 
fact, that both Lothaire and Louis were poisoned by their queens. 

7. Hugh Capet, the head of the third dynasty of kings 
in France, called the Capetian, began to reign in 987 A. C. 
He was crowned at Rheims, on the third of July. His 
administration was marked Avitli ability. He enacted several 
salutary laws and ordinances, and established his residence 
in Paris, which had been deserted by his predecessors during 
more than two hundred years. He delegated a portion of 
the supreme authority to his son Robert, near the beginning 
of his reign. 

§ The true heir to the crown, was Charles of Lorrain, uncle to 
Louis V. Attempting to secure his rights l)y force, he was at last 
l)elrayed and conlined in prison, where he soon died. 

Hugh, either through modesty, or the fear of exciting the jea- 
lousy of his iiol)les, never assumed the insignia of royalty. He al- 
ways, even on great and solemn occasions, appeared in a plain dress 
and simple style. 

S. Robert, the son of Hugh Capet, succeeded his father in 
996. Marrying a cousin in the fourth degree, Rertha, who 
was the dani;!it(M- of the king of Rtn-gundy, his marriage was 
amiulled, himst'lf exconununicated, and his kingdom put 
under an interdict by the pope. This was the first instance 
of such an exercise of (ho papal authority in France. The 
distress and confusion that ensued, obliged Robert, much 


against his inclinations, to dismiss Bertha, and to expiate his 
offence by a solemn penance. 

He soon after married Constantia of Toulouse, who proved 
to be a vexatious partner, and cruel queen. 

§ The superstition of the times was seen in the affair of the Pope's 
interdict. The mass was no longer celebrated ; the sacrament re- 
fused to the sick ; and the dead left without bia-ial. There were no 
longer any regulations of police ; and, as all dreaded to approach an 
excommunicated person, the king was abandoned. He commanded, 
however, the services of two faithful domestics, who passed through 
the fire whatever he had touched, and threw to the dogs the refuse 
of the table. 

The king, in his second marriage, was extremely unhappy. Con- 
stantia continually tormented him. She caused the king's favourite, 
grand master of the palace, to be assassinated. She sowed discord 
between the sons of Robert. And her intolerance in religion was 
such, that she ordered thousands of a certain sect of heretics to be 
burned at the stake. 

It is a circumstance worthy of notice, that in the province of Lan- 
guedoc, where these cruelties were particularly exercised, the pro- 
testant faith has since constantly predominated over Catholicism. 

Robert is said to have been the first of the French kings who, accord- 
ing to the superstitions of the vulgar, received the supernatural gift of 
curing scrofulous affections, thence denominated the king's evil, by 
touching tlie sick, and pronouncing these words, " The king touches 
thee, and may God cure thee." 

9. On the death of the king, his two sons, Henry and Ro- 
bert, both aspired to the tbrone. It belonged to Henry, but 
the infamous Constantia had contrived to create an interest in 
favour of Robert. After some bloodshed, Henry was invested 
with the sovereign authority, 1031 A. C. He was an ac- 
tive sovereign, who knew how to maintain, and even extend 
Ins dominion, but he was not always judicious in his en- 

§ He subdued several of his rc'iellious nobles, defeated an armyot 
a younger brother who had claimed an inheritance in the monarchy, 
and espoused, for a time, the cause of William of Normandy, against 
the Norman grandees. He, however, soon attacked the latter — a 
rash step, whicli laid the foundation of long and disastrous wars. 

About the commencement of Henry's roign, a dreadful famine 
desolated not only France, but tlie rest of Europe. The dead were 
disinterred to serve as food for the living. The passengers were 
intercepted on the high ways, and carried into the woods to be 
devoured by the famishing peasantry. In one place, human flesh 
was publicly exposed for sale ; and in another, an innkeeper massa- 
cred the poor during the night, so as to furnish his table for gucua 

ITALV. 105 

on the following day. The season was such that corn could not be 
raised, and the want of pasture occasioned the death of cattle. 

10. Henry left tiie crown to his son Philip I., then seven 
years oltl, 1060 A. C, under the regency of Baldwin, count 
of Flanders. Philip was rather a spectator than an actor in 
tlie political events of his reign. He lived beyond the com- 
mencement of the first crusade, having swayed the sceptre 
during forty-eight years. His principal war ^vas with Wil- 
liam of Normandy, noAV become king of England. From 
this date commenced a long hostility between the English 
and French monarchies. 


11. In the division of the Western Empire among the sons 
of Louis tlie Debonaire, Italy, as we have seen, was assign- 
ed to Lothaire, with the title of emperor. His successor, as 
we have also seen, was Louis II., his son, who died in 875. 
The succeeding year, Charles the Bald, king of France, was 
proclaimed king of Italy by a diet at Pavia. But he retain- 
ed this sovereignty only two years, his death occurring in 877. 

Italy was afterwards ravaged by contending tyrants ; but 
in 964, Otho, the Great, reunited it to the dominions of the 
German empire. A series of wars, ho\vever, continued dur- 
ing at least two centuries, occasioned by the invasions of the 
Normans, and the claims of the emperors, till Italy was di- 
vided into several independent states. These wars are too 
unimportant and uninteresting to be noticed in this, or the 
following period. Italy, therefore, once the mistress of the 
world, must, for a time, be left out of the records of nations, 
except as her afiairs shall be incidentally noticed in the his- 
tory of Germany. Her independent sovereignties, formed at 
diflerent times, as Naples, the estates of the Church, Tusca 
ny, Parma, Lombardy, the Genoese, and the Venetian territo- 
ries, may, in some suljsequent period, be duly noticed. 

§ A transaction, in which Otho II., the second German emperor 
after Italy was re-unitcd to tlic empire, was engaged, may be here re- 
lated. Several cities of Italy look occasion to throw off their alle- 
giance to the emperor. Otho, hearing rj" it, soon entered Italy with 
an army, and adopted the following most cruel method to punish 
the authors of the tumults. 

He invited the nolilcs of Rome to a grand entertainment in the 
Vatican palace and when the guests had placed themselves at the 


table, he forbade them, under pain of death, to speak or move at 
what they should hear or see. Instantly they were surrounded by 
armed men, and while they sat trembling, the emperor composedly 
ordered the names of those concerned in the late disturbances to be 
read over, and the guilty to be put to death in the rnidst of the hall. 
After the bloody mandate was executed, he was all smiles and com- 
plaisance to the other guests, during the entertainment. 

It may be recorded here, that it was during the present 
period, the foundation of the temporal power of the popes 
was laid. In 1080, Matilda, countess of Tuscany, bequeath- 
ed a large portion of her dominions to pope Gregory tlie VII. 
From that time the popes possessed great power in the states 
of Europe. Although the (urij^ei'ors (German) asserted their 
sovereignty over Italy and the popedom, and claimed the 
absolute right of electing the pope ; yet it was with a con- 
stant resistance on the part of the Romans, and a general 
repugnance of the popes, w^hen once established. 


12. The empire of Charlemagne, in Spain, comprised but 
a small part of that country. Indeed, all that the Christians, 
(including the native Spaniards and the French,) possessed, 
constituted only about a fourth of the kingdom, viz., Asturia, 
part of Castile and Catalonia, Navarre, and Arragon. Cata- 
lonia and Navarre were sulidued by Charlemagne, but his 
successors seem to have taken no interest in the conquest ; it 
probably soon reverted back to the Christians of Spain. All 
the remainder of the Peninsula, including Poitugal, was oc- 
cupied by the Moors. 

Cordova, a luxurious and magnificent cily, was the 
Moorish capital. It was a great school for the sciences, and 
the resort of the learned from all parts of the world. In the 
tenth century, their dominions were divided among a num- 
ber of petty sovereigns, who were constantly at war with 
one another. Had the Christians availed themselves of this 
state of things, they might perhaps have then regained the 
whole kingdom ; but they were unhappily contending among 
themselves, and it was sometimes the case, that (he Christian 
princes formed alliances with the Moors against one ano- 

§ Taste and the sciences flourished in Cordova, and tlic south of 
Spain, when the rest of Europe had become involved in barbarism 


and ignorance. Cordova, as the seat of government, enjoyed a 
splendid period of two hundred years, reckoning from the middle of 
the eightli, to the middle of tlie tentli century. During that period, 
the Moorish portion of Spain boasted of a series of able princes, 
who gained the palm over all the nations of the West, both in arts 
and arms. 

It was only after the Moorish princes became luxurious and effe- 
minate, that the natioa was divided into a nmnber of petty states, 
the principal of which, were Toledo, Cordova, Valentia, and Seville. 

To add to the divided state of Spain, both among the Moors and 
Christians, the country abounded with independent lords, who were 
warriors and champions by profession, making it their business to 
decide the quarrels of princes, or to volunteer their service and tliat 
of their vassals and attendants, on such occasions. Of this descrip- 
tion of persons, termed knights-errant, the most distinguished was 
Rodrigo the Cid, who undertook to conquer the kingdom of New 
Castile, for his sovereign, Alphonso, king of Old Castile. Of the 
passion for knight eirantry, however, it is proposed to speak in some 
other place. 

The contentions among, the petty kingdoms of Spain need 
not detain us here, nor will it be expedient to dwell on tlie 
subsequent history of Spain, until the expulsion of the Moors, 
and the union of the whole country under one head, towards 
the conclusion of the fifteenth century. 


13. Germany was known in ancient times, but it possess- 
ed no political importance till the era of Charlemagne. Pre- 
viously, it was a rude and uncivilized country, and iluctuating 
in its government. Charlemagne may therefore be consider- 
ed the reviver, if not the founder of the German empire. 
As a component part of his sovereignty, it has been already 
noticed so far down as the termination of the short reign, or 
rather usurpation, of Charles the Bald, of France, in 877. At 
that period, or perhaps a few years subsequent, it may be con- 
sidered as having been effectuall}- separated from France; and 
of all the dominions of Charlemagne, it has alone descended 
as an empire, and the representative of the sway which he 
once held over the nations of the West. The emperor of 
Gfermany is to this day, nominally at least, regarded as suc- 
cessor to the Emperors of Rome. 

§ Germany, is said to be compounded of the Celtic word g-er, 
brave, and man, signifying a warlike people. In ancient times, it 
comprehended all the country from the Baltic to Helvetia, and from 


thf Rhine to the Vistula. The primitive inhabitants were most pro- 
bably the Celts. But our information respecting Germany is scanty 
till the period of the Roman conquests in that country. Some ages 
before that time, the Goths, or Teutones, had migrated from the 
eastern part of Europe, along the Euxine, and established them- 
selves on the shores of the Baltic, in Belgica, in the north of France, 
and the south of England ; driving the original inhabitants into the 
northern and western regions.* 

When Rome was in the zenith of its power, Germany seems to 
have been divided into a number of independent principalities ; but 
the inhabitants frequently united in the defence of their common li- 
berty, and many bloody battles established their reputation for bra- 
\'ery, before they sunk under the power and policy of their in- 
vaders. At length, however, their country was reduced to a state 
of provincial subjection to the masters of the world ; and upon the 
decline of the Western Empire of Rome, Germany became a prey to 
the Franks, and a considerable part of it remained under the do- 
minion of earls and marquisses, till Charlemagne extended his 
power, both military and civil, over the whole empire. 

14. The successor of Charles the Bald, was Charles III, 
called the Fat, after an interregnum of three years, 881 A. C. 
France was also under his sway at the same time, but he 
was soon afterwards deposed, and reduced to the greatest ex- 

15. In 887, Arnold, a natural son of Carloman, and 
nephew of Charles III., was jiroclaimed emperor of Germany. 
In the course of his reign, he defeated the Normans, took 
Rome, and was crowned there by the pope. His son Louis 
HI., became his successor in 899, when only seven years oi 
age. He was the last emperor descended in the male line from 

§ The reign of Louis is said to have been so much agitated by di- 
visions between the lords and the bishops, that the young emperor 
died of grief. 

Frnm the death of Louis, the empire became strictly elect- 
ive, although, during the hereditary succession, the consent of 
the bishops and grandees had alwa^^s been asked. 

16. Conrad, duke of Franconia, was elected to fill the 
vacant throne in 912. He reigned seven years, during whicli 
time he quelled several revolts, and purchased peace of the 
barbarous Hungarians 

§ The German grandees, who assembled at Worms, first offered 
the imperial diadem to Otho, duke of Saxony ; but he declining it 

♦ Webster's Elements, &c. 


on account of his advaiurcd age, persuaded them to appiy the invi- 
tation to Conrad. The latter was of imperial descent by his mother, 
who was a daughter of Arnold. During his reign, the affairs ol 
Germany were conducted with great prudence. 

17. LJpoii the deatli of Conrad, the imperial dignity was 
bestowed on Henry I., surnanied the Fowler. This prince 
possessed great abilities, and introdnced order and good go- 
vernment among his people. He built and embellished cities, 
reduced and conciliated many of the revolted lords, and con- 
t|uered several tribes, as the Hungarians, Danes, Sclavonians, 
Bohemians, &c. He added Lorrain to his dominions. 

§ Great as Henry was as a statesman, he manifested considerable 
zeal in propagating the Christian faith. A portion of the Vandals 
whom, he subdued, were, under his auspices, converted to this religion. 
He maintained no correspondence with the See of Rome, inasmucli 
as he had been consecrated by his own bishops. 

IS. His son Otho I., the great, was elected emperor, 936. 
He carried on the system of his father, in repressing the usur- 
pations, of the lords. The conquest of Bohemia he began in 
938, and finished in 950. In 961 he expelled Berenger II. 
and his son, Adalbert, from Italy, and caused himself to be 
crowned at Milan. The next year he was crowned by Pope 
John XII, and from that time he may be justly styled the 
emperor of the llojiians. John afterwards revolted against 
him, but was soon deposed. 

Otho was the greatest prince of his time. After an active 
and commendable reign of thirty years, he died of an apo- 
plectic disorder, in 972. His remains were interred in the 
cathedral church of Magdebourg, where his tomb may be 
still distinguislicd 1)y a Latin inscription. 

§ Otho owed his ascendancj^ in Italy to llie disorders and crimes of 
the Papacy. Being invited into that country by the Pope and the 
Italian states, while they were contending with Berenger, he defeat- 
ed the lattei*, and in return for the honours which the Pope conferred 
upon him, he confirmed the donations made to the Holy See by 
Pepin, Chai-lemagne, and Louis the Debonairc. 

§ Tiie treachery of the Pope, (John XII.) obliged the emperor, in 
two or throe successive instances, to visit Italy to compose tlie di.s- 
ordors tliat took place. The last time, he executed exemplary ven- 
geance on his enemies, by hanging one half of the senate. Calling 
together the Laleran Council, he created a new Pope, and obtained 
from the assembled bishops, a solemn acknowledgment of the abso- 
lute right of the emperor to elect to the |)apac3^ to give the investi- 
ture of the crown of Italy, and to nominate to ail vacant bishoprics. 

The power of parental affection is strikingly exhibited in the fol- 


lowing incident of Otho's life. Ludolphus, his son, liad engaged in 
an unnatural revolt, wliich produced some serious hostilities, and 
occasioned the destruction of the city of Ratisbon ; but after some 
time, the prince was made sensible of his error, and seized an op- 
portunity while the emperor was hunting, to throw himself at his 
feet, and implore Ins clemency. " Have pity," said he, " upon your 
misguided child, who returns, like the prodigal son, to his father. If 
you permit him to live after having deserved death, he will as- 
suredly repent of his folly and ingratitude, and the residue of his 
life shall be spent in the faithful discharge of filial duty." To this af- 
fecting appeal, Olho couid reply only by a flood of tears and a pa- 
ternal embrace ; but when his agitation subsided, he assured the 
penitent of his warmest favour, and generously pardoned all his 

19. Otho 11., surnamed the Sanguinary, succeeded his 
father m 973, during whose reign, and that of several others, 
nothing of importance occurred. The names of the sovereigns 
who followed, down to Henry IV., are Otho III., St. Henry, 
Conrad II., and Henry III. The}'^ occupied a period of about 
eighty-three years. 

20. Henry IV., the Great, succeeded his father at the age 
of six years, in 1056. He maintained a perpetual struggle 
with the popes, who insisted, that only the cardinals should 
elect the bishop of Rome. It was the lot of this emperor to 
experience a large share of papal insolence and tyranny. 
After a spirited contest with Pope Gregory VII., during 
which, the pope was twice his prisoner, and the emperor as 
often excommunicated and deposed, Henry fell, at last, the 
victim of ecclesiastical vengeance. At the instigation of 
Pope Urban II., the two sons of the emperor, Conrad and 
Henry, rebelled against their father, and to such an extremity 
was he reduced, through their barbarity and the pope's act of 
excommunication, tliat he could scarcely obtain the means of 

His sufferings were terminated by death soon after the ex- 
piration of the present period, viz. in 1106, he having lived 
sixty-four years, and reigned forty-eight. Henry, in his 
youth, was vicious to an uncommon extent, and gave up 
himself freely to the indulgence of his passions. Misfortune, 
afterwards, abated his sensual excesses, if it did not tliorough- 
ly reform his character. He lived to acknowledge, that " the 
hand of the Lord had touched him." On the whole, he was 

ENGLi SD. Ill 

endowed with many excellent qualities — courage, clemency, 
liberality, and, finally, with contrition and resignation. 

§ Tlie msoleiit treatment he received from the Pope, appears from 
the following. On one occasion, he set out for Italy, with his wife 
and infant, in order to humble himself at the foot of his holiness. 
On his arrival at the place where the Pope was, he was admitted 
within the outer gate, and informed that he must expect no favour 
until he should have fasted three days, standing from morning to 
evening, barefooted amid the snow, and then implored forgiveness 
for his offences. This penance was literally performed, notwith- 
standing the fatigue of the journey, and on the fourth day he re- 
ceived an absolution. 

The liberality of Henry's disposition, was such, that he is said to 
have entertained the sick, the lame, and the blind, at his own table, 
and even to have loilged them in his own apartment, that he might 
be at hand to minister to their necessities. 


Saxon Kings. — Norman Family. 

21. England, which had been divided into seven distinct 
i-overeignties during more than two centuries, became one 
entire kingdom, in 827 A. C. This change was effected by 
the prudence and valour of Egbert, prince of the West Sax- 
ons, who inhabited that part of the heptarchy, which was 
called Wesscx and Sussex. 

The occasion which offered for the conquest and union of 
the heptarchy, arose from the fact, that Egbert alone remain- 
ed of the descendants of the Saxon conquerors of Britain ; 
he, therefore, naturally looked to the dominion of the several 
states, as a sort of right ; nor did he hesitate to claim it, also, 
with his sword. Success attended his undertaking, and four 
hundred years after the arrival of the Saxons in Britain, 
were they united into one powerful kingdom. 

22 The English, who were so iiappily united under Eg- 
bert, enjoyed tlieir prosperity but a short period. The pirati- 
cal Danes, or Normans, who had molested the EngUsh coasts 
for fifty years, now became still more troublesome. During 
tlie life of Egbert, they twice attempted an invasion, but were 
repvilsed with much slaughter. 

The death of Egbert, and (he character of his successor, 
Ethelwolf, a prince of a very yielding disposition, encouraged 
the Danes to multiply theii- depredations. They were often 


defeated, but could not be expelled. By his will, Ethehvolf 
divided England between his two eldest sons — Ethelbakl 
and Ethelbert. Alfred, afterwards so illustrious, was a young- 
er son. 

§ It was Ethehvolf who, through faciUty of disposition, not only 
granted to the priesthood a perpetual right to tithes, but exempted 
it from all services and imposts. 

The reign of Ethelbald and Ethelbert was short, — com- 
mencing in 857, and ending in 866. To Ethelred, a third 
brother, the sceptre was bequeathed. He died bravely, in 
battle against the Danes, and then the immortal Alfred suc- 
ceeded, in 872. 

23. This prince, who was only twenty-two years of age, 
when he ascended the tlu'one, found his kingdom in a most 
miserable condition. It was scourged and afflicted by an- 
archy, domestic barbarism, and foreign ai^grossion. By his 
efforts, however, he succeeded in raising it to an eminence 
and happiness, surpassing what might hn . e 1 leen expected at 
that peri.od. His talents, virtues, and cliuiacter, were of the 
highest order, and have justly endeared his name and 
memory to the bosom of every Englishman. The institu- 
tions which he founded are, to this day, the glory of the Bri- 
tish realm. 

He patronised learning and the arts — encouraged manu- 
factures and commerce — appropriated a seventh of his reve- 
nue to restore the ruined cities, castles, palaces, monasteries — 
founded or revived the university of Oxford — divided Eng- 
land into counties and hundreds — took a survey of the coun- 
try, and formed a code of laws, which, though now lost, is 
generally deemed the origin of the common law. 

§The wisdom of his civil institutions may be seen in his division 
of the country. This plan was resorted to with a view to restore 
the order which the violence and rapacity of the Danes had sub- 
verted. Besides a division into counties and hundreds, there were 
the smaller divisions of tithings. Ten householders formed a tith- 
ing, who were answerable for each other's conduct, and over 
whom a headborougli was appointed to preside. Every man was 
registered in some tithing, and none could change his habitation, 
without a certificate from th(!headborougb. 

In the decision of differences, tlie headborough, also called tith- 
ing-man, summoned his tithing to assist him. Tii affairs of great 
moment, or in controversies between the members (*f different tith- 
ings, the cause was brought before the court ot the hundred, which 


was assembled every four weeks. Here we may trace the origin of 
juries. Twelve freeholders, sworn to do impartial justice, tried the 
cause in this court. The county court, which met twice a year, 
fuid consisted of the freeholders of the county, was superior to that 
of the hundred, from which it received appeals. Here disputes be- 
tween the inhabitants of different hundreds were settled. The ulti- 
mate appeal from these several courts, lay to the king in council. 

The leio^n of Alfred was signalized by his contest with the 
Danes. Within the space of one year, he defeated them in 
eight battles ; but a new irruption of their countrymen, forced 
him to solicit a peace, w^hich these pirates frequently inter- 
rupted by fresh hostilities. At this juncture, Alfred w^as com- 
pelled to secure his person by retreating into an obscure part 
of the country. Here he continued, disguised in the habit 
of a peasant, for many months, until the disorders in the Da- 
nish army offered a fair opportunity for attacking them. This 
he embraced with great effect. Instead of cutting them off en- 
tirely, as he might have done, he incorporated many of them 
with his English subjects. It was after these exploits, that he 
turned his attention,' as already mentioned, to the internal 
improvements of his kingdom. He died in the full vigour 
of his age and faculties, after a glorious reign of twenty-nine 
years, and w^as justly sinnamed the Great. 

§ Alfred having perceived the remissness of the enemy, from whose 
pursuit he had secreted himself, ventured at length to quit his retire- 
ment. With a few of his retainers, he had made some sudden and par- 
tial attacks on the Danes ; but before he attempted to assemble his 
subjects generally in arms, he was determined to explore the state of 
the enemy. His skill as a harper procured him admission into their 
camp. Having been introduced to Gulhrum, their prince, he played 
before him in hi»tent. Here he witnessed ttieir supineness. 

Encouraged by what he had seen, he sent private emissaries to 
the most considerable of his friends, and sunnnoned them to meet 
him with their r(!lainers, at a certain place. The English crowded 
around the standard of a monarch whom they so fondly loved, and 
before their ardour could cool, he led them victoriously against the 
enemies of their country. 

24. Edward, surnamed the Elder, succeeded his father Al- 
fred, in 901. lie lived in a stormy jieriod, being continually 
molested by the Nortluuubriun Danes ; yet he was generally 
successful in his wars, and his administration of government 
uas honourable to his character. He reigned twenty-four 
^ Elhelwald, a younger son of Alfred, inherited his father's passion 


for letters, and lived a private life — a happy turn and destiny lor 
the son of a prince. 

25. Athelstan, a natural son of Edward, succeeded him, 
925. He was an able and popular sovereign, and opposed 
with success the Northumbrian Danes, Welsh, Scots, &,c. 
He encouraged navigation, by conferring the rank of thane, 
or gentleman, on every merchant who had made three voy- 
ages to the Mediterranean on his own account. His reign 
was of sixteen years continuance. 

§ He effected the laudable design of translating the Scriptures into 
the Saxon tongue, wliich appears to have been the earliest version 
of that book into the language of Britain. 

26. Edmund, a legitimate son of Edward, next ascended 
the throne, 941. He reigned about five years, having perish- 
ed by the hand of Leolf, a notorious robber. 

Edred, a brother of Edmund, became his successor, 046. 
In this prince, was the singular mixture of courage and su- 
perstition. His courage he manifested in reducing to obe- 
dience the North nmlnian Danes — his superstition, in becom- 
ing the dupe of the famous Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury. 
He abandoned his conscience to this deceiver. 

§ Dunstan invented several marvellous legendsof his conflicts with 
tlie devil — pretended piety, but possessed an inordinate ambition — 
and was at List canonized as a saint. 

27. Edwy, a nephew of Edred, now filled the throne of 
the Saxon kings of England, 955. By marrjang within the 
degrees of affinity prohibited by the canon law, he and his 
beautiful princess Elgiva, l)oth became objects of monkish per- 

§ Archbisiiop Odo, with a band of soldiers, seized Elgiva, burned 
her face with a hot iron, and forcibly carried her into Ireland. 
WTiea afterwards she attempted to return to the arms of her hus- 
band, she was secured by this detestable ecclesiastic, and Ijy his 
order so mutilated, that slie died in a few days in tlie sharpest torment. 

28. Edgar, the younger brother of Edwy, succeeded to the 
ihrone, 959. His reign lasted sixteen years. His private 
character was detestable, on accotint of his licentiousness ; but 
energy and success distinguisbed his public administrations. 
He promoted the inhuman and fanatical Dunstan to the arch- 
liishopric of Canterbury, and paying that prelate a forced ho- 
mage, he was able to carry into effect his vn rious plans of go- 

§ Edgar obtained bis wife Elfrida, in the following manner. She 


was a daughter of the Earl of Devonshire, and the greatest beauty 
of the EngHsh court. Edgar designing to marry her if her charm's 
were found answerable to report, sent his favourite, Athelwold, to 
visit her, and bring him an account of her person. 

The courtier's fidelity was overcome by the beauty of Elfrida, 
and witli a view to secure her for himself, he gave an unfavoura- 
ble account to the king, at the same time intimating that she would 
on the whole be an advantageous match for himself, on account of 
her riches and birth. The king forwarded his favourite's views, and 
he obtained the hand of the fair damsel. 

The truth, however, soon came to the cars of the king, and inform- 
ing Athohvold that he would like to bo introduced to Elfrida, and 
the courtier bemg afraid to decline the honour, he had an opportu- 
nity, of witnessing with his own eyes, the lo\'cliness of her person. 
Athohvold, in the mean time, had been obliged, in the hope of saving 
his wife, to reveal the whole transaction to her, and besought her to 
disguise her beauty on the occasion. 

She, however, resenting the artifice by which she had lost a crown, 
purposely sought to captivate the king by a displa}'' of her person, 
and easily succeeded. Edgar soon alter embraced an opportimity 
in hunting, of stabbing Athelwold, and reaped the fruit of his 
crime in the possession of the enchanting fair one. 

29. The reign of Edward, son of Edgar, l)y his first wife, 
was short and uninteresting. He perished by assassination, 
wliich was instigated by liis step-mother Elfrida, 978. 

Etheb-cd II., son of Edgar, by Elfrida, was placed on the 
throne at the age of eleven. His surname was Unready, the 
reproachful epithet of his weakness. His hatred of the Danes, 
wlio again molested England, was so great, that he ordered 
ci massacre of all those of that people wlto had been retained 
as mercenaries in his army. This barbarous mandate v/as 
strictly executed. 

• The Danes at home, however, resolved on vengeance, and 
accordingly under Sweyn, their king, they invaded and rava- 
ged the country. London was saved from destruction, only 
by the payment of a tribute. The weak Ethclred fleeing to 
Normandy, tiie English nobility were ashamed of theii- prince, 
and in despair of relief, offered the kingdom to Sweyn. 

The Dane, however, died soon afterwards, and Elhelred 
was restored ; but Canute, the son of Sweyn, asserted his 
claims to the crown by force of arms. He was opj)osed by 
Ednumd, son of Ethebed, with various success. 

In the mean time, Ethehed died, after a long and inglorious 
reign, and Edmund succeeded to the government. 1016. In 


the war which he carried on with Canute, he was obhged, af. 
length, to divide his kingdom with the latter. But he sur- 
vived this treaty only a month, having been cut off by the 
treachery of his brother-in-law, Edric. 

§ Edmund was surnamed Ironside, from his strength and valour j 
but though he put forth every effort, he could not save his realm. 
He left two children, who, however, never succeeded to the throne. 

Canute became sole monarch, upon the death of Edmund, 
in 1017, and proved to be tlie most powerfid sovereign of his 
time. He was surnamed the Great, and possessed eminent 
abilities. He was terrible in his resentments, but an impar- 
tial dispenser of justice. 

§ In the distribution of justice, he made no distinction between the 
Danes and Englisli ; he restored the Saxon customs, and gradually 
incorporated the victors v/ith the vanquished. His mind was affected 
with religious considerations towards the close of life, and he became 
alarmed in view of the crimes he had committed, (for he had put 
many of his subjects to death without cause,) but his piety was of 
that superstitiQus kind, which displayed itself in building churches 
and endowing monasteries, the great virtues of those ages. 

30. Of the three sons whom Canute left, two ruled in suc- 
cession over England, viz. — Harold, surnamed Harefoot, from 
his speed in running, who reigned only four years, and Ilar- 
dicanute, who reigned but a fev/ montlis. 

Upon the death of the latter, the English freed themselves 
from the Danish yoke, and restored the Saxon line in Ed- 
ward, a younger son of Ethelred, 1041. He was entitled tlie 
Confessor, and reigned twenty-five years without merit of 
any kind, unless it were his ability to conciliate the esteem 
of the monks. Having no children, and wishing to defeat 
the views of Harold, the son of tlie Earl of Godwin, an as- 
j)irant to the throne, he appointed his kinsman, William, Duke 
of Normandy, his successor. Edward was the last of the 
Saxon kings of England. 

§ Edward united all the laws of England in one body, called the 
(Common Law. lie was the first king of England, who pretended 
to cure the king's evil by his touch, a practice which was continued 
till the Hanover succession. 

31. On the death of Edward, Harold actually took posses- 
sion of the throne, but William determined to secure it as his 
rightful inheritance, ills prcjiarations were very formidable, 
and he was aided in this romantic age, by many sovereign 



princes, and a vast body of nobility from the different king- 
doms on tlie continent. 

With an army of 60,000 men, he set sail for the English 
coast. Harold, with nearly the same number of soldiers, met 
him, and was defeated and slain in the field of Hastings. 
The English army was nearly destroyed, while the Normans 
lost about 15.000 men. AVilliam, from this time styled the 
Conqueror, soon assumed the prerogatives of sovereignty, 
1066 A. C. The princes of the Norman family ruled till the 
time of Henry II. 

William's administration of government was marked with 
ability, and in general, with success. In consequence of the 
discontent often manifested by his Englisli subjects, he began 
to treat them too much as a comjuered people, and tbe natural 
tyranny of his disposition increased by the commotions in 
which tins policy ij^volved him. Hence his measures \vere 
frequently arbitrary and cruel. 

He alienated the minds of the conquered, by conferring on 
his Norman followers, all the important places in the govern- 
ment ; by causing the Norman language to be the vehicle of 
the church service, and also of judicial proceedings ; by re- 
serving to himself the exclusive privilege of killing game 
throughout the kingdom, and by depopulating a tract ot 
country about thirty miles round, in order to form a forest. 

§ He was tlie author of several other regulations of an inauspicious 
nature, some of which were greatly vexatious to the people, lie 
introduced the feudal system ; sul^slituted the murderous practice (>f 
simple combat for the trial by jury ; compelled the people to rake 
uplheir fires, and put out their lights at the sound of the curfew 
bell ; and he made it a greater crime to destroy an animal, than to 
murder a man. One useful act of his reign, was a sui-vey of all the 
lands and estates of the kingdom, with an estimate of their value, an 
enumeration of every class of inhabitants who lived on them, and 
other important specifications. This record is called the Doomsday- 
book, which is still in being. 

The children of William brought on him no small share 
of trouble. His eldest son Robert, attempted to wrest from 
him the sovereignty of jMaiiie, and his foreign subjects nssist- 
M the rebel. The king led against them an army of the 
Ensjlish, and during the batde was on the point of being kill- 
ed in a rencoimter with his son. Soon after, while waging 
a war with Philip I. of France, who had aided in the rebel- 
lion, he was accidentally killed by a fall from his horse, 10S7. 


He reigned nearly twenty-one years over England, and be- 
queathed the sceptre to his second son William. 

William was eminent as a .^atesman and warrior, and was 
at times capable of generous em.otions ; but the prominent 
traits of his character were very unamiable. His pride, arri- 
bition, austerity, and cruelty, both inflicted sulTcrings on hia 
people, and robbed his own mind of peace. In his adminis- 
tration, though he was sometimes politic, he erred on the side 
of severity. 

§ The person of William, was such as befitted a sovereign, espe- 
cially in a rude and warlike age. He was tall, majestic, and well 
proportioned. His strength was so great that scarcely any other 
person could bend his bow, or wield his arms. He was, however, 
near being overcome by the prowess of his son Robert, on a certain 

While contending with the forces of that rebel, he happened to 
engage with him in person. They were mutually unknown to each 
other, as they were concealed by their armour. Both being vigo- 
rous and resolute, a tierce combat ensued. Robert at length wound- 
ed and dismounted his father, nor did he discover who liis antago- 
nist was, till at that instant, in his cry for assistance, William's voice 
was recognized by his son. 

Struck with remorse and horror, the young prince threw himself 
at his father's feet, and implored forgiveness, at the same time assist- 
ing him to mount his own horse. William was implacable at first, 
but reflecting on his son's generosity, he soon became reconciled to 
him, and invited him into England. 

32. William XL, suruamcd Rufus, from his red hair, ascend- 
ed the throne in 1087. He was destitute of the few virtues 
of his father, and inherited all his vices. Perfidy, tyranny, 
and cruelt}', were the chief ingredients of his character. Af- 
ter the defeat of one conspiracy at the beginning, his reigli 
was a series of despotic acts, which conferred neither peace 
nor honour on his country. After a reign of thirteen years, 
he was accidentally shot by Sir Walter Tyrrel, with an ar- 
row, while hunting in the New Forest. 

§ Tyrrel, from fear of the consequences, fled to France. The body 
of William, after several days, was found by the country people, 
and conveyed in a cart to A\ in Chester, wJiere it was interred. The 
person who carried the corpse; of the king to interment, was named 
Purkis, and it is remarkable, that some of his dccendants, are known, 
at this very dav, to reside near the same spot. 

The chief monuments that perpetuate the name of Rufus, are the 
Tow2r, Westminister Hall, and London Bridge. 



33. The Eastern, or GreekEmpire, during the present 
period, was ruled by thirty-nine emperors, most of them fol- 
lowing in succession, tliough in a few instances, two or more 
ruled at the same time, and jointly. None of them were very 
distinguished, though a very few were respectable sovereigns. 
In general they were a weak or vicious race, yet scarcely too 
de2^raded to be rulers of the degenerate Romans. A few 
names will appear below. 

This people, compared with what they had been, were low ; 
yet still they were on an equality, at least, with the first na- 
tions of Europe, at that time. Their degeneracy was rather 
in moral and intellectual qualities, than in external show and 
consequence. There remained among them much of ancient 
wealth and splendour. 

§ In the 10th century, the provuices that still acknowledged the au- 
thority of tlie successors of Constanline, had been cast inlo a new 
form by the institution of the themes, or military governments. 01 
these, there were twenty-nine, viz. twelve in Europe, and seventeen in 
Asia; l)ut tlieir orijiin is obscure. The victories of a few of the em- 
perors had enlarged the boundaries of the Roman name ; but in \he 
eleventh century the prospect was darkened. The relics of Italy 
were swept away by the Norman adventurers, and the Turks had 
removed many of the Asiatic props of the empire. Still the spa- 
cious provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, were obedient to 
their sceptre, and they possessed Cyprus, Rhodes, and Crete, Avith 
the fifty islands of the ^gean Sea. 

The subjects of the Byzantine empire, were more dexterous than 
other nations, and in the support and restoration of the arts, their 
patient and peaceful temper, and refined taste, are highly to be com- 
mended. The first demand of the public revenue was the pomp 
and pleasure of the emperors. The coasts and islands of Asia and 
Europe, were covered witli their magnificent villas. Tiie great pa- 
lace, the centre of imperial residence, was decorated and enlarged 
by the wealth of successive sovereigns ; and the long series of apart- 
ments were adorned with a profusion of gold, silver, and precious 

Of the numerous emperors of this period, whose reigns in general 
must have been short, the following only can be noticed. 

Basil I., who ascended in 867, was from an obscure family, but 
proved himself wortliy of his elevation. He defeated the Saracens 
in tlie east, and m Italy, but could not prevent thera from ravaging 
the Peloponnesus. 

An incident of this emperor's reign is the following. His son, Leo, 
had Deen imprisoned on a false accusation of an attempt to assa^- 


siiiale the emperor. Frequent intercessions were made bji those 
who beheved in the son's innocence, to have him released, till the 
emperor in his impatience, forbade Leo's name to be mentioned in his 
houring. It happened, however, one day, that a parrot which had often 
heard a regret expressed for the unhappy prince, on a sudden broke 
out with, " Alas, pot)r Leo !" in the emperor's presence. Basil, struck 
with the sounds, was so moved that lie consented to his son's libera- 

Nicephorus Phocas possessed the reputation both of a hero and 
saint. His saintship, however, was only a pretence. He proved his 
claim to heroism in his wars with the Saracens. He invaded Asia, 
and overran Mesopotamia. His vices, especially his avarice, render- 
ed him odious ta his subjects. He was assassinated by John Zime- 
sees, who succeeded him in the empire, and who afterwards met 
v.'ith the same fate. 

Basil n. marched against the kingdom of Bavaria, and finally de- 
stroyed it. On this occasion, it is related of him, that having taken 
a great number of prisoners, he divided them into companies of an 
hundred each, caused all their eyes to be put out, and ordered them 
to be conducted to their king by a man who had one eye left. This 
horrible spectacle so affected the king of Bulgaria, that he fainted 
away, and died two days afterwards. 


34. The thirteenth dynasty of the emperors of China tei- 
niinated during the present period, which inchided also live 
other dynasties. The number of emperors was thirty-three. 
Some of them were very wise men. In the reign of Tai- 
tsong, of the tliirteenth dynasty, Christianity was introduced 
into a small part of China. 

§ Tai-tsong was one of the greatest of the Chinese princes. Ht 
was wise, frugal, and afflible. His ministers attempted to excite in 
him apprehensions from his too great familiarity with his subjects ; 
but he replied, " I consider myself in the empire as a father in his 
family. I carry all my people in my bosom, as if they were ray 
children. What then have I to fear ?" 

Chwang-tsong, of the fifteenth dynasty, from a general, stepped to 
tlie throne. As emperor, he preserved his martial habits, lived very 
frugally, and slept on the bare ground with a bell about his neck to 
prevent his sleeping too long. He was devout, and all his prayers 
were offered for the good of his subjects. Block printing was in- 
vented among the Chinese during his reign. 


35. At the commencement of the present period, the Sa- 
racens were flourishing in science and the arts. Their mi- 
litary distinction was perhaps on the wane. Nearly forty 


,^yeais had elapsed since the seat of their empire was trans- 
ferred to Bagdad, and Arabia, in consequence, had lost much 
of its importance. Many of the chiefs of the interior provin- 
ces became independent, and withdrew themselves from the 
civil jurisdiction of the caliph. 

§ It is supposed, that the Saracens, had thej'- acknowledged only 
one head, might have established and perpetuated an immense em- 
pire. But after the extension of their conquests, they were broken 
up into separate states. Egypt, Morocco, Spain, and India, had, at 
an early period, tlieir own sovereigns, who, though they paid a reli- 
gious respect to the caliph of Bagdad, awarded him no temporal 
submission. Divided among themselves, they were destined ere 
long to fall. 

36. The principal military expedition of the African Sara- 
cens in this period, was the invasion of Sicily, and the project- 
ed con(iuest of Ital}*. They actually laid siege to Rome, which 
was strenuously defended by Pope Leo IV. They were en- 
tirely repulsed, having their ships dispersed by a storm, and 
their army cut to pieces, S4S. 

37. The house of Abbas, which now enjoyed the caliphate, 
furnished twenty-two caliphs during this period. These reign- 
ed in succession, and Bagdad continued to be the seat of their 
power. In the year 1055, however, Bagdad was taken by the 
Turlcs, and the caliphs, from that time, instead of being tem- 
poral monarchs, became only the supreme pontiff's of the Ma- 
Irometan faith. 

At the time of the first crusade, in the beginning of the 
next period. Arabia was governed by a Turkish sultan, as 
were Persin. and the greater jwrtion of lesser Asia. 

§ We can notice only one or two of the caliphs of Bagdad. Adad- 
odawla v»'as deemed a great prince. He was magnanimous, liberal, 
[trudent, and learned ; but he was also insatiably ambitious. A re- 
mark which he made when at the point of death, is a melancholy 
comment on human greatness. Willi a faiiltcring tongue, he cried, 
" Vvliat have all my riches and prosperity availed me ? My power 
and authority are now at an end." 

Mahmud (ta^ui, was a famous conqueror. He invaded and con- 
piercd a part of India. The following striking anecdote is related 
of him by historians. A poor inan, who had complained to him 
that one of his soldiers had driven himself and family out of his 
house in the night, was told to inform the prince if that occurrence 
should take place again. The poor man had occasion to inform the 
prince, who went to tlie house, and causing the lights to be extin ■ 
guished, cut the intruder in pieces. The prince then commanded 
The llambeaux to be lighted, and after closely inspecting the corpse, 



offered thanks to God, and asked for some refreshment. This being 
afforded, he ate heartily of the mean fare. 

Being interrogated by his host respecting the reason of his con- 
duct, he replied, " Ever since your complaint, my mind has been 
harassed with the thought, that none but one of my own sons would 
commit such an act of audacity. I had resolved to show him rro 
lenity, and commanded the lights to be put out, that the sight of 
him might not affect me ; but on seeing that the criminal was not 
my son. I returned thanks to the Almighty." 

Distinguished Cltaractei^s in Period V. 

1. Charlemagne, a piiccessful warrior and able sovereign 

2. Photius, a learned Clnistian writer and philosopher. 

3. Erigena, a Scotch philosopher and learned divine. 

4. Alfred, a wise, learned, and virtuous prince. 

5. Al Razi, an eminent Arabian scholar, and physician. 

6. Avicenna, an Arabian philosopher and physician. 

7. Suidas, a Greek lexicographer. 

§ 1. Charlemagne, of whom some account has already been given, 
was king of France, by succession, and emperor of the west, by 
conquest, in 800. He laid the foundation of the dynasty of the 
Western Fraidvs. Tliough his empire did not hold together, long 
after his death, his successors in the several states of which it had 
been composed, reigned several centuries, in tlic line of the Franks, 
Indeed, this was the case, till the house of Austria was founded. 

Charlemagne was in many respects an admirable sovereign. Ho 
excelled in war ; and although he was so illiterate that he could 
not spell his name, he was great in the cabinet, and patronised 
learning. He invhed into France, Jiterary and scientific men from 
Ital}'', and from the Britannic Isles. The latter, in those dark ages, 
preserved more of the light of learning, than any of the western 

His private character has been much eulogized, though it is ac- 
knowledged that he was sometimes rigid and cruel. He was simple 
in his manners and dress, and opposed to parade and luxury. Eco- 
nomy, industry, and plainness, characterised him in a domestic state. 
His daughters Were assiduously employed in spinning and house- 
wifery, and his sons were trained by himself in all manly exercises. 
Except when he held his general assemljlics, his dress, table and at- 
tendants were like those of a private person. 

He was a man of almost incredible activity. Instead of confiding 
in the reports of others, he personally saw that his orders wera ex- 
ecuted. The condition of his subjects was constantly in his view. 
In one place, he ordered the repairs of a highway; in another, the 
construction of a bridge ; and in another, he afforded the necessary 
aid to agriculture and commerce. Each of the provinces partook 
in its turn of his benefits. 

Charlemagne founded several seminaries of learning ; but the 


derkness of ihe times could scarcely be alleviated by all his eiforts. 
He suppressed mendicity, and established a fixed and invariable 
price for com- The meanest of his subjects were thus enabled to 
provide against their wants, and all complaints on this head were 
banished. After rearing a splendid empire, he departed this life at 
the age of seventy-one years. 

2. Photius was patriarch of Constantinople in the ninth century, 
and the greatest man of the age in which he lived. He possessed 
the patriarchate only ten years, during which, he was exposed to a 
most turbulent opposition and cabal. He was at last deposed, and 
died in a monastery. He deserves a high rauik in point of erudi- 
tion. He was the author of a commentary on the ancient ^vrilers, 
a collection of the canons of the church, epistles, &c. These are 
yet valuable on several accounts. In commenting on the scriptures, 
although he followed reason, rather than authority, he is not on the 
whole a model fit to be taken. He explained with ability the cate- 
gories of Aristotle. He died in 886. 

3. Erigena, John Scotus, was born at A\-r, in Scotland, according 
to some authorities, and was very learned, in a very barbarous age. 
He was employed by king Alfred to promote learning and the liberal 
arts. For this purpose he Mas appointed to preside at Oxford, over 
the studies of geometry and astronomy in particular. He spent 
three years in this siuiation ; but some disputes and disturbances 
arising at Oxford, he left that place and retired to a monastery at 
Malmsbury. Tliere he opened a school, but his harshness and se- 
verity to his scholars so provoked them, that they stabbed him with 
ihe iron bodkins they then wrote with, in such a manner, that he 
died, 8S3. Mosheim speaks of Erigena as an eminent philosopher 
and learned divine, and as manifesting uncommon sagacity and 
genius. He wrote a book on Predestination, and translated into 
Latin four pieces of Dionysius, the Areopagite, and was the author 
of some other works. 

4. Alfred, so justly surnamed the Great, was bom in 849, as is 
supposed, at Wantage, in Berkshire. He succeeded to the crown on 
the deaiJi of his brother Ethelred in 871 ; but he had scarcely time 
to attend to the funeral of his brother, l»efore he was obliged to 
fight for his kingdom and life, with the piratical Danes. His mili- 
tary exploits, with several other things, have been above related. The 
particulars which may with propriety be added, are the following. 

Alfred was both a wise and a pious prince. His qualities were 
most happily blended together, so that no one encroached on ano- 
ther. He reconciled a most diligent attention to business, with the 
purest and warmest devotion — the severest justice with the most ex- 
emplary lenity — the brightest capacity and inclination for science 
with the most shining talents for action. He was equally a warrior 
and a legislator. He united with rich mental endowments, every 
personal grace and accomplishment. 

Tlie darkness and superstitions of the age, were too powerful for 
his efforts and mstituiions. He could not expel them to any great 


extent. Yet he did considerable to elevate the character of his- 
countrymen, and he aimed at much more. In addition to the schools- 
and seminaries of learning which he founded, he afforded the attrac- 
tive influence of his own example. 

His time he usually divided into three equal portions — one was- 
employed in exercise or the refection of the body — another in tlit 
despatch of business — and a third in study and devotion. He con- 
veyed his instructions to the people in parables, stories, &c. couch- 
ed in poetry; as he considered these best adapted to their capa- 
city. He translated the Fables of Jilsop, the liistories of Orosius 
and Beda, and Boethius on the Consolation of Piiilosophy. In tb.ese 
various literary engageinents, he sought the good of his people, as 
well as his own personal, intellectual improvement. 

5. Al Razi, a name not perhaps well known in European literature, 
was famous in the Arabian annals; and the Aral^ians at this era 
were the most enlightened of the nations. This person is said tO' 
have been extremely well versed in all kinds of ancient learning; 
though he excelled most in physic, and is styled the Phcenix of the 
age. He applied himself to the study of philosop'iy with such suc- 
cess, that he made a wonderful piogress in every branch <.C it, and 
composed a great number of books upon physical nnd philosophical 
subjects. He composed 12 books on alchemy, in which he asgerted 
the possibility of a transmutarion of metals, and was the first writer 
on the small-pox. 

He is said to have contracted webs in his eyes by tlie immoderate 
eating of beans ; and towards the close of his life, lost both of them 
by cataracts. He would not permit an occulist, v.^ho came to couch 
him, to perform the operation, because he could not tell of how 
many little coats the eye consisted ; saying at the same time, that he 
was not very desirous of recovering his sight, as he had already seen 
enough of the world to make him abhor it. He died about the year 935. 

6. Avicenna, who is much celebrated among his countrymen, the 
Mahometans, was born i!i the year 980, and died in 1036. The num- 
ber of his books, including Jiis smaller tracts, is computed at near 
one hundred, the majority of which are either lost, or unknown 
in Europe. At the age of ten years, he had made great progress in 
classical literature. It is said that he read over Aristotle's metaphy- 
sics 40 times, got it by heart, but could not understand it. Acciden- 
tally meeting with a book wliich treated of the objects of metaphy- 
sics, he perceived what Aristotle meant, and out of joy at the disco- 
very, gave alms to the poor. 

7. Suidas flourished between 975 and 1025. His native cor.ntry 
is not known. He is tlie author of a very useful Greek Lexicon 
The work contains much historical and geographical information. 
No particulars seem to have been recorded respecting his life, either 
by himself or by others. He is known only by his bonk. 



The period of I he Crvsades ; extending from the First 
Crusade^ 1095 years A. C, to the founding of the 
Turkish Empire, 1299 years A. C. 

During this period, we have Rianifold proofs of tlie darkness of 
the limes, with a singular mixture of a spirit of adventure, and lofty 
daring. The age was peculiarly characterised by the crusades, the 
passion for pilgrimages, the exploits of chivalry, and the production 
of romances. Barbarism and turbulence extensively prevailed, while 
the lights of science were few and dim. In England, however, there 
was the early dawn of literature. 


Sect. 1. In giving an account of the Crusades, we include 
a portion of the history of the principal Einopean nations. For 
this rca?0Ti, less of the separate history of those nations will 
appear during this period, than would otherwise be introdu- 
ced. The Crusades were comnion to all Christendo)n, and 
all felt a deep interest in them. The other peculiarities of the 
times, as pilgrimages, chivalry, the feudal system, (fee. since 
they belonged to the established customs and institutions of 
Europe, will be unfolded in the General Views. In the Cru- 
sades, the political and military liistory of a great part of the 
world is carried on for a long time. 

2. The Crusades were wars undertaken principally dining 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, by the Christian nations 
of Europe, on account of religion. They were termeil Cru- 
sades, from the cross which was the badge of the combatants. 
The object of these wars was the deliverance of Palestine, 
and particularly the tomb of Jesus Christ front the dominion 
of the Tiuks or Mahometans. 

The Turks, or Turcomans, a race of Tartars, having, in 
1055, taken Bagdad, and thus overturned the empire of the 
caliphs, canteinto the possession of the coimtries which these 
caliphs had governed, and the caliphs themselves, instead of 
temporal monarchs, became sovereign jiontifis of the Mahome- 
tan faith. Palestine, and particularly Jerusalem, were of course 
imder the sway of the Turks, and the seat of their religion* 



Tn tliis situation of things, the resoi: of pi' ^rims to the 
tomb of our Saviour was attended with much difficulty and 
danger. While the Saracens held possession of the country, 
the pilgrims were permitted to have free access to the holy 
cit)^ : but its new masters, tlie Turks, were a more wild and 
ferocious people. They insulted and robbed those fanatical 
devotees — a circumstance, in such an age, of sufficient im- 
portance to arouse all Europe for the deliverance of Jerusalem 
from the infidels. The Roman pontiffs were the principal 
instigators of these desperate adventures. 

§ In an age of religious enthusiasm, and in an unenlightened state 
of society, it is not surprising that Judea should have been an object 
of veneration, or superstitious regard to the Christian world. Here 
the great events recorded in the sacred scriptures transpired — the 
chosen ])eople of God subsisted Ihrougli many generations — unnum- 
bered miracles vv'cre performed — the IMosaic and Christian dispen- 
sations were set up — even God's own Son, the ?ilessiah, lived, suffer- 
ed, and died. Here prophets and apostles had preached, and writ- 
ten, and shed their blood in testimony of the truth, and every tenant- 
ed part, especially the Holy City, was marked by some divine inter- 
position or manifestation, most dear to the lover of piety. 

A country so hallowed, is capable, even now, of exciting tiie most 
delightful associations; and though we are in no danger of attempt- 
ing any thing like a crusade, yet nothing relating to such a land can 
be contemplated without deep emotion. AVhat sensations then must 
have been excited in a deeph* enthusiastic and superstitious age ' 
And much as we smile at their lolly, how easily can we account for 
t!ie ardour which was displayed b)^ imlettered minds and fanatical 
tempers, on the subject of the crusades ! Connected also, as was a 
pilgrimage to the holy land, with the idea of merit, and merit even 
sufficient to purchase salvation, nothing can be conceived more cal- 
culated to arouse every honourable and indignant feeling, than the 
obstructions in the way of such a devotion. It was a hardship not 
to 1)e endured, that the Christian disciple should be prevented from 
approaching and musing over, with a sort of adoration, tlie sepul- 
chre in which his blessed Redeemer was laid. 

25Tljere were five* expeditions of the kind here spoken 
of, which, during nearly two centuries, drained from I^urope 
most of its Ufe-blood and treasures. All western Europe be- 
came involved in these destructive wars, but the French en 
lered upon them with more enthusiasm tlian any other na- 

The first crusade was preached by Peter, commonly styled 

♦ Some reckon a larger number. 


the hermit. After havmg sufficiently excited Christendom by 
his rude eloquence, he found vast multitudes ready to engage 
m the hazardous undertaking. The popes, however, had 
for some time contemplated the same design, and Urban II., 
the reigning pontiflj availed himself of this opportunity of 
executing his splendid project of arming the whole of Chris- 
tendom against the Mahometans, through the instrumentality 
of Peter. Two general councils were called and held on the 
subject, one at Placcntia and the other at Clermont, and were 
attended by many thousands. The pope himself harangued 
the multitude, and offered to all who would engage in the ser- 
vice, plenary indulgence, and full absolution of sins. 

Peter, Avho possessed none of the necessary qualities of a 
military leader, was placed at the head of this motley crowd 
of all ages, conditions, and character, amounting to eighty 
thousand men. They commenced their march towards the 
East, in the spring of 1096, and were soon followed by an 
addition of two hundred thousand persons of the same pro- 
miscuous description. They were any thing rather tlian a 
regularly appointed army, or efficient military force. Their 
progress was marked by outrages ; not more than one third 
of them reached the scene of action ; and those who did, 
were nearly all cut off in battle on the plain of Nice. 

§ Peter the Hermit, was a native of Amiens, in Picardy, (France.) 
He seems to have been the ( effectual mover of this mighty, and 
It may be properly added, mad project. His own pilgrimage to tlie 
(onib of our Saviour, had madcliini acquainted with the dangers and 
vexations to which pilgrims were exposed in Asia, and became the 
occasion or cause of the enterprise in which he embarked. Fired 
with a sense of his own wrongs, and tliose of liis fellow pilgrims, 
he sought the gratification of revenge, or at least, the means of 
l)reventing the recurrence of those evils, in future. For this purpose 
lie travelled from city to city, and from kingdom to kingdom, repre- 
senting with a rude but pathetic eloquence, the grievances of the 
j)ilgrims, and urging the necessity of making a common efTorl against 
the common enemy of Ciiristians and their religion. On this sub- 
ject he exhorted all whom lie met, and hesitated not to call on no- 
l)les as well as their vassals — the rich as well as the poor. 

His applications of this kind were aided by his personal appear- 
ance. He was a monk, and exhibited all the austerity of that cha- 
racter. He was an enthusiast, and displayed more than an enthu- 
siast's madness. He travelled liare headed, arid with naked arms 
and legs, having only a part of his body covered with a coarse gar- 
ment. He seemed wasted with fasting, and exhausted with anxiety 


and toil. He bore aloft in his hand a ponderous crucifix, to which 
he pointed with the most animated gestures ; nor did he restrain his 
prayers, whatever his situation might be, but poured his whole soul 
in loud and prolonged supplications in the streets and highways. 

The body of enthusiasts who crowded around him was immense^ 
Princes, noblemen, artisans, peasants, monks, and even women, ma- 
nifested equal anxiety to bend their steps to the East, and expel the 
infidel hordes from the consecrated land. To the vicious and aban- 
doned in character— to the ambitious and disorderly — to robbers, in- 
cendiaries, murderers, and other offenders, a fit opportunity was pre-* 
sented of procuring the pardon of their sins, and at the same time 
of indulging in unbounded lust and rapine. 

As Malmsbury curiously observes, "the report of the council of 
Clermont, wafted a cheering gale over the minds of Christians. 
Tliere was no nation so remote, no people so retired, as did not re- 
spond to the papal wishes. This ardent love not only inspired the 
continental provinces, but the most distant islands and savage coun- 
tries. The Welshman left his lumting ; the Scotch his fellowship 
\vith vermin ; tlie Dane his drinking party ; the Norwegian his raw 
fish." Robert of Normandy, after mentioning in general terms the 
contributions of men which France and England made to the holy 
war, thus singularly mixes other nations : 

" Of Normandy, of Denmavk, of Norway, of Bretagne, 
Of Wales, and of Ireland, of Gasi-.ony, and of Spain, 
Of Provenco, and of Saxony, and of Allemagne, 
Of Scotland, and of Greece, of Rome and Aquitain " 

At this time, " every wonderful event in the natural world was 
regarded as an indication of the divine will. Meteors and stars 
pointed at and fell on tlie road to Jerusalem. The skies were in- 
volved in perpetual storms, and the blaze and terror of anxious and 
disordered nature showed the terrific harmony of heaven with the 
sanguinary fury of earth. Man fully responded to the supposed 
calls of God. The moral fabric of Europe was convulsed ; the re- 
lations and charities of life were broken ;■ society appeared to be 
dissolved. Persons of every age, rank, and degree, assumed the 
cross. The prohibition of women from undertaking this journey 
was passed over in contemptuous silence. They separated them- 
selves from their iuisbands where men wanted faith, or resolved to 
follow them with their helpless infmts. Monks, not waiting for the 
permission of their superiors, threw aside their black mourning 
gowns, and issued from their cloisters full of the spirit of holy war- 
riors. Tliey who had devoted themselves to a solitary life, mistook 
tlie impulses of passion for divine revelations, and thought that hea-. 
ven had annulled their oaths of retirement. A stamp of virtue was 
fixed upon every one who embraced the cause; and many were 
urged to tlie semblance of religion, by shame, reproach, and iiishion. 
When families divided, nature and fanaticism contended for the 
mastery. A wife consented to the departure of her husband, on his 
vowing to return at tlie end of three years. Another in whom feai 


was stronger than hope, Avas lost in violence of grief. The husband 
wore the semblance of indifference, unmoved by the tears of his wife 
and the kisses of his children, though his heart reproached him for 
the sternness of his countenance. On the otlier hand, fathers led 
tlieir sons to the place of meeting — women blessed the moment of 
separation from their husbands, or if they lamented, it was from 
the cause tliey were not perniitted lo sliare the iionours and perils of 
tiie expedition. In some instances, tiie poor rustic shod his oxen 
like horses, and placed his whole family in a cart, where it \vas 
amusing to hear the children, on the aijproach to any large town or 
castle, inquiring if the object before tliem was Jerusalem." 

Such was the disordered rabble that attempted the conquest of 
Palestine, and such the circumstances under which the expedition 
commenced. Only a small part of the vast multitude ever reached 
Asia. From the beginning they were illy provided with necessaries, 
and therefore had recourse to acts of rapine. Their progress, so de- 
structive to the countries through which they passed, was frequently 
arrested by cullision with their inliabitants. The Jews of Germa- 
ny were the iirst sufferers ; but it was in Hungary and Bulgaria 
especially, that the outrages committed by the Crusaders were visit- 
ed upon their own heads. When they arrived at Constantinople, 
the emperor, Alexius Commenus, to whom they behaved themselves 
with the utmost insolence and folly, Avas not slow to rid himself of 
his troublesome guests. For this purpose he furnihsed them with 
every aid which they required, and lent his ships to transport them 
across the Bosphorus. 

'l'l;ey thence pursued their march, but the Sultan Solyman meet- 
ing them on the plains of Nice, their numbers were too much redu- 
ced to offer him an}^ thing else than an easy victory. Of their bones, 
Solyman erected a pyramid near the citj'', as a monument of his own 
Ibrtune, and of their headlong counsels. 

3. A new host, which was tlto most valuable part of this 
expedition, arrived in the mean time, at Constantinople, as a 
general rendezvous. The commanders were experienced 
generals and men of renown. Among tliem, were Godfrey 
of Bouillon, by some called commander in chief; Baldwin 
bis brotber: Robert, duke of Normandy; Hugh, count of A-'cr- 
mandois ; Raymond, count of Tboulouse ; Bohemond, prince 
of Tarentvnn ; and Tancrcd, his cousin. These and other 
warlike princes and captains, inspired by religious enthu- 
siasm, or military ardour, pledged tliemsclves to redeem the 
holy sepulchre from the inCidcls. The troops, when reviewed 
in the neighbourhood of Nice, amoimted to 100,000 horse, 
and 600,000 foot, including women and servants. 

Alexius, the eastern emperor, did not suffer them to remain 
long at Constantinople ; but after sccicing to obtain an as-- 


cendency over them as a supeiior ally, he had the address to, 
accelerate their departure. They at length met the Sara- 
cens, whom they overpowered by numbers. Having twice 
defeated the enemy, they took, after immense difficulty, losses, 
and delay, the cities of Nice, Edessa, and Antioch. 

§ Constantinople, at the period when the crusaders met there, was 
the largest and most beautiful city of Europe. The most tTiat re- 
mained of ancient elegance in manners and in arts, was included in 
that emporium. It was the mart of the world, and the seat of em- 
pire. 1'hougli the Greeks were degenerate, yet such was the splen- 
dour of their capital. 

The hardy warriors of the north, beheld with amazement, these 
scenes of magnificence and wealth, whilst they despised the effemi- 
nate manners and unwarlike character of the people. On the other 
hand, the accomplished inhabitants of Constantinople, looked upon 
the northern warriors as barbarians. They speak of them as illit- 
erate, fierce, and savage, and as nearly resembling their ancestors, 
the Goths and Vandals, who overturned the Roman empire. They 
treated their guests sometimes with respect, but oflener with the 
most hateful duplicity. 

The gold and artifices of the emperor were employed not without 
effect — most of the leaders of the Croises taking the oath of fealty 
to him as their liege lord. He was not averse to the destruction of 
his enemy, the Turk ; but the numbers and bravery of the warriors 
of the north, filled his bosom with jealousy. On various pretences, 
many of them were cut off in his own territories, and they experi- 
enced several alternatives of peace and war in the country of the 

The characters of the celebrated leaders of the Croises, on this oc- 
casion, may require a passing notice. Godfrey was endowed by na- 
ture with her choicest gifts. He possessed all the knowledge of the 
times; and the gentlest manners were united with the firmest spirit. 
He was capable of the grandest enterprises ; his deportment was 
moral, and his piety was fervent. To sum up his character, in 
arms he was a hero— in his closet a saint. 

The qualities of Baldwin were not so conspicuous. He was brave 
indeed, but he was ambitious; and his courage was stained with sel- 
fishness, cruelty, and injustice. Hugh, who was brother of the 
French king, called to his side the armed pilgrims from Flanders, 
and England, and a part of France. He was a brave and accom- 
plished cavalier, but undevout, and of a proud deportment. Robert, 
who was a son of William the Conqueror, entered upon the holy 
war with a furious and precipitate passion. He was eloquent and 
skilful, but imprudent, yielding, and voluptuous. 

Bohemond posessed neither religion nor probity ; yet to the eye of- 
the vulgar, he was one of the most devoted soldiers of Christ. He 
was intriguing, rapacious and versatile. Tancred was a comparat 


' lively pure and brilliant spirit. He was bold and generous, and would 
have been humane to all mankind, had it not been for the spirit of 
the age. Raymond was inexorable in his hatred of the Musselmans ; 
pride, selfishness, and avarice tarnisiied his character. 
The soldier pilgrims all convened on the plains of Nice. 

"There the wild Crusaders form, 

There assembled Europe stands, 
Heaven they deem awakes the storm, 

Hell the paynims' blood demands." 

The details of the siege and capture of Nice, and the subsequent 
operations against Edessa and Antioch, cannot be narrated. Suffice 
it to say, that Nice fell by means of the policy of Alexius, who had 
joined the Franks or crusaders. While the latter, who had with 
much difficulty and loss, effected some breaches in the wall, were 
about to storm anew the repairs, the emperor snatched the victory 
from their grasp, by secretly proposing more favourable terms to the 
besieged, than could be expected from an enemy that would enter 
the city sword in hand. The soldiers clamoured; while the Latin 
generals, thinking of greater objects, dissembled their disgust, and 
endeavoured by fair persuasions to stifle tlie anger of their troops. 

Tlie conquest of Edessa, beyond the Euphrates, was achieved by 
a few ambitious and courageous soldiers, who had separated for a 
time from the main body of the Franks, under the command of 
Baldwin and Tancred. 

Before Antioch could be reached, some fighting was necessary, and 
the Cliristians triumphed — much fatigue was to be borne, and liere 
many of them sunk. The horr;)rs of the way, and the heat of a 
Phrvizi'iii summer, were fatal to multitudes. Five hundred perished 
in one day. 3Iothers, no longer able to afford sustenance to tlieir 
infants, exposed their breasts to the swords of- the soldiers. Manj" 
of the horses perished : the baggage was then placed on the backs 
of goats, liogs, and dogs. When the crusaders came to a country of 
streams, they threw themselves v/ithout caution into the first river 
that presented itself, and nature could not support the transition 
from want to satiety. 

The siege of Antioch was protracted, nor was this M'holly sur- 
prising, considering the state of defence in which the city was 
i)laced ; as well as on the other hand, the unskilful operations of the 
Croises, the famine in their camp, the numerous desertions from 
among them, and the relaxation of their morals. The Latin chiefs 
put forth prodigious efforts of valour; hut the city was finally taken 

• by strata<rem. A traitor delivered it into the hands of tlie Franks, 
and 10,000 Turks were massacred. When the thirst of blood was 
slaked, the assassins turned robbers, and became as mercenary as 

• they had been merciless. They seized all the wealth of tlie place, 
and exchanged their fierceness for the more civilized vices of de- 
bauchery and hypocrisy. While they rioted in unbounded indul 
gence, they gave God thanks. 

The taking of Ai-.tioch was very soon followed by a set battle 


with the Musselmans ; for the hosts of the Moslem world pitched 
their tents round the fallen capital. The excesses of the crusaders 
were followed by famine in its every horrid form ; and had not 
some superstitious frauds been practised, by which their zeal and 
courage were re-excited, they would have slu-unk from a contest 
with the formidable army which now opposed tliem under the ex- 
citements of religion ; however, they met it, and triumphed in the 

4. The Croises {Dursued their successes, and after various 
desertions and delays they penetrated to Jerusalem. This 
venerable city, which had been so often destroyed and rebuilt, 
was taken by storm after a siege of six weeks, and the whole 
of its inhabitants, both Mahometans and Jews, were barba- 
rously put to the sword, 1099 A. C. The crusaders were by 
this time reduced to a very inconsiderable number. Of the 
700.000 that appeared before Nice, 40,000 only encamped 
around Jerusalem. Of these, only 21,500 were soldiers. In- 
cluding the rabble of Peter, the possession of Nice, Edessa, 
and Antioch, had cost the lives of more than 850,000 Euro- 

§ The victories of the Crusaders were gained v^ith difficuhy. 
After the capture of Antioch, their embarrassments were not a 
■few. Alexius had acted a cowardly and perfidious part. Hugh, 
count of Vermandois, soon abandoned the holy cause, and returned 
10 France. The march of the Christian forces was purposely 
delayed several months, by the commanders, although the soldiers 
were impatient to proceed to Jerusalem. This delay, however, was 
attended by the most serious evils. Discord prevailed among the 
princes — rapine and theft among the people. A pestilence spread 
throughout their hosts, which, in a few months, destroyed more 
than one hundred thousand ]}ersons. in tb.e mean time, several 
v/ars of ambition were waged, in the neighbouring provinces. The 
forces which attacked the town of PJarra, were so \n'ged bj' famine, 
tliat many of tlie soldiers turned cannibals, and devoured the flesli 
of their enemies, whom they massacred with the utmost cruelty. 

At length, the Christian warriors set their faces towards the lioly 
city. When it came in view, every heart glowed with rapuire — 
every eye was suffused with tears. The joy of a moment oui- 
w( ighed years of sorrow. In tlieir heated imaginations, the sepul- 
chre was redeemed, and the cross triumphed over the crescent. But 
tiio anticipation of success was much easier than the reality. Tlie 
most strenuous exertions were necessary, and the enthusiasm and 
valour of the Christians were carried to the greatest height. After 
several alternations of partial victory and defeat, the walls of the 
sacred city were carried, and all Jerusalem was in possession of the 
champions of the cross. The blood of the Saracens attested the 
ferocity of the victory, and the price at which theii- conquest was, 


obtained. Ten thousand of the vanquished were butchered in the 
mosque of Omar alone, to whicli they had fled as a sacred asylum. 
In this place, the croises are said to have ridden in the blood of the 
Saracens up to the knees of their horses. Ten thousand, or accord- 
ing to some, a much larger number, Averc massicred in the streets. 
The Christians committed these dreadful deeds from priociple rather 
than from passion. It was a horrid principle indeed ; but intoler- 
ance was unhappily the spirit of the age. 

5. With considerable foresight, the conquerors of Jerusalem 
established a Christian kingdom in the heart of Palestine. 
An e.vtension of territory was indispensable to the security of 
the city from the Mussulman hordes that surrounded it. At 
the head of this kingdom, Godfrey, the most Avorthy of the 
lieroes of Christendom, was placed by the suffrages of the 
Christians. He reigned however but one year, during which 
time he defeated the sultan with an immense army at Asca- 
lon. At the expiration of the year, he was compelled to give 
up his kingdom to the pope's legate. Several kings reigned 
after him, but their history need not be told. 

An impolitic act of the crusaders, by which their power was 
weakened, was, at length, the division of Syria and Palestine 
into four separate states. Having accomplished their object, 
they began to return to Europe ; but in proportion as they 
withdrew, the Turks recovered their strength. The crusa- 
ders, who remained in Asia, found themselves so surrounded 
by foes, that they were at last obliged to solicit aid from Chris- 

§ The fruits of this first crusade ill repaid its immense loss and ex- 
pense, and were comprised within the small territory of Jerusalem, 
the dominion of which was bounded by the term of eighty years. 
The holy war, nevertheless, continued to be recommended by 
the pope and the clergy with unabated earnestness. It was still re- 
presented to be the cause of the Son of God, an engagement i:i which 
was the most meritorious of all acts, and insured salvation, whether 
m the success or defeat. 

6. The aid which was needed in the East was soon afford- 
ed. Europe sent forth a second crusade in 1147. St. Ber- 
nard, who was the great oracle of the age, had the iniluence 
10 excite Louis VH. of France, and Conrad UI. of Germany, 
to undertake the defence of the kingdom of Jerusalem. Three- 
hundred thousand of their subjects assumed the cross. The 
issue of this enterprise was disastrous in the extreme. 

Manuel, the emperor of the Greeks, gave intelligence of their 
plans to the Turkish sultan, and provided them with treache- 



rolls guides. The army of Conrad, which took the lead, fell 
first into the snare. Those who did not perish by hunger in 
the deserts, fell into the jaws of the Musselmans. Only a 
tenth part secured their retreat to the army of Louis. Louis, 
also duped by the Grecian emperor, advanced through the 
same country to a similar fate. In the defile of a mountain near 
Laodicea, his army was totally defeated. 

At Jerusalem, these unfortunate monarchs met to lament 
tneir sad reverses of fortune. The feeble remains of the mighty 
armies which they had led, were joined to the Christian pow 
ers of Syria, and a fruitless siege of Damascus was the final 
effort of the second crusade. 

§ A few particulars may be given respecting the preacher of the se- 
cond crusade. St. Bernard, by the superiority of his talents, and also 
of his consideration in the eyes of Europe, was far more capable than 
Peter the Hermit, of exciting enthusiastic emotions. His ardent and 
religious mind soon disdained the follies of youth ; and casting off the 
desire of celebrity as a writer of poetry and songs, he wandered in the 
regions of spiritual reverie, or trod the rough and thorny paths of 
polemical theology. 

At the age of 23, he embraced the monastic life, and soon after- 
wards founded the monastery of Clairvaux, in Champaigne. His 
miraculous eloquence separated sons from their fathers, and husbands 
from their wives. His earnestness and self-denial in religion, gained 
him the reverence of his contemporaries, and in disputes he was 
appealed to as an incorruptible judge. Such was his austerity, 
that happening once to fix his eyes on a female face, he immediatel}' 
reflected that this was a temptation, and running to a pond he leap- 
ed up to liis neck into the water, which was of an icy coldness, to 
punish iiimself and vanquish the enemy. 

Such a man was the fit tool of the pope, Eugenius HI., who order- 
ed him to travel through France and Germany, and to preach a 
plenary indulgence to those who would, under the banners of their 
kings, bend their wa}'' towards the holy land. As Peter had repre- 
sented the scandal of suffering the sacred places to remain in the 
hands of the infidels, the eloquent Bernard tliundered from the pul- 
pit the disgrace of allowing a land, which had been recovered from 
pollution, to sink into it again. This voice raised armies and depo- 
pulated cities. According to his own ex]:)ression, " the towns were 
deserted, or, the only people that were in them were widows and 
orphans, whose husbands and fathers were yet living." 

7. Th(i state of the holy land between the second and 
third crusades deserves a passing notice. A feeble sway was 
held by most of the chiefs of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The 
death of Baldwin IIL, however, was lamented as a public 
calamity. His successors were Almeric, Baldwin IV., and 


Guy de Lusij^nan. The miseries of war were often expe- 
rienced from their Musselman enemies. It was during this 
period, that the celebrated Saladin, nephew of tlie Sultan of 
Egypt, attained the height of his glory, and became lord of that 
country. He formed the design of recovering Palestine from 
tlie Christians. 

8. The occasion of the third crusade was, the success of Sa- 
ladin against the Latins in Jerusalem. He had previously 
subdued Tiberias, and received the submission of Acre, Jaffa, 
and some other places. Jerusalem offered an obstinate resist- 
ance, but in vain. The city was taken after a siege of a few 
days, and Guy de Lusignan was made prisoner, 1187 A. C, 
The conqueror treated the inhabitants with singular clemency. 
The infidels were iiow once more estabhshed in the city of the 

§ The conquered Latins, on being obliged to leave Jerusalem, con- 
sumed four days in weeping over and embracing the holy sepiilchre. 
The women entreated the conqueror to release to them their fathers, 
husbands, and brothers. With courteous clemency Saladin released 
all the prisoners whom they requested, and loaded them with pre- 

9. The concjuests effected by the infidels, filled Europe with 
grief, and almost with despair. The losses occasioned by the 
former crusades, had rather dismayed the pul)lic mind. Small 
masses of men continued indeed to move towards the East, 
but it required a degree of management and much exhorta- 
tion to wake up a general interest in fovour of a third crusade. 
Pope Clement HI. at length prevailed on three sovereigns to 
engage in the holy enterprise. These were Philip Augustus, 
of France, Richard I., surnamed the Lion-hearted, and Fre- 
derick Barbarossa, of Germany. 

Tlie forces of Philip and Richard are computed at one hun- 
dred thousand sokhers ; it does not appear how many follow- 
ed the standard of Frederick. The latter, in passing through 
the Greek empire, was prudent and humane, although the 
haughtiness and duplicity of the emperor Isaac Angelus, sub- 
jected him to much inconvenience. The Germans defeated 
the Turks in a general engagement, and took Iconium. But 
unfortunately, their sovereign lost his life in consequence of 
bathing in the river Calycadnus. After the death of Barba- 
rossa. his army dwindled to a small number. 


The English and French, for a short time, proceeded har 
moniously in the career of victory. They took Acre, a place 
of great strength. Soon, however, the bitter feelings of mi- 
litary envy and national hatred began to be excited, the con- 
sequence of which was, that the French monarch returned 
home, leaving a portion of his army under the command of 
Richard. Left alone to sustain the contest, Plantagenet dis- 
played all the heroism of chivalry. He found himself at the 
head of nearly thirty thousand French, German, and English 
soldiers. With this force he defeated the illustrious Saladin, 
near the plains of Ascalon. Political disturbances in England, 
made Richard solicitous to return thither, especially, as his 
ranks were now thinned by disease and famine. With this 
object in view, he concluded a favourable treaty with his ene- 
my, and attempted to return to his dominions. In passing 
through Germany, however, unaccompanied by his troops, he 
was seized by the order of the duke of Austria, and made 
prisoner. It was not until after a long captivity, and the pay- 
ment of an immense ransom, that he w;i- restored to his na- 
tive land. Not long after the departure of Richard, Saladin 
paid the debt of nature. 

§ In the treaty which was formed between Richard and Saladin, 
the Christian monarch, and the sultan of Egypt, interchanged ex- 
pressions of esteem. The grasping of each other's hands, was the 
only and sufficient pledge of fidelity. A truce was agreed upon for 
three years and eight months ; the fort of Ascalon was lo be destroy- 
ed ; but Jaffa and Tyre, with the country between them, wei-e to be 
surrendered to the Christians. 

In leaving Palestine, Richard, with his queen, eriibarked in a ship; 
but the violence of a tempest dispersed his fleet, and so shat- 
tered the vessel he was in, that it became impossible for him to 
reach England in that way. He then made for Germany ; but his 
person was endangered as he travelled the country, since the fact of 
his being there became known to some of his enemies. After va- 
rious escapes, he arrived at a town near Vienna. Two individuals 
only were with him, one of whom was a boy, who understood the 
German language. 

The party were too harassed to proceed. The German boy was 
sent to the market-place to purchase provisions. Through the libe- 
rality of his master, he was so neatly and elegantly dressed, that the 
people could not but notice him. The consequence was that he was 
questioned, and giving unsatisfactory answers, he was seized and 
scourged. Being at length tiireatened willi the filting out of hisi 
tongue, if he did not tell tlie truth, he wasobligrJ leluctantly to dis- 
close the secret of the real quality of his master. 


Richard was immediately secured, and thoiigli at first treated 
with respect, was soon confined in prison. Being sold at length to 
Jie emperor, Henry VI. removed him to a castle in the Tyrol. But 
the strongest walls are not suflicieutly secure for the fears of a ty- 
rant. Armed men were sent into his chamber, and commanded to 
watch him with the utmost strictness. 

Here, sometimes, the royal captive calmed his angry soul, by sing- 
ing the warlike deeds of the heroes of romance. At other times, he 
diverted melancholy by the composition of poems. Occasionally, 
ho forgot his misfortunes, and the apparent negligence of his friends. 
His native hilarity conquered the bitterness of his spirit; he laugh- 
ed at the frequent intoxication of his gaolers, he sported the keen- 
ness of his wit, and in the boisterousncss of his merriment, displayed 
his personal strength and agility. 

At tlie request of his mother, the queen Eleanora, the Pope inter- 
fered for Ids release ; and, after a trial on some pretended crime, it 
was concluded to ransom the English monarch, as though he had 
been a prisoner of war, the English people paying about 150,000 
marks of silver to the German emperor. 

10. By the energy of Richard, Palestine was saved from 
becoming a Mussuhnan colony ; and so much of the sea coast 
was in tlie hands of the Cinistians, and so enfeebled was the 
enemy, tliat it was safe to comnicnce liostilities, whenever 
Europe should again pour forth her religious and military fa- 
natics. This event was not long delayed, notwithstanding 
the infinite losses and sufferings, which had hitherto resulted 
from the crusades. 

A fourth crusade was fitted out in 1202, by Baldwin, count 
of Flanders, who collected an army of the Flemish and 
French, professedly to attack the Mahometans, though it 
seems to have found another enemy. Like the other crusa- 
ders, he made the eastern Christians first feel the effect of 
European adventure and military enthusiasm. Indeed, his 
ellbrts ended here ; for, arriving at Constantinople, at a time 
when there was a dispute for the succession, his interference 
afforded the occasion of plundering the city, and securing the 
possession of the imperial throne of the East. The Venetians 
lent their vessels for the enterprise, and participated in it. 

§ Some historians reckon a crusade anterior to the war carried on 
by Baldwin, denominating his the fifth. There were expeditions 
from Germany in tlie intermediate time ; but it may be doubtful 
whether they deserve the name of a distinct crusade. Indeed, there 
were so many different expeditions, some public and others private, 
that the designation of a certain number of separate crusades, seems 
somewhat arbitrary. According to tliu common accounts, we have 



assigned the name of the fourth crusade, to the expedition of whi h 
the count of Flanders was the leader. 

The third crusade was created by the ordinary influence of pa^ al 
power and royal authority ; but the fourth sprang from genuijie 
fanaticism. Fulk, who was worthy of companionship with Ber- 
nard, became a preacher distinguished by the vehemence with which 
he declaimed against certain vices of the age. Witli his celebrity, 
ncreased his desire to be generally useful to mankind. The natu- 
ral consequence in that superstitious age, was, that he turned his 
eye towards tlie east, and assumed the cross. The copious matter 
of his sermons was the war with the infidels. Around the man 
of God, all classes thronged, and thousands were eager to assume 
the insignia of holy warriors. Nor was Pope Innocent III. inactive 
in the cause, having required the various temporal and spiritual 
chiefs of Christendom to take up arms for the defence of Palestine, 
or at least to send him considerable succours of men and monej^ 

Application having been made to the Venetians for the loan of 
their ships, and the Venetians themselves desiring to embark in the 
enterprise, the croises at length set sail for Constantinople. That 
proud city, once the sister and rival of Rome, was fallen so low, 
that the aid of the western barbarians was invoked by a claimant to 
the throne of the CcEsars. In his behalf, war against the Greek em- 
pire was resolved on, and Constantinople was made the point of 
attack. The particulars of the assault need not be given, but it is 
a striking account drawn up b}' an old writer, tliat when tlie inva- 
ders, at the distance of three leagues, beheld the city, " the magni- 
tude mvl splendour of Constantinople awed the courage of the 
bravest ; and not without reason, for never since the creation of the 
world, had so bold an enterprise been undertaken by so small a 
force." The Greeks made a display of numbers and strength, but 
the nerves and soul of war were not in them. The partisans of the 
usurper, Alexius, made only a feeble defence, and soon abandoned 
the city to its fate. The city was captured, and the young Alexius 
sat on the tlirone. 

After one or two revolutions in the government, the allied army 
of French and Venetians, who had been paid the tribute which they 
required, and had been kept in the vicinity of Constantinople, deter- 
mined to seize the city on their own account. This, after a severe 
struggle, was effected ; and a severe struggle it ought to have been 
on the part of the invaders, when only 20,000 men captured the 
largest city in the world. Tlicre Avere 400,000 men capable of bear- 
ing arms in Constantinople. The excesses of the barbarians were 
enormous. To their eternal ijifamy, they destroyed most of the re- 
mains of the noble monuments of genius, in the sculpture and sta- 
tuary of the Pasan world. lu no conquered city, it is thought, was 
there ever obtained so much booty. One historian remarks, that the 
gold and silver, the silk, the gems, and precious stones, and alJ 
those tilings which are accounted riches, were found in more abun- 
dance than all the Latin world could furnish." 


11. Baldwin, as the reward of his success against the capi- 
tal of the East, was invested with tiie Roman purpit', 1204 
But he was detiwoned and murdered, alter a reigu of a few 
months. The Imperial dominions were shared among the 
principal leaders ; the Venetians obtained the Isle of ( 'andi.i, 
;is their portion. By the acquisition of Constantinople, the 
injuries of the crusaders were avenged; and, for the present 
they looiced for no other conquest. The dominion of the La- 
tins, however, lasted but fifty-seven years. Few events on 
the page of history have been equally curious and interesting, 
with the estabUshment of this people in the city of Constan- 

12. In the former part of the thirteenth century, succeed- 
ing the crusade against the Greek empire, several expeditions 
were fitted out against the Musselmans. In these, the Ger- 
mans, Hungarians, French, English, and Italians, ^vere prin- 
cipally concerned. Their object seems to have been, not so 
much Palestine, as Egypt. Success crowned their eflbrts at 
first, and one of the expeditions, under the duke of Austria, 
captured Damietta, an event which filled the Musselman em- 
pire with alarm ; but the mortality of the country, and the 
leturn of many of the European soldiers, with other causes, 
finally rendered the acquisitions of the crusaders, in that coun- 
try, of no avail, and the unbelievers still retained their power. 

13. The fifth and last of these extraordinary expeditions 
against the infidel world, was led by Louis IX. of France 
There had been previously a few smaller adventures, espe- 
cially by the English, who had the good fortune to redeem 
t!ie holy sepulclne. But it was soon lost, and the fears of the 
Cluistian world were in a degree aroused. It was, however, 
obvious that the crusading spirit in Europe had at length be- 
gun to languish, and it would at this crisis have entirely died 
away, had not Louis felt the strong stirrings of fanaticism and 
chivalry. He kejit it alive a few years, after which, this folly 
of a dark and barbarous age was heard of no more. 

The warlike heroism and religious devotion of the French 
monarch, commanded the reverence of mankind. Indeed, in 
many respects, he was an amiable and estimable prince, though 
deeply imbued with the unworthy superstition of the times. 
His elTorts preserved to the Christians, for a time, the land of 
Paleslii>e, which was in danger, not from the Saracens, but 


from the Tartars. This fierce people were then pouring over 
tlie face of Asia. 

Louis spent three years in preparation, when he set out for 
Palestine, with his queen, three brothers, and a powerful train 
of French knights, 1248 A. C. He had greatly encouraged 
the fainting hearts of the Christians in Palestine, by the men 
and troops he had sent thither before his own departure. The 
invasion of Egypt was his first object. Here, he lost one half 
of his army by sickness, was defeated in battle, and fell a 
prisoner into the hands of his enemy. 

After ransoming himself and his followers, he proceeded to 
the Holy Land, in which he continued a considerable time. 
On bis return, to France, he devoted himself, wisely, to the 
regular cares of government, during thirteen years, and would 
j)robably have long continued useful and happy, had not the 
mad spirit of crusading seized him again. In obedience to 
its dictates, he embarked on a crusade against the Moors in 
Africa. In this adventure, he and the greater part of his 
army perished, in consequence of a pestilence. Louis has 
been honoured with the title of saint. 

§ History records, that on the subject of crusading, the mind ol 
Louis was influenced by the following circumstance. Agreeably to 
the temper of the times, he had vowed, whilst afflicted by a severe 
illness, that in case of recovery he would travel to the holy land. 
In the delirium of his fever he had beheld an engagement between 
the Christians and the Saracens ; the infidels were victorious, and 
ilie brave king of a valiant nation fancied himself called upon to 
avenge the defeat. 

The following incident indicated the king's zeal for a crusade. 
One night, during the Cliristnias festival, Louis caused magnificent 
crosses, fabricated by goldsmiths, to be sewn on the new dresses, 
which, as usual upon such occasions, had been bestowed upon the 
courtiers. The next day the cavaliers were surprised at the religious 
ornaments that had been affixed to their cloaks ; piety and loyalty 
combined to prevent them from renouncing the honours which had 
been thrust upon them, and the good king obtained the title of the 
liimter for pilgrims and fisher of men. 

Louis could have adopted the lines of a French rhymer of the 
tiiirteenth century. 

" Lo, now the fruitful hour at hand ! 

To thee the precious boon is given, 

For Paynims waste the holy fanil, 

And spoil the heritage of heaven. 

Shall we such faithless works hehold, 

With craven courage slack and cold 1 

How else, hut to the Giver's praise, 

May we devote our wealth and tinys. 


The French, on landing in Egypt, captured Damietta ; but the 
rashness of the Count d'Artois was the means of checking 
them in the career of victory. Sad reverses soon ensued, and 
though Louis defended himself with the greatest bravery, he was 
obliged to yield to the enemy. Being taken prisoner with his army, 
he offered for his own ransom tlie city of Damietta, and for the de- 
liverance of his soldiers 500,000 livres. One fifth part of the latter 
was remitted through the generosity of the sultan. 

In Louis' second expedition against the infidels, he was joined by 
the English ; so that his force amounted to sixty thousand men. 
His fleet being driven into Sardinia, a change was made in the de- 
sign of the pilgrim hero, and an attack upon the Musselman Moors 
of Africa was fixed upon. Pestilence, however, prevented t!ie me- 
ditated blow, and the great stay of the crusades fell. 

The English portion of the forces, which had not reached Africa, 
when the death of Louis took place, made their way to Palestine, 
under the conduct of Prince Edward. Feats of arms were per- 
formed; but the Turks were fast overunning the lioly land, and 
with the capture of Acre, by that adventurous people, was connected 
tiie final loss of a country, on which the eyes of fanatical Europe 
had been fastened for more than two hundred years. 

14. Amono- the causes of the dechne and cessation of the 
fanatical mihtary spirit of Europe, may be enumerated the 
following, viz. the decrease of the moral influence of the popes, 
and the increase of their tyranny, which the people were loth 
to bear — the avarice of the popes and priests, in conveiting to 
their Qwn purposes the funds which were raised to support tiie 
holy wars — tjie consequent unwillingness of the people to be 
taxed — the scandal which was cast on the crusades, when 
many of the soldiers of the cross were diverted from their re- 
ligious purj)ose, to promote the secular objects of the court of 
Rome — and most of all, the increasing conviction on the part 
of the people, that no lasting conquest of Palestine could be 
made by the sovereigns of Europe. These causes were too 
powerful even for the deep darkness and superstition of the 
age, ambition, love of military achievement, and desire of 

15. Various opinions have been formed and maintained 
respecting the tendency and effects of the crusades. By some, 
they are thought to have benefitted Europe on the whole — 
by others, they are supposed to have been positively disatlvan- 
tageous. We incline to the latter opinion. They who look 
upon the crusades in a favourable light in resjject to their con 
sequences, nevertheless admit, that they were innncdiately 


distressing and pernicious. It is in the final result that they 
imagine the crusades to have been beneficial on the whole. 
In the final result, it has been maintained that they improved 
the poUtical condition, the manners and customs, the naviga- 
tion and commerce, the literature, and the religion of Europe, 

That there was a very gradua,l amelioiation of the wes- 
tern nations in the above particulars, is admitted. But this 
was a state of things, which it is natural to believe, time 
might have produced, aided as it was by other causes. In 
deed, from the nature of the convulsions which attended, or ra- 
ther constituted the crusades, it is certain that they must have 
tended to retmd the progress of society, learning, and religion, 
so far as they produced any effect. That they were not pro- 
ductive of any good, in any shape, it would be haz-ardous to 
assert. But providence can overrule the greatest evil, so that 
it shall be less evil than it would otherwise be ; and our point 
is made out, if the evil flowing from the crusades overbalan- 
ces the good, in quality or amount. 

Let any one who doubts this, reflect that the crusades 
were the oflspring of a dark and ignorant age — that they 
were kindled by the false fires of fanaticism and superstition, 
and moreover, were perverted, if so base a project could be 
perverted, by ambition, love of military renown, and a savage; 
desire of plunder. They agitated, convulsed, and distressed 
Fiinope, and every family in Europe, for two centuries. They 
drained that portion of the globe of men and money, to an in- 
supportable degree. IMie bones of two milHons of Europeans 
were entombed in Asia, or whitened her plains. The trea- 
sures that were expended aie past computation. Under the 
sacred name of religion, every crime and every folly was me- 
ditated and committed. The path of the fanatical warriors 
of the west was every where marked with blood. They were 
loo stupid and too superstitious to regard with complacency 
or with a desire of imitation, those superior modes of life and 
specimens of genius which they met with in their excursions 
Tiito the East. They even laid their sacrilegious hands on the 
monuments of ancient art, which chance or bravery [wt into 
their power, and in the rej)eated conflagrations of Constanti- 
nople, they rejoiced to see, in many instances, the destruction 
of those works, the remains of which the \Aorld has since 
been proud to own. 

FRANCE. 143 

Tliey err, who count it glorious to subdue 
By conquest far and wide, to over-run 
Large countries, and in lield great battles wii;, 
Great cities by assaults : what do these worthies, 
But rob and spoil, burn, slaughter and enslave 
Peaceable nations. • ♦ ♦ ♦ 

" A view of the heroic ages of Christianity," says an interesting 
historian, "in regard to their grand and general results, is a useful 
and important, though a melancholy employment. The Crusades 
retarded the march of civilization, thickened the clouds of ignorance 
and superstition, and encouraged intolerance, cruelty and fierceness. 
Heligion lost its mildness and chafity ; and war its mitigating quali- 
ties of honour and courtesy. Such were the bitter fruits of the Ho- 
ly Wars. We can follow with sympathy, both the deluded fanatic, 
and the noble adventurer in arms, in their wanderings and marches 
through foreign regions, braving the most frightful dangers, patient 
in toil, invincible in military spirit. So visionary was the object, so 
apparently remote from sellish relations, that their fanaticism wears 
a character of generous virtue. The picture, however, becomes 
darkened, and nature recoils with horror from their cruelties, and 
with shame from their habitual folly and senselessness." 


16. In 1108 the throne of France was ascended by Louis 
VI., siirnained the faf. son of Philip I. He carried on a war 
with Henr\' I. of England, Ijiit was not successful. The 
English defeated his army at the battle of Brennevdlle, 1119 
A. C He was an accomplished and energetic sovereign. 

§ In Louis' flight after the battle, an Englishman seized his horse's 
bridle, exclaiming, "the king is taken." "The king is never taken," 
said Louis, "not even in a game of chess," and then struck his ene- 
my dead at his feet. 

17. Louis VII., the young, succeeded his father in 1137. 
The extent of his reign was 46 years. He quarrelled with 
the Pope about the nomination of an archliLihop, and had 
his kingdom put under an interdict. He was very unsuc- 
cessfully engaged in tiie holy wais,^ and in consequence of 
having divorced his queen, heiress of the great dutchy of 
Guienne, who soon married Henry Plantagenet, (afterwards 
Henry II. of England) he lost one fifth part of the French 
monarchy, including the provinces before held by the En- 

§ Louis was educated in an Abbej'', and the Abbeys at this period 
produced several distinguisiied men, among whom were Suger, his 
minister, a man of great political sagacity; St. Bernard, whose agen- 


cy in the second criisade has already appeared ; and Abelard, whose 
story remains to be told. 

In conformity to the spirit of the age, and his own education, Louis 
made several pilgrimages, and among others visited the tomb of Tho- 
mas a Becket, at Canterbury. In one of these pilgrimages he died. 
His tomb, in the abbey of Barbeau, was opened in 1556, by Charles 
IX., and the body found in a high state of preservation. On the fin 
gers were several gold rings, which, h8f\'ing been taken off, were 
worn by Charles, together with a gold chain, v/hich was found in 
the tomb. 

18. The son of Louis, Philip IL, surnamed Augustus^ 
ascended the throne in 1180. His reign was a long one also, 
being 43 years. Since the days of Charlemagne, France 
had seen no sovereign so ambitious and enterprising in war, 
as Philip. The most signal events of his reign, were his 
expulsion of the Jews from France ; his engagement in the 
third crusade, with