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some claim to his reputation of communicating high Africa by the Red Sea and Isthmus of Suez, and from Euthoughts to his readers; but the assertion that historians, rope by the Ural mountains, the Ural river, the Caspian in general, have been the true friends of virtue, will be re sea, and the main chain of the Caucasus, its superficial jected by all except the credulous, or the indifferent. contents will amount to 17,500,000 square miles, whereas

We have only one national record of which the simple those of Africa are less than 12,000,000, and those of Europe design is to elevate and direct the mind. Jewish history do not exceed 3,800,000. In climate it unites greater varieis God's illuminated clock set in the dark steeple of time. ties than either of the two other divisions, extending as it It is a man's world which commoa narrative describes. does from the seventy-eighth degree of north latitude to Actions are weighed in man's scales. The magnitude of a within a hundred miles of the equator. It thus lies mainly deed determines its character. Paul Jones is a pirate; Na within the northern temperate zone, but projects northward poleon is a conqueror. One assassination is a murder; ten a distance of eleven degrees beyond the arctic circle, while thousand deaths are glory. Yet it is supposable that, in the southward it throws into the region of the tropics three long eyes of angels, a struggle down a dark lane and a battle of and broad peninsulas.* Leipsic differ in nothing but excess of wickedness. *

THE GREAT PLAINS IN ASIA.—The physical conformaTHE UTILITY OF EPITOMES.–Lord Bacon denounced

tion of Western Asia is favourable to the growth of large abridgments with eloquent anger. But who can traverse

empires. In the vast plain which extends from the foot of all history? When Johnson was asked by Boswell if he Niphates and Zagros to the Persian gulf, the Red Sea, and should read Du Halde's account of China, he said, “Why, the Mediterranean, there are no natural fastnesses; and the yes, as one reads such books—that is to say, consult it.” race which is numerically or physically superior to the Of many large volumes the index is the best portion and other races inhabiting it readily acquires dominion over the the usefullest. A glance through the casement gives what entire region. Similarly, only not quite to the same extent, ever knowledge of the interior is needful. An epitome is in the upland region which succeeds to the plain upon the only a book shortened; and, as a general rule, the worth in

east, there is a deficiency of natural barriers, and the nation creases as the size lessens. There is truth in Young's com which once begins to excel its neighbors, rapidly extends its parison of elaborate compilations to the iron money of Ly- | influence over a wide stretch of territory. The upland and curgus, of which the weight was so enormous, and the value lowland powers are generally pretty evenly balanced, and so trifling, that a yoke of oxen only drew five hundred maintain a struggle in which neither side gives way; but pounds sterling. The lives of nations, as of individuals, occasionally the equality becomes deranged. Circumstances concentrate their lustre and interest in a few passages. Cer- give to the one or to the other additional strength; and the tain episodes must be selected; such as the ages of Pericles result is, that its rival is overpowered. Then an empire of and Augustus, Elizabeth and Leo, Louis XIV and Charles still greater extent is formed, both upland and lowland fallV. Sometimes a particular chapter embraces the wonders ing under the sway of the same people.* of a century; as the feudal system, the dawn of discovery, and the printing press. The fragments should be bound to ASIATIC EMPIRES.-Some variety is observable in the ingether by a connecting line of knowledge, however slender, ternal organization of the empires. In the remoter times it encircling the whole field of inquiries. The regal, the ec was regarded as sufficient to receive the personal submisclesiastical, and the commercial elements are to be com sion of the monarch whose land was conquered, to assess bined. The visitor must not spend his leisure in the Coli his tribute at a certain amount, and then to leave him in seum, to the exclusion of St. Peter's; nor think himself fa the unmolested enjoyment of his former dignity. The head miliar with London, unless he goes to the Exchange.* of the empire was thus a “king of kings," and the empire

itself was an aggregation of kingdoms. After a while an MEANING OF THE WORD “HISTORY.”—The word “His

improvement was made on the simplicity of this early systory," which etymologically means "inquiry” or “re

tem. Satraps, or provincial governors, court officials besearch," and which has many slightly differing uses, is at

longing to the conquering nation, and holding their office tached in modern parlance pre-eminently and especially to

only during the good pleasure of the great king, were subaccounts of the rise, progress, and affairs of nations. The

stituted for the native monarchs; and arrangements, more consideration of man, prior to the formation of political

or less complicated, were devised for checking and controllcommunities and apart from them, belongs to natural his

ing them in the exercise of their authority. The power of tory-and especially to that branch of it which is called an

the head of the empire was thus considerably increased; and thropology-but not to history proper. History proper is

the empire acquired a stability unknown under the previous the history of states or nations, both in respect of their in- system. Uniformity of administration was to a certain external affairs, and in regard to their dealings one with an

tent secured. At the same time, a very great diversity unother. Under the former head, one of the most important derlay this external uniformity, since the conquered nations branches is constitutional history, or the history of govern

were suffered to retain their own language, religion, and ments; under the latter are included not only accounts of

usages. No effort was made even to interfere with their the wars, but likewise of the friendly relations of the differ

laws; and thus the provinces continued, after the lapse of ent states, and of their commercial or other intercourse.t

centuries, as separate and distinct in tone, feeling, ideas, DIVISIONS OF HISTORY.-History proper is usually di

and aspirations, as at the time when they were conquered. vided either into two, or into three, portions. If the triple di- The sense of separateness was never lost; the desire of revision is adopted, the portions are called respectively, “An- covering national independence, at best, slumbered; nothcient History," "the History of the Middle Ages," and ing was wanted but opportunity to stir up the dormant feel“Modern History.If the twofold division is preferred, ing, and to shatter the seeming unity of the empire into a the middle portion is suppressed, and history is regarded as

thousand fragments.* falling under the two heads of “Ancient” and “Modern."'+ х

CONQUEST THE BASIS OF EMPIRE.— The Asiatic empires ASIA.—Asia is the largest of the three great divisions of were always founded upon conquest; and conquest implies the eastern hemisphere. Regarding it as separated from the possession of military qualities in the victors, superior,

at any rate, to those of the vanquished nations. Usually the *Willmott's “Pleasures of Literature." + Rawlinson's "Ancient History,"?

*Rawlinson's "Ancient History,"

conquering people were at first simple in their habits, brave, who hold the dominion for 245 years, when they too are suhardy, and comparatively speaking, poor. The immediate perseded by a race, not named, but probably Assyrian, consequence of their victory was the exchange of poverty | This race bears rule for 526 years, and then Pul asfor riches; and riches usually brought in their train the cends the throne, and reigns for a term of years not stated. evils of luxurious living and idleness. The conquerors rap (Pul is called “King of Assyria” in scripture; but this may idly deteriorated under such influences; and, if it had not be an inexactness. He is not to be found among the Assybeen for the common practice of confining the use of arms, rian monumental kings.) These changes of dynasty mark either wholly or mainly, to their own class, they might, in changes of condition. Under the first or Chaldean dynasty, a very few generations, have had to change places with and under the last monarch, Pul, the country was flourishtheir subjects. Even in spite of this practice they contin- | ing and free. The second dynasty was probably, and the ually decreased in courage and warlike spirit. The mon third certainly, established by conquest. Chaldea, during archs usually became fainéants, * and confined themselves to the 526 years of the third dynasty, was of secondary importhe precincts of the palace. The nobles left off altogether tance to Assyria, and though from time to time engaged in the habit of athletic exercise. Military expeditions grew to wars with the dominant power of western Asia, was in the be infrequent. When they became a necessity in conse main submissive and even subject. The names of six kings quence of revolt or of border ravages, the deficiences of the belonging to this dynasty have been recovered from the native troops had to be supplied by the employment of for- Assyrian monuments. Among them is a Nebuchadnezzar, eign mercenaries, who cared nothing for the cause in which while the majority commence with the name of the God their swords were drawn. Meanwhile, the conquerors were Merodach.* apt to quarrel among themselves. Great satraps would re

The Chaldean monarchy had from the first an architecvolt and change their governments into independent sover

tural character. Babylon, Erech or Orchoe, Accad, and eignties. Pretenders to the crown would start up among

Calneh, were founded by Nimrod. Ur was from an early the monarch's nearest relatives, and the strength and re

date a city of importance. The attempt to build a tower sources of the state would be wasted in civil conflicts. The

"which should reach to Heaven," made here (Gen. xi. 4), extortion of provincial governors exhausted the provinces,

was in accordance with the general spirit of the Chaldean while the corruption of the court weakened the empire at

people. Out of such simple and rude materials as brick and its centre. Still, the tottering edifice would stand for years,

bitumen vast edifices were constructed, pyramidal in deor even for centuries, if there was no attack from abroad, by

sign, but built in steps or stages of considerable altitude. a mere vis inertiæ; but, sooner or later, such an attack was

Other arts also flourished. Letters were in use; and the sure to come, and then the unsubstantial fabric gave way at

baked bricks employed by the royal builders had commonly once and crumbled to dust under a few blows vigorously

a legend in their centre. Gems were cut, polished, and endealt by a more warlike nation.t

graved with representations of human forms, portrayed

with spirit. Metals of many kinds were worked, and fashCHALDEA.

ioned into arms, ornaments and implements. Textile fabTHE FIRST ASIATIC MONARCHY.—The earliest of the Asi rics of a delicate tissue were manufactured. Commerce atic monarchies sprang up in the alluvial plain at the head

was carried on with the neighbouring nations both by land of the Persian gulf. Here Moses places the first “King- and sea: the "ships of Ur” visiting the shores of the Perdom" (Gen. x. 10); and here Berosus; regarded a Chaldean sian gulf, and perhaps those of the ocean beyond it. The monarchy as established probably as early as B. C. 2000.

study of astronomy commenced, and observations of the The Hebrew records give Nimrod as the founder of this

heavenly bodies were made, and carefully recorded. kingdom, and exhibit Chedorlaomer as lord paramount in

According to Simplicius, these observations reached back the region not very long afterwards. The names of the

a period of 1903 years when Alexander entered Babylon. kings in the lists of Berosus are lost; but we are told that This would make them commence B. C. 2234.* he mentioned by name forty-nine Chaldean monarchs, whose reigns covered a space of 458 years from about B. C. 2000 to about B. C. 1543. The primeval monuments of the

ASSYRIA. country have yielded memorials of fifteen or sixteen kings, FIRST PERIOD.—The traces which we possess of the first who probably belonged to this early period. They were at period are chiefly monumental. The Assyrian inscriptions any rate the builders of the most ancient edifices now ex furnish two lists-one of three, and the other of four consecisting in the country; and their date is long anterior to the utive kings—which belong probably to this early time. The time of Sennacherib and Nebuchadnezzar. The phonetic seat of empire is at first Asshur (now Kileh Sherghat), on reading of these monumental names is too uncertain to jus the right bank of the Tigris, about sixty miles below Ninetify their insertion here. It will be sufficient to give, from veh. Some of the kings are connected by intermarriage Berosus, an outline of the dynasties which ruled in Chal with the Chaldean monarchs of the period, and take part dea, from about B. C. 2000 to 747, the era of Nabonassar: in the struggles of pretenders to the Chaldean crown. One Chaldean Dynasty, ruling for 458 years about B. C. 2001 to 1513. of them, Shalmaneser I, wars in the mountain-chain of Nip(Kings: Nimrod, Chedorlaomer.)

hates, and plants cities in that region (about B. C. 1270). Arabian dynasty, ruling for 245 years

about B. C. 1543 to 1298. Dynasty of forty-five kings, ruling for

This monarch also builds Calah (Nimrud), forty miles north 526 years

abont B. C. 1298 to 772 of Asshur, on the left or east bank of the river. * Reign of Pul (say 25 years)

about B, ('. 772 to 747. Berosus, it will be observed, marks during this period

SECOND PERIOD.—The second period is evidently that of two, if not three changes of dynasty. After the Chaldeans

which Herodotust spoke as lasting for 520 years, from about have borne sway for 458 years, they are succeeded by Arabs,

B.C. 1260 to 740. It commenced with the conquest of Babylon

by Tiglathi-nin (probably the original of the Greek “Ninus") *Good for nothings, like the fainéant kings of France, who gave

and it terminated with the new dynasty established by the reins of government into the hands of the Mayors of the palace. Tiglath-pileser II. The monuments furnished for the earTherry III was the first of them. +Rawlinson's "Ancient History."

*Rawlinson's “Ancient History." A Babylonian historian of the third century before Christ. He +A Greek historian of the fifth century before Christ, called the was a priest of Belus,

Father of History,

erns. *

lier portion of this period some nine or ten discontinuous (Khorsabad), by Sennacherib at Nineveh, and Esar-haddon royal names, while for the later portion they supply a com at Caiah and Nineveh, by Sardanapalus II at Nineveh, and plete consecutive list, and an exact chronology. The ex by Saracus at Calah. Glyptic art advanced, especially unact chronology begins with the year B. C. 909.*

der Sardanapalus, when the animal forms were executed

with a naturalness and a spirit worthy of the Greeks. At The great king of the earlier portion of the second period

the same time carving in ivory, metallurgy, modelling, and is a certain Tiglath-pileser, who has left a long historical

other similar arts made much progress. An active cominscription, which showed that he carried his arms deep

merce united Assyria with Phænicia, Egypt, and Greece. into Mount Zagros on the one hand, and as far as northern

Learning of various kinds--astronomic, geographic, linSyria on the other. He likewise made an expedition into

guistic, historical-was pursued; and stores were accumuBabylonia. Date, about B. C. 1130. His son was also a war

lated which will long exercise the ingenuity of the modlike prince; but from about B. C. 1100 to 900 Assyrian history is still almost a blank; and it is probable that we have here a period of depression.*

MEDEA. For the latter portion of the second period-from B. C.

PRIMITIVE HISTORY.–The primitive history of the Medes 909 to 745—the chronology is exact, and the materials for

is enveloped in great obscurity. The mention of them as history are abundant. In this period Calah became the

Madai in Genesis (X. 2), and the statement of Berosus that capital, and several of the palaces and temples were erected which have been disinterred at Nimrud. The Assyrian importance in very ancient times. But scarcely anything

they furnished an early dynasty to Babylon, imply their monarchs carried their arms beyond Zagros, and came into

is known of them till the ninth century B. C., when they contact with Medes and Persians; they deeply penetrated

were attacked in their own proper country, Media Magna, Armenia; and they pressed from northern into southern Syria, and imposed their yoke upon the Phoenicians, the

by the Assyrians (about B. C. 830). At this time they were

under the government of numerous petty chieftains, and kingdom of Damascus, and the kingdom of Israel. The

offered but a weak resistance to the arms of the Assyrian names of Benhadad, Hazael, Ahab, and Jehu are common

monarchs. No part of their country, however, was reduced to the Assyrian and Hebrew records. Toward the close of

to subjection until the time of Sargon, who conquered some the period, the kings became slothful and unwarlike, mili

Median territory about B. C. 710, and planted it with cities tary expeditions ceased, or were conducted only to short

in which he placed his Israelite captives. The subsequent distances and against insignificant enemies. *

Assyrian monarchs made further conquests; and it is evThe Assyrian art of the second shows a great advance

ident from their records that no great Median monarchy upon that of the first period. Magnificent palaces were

had arisen down to the middle of the seventh century B. C.* built, richly embellished with bas-reliefs. Sculpture was

The earliest date which, with our present knowledge, we rigid, but bold and grand. Literature was more cultivated.

can assign for the commencement of a great Median monThe history of each reign was written by contemporary an

archy is B. C. 650. The monarchs assigned by Herodotus nalists, and cut on stone, or impressed on cylinders of

and Ctesiast to a time anterior to this may conceivably have baked clay. Engraved stelæt were erected in all the coun

been chiefs of petty Median tribes, but were certainly not tries under Assyrian rule. Considerable communication

heads of the whole nation. The probability is that they took place with foreign countries; and Bactrian camels,

are fictitious personages. Suspicion attaches especially to baboons, curious antelopes, elephants, and rhinoceroses were

the list of Ctesias, which appears to have been formed by a imported into Assyria from the east.*

intentional duplication of the regnal and other periods THIRD PERIOD.-In the third period the Assyrian empire mentioned by Herodotus.* reached the height of its greatness under the dynasty of the

There is reason to believe that about B. C. 650, or a little Sargonidæ, after which it fell suddenly, owing to blows received from two powerful foes. The period commenced

later, the Medes of Media Magna were largely reinforced

by fresh immigrants from the east, and that shortly afterwith a revival of the military spirit and vigor of the nation

ward they were enabled to take an aggressive attitude tounder Tiglath-pileser II, the king of that name mentioned

wards Assyria, such as had previously been quite beyond in Scripture. Distant expeditions were resumed, and the arms of Assyria carried into new regions. Egypt was at

In B. C. 633-according to Herodotus—they

attacked Nineveh, but were completely defeated, their tacked and reduced; Susiana was subjected; and in Asia

leader, whom he calls Phraortes, being slain in the battle. Minor Taurus was crossed, Cappadocia invaded, and rela

Soon after this occurred the Scythian inroad, which threw tions established with the Lydian monarch, Gyges. Naval

the Medes upon the defensive, and hindered them from reexpeditions were undertaken both in the Mediterranean

suming their schemes of conquest for several years. But, and in the Persian gulf. Cyprus submitted, and the Assy

when this danger had passed, they once more invaded the rian monarchs numbered Greeks among their subjects. All

Assyrian empire in force. Nineveh was invested and fell. the kings of the period came into contact with the Jews, Media upon this became the leading power of western Asia, and the names of most of them appear in the Hebrew rec

but was not the sole power, since the spoils of Assyria were ords. Towards the close of the period the empire sustained

divided between her and Babylon.* a severe shock from the sudden invasion of vast hordes of Scythians from the north. Before it could recover from the MEDIAN CIVILIZATION.—Less is known of Median art prostration caused by this attack, its old enemy, Media, and civilization than of Assyrian, Babylonian, or Persian. fell upon it, and, assisted by Babylon, effected its destruc Their architecture appears to have possessed a barbaric tion.*

magnificence, but not much of either grandeur or beauty.

The great palace at Ecbatana was of wood, plated with gold ASSYRIAN CIVILIZATION.-Assyrian art attained to its

and silver. After the conquest of Nineveh, luxurious habgreatest perfection during this last period.

Palaces were built by Tiglath-pileser II, at Calah, by Sargon at Sargina

*Rawlinson's "Ancient History.”

+A Greek physician, contemporary with Xenophon, who is said to *Rawlinson's "Ancient History."

have resided seventeen years in Persia. He wrote a valuable work + Pillars

on Persian history, and a work on India,

their power.

its were adopted from the Assyrians, and the court of Asty science of the Babylonians was not pure, but was largely ages was probably as splendid as that of Esarhaddon and mixed with astrology,+ more especially in the later times.* Sardanapalus. The chief known peculiarity of the Median

kingdom was the ascendancy exercised in it by the Magi; a priestly caste claiming supernatural powers, which had, apparently, been adopted into their nation.*

PHYSICAL FORMATION.—The geographical formation of

Asia Minor, which separates it into a number of distinct

and isolated regions, was probably the main reason why it

did not in early times become the seat of a great empire. ASSYRIANS AT BABYLON. After the conquest of Babylonia by the Assyrians, about B. C. 1250, an Assyrian dy- The near equality of strength that existed among several of nasty was established at Babylon, and the country was, in

the races by which it was inhabited—as the Phrygians, the

Lydians, the Carians, the Cilicians, the Paphlagonians, and general, content to hold a secondary position in western

the Cappadocians—would tend naturally in the same direcAsia, acknowledging the suzerainty of the Ninevite kings. From time to time efforts were made to shake off the yoke, tion, and lead to the formation of several parallel kingdoms

instead of a single and all-embracing one. Nevertheless, but without much success till the accession of Nabonassar, B. C. 747. Under Nabonassar and several of his successors

ultimately, such a great kingdom did grow up; but it had

only just been formed when it was subverted by one more Babylonia appears to have been independent; and this condition of independence continued, with intervals of subjec- powerful.* tion, down to the accession of Esarhaddon, B. C. 680, when

PHENICIA, notwithstanding the small extent of its terAssyrian supremacy was once more established. Babylon ritory, which consisted of a mere strip of land between the then continued in a subject position, till the time when crest of Lebanon and the sea, was one of the most imporNabopolassar made alliance with Cyaxares, joined in the tant countries of the ancient world. In her the commercial last siege of Nineveh, and, when Nineveh fell, became in spirit first showed itself as the dominant spirit of a nation. dependent, B. C. 625.*

She was the carrier between the east and the west-the link SECOND PERIOD.-During the second period, Babylonia

that bound them together-in times anterior to the first apwas not only an independent kingdom, but was at the head

pearance of the Greeks as navigators. No complete history

of Phænicia has come down to us, nor can a continuous of an empire. Nabopolassar and Cyaxares divided the Assyrian dominions between them, the former obtaining for history be constructed; but some important fragments rehis share Susiana, the Euphrates valley, Syria, Phænicia, main, and the general condition of the country, alternating and Palestine. A brilliant period followed. At first, indeed, between subjection and independence, is ascertained suffithe new empire was threatened by Egypt; and for a few

ciently.* years the western provinces were actually held in subjec The geographical position of the Phænician colonies tion by Pharoah-Nechoh; but Babylon now roused herself, marks the chief lines of their trade, but is far from indidefeated Nechoh, recovered her territory, and carrying her cating its full extent; since the most distant of these settlearms through Palestine into Egypt, chastised the aggressor ments served as starting-points whence voyages were made on his own soil. From this time till the invasion of Cyrus to remoter regions. Phænician merchant-men proceeding the empire continued to flourish, but became gradually less from Gades and Tartessus explored the western coast of Afand less warlike, and offered poor resistance to the Persians.* rica, and obtained tin from Cornwall and the Scilly Islands,

The traders of Tylus and Aradus extended their voyages BABYLONIAN CIVILIZATION.—The architectural works of the Babylonians, more especially under Nebuchadnezzar, beyond the Persian gulf to India and Taprobane, or Ceylon. were of surpassing grandeur. The "hanging gardens" of Phænician navigators, starting from Elath in the Red Sea, that prince, and the walls with which he surrounded Baby- procured gold from Ophir, on the south-eastern coast of Ara

bia. lon, were reckoned among the seven wonders of the world.

Thasos and the neighboring islands furnished con

venient stations from which the Euxine could be visited The materials used were the same as in the early Chaldean times, sunburnt and burnt brick; but the baked now pre

and commercial relations established with Thrace, Scythia,

and Colchis. Some have supposed that the North Sea was ponderated. The ornamentation of buildings was by bricks of different hues, or sometimes by a plating of precious

crossed and the Baltic entered in quest of amber; but the

balance of evidence is on the whole against this extreme metal, or by enamelling. By means of the last-named process, war-scenes and hunting-scenes were represented on

hypothesis. the walls of palaces, which are said to have been life-like The Phænician commerce was chiefly a carrying trade; and spirited. Temple-towers were still built in stages, but there were also a few productions of their own in which which now sometimes reached the number of seven. Use their traffic was considerable. The most famous of these ful works of great magnitude were also constructed by some was the purple dye, which they obtained from two shellof the kings, especially by Nebuchadnezzar and Nabona- fish, the buccinum and the murex, and by the use of which dius, such as canals, reservoirs, embankments, sluices, and they gave a high value to their textile fabrics. Another piers on the shores of the Persian gulf. Commerce flour was glass, whereof they claimed the discovery, and which ished, and Babylon was reckoned emphatically a “City of they manufactured into various articles of use and ornaMerchants." The study of astronomy was also pursued ment. They were also skillful in metallurgy; and their with zeal and industry. Observations were made and care bronzes, their gold and silver vessels, and other works in fully recorded. The sky was mapped out into constella- | metal, had a high repute. Altogether, they have a claim tions, and the fixed stars were catalogued. Occultations of to be considered one of the most ingenious of the nations of the planets by the sun and moon were noted. Time was accurately measured by means of sun-dials, and other as *Rawlinson's "Ancient History." tronomical instruments were probably invented. At the + This is not strange, since the same may be said of most Eusame time it must be confessed that the astronomical ropean nations until within a comparatively late period. The first

lunar tables calculated according to the Newtonian theory were in*Rawlinson's "Ancient History."

tended for use in calculating "nativities."

antiquity, though we must not ascribe to them the inven head, or acknowledged subjugation to a foreign conqueror. tion of letters or the possession of any remarkable artistic When there was no head, the hereditary chiefs of tribes talent.*

and families seem to have exercised jurisdiction and au

thority over the different districts.* SYRIA, prior to its formation into a Persian satrapy, had at no time any political unity. During the Assyrian period SECOND PERIOD.—The second period of the Jewish state it was divided into at least five principal states, some of comprises three reigns only—those of Saul, David, and Solwhich were mere loose confederacies.*

omon. Each of these was regarded as having lasted ex

actly forty years; and thus the entire duration of the single Of these states the one which was, if not the most power


narchy was reckoned at 120 years. The progress of the ful, yet at any rate the most generally known, was Syria of

nation during this brief space is most remarkable. When Damascus. The city itself was as old as the time of Abraham.

Saul ascends the throne the condition of the people is but The state, which was powerful enough, about B. C. 1000, to

little advanced beyond the point which was reached when escape absorption into the empire of Solomon, continued to

the tribes under Joshua took possession of the promised enjoy independence down to the time of Tiglath-pileser II,

land. Pastoral and agricultural occupations still engross and was a formidable neighbor to the Jewish and Israelite

the attention of the Israelites; simple habits prevail; there monarchs. After the capture by Tiglath-pileser, about B.

is no wealthy class; the monarch, like the judges, has no C. 732, a time of great weakness and depression ensued.

court, no palace, no extraordinary retinue; he is still little One or two feeble attempts at revolt were easily crushed;

more than leader in war, and chief judge in time of peace. after which, for a while, Damascus wholly disappears from

Again, externally, the nation is as weak as ever. The Amhistory.*

monites on one side, and the Philistines on the other, rav

age its territory at their pleasure; and the latter people JUDEA.

have encroached largely upon the Israelite borders, and COMPLETENESS OF JEWISH HISTORY.—The history of the

reduced the Israelites to such a point that they have no

arms, offensive or defensive, nor even any workers in iron. Jews and Israelites is known to us in completer se

l'nder Solomon, on the contrary, within a century of this quence and in greater detail than that of any other people

time of weakness, the Israelites have become the paramount of equal antiquity, from the circumstance that there has been preserved to our day so large a portion of their litera

race in Syria. An empire has been formed which reaches

from the Euphrates at Thapsacus to the Red sea and the ture. The Jews became familiar with writing during their

borders of Egypt. Numerous monarchs are tributary to sojourn in Egypt, if not even earlier; and kept records of the chief events in their national life from that time almost

the great king who reigns at Jerusalem; vast sums in gold

and silver flow into the treasury; magnificent edifices are uninterruptedly. From the sacred character which at

constructed; trade is established both with the east and tached to many of their historical books, peculiar care was taken of them; and the result is that they have come down

with the west; the court of Jerusalem vies in splendor with

those of Nineveh and Memphis; luxury has invaded the to us nearly in their original form. Besides this, a large

country; a seraglio on the largest scale has been formed; body of their ancient poesy is still extant, and thus it be

and the power and greatness of the prince has become opcomes possible to describe at length, not merely the events

pressive to the bulk of the people. Such a rapid growth of their civil history, but their manners, customs, and

was necessarily exhaustive of the nation's strength; and modes of thought.*

the decline of the Israelites as a people dates from the diThe history of the Jewish state commences with the Ex

vision of the kingdoms.* odus which is variously dated at B. C. 16.52 (Poole), B. C. 1491 (Usher), or B. C. 1320 (Bunsen, Lepsius). The long THE FIRST KIng.–Saul, divinely pointed out to Samuel, chronology is, on the whole, to be preferred. We may con

is anointed by him, and afterwards accepted by the people veniently divide the history into three periods.*

upon the casting of lots. He is remarkable for his comeliPeriods.

B. C.

ness and lofty stature. In his first year he defeats the Am1.-From the Exodus to the establishment of the mon

monites, who had overrun the land of Gilead. He then archy

1650-1095 II. From the establishment of the monarchy to the separ

makes war on the Philistines, and gains the great victory ation into two kingdoms


of Michmash; from which time till near the close of his III.-From the separation of the kingdoms to the captivity

reign the Philistines remain upon the defensive. He also under Nebuchadnezzar


attacks the Amalekites, the Moabites, the Edomites, and FIRST PERIOD.—During the first period the Jews regarded

the Syrians of Zobah. In the Amalekite war he offends themselves as under a theocracy; or, in other words, the

God by disobedience, and thereby forfeits his right to the policy of the nation was directed in all difficult crises by a

kingdom. Samuel, hy divine command, anoints David, reference to the divine will, which there was a recognized

who is thenceforth an object of jealousy and hatred to the mode of consulting. The earthly ruler, or rather leader, of reigning monarch, but is protected by Jonathan, his son. the nation, did not aspire to the name or position of king, Toward the close of Saul's reign the Philistines once more but was content to lead the nation in war and judge it in

assume the offensive, under Achish, king of Gath, and at peace from a position but a little elevated above that of the

Mount Gilboa defeat the Israelites under Saul. Saul, and mass of the people. He obtained his office neither by he

all his sons but one (Ishbosheth), fall in the battle.* reditary descent nor by election, but was supernaturally designated to it by a revelation to himself or to another, and THE KINGDOM DIVIDED.-A temporary division of the exercised it with the general consent, having no means of kingdom follows the death of Saul. Ishboúheth, conveyed compelling obedience. When once his authority was ac across the Jordan by Abner, is acknowledged as ruler in knowledged, he retained it during the remainder of his life; Gilead, and after five years, during which his authority is but it did not always extend over the whole nation. When extended over all the tribes except Judalı, is formally he died, he was not always succeeded immediately by an crowned as king of Israel at Mahanaim. He reigns there other similar ruler; on the contrary, there was often a con

two years, when he is murdered. Meanwhile David is siderable interval during which the nation had either no made king by his own tribe, Judah, and reigns at Hebron.*

*Rawlinson's "Ancient History."

*Rawlinson's "Ancient History."

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