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others' ascribe this honor to Nimrod, a grandson of Ham, who, as they suppose, having obtained possession of the provinces of Ashur, built Nineveh, and encompassing Babel with walls, and rebuilding the deserted city, made it the capital of his empire, under the name of Babylon,
that the walls included, besides the buildings of the city, a large extent of well-cultivated gardens and pasture grounds. In the ninth century before Christ, it was described by the prophet Jonah as an exceeding great city of three days' journey," and as containing “more than six score thousand persons that could not distinguish between their right hand and their left.” It is generally believed that the expression here used denoted children, and that the entire population of the city numbered seven or eight bundred thousand souls.
Nineveh was a city of great commercial importance. The prophet Nahum thus addresses her: “Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven.” (iii. 16.) Nineveh was besieged and taken by Arbaces the Mede, in the eighth century before Christ; and in the year 612 it fell into the hands of Ahasuerus, or Cyaxares, king of Media, who took great “spoil of silver and gold, and none end of the store and glory, out of all her pleasant furniture," making her "empty, and void, and waste.” (Map, p. 15.)
1. According to our English Bible (Genesis, x. 11), “ Ashur went forth out of the land of Shinur (Babylon) and builded Nineveh.” But by many this reading is supposed to be a wrong translation, and that the passage should read, “From that land he (Nimrod) went forth into Ashur, (the name of a province,) and built Nineveh.” (“De terra illa egressus est Assur et sedificavit Nineveh.” (See Anthon's Classical Dictionary, article Assyria. See, also, the subject examined in Hale's Analysis of Chronology, i. 450-1.)
2. Ancient Babylon, once the greatest, most magnificent, and most powerful city of the world, stood on both sides of the river Euphrates, about 350 miles from the entrance of that stream into the Persian Gulf. The building of Babel was probably the commencement of the city, but it is supposed to have attained its greatest glory during the reign of the Assyrian queen, Semir'amis. Different writers give different acccounts of the extent of this city. The Greek historian Herod' otus, who visited it in the fourth century before Christ, while its walls were still standing and much of its early magnificence remaining, described it as a perfect square, the walls of each side being 120 furlongs, or fifteen miles in length. According to this computation the city embraced an area of 225 square miles. But Diodorus reduces the supposed area 10 72 square miles ;-equal, however, to three and a half times the area of London, with all its suburbs. Some writers have supposed that the city contained a population of at least five millions of people. Others have reduced this estimate to one million. It is highly improbable that the whole of the immense area inclosed by the walls was filled with the buildings of a compact city.
The walls of Babylon, which were built of large bricks cemented with bitumen, are said to have been 350 feet high, and 87 feet in thickness, flanked with lofty towers, and pierced by 100 gates of brass. The two portions of the city, on each side of the Euphrates, were connected by a bridge of stone, which rested on arches of the same material. The temple of Jupiter Belus, supposed to have been the tower or Babel, is described by Herod'otus as an immense structuro, square at the base, and rising, in eight distinct stories, to the beight of nearly 600 feet. Herod. otus says that when he visited Babylon the brazon gates of this temple were still to be seen, and that in the upper story there was a couch magnificently adorned, and near it a table of solid gold. Herod'otus also mentions a statue of gold twelve cubits high-supposed to have been the "golden image" set up by Nebuchadnezzar. The site of this temple has been identified as that of the ruins now called by the Arabs the “ Birs Nimroud,” or Tower of Nimrod.
Later writers than Herod'otus speak of a tunnel under the Euphrates—subterranean banquetIng rooms of brass—and hanging gardens clevated three hundred feet above the city; but as Herod' otus is silent on these points, serious doubts have boen entertained of the existence of these structures.
Nothing now remains of the buildings of ancient Babylon but immense and shapeless makes of ruins; their sites being partly occupied by the modern and meanly built town of Hillah, op the western bank of the Euphrates. This town, surrounded by mud walls, contains a mixed Arablan and Jewish population of six or seven thousand souls. (.Map, p. 15.)
about 60 years after the deluge, and 2555 years before the Chris
After his death, Nimrod was deified for his great actions, and called Belus : and it is supposed that the tower of Babel, rising high above the walls of Babylon, but still in an unfinished state, was consecrated to his worship.
13. While some believe that the monarch Nínus was the son of Nimrod, and that Assyria and Babylon formed one united empire under the immediate successors of the first founder; others regard Nínus as an Assyrian prince, who, by conquering Babylon, united the hitherto separate empires, more than four hundred years
after the reign of Nimrod; while others still regard Nínus as only a per. sonification of Nineveh. During the reign of Nínus, and also during that of his supposed queen and successor, Semir' amis, the boundaries of the united Assyrian and Babylonian empires are said to have been greatly enlarged by conquest; but the accounts that are given of these events are evidently so exaggerated, that little re. liance can be placed upon them.
14. Semir' amis, who was raised from an humble station to become the queen of Nínus, is described as a woman of uncommon courage and masculine character, the main object of whose ambition was to immortalize her name by the greatness of her exploits. Her conquests are said to have embraced nearly all the then known world, extending as far as Central Africa on the one hand, and as far as the Indus,' in Asia, on the other. She is said to have raised, at one time, an army of more than three millions of men, and to have employed two millions of workmen in adorning Babylon-statements wholly inconsistent with the current opinion of the sparse population of the world at this early period. After the reign of Semir' amis, which is supposed to have been during the time of the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, little is known of the history of Assyria for more than thirty generations.
1. The river Indus, or Sinde, rises in the Himmaleh mountains, and running in a south-west arly direction enters the Arabian Sea near the western extremity of Hindostan.
Niebuhr's Ancient Hist. 1. 55.
THE FABULOUS AND LEGENDARY PERIOD OF GRECIAN
ENDING WITH THE CLOSE OF THE TROJAN WAR, 1183 B O.
ANALYSIS. 1. Extent of Ancient Greece. Or Modern Greece. The most ancient name of the country.—2. The two general divisions of Modern Greece. Extent of Northern Greeco. Of the Morea. Whole area of the country so renowned in history.-3. The general surface of the country. Its fertility.-4. Mountains of Greece. Rivers. Climate. The seasons. Scenery. Classical associations.
5. GRECIAN MYTHOLOGY, the proper introduction to Grecian history.-6. Chaos, Earth, and Heaven. The offspring of Earth and U'ranus. (Uʻranus; the Titans: the Cyclopes.)—7. U'ranus is dethroned, and is succeeded by Sat' urn. [The Furies: the Giants: and the Melian Nymphs. Venus. Sat' urn. Júpiter. Nep'tune. Plúto.)—8. War of the Titans against Saturn. War of the Giants with Júpiter. The result. New dynasty of the gods.-9. The wives of Jupiter. (Juno.] His offspring. (Mer' cury. Mars. Apollo. Vul can. Diana. Minerva.] Other celestial divinities. (Ceres. Ves' la.]—10. Other deities not included among the celestials. [Bac' chus. Iris. Hebe. The Muses. The Fates. The Graces.] Monsters. (Harpies. Gor'gons.] Rebellions against Jupiter. (Olym'pus.]—11. Numbers, and character, of the legends of the gods. Vulgar belief, and philosophical explanations of them.
12. EARLIEST INHABITANTS or GREECE. The Pelas' gians. Tribes included under this name.-13. Character and civilization of the Pelas' gians. (Cyclópean structures. Asia Minor.)-14. FOREIGN SETTLERS IN GREECE. Reputed founding of Ar' gos. [Ar' gos. Argolis. Océanus. In'achus.] The accounts of the early Grecian settlements not reliable.—15. The founding of Athens. [At' tica. Ogy' ges.] The elements of Grecian civilization attributed to Cecrops. The story of Cecrops doubtless fabulous.-16. Legend of the contest between Minmi va and Nep'tune.—17. Cran'aus and Amphic' tyon. Dan'aus and Cad' mus. [Bæotia. Thebes.}--18. General character of the accounts of foreign settlers in Greece. Value of these traditions. The probable truth in relation to them, which accounts for the intermixture of foreign with Grecian mythology. [Ægean Sea.]
19. The HELLENES appear in Thessaly, about 1384 B. C., and become the ruling class among the Grecians.—20. Hellen the son of Deucalion. The several Grecian tribes. The Æolian tribe. --21. Tho HEROIC Ace. Our knowledge of Grecian history during this period. Character and value of the Heroic legends. The most important of them. (lst. Hércules. . Theseus. 34.
Argonautic expedition. 4th. Theban and Ar' golic war.)". The Argonautic expedition • thought the most important. Probably a poetic fiction. [Samothráce. Euxine Sea.] Proba
bility of naval expeditions at this early period, and their results. (Minos. Crete.)-23. Opere ing of the Trojan war. Its alleged causes. [Troy. Lacedæ'mon.]-24. Paris,-the flight of Helen,--the war which followed.-25. Remarks on the supposed reality of the war. [The fablo of Helen.]—26. What kind of truth is to be extracted from Homer's account.
COTEMPORARY HISTORY.–1. Our limited knowledge of cotemporary history during this period. Rome. Europe. Central Western Asia. Egyptian History.-2. The conquests of Sesos' tris. (Libya. Ethiopia. The Ganges. Thracians and Scythians.] The columns erect. al by Sesos' tris.-3. Statues of Sesostris at Ipsam' boul. Historical sculptures.-4. Remarks on the evidences of the existence of this conqueror. The close of his reign. Subsequent Egyptian history.–5. The Israelites at the period of the commencement of Grecian history. Their situation after the death of Joseph. Their exodus from Egypt, 1648 B. C.-6. Wander. ings in the wilderness Passage of the Jordan. (Arabia. Jordan. Palestine.) Death of
Moses Israel during the time of Joshua and the elders.—7. Israel ruled by Judges until the time of Saul. The Israelites frequently apostatize to idolatry. [Moabites. Canaanites.)-8. Their deliverance from the Mid' ianites and Am'alekites. (Localities of these tribes.)–9. De liverance from the Philistines and Am' monites. (Localities of these tribes.] Samson, Eli, and Samuel. Saul anointed king over Israel, 1110 B, C.-10. Closing remarks.
1. GREECE, which is the Roman name of the country whose his
tory we next proceed to narrate, but which was called CAL DESCRIP- by the natives Hellas, denoting the country of the
Hellénés, comprised, in its most flourishing period, Dearly the whole of the great eastern peninsula of southern Europe -extending north to the northern extremity of the waters of the Grecian Archipelago. Modern Greece, however, has a less extent on the north, as Thes' saly, Epírus, and Macedónia have been taken from it, and annexed to the Turkish empire. The area of Modern Greece is less than that of Portugal; but owing to the irregularities of its shores, its range of seacoast is greater than that of the whole of Spain. The most ancient name by which Greece was known to other nations was Iónia,-a term which Josephus derives from Javan, the son of Japhet, and grandson of Noah: although the Greeks themselves applied the term Iónes only to the descendants of the fabulous I'on, son of Xúthus.
2. Modern Greece is divided into two principal portions :-Northern Greece or Hellas, and Southern Greece, or Moréa-anciently called Peloponnésus. The former includes the country of the ancient Grecian States, Acarnánia, Ætólia, Lócris, Phócis, Dóris, Bæótia, Eubce' a, and At' tica; and the latter, the Peloponnesian States of E' lis, Acháia, Cor' inth, Ar' golis, Lacónia, and Messenia; whose localities may be learned from the accompanying map. The greatest length of the northern portion, which is from north-west to south-east, is about two hundred miles, with an average width of fifty miles. The greatest length of the Moréa, which is from north to south, is about one hundred and forty miles. The whole area of the country so renowned in history under the name of Greece or Hel'las, is only about twenty thousand square miles, which is less than half the area of the State of Pennsylvania.
3. The general surface of Greece is mountainous; and almost the only fertile spots are the numerous and usually narrow plains along the sea-shore and the banks of rivers, or, as in several places, large basins, which apparently once formed the beds of mountain lakes. The largest tracts of level country are in western Hel' las, and along the northern and north-western shores of the Moréa.
4. The mountains of Greece are of the Alpine character, and are remarkable for their numerous grottos and caverns.
Their abrupt summits never rise to the regions of perpetual snow. There are no navigable rivers in Greece, but this want is obviated by the numerous gulfs and inlets of the sea, which indent the coast on every side, and thus furnish unusual facilities to commerce, while they add to the Fariety and beauty of the scenery. The climate of Greece is for the most part healthy, except in the low and marshy tracts around the shores and lakes. The winters are short. Spring and autumn aro rainy seasons, when many parts of the country are inundated; but during the whole summer, which comprises half the year, a cloud in the sky is rare in several parts of the country. Grecian scenery is unsurpassed in romantic wildness and beauty; but our deepest interest in the country arises from its classical associations, and the ruins of ancient art and splendor scattered over it.
5. As the Greeks, in common with the Egyptians and other Eastern nations, placed the reign of the gods anterior to the race of mortals, therefore Grecian mythology forms the most appropriate introduction to Grecian history.
6. According to Grecian philosophy, first in the order of time came Cháos, a heterogeneous mass containing all the seeds of nature; then“ broad-breasted Earth," the mother of the gods, who produced U'ranus, or Heaven, the mountains, and the barren and billowy sea. Then Earth married U'ranus' or Heaven, and from this union came a numerous and powerful brood, the Titans' and the Cyclopes,' and the gods of the wintry season,-Kot' tos, Briáreus, and Gy'ges, who bad each a hundred hands,--supposed to be personifications of the bail, the rain, and the snow.
1. MYTHOLOGY, from two Greek words signifying a "fable" and a “discourse,” is a system of myths, or fabulous opinions and doctrines respecting the deities which heathen nations have supposed to preside over the world, or to influence its affairs.
ranus, from a Greek word signifying "heaven,” or “sky," was the most ancient of all the gods.
3. The Titans were six males-Oceanus, Coios, Crios, Hyperion, Japetus, and Kronos, or Sat’urn, and six females, Théia, Rhea, Thémis, Mnemos’ yne, Phæ' be, and Tethys. Oceanus, or the Ocean, espoused his sister Tethys, and their children were the rivers of the earth, and tho three thousand Oceanides or Ocean-nymphs. Hyperion married his sister Theia, by whom ho bad Aurora, or the morning, and also the sun and moon.
4. The Cyclopes were a race of gigantic size, having but one eye, and that placed in the centre of the forehead. According to some accounts there were many of this race, but according to the poet Hesiod, the principal authority in Grecian mythology, they were only three in num. ber, Bron' tes, Ster' opes, and Arges, words which signify in the Greek, Thunder, Lightning, and the rapid Flame. The poets converted them into smiths--the assistants of the fire god Vulcan. The Cyclopes were probably personifications of the energies of the “powers of the air."