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188.

Abyd

Euseb.

A.. their first colony to Marseilles. Tarquinius Priscus, king of Rome, after having subjected part of Tuscany, and adorned the city with magnificent works, end6. ed his reign. In his time the Gauls, conducted by 1. Bellovesus, possessed themselves of all the countries of Italy adjacent to the Po, while Segovesus his brother led another body of the same nation a great way into Germany. Servius Tullius, Tarquin's successor, instituted the Census, or list of the citizens disposed into certain classes, whereby that great city was regulated as a private family. Nebuchadnezzar beautified Babylon, which had enriched itself by the spoils of Jerusalem and the East: but it did not long enjoy 562. them. That king, who had adorned it with so much 192 magnificence, saw upon his death-bed the approaching apud ruin of the haughty city. His son Evilmerodach, having rendered himself odious by his debaucheries, Præp had not reigned long when he was slain by Neriglissor ult. his brother-in-law, who usurped the kingdom. Pisis560. tratus usurped also the sovereign authority in Athens, 191. which he found means to maintain for the space of thirty years, amidst a number of vicissitudes, and which he even left to his children. Neriglissor could not suffer the power of the Medes, who were growing great in the East, and therefore declared war against them. While Astyages, son of Cyaxares I. was preparing for a vigorous resistance, he died, and left the war to be carried on by Cyaxares II. his son, called by 559. Daniel Darius the Mede. This last nominates for 135. general of his army, Cyrus, the son of Mandane his sister, and of Cambyses king of Persia, which was subject to the empire of the Medes. The reputation of Cyrus, who had signalized himself in divers wars under Astyages bis grandfather, united most of 549 the kings of the east under the standards of Cyaxa- 206. res. He took Cresus king of Lydia in his capital city, and made himself master of his immense rich519. es: he subdued the other allies of the kings of Baby- 211lon and extended his dominion not only over Syria,

538.

but even a great way into the lesser Asia. At last he marched against Babylon, took it, and subjected it to Cyaxares his uncle: who, no less touched with his fidelity than his exploits, gave him his only daughter 537. and heir in marriage. In the reign of Cyaxares, Daniel already honoured under the preceding reigns with several heavenly visions, wherein he saw in manifest figures so many kings and empires pass before him, learned by a new revelation those seventy famous weeks, in which the times of the CHRIST, and the destiny of the Jewish people are unfolded. It was weeks of years, so that they contained 490 and this way of reckoning was common among the Jews, who observed the seventh year, as well as 53 the seventh day, with a religious rest. Some time after this vision, Cyaxares died, as did also Cambyses the father of Cyrus; and that great man who succeeded them, joined the kingdom of Persia, till then but obscure, to the kingdom of the Medes, which he had so vastly enlarged by his conquests. Thus was he peaceable master of the whole east, and founded the greatest empire that had ever been in the world. But what is most material to the connexion of our epochs, is, that this great conqueror, in the first year of his reign, gave his decree for rebuilding the temple of God at Jerusalem, and re-establishing the Jews in Judea.

We must stop a little at this period, which is the most intricate of all ancient chronology, by reason of the difficulty of reconciling profane with sacred history. You have, doubtless, Sir, already observed, that what I relate of Cyrus, is very different from what you have read of him in Justin; that he does not speak a word of the second kingdom of the Assyrians, nor of those famous kings of Assyria and Babylon, so renowned in sacred story; and that, in short, my account agrees very little with what that author tells us of the three first monarchies, namely, that of the Assyrians finished in the person of Sardanapalus, that of the

Á. R. 216

217.

£18.

A. C. Medes ended in the person of Aystages, grandfather AR of Cyrus, and that of the Persians begun by Cyrus, and destroyed by Alexander.

Tim.

To Justin you may join Diodorus, with most of the Greek and Latin authors extant, who relate those pieces of history in a different manner from that which I have followed.

As to what regards Cyrus, profane authors are by no means agreed about his history: but I thought I ought rather to follow Xenophon with St. Jerom, than Ctesias a fabulous author, whom most of the Greeks have copied after, as Justin and the Latins have the Greeks, and even rather than Herodote himself, though he be a most judicious writer. What determined me to this choice was, that Xenophon's history, more coherent and more probable in itself, has this additional advantage, that it is more conformable to scripture, which by reason of its antiquity, and the connexion of the affairs of the Jewish nation, with those of the east, would merit to be preferred to all the Grecian histories, although we did not moreover know, that it was dictated by the holy spirit.

As to the three first monarchies, what most of the Greeks have written of them, has appeared doubtful Plat in to the wisest men of Greece. Plato shows in general, under the name of the priests of Egypt, that the GreArist. cians were profoundly ignorant of antiquity: and Arisv. 10. totle has ranked amongst the fabulous authors, those who wrote the Assyrian affairs.

Polit.

The matter is, the Grecians were late in beginning to write, and being willing to entertain Greece, ever curious, with ancient histories, they composed them from confused memoirs, which they contented themselves with putting in an agreeable order, without much minding the truth.

And sure the manner in which the three first monarchies are generally ranged, is evidently fabulous. For after having overthrown the Assyrian empire under Sardanapalus, the Medes are brought upon the

A. C.

1. 1. c.

stage, and then the Persians; as if the Medes had suc-
ceeded to the whole power of the Assyrians, and the
Persians had established themselves on the ruin of the
Medes.

But on the contrary, it is certain that, when Arbaces raised the Medes in revolt against Sardanapalus, he did but set them free, without subjecting to them Herod, the empire of Assyria. Herodote, followed in this by 26,27. the ablest chronologers, makes their first king Dejoces appear fifty years after their revolt; and it is farther certain from the concurring testimony of that great. Herod. historian, and of Xenophon, not to mention others, Xen that during the time allotted to the empire of the v.vi. Medes, there were in Assyria some very powerful &c. kings, who were formidable to the whole east, and whose empire Cyrus overthrew by the taking of Ba bylon..

1. 1.

Cyrop.

If then most part of the Greeks, and of the Latins, who have followed them, say nothing of those Babylonish kings, if they allow no place to that great kingdom among the first monarchies, of which they relate. the succession; in short, if we find little or nothing in. their works concerning the famous kings Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, and many others so renowned in scripture, and in the eastern histories; we must impute it, either to the ignorance of the Greeks, who were more eloquent in their narrations, than curious in their inquiries; or to our having lost what was most authentic and exact in their histories.

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Herod.

1. i. c.

And indeed Herodote had promised a particular history of the Assyrians, which we have not got, whe- 28, 37 ther it has been lost, or he has not had time to write it; and we may believe that so judicious an historian would not have omitted the kings of the second emHerod. pire of the Assyrians, since Sennacherib, who was one c. 91. of them, is still to be found named in the books we have extant of that great author, as king of the Assy. rians and Arabians.

lib. li

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A. C. Strab.

Strabo, who lived in the time of Augustus, relates A. R lib xv. what Megasthenes, an ancient author, who lived near the days of Alexander, had left in writing about the famous conquests of Nabuchodonosor king of the Chaldeans, whom he makes to overrun Europe, penetrate into Spain, and carry his arms as far as the Ellan, pillars of Hercules. Elian names Thilgamus king of Hist.A- Assyria, who is, undoubtedly, the Tilgath, or Tiglath nina. c. of sacred history; and we have in Ptolemy a catalogue

lib. xii.

21.

Jos.

ult.x.c.

of the princes, who ruled the great empires; among whom we find a long series of kings of Assyria, unknown to the Grecians, and whom it is easy to reconcile with sacred history.

It were too tedious to rehearse what the Syrian annals, what Berosus, Abydenus, or Nicolaus of DamasAnt. cus narrate to us. Josephus and Eusebius of Cesarea lib.ix.c have preserved to us the precious fragments of all those 11.1. i. authors, as well as of a great many others, that were Ap Eus complete in their time, whose testimony confirms what Evang the holy scripture tells us concerning the eastern antiquities, and particularly concerning the Assyrian history.

cont.

ix.

As for the monarchy of the Medes, to which most profane historians give the second place in the catalogue of great empires, as distinct from that of the Persians, it is certain that the scripture always joins them; and you see, Sir, that, besides the authority of the sacred books, the very order of the facts demonstrates, that it is to that we ought to adhere.

The Medes before Cyrus, though powerful and considerable, were eclipsed by the greatness of the kings of Babylon. But Cyrus having conquered their kingdom, by the united force of the Medes and Persians, whose master be afterwards by lawful succession be. came, as we have observed after Xenophon; it appears that the great empire, whereof he was founder, must have taken its name from both nations; so that that of the Medes, and that of the Persians, were but one

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