The Project Gutenberg EBook of History Of Egypt, Chaldęa, Syria,
Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 8 (of 12), by G. Maspero

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Title: History Of Egypt, Chaldęa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 8 (of 12)

Author: G. Maspero

Editor: A.H. Sayce

Translator: M.L. McClure

Release Date: December 16, 2005 [EBook #17328]
Last Updated: September 8, 2016

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by David Widger

Character set: ISO-8859-1






Honorable Doctor of Civil Laws, and Fellow of Queen’s College,
Oxford; Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of France

Edited by A. H. SAYCE,
Professor of Assyriology, Oxford

Translated by M. L. McCLURE,
Member of the Committee of the Egypt Exploration Fund


Volume VIII.



Arab Family at Dinner


003.jpg Page Image

SENNACHERIB (705-681 B.C.)


The upheaval of the entire Eastern world on the accession of Sennacherib—Revolt of Babylon: return of Merodach-baladan and his efforts to form a coalition against Assyria; the battle of Kish (703 B.C.)—Belibni, King of Babylon (702-699 B.C.)—Sabaco, King of Egypt, Amenertas and Pionkhi, Shąbī-toku—Tyre and its kings after Ethbaal II.: Phoenician colonisation in Libya and the foundation of Carthage—The Kingdom of Tyre in the time of Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon: Elulai—Judah and the reforms of Hezekiah; alliance of Judah and Tyre with Egypt, the downfall of the Tyrian kingdom (702 B.C.)—The battle of Altaku and the siege of Jerusalem: Sennacherib encamped before Lachish, his Egyptian expedition, the disaster at Pelusium.

Renewed revolt of Babylon and the Tabal (699 B.C.); flight of the people of Bīt-Yakīn into Elamite territory; Sennacherib’s fleet and descent on Nagitu (697-696 B.C.)—Khalludush invades Karduniash (695 B.C.); Nirgal-ushezib and Mushesīb-marduk at Babylon (693-689 B.C.)—Sennacherib invades Elam (693 B.C.): battle of Khalulź (692 B.C.), siege and destruction of Babylon (689 B.C.)—Buildings of Sennacherib at Nineveh: his palace at Kouyunjik; its decoration with battle, hunting, and building scenes.





List of Illustrations




003.jpg Page Image

011.jpg Clay Seal With Cartouche of Sabaco

017.jpg a Phoenician Galley With Two Banks of Oars

018.jpg Map of Kingdom Of Tyre, the Campaign Of Sennacherib

023.jpg Map of the Campaign Of Sennacherib in Judea

028.jpg the Pass of Legnia, in Lebanon

028b.jpg Esneh—principal Abyssinian Trading Village

030.jpg Sennacherib Receiving the Submissions of The Jews

042.jpg a Raid Among the Woods and Mountains.

048.jpg Map the Nar-marratum in The Time of Sennacherib

049.jpg the Fleet of Sennacherib on The Nar-marratum

052.jpg a Skirmish in the Marshes

054.jpg the Horse of Nergal-ushezĪb Falling in The Battle

063.jpg the Mounds of Nineveh Seen from The Terrace Of A House in Mosul

065.jpg King Sennacherib Watching the Transport of A Colossal Statue

066.jpg Assyrian Bas-reliefs at Bavian

069.jpg Great Assyrian Stele at BaviaĪt.

073.jpg an Assyrian Cavalry Raid Through the Woods

074.jpg (and 75) Transport of a Winged Bull on A Sledge.

079.jpg Sennacherib

081.jpg Page Image

082.jpg Page Image

083.jpg Page Image

087.jpg Stone Lion at HamadĀn

088.jpg View of HamadĀn and Mount Elvend in Winter

090.jpg Asia Minor in the 7th Century

095.jpg Monument Commemorative of Midas

096.jpg a Phrygian God

097.jpg the Mother-goddess Between Lions

098.jpg the Mother-goddess and Atys

099.jpg the God Men Associated With The Sun and Other Deities

101.jpg Midas of Phrygia

104.jpg the Steep Banks of The Halys Failed to Arrest Them

105.jpg View Ovek the Plain of Sardes

106.jpg the Axe Borne by Zeus Labraundos

110.jpg a Conflict With Two Griffins.

111.jpg Scythians Armed for War

115.jpg Inhabited Caves on the Banks of The Halys

131.jpg the Town of Kharkhar With Its Triple Rampart

137.jpg Shabitoku, King of Egypt

139.jpg Taharqa and his Queen DikahĪtamanu

142.jpg the Column of Taharqa, at Karnak

143.jpg the Hemispeos Op HĀthor and BĪsŪ, At Gebel-barkal

144.jpg Entrance to the Hemispeos of BĪsŪ (bes), At Gebel-barkal

145.jpg Taharqa

156.jpg Southern Promontory at the Mouth of The Nahr-el-kelb

157.jpg Stele of Esarhaddon at the Nahr-el-kelb

158.jpg Stele of Zinjirli

161.jpg Assyrian Sphinx in Egyptian Style Supporting The Base of a Column

168.jpg Assur-banipal As a Bearer of Offerings

169.jpg Sihamash-shumukin As a Bearer of Offerings

174.jpg MontumihĀĪt, Prince of Thebes

175.jpg Psammetichus

181.jpg Lydian Horsemen

187.jpg Assur-bani-pal

190.jpg Mural Decorations from the Grottoes

191.jpg King Tanuatamanu in Adoration Before the Gods Of Thebes

195.jpg Assyrian Helmet Found at Thebes

198.jpg a Lion Issuing from Its Cage

206.jpg Ituni Breaks his Bow With a Blow of His Sword, And Gives Himself up to the Executioner

206b.jpg the Battle of Tulliz

209.jpg Urtaku Cousin of TiummĀn, Surrendering to An Assyrian

210.jpg the Last Arrow of TiummĀn and his Son

211.jpg Death of TiummĀn and his Son

212.jpg Khumb.n-igash Proclaimed King

215.jpg the Head of Thumman Sent to Nineveh

216.jpg Assur-bani-pal Banqueting With his Queen

217.jpg Two Elamite Chiefs Flayed Alive After the Battle Of TullĪz

228.jpg the Eastern World in The Reign of Assur-bani-pal

235.jpg Psammetichus I.

240.jpg Battle of the Cimmerians Against The Greeks Accompanied by Their Dogs

251.jpg Statues of the Gods Carried off by Assyrian Soldiery

252.jpg the Tumulus of Suza

260.jpg Prayer in the Desert After Painting by Gerome

261.jpg Page Image

262.jpg Page Image

263.jpg Page Image

268.jpg and 269.jpg Table of Median Dynasty

274.jpg Map of the Lands Created by Ahura-mazda

269.jpg NisĘan Houses Harnessed to a Royal Chariot

280.jpg the Persian Realm

282.jpg Scene in the Mountains of Persia.

285.jpg Head of a Persian Archer

287.jpg a Persian

290.jpg a Herd of Wild Goats—a Bas-relief Of the Time Of Assur-bani-pal

290b Illustrated Manuscript in Heiroglyphics

294.jpg Remains of Assur-bani-pal’s Wall at Nippur

297.jpg Medic and Persian Foot-soldiers

298.jpg a Medic Horseman

300.jpg the Assyrian Triangle

301.jpg Map of Nineveh

302.jpg Part of the Fosse at Nineveh

308.jpg Scythians Tending Their Wounded

311.jpg Iranian Soldier Fighting Against the Scythians

330. Map of the Eastern World in The Time Of Nebuchadnezzar

335.jpg Three Hoplites in Action

338.jpg Statue of a Theban Queen

347.jpg the Saite Fortress of Daphne

348a.jpg Egyptian Greek

348b.jpg Egyptian Greek

355.jpg Chamber and Sarcophagus of an Apis

356.jpg the Great Gallery of The Serapeum

358.jpg Chieck Beled—Gizeh Museum

359.jpg Memphite Bas-relief of the Saite Epoch

361.jpg the Ruins of Sais

364.jpg Decorations on the Wrappings of a Mummy.

378.jpg Victorious Necho

390.jpga View in the Mountains of The Messogis

391.jpg the Site of Priźnź.

396.jpg the Ruins of Pteria

396b.jpg the Entrance to The Sanctuary of Pteria

398.jpg One of the Processions in The Ravine Of Pteria

404.jpg an Egyptian Vessel of the Saite Period

405.jpg the Ancient Head of The Red Sea, Now The Northern Extremity of the Bitter Lakes

417.jpg the Faēade of The Great Temple Of Abu-simbel

422.jpg Apries, from a Sphinx in the Louvre

423.jpg Stele of Nebuchadrezzar

427.jpg Prisoners Under Torture Having Their Tongues Torn Out

428.jpg a King Putting out the Eyes of A Prisoner

430b.jpg a People Carried Away Into Captivity

430.jpg Table of the Kings Of Judah

436.jpg Bronze Lion of Bohbait

437.jpg the Small Obelisk in The Piazza Della Minerva At Home

440.jpg the Oasis of Amok and The Spring Of The Sun

440b.jpg Portion of the Ruins Of Cyrene

443.jpg Map of Lybia in the Vith Century B.c.

443b.jpg the Silphium

444.jpg Weighing Silphium in Presence of King Arkesilas

456.jpg City Defended by a Triple Wall

457.jpg Probable Section of the Triple Wall Of Babylon

458.jpg Fragment of a Babylonian Bas-relief

459.jpg Ruins of the ZiggurĀt Of The Temple Of Bel

460.jpg the Stone Lion of Babylon


The struggle of Sennacherib with Judęa and Egypt—Destruction of Babylon.

Sennacherib either failed to inherit his father’s good fortune, or lacked his ability.* He was not deficient in military genius, nor in the energy necessary to withstand the various enemies who rose against him at widely removed points of his frontier, but he had neither the adaptability of character nor the delicate tact required to manage successfully the heterogeneous elements combined under his sway.

     * The two principal documents for the reign of Sennacherib
     are engraved on cylinders: the Taylor Cylinder and the
     Bellino Cylinder, duplicates of which, more or less perfect,
     exist in the collections of the British Museum. The Taylor
     Cylinder, found at Kouyunjik or Usebi-Yunus, contains the
     history or the first eight years of this reign; the Bellino
     Cylinder treats of the two first years of the reign.

He lacked the wisdom to conciliate the vanquished, or opportunely to check his own repressive measures; he destroyed towns, massacred entire tribes, and laid whole tracts of country waste, and by failing to repeople these with captive exiles from other nations, or to import colonists in sufficient numbers, he found himself towards the end of his reign ruling over a sparsely inhabited desert where his father had bequeathed to him flourishing provinces and populous cities. His was the system of the first Assyrian conquerors, Shalmaneser III. and Assur-nazir-pal, substituted for that of Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon. The assimilation of the conquered peoples to their conquerors was retarded, tribute was no longer paid regularly, and the loss of revenue under this head was not compensated by the uncertain increase in the spoils obtained by war; the recruiting of the army, rendered more difficult by the depopulation of revolted districts, weighed heavier still on those which remained faithful, and began, as in former times, to exhaust the nation. The news of Sargon’s murder, published throughout the Eastern world, had rekindled hope in the countries recently subjugated by Assyria, as well as in those hostile to her. Phoenicia, Egypt, Media, and Elam roused themselves from their lethargy and anxiously awaited the turn which events should take at Nineveh and Babylon. Sennacherib did not consider it to his interest to assume the crown of Chaldęa, and to treat on a footing of absolute equality a country which had been subdued by force of arms: he relegated it to the rank of a vassal state, and while reserving the suzerainty for himself, sent thither one of his brothers to rule as king.*

     * The events which took place at Babylon at the beginning of
     Sennacherib’s reign are known to us from the fragments of
     Berosus, compared with the Canon of Ptolemy and Pinches’
     Babylonian Canon. The first interregnum in the Canon of
     Ptolemy (704-702 B.C.) is filled in Pinches’ Canon by three
     kings who are said to have reigned as follows: Sennacherib,
     two years; Marduk-zākir-shumu, one month; Merodach-baladan,
     nine months. Berosus substitutes for Sennacherib one of his
     brothers, whose name apparently he did not know; and this is
     the version I have adopted, in agreement with most modern
     historians, as best tallying with the evident lack of
     affection for Babylon displayed by Sennacherib throughout
     his reign.

The Babylonians were indignant at this slight. Accustomed to see their foreign ruler conform to their national customs, take the hands of Bel, and assume or receive from them a new throne-name, they could not resign themselves to descend to the level of mere tributaries: in less than two years they rebelled, assassinated the king who had been imposed upon them, and proclaimed in his stead Marduk-zākir-shumu,* who was merely the son of a female slave (704 B.C.).

     * The servile origin of this personage is indicated in
     Pinches’ Babylonian Canon; he might, however, be connected
     through his father with a princely, or even a royal, family,
     and thereby be in a position to win popular support. Among
     modern Assyriologists, some suppose that the name Akises in
     Berosus is a corruption of [Marduk-]zākir[shumu]; others
     consider Akises-Akishu as being the personal name of the
     king, and Marduk-zākir-shumu his throne-name.

This was the signal for a general insurrection in Chaldęa and the eastern part of the empire. Merodach-baladan, who had remained in hiding in the valleys on the Elamite frontier since his defeat in 709 B.C., suddenly issued forth with his adherents, and marched at once to Babylon; the very news of his approach caused a sedition, in the midst of which Marduk-zākir-shumu perished, after having reigned for only one month. Merodach-baladan re-entered his former capital, and as soon as he was once more seated on the throne, he endeavoured to form alliances with all the princes, both small and great, who might create a diversion in his favour. His envoys obtained promises of help from Elam; other emissaries hastened to Syria to solicit the alliance of Hezekiah, and might have even proceeded to Egypt if their sovereign’s good fortune had lasted long enough.* But Sennacherib did not waste his opportunities in lengthy-preparations.

     * 2 Kings xx. 12-19; Isa. xxxix. The embassy to Hezekiah has
     been assigned to the first reign of Merodach-baladan, under
     Sargon. In accordance with the information obtained from the
     Assyrian monuments, it seems to me that it could only have
     taken place during his second reign, in 703 B.C.

The magnificent army left by Sargon was at his disposal, and summoning it at once into the field, he advanced on the town of Kīsh, where the Kaldā monarch was entrenched with his Aramęan forces and the Elamite auxiliaries furnished by Shutruk-nakhunta. The battle issued in the complete rout of the confederate forces. Merodach-baladan fled almost unattended, first to Guzum-manu, and then to the marshes of the Tigris, where he found a temporary refuge; the troops who were despatched in pursuit followed him for five days, and then, having failed to secure the fugitive, gave up the search.*

     * The detail is furnished by the Bellino Cylinder. Berosus
     affirmed that Merodach-baladan was put to death by Belibni.

His camp fell into the possession of the victor, with all its contents—chariots, horses, mules, camels, and herds of cattle belonging to the commissariat department of the army: Babylon threw open its gates without resistance, hoping, no doubt, that Sennacherib would at length resolve to imitate the precedent set by his father and retain the royal dignity for himself. He did, indeed, consent to remit the punishment for this first insurrection, and contented himself with pillaging the royal treasury and palace, but he did not deign to assume the crown, conferring it on Belibni, a Babylonian of noble birth, who had been taken, when quite a child, to Nineveh and educated there under the eyes of Sargon.*

     * The name is transcribed Belibos in Greek, and it seems as
     if the Assyrian variants justify the pronunciation Belibush.

While he was thus reorganising the government, his generals were bringing the campaign to a close: they sacked, one after another, eighty-nine strongholds and eight hundred and twenty villages of the Kaldā; they drove out the Arabian and Aramaean garrisons which Merodach-baladan had placed in the cities of Karduniash, in Urak, Nipur, Kuta, and Kharshag-kalamma, and they re-established Assyrian supremacy over all the tribes on the east of the Tigris up to the frontiers of Elam, the Tumuna, the Ubudu, the Gambulu, and the Khindaru, as also over the Nabataeans and Hagarenes, who wandered over the deserts of Arabia to the west of the mouths of the Euphrates. The booty was enormous: 208,000 prisoners, both male and female, 7200 horses, 11,073 asses, 5230 camels, 80,100 oxen, 800,500 sheep, made their way like a gigantic horde of emigrants to Assyria under the escort of the victorious army. Meanwhile the Khirimmu remained defiant, and showed not the slightest intention to submit: their strongholds had to be attacked and the inhabitants annihilated before order could in any way be restored in the country. The second reign of Merodach-baladan had lasted barely nine months.

011.jpg Clay Seal With Cartouche of Sabaco
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a sketch by Layard.

The blow which ruined Merodach-baladan broke up the coalition which he had tried to form against Assyria. Babylon was the only rallying-point where states so remote, and such entire strangers to each other as Judah and Elam, could enter into friendly relations and arrange a plan of combined action. Having lost Babylon as a centre, they were once more hopelessly isolated, and had no means of concerting measures against the common foe: they renounced all offensive action, and waited under arms to see how the conqueror would deal with each severally. The most threatening storm, however, was not that which was gathering over Palestine, even were Egypt to be drawn into open war: for a revolt of the western provinces, however serious, was never likely to lead to disastrous complications, and the distance from Pelusium to the Tigris was too great for a victory of the Pharaoh to compromise effectually the safety of the empire. On the other hand, should intervention on the part of Elam in the affairs of Babylon or Media be crowned with success, the most disastrous consequences might ensue: it would mean the loss of Karduniash, or of the frontier districts won with such difficulty by Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon; it would entail permanent hostilities on the Tigris and the Zab, and perhaps the appearance of barbarian troops under the walls of Calah or of Nineveh. Elam had assisted Merodach-baladan, and its soldiers had fought on the plains of Kish. Months had elapsed since that battle, yet Shutruk-nakhunta showed no disposition to take the initiative: he accepted his defeat at all events for the time, but though he put off the day of reckoning till a more favourable opportunity, it argued neither weakness nor discouragement, and he was ready to give a fierce reception to any Assyrian monarch who should venture within his domain. Sennacherib, knowing both the character and resources of the Elamite king, did not attempt to meet him in the open field, but wreaked his resentment on the frontier tribes who had rebelled at the instigation of the Elamites, on the Cossoans, on Ellipi and its king Ishpabara. He pursued the inhabitants into the narrow valleys and forests of the Khoatras, where his chariots were unable to follow: proceeding with his troops, sometimes on horseback, at other times on foot, he reduced Bīt-kilamzak, Khardishpi, and Bīt-kubatti to ashes, and annexed the territories of the Cossoans and the Yasubigallā to the prefecture of Arrapkha. Thence he entered Ellipi, where Ishpabara did not venture to come to close quarters with him in the open field, but led him on from town to town. He destroyed the two royal seats of Marubishti and Akkuddu, and thirty-four of their dependent strongholds; he took possession of Zizirtu, Kummalu, the district of Bitbarru, and the city of Elinzash, to which he gave the name Kar-Sennacherib,—the fortress of Sennacherib,—and annexed them to the government of Kharkhar. The distant Medes, disquieted at his advance, sent him presents, and renewed the assurances of devotion they had given to Sargon, but Sennacherib did not push forward into their territory as his predecessors had done: he was content to have maintained his authority as far as his outlying posts, and to have strengthened the Assyrian empire by acquiring some well-situated positions near the main routes which led from the Iranian table-land to the plains of Mesopotamia. Having accomplished this, he at once turned his attention towards the west, where the spirit of rebellion was still active in the countries bordering on the African frontier. Sabaco, now undisputed master of Egypt, was not content, like Piōnkhi, to bring Egypt proper into a position of dependence, and govern it at a distance, by means of his generals. He took up his residence within it, at least during part of every year, and played the rōle of Pharaoh so well that his Egyptian subjects, both at Thebes and in the Delta, were obliged to acknowledge his sovereignty and recognise him as the founder of a new dynasty. He kept a close watch over the vassal princes, placing garrisons in Memphis and the other principal citadels, and throughout the country he took in hand public works which had been almost completely interrupted for more than a century owing to the civil wars: the highways were repaired, the canals cleaned out and enlarged, and the foundations of the towns raised above the level of the inundation. Bubastis especially profited under his rule, and regained the ascendency it had lost ever since the accession of the second Tanite dynasty; but this partiality was not to the detriment of other cities. Several of the temples at Memphis were restored, and the inscriptions effaced by time were re-engraved. Thebes, happy under the government of Amenertas and her husband Piōnkhi, profited largely by the liberality of its Ethiopian rulers. At Luxor Sabaco restored the decoration of the principal gateway between the two pylons, and repaired several portions of the temple of Amon at Karnak. History subsequently related that, in order to obtain sufficient workmen, he substituted forced labour for the penalty of death: a policy which, beside being profitable, would win for him a reputation for clemency. Egypt, at length reduced to peace and order, began once more to flourish, and to display that inherent vitality of which she had so often given proof, and her reviving prosperity attracted as of old the attention of foreign powers. At the beginning of his reign, Sabaco had attempted to meddle in the intrigues of Syria, but the ease with which Sargon had quelled the revolt of Ashdod had inspired the Egyptian monarch with salutary distrust in his own power; he had sent presents to the conqueror and received gifts in exchange, which furnished him with a pretext for enrolling the Asiatic peoples among the tributary nations whose names he inscribed on his triumphal lists.* Since then he had had some diplomatic correspondence with his powerful neighbour, and a document bearing his name was laid up in the archives at Calah, where the clay seal once attached to it has been discovered. Peace had lasted for a dozen years, when he died about 703 B.C., and his son Shabītoku ascended the throne.**

     * It was probably with reference to this exchange of
     presents that Sabaco caused the bas-relief at Karnak to be
     engraved, in which he represents himself as victorious over
     both Asiatics and Africans.

     ** One version of Manetho assigns twelve years to the reign
     of Sabaco, and this duration is confirmed by an inscription
     in Hammamāt, dated in his twelfth year. Sabaco having
     succeeded to the throne in 716-715 B.C., his reign brings us
     down to 704 or 703 B.C., which obliges us to place the
     accession of Shabī-toku in the year following the death of

The temporary embarrassments in which the Babylonian revolution had plunged Sennacherib must have offered a tempting opportunity for interference to this inexperienced king. Tyre and Judah alone of all the Syrian states retained a sufficiently independent spirit to cherish any hope of deliverance from the foreign yoke. Tyre still maintained her supremacy over Southern Phoenicia, and her rulers were also kings of Sidon.* The long reign of Eth-baal and his alliance with the kings of Israel had gradually repaired the losses occasioned by civil discord, and had restored Tyre to the high degree of prosperity which it had enjoyed under Hiram. Few actual facts are known which can enlighten us as to the activity which prevailed under Eth-baal: we know, however, that he rebuilt the small town of Botrys, which had been destroyed in the course of some civil war, and that he founded the city of Auza in Libyan territory, at the foot of the mountains of Aures, in one of the richest mineral districts of modern Algeria.**

     * Eth-baal II., who, according to the testimony of the
     native historians, belonged to the royal family of Tyre, is
     called King of the Sidonians in the Bible (1 Kings xvi. 31),
     and the Assyrian texts similarly call Elulai King of the
     Sidonians, while Menander mentions him as King of Tyre. It
     is probable that the King of Sidon, mentioned in the Annals
     of Shal-maneser III. side by side with the King of Tyre, was
     a vassal of the Tyrian monarch.

     ** The two facts are preserved in a passage of Menander. I
     admit the identity of the Auza mentioned in this fragment
     with the Auzea of Tacitus, and with the Colonia Septimia
     Aur. Auziensium of the Roman inscriptions the present

In 876 B.C. Assur-nazir-pal had crossed the Lebanon and skirted the shores of the Mediterranean: Eth-baal, naturally compliant, had loaded him with gifts, and by this opportune submission had preserved his cities and country from the horrors of invasion.*

     * The King of Tyre who sent gifts to Assur-nazir-pal is not
     named in the Assyrian documents: our knowledge of Tyrian
     chronology permits us with all probability to identify him
     with Eth-baal.

Twenty years later Shalmaneser III. had returned to Syria, and had come into conflict with Damascus. The northern Phoenicians formed a league with Ben-hadad (Adadidri) to withstand him, and drew upon themselves the penalty of their rashness; the Tynans, faithful to their usual policy, preferred to submit voluntarily and purchase peace. Their conduct showed the greater wisdom in that, after the death of Eth-baal, internal troubles again broke out with renewed fierceness and with even more disastrous results. His immediate successor was Balezor (854-846 B.C.), followed by Mutton I. (845-821 B.C.), who flung himself at the feet of Shalmaneser III., in 842 B.c., in the camp at Baalirasi, and renewed his homage three years later, in 839 B.C. The legends concerning the foundation of Carthage blend with our slight knowledge of his history. They attribute to Mutton I. a daughter named Elissa, who was married to her uncle Sicharbal, high priest of Melkarth, and a young son named Pygmalion (820-774 B.c.). Sicharbal had been nominated by Mutton as regent during the minority of Pygmalion, but he was overthrown by the people, and some years later murdered by his ward. From that time forward Elissa’s one aim was to avenge the murder of her husband. She formed a conspiracy which was joined by all the nobles, but being betrayed and threatened with death, she seized a fleet which lay ready to sail in the harbour, and embarking with all her adherents set sail for Africa, landing in the district of Zeugitanź, where the Sidonians had already built Kambź. There she purchased a tract of land from larbas, chief of the Liby-phoenicians, and built on the ruins of the ancient factory a new town, Qart-hadshat, which the Greeks called Carchedo and the Romans Carthage. The genius of Virgil has rendered the name of Dido illustrious: but history fails to recognise in the narratives which form the basis of his tale anything beyond a legendary account fabricated after the actual origin (814-813 B.C.) of the great Punic city had been forgotten. Thus weakened, Tyre could less than ever think of opposing the ambitious designs of Assyria: Pygmalion took no part in the rebellions of the petty Syrian kings against Samsī-rammān, and in 803 B.C. he received his suzerain Rammān-nirāri with the accustomed gifts, when that king passed through Phoenicia before attacking Damascus. Pygmalion died about 774 B.C., and the names of his immediate successors are not known;* it may be supposed, however, that when the power of Nineveh temporarily declined, the ties which held Tyre to Assyria became naturally relaxed, and the city released herself from the burden of a tribute which had in the past been very irregularly paid.

     * The fragment of Menander ‘which has preserved for us the
     list of Tyrian kings from Abī-baal to Pygmalion, was only
     quoted by Josephus, because, the seventh year of Pygmalion’s
     reign corresponding to the date of the foundation of
     Carthage,—814—813 B.C. according to the chronological
     system of Timssus,—the Hebrew historian found in it a fixed
     date which seemed to permit of his establishing the
     chronology of the kings of Israel and Judah on a trustworthy
     basis between the reign of Pygmalion and Hiram I., the
     contemporary of David and Solomon.

The yoke was reassumed half a century later, at the mere echo of the first victories of Tiglath-pileser III.; and Hiram II., who then reigned in Tyre, hastened to carry to the camp at Arpad assurances of his fidelity (742 B.C.). He gave pledges of his allegiance once more in 738 B.C.; then he disappears, and Mutton II. takes his place about 736 B.C. This king cast off, unhappily for himself, his hereditary apathy, and as soon as a pretext offered itself, abandoned the policy of neutrality to which his ancestors had adhered so firmly. He entered into an alliance in 734 B.C. with Damascus, Israel and Philistia, secretly supported and probably instigated by Egypt; then, when Israel was conquered and Damascus overthrown, he delayed repairing his error till an Assyrian army appeared before Tyre: he had then to pay the price of his temerity by 120 talents of gold and many loads of merchandise (728 B.C.). The punishment was light and the loss inconsiderable in comparison with the accumulated wealth of the city, which its maritime trade was daily increasing:* Mutton thought the episode was closed,** but the peaceful policy of his house, having been twice interrupted, could not be resumed.

     *[For a description of the trade carried on by Tyre, cf.
     Ezelc. xxvi., xxvii., and xxviii.—-Tr.]

     ** Pygmalion having died about 774 B.C., and Hiram II. not
     appearing till 742 B.C., it is probable that we should
     intercalate between these two Kings at least one sovereign
     whose name is still unknown.

018.jpg Map of Kingdom Of Tyre, the Campaign Of Sennacherib

Southern Phoenicia, having once launched on the stream of Asiatic politics, followed its fluctuations, and was compelled henceforth to employ in her own defence the forces which had hitherto been utilised in promoting her colonial enterprises. But it was not due to the foolish caprice of ignorant or rash sovereigns that Tyre renounced her former neutral policy: she was constrained to do so, almost perforce, by the changes which had taken place in Europe. The progress of the Greeks, and their triumph in the waters of the Ęgean and Ionian Seas, and the rapid expansion of the Etruscan navy after the end of the ninth century, had gradually restricted the Phoenician merchantmen to the coasts of the Western Mediterranean and the Atlantic: they industriously exploited the mineral wealth of Africa and Spain, and traffic with the barbarous tribes of Morocco and Lusitania, as well as the discovery and working of the British tin mines, had largely compensated for the losses occasioned by the closing of the Greek and Italian markets. Their ships, obliged now to coast along the inhospitable cliffs of Northern Africa and to face the open sea, were more strongly and scientifically built than any vessels hitherto constructed. The Egyptian undecked galleys, with stem and stern curving inwards, were discarded as a build ill adapted to resist the attacks of wind or wave. The new Phoenician galley had a long, low, narrow, well-balanced hull, the stern raised and curving inwards above the steersman, as heretofore, but the bows pointed and furnished with a sharp ram projecting from the keel, equally serviceable to cleave the waves or to stave in the side of an enemy’s ship. Motive power was supplied by two banks of oars, the upper ones resting in rowlocks on the gunwale, the lower ones in rowlocks pierced in the timbers of the vessel’s side. An upper deck, supported by stout posts, ran from stem to stern, above the heads of the rowers, and was reserved for the soldiers and the rest of the crew: on a light railing surrounding it were hung the circular shields of the former, forming as it were a rampart on either side.

017.jpg a Phoenician Galley With Two Banks of Oars
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard. Sennacherib affirms
     that vessels of this type had been constructed by Syrian
     shipwrights, and were manned by Tyrian, Sidonian, and Ionian

The mast, passing through both decks, was firmly fixed in the keel, and was supported by two stays made fast to stem and stern. The rectangular sail was attached to a yard which could be hoisted or lowered at will. The wealth which accrued to the Tyrians from their naval expeditions had rendered the superiority of Tyre over the neighbouring cities so manifest that they had nearly all become her vassals. Arvad and Northern Phoenicia were still independent, as also the sacred city of Bylos, but the entire coast from the Nahr-el-Kelb to the headland formed by Mount Carmel was directly subject to Tyre,* comprising the two Sidons, Bīt-zīti, and Sarepta, the country from Mahalliba to the fords of the Litāny, Ushu and its hinterland as far as Kana, Akzīb, Akko, and Dora; and this compact territory, partly protected by the range of Lebanon, and secured by the habitual prudence of its rulers from the invasions which had desolated Syria, formed the most flourishing, and perhaps also the most populous, kingdom which still existed between the Euphrates and the Egyptian desert.**

     * The kings of Arvad and Byblos are still found mentioned at
     the beginning of Sennacherib’s reign.

     ** The extent of the kingdom of Tyro is indicated by the
     passage in which Sennacherib enumerated the cities which he
     had taken from Elulai. To these must be added Dor, to the
     south of Carmel, which was always regarded as belonging to
     the Tyrians, and whose isolated position between the
     headland, the sea, and the forest might cause the Assyrians
     to leave it unmolested.

Besides these, some parts of Cyprus were dependent on Tyre, though the Achaean colonies, continually reinforced by fresh immigrants, had absorbed most of the native population and driven the rest into the mountains.

A hybrid civilisation had developed among these early Greek settlers, amalgamating the customs, religions, and arts of the ancient eastern world of Egypt, Syria, and Chaldoa in variable proportions: their script was probably derived from one of the Asianic systems whose monuments are still but partly known, and it consisted of a syllabary awkwardly adapted to a language for which it had not been designed. A dozen petty kings, of whom the majority were Greeks, disputed possession of the northern and eastern parts of the island, at Idalion, Khytros, Paphos, Soli, Kourion, Tamassos, and Ledron. The Phoenicians had given way at first before the invaders, and had grouped themselves in the eastern plain round Kition; they had, however, subsequently assumed the offensive, and endeavoured to regain the territory they had lost. Kition, which had been destroyed in one of their wars, had been rebuilt, and thus obtained the name of Qart-hadshat, “the new city.” *

     * The name of this city, at first read as Amtikhadashti, and
     identified with Ammokhostos or with Amathous,—Amti-
     Khadash would in this case be equivalent to New
     Amathous,—is really Karti-Khadashti, as is proved by the
     variant reading discovered by Schrader, and this is
     identical with the native name of Carthage in Africa. This
     new city must have been of some antiquity by the time of
     Elulai, for it is mentioned on a fragment of a bronze vase
     found in Cyprus itself: this fragment belonged to a King
     Hiram, who according to some authorities would be Hiram II.,
     according to others, Hiram I.

Mutton’s successor, Elulai, continued, as we know, the work of defence and conquest: perhaps it was with a view to checking his advance that seven kings of Cyprus sent an embassy, in 709 B.C., to his suzerain, Sargon, and placed themselves under the protection of Assyria. If this was actually the case, and Elulai was compelled to suspend hostilities against these hereditary foes, one can understand that this grievance, added to the reasons for uneasiness inspired by the situation of his continental dominions, may have given him the desire to rid himself of the yoke of Assyria, and contributed to his resolution to ally himself with the powers which were taking up arms against her. The constant intercourse of his subjects with the Delta, and his natural anxiety to avoid anything which might close one of the richest markets of the world to the Tyrian trade, inclined him to receive favourably the overtures of the Pharaoh: the emissaries of Shabītoku found him as much disposed as Hezekiah himself to begin the struggle. The latter monarch, who had ascended the throne while still very young, had at first shown no ambition beyond the carrying out of religious reforms. His father Ahaz had been far from orthodox, in spite of the influence exerted over him by Isaiah. During his visit to Tiglath-pileser at Damascus (729 B.C.) he had noticed an altar whose design pleased him. He sent a description of it to the high priest Urijah, with orders to have a similar one constructed, and erected in the court of the temple at Jerusalem: this altar he appropriated to his personal use, and caused the priests to minister at it, instead of at the old altar, which he relegated to an inferior position. He also effected changes in the temple furniture, which doubtless appeared to him old-fashioned in comparison with the splendours of the Assyrian worship which he had witnessed, and he made some alterations in the approaches to the temple, wishing, as far as we can judge, that the King of Judah should henceforth, like his brother of Nineveh, have a private, means of access to his national god.

This was but the least of his offences: for had he not offered his own son as a holocaust at the moment he felt himself most menaced by the league of Israel and Damascus? Among the people themselves there were many faint-hearted and faithless, who, doubting the power of the God of their forefathers, turned aside to the gods of the neighbouring nations, and besought from them the succour they despaired of receiving from any other source; the worship of Jahveh was confounded with that of Moloch in the valley of the children of Hinnom, where there was a sanctuary or Tophet, at which the people celebrated the most horrible rites: a large and fierce pyre was kept continually burning there, to consume the children whose fathers brought them to offer in sacrifice.* Isaiah complains bitterly of these unbelievers who profaned the land with their idols, “worshipping the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers had made.” ** The new king, obedient to the divine command, renounced the errors of his father; he removed the fetishes with which the superstition of his predecessors had cumbered the temple, and which they had connected with the worship of Jahveh, and in his zeal even destroyed the ancient brazen serpent, the Nehushtan, the origin of which was attributed to Moses.***

     * Isa. xxx. 33, where the prophet describes the Tophet
     Jahveh’s anger is preparing for Assyria.

     ** Isa. ii. 8.

     *** 2 Kings xviii. 4. I leave the account of this religious
     reformation in the place assigned to it in the Bible; other
     historians relegate it to a time subsequent to the invasion
     of Sennacherib.

On the occasion of the revolt of Yamani, Isaiah counselled Hezekiah to remain neutral, and this prudence enabled him to look on in security at the ruin of the Philistines, the hereditary foes of his race. Under his wise administration the kingdom of Judah, secured against annoyance from envious neighbours by the protection which Assur freely afforded to its obedient vassals, and revived by thirty years of peace, rose rapidly from the rank of secondary importance which it had formerly been content to occupy. “Their land was full of silver and gold, neither was there any end of their treasures; their land also was full of horses, neither was there any end of their chariots.” *

     * Isa. ii. 7, where the description applies better to the
     later years of Ahaz or the reign, of Hezekiah than to the
     years preceding the war against Pekah and Rezin.

Now that the kingdom of Israel had been reduced to the condition of an Assyrian province, it was on Judah and its capital that the hopes of the whole Hebrew nation were centred.

Tyre and Jerusalem had hitherto formed the extreme outwork of the Syrian states; they were the only remaining barrier which separated the empires of Egypt and Assyria, and it was to the interest of the Pharaoh to purchase their alliance and increase their strength by every means in his power. Negotiations must have been going on for some time between the three powers, but up to the time of the death of Sargon and the return of Merodach-baladan to Babylon their results had been unimportant, and it was possible that the disasters which had befallen the Kaldā would tend to cool the ardour of the allies. An unforeseen circumstance opportunely rekindled their zeal, and determined them to try their fortune.

023.jpg Map of the Campaign Of Sennacherib in Judea

The inhabitants of Ekron, dissatisfied with Padī, the chief whom the Assyrians had set over them, seized his person and sent him in chains to Hezekiah.*

     * The name of the city, written Amgarruna, is really

To accept the present was equivalent to open rebellion, and a declaration of war against the power of the suzerain. Isaiah, as usual, wished Judah to rely on Jahveh alone, and preached against alliance with the Babylonians, for he foresaw that success would merely result in substituting the Kaldā for the Ninevite monarch, and in aggravating the condition of Judah. “All that is in thine house,” he said to Hezekiah, “and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon.” Hezekiah did not pay much heed to the prediction, for, he reflected, “peace and truth shall be in my days,” and the future troubled him little.* When the overthrow of Merodach-baladan had taken place, the prophet still more earnestly urged the people not to incur the vengeance of Assyria without other help than that of Tyre or Ethiopia, and Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, spoke in the same strain; but Shebna, the prefect of the palace, declaimed against this advice, and the latter’s counsel prevailed with his master.**

     * 2 Kings xx. 16-19.

     ** This follows from the terms in which the prophet compares
     the two men (Isa. xxii. 15-25).

Hezekiah agreed to accept the sovereignty over Ekron which its inhabitants offered to him, but a remnant of prudence kept him from putting Padī to death, and he contented himself with casting him into prison. Isaiah, though temporarily out of favour with the king, ceased not to proclaim aloud in all quarters the will of the Almighty. “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering (form alliances), but not of My spirit, that they may add sin to sin: that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at My mouth, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion. When your princes shall be at Tanis, and your messengers shall come to Heracleopolis,* [Heb. Hanes.—Tr.] you shall all be ashamed of a people that cannot profit you.... For Egypt helpeth in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I called her Rahab that sitteth still.” * He returned, unwearied and with varying imagery, to his theme, contrasting the uncertainty and frailty of the expedients of worldly wisdom urged by the military party, with the steadfast will of Jahveh and the irresistible authority with which He invests His faithful servants. “The Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit; and when the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall stumble, and he that is holpen shall fall, and they shall all fail together. For thus saith the Lord unto me, Like as when the lion growleth, and the young lion over his prey, if a multitude of shepherds be called forth against him, he will not be dismayed at their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight upon Mount Zion, and upon the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts protect Jerusalem: He will protect and deliver it. Turn ye unto Him from whom ye have deeply revolted, O children of Israel.” **

     * Isa. xxx. 1-5, 7. In verses 4, 5, the original text
     employs the third person; I have restored the second person,
     to avoid confusion.

     ** Isa. xxxi. 3-6.

No one, however, gave heed to his warnings, either king or people; but the example of Phoenicia soon proved that he was right. When Sennacherib bestirred himself, in the spring of 702 B.C., either the Ethiopians were not ready, or they dared not advance to encounter him in Coele-Syria, and they left Elulai to get out of his difficulties as best he might. He had no army to risk in a pitched battle; but fondly imagined that his cities, long since fortified, and protected on the east by the range of Lebanon, would offer a resistance sufficiently stubborn to wear out the patience of his assailant. The Assyrians, however, disconcerted his plans. Instead of advancing against him by the pass of Nahr-el-Kebir, according to their usual custom, they attacked him in flank, descending into the very midst of his positions by the col of Legnia or one of the neighbouring passes.* They captured in succession the two Sidons, Bīt-zīti, Sarepta, Mahalliba, Ushu, Akzīb, and Acco: Elulai, reduced to the possession of the island of Tyre alone, retreated to one of his colonies in Cyprus, where he died some years later, without having set foot again on the continent. All his former possessions on the mainland were given to a certain Eth-baal, who chose Sidon for his seat of government, and Tyre lost by this one skirmish the rank of metropolis which she had enjoyed for centuries.** This summary punishment decided all the Syrian princes who were not compromised beyond hope of pardon to humble themselves before the suzerain. Menahem of Samsi-muruna,***

     * This follows from the very order in which the cities were
     taken in the course of this campaign.

     ** The Assyrian text gives for the name of the King of Sidon
     a shortened form Tu-baal instead of Eth-baal, paralleled by
     Lulia for Elulai.

     *** Several of the early Assyriologists read Usi-muruna, and
     identified the city bearing this name with Samaria. The
     discovery of the reading Samsi-muruna on a fragment of the
     time of Assur-bani-pal no longer permits of this
     identification, and obliges us to look for the city in

Abdiliti of Arvad, Uru-malīk of Byblos, Puduīlu of Amnion, Chemosh-nadab of Moab, Malīk-rammu of Edom, Mitinti of Ashdod, all brought their tribute in person to the Assyrian camp before Ushu: Zedekiah of Ashkelon and Hezekiah of Judah alone persisted in their hostility. Egypt had at length been moved by the misfortunes of her allies, and the Ethiopian troops had advanced to the seat of war, but they did not arrive in time to save Zedekiah: Sennacherib razed to the ground all his strongholds one after another, Beth-dagon, Joppa, Bene-berak, and Hazor,* took him prisoner at Ascalon, and sent him with his family to Assyria, setting up Sharludarī, son of Bukibti, in his stead. Sennacherib then turned against Ekron, and was about to begin the siege of the city, when the long-expected Egyptians at length made their appearance. Shabītoku did not command them in person, but he had sent his best troops—the contingents furnished by the petty kings of the Delta, and the sheikhs of the Sinaitic peninsula, who were vassals of Egypt. The encounter took place near Altaku,** and on this occasion again, as at Raphia, the scientific tactics of the Assyrians prevailed over the stereotyped organisation of Pharaoh’s army: the Ethiopian generals left some of their chariots in the hands of the conqueror, and retreated with the remnants of their force beyond the Isthmus.

     * These are the cities attributed to the tribes of Dan and
     Judah in Josh. xv. 25, 41; xix. 45. Beth-dagon is now Bźt-
     Dejān; Azuru is Yazūr, to the south-east of Joppa; Beni-
     barak is Ibn-Abrak, to the north-east of the same town.

     ** Altaku is certainly Eltekeh of Dan (Josh. xix. 44), as
     was seen from the outset; the site, however, of Eltekeh
     cannot be fixed with any certainty. It has been located at
     Bźt-Lukkieh, in the mountainous country north-west of
     Jerusalem, but this position in no way corresponds to the
     requirements of the Assyrian text, according to which the
     battle took place on a plain large enough for the evolutions
     of the Egyptian chariots, and situated between the group of
     towns formed by Beth-dagon, Joppa, Beni-barak, and Hazor,
     which Sennacherib had just captured, and the cities of
     Ekrbn, Timnath, and Eltekeh, which he took directly after
     his victory: a suitable locality must be looked for in the
     vicinity of Ramleh or Zernuka.

Altaku capitulated, an example followed by the neighbouring fortress of Timnath, and subsequently by Ekron itself, all three being made to feel Sennacherib’s vengeance. “The nobles and chiefs who had offended, I slew,” he remarks, “and set up their corpses on stakes in a circle round the city; those of the inhabitants who had offended and committed crimes, I took them prisoners, and for the rest who had neither offended nor transgressed, I pardoned them.”

028b.jpg Esneh--principal Abyssinian Trading Village


We may here pause to inquire how Hezekiah was occupied while his fate was being decided on the field of Altaku. He was fortifying Jerusalem, and storing within it munitions of War, and enrolling Jewish soldiers and mercenary troops from the Arab tribes of the desert. He had suddenly become aware that large portions of the wall of the city of David had crumbled away, and he set about demolishing the neighbouring houses to obtain materials for repairing these breaches: he hastily strengthened the weak points in his fortifications, stopped up the springs which flowed into the Gibon, and cut off the brook itself, constructing a reservoir between the inner and outer city walls to store up the waters of the ancient pool. These alterations* rendered the city, which from its natural position was well defended, so impregnable that Sennacherib decided not to attack it until the rest of the kingdom had been subjugated: with this object in view he pitched his camp before Lachish, whence he could keep a watch over the main routes from Egypt where they crossed the frontier, and then scattered his forces over the land of Judah, delivering it up to pillage in a systematic manner. He took forty-six walled towns, and numberless strongholds and villages, demolishing the walls and leading into captivity 200,150 persons of all ages and conditions, together with their household goods, their horses, asses, mules, camels, oxen, and sheep;** it was a war as disastrous in its effects as that which terminated in the fall of Samaria, or which led to the final captivity in Babylon.***

     * Isa. xxii. 8-11.

     * An allusion to the sojourn of Sennacherib near Lachish is
     found in 2 Kings xviii. 14-17; xix. 8, and in Isa. xxxvi. 2;
     xxxvii. 8

     *** It seems that the Jewish historian Demetrios considered
     the captivities under Nebuchadrezzar and Sennacherib to be
     on the same footing.

The work of destruction accomplished, the Rabshakeh brought up all his forces and threw up a complete circle of earthworks round Jerusalem: Hezekiah found himself shut up in his capital “like a bird in a cage.” The inhabitants soon became accustomed to this isolated life, but Isaiah was indignant at seeing them indifferent to their calamities, and inveighed against them with angry eloquence: “What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? O thou that art full of shoutings, a tumultuous city, a joyous town; thy slain are not slain with the sword, neither are they dead in battle. All thy rulers fled away together, they are made prisoners without drawing the bow; they are come hither from afar for safety, and all that meet together here shall be taken together.” *

     * [The R.V. gives this passage as follows: “They were bound
     by the archers: all that were found of thee were bound
     together, they fled afar off.”—TR.]

The danger was urgent; the Assyrians were massed in their entrenchments with their auxiliaries ranged behind them to support them: “Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield (for the assault). And it came to pass that thy choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen set themselves in array at thy gate, and he took away the covering of Judah.”

030.jpg Sennacherib Receiving the Submissions of The Jews

In those days, therefore, Jahveh, without pity for His people, called them to “weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: and behold, joy and gladness, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine: let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die. And the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in mine ears, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts.” * The prophet threw the blame on the courtiers especially Shebna, who still hoped for succour from the Egyptians, and kept up the king’s illusions on this point. He threatened him with the divine anger; he depicted him as seized by Jahveh, rolled and kneaded into a lump, “and tossed like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there shall be the chariots of thy glory, thou shame of thy lord’s house. And I will thrust thee from thy office, and from thy station he shall pull thee down!”** Meanwhile, day after day elapsed, and Pharaoh did not hasten to the rescue. Hezekiah’s eyes were opened; he dismissed Shebna, and degraded him to the position of scribe, and set Eliakim in his place in the Council of State.***

     * Isa. xxii. 1-14.

     ** Isa. xxii. 15-19.

     ***In the duplicate narrative of these negotiations with the
     Assyrian generals, Shebna is in fact considered as a mere
     scribe, while Eliakim is the prefect of the king’s house (2
     Kings xviii. 18, 37; xix. 2: Isa. xxxvi. 3, 22; xxxvii. 2).

Isaiah’s influence revived, and he persuaded the king to sue for peace while yet there was time.

Sennacherib was encamped at Lachish; but the Tartan and his two lieutenants received the overtures of peace, and proposed a parley near the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller’s field. Hezekiah did not venture to go in person to the meeting-place; he sent Eliakirn, the new prefect of the palace, Shebna, and the chancellor Joah, the chief cupbearer, and tradition relates that the Assyrian addressed them in severe terms in his master’s name: “Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand and pierce it: so is Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to all that trust on him.” Then, as he continued to declaim in a loud voice, so that the crowds gathered on the wall could hear him, the delegates besought him to speak in Aramaic, which they understood, but “speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall!” Instead, however, of granting their request, the Assyrian general advanced towards the spectators and addressed them in Hebrew: “Hear ye the words of the great king, the King of Assyria. Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he shall not be able to deliver you: neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be given into the hand of the King of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the King of Assyria, Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us!” The specified conditions were less hard than might have been feared.*

     * The Hebrew version of these events is recorded in 2 Kings
     xviii. 13-37; xix., and in Isa. xxxvi., xxxvii., with only
     one important divergence, namely, the absence from Isaiah of
     verses 14-16 of 2 Kings xviii. This particular passage, in
     which the name of the king has a peculiar form, is a
     detached fragment of an older document, perhaps the official
     annals of the kingdom, whose contents agreed with the facts
     recorded in the Assyrian text. The rest is borrowed from the
     cycle of prophetic narratives, and contains two different
     versions of the same events. The first comprises 2 Kings
     xviii. 13, 17-37; xix. l-9a, 36&-37, where Sennacherib is
     represented as despatching a verbal message to Hezekiah by
     the Tartan and his captains. The second consists merely of 2
     Kings xix. 96-36a, and in this has been inserted a long
     prophecy of Isaiah’s (xix. 21-31) which has but a vague
     connection with the rest of the narrative. In this
     Sennacherib defied Hezekiah in a letter, which the Jewish
     king spread before the Lord, and shortly afterwards received
     a reply through the prophet. The two versions were combined
     towards the end of the seventh or beginning of the sixth
     century, by the compiler of the Book of Kings, and passed
     thence into the collection of the prophecies attributed to

The Jewish king was to give up his wives and daughters as hostages, to pledge himself to pay a regular tribute, and disburse immediately a ransom of thirty talents of gold, and eight hundred talents of silver: he could only make up this large sum by emptying the royal and sacred treasuries, and taking down the plates of gold with which merely a short while before he had adorned the doors and lintels of the temple. Padī was released from his long captivity, reseated on his throne, and received several Jewish towns as an indemnity: other portions of territory were bestowed upon Mitinti of Ashdod and Zillibel of Graza as a reward for their loyalty.*

     * The sequence of events is not very well observed in the
     Assyrian text, and the liberation of Padī is inserted in 11.
     8-11, before the account of the war with Hezekiah. It seems
     very unlikely that the King of Judah would have released his
     prisoner before his treaty with Sennacherib; the Assyrian
     scribe, wishing to bring together all the facts relating to
     Ekron, anticipated this event. Hebrew tradition fixed the
     ransom at the lowest figure, 300 talents of silver instead
     of the 800 given in the Assyrian document (2 Kings xviii.
     14), and authorities have tried to reconcile this divergence
     by speculating on the different values represented by a
     talent in different countries and epochs.

Hezekiah issued from the struggle with his territory curtailed and his kingdom devastated; the last obstacle which stood in the way of the Assyrians’ victorious advance fell with him, and Sennacherib could now push forward with perfect safety towards the Nile. He had, indeed, already planned an attack on Egypt, and had reached the isthmus, when a mysterious accident arrested his further progress. The conflict on the plains of Altaku had been severe; and the army, already seriously diminished by its victory, had been still further weakened during the campaign in Judęa, and possibly the excesses indulged in by the soldiery had developed in them the germs of one of those terrible epidemics which had devastated Western Asia several times in the course of the century: whatever may have been the cause, half the army was destroyed by pestilence before it reached the frontier of the Delta, and Sennacherib led back the shattered remnants of his force to Nineveh.*

     * The Assyrian texts are silent about this catastrophe, and
     the sacred books of the Hebrews seem to refer it to the camp
     at Libnah in Palestine (2 Kings xix. 8-35); the Egyptian
     legend related by Herodotus seems to prove that it took
     place near the Egyptian frontier. Josephus takes the king as
     far as Pelusium, and describes the destruction of the
     Assyrian army as taking place in the camp before this town.
     He may have been misled by the meaning “mud,” which attaches
     to the name of Libnah as well as to that of Pelusium. Oppert
     upheld his opinion, and identified the Libnah of the
     biblical narrative with the Pelusium of Herodotus. It is
     probable that each of the two nations referred the scene of
     the miracle to a different locality.

The Hebrews did not hesitate to ascribe the event to the vengeance of Jahveh, and to make it a subject of thankfulness. They related that before their brutal conqueror quitted the country he had sent a parting message to Hezekiah: “Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the King of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezepk, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? Where is the King of Hamath, and the King of Arpad, and the King of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?” Hezekiah, having received this letter of defiance, laid it in the temple before Jahveh, and prostrated himself in prayer: the response came to him through the mouth of Isaiah. “Thus saith the Lord concerning the King of Assyria, He shall not come unto this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with a shield, nor cast a mount against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come unto this city, saith the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake and for My servant David’s sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred four-score and five thousand: and when men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” *

     * 2 Kings xix. 8-35; Isa. xxxvii. 8-36; this is the second
     tradition of which mention has been made, but already
     amalgamated with the first to form the narrative as it now

The Egyptians considered the event no less miraculous than did the Hebrews, and one of their popular tales ascribed the prodigy to Phtah, the god of Memphis. Sethon, the high priest of Phtah, lived in a time of national distress, and the warrior class, whom he had deprived of some of its privileges, refused to take up arms in his behalf. He repaired, therefore, to the temple to implore divine assistance, and, falling asleep, was visited by a dream. The god appeared to him, and promised to send him some auxiliaries who should ensure him success. He enlisted such of the Egyptians as were willing to follow him, shopkeepers, fullers, and sutlers, and led them to Pelusium to resist the threatened invasion. In the night a legion of field-mice came forth, whence no one knew, and, noiselessly spreading throughout the camp of the Assyrians, gnawed the quivers, the bowstrings, and the straps of the bucklers in such a way that, on the morrow, the enemy, finding themselves disarmed, fled after a mere pretence at resistance, and suffered severe losses. A statue was long shown in the temple at Memphis portraying this Sethon: he was represented holding a mouse in his hand, and the inscription bade men reverence the god who had wrought this miracle.*

     * The statue with which this legend has been connected, must
     have represented a king offering the image of a mouse
     crouching on a basket, like the cynocephalus on the
     hieroglyphic sign which denotes centuries, or the frog of
     the goddess Hiqīt. Historians have desired to recognise in
     Sethon a King Zźt of the XXIIIth dynasty, or even Shabītoku
     of the XXVth dynasty; Krall identified him with Satni in the
     demotic story of Satni-Umois.

028.jpg the Pass of Legnia, in Lebanon
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
given in Lortet.

The disaster was a terrible one: Sennacherib’s triumphant advance was suddenly checked, and he was forced to return to Asia when the goal of his ambition was almost reached. The loss of a single army, however much to be deplored, was not irreparable, since Assyria could furnish her sovereign with a second force as numerous as that which lay buried in the desert on the road to Egypt, but it was uncertain what effect the news of the calamity and the sight of the survivors might have on the minds of his subjects and rivals. The latter took no immediate action, and the secret joy which they must have experienced did not blind them to the real facts of the case; for though the power of Assyria was shaken, she was still stronger than any one of them severally, or even than all of them together, and to attack her or rebel against her now, was to court defeat with as much certainty as in past days. The Pharaoh kept himself behind his rivers; the military science and skill which had baffled his generals on the field of Altaku did not inspire him with any desire to reappear on the plains of Palestine. Hezekiah, King of Judah, had emptied his treasury to furnish his ransom, his strongholds had capitulated one by one, and his territory, diminished by the loss of some of the towns of the Shephelah, was little botter than a waste of smoking ruins. He thought himself fortunate to have preserved his power under the suzerainty of Assyria, and his sole aim for many years was to refill his treasury, reconstitute his army, and re-establish his kingdom. The Philistine and Nabatasan princes, and the chiefs of Moab, Ammon, and Idumsea, had nothing to gain by war, being too feeble to have any chance of success without the help of Judah, Tyre, and Egypt. The Syrians maintained a peaceful attitude, which was certainly their wisest policy; and during the following quarter of a century they loyally obeyed their governors, and gave Sennacherib no cause to revisit them. It was fortunate for him that they did so, for the peoples of the North and East, the Kaldā, and, above all, the Elamites, were the cause of much trouble, and exclusively occupied his attention during several years. The inhabitants of Bīt-Yakīn, urged on either by their natural restlessness or by the news of the misfortune which had befallen their enemy, determined once more to try the fortunes of war. Incited by Marduk-ushezlb,* one of their princes, and by Merodach-baladan, these people of the marshes intrigued with the courts of Babylon and Susa, and were emboldened to turn against the Assyrian garrisons stationed in their midst to preserve order. Sennacherib’s vengeance fell first on Marduk-ushezīb, who fled from his stronghold of Bīttutu after sustaining a short siege. Merodach-baladan, deserted by his accomplice, put the statues of his gods and his royal treasures on board his fleet, and embarking with his followers, crossed the lagoon, and effected a landing in the district of Nagītu, in Susian territory, beyond the mouth of the Ulaī.** Sennacherib entered Bīt-Yakīn without striking a blow, and completed the destruction of the half-deserted town; he next proceeded to demolish the other cities one after the other, carrying off into captivity all the men and cattle who fell in his way.

     * Three kings of Babylon at this period bore very similar
     names—Marduk-ushezīb, Nergal-ushezīb, and Mushezīb-marduk.
     Nergal-ushezīb is the elder of the two whom the texts call
     Shuzub, and whom Assyriologists at first confused one with

     ** Nagītu was bounded by the Nar-Marratum and the Ulaī,
     which allows us to identify it with the territory south of

The Elamites, disconcerted by the rapidity of his action, allowed him to crush their allies unopposed; and as they had not openly intervened, the conqueror refrained from calling them to account for their intrigues. Babylon paid the penalty for all: its sovereign, Belibni, who had failed to make the sacred authority of the suzerain respected in the city, and who, perhaps, had taken some part in the conspiracy, was with his family deported to Nineveh, and his vacant throne was given to Assur-nadin-shumu, a younger son of Sargon (699 B.C.).*

     * Berosus, misled by the deposition of Belibni, thought that
     the expedition was directed against Babylon itself; he has
     likewise confounded Assur-nādin-shumu with Esar-haddon, and
     he has given this latter, whom he calls Asordancs, as the
     immediate successor of Belibni. The date 699 B.C. for these
     events is indicated in Pinches’ Babylonian Chronicle,
     which places them in the third year of Belibni.

Order was once more restored in Karduniash, but Sennacherib felt that its submission would be neither sincere nor permanent, so long as Merodach-baladan was hovering on its frontier possessed of an army, a fleet, and a supply of treasure, and prepared to enter the lists as soon as circumstances seemed favourable to his cause. Sennacherib resolved, therefore, to cross the head of the Persian Gulf and deal him such a blow as would once for all end the contest; but troubles which broke out on the Urartian frontier as soon as he returned forced, him to put off his project. The tribes of Tumurru, who had placed their strongholds like eyries among the peaks of Nipur, had been making frequent descents on the plains of the Tigris, which they had ravaged unchecked by any fear of Assyrian power. Sennacherib formed an entrenched camp at the foot of their mountain retreat, and there left the greater part of his army, while he set out on an adventurous expedition with a picked body of infantry and cavalry. Over ravines and torrents, up rough and difficult slopes, they made their way, the king himself being conveyed in a litter, as there were no roads practicable for his royal chariot; he even deigned to walk when the hillsides were too steep for his bearers to carry him; he climbed like a goat, slept on the bare rocks, drank putrid water from a leathern bottle, and after many hardships at length came up with the enemy. He burnt their villages, and carried off herds of cattle and troops of captives; but this exploit was more a satisfaction of his vanity than a distinct advantage gained, for the pillaging of the plains of the Tigris probably recommenced as soon as the king had quitted the country. The same year he pushed as far as Dayaīni, here similar tactics were employed. Constructing a camp in the neighbourhood of Mount Anara and Mount Uppa, he forced his way to the capital, Ukki, traversing a complicated network of gorges and forests which had hitherto been considered impenetrable. The king, Manīya, fled; Ukki was taken by assault and pillaged, the spoil obtained from it slightly exceeding that from Tumurru (699 B.C.). Shortly afterwards the province of Tulgarimmź revolted in concert with the Tabal: Sennacherib overcame the allied forces, and led his victorious regiments through the defiles of the Taurus.*

     * The dates of and connection between these two wars are not
     determined with any certainty. Some authorities assign them
     both to the same year, somewhere between 699 and 696 B.C.,
     while others assign them to two different years, the first
     to 699 or 696 B.C., the second to 698 or 695 B.C.

040.jpg a Raid Among the Woods and Mountains.
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layahd, Monuments of Nineveh,
     vol. i. pi. 70.

Greek pirates or colonists having ventured from time to time to ravage the seaboard, he destroyed one of their fleets near the mouth of the Saros, and took advantage of his sojourn in this region to fortify the two cities of Tarsus and Ankhialź, to defend his Cilician frontier against the peoples of Asia Minor.*

     * The encounter of the Assyrians with the Greeks is only
     known to us from a fragment of Berosus. The foundation of
     Tarsus is definitely attributed to Sennacherib in the same
     passage; that of Ankhialc is referred to the fabulous
     Sardanapalus, but most historians with much probability
     attribute the foundation to Sennacherib.

052.jpg a Skirmish in the Marshes
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Layard.

This was a necessary precaution, for the whole of Asia Minor was just then stirred by the inrush of new nations which were devastating the country, and the effect of these convulsions was beginning to be felt in the country to the south of the central plain, at the foot of the Taurus, and on the frontiers of the Assyrian empire. Barbarian hordes, attracted by the fame of the ancient Hittite sanctuaries in the upper basin of the Euphrates and the Araxes, had descended now and again to measure their strength against the advanced posts of Assyria or Urartu, but had subsequently withdrawn and disappeared beyond the Halys. Their movements may at this time have been so aggressive as to arouse serious anxiety in the minds of the Ninevite rulers; it is certain that Sennacherib, though apparently hindered by no revolt, delayed the execution of the projects he had formed against Merodach-baladan for three years; and it is possible his inaction may be attributed to the fear of some complication arising on his north-western frontier. He did not carry out his scheme till 695 B.C., when all danger in that quarter had passed away. The enterprise was a difficult one, for Nagītu and the neighbouring districts were dependencies of Susa, and could not be reached by land without a violation of Blamite neutrality, which would almost inevitably lead to a conflict. Shutruk-nakhunta was no longer alive. In the very year in which his rival had set up Assur-nādin-shumu as King of Karduniash, a revolution had broken out in Elam, which was in all probability connected with the events then taking place in Babylon. His subjects were angry with him for having failed to send timely succour to his allies the Kaldā, and for having allowed Bīt-Yakīn to be destroyed: his own brother Khalludush sided with the malcontents, threw Shutruk-nakhunta into prison, and proclaimed himself king. This time the Ninevites, thinking that Elam was certain to intervene, sought how they might finally overpower Merodach-baladan before this interference could prove effectual. The feudal constitution of the Blamite monarchy rendered, as we know, the mobilisation of the army at the opening of a war a long and difficult task: weeks might easily elapse before the first and second grades of feudatory nobility could join the royal troops and form a combined army capable of striking an important blow. This was a cause of dangerous inferiority in a conflict with the Assyrians, the chief part of whose forces, bivouacking close to the capital during the winter months, could leave their quarters and set out on a campaign at little more than a day’s notice; the kings of Elam minimised the danger by keeping sufficient troops under arms on their northern and western frontiers to meet any emergency, but an attack by sea seemed to them so unlikely that they had not, for a long time past, thought of protecting their coast-line. The ancient Chaldęan cities, Uru, Bagash, Uruk, and Bridu had possessed fleets on the Persian Gulf; but the times were long past when they used to send to procure stone and wood from the countries of Magan and Melukhkha, and the seas which they had ruled were now traversed only by merchant vessels or fishing-boats. Besides this, the condition of the estuary seemed to prohibit all attack from that side. The space between Bīt-Yakīn and the long line of dunes or mud-banks which blocked the entrance to it was not so much a gulf as a lagoon of uncertain and shifting extent; the water flowed only in the middle, being stagnant near the shores; the whole expanse was irregularly dotted over with mud-banks, and its service was constantly altered by the alluvial soil brought down by the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Ulaī, and the Uknu. The navigation of this lagoon was dangerous, for the relative positions of the channels and shallows were constantly shifting, and vessels of deep draught often ran aground in passing from one end of it to the other.*

     * The condition I describe here is very similar to what
     Alexander’s admirals found 350 years later. Arrian has
     preserved for us the account of Nearchus’ navigation in
     these waters, and his description shows such a well-defined
     condition of the estuary that its main outline must have
     remained unchanged for a considerable time; the only
     subsequent alterations which had taken place must have been
     in the internal configuration, where the deposit of alluvium
     must have necessarily reduced the area of the lake since the
     time of Sennacherib. The little map on the next page has no
     pretension to scientific exactitude; its only object is to
     show roughly what the estuary of the Euphrates was like, and
     to illustrate approximately the course of the Assyrian

048.jpg Map the Nar-marratum in The Time of Sennacherib

Sennacherib decided to march his force to the mouth of the Euphrates, and, embarking it there, to bring it to bear suddenly on the portion of Elamite territory nearest to Nagītu: if all went well, he would thus have time to crush the rising power of Merodach-baladan and regain his own port of departure before Khalludush could muster a sufficient army to render efficient succour to his vassal.

More than a year was consumed in preparations. The united cities of Chaldęa being unable to furnish the transports required to convey such a large host across the Nar-Marratum, it was necessary to construct a fleet, and to do so in such a way that the enemy should have no suspicion of danger. Sennacherib accordingly set up his dockyards at Tul-barsīp on the Euphrates and at Nineveh on the Tigris, and Syrian shipwrights built him a fleet of vessels after two distinct types. Some were galleys identical in build and equipment with those which the Mediterranean natives used for their traffic with distant lands. The others followed the old Babylonian model, with stem and stern both raised, the bows being sometimes distinguished by the carving of a horse’s head, which justified the name of sea-horse given to a vessel of this kind. They had no masts, but propelling power was provided by two banks of oars one above the other, as in the galleys. The two divisions of the fleet were ready at the beginning of 694 B.C., and it was arranged that they should meet at Bīt-Dakkuri, to the south of Babylon.

049.jpg the Fleet of Sennacherib on The Nar-marratum
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

The fleet from Tul-barsīp had merely to descend the Euphrates to reach the meeting-place,* but that from Nineveh had to make a more complicated journey.

     * The story of the preparations, as it has been transmitted
     to us in Sennacherib’s inscriptions, is curiously similar to
     the accounts given by the Greek historians of the vessels
     Alexander had built at Babylon and Thap-sacus by Phoenician
     workmen, which descended the Euphrates to join the fleet in
     the Persian Gulf. This fleet consisted of quinquiremos,
     according to Aristobulus, who was present at their
     construction: Quintus-Curtius makes them all vessels with
     seven banks of oars, but he evidently confuses the galleys
     built at Thapsacus with those which came in sections from
     Phoenicia and which Alexander had put together at Babylon.

By following the course of the Tigris to its mouth it would have had to skirt the coast of Elam for a considerable distance, and would inevitably have aroused the suspicions of Khalludush; the passage of such a strong squadron must have revealed to him the importance of the enterprise, and put him on his guard. The vessels therefore stayed their course at Upi, where they were drawn ashore and transported on rollers across the narrow isthmus which separates the Tigris from the Arakhtu canal, on which they were then relaunched. Either the canal had not been well kept, or else it never had the necessary depth at certain places; but the crews managed to overcome all obstacles and rejoined their comrades in due time. Sennacherib was ready waiting for them with all his troops—foot-soldiers, charioteers, and horsemen—and with supplies of food for the men, and of barley and oats for the horses; as soon as the last contingent had arrived, he gave the signal for departure, and all advanced together, the army marching along the southern bank, the fleet descending the current, to the little port of Bab-Salimeti, some twelve miles below the mouth of the river.*

     * The mouth of the Euphrates being at that time not far from
     the site of Kornah, Bab-Salimeti, which was about twelve
     miles distant, must have been somewhere near the present
     village of Abu-Hatira, on the south bank of the river.

There they halted in order to proceed to the final embarcation, but at the last moment their inexperience of the sea nearly compromised the success of the expedition. Even if they were not absolutely ignorant of the ebb and flow of the tide, they certainly did not know how dangerous the spring tide could prove at the equinox under the influence of a south wind. The rising tide then comes into conflict with the volume of water brought down by the stream, and in the encounter the banks are broken down, and sometimes large districts are inundated: this is what happened that year, to the terror of the Assyrians. Their camp was invaded and completely flooded by the waves; the king and his soldiers took refuge in haste on the galleys, where they were kept prisoners for five days “as in a huge cage.” As soon as the waters abated, they completed their preparations and started on their voyage. At the point where the Euphrates enters the lagoon, Sennacherib pushed forward to the front of the line, and, standing in the bows of his flag-ship, offered a sacrifice to Eā, the god of the Ocean. Having made a solemn libation, he threw into the water a gold model of a ship, a golden fish, and an image of the god himself, likewise in gold; this ceremony performed, he returned to the port of Bab-Salimeti with his guard, while the bulk of his forces continued their voyage eastward. The passage took place without mishap, but they could not disembark on the shore of the gulf itself, which was unapproachable by reason of the deposits of semi-liquid mud which girdled it; they therefore put into the mouth of the Ulaī, and ascended the river till they reached a spot where the slimy reed-beds gave place to firm ground, which permitted them to draw their ships to land.*

     * Billerbeck recognises in the narrative of Sennacherib the
     indication of two attempts at debarcation, of which the
     second only can have been successful; I can distinguish only
     one crossing.

The inhabitants assembled hastily at sight of the enemy, and the news, spreading through the neighbouring tribes, brought together for their defence a confused crowd of archers, chariots, and horsemen. The Assyrians, leaping into the stream and climbing up the bank, easily overpowered these undisciplined troops.

They captured at the first onset Nagītu, Nagītu-Dibīna, Khilmu, Pillatu, and Khupapānu; and raiding the Kaldā, forced them on board the fleet with their gods, their families, their flocks, and household possessions, and beat a hurried retreat with their booty. Merodach-baladan himself and his children once more escaped their clutches, but the State he had tried to create was annihilated, and his power utterly crushed. Sennacherib received his generals with great demonstrations of joy at Bab-Salimeti, and carried the spoil in triumph to Nineveh. Khalludush, exasperated by the affront put upon him, instantly retaliated by invading Karduniash, where he pushed forward as far as Sippara, pillaging and destroying the inhabitants without opposition. The Babylonians who had accompanied Merodach-baladan into exile, returned in the train of the Elamites, and, secretly stealing back to their homes, stirred up a general revolt: Assur-nādin-shumu, taken prisoner by his own subjects, was put in chains and despatched to Susa, his throne being bestowed on a Babylonian named Nergal-ushezīb,* who at once took the field (694 B.C.).

     * This is the prince whom the Assyrian documents name
     Shuzub, and whom we might call Shuzub the Babylonian, in
     contradistinction to Mushezib-marduk, who is Shuzub the

His preliminary efforts were successful: he ravaged the frontier along the Turnāt with the help of the Elamites, and took by assault the city of Nipur, which refused to desert the cause of Sennacherib (693 B.C.). Meanwhile the Assyrian generals had captured Uruk (Erech) on the 1st of Tisri, after the retreat of Khalludush; and having sacked the city, were retreating northwards with their spoil when they were defeated on the 7th near Nipur by Nergal-ushezīb. He had already rescued the statues of the gods and the treasure, when his horse fell in the midst of the fray, and he could not disengage himself. His vanquished foes led him captive to Nineveh, where Sennacherib exposed him in chains at the principal gateway of his palace: the Babylonians, who owed to him their latest success, summoned a Kaldu prince, Mushezīb-marduk, son of Gahut, to take command. He hastened to comply, and with the assistance of Blamite troops offered such a determined resistance to all attack, that he was finally left in undisturbed possession of his kingdom (692 B.C.): the actual result to Assyria, therefore, of the ephemeral victory gained by the fleet had been the loss of Babylon.

054.jpg the Horse of Nergal-ushezĪb Falling in The Battle
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Layard.

A revolution in Elam speedily afforded Assyria an opportunity for revenge. When Nergal-ushezīb was taken prisoner, the people of Susa, dissatisfied with the want of activity displayed by Khalludush, conspired to depose him: on hearing, therefore, the news of the revolutions in Chaldęa, they rose in revolt on the 26th of Tisri, and, besieging him in his palace, put him to death, and elected a certain Kutur-nakhunta as his successor. Sennacherib, without a moment’s hesitation, crossed the frontier at Durīlu, before order was re-established at Susa, and recovered, after very slight resistance, Baza and Bīt-khaīri which Shutruk-nakhunta had taken from Sargon. This preliminary success laid the lower plain of Susiana at his mercy, and he ravaged it pitilessly from Baza to Bīt-bunaki. “Thirty-four strongholds and the townships depending on them, whose number is unequalled, I besieged and took by assault, their inhabitants I led into captivity, I demolished them and reduced them to ashes: I caused the smoke of their burning to rise into the wide heaven, like the smoke of one great sacrifice.” Kutur-nakhunta, still insecurely seated on the throne of Susa, retreated with his army towards Khaīdalu, in the almost unexplored regions which bordered the Banian plateau,* and entrenched himself strongly in the heart of the mountains.

     * Khaīdalu is very probably the present Dis Malkān.

The season was already well advanced when the Assyrians set out on this expedition, and November set in while they were ravaging the plain: but the weather was still so fine that Sennacherib determined to take advantage of it to march upon Madaktu. Hardly had he scaled the heights when winter fell upon him with its accompaniment of cold and squally weather. “Violent storms broke out, it rained and snowed incessantly, the torrents and streams overflowed their banks,” so that hostilities had to be suspended and the troops ordered back to Nineveh. The effect produced, however, by these bold measures was in no way diminished: though Kutur-nakhunta had not had the necessary time to prepare for the contest, he was nevertheless discredited among his subjects for failing to bring them out of it with glory, and three months after the retreat of the Assyrians he was assassinated in a riot on the 20th of Ab, 692 B.C.*

     * The Assyrian documents merely mention the death of Kutur-
     nakhunta less than three months after the return of
     Sennacherib to Nineveh. Pinches’ Babylonian Chronicle only
     mentions the revolution in which he perished, and informs us
     that he had reigned ten months. It contracts Ummān-minānu,
     the name of the Elamite king, to Minānu.

His younger brother, Ummān-minānu, assumed the crown, and though his enemies disdainfully refused to credit him with either prudence or judgment, he soon restored his kingdom to such a formidable degree of power that Mushezīb-marduk thought the opportunity a favourable one for striking a blow at Assyria, from which she could never recover. Elam had plenty of troops, but was deficient in the resources necessary to pay the men and their chiefs, and to induce the tribes of the table-land to furnish their contingents. Mushezīb-marduk, therefore, emptied the sacred treasury of E-sagilla, and sent the gold and silver of Bel and Zarpanit to Ummān-minānu with a message which ran thus: “Assemble thine army, and prepare thy camp, come to Babylon and strengthen our hands, for thou art our help.” The Elamite asked nothing better than to avenge the provinces so cruelly harassed, and the cities consumed in the course of the last campaign: he summoned all his nobles, from the least to the greatest, and enlisted the help of the troops of Parsuas, Ellipi, and Anzān, the Aramaean Puqudu and Gambulu of the Tigris, as well as the Aramęans of the Euphrates, and the peoples of Bīt-Adini and Bīt-Amukkāni, who had rallied round Sam una, son of Merodach-baladan, and joined forces with the soldiers of Mushezīb-marduk in Babylon. “Like an invasion of countless locusts swooping down upon the land, they assembled, resolved to give me battle, and the dust of their feet rose before me, like a thick cloud which darkens the copper-coloured dome of the sky.” The conflict took place near the township of Khalulź, on the banks of the Tigris, not far from the confluence of this river with the Turnāt.*

     * Haupt attributes to the name the signification holes,
     bogs, and this interpretation agrees well enough with the
     state of the country round the mouths of the Dīyala, in the
     low-lying district which separates that river from the
     Tigris; he compares it with the name Haulāyeh, quoted by
     Arab geographers in this neighbourhood, and with that of the
     canton of Hāleh, mentioned in Syrian texts as belonging to
     the district of Rādhān, between the Adhem and the Dīyala.

At this point the Turnāt, flowing through the plain, divides into several branches, which ramify again and again, and form a kind of delta extending from the ruins of Nayān to those of Reshadeh. During the whole of the day the engagement between the two hosts raged on this unstable soil, and their leaders themselves sold their lives dearly in the struggle. Sennacherib invoked the help of Assur, Sin, Shamash, Nebo, Bel, Nergal, Ishtar of Nineveh, and Ishtar of Arbela, and the gods heard his prayers. “Like a lion I raged, I donned my harness, I covered my head with my casque, the badge of war; my powerful battle-chariot, which mows down the rebels, I ascended it in haste in the rage of my heart; the strong bow which Assur entrusted to me, I seized it, and the javelin, destroyer of life, I grasped it: the whole host of obdurate rebels I charged, shining like silver or like the day, and I roared as Kammān roareth.” Khumba-undash, the Elamite general, was killed in one of the first encounters, and many of his officers perished around him, “of those who wore golden daggers at their belts, and bracelets of gold on their wrists.” They fell one after the other, “like fat bulls chained” for the sacrifice, or like sheep, and their blood flowed on the broad plain as the water after a violent storm: the horses plunged in it up to their knees, and the body of the royal chariot was reddened with it. A son of Merodach-baladan, Nabu-shumishkun, was taken prisoner, but Ummān-minānu and Mushezīb-marduk escaped unhurt from the fatal field. It seems as if fortune had at last decided in favour of the Assyrians, and they proclaimed the fact loudly, but their success was not so evident as to preclude their adversaries also claiming the victory with some show of truth. In any case, the losses on both sides were so considerable as to force the two belligerents to suspend operations; they returned each to his capital, and matters remained much as they had been before the battle took place.*

     * Pinches’ Babylonian Chronicle attributes the victory to
     the Elamites, and says that the year in which the battle was
     fought was unknown. The testimony of this chronicle is so
     often marred by partiality, that to prefer it always to that
     of the Ninevite inscriptions shows deficiency of critical
     ability: the course of events seems to me to prove that the
     advantage remained with the Assyrians, though the victory
     was not decisive. The date, which necessarily falls between
     692 and 689 B.C., has been decided by general considerations
     as 691 B.C., the very year in which the Taylor Cylinder
     was written.

Years might have elapsed before Sennacherib could have ventured to recommence hostilities: he was not deluded by the exaggerated estimate of his victory in the accounts given by his court historians, and he recognised the fact that the issue of the struggle must be uncertain as long as the alliance subsisted between Elam and Chaldęa. But fortune came to his aid sooner than he had expected. Ummān-minānu was not absolute in his dominions any more than his predecessors had been, and the losses he had sustained at Khalulź, without obtaining any compensating advantages in the form of prisoners or spoil, had lowered him in the estimation of his vassals; Mushezīb-marduk, on the other hand, had emptied his treasuries, and though Karduniash was wealthy, it was hardly able, after such a short interval, to provide further subsidies to purchase the assistance of the mountain tribes. Sennacherib’s emissaries kept him well informed of all that occurred in the enemy’s court, and he accordingly took the field again at the beginning of 689 B.C., and on this occasion circumstances seemed likely to combine to give him an easy victory.*

     * The Assyrian documents insert the account of the capture
     of Babylon directly after the battle of Khalulź, and modern
     historians therefore concluded that the two events took
     place within a few months of each other. The information
     afforded by Pinches’ Babylonian Chronicle has enabled us
     to correct this mistake, and to bring down the date of the
     taking of Babylon to 689 B.C.

Mushezīb-marduk shut himself up in Babylon, not doubting that the Elamites would hasten to his succour as soon as they should hear of his distress; but his expectation was not fulfilled. Ummān-minānu was struck down by apoplexy, on the 15th of Nisān, and though his illness did not at once terminate fatally, he was left paralysed with distorted mouth, and loss of speech, incapable of action, and almost unfit to govern. His seizure put a stop to his warlike preparations: and his ministers, preoccupied with the urgent question of the succession to the throne, had no desire to provoke a conflict with Assyria, the issue of which could not be foretold: they therefore left their ally to defend his own interests as best he might. Babylon, reduced to rely entirely on its own resources, does not seem to have held out long, and perhaps the remembrance of the treatment it had received on former occasions may account for the very slight resistance it now offered. The Assyrian kings who had from time to time conquered Babylon, had always treated it with great consideration. They had looked upon it as a sacred city, whose caprices and outbreaks must always be pardoned; it was only with infinite precautions that they had imposed their commands upon it, and even when they had felt that severity was desirable, they had restrained themselves in using it, and humoured the idiosyncrasies of the inhabitants. Tiglath-pileser III, Shalmaneser V., and Sargon had all preferred to be legally crowned as sovereigns of Babylon instead of remaining merely its masters by right of conquest, and though Sennacherib had refused compliance with the traditions by which his predecessors had submitted to be bound, he had behaved with unwonted lenity after quelling the two previous revolts. He now recognised that his clemency had been shown in vain, and his small stock of patience was completely exhausted just when fate threw the rebellious city into his power. If the inhabitants had expected to be once more let off easily, their illusions were speedily dissipated: they were slain by the sword as if they had been ordinary foes, such as Jews, Tibarenians, or Kaldā of Bīt-Yakīn, and they were spared none of the horrors which custom then permitted the stronger to inflict upon the weaker. For several days the pitiless massacre lasted. Young and old, all who fell into the hands of the soldiery, perished by the sword; piles of corpses filled the streets and the approaches to the temples, especially the avenue of winged bulls which led to E-sagilla, and, even after the first fury of carnage had been appeased, it was only to be succeeded by more organised pillage. Mushezīb-marduk was sent into exile with his family, and immense convoys of prisoners and spoil followed him. The treasures carried off from the royal palace, the temples, and the houses of the rich nobles were divided among the conquerors: they comprised gold, silver, precious stones, costly stuffs, and provisions of all sorts. The sacred edifices were sacked, the images hacked to pieces or carried off to Nineveh: Bel-Marduk, introduced into the sanctuary of Assur, became subordinate to the rival deity amid a crowd of strange gods. In the inmost recess of a chapel were discovered some ancient statues of Kammān and Shala of E-kallati, which Marduk-nādin-akhź had carried off in the time of Tiglath-pileser I., and these were brought back in triumph to their own land, after an absence of four hundred and eighteen years. The buildings themselves suffered a like fate to that of their owners and their gods. “The city and its houses, from foundation to roof, I destroyed them, I demolished them, I burnt them with fire; walls, gateways, sacred chapels, and the towers of earth and tiles, I laid them all low and cast them into the Arakhtu.” The incessant revolts of the people justified this wholesale destruction. Babylon, as we have said before, was too powerful to be reduced for long to the second rank in a Mesopotamian empire: as soon as fate established the seat of empire in the districts bordering on the Euphrates and the middle course of the Tigris, its well-chosen situation, its size, its riches, the extent of its population, the number of its temples, and the beauty of its palaces, all conspired to make it the capital of the country. In vain Assur, Calah, or Nineveh thrust themselves into the foremost rank, and by a strenuous effort made their princes rulers of Babylon; in a short time Babylon replenished her treasury, found allies, soldiers, and leaders, and in spite of reverses of fortune soon regained the upper hand. The only treatment which could effectually destroy her ascendency was that of leaving in her not one brick upon another, thus preventing her from being re-peopled for several generations, since a new city could not at once spring up from the ashes of the old; until she had been utterly destroyed her conquerors had still reason to fear her. This fact Sennacherib, or his councillors, knew well. If he merits any reproach, it is not for having seized the opportunity of destroying the city which Babylon offered him, but rather for not having persevered in his design to the end, and reduced her to a mere name.

In the midst of these costly and absorbing wars, we may well wonder how Sennacherib found time and means to build villas or temples; yet he is nevertheless, among the kings of Assyria, the monarch who has left us the largest number of monuments. He restored a shrine of Nergal in the small town of Tarbizi; he fortified the village of Alshi; and in 704 B.C. he founded a royal residence in the fortress of Kakzi, which defended the approach to Calah from the south-east. He did not reside much at Dur-Sharrukīn, neither did he complete the decoration of his father’s palace there: his pride as a victorious warrior suffered when his surroundings reminded him of a more successful conqueror than himself, and Calah itself was too full of memories of Tiglath-pileser III. and the sovereigns of the eighth century for him to desire to establish his court there. He preferred to reside at Nineveh, which had been much neglected by his predecessors, and where the crumbling edifices merely recalled the memory of long-vanished splendours.

063.jpg the Mounds of Nineveh Seen from The Terrace Of A House in Mosul
     Drawn by Boudier, from a lithograph in Layard.

He selected this city as his residence at the very beginning of his reign, perhaps while he was still only crown prince, and began by repairing its ancient fortifications; later on, when the success of his earlier campaigns had furnished him with a sufficient supply of prisoners, he undertook the restoration of the whole city, with its avenues, streets, canals, quays, gardens, and aqueducts: the labour of all the captives brought together from different quarters of his empire was pressed into the execution of his plans—the Kaldā, the Aramęans, the Mannai, the people of Kuī, the Cilicians, the Philistines, and the ļyrians; the provinces vied with each other in furnishing him with materials without stint,—precious woods were procured from Syria, marbles from Kapri-dargīla, alabaster from Balad, while Bīt-Yakīn provided the rushes to be laid between the courses of brickwork. The river Tebilti, after causing the downfall of the royal mausolea and “displaying to the light of day the coffins which they concealed,” had sapped the foundations of the palace of Assur-nazir-pal, and caused it to fall in: a muddy pool now occupied the north-western quarter, between the court of Ishtar and the lofty ziggurāt of Assur. This pool Sennacherib filled up, and regulated the course of the stream, providing against the recurrence of such-accidents in future by building a substructure of masonry, 454 cubits long by 289 wide, formed of large blocks of stone cemented together by bitumen. On this he erected a magnificent palace, a Bīt-Khilāni in the Syrian style, with woodwork of fragrant cedar and cypress overlaid with gold and silver, panellings of sculptured marble and alabaster, and friezes and cornices in glazed tiles of brilliant colouring: inspired by the goddess Nin-kurra, he caused winged bulls of white alabaster and limestone statues of the gods to be hewn in the quarries of Balad near Nineveh. He presided in person at all these operations—at the raising of the soil, the making of the substructures of the terrace, the transport of the colossal statues or blocks and their subsequent erection; indeed, he was to be seen at every turn, standing in Ids ebony and ivory chariot, drawn by a team of men. When the building was finished, he was so delighted with its beauty that he named it “the incomparable palace,” and his admiration was shared by his contemporaries; they were never wearied of extolling in glowing terms the twelve bronze lions, the twelve winged bulls, and the twenty-four statues of goddesses which kept watch over the entrance, and for the construction of which a new method of rapid casting had been invented.

065.jpg King Sennacherib Watching the Transport of A Colossal Statue
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

Formerly the erection of such edifices cost much in suffering to the artificers employed on them, but Sennacherib brought his great enterprise to a prompt completion without extravagant outlay or unnecessary hardship inflicted on his workmen. He proceeded to annex the neighbouring quarters of the city, relegating the inhabitants to the suburbs while he laid out a great park on the land thus cleared; this park was well planted with trees, like the heights of Amanus, and in it flourished side by side all the forest growths indigenousnto the Cilician mountains and the plains of Chaldęa. A lake, fed by a canal leading from the Khuzur, supplied it with water, which was conducted in streams and rills through the thickets, keeping them always fresh and green. Vines trained on trellises afforded a grateful shade during the sultry hours of the day; birds sang in the branches, herds of wild boar and deer roamed through the coverts, in order that the prince might enjoy the pleasures of the chase without quitting his own private grounds.

066.jpg Assyrian Bas-reliefs at Bavian
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Layard.

The main part of these constructions was finished about 700 B.C., but many details were left incomplete, and the work was still proceeding after the court had long been in residence on the spot. Meanwhile a smaller palace, as well as barracks and a depot for arms and provisions, sprang up elsewhere. Eighteen aqueducts, carried across the country, brought the water from the Muzri to the Khuzur, and secured an adequate supply to the city; the Ninevites, who had hitherto relied upon rain-water for the replenishing of their cisterns, awoke one day to find themselves released from all anxiety on this score. An ancient and semi-subterranean canal, which Assur-nazir-pal had constructed nearly two centuries before, but which, owing to the neglect of his successors, had become choked up, was cleaned out, enlarged and repaired, and made capable of bringing water to their doors from the springs of Mount Tas, in the same year as that in which the battle of Khalulź took place.* At a later date, magnificent bas-reliefs, carved on the rock by order of Esar-haddon, representing winged bulls, figures of the gods and of the king, with explanatory inscriptions, marked the site of the springs, and formed a kind of monumental faēade to the ravine in which they took their rise.**

     * Mount Tas is the group of hills enclosing the ravine of
     Bavian. These works were described in the Bavian
     inscription, of which they occupy the whole of the first

     ** The Bavian text speaks of six inscriptions and statues
     which the king had engraved on the Mount of Tas, at the
     source of the stream.

It would be hard to account for the rapidity with which these great works were completed, did one not remember that Sargon had previously carried out extensive architectural schemes, in which he must have employed all the available artists in his empire. The revolutions which had shattered the realm under the last descendants of Assur-nazir-pal, and the consequent impoverishment of the kingdom, had not been without a disastrous effect on the schools of Assyrian sculpture.


069.jpg Great Assyrian Stele at BaviaĪt.
     Drawn by Boudior, from Layard.

Since the royal treasury alone was able to bear the expense of those vast compositions in which the artistic skill of the period could have free play, the closing of the royal workshops, owing to the misfortunes of the time, had the immediate effect of emptying the sculptors’ studios. Even though the period of depression lasted for the space of two or three generations only, it became difficult to obtain artistic workmen; and those who were not discouraged from the pursuit of art by the uncertainty of employment, no longer possessed the high degree of skill attained by their predecessors, owing to lack of opportunity to cultivate it. Sculpture was at a very low ebb when Tiglath-pileser III. desired to emulate the royal builders of days gone by, and the awkwardness of composition noticeable in some of his bas-reliefs, and the almost barbaric style of the stelae erected by persons of even so high a rank as Belharrān-beluzur, prove the lamentable deficiency of good artists at that epoch, and show that the king had no choice but to employ all the surviving members of the ancient guilds, whether good, bad, or indifferent workmen. The increased demand, however, soon produced an adequate supply of workers, and when Sargon ascended the throne, the royal guild of sculptors had been thoroughly reconstituted; the inefficient workmen on whom Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser had been obliged to rely had been eliminated in course of time, and many of the sculptures which adorned the palace at Khorsabad display a purity of design and boldness of execution comparable to that of the best Egyptian art. The composition still shows traces of Chaldęan stiffness, and the exaggerated drawing of the muscles produces an occasionally unpleasing-heaviness of outline, but none the less the work as a whole constitutes one of the richest and most ingenious schemes of decoration ever devised, which, while its colouring was still perfect, must have equalled in splendour the great triumphal battle-scenes at Ibsambul or Medinet-Habu. Sennacherib found ready to his hand a body of well-trained artists, whose number had considerably increased during the reign of Sargon, and he profited by the experience which they had acquired and the talent that many of them had developed. What immediately strikes the spectator in the series of pictures produced under his auspices, is the great skill with which his artists covered the whole surface at their disposal without overcrowding it. They no longer treated their subject, whether it were a warlike expedition, a hunting excursion, a sacrificial scene, or an episode of domestic life, as a simple juxtaposition of groups of almost equal importance ranged at the same elevation along the walls, the subject of each bas-relief being complete in itself and without any necessary connection with its neighbour. They now selected two or three principal incidents from the subjects proposed to them for representation, and round these they grouped such of the less important episodes as lent themselves best to picturesque treatment, and scattered sparingly over the rest of the field the minor accessories which seemed suitable to indicate more precisely the scene of the action. Under the auspices of this later school, Assyrian foot-soldiers are no longer depicted attacking the barbarians of Media or Elam on backgrounds of smooth stone, where no line marks the various levels, and where the remoter figures appear to be walking in the air without anything to support them. If the battle represented took place on a wooded slope crowned by a stronghold on the summit of the hill, the artist, in order to give an impression of the surroundings, covered his background with guilloche patterns by which to represent the rugged surface of the mountains; he placed here and there groups of various kinds of trees, especially the straight cypresses and firs which grew upon the slopes of the Iranian table-land: or he represented a body of lancers galloping in single file along the narrow woodland paths, and hastening to surprise a distant enemy, or again foot-soldiers chasing their foes through the forest or engaging them in single combat; while in the corners of the picture the wounded are being stabbed or otherwise despatched, fugitives are trying to escape through the undergrowth, and shepherds are pleading with the victors for their lives. It is the actual scene the sculptor sets himself to depict, and one is sometimes inclined to ask, while noting the precision with which the details of the battle are rendered, whether the picture was not drawn on the spot, and whether the conqueror did not carry artists in his train to make sketches for the decorators of the main features of the country traversed and of the victories won. The masses of infantry seem actually in motion, a troop of horsemen rush blindly over uneven ground, and the episodes of their raid are unfolded in all their confusion with unfailing animation.

073.jpg an Assyrian Cavalry Raid Through the Woods
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

For the first time a spectator can realise Assyrian warfare with its striking contrasts of bravery and unbridled cruelty; he is no longer reduced to spell out laboriously a monotonous narrative of a battle, for the battle takes place actually before his eyes. And after the return from the scene of action, when it is desired to show how the victor employed his prisoners for the greater honour of his gods and his own glory, the picture is no less detailed and realistic.


074th (82K Transport of a Winged Bull on A Sledge.)

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

There we see them, the noble and the great of all the conquered nations, Chaldęans and Elamites, inhabitants of Cilicia, Phoenicia, and Judaea, harnessed to ropes and goaded by the whips of the overseers, dragging the colossal bull which is destined to mount guard at the gates of the palace: with bodies bent, pendant arms, and faces contorted with pain, they, who had been the chief men in their cities, now take the place of beasts of burden, while Sennacherib, erect on his state chariot, with steady glance and lips compressed, watches them as they pass slowly before him in their ignominy and misery.

079.jpg Sennacherib
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from Layard.

After the destruction of Babylon there is a pause in the history of the conqueror, and with him in that of Assyria itself. It seems as if Nineveh had been exhausted by the greatness of her effort, and was stopping to take breath before setting out on a fresh career of conquest: the other nations also, as if overwhelmed by the magnitude of the catastrophe, appear to have henceforth despaired of their own security, and sought only how to avoid whatever might rouse against them the enmity of the master of the hour. His empire formed a compact and solid block in their midst, on which no human force seemed capable of making any impression. They had attacked it each in turn, or all at once, Elam in the east, Urartu in the north, Egypt in the south-west, and their efforts had not only miserably failed, but had for the most part drawn down upon them disastrous reprisals. The people of Urartu remained in gloomy inaction amidst their mountains, the Elamites had lost their supremacy over half the Aramęan tribes, and if Egypt was as yet inaccessible beyond the intervening deserts, she owed it less to the strength of her armies than to the mysterious fatality at Libnah. In one half-century the Assyrians had effectually and permanently disabled the first of these kingdoms, and inflicted on the others such serious injuries that they were slow in recovering from them. The fate of these proud nations had intimidated the inferior states—Arabs, Medes, tribes of Asia Minor, barbarous Cimmerians or Scythians,—all alike were careful to repress their natural inclinations to rapine and plunder. If occasionally their love of booty overpowered their prudence, and they hazarded a raid on some defenceless village in the neighbouring border territory, troops were hastily despatched from the nearest Assyrian garrison, who speedily drove them back across the frontier, and pursuing them into their own country, inflicted on them so severe a punishment that they remained for some considerable time paralysed by awe and terror. Assyria was the foremost kingdom of the East, and indeed of the whole world, and the hegemony which she exercised over all the countries within her reach cannot be accounted for solely by her military superiority. Not only did she excel in the art of conquest, as many before her had done—Babylonians, Elamites, Hittites, and Egyptians—but she did what none of them had been able to accomplish; she exacted lasting obedience from the conquered nations, ruling them with a firm hand, and accustoming them to live on good terms with one another in spite of diversity of race, and this with a light rein, with unfailing tact, and apparently with but little effort. The system of deportation so resolutely carried out by Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon began to produce effect, and up to this time the most happy results only were discernible. The colonies which had been planted throughout the empire from Palestine to Media, some of them two generations previously, others within recent years, were becoming more and more acclimatised to their new surroundings, on which they were producing the effect desired by their conquerors; they were meant to hold in check the populations in whose midst they had been set down, to act as a curb upon them, and also to break up their national unity and thus gradually prepare them for absorption into a wider fatherland, in which they would cease to be exclusively Damascenes, Samaritans, Hittites, or Aramęans, since they would become Assyrians and fellow-citizens of a mighty empire. The provinces, brought at length under a regular system of government, protected against external dangers and internal discord, by a well-disciplined soldiery, and enjoying a peace and security they had rarely known in the days of their independence, gradually became accustomed to live in concord under the rule of a common sovereign, and to feel themselves portions of a single empire. The speech of Assyria was their official language, the gods of Assyria were associated with their national gods in the prayers they offered up for the welfare of the sovereign, and foreign nations with whom they were brought into communication no longer distinguished between them and their conquerors, calling their country Assyria, and regarding its inhabitants as Assyrians. As is invariably the case, domestic peace and good administration had caused a sudden development of wealth and commercial activity. Although Nineveh and Calah never became such centres of trade and industry as Babylon had been, yet the presence of the court and the sovereign attracted thither merchants from all parts of the world.

The Medes, reaching the capital by way of the passes of Kowāndīz and Suleimaniyeh, brought in the lapis-lazuli, precious stones, metals, and woollen stuffs of Central Asia and the farthest East, while the Phoenicians and even Greeks, who were already following in their foot steps, came thither to sell in the ą bazaars of Assyria the most precious of the wares brought back by their merchant vessels from the shores of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the farthest West. The great cities of the triangle of Assyria were gradually supplanting all the capitals of the ancient world, not excepting Memphis, and becoming the centres of universal trade; unexcelled for centuries in the arts of war, Assyria was in a fair way to become mistress also in the arts of peace. A Jewish prophet thus described the empire at a later date: “The Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick clouds. The waters nourished him, the deep made him grow: therefore his stature was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long by reason of many waters, when he shot them forth. All the fowls of the heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations. Thus was he fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his root was by many waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the plane trees were not as his branches; nor was any tree like unto him in beauty: so that all the trees of Eden, that were in the garden of God, envied him.” (Ezek. xxxi. 3-9).

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Last years of Sennacherib—New races appear upon the scene—The Medes: Deiokes and the foundation of Ecbatana, the Bit-Dayaukku and their origin—The races of Asia Minor—The Phrygians, their earliest rulers, their conquests, and their religion—Last of the Heraclidę in Lydia, trade and constitution of their kingdom—The Tylonidę, and Mermnadę—The Cimmerians driven back into Asia by the Scythians—The Treves.

Murder of Sennacherib and accession of Esarhaddon: defeat of Sharezer (681 B.C.)—Campaigns against the Kaldd, the Cimmerians, the tribes of Cilicia, and against Sidon (680-679 B.C.); Cimmerian and Scythian invasions, revolt of vie Mannai, and expeditions against the Medes; submission of the northern Arabs (678-676 B.C.)—Egyptian affairs; Taharqa (Tirhakah), his building operations, his Syrian policy—Disturbances on the frontiers of Elam and Urartu.

First invasion of Egypt and subjection of the country to Nineveh (670 B.C.)—Intrigues of rival claimants to the throne, and division of the Assyrian empire between Assłr-bani-pal and Shamash shumukīn (668 B.C.)—Revolt of Egypt and death of Esarhaddon (668 B.C.); accession of Assur-bani-pal; his campaign against Kirbīt; defeat of Taharqa and reconstitution of the Egyptian province (667 B.C.)—Affairs of Asia Minor: Gyges (693 B.C.), his tears against the Greeks and Cimmerians; he sends ambassadors to Nineveh (664 B.C.).

Tanuatamanu reasserts the authority of Ethiopia in Egypt (664 B.C.), and Tammaritu of Elam invades Karduniash; reconquest of the Said and sack of Thebes—Psammetichus I. and the rise of the XXVIth dynasty—Disturbances among the Medes and Mannai—War against Teumman and the victory of Tulliz (660 B.C.): Elam yields to the Assyrians for the first time—Shamash-shumukin at Babylon; is at first on good terms with his brother, then becomes dissatisfied, and forms a coalition against the Ninevite supremacy.

The Uruk incident and outbreak of the war between Karduniash, Elam, and Assyria; Elam disabled by domestic discords—Siege and capture of Babylon; Assur-bani-pal ascends the throne under the name of Kandalanu (648-646 B.C.)—Revolt of Egypt: defeat and death of Gyges (642 B.C. ): Ardys drives out the Cimmerians and Dugdamis is killed in Cilicia—Submission of Arabia.

Revolution in Elam—Attack on Indabigash—Tammaritu restored to power—Pillage and destruction of Susa—Campaign against the Arabs of Kedar and the Nabatęans: suppression of the Tyrian rebellion —Dying struggles of Elam—Capture of Madaktu and surrender of Khumban-khaldash—The power of Assyria reaches its zenith.

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The Medes and Cimmerians: Lydia—The conquest of Egypt, of Arabia, and of Elam.

As we have already seen, Sennacherib reigned for eight years after his triumph; eight years of tranquillity at home, and of peace with all his neighbours abroad. If we examine the contemporary monuments or the documents of a later period, and attempt to glean from them some details concerning the close of his career, we find that there is a complete absence of any record of national movement on the part of either Elam, Urartu, or Egypt.

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Layard. The vignette, also by
     Faucher-Gudin, represents Taharqa in a kneeling attitude,
     and is taken from a bronze statuette in the Macgregor

087.jpg Stone Lion at HamadĀn
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from Plandin and Coste.

The only event of which any definite mention is made is a raid across the north of Arabia, in the course of which Hazael, King of Adumu, and chief among the princes of Kedar, was despoiled of the images of his gods. The older states of the Oriental world had, as we have pointed out, grown weary of warfare which brought them nothing but loss of men and treasure; but behind these states, on the distant horizon to the east and north-west, were rising up new nations whose growth and erratic movements assumed an importance that became daily more and more alarming. On the east, the Medes, till lately undistinguishable from the other tribes occupying the western corner of the Iranian table-land, had recently broken away from the main body, and, rallying round a single leader, already gave promise of establishing an empire formidable alike by the energy of its people and the extent of its domain. A tradition afterwards accepted by them attributed their earlier successes to a certain Deļokes, son of Phraortes, a man wiser than his fellows, who first set himself to deal out justice in his own household. The men of his village, observing his merits, chose him to be the arbiter of all their disputes, and, being secretly ambitious of sovereign power, he did his best to settle their differences on lines of the strictest equity and justice. By these means he gained such credit with his fellow-citizens as to attract the attention of those who lived in the neighbouring villages, who had suffered from unjust judgments, so that when they heard of the singular uprightness of Deļokes and of the equity of his decisions they joyfully had recourse to him until at last they came to put confidence in no one else. The number of complaints brought before him continually increasing as people learnt more and more the justice of his judgments, Deļokes, finding himself now all-important, announced that he did not intend any longer to hear causes, and appeared no more in the seat in which he had been accustomed to sit and administer justice. “‘It was not to his advantage,’ he said, ‘to spend the whole day in regulating other men’s affairs to the neglect of his own.’ Hereupon robbery and lawlessness broke out afresh and prevailed throughout the country even more than heretofore; wherefore the Medes assembled from all quarters and held a consultation on the state of affairs. The speakers, as I think, were chiefly friends of Deļokes. ‘We cannot possibly,’ they said, ‘go on living in this country if things continue as they now are; let us, therefore, set a king over us, so that the land may be well governed, and we ourselves may be able to attend to our own affairs, and not be forced to quit our country on account of anarchy.’ After speaking thus, they persuaded themselves that they desired a king, and forthwith debated whom they should choose. Deļokes was proposed and warmly praised by all, so they agreed to elect him.” Whereupon Deļokes had a great palace built, and enrolled a bodyguard to attend upon him. He next called upon his subjects to leave their villages, and “the Medes, obedient to his orders, built the city now called Ecbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The walls are concentric, and so arranged that they rise one above the other by the height of their battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favoured this arrangement. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last. The circuit of the outer wall is very nearly the same as that of Athens. Of this wall the battlements are white, of the next black, of the third scarlet, of the fourth blue, of the fifth orange. The two last have their battlements coated respectively with silver and gold. All these fortifications Deļokes caused to be raised for himself and his own palace; the people he required to dwell outside the citadel. When the town was finished, he established a rule that no one should have direct access to the king, but that all communications should pass through the hands of messengers. It was declared to be unseemly for any one to see the king face to face, or to laugh or spit in his presence. This ceremonial Deļokes established for his own security, fearing lest his compeers who had been brought up with him, and were of as good family and parts as he, should be vexed at the sight of him and conspire against him: he thought that by rendering himself invisible to his vassals they would in time come to regard him as quite a different sort of being from themselves.”

Two or three facts stand out from this legendary background. It is probable that Deļokes was an actual person; that the empire of the Medes first took shape under his auspices; that he formed an important kingdom at the foot of Mount Elvend, and founded Ecbatana the Great, or, at at any rate, helped to raise it to the rank of a capital.*

     * The existence of Deļokes has been called in question by
     Grote and by the Rawlinsons. Most recent historians,
     however, accept the story of this personage as true in its
     main facts; some believe him to have been merely the
     ancestor of the royal house which later on founded the
     united kingdom of the Medes.

Its site was happily chosen, in a rich and fertile valley, close to where the roads emerge which cross the Zagros chain of mountains and connect Iran with the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, almost on the border of the salt desert which forms and renders sterile the central regions of the plateau. Mount Elvend shelters it, and feeds with its snows the streams that irrigate it, whose waters transform the whole country round into one vast orchard. The modern town has, as it were, swallowed up all traces of its predecessor; a stone lion, overthrown and mutilated, marks the site of the royal palace.

The chronological reckoning of the native annalists, as handed down to us by Herodotus, credits Deļokes with a reign of fifty-three years, which occupied almost the whole of the first half of the seventh century, i.e. from 709 to 656, or from 700 to 647 B.C.*

     * Herodotus expressly attributes a reign of fifty-three
     years to his Deļokes, and the total of a hundred and fifty
     years which we obtain by adding together the number of years
     assigned by him to the four Median kings (53 + 22 + 40 +
     35) brings us back to 709-708, if we admit, as he does, that
     the year of the proclamation by Cyrus as King of Persia
     (559-558) was that in which Astyages was overthrown; we get
     700-699 as the date of Deiokes’ accession, if we separate
     the two facts, as the monuments compel us to do, and reckon
     the hundred and fifty years of the Median empire from the
     fall of Astyages in 550-549.

The records of Nineveh mention a certain Dayaukku who was governor of the Mannai, and an ally of the Assyrians in the days of Sargon, and was afterwards deported with his family to Hamath in 715; two years later reference is made to an expedition across the territory of Bīt-Dayaukku, which is described as lying between Ellipi and Karalla, thus corresponding to the modern province of Hamadān. It is quite within the bounds of possibility that the Dayaukku who gave his name to this district was identical with the Deiokes of later writers.*

     * The form Deļokes, in place of Daļokes, is due to the Ionic
     dialect employed by Herodotus. Justi regards the name as an
     abbreviated form of the ancient Persian Dahyaupati—“the
     master of a province,” with the suffix -ha.

088.jpg View of HamadĀn and Mount Elvend in Winter
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Morgan.

He was the official ancestor of a royal house, a fact proved by the way in which his conqueror uses the name to distinguish the country over which he had ruled; moreover, the epoch assigned to him by contemporary chroniclers coincides closely enough with that indicated by tradition in the case of Deļokes. He was never the august sovereign that posterity afterwards made him out to be, and his territory included barely half of what constituted the province of Media in classical times; he contrived, however—and it was this that gained him universal renown in later days—to create a central rallying-point for the Median tribes around which they henceforth grouped themselves. The work of concentration was merely in its initial stage during the lifetime of Sennacherib, and little or nothing was felt of its effects outside its immediate area of influence, but the pacific character ascribed to the worthy Deļokes by popular legends, is to a certain extent confirmed by the testimony of the monuments: they record only one expedition, in 702, against Ellipi and the neighbouring tribes, in the course of which some portions of the newly acquired territory were annexed to the province of Kharkhar, and after mentioning this the annals have nothing further to relate during the rest of the reign. Sennacherib was too much taken up with his retaliatory measures against Babylon, or his disputes with Blam, to think of venturing on expeditions such as those which had brought Tiglath-pileser III. or Sargon within sight of Mount Bikni; while the Medes, on their part, had suffered so many reverses under these two monarchs that they probably thought twice before attacking any of the outposts scattered along the Assyrian frontier: nothing occurred to disturb their tranquillity during the early years of the seventh century, and this peaceful interval probably enabled Deļokes to consolidate, if not to extend, his growing authority. But if matters were quiet, at all events on the surface, in this direction, the nations on the north and north-west had for some time past begun to adopt a more threatening attitude. That migration of races between Europe and Asia, which had been in such active progress about the middle of the second millennium before our era, had increased twofold in intensity after the rise of the XXth Egyptian dynasty, and from thenceforward a wave of new races had gradually spread over the whole of Asia Minor, and had either driven the older peoples into the less fertile or more inaccessible districts, or else had overrun and absorbed them.

090.jpg Asia Minor in the 7th Century

Many of the nations that had fought against Ramses II. and Ramses III., such as the Uashasha, the Shagalasha, the Zakkali, the Danauna, and the Tursha, had disappeared, but the Thracians, whose appearance on the scene caused such consternation in days gone by, had taken root in the very heart of the peninsula, and had, in the course of three or four generations, succeeded in establishing a thriving state. The legend which traced the descent of the royal line back to the fabulous hero Ascanius proves that at the outset the haughty tribe of the Ascanians must have taken precedence over their fellows;* it soon degenerated, however, and before long the Phrygian tribe gained the upper hand and gave its name to the whole nation.

     * The name of this tribe was retained by a district
     afterwards included in the province of Bithynia, viz.
     Ascania, on the shores of the Ascanian lake: the
     distribution of place and personal names over the face of
     the country makes it seem extremely probable that Ascania
     and the early Ascanians occupied the whole of the region
     bounded on the north by the Propontis; in other words, the
     very country in which, according to Xanthus of Lydia, the
     Phry gians first established themselves after their arrival
     in Asia.

Phrygia proper, the country first colonised by them, lay between Mount Dindymus and the river Halys, in the valley of the Upper Sangarios and its affluents: it was there that the towns and strongholds of their most venerated leaders, such as Midaion, Dorylaion, Gordiaion, Tataion, and many others stood close together, perpetuating the memory of Midas, Dorylas, Gordios, and Tatas. Its climate was severe and liable to great extremes of temperature, being bitterly cold in winter and almost tropical during the summer months; forests of oak and pine, however, and fields of corn flourished, while the mountain slopes favoured the growth of the vine; it was, in short, an excellent and fertile country, well fitted for the development of a nation of vinedressers and tillers of the soil. The slaying of an ox or the destruction of an agricultural implement was punishable by death, and legend relates that Gordios, the first Phrygian king, was a peasant by birth. His sole patrimony consisted of a single pair of oxen, and the waggon used by him in bringing home his sheaves after the harvest was afterwards placed as an offering in the temple of Cybele at Ancyra by his son Midas; there was a local tradition according to which the welfare of all Asia depended on the knot which bound the yoke to the pole being preserved intact. Midas did not imitate his father’s simple habits, and the poets, after crediting him with fabulous wealth, tried also to make out that he was a conqueror. The kingdom expanded in all directions, and soon included the upper valley of the Masander, with its primeval sanctuaries, Kydrara, Colossę, and Kylsenę, founded wherever exhalations of steam and boiling springs betrayed the presence of some supernatural power. The southern shores of the Hellespont, which formed part of the Troad, and was the former territory of the Ascania, belonged to it, as did also the majority of the peoples scattered along the coast of the Euxine between the mouth of the Sangarios and that of the Halys; those portions of the central steppe which border on Lake Tatta were also for a time subject to it, Lydia was under its influence, and it is no exaggeration to say that in the tenth and eleventh centuries before our era there was a regular Phrygian empire which held sway, almost without a rival, over the western half of Asia Minor.

095.jpg Monument Commemorative of Midas
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a plate in Perrot and Chipiez.

096.jpg a Phrygian God
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a sketch by Ramsay.

It has left behind it so few relics of its existence, that we can only guess at what it must have been in the days of its prosperity. Three or four ruined fortresses, a few votive stelae, and a dozen bas-reliefs cut on the faces of cliffs in a style which at first recalls the Hittite and Asianic carvings of the preceding age, and afterwards, as we come down to later times, betrays the influence of early Greek art. In the midst of one of their cemeteries we come upon a monument resembling the faēade of a house or temple cut out of the virgin rock; it consists of a low triangular pediment, surmounted by a double scroll, then a rectangle of greater length than height, framed between two pilasters and a horizontal string-course, the centre being decorated with a geometrical design of crosses in a way which suggests the pattern of a carpet; a recess is hollowed out on a level with the ground, and filled by a blind door with rebated doorposts. Is it a tomb? The inscription carefully engraved above one side of the pediment contains the name of Midas, and seems to show that we have before us a commemorative monument, piously dedicated by a certain Ates in honour of the Phrygian hero.

Elsewhere we come upon the outlines of a draped female form, sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by two lions, or of a man clothed in a short tunic, holding a sort of straight sceptre in his hand, and we fancy that we have the image of a god before our eyes, though we cannot say which of the deities handed down by tradition it may represent. The religion of the Phrygians is shrouded in the same mystery as their civilisation and their art, and presents a curious mixture of European and Asianic elements. The old aboriginal races had worshipped from time immemorial a certain mother-goddess, Ma, or Amma, the black earth, which brings forth without ceasing, and nourishes all living things. Her central place of worship seems, originally, to have been in the region of the Anti-taurus, and it was there that her sacred cities—Tyana, Venasa, and the Cappadocian Comana—were to be found as late as Roman times; in these towns her priests were regarded as kings, and thousands of her priestesses spent lives of prostitution in her service; but her sanctuaries, with their special rites and regulations, were scattered over the whole peninsula. She was sometimes worshipped under the form of a meteoric stone, or betyle similar to those found in Canaan;* more frequently she was represented in female shape, with attendant lions, or placed erect on a lion in the attitude of walking.

     * E.g. at Mount Dindymus and at Pessinus, which latter place
     was supposed to possess the oldest sanctuary of Cybele. The
     Pessinus stone, which was carried off to Rome in 204 B.C.,
     was small, irregular in shape, and of a dark colour. Another
     stone represented Ida.

A moon-god, Men, shared divine honours with her, and with a goddess Nana whose son Atys had been the only love of Ma and the victim of her passion. We are told that she compelled him to emasculate himself in a fit of mad delirium, and then transformed him into a pine tree: thenceforward her priests made the sacrifice of their virility with their own hands at the moment of dedicating themselves to the service of the goddess.*

     * Nana was made out to be the daughter of the river
     Sangarios. She is said to have conceived Atys by placing in
     her bosom the fruit of an almond tree which sprang from the
     hermaphrodite Agdistis. This was the form—extremely ancient
     in its main features—in which the legend was preserved at

097.jpg the Mother-goddess Between Lions
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a sketch by Ramsay.

098.jpg the Mother-goddess and Atys
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Chantre. One of
     the bas-reliefs at Iasilikiaia, to which we shall have
     occasion to refer later on in Chapter III. of the present

The gods introduced from Thrace by the Phrygians showed a close affinity with those of the purely Asianic peoples. Precedence was universally given to a celestial divinity named Bagaios, Lord of the Oak, perhaps because he was worshipped under a gigantic sacred oak; he was king of gods and men, then-father,* lord of the thunder and the lightning, the warrior who charges in his chariot.

     * In this capacity he bore the surname Papas.

He, doubtless, allowed a queen-regent of the earth to share his throne,* but Sauazios, another, and, at first, less venerable deity had thrown this august pair into the shade.

     * The existence of such a goddess may be deduced from the
     passage in which Dionysius of Halicarnassus states that
     Manes, first king of the Phrygians, was the son of Zeus and

099.jpg the God Men Associated With The Sun and Other Deities
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Perdrizet. The
     last figure on the left is the god Men; the Sun overlooks
     all the rest, and a god bearing an axe occupies the extreme
     right of the picture. The shapes of these ancient aboriginal
     deities have been modified by the influence of Gręco-Roman
     syncretism, and I merely give these figures, as I do many
     others, for lack of better representations.

The Greeks, finding this Sauazios at the head of the Phrygian Pantheon, identified him with their Zeus, or, less frequently, with the Sun; he was really a variant of their Dionysos. He became torpid in the autumn, and slept a death-like sleep all through the winter; but no sooner did he feel the warmth of the first breath of spring, than he again awoke, glowing with youth, and revelled during his summer in the heart of the forest or on the mountain-side, leading a life of riot and intoxication, guarded by a band of Sauades, spirits of the springs and streams, the Sileni of Greek mythology. The resemblances detected by the new-comers between the orgies of Thrace and those of Asia quickly led to confusion between the different dogmas and divinities. The Phrygians adopted Ma, and made her their queen, the Cybele who dwells in the hills, and takes her title from the mountain-tops which she inhabits—Dindymźne on Mount Dindymus, Sipylźne on Mount Sipylus. She is always the earth, but the earth untilled, and is seated in the midst of lions, or borne through her domain in a car drawn by lions, accompanied by a troop of Corybantes with dishevelled locks. Sauazios, identified with the Asianic Atys, became her lover and her priest, and Men, transformed by popular etymology into Manes, the good and beautiful, was looked upon as the giver of good luck, who protects men after death as well as in life. This religion, evolved from so many diverse elements, possessed a character of sombre poetry and sensual fanaticism which appealed strongly to the Greek imagination: they quickly adopted even its most barbarous mysteries, those celebrated in honour of the goddess and Atys, or of Sauazios. They tell us but little of the inner significance of the symbols and doctrines taught by its votaries, but have frequently described its outward manifestations. These consisted of aimless wanderings through the forests, in which the priest, incarnate representative of his god, led after him the ministers of the temple, who were identified with the Sauades and nymphs of the heavenly host. Men heard them passing in the night, heralded by the piercing notes of the flute provoking to frenzy, and by the clash of brazen cymbals, accompanied by the din of uproarious ecstasy: these sounds were broken at intervals by the bellowing of bulls and the roll of drums, like the rambling of subterranean thunder.

101.jpg Midas of Phrygia
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a specimen in the
Cabinet des Médailles.
It is a bronze coin from
Prymnessos in Phrygia,
belonging to the imperial

A Midas followed a Gordios, and a Gordios a Midas, in alternate succession, and under their rule the Phrygian empire enjoyed a period of prosperous obscurity. Lydia led an uneventful existence beside them, under dynasties which have received merely passing notice at the hands of the Greek chroniclers. They credit it at the outset with the almost fabulous royal line of the Atyadę, in one of whose reigns the Tyrseni are said to have migrated into Italy. Towards the twelfth century the Atyadę were supplanted by a family of Heraclido, who traced their descent to a certain Agrōn, whose personality is only a degree less mythical than his ancestry; he was descended from Heracles through Alcseus, Belus, and Ninus. Whether these last two names point to intercourse with one or other of the courts on the banks of the Euphrates, it is difficult to say. Twenty-one Heraclido, each one the son of his predecessor, are said to have followed Agrōn on the throne, their combined reigns giving a total of five hundred years.* Most of these princes, whether Atyadę or Heraclidę, have for us not even a shadowy existence, and what we know of the remainder is of a purely fabulous nature. For instance, Kambles is reported to have possessed such a monstrous appetite, that he devoured his own wife one night, while asleep.**

     * The number is a purely conventional one, and Gutschmid has
     shown how it originated. The computation at first comprised
     the complete series of 22 Heraclidę and 5 Mermnadę,
     estimated reasonably at 4 kings to a century, i.e. 27 X 25 =
     675 years, from the taking of Sardes to the supposed
     accession of Agrōn. As it was known from other sources that
     the 5 Mermnadę had reigned 170 years, these were subtracted
     from the 675, to obtain the duration of the Heraclidę alone,
     and by this means were obtained the 505 years mentioned by

     ** Another version, related by Nicolas of Damascus, refers
     the story to the time of Lardanos, a contemporary of
     Hercules; it shows that the Lydian chronographers considered
     Kambles or Kamblitas as being one of the last of the Atyad

The concubine of Meles, again, is said to have brought forth a lion, and the oracle of Telmessos predicted that the town of Sardes would be rendered impregnable if the animal were led round the city walls; this was done, except on the side of the citadel facing Mount Tmolus, which was considered unapproachable, but it was by that very path that the Persians subsequently entered the town. Alkimos, we are told, accumulated immense treasures, and under his rule his subjects enjoyed unequalled prosperity for fourteen years. It is possible that the story of the expedition despatched into Palestine by a certain Akiamos, which ended in the foundation of Ascalon, is merely a feeble echo of the raids in Syrian and Egyptian waters made by the Tyrseni and Sardinians in the thirteenth century B.C. The spread of the Phrygians, and the subsequent progress of Greek colonisation, must have curtailed the possessions of the Heraclidas from the eleventh to the ninth centuries, but the material condition of the people does not appear to have suffered by this diminution of territory. When they had once firmly planted themselves in the ports along the Asianic littoral—at Kymź, at Phocę, at Smyrna, at Clazomenę, at Colophon, at Ephesus, at Magnesia, at Miletus—the Ęolians and the Ionians lost no time in reaping the advantages which this position, at the western extremities of the great high-road through Asia Minor, secured to them. They overran all the Lydian settlements in Phrygia—Sardes, Leontocephalos, Pessinus, Gordioon, and Ancyra. The steep banks and the tortuous course of the Halys failed to arrest them; and they pushed forward beyond the mysterious regions peopled by the White Syrians, where the ancient civilisation of Asia Minor still held its sway. The search for precious metals mainly drew them on—the gold and silver, the copper, bronze, and above all iron, which the Chalybę found in their mountains, and which were conveyed by caravans from the regions of the Caucasus to the sacred towns of Teiria and Pteria.*

     * The site of Pteria has been fixed at Boghaz-keui by
     Texier, an identification which has been generally adopted;
     Euyuk is very probably Teiria, a town of the Lcucosyrians,
     mentioned by Hecatsous of Miletus in his work.

The friendly relations into which they entered with the natives on these journeys resulted before long in barter and intermarriage, though their influence made itself felt in different ways, according to the character of the people on whom it was brought to bear.

104.jpg the Steep Banks of The Halys Failed to Arrest Them
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by A. Boissier.
     The road leading from Angora to Yuzgat crosses the river not
     far from the site shown here, near the spot where the
     ancient road crossed.

They gave as a legacy to Phrygia one of their alphabets, that of Kymź, which soon banished the old Hittite syllabary from the monuments, and they borrowed in exchange Phrygian customs, musical instruments, traditions, and religious orgies. A Midas sought in marriage Hermodikź, the daughter of Agamemnon the Kymsoan, while another Midas, who had consulted the oracle of Delphi, presented to the god the chryselephantine throne on which he was wont to sit when he dispensed justice.

105.jpg View Ovek the Plain of Sardes
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

This interchange of amenities and these alliances, however, had a merely superficial effect, and in no way modified the temperament and life of the people in inner Asia Minor. They remained a robust, hardworking race, attached to their fields and woods, loutish and slow of understanding, unskilled in war, and not apt in defending themselves in spite of their natural bravery. The Lydians, on the contrary, submitted readily to foreign influence, and the Greek leaven introduced among them became the germ of a new civilisation, which occupied an intermediate place between that of the Greek and that of the Oriental world. About the first half of the eighth century B.C. the Lydians had become organised into a confederation of several tribes, governed by hereditary chiefs, who were again in their turn subject to the Heraclidę occupying Sardes.* This town rose in terraces on the lower slopes of a detached spur of the Tmolus running in the direction of the Hermos, and was crowned by the citadel, within which were included the royal palace, the treasury, and the arsenals. It was surrounded by an immense plain, bounded on the south by a curve of the Tmolus, and on the west by the distant mountains of Phrygia Katake-kaumenź. The Męonians still claimed primacy over the entire race, and the family was chosen from among their nobles. The king, who was supposed to be descended from the gods, bore, as the insignia of his rank, a double-headed axe, the emblem of his divine ancestors. The Greeks of later times said that the axe was that of their Heracles, which was wrested by him from the Amazon Hippolyta, and given to Omphalź.**

     * Gelzer was the first, to my knowledge, to state that Lydia
     was a feudal state, and he defined its constitution. Radet
     refuses to recognise it as feudal in the true sense of the
     term, and he prefers to see in it a confederation of states
     under the authority of a single prince.

     ** Gelzer sees in the legend about the axe related by
     Plutarch, a reminiscence of a primitive gynocracy. The axe
     is the emblem of the god of war, and, as such, belongs to
     the king: the coins of Mylasa exhibit it held by Zeus

106.jpg the Axe Borne by Zeus Labraundos
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a coin in the
Cabinet des Médailles.

The king was the supreme head of the priesthood, as also of the vassal chiefs and of the army, but he had as a subordinate a “companion” who could replace him when occasion demanded, and he was assisted in the exercise of his functions by the counsel of “Friends,” and further still in extraordinary circumstances by the citizens of the capital assembled in the public square. This intervention of the voice of the populace was a thing unknown in the East, and had probably been introduced in imitation of customs observed among the Greeks of Ęolia or Ionia; it was an important political factor, and might possibly lead to an outbreak or a revolution. Outside the pale of Sardes and the province of Męonia, the bulk of Lydian territory was distributed among a very numerous body of landowners, who were particularly proud of their noble descent. Many of these country magnates held extensive fiefs, and had in their pay small armies, which rendered them almost independent, and the only way for the sovereign to succeed in ruling them was to conciliate them at all hazards, and to keep them in perpetual enmity with their fellows. Two of these rival families vied with each other in their efforts to secure the royal favour; that of the Tylonidę and that of the Mermnadę, the principal domain of which latter lay at Teira, in the valley of the Cayster, though they had also other possessions at Dascylion, in Hellespontine Phrygia. The head sometimes of one and sometimes of the other family would fill that post of “companion” which placed all the resources of the kingdom at the disposal of the occupant.

110.jpg a Conflict With Two Griffins.
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from one of the reliefs
on the crown of the
Great Blinitza.

The first of the Mermnadę of whom we get a glimpse is Daskylos, son of Gyges, who about the year 740 was “companion” during the declining years of Ardys, over whom he exercised such influence that Adyattes, the heir to the throne, took umbrage at it, and caused him to be secretly assassinated, whereupon his widow, fearing for her own safety, hastily fled into Phrygia, of which district she was a native. On hearing of the crime, Ardys, trembling with anger, convoked the Assembly, and as his advanced age rendered walking difficult, he caused himself to be carried to the public square in a litter. Having reached the place, he laid the assassins under a curse, and gave permission to any who could find them to kill them; he then returned to his palace, where he died a few years later, about 730 B.C. Adyattes took the name of Meles on ascending the throne, and at first reigned happily, but his father’s curse weighed upon him, and before long began to take effect. Lydia having been laid waste by a famine, the oracle declared that, before appeasing the gods, the king must expiate the murder of the Mermnad noble, by making every atonement in his power, if need be by an exile of three years’ duration. Meles submitted to the divine decree. He sought out the widow of his victim, and learning that during her flight she had given birth to a son, called, like his father, Daskylos, he sent to entreat the young man to repair immediately to Sardes, that he might make amends for the murder; the youth, however, alleged that he was as yet unborn at the hour of his father’s death, and therefore not entitled to be a party to an arrangement which did not personally affect him, and refused to return to his own country. Having failed in this attempt, Meles entrusted the regency of his kingdom to Sadyattes, son of Kadys, one of the Tylonidas, who probably had already filled the post of companion to the king for some time past, and set out for Babylon. When the three years had elapsed, Sadyattes faithfully handed over to him the reins of government and resumed the second place. Myrsos succeeded Meles about 716,* and his accession immediately became the cause of uneasiness to the younger Daskylos, who felt that he was no longer safe from the intrigues of the Heraclidaī; he therefore quitted Phrygia and settled beyond the Italys among the White Syrians, one of whom he took in marriage, and had by her a son, whom he called Gyges, after his ancestor. The Lydian chronicles which have come down to us make no mention of him, after the birth of this child, for nearly a quarter of a century. We know, however, from other sources, that the country in which he took refuge had for some time past been ravaged by enemies coming from the Caucasus, known to us as the Cimmerians.**

     * The lists of Eusebius give 36 years to Ardys, 14 years to
     Meles or Adyattes, 12 years to Myrsos, and 17 years to
     Candaules; that is to say, if we place the accession of
     Gyges in 687, the dates of the reign of Candaules are 704-
     687, of that of Mysros 716-704, of that of Meles 730-716, of
     that of Ardys I. 766-730. Oelzer thinks that the double
     names each represent a different Icing; Radet adheres to the
     four generations of Eusebius.

     ** I would gladly have treated at length the subject of the
     Cimmerians with its accompanying developments, but lack of
     space prevents me from doing more than summing up here the
     position I have taken. Most modern critics have rejected
     that part of the tradition preserved by Herodotus which
     refers to the itinerary of the Cimmerians, and have confused
     the Cimmerian invasion with that of the Thracian tribes. I
     think that there is reason to give weight to Herodotus’
     statement, and to distinguish carefully between two series
     of events: (1) a movement of peoples coming from Europe into
     Asia, by the routes that Herodotus indicates, about the
     latter half of the eighth century B.C., who would be more
     especially the Cimmerians; (2) a movement of peoples coming
     from Europe into Asia by the Thracian Bosphorus, and among
     whom there was perhaps, side by side with the Treres, a
     remnant of Cimmerian tribes who had been ousted by the
     Scythians. The two streams would have had their confluence
     in the heart of Asia Minor, in the first half of the seventh

Previous to this period these had been an almost mythical race in the eyes of the civilised races of the Oriental world. They imagined them as living in a perpetual mist on the confines of the universe: “Never does bright Helios look upon them with his rays, neither when he rises towards the starry heaven, nor when he turns back from heaven towards the earth, but a baleful night spreads itself over these miserable mortals.” *

     * Odyssey, xi. 14-19. It is this passage which Ephorus
     applies to the Cimmerians of his own time who were
     established in the Crimea, and which accounts for his saying
     that they were a race of miners, living perpetually

Fabulous animals, such as griffins with lions’ bodies, having the neck and ears of a fox, and the wings and beak of an eagle, wandered over their plains, and sometimes attacked them; the inhabitants were forced to defend themselves with axes, and did not always emerge victorious from these terrible conflicts.

111.jpg Scythians Armed for War
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the reliefs on the silver vase
     of Kul-Oba.

The few merchants who had ventured to penetrate into their country had returned from their travels with less fanciful notions concerning the nature of the regions frequented by them, but little continued to be known of them, until an unforeseen occurrence obliged them to quit their remote steppes. The Scythians, driven from the plains of the Iaxartes by an influx of the Massagetę, were urged forwards in a westerly direction beyond the Volga and the Don, and so great was the terror inspired by the mere report of their approach, that the Cimmerians decided to quit their own territory. A tradition current in Asia three centuries later, told how their kings had counselled them to make a stand against the invaders; the people, however, having refused to listen to their advice, their rulers and those who were loyal to them fell by each other’s hands, and their burial-place was still shown near the banks of the Tyras. Some of their tribes took refuge in the Chersonesus Taurica, but the greater number pushed forward beyond the Męotio marshes; a body of Scythians followed in their track, and the united horde pressed onwards till they entered Asia Minor, keeping to the shores of the Black Sea.* This heterogeneous mass of people came into conflict first with Urartu; then turning obliquely in a south-easterly direction, their advance-guard fell upon the Mannai. But they were repulsed by Sargon’s generals; the check thus administered forced them to fall back speedily upon other countries less vigorously defended. The Scythians, therefore, settled themselves in the eastern basin of the Araxes, on the frontiers of Urartu and the Mannai, where they formed themselves into a kind of marauding community, perpetually quarrelling with their neighbours.** The Cimmerians took their way westwards, and established themselves upon the upper waters of the Araxes, the Euphrates, the Halys, and the Thermodon,*** greatly to the vexation of the rulers of Urartu.

     * The version of Aristaeas of Proconnesus, as given by
     Herodotus and by Damastes of Sigsea, attributes a more
     complex origin to this migration, i.e. that the Arimaspes
     had driven the Issedonians before them, and that the latter
     had in turn driven the Scythians back on the Cimmerians.

     ** The Scythians of the tradition preserved by Herodotus
     must have been the Ashguzai or Ishkuzai of the cuneiform
     documents. The original name must have been Skuza, Shkuza,
     with a sound in the second syllable that the Greeks have
     rendered by th, and the Assyrians by z: the initial
     vowel has been added, according to a well-known rule, to
     facilitate the pronunciation of the combination sk, sine. An
     oracle of the time of Esarhaddon shows that they occupied
     one of the districts really belonging to the Mannai: and it
     is probably they who are mentioned in a passage of Jer. li.
     27, where the traditional reading Aschenaz should be
     replaced by that of Ashkuz.

     *** It is doubtless to these events that the tradition
     preserved by Pompeius Trogus, which is known to us through
     his abbreviator Justin, or through the compilers of a later
     period, refers, concerning the two Scythian princes Ylinus
     and Scolopitus: they seem to have settled along the coast,
     on the banks of the Thermodon and in the district of

They subsequently felt their way along the valleys of the Anti-Taurus, but finding them held by Assyrian troops, they turned their steps towards the country of the White Syrians, seized Sinōpź, where the Greeks had recently founded a colony, and bore down upon Phrygia. It would appear that they were joined in these regions by other hordes from Thrace which had crossed the Bosphorus a few years earlier, and among whom the ancient historians particularly make mention of the Treres;* the results of the Scythian invasion had probably been felt by all the tribes on the banks of the Dnieper, and had been the means of forcing them in the direction of the Danube and the Balkans, whence they drove before them, as they went, the inhabitants of the Thracian peninsula across into Asia Minor. It was about the year 750 B.C. that the Cimmerians had been forced to quit their first home, and towards 720 that they came into contact with the empires of the East; the Treres had crossed the Bosphorus about 710, and the meeting of the two streams of immigration may be placed in the opening years of the seventh century.**

     * Strabo says decisively that the Treres were both
     Cimmerians and Thracians; elsewhere he makes the Treres
     synonymous with the Cimmerians. The Treres were probably the
     predominating tribe among the people which had come into
     Asia on that side.

     ** Gelzer thinks that the invasion by the Bosphorus took
     place about 705, and Radet about 708; and their reckoning
     seems to me to be so likely to be correct, that I do not
     hesitate to place the arrival of the Treres in Asia about
     the time they have both indicated—roughly speaking, about
     710 B.C.

The combined hordes did not at once attack Phrygia itself, but spread themselves along the coast, from the mouths of the Ehyndakos to those of Halys, constituting a sort of maritime confederation of which Heraclea and Sinōpź were the chief towns. This confederation must not be regarded as a regularly constituted state, but rather as a vast encampment in which the warriors could leave their families and their spoil in safety; they issued from it nearly every year to spread themselves over the neighbouring provinces, sometimes in one direction, sometimes in another. The ancient sanctuaries of Pteria and the treasures they contained excited their cupidity, but they were not well enough equipped to undertake the siege of a strongly fortified place, and for want of anything better were content to hold it to ransom. The bulk of the indigenous population lived even then in those subterranean dwellings so difficult of access, which are still used as habitations by the tribes on the banks of the Halys, and it is possible that they helped to swell the marauding troops of the new-comers. In the declining years of Sennacherib, it would appear that the Ninevite provinces possessed an irresistible attraction for these various peoples. The fame of the wealth accumulated in the regions beyond the Taurus and the Euphrates, in Syria and Mesopotamia, provoked their cupidity beyond all bounds, and the time was at hand when the fear alone of the Assyrian armies would no longer avail to hold them in check.

The last years of Sennacherib had been embittered by the intrigues which usually gathered around a monarch enfeebled by age and incapable of bearing the cares of government with his former vigour. A fierce rivalry existed between those of his sons who aspired to the throne, each of whom possessed his following of partisans, both at court and among the people, who were ready to support him, if need be even with the sword.

115.jpg Inhabited Caves on the Banks of The Halys
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph sent by Alfred Boissier.

One of these princes, probably the eldest of the king’s remaining sons,* named Assur-akhź-iddin, called by us Esarhaddon, bad already been nominated his successor, and had received the official investiture of the Babylonian kingdom under the name of Assur-etilmukīn-pal.**

     * The eldest was perhaps that Assur-nadin-shumu who reigned
     in Babylon, and who was taken prisoner to Elam by King

     ** The idea of an enthronisation at Babylon in the lifetime
     of Sennacherib, put forward by the earlier Assyriologists,
     based on an inscription on a lion’s head discovered at
     Babylon, has been adopted and confirmed by Winckler. It was
     doubtless on this occasion that Esarhaddon received as a
     present from his father the objects mentioned in the
     document which Sayce and Budge have called, without
     sufficient reason, The Will of Sennacherib.

The catastrophe of 689 had not resulted in bringing about the ruin of Babylon, as Sennacherib and his ministers had hoped. The temples, it is true, had been desecrated and demolished, the palaces and public buildings razed to the ground, and the ramparts thrown down, but, in spite of the fact that the city had been set on fire by the conquerors, the quarters inhabited by the lower classes still remained standing, and those of the inhabitants who had escaped being carried away captive, together with such as had taken refuge in the surrounding country or had hidden themselves in neighbouring cities, had gradually returned to their desolated homes. They cleared the streets, repaired the damage inflicted during the siege, and before long the city, which was believed to be hopelessly destroyed, rose once more with the vigour, if not with the wealth, which it had enjoyed before its downfall. The mother of Esarhaddon was a Babylonian, by name Nakļa; and as soon as her son came into possession of his inheritance, an impulse of filial piety moved him to restore to his mother’s city its former rank of capital. Animated by the strong religious feeling which formed the groundwork of his character, Esarhaddon had begun his reign by restoring the sanctuaries which had been the cradle of the Assyrian religion, and his intentions, thus revealed at the very outset, had won for him the sympathy of the Babylonians;* this, indeed, was excited sooner than he expected, and perhaps helped to secure to him his throne. During his absence from Nineveh, a widespread plot had been formed in that city, and on the 20th day of Tebeth, 681, at the hour when Sennacherib was praying before the image of his god, two of his sons, Sharezer and Adarmalik (Adrammelech), assassinated their father at the foot of the altar.**

     * A fragment seems to show clearly that the restoration of
     the temples was begun even in the lifetime of Sennacherib.

     ** We possess three different accounts of the murder of
     Sennacherib: 1. In the Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches. 2.
     In the Bible (2 Kings xix. 36, 37; cf. Isa. xxxvii. 37, 38;
     2 Chron. xxxii. 21). 3. In Berosus. The biblical account
     alone mentions both murderers; the Chronicle and Berosus
     speak of only one, and their testimony seems to prevail with
     several historians. I believe that the silence of the
     Chronicle and of Berosus is explained by the fact that
     Sharezer was chief in the conspiracy, and the one among the
     sons who aspired to the kingdom: the second murderer merely
     acted for his brother, and consequently had no more right to
     be mentioned by name than those accomplices not of the
     blood-royal who shared in the murder. The name Sharezer is
     usually considered as an abbreviation of the Assyrian name
     Nergal-sharuzur, or Assur-sharuzur. Winckler thinks that he
     sees in it a corruption of Sharitir, abbreviated from
     Sharitir-assur, which he finds as a royal name on a fragment
     in the British Museum; he proposes to recognise in this
     Sharitir-assur, Sharezer enthroned after his father’s death.

One half of the army proclaimed Sharezer king; the northern provinces espoused his cause; and Esarhaddon must for the moment have lost all hope of the succession. His father’s tragic fate overwhelmed him with fear and grief; he rent his clothes, groaned and lamented like a lion roaring, and could be comforted only by the oracles pronounced by the priests of Babylon. An assurance that the gods favoured his cause reached him even from Assyria, and Nineveh, after a few weeks of vacillation, acknowledged him as its sovereign, the rebellion being mercilessly crushed on the 2nd of Adar.*

     * The Bible alone tells us that Sharezer retired to Urartu
     (2 Kings xix. 37). To explain the plan of this campaign, it
     is usually supposed that at the time of his father’s death
     Esarhaddon was either beyond Mount Taurus or else on the
     Armenian frontier; the sequence of the dates in the
     Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches, compels me to revert to
     the opinion that Esarhaddon marched from Babylon against the
     rebels, and pursued them as far as Mount Taurus, and beyond
     it to Khanigalbat.

Although this was a considerable advantage to Esarhaddon’s cause, it could not be considered as decisive, since the provinces of the Euphrates still declared for Sharezer; the gods, therefore, once more intervened. Ishtar of Arbela had long been considered as the recognised patroness and oracle of the dynasty. Whether it were a question of a foreign expedition or a rebellion at home, of a threatened plague or invasion, of a marriage or an alliance with some powerful neighbour, the ruling sovereign would invariably have recourse to her, always with the same formula, to demand counsel of her for the conduct of affairs in hand, and the replies which she vouchsafed in various ways were taken into consideration; her will, as expressed by the mouth of her ministers, would hasten, suspend, or modify the decisions of the king. Esarhaddon did not neglect to consult the goddess, as well as Assur and Sin, Shamash, Bel, Nebo, and Nergal; and their words, transcribed upon a tablet of clay, induced him to act without further delay: “Go, do not hesitate, for we march with thee and we will cast down thine enemies!” Thus encouraged, he made straight for the scene of danger without passing through Nineveh, so as to prevent Sharezer and his party having time to recover. His biographers depict Esarhaddon hurrying forward, often a day or more in advance of his battalions, without once turning to see who followed him, and without waiting to allow the horses of his baggage-waggons to be unharnessed or permitting his servant^ to pitch his tent; he rested merely for a few moments on the bare ground, indifferent to the cold and nocturnal frosts of the month of Sebat. It would appear as if Sharezer had placed his hopes on the Cimmerians, and had expected their chiefs to come to the rescue. This hypothesis seems borne out by the fact that the decisive battle took place beyond the Euphrates and the Taurus, in the country of Khanigalbat. Esarhaddon attributed his success to Ishtar, the goddess of bravery and of combat; she alone had broken the weapons of the rebels, she alone had brought confusion into their lines, and had inclined the hearts of the survivors to submit. They cried aloud, “This is our king!” and Sharezer thereupon fled into Armenia. The war had been brought to a close with such rapidity that even the most unsettled of the Assyrian subjects and vassals had not had time to take advantage of it for their own purposes; the Kaldā on the Persian Gulf, and the Sidonians on the Mediterranean, were the only two peoples who had openly revolted, and were preparing to enter on a struggle to preserve their independence thus once more regained. Yet the events of the preceding months had shaken the power of Nineveh more seriously than we should at first suppose. For the first time since the accession of Tiglath-pileser III. the almost inevitable troubles which accompany the change of a sovereign had led to an open war. The vast army of Sargon and Sennacherib had been split up, and the two factions into which it was divided, commanded as they were by able generals and composed of troops accustomed to conquer, must have suffered more keenly in an engagement with each other than in the course of an ordinary campaign against a common enemy. One part at least of the military staff had become disorganised; regiments had been decimated, and considerable contingents were required to fill the vacancies in the ranks. The male population of Assyria, suddenly called on to furnish the necessary effective force, could not supply the demand without drawing too great a proportion of men from the country; and one of those crises of exhaustion was imminent which come upon a nation after an undue strain, often causing its downfall in the midst of its success, and yielding it an easy prey to the wiles of its adversaries.*

     * The information we possess concerning Esarhaddon is
     gathered from: 1. The Insertion of Cylinders A, B, C, the
     second of the three better known as the Broken Cylinder.
     These texts contain a summary of the king’s wars, in which
     the subject-matter is arranged geographically, not
     chronologically: they cease with the eponymy of Akhazilu,
     i.e. the year 673. 2. Some mutilated fragments, of the
     Annals. 3. The Blade Stone of Aberdeen, on which the
     account of the rebuilding of Babylon is given. 4. The Stele
     of Zindjirli. 5. The consultations of the god Shamash by
     Esarhaddon in different circumstances of his reign. 6. A
     considerable number of small inscriptions and some tablets.
     The classification of the events of this reign presents
     serious difficulties, which have been partly overcome by
     passages in the Babylonian Chronicle of Pinches.

Esarhaddon was personally inclined for peace, and as soon as he was established on the throne he gave orders that the building works, which had been suspended during the late troubles, should be resumed and actively pushed forward; but the unfortunate disturbances of the times did not permit of his pursuing his favourite occupation without interruption, and, like those of his warlike predecessors, his life was passed almost entirely on the field of battle. Babylon, grateful for what he had done for her, tendered him an unbroken fidelity throughout the stormy episodes of his reign, and showed her devotion to him by an unwavering obedience. The Kaldā received no support from that quarter, and were obliged to bear the whole burden of the war which they had provoked. Their chief, Nabu-zīru-kīnish-līshir, who had been placed over them by Sennacherib, now harassed the cities of Karduniash, and Ningal-shumiddin, the prefect of Uru, demanded immediate help from Assyria. Esarhaddon at once despatched such a considerable force that the Kaldu chief did not venture to meet it in the open field, and after a few unimportant skirmishes he gave up the struggle, and took refuge in Elam. Khumbān-khaldash, had died there in 680, a few months before the murder of Sennacherib, and his son, a second Khumbān-khaldash, had succeeded him; this prince appears either to have shared the peaceful tastes of his brother-king of Assyria, or more probably did not feel himself sufficiently secure of his throne to risk the chance of coming into collision with his neighbour. He caused Nabu-zīru-kīnish-līshir to be slain, and Nāīd-marduk, the other son of Merodach-baladan, who had shared his brother’s flight, was so terrified at his murder that he at once sought refuge in Nineveh; he was reinstated in his paternal domain on condition of paying a tribute, and, faithful to his oath of allegiance, he thenceforward came yearly in person to bring his dues and pay homage to his sovereign (679). The Kaldā rising had, in short, been little more than a skirmish, and the chastisement of the Sidonians would have involved neither time nor trouble, had not the desultory movements of the barbarians obliged the Assyrians to concentrate their troops on several points which were threatened on their northern frontier. The Cimmerians and the Scythians had not suffered themselves to be disconcerted by the rapidity with which the fate of Sharezer had been decided, and after a moment’s hesitation they had again set out in various directions on their work of conquest, believing, no doubt, that they would meet with a less vigorous resistance after so serious an upheaval at Nineveh. The Cimmerians appear to have been the first to have provoked hostilities; their king Tiushpa, who ruled over their territory on the Black Sea, ejected the Assyrian garrisons placed on the Cappadocian frontier, and his presence in that quarter aroused all the insubordinate elements still remaining in the Cilician valleys. Esarhaddon brought him to a stand on the confines of the plain of Saros, defeated him in Khubushna,* and drove the remains of the horde back across the Halys.

     * Several Assyriologists have thought that Khubushna might
     be an error for Khubushkhia, and have sought the seat of war
     on the eastern frontier of Assyria: in reality the context
     shows that the place under discussion is a district in Asia
     Minor, identified with Kamisene by Gelzcr, but left
     unidentified by most authorities. Jensen has shown that the
     name is mot with as early as the inscriptions of Tiglath-
     pileser III., where we should read Khubishna, and he places
     the country in Northern Syria, or perhaps further north in
     the western part of Taurus. The determinative proves that
     there was a town of this name as well as a district, and
     this consideration encourages mo to recognise in Khubushna
     or Khubishna the town of Kabissos-Kabessos, the Sis of the
     kingdom of Lesser Armenia.

Having thus averted the Cimmerian danger, he was able, without much difficulty, to bring the rebels of the western provinces into subjection.* His troops thrust back the Cilicians and Duha into the rugged fastnesses of the Taurus, and razed to the ground one and twenty of their strongholds, besides burning numberless villages and carrying the inhabitants away captive.**

     * These expeditions are not dated in any of the documents
     that deal with them: the fact that they are mentioned along
     with the war against Tiushpa and Sidon makes me inclined to
     consider them as being a result of the Cimmerian invasion.
     They were, strictly speaking, the quelling of revolts caused
     by the presence of the Cimmerians in that part of the

     ** The Duua or Duha of this campaign, who are designated as
     neighbours of the Tabal, lived in the Anti-taurus: the name
     of the town, Tyana, Tuana, is possibly composed of their
     name and of the suffix -na, which is met with in Asianio

The people of Parnaki, in the bend of the Euphrates between Tel-Assur and the sources of the Balīkh, had taken up arms on hearing of the brief successes of Tiushpa, but were pitilessly crushed by Esarhaddon. The sheikh of Arzani, in the extreme south of Syria, close to the brook of Egypt, had made depredations on the Assyrian frontier, but he was seized by the nearest governor and sent in chains to Nineveh. A cage was built for him at the gate of the city, and he was exposed in it to the jeers of the populace, in company with the bears, dogs, and boars which the Ninevites were in the habit of keeping confined there. It would appear that Esarhaddon set himself to come to a final reckoning with Sidon and Phoenicia, the revolt of which had irritated him all the more, in that it showed an inexcusable ingratitude towards his family. For it was Sennacherib who, in order to break the power of Blulai, had not only rescued Sidon from the dominion of Tyre, but had enriched it with the spoils taken from its former rulers, and had raised it to the first rank among the Phoenician cities. Ethbaal in his lifetime had never been wanting in gratitude, but his successor, Abdimilkōt, forgetful of recent services, had chafed at the burden of a foreign yoke, and had recklessly thrown it off as soon as an occasion presented itself. He had thought to strengthen himself by securing the help of a certain Sanduarri, who possessed the two fortresses of Kundu and Sīzu, in the Cilician mountains;* but neither this alliance nor the insular position of his capital was able to safeguard him, when once the necessity for stemming the tide of the Cimmerian influx was over, and the whole of the Assyrian force was free to be brought against him.

     * Some Assyriologists have proposed to locate these two
     towns in Cilicia; others place them in the Lebanon, Kundi
     being identified with the modern village of Ain-Kundiya. The
     name of Kundu so nearly recalls that of Kuinda, the ancient
     fort mentioned by Strabo, to the north of Anchialź, between
     Tarsus and Anazarbus, that I do not hesitate to identify
     them, and to place Kundu in Cilicia.

Abdimilkōt attempted to escape by sea before the last attack, but he was certainly taken prisoner, though the circumstances are unrecorded, and Sanduarri fell into the enemy’s hands a short time after. The suppression of the rebellion was as vindictive as the ingratitude which prompted it was heinous. Sidon was given up to the soldiery and then burnt, while opposite to the ruins of the island city the Assyrians built a fortress on the mainland, which they called Kar-Esarhaddon. The other princes of Phoenicia and Syria were hastily convoked, and were witnesses of the vengeance wreaked on the city, as well as of the installation of the governor to whom the new province was entrusted. They could thus see what fate awaited them in the event of their showing any disposition to rebel, and the majority of them were not slow to profit by the lesson. The spoil was carried back in triumph to Nineveh, and comprised, besides the two kings and their families, the remains of their court and people, and the countless riches which the commerce of the world had brought into the great ports of the Mediterranean—ebony, ivory, gold and silver, purple, precious woods, household furniture, and objects of value from all parts in such quantities that it was long before the treasury at Nineveh needed any replenishing.* The reverses of the Cimmerians did not serve as a warning to the Scythians. Settled on the borders of Manna, partly, no doubt, on the territory formerly dependent on that state,** they secretly incited the inhabitants to revolt, and to join in the raids which they made on the valley of the Upper Zab, and they would even have urged their horses up to the very walls of Nineveh had the occasion presented itself.

     * The importance of the event and the amount of the spoil
     captured are apparent, if we notice that Esarhaddon does not
     usually record the booty taken after each campaign; he does
     so only when the number of objects and of prisoners taken
     from the enemy is extraordinary. The Babylonian Chronicle
     of Pinches places the capture of Sidon in the second, and
     the death of Abdimilkōt in the fifth year of his reign.
     Hence Winckler has concluded that Abdimilkōt held out for
     fully two years after the loss of Sidon. The general tenor
     of the account, as given by the inscriptions, seems to me to
     be that the capture of the king followed closely on the fall
     of the town: Abdimilkōt and Sanduarri probably spent the
     years between 679 and 676 in prison.

     ** One of the oracles of Shamash speaks of the captives as
     dwelling in a canton of the Mannai.

Esarhaddon, warned of their intrigues by the spies which he sent among them, could not bring himself either to anticipate their attack or to assume the offensive, but anxiously consulted the gods with regard to them: “O Shamash,” he wrote to the Sun-god, “great lord, thou whom I question, answer me in sincerity! From this day forth, the 22nd day of this month of Simanu, until the 21st day of the month of Duzu of this year, during these thirty days and thirty nights, a time has been foreordained favourable to the work of prophecy. In this time thus foreordained, the hordes of the Scythians who inhabit a district of the Mannai, and who have crossed the Mannian frontier,—will they succeed in their undertaking? Will they emerge from the passes of Khubushkia at the towns of Kharrānia and Anīsuskia; will they ravage the borders of Assyria and steal great booty, immense spoil? that doth thy high divinity know. Is it a decree, and in the mouth of thy high divinity, O Shamash, great lord, ordained and promulgated? He who sees, shall he see it; he who hears, shall he hear it?” *

     * The town of Anīsuskia is not mentioned elsewhere, but
     Kharrānia is met with in the account of the thirty-first
     campaign of Shalmaneser III. with Kharrāna as its variant.

The god comforted his faithful servant, but there was a brief delay before his answer threw light on the future, and the king’s questions were constantly renewed as fresh couriers brought in further information. In 678 B.C. the Scythians determined to try their fortune, and their king, Ishpakai,* took the field, followed by the Mannai. He was defeated and driven back to the north of Lake Urumiah, the Mannai were reduced to subjection, and Assyria once more breathed freely. The victory, however, was not a final one, and affairs soon assumed as threatening an aspect as before. The Scythian tribes came on the scene, one after another, and allied themselves to the various peoples subject either directly or indirectly to Nineveh.** On one occasion it was Kashtariti, the regent of Karkashshi,*** who wrote to Mamitiarshu, one of the Median princes, to induce him to make common cause with himself in attacking the fortress of Kishshashshu on the eastern border of the empire. At another time we find the same chief plotting with the Mannai and the Saparda to raid the town of Kilmān, and Esarhaddon implores the god to show him how the place may be saved from their machinations.****

     * This king’s name seems to be of Iranian origin. Justi has
     connected it with the name Aspakos, which is read in a Greek
     inscription of the Cimmerian Bosphorus; both forms have been
     connected with the Sanskrit Aēvalca.

     ** This subdivision of the horde into several bodies seems
     to be indicated by the number of different royal names among
     the Scythians which are mentioned in the Assyrian documents.

     *** The site of Karkashshi is unknown, but the list of
     Median princes subdued by Sargon shows that it was situated
     in Media. Kishshashshu is very probably the same as Kishisim
     or Kishisu, the town which Sargon subdued, and which he
     called Kar-nergal or Kar-ninib, and which is mentioned in
     the neighbourhood of Parsuash, Karalla, Kharkhar, Media, and
     Ellipi. I think that it would be in the basin of the Gave—
     Rud; Billerbeck places it at the ruins of Siama, in the
     upper valley of the Lesser Zab.

     **** The people of Saparda, called by the Persians Sparda,
     have been with good reason identified with the Sepharad of
     the prophet Obadiah (ver. 20): the Assyrian texts show that
     this country should be placed in the neighbourhood of the
     Mannai of the Medes.

He opens negotiations in order to gain time, but the barbarity of his adversary is such that he fears for his envoy’s safety, and speculates whether he may not have been put to death. The situation would indeed have become critical if Kashtariti had succeeded in bringing against Assyria a combined force of Medes, Scythians, Mannai, and Cimmerians, together with Urartu and its king, Eusas III.; but, fortunately, petty hatreds made the combination of these various elements an impossibility, and they were unable to arrive at even a temporary understanding. The Scythians themselves were not united as to the best course to be pursued, and while some endeavoured to show their hostility by every imaginable outrage and annoyance, others, on the contrary, desired to enter into friendly relations with Assyria. Esarhaddon received on one occasion an embassy from Bartatua,* one of their kings, who humbly begged the hand of a lady of the blood-royal, swearing to make a lasting friendship with him if Esarhaddon would consent to the marriage. It was hard for a child brought up in the harem, amid the luxury and comfort of a civilised court, to be handed over to a semi-barbarous spouse; but state policy even in those days was exacting, and more than one princess of the line of Sargon had thus sacrificed herself by an alliance which was to the interest of her own people.**

     * Bartatua is, according to Winckler’s ingenious
     observation, the Proto-thyes of Herodotus, the father of
     Madyes. [The name should more probably be read Masta-tua—

     ** Sargon had in like manner given one of his daughters in
     marriage to Ambaris, King of Tabal, in order to attach him
     to the Assyrian cause, but without permanent success.

What troubled Esarhaddon was not the thought of sacrificing a sister or a daughter, but a misgiving that the sacrifice would not produce the desired result, and in his difficulty he once more had recourse to Shamash. “If Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, grants a daughter of the blood (royal) to Bartatua, the King of the Iskuza, who has sent an embassy to him to ask a wife, will Bartatua, King of the Iskuza, act loyally towards Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he honestly and faithfully enter into friendly engagements with Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he observe the conditions (made by) Esarhaddon, King of Assyria? will he fulfil them punctually? that thy high divinity knoweth. His promises, in a decree and in the mouth of thy high divinity, O Shamash, great lord, are they decreed, promulgated?” It is not recorded what came of these negotiations, nor whether the god granted the hand of the princess to her barbarian suitor. All we know is, that the incursions and intrigues of the Scythians continued to be a perpetual source of trouble to the Medes, and roused them either to rebel against Assyria or to claim the protection of its sovereign. Esarhaddon, in the course of his reign, was more than once compelled to interfere in order to ensure peace and quietness to the provinces on the table-land of Iran, which Sargon had conquered and which Sennacherib had retained.*

     * Several recent historians allege that Sennacherib did not
     keep the territories that Sargon had conquered, and that the
     Assyrian frontier became contracted on that side; whereas
     the general testimony of the known texts seems to me to
     prove the contrary, namely, that he preserved nearly all the
     territory annexed by his father, and that Esarhaddon was far
     from diminishing this inheritance. If these two kings
     mention only insignificant deeds of arms in the western
     region, it is because the population, exhausted by the wars
     of the two preceding reigns, easily recognised the Ninevite
     supremacy, and paid tribute to the Assyrian governors with
     sufficient regularity to prevent any important military
     expedition against them.

He had first to carry his arms to the extreme edge of the desert, into the rugged country of Patusharra, lying at the foot of Demavend, rich in lapis-lazuli, and as yet untrodden by any king of Assyria.* Having reached his destination, he captured two petty kings, Eparna and Shītirparna, and exiled them to Assyria, together with their people, their thoroughbred horses, and their two-humped camels,—in fine, all the possessions of their subjects. Shortly after this, three other Median chiefs, hitherto intractable—Uppis of Par-takka, Zanasana of Partukka,** Ramatea of Urakazabarna—came to Nineveh to present the king with horses and lapis-lazuli, the best of everything they possessed, and piteously entreated him to forgive their misdeeds.

     * The country of Patusharra has been identified with that of
     the Patischorians mentioned by Strabo in Persia proper, who
     would have lived further north, not far from Demavend;
     Sachau calls attention to the existence of a mountain chain
     Patashwar-gar or Padishwar-gir, in front of Choarcnź, and he
     places the country of Patusharra between Demavend and the

     ** Partakka and Partukka seem to be two different
     adaptations of the name Paraituka, the Parsetakźnō of the
     Greek geographers; Tiele thinks of Parthyźnō. I think that
     these two names designate the northern districts of
     Partetakźnō, the present Ashnakhor or the country near to

They represented that the whole of Media was torn asunder by countless strifes, prince against prince, city against city, and an iron will was needed to bring the more turbulent elements to order. Esarhaddon lent a favourable ear to their prayers; he undertook to protect them on condition of their paying an annual tribute, and he put them under the protection of the Assyrian governors who were nearest to their territory. Kharkhar, securely entrenched behind its triple ramparts, assumed the position of capital to these Iranian marches.

It is difficult to determine the precise dates of these various events; we learn merely that they took place before 673, and we surmise that they must have occurred between the second and sixteenth year of the king’s reign.*

     * The facts relating to the submission of Patusharra and of
     Partukka are contained in Cylinder A, dated from the
     eponymous year of Akhazilu, in 673. Moreover, the version
     which this document contains seems to have been made up of
     two pieces placed one at the end of the other: the first an
     account of events which occurred during an earlier period of
     the reign, and in which the exploits are classified in
     geographical order, from Sidon in the west the Arabs
     bordering on Chaldęa in the east; and the second consisting
     of additional campaigns carried out after the completion of
     the former—which is proved by the place which these
     exploits occupy, out of their normal position in the
     geographical series—and making mention of Partusharra and
     Partuhka, as well as of Belikisha. The editor of the Broken
     Cylinder has tried to combine these latter elements with
     the former in the order adopted by the original narrator. As
     far as can be seen in what is left of the columns, he has
     placed, after the Chaldsean events, the facts concerning
     Partukka, then those concerning Patusharra, and finally the
     campaign against Bazu, the extreme limit of Esarhaddon’s
     activity in the south. Knowing that the campaign in the
     desert and the death of Abdimilkōt took place in 676, and
     that we find them already alluded to in the first part of
     the narrative, as well as the events of 675 relating to the
     revolt of Dakkuri, we may conclude that the submission of
     Patusharra and that of Partukka occurred in 674, or at
     latest in the beginning of 673.

131.jpg the Town of Kharkhar With Its Triple Rampart
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Flandin, in Botta.

The outcome of them was a distinct gain to Assyria, in the acquisition of several new vassals. The recently founded kingdom of Ecbatana lacked as yet the prestige which would have enabled it to hold its own against Nineveh; besides which, Deļokes, the contemporary ruler assigned to it by tradition, was of too complaisant a nature to seek occasions of quarrel. The Scythians, after having declared their warlike intentions, seem to have come to a more peaceable frame of mind, and to have curried favour with Nineveh; but the rulers of the capital kept a strict watch upon them, since their numbers, their intrepid character, and instinct for rapine made them formidable enemies—the most dangerous, indeed, that the empire had encountered on its north-eastern frontier for nearly a century.

This policy of armed surveillance, which proved so successful in these regions, was also carefully maintained by Esarhaddon on his south-eastern border against Assyria’s traditional enemy, the King of Susa. Babylon, far from exhibiting any restlessness at her present position, showed her gratitude for the favours which her suzerain had showered upon her by resigning herself to become the ally of Assyria. She regarded her late disaster as the punishment inflicted by Marduk for her revolts against Sargon and Sennacherib. The god had let loose the powers of evil against her, and the Arakhtu, overflowing among the ruins, had swept them utterly away; indeed, for the space of ten years, destruction and desolation seemed to have taken the place of her former wealth of temples and palaces. In the eleventh year, the divine wrath was suddenly appeased. No sooner had Esarhaddon mounted the throne, than he entreated Shamash, Rammān, and even Marduk himself, to reveal to him their will with regard to the city; whereupon the omens, interpreted by the seers, commanded him to rebuild Babylon and to raise again the temple of Ź-sagilla. For this purpose he brought together all the captives taken in war that he had at his disposal, and employed them in digging out clay and in brick-making; he then prepared the foundations, upon which he poured libations of oil, honey, palm-wine, and other wines of various kinds; he himself took the mason’s hod, and with tools of ebony, cypress wood, and oak, moulded a brick for the new sanctuary. The work was, indeed, a gigantic undertaking, and demanded years of uninterrupted labour, but Esarhaddon pushed it forward, sparing neither gold, silver, costly stone, rare woods, or plates of enamel in its embellishment. He began to rebuild at the same time all the other temples and the two city walls—Imgurbel and Nimittibel; to clear and make good the canals which supplied the place with water, and to replant the sacred groves and the gardens of the palace. The inhabitants were encouraged to come back to their homes, and those who had been dispersed among distant provinces were supplied with clothes and food for their return journey, besides having their patrimony restored to them. This rebuilding of the ancient city certainly displeased and no doubt alarmed her two former rivals, the Kaldā and Elam, who had hoped one day to wrest her heritage from Assyria. Elam concealed its ill-feeling, but the Kaldā of Bīt-Dakkuri had invaded the almost deserted territory, and appropriated the lands which had belonged to the noble families of Babylon, Borsippa, and Sippara. When the latter, therefore, returned from exile, and, having been reinstituted in their rights, attempted to resume possession of their property, the usurpers peremptorily refused to relinquish it. Esarhaddon was obliged to interfere to ensure its restoration, and as their king, Shamash-ibni, was not inclined to comply with the order, Esarhaddon removed him from the throne, and substituted in his place a certain Nabushallim, son of Belesys, who showed more deference to the suzerain’s wishes. It is possible that about this time the Kaldā may have received some support from the Aramaeans of the desert and the Arab tribes encamped between the banks of the Euphrates and Syria, or, on the other hand, the latter may have roused the wrath of Assyria by inroads of a more than usually audacious character. However this may be, in 676 Esarhaddon resolved to invade their desert territory, and to inflict such reprisals as would force them thenceforward to respect the neighbouring border provinces.

His first relations with them had been of a courteous and friendly nature. Hazael of Adumu, one of the sheikhs of Kedar, defeated by Sennacherib towards the end of his reign, had taken the opportunity of the annual tribute to come to Nineveh with considerable presents, and to implore the restoration of the statues of his gods. Esarhaddon had caused these battered idols to be cleaned and repaired, had engraved upon them an inscription in praise of Assur, and had further married the suppliant sheikh to a woman of the royal harem, named Tabua. In consideration of this, he had imposed upon the Arab a supplementary tribute of sixty-five camels, and had restored to him his idols. All this took place, no doubt, soon after the king’s accession. A few years later, on the death of Hazael, his son Yauta solicited investiture, but a competitor for the chieftaincy, a man of unknown origin, named Uahab, treacherously incited the Arabs to rebel, and threatened to overthrow him. Esarhaddon caused Uahab to be seized, and exposed him in chains at the gate of Nineveh; but, in consideration of this service to the Arabs, he augmented the tribute which already weighed upon the people by a further demand for ten gold minas, one thousand precious stones, fifty camels, and a thousand measures of spicery. The repression of these Arabs of Kedar thus confirmed Esarhaddon’s supremacy over the extreme northern region of Arabia, between Damascus and Sippara or Babylon; but in a more southerly direction, in the wadys which unite Lower Chaldęa to the districts of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, there still remained several rich and warlike states—among others, Bazu,* whose rulers had never done homage to the sovereigns of either Assyria or Karduniash.

     * The Bazu of this text is certainly the Buz which the
     Hebrew books name among the children of Nahor (Gen. xxii.
     21; Jer. xxv. 23). The early Assyriologists identified Khazu
     with Uz, the son of Nahor; Delitzsch compares the name with
     that of Hazo (Huz), the fifth son of Nahor (Gen. xxii. 22),
     and his opinion is admitted by most scholars. For the site
     of these countries I have followed the ideas of Delattro,
     who identifies them with the oases of Jauf and Meskakeh, in
     the centre of Northern Arabia. The Assyrians must have set
     out by the Wady Haurān or by one of the wadys near to
     Babylon, and have returned by a more southern wady.

137.jpg Shabitoku, King of Egypt
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

To carry hostilities into the heart of their country was a bold and even hazardous undertaking; it could be reached only by traversing miles of arid and rocky plains, exposed to the rays of a burning sun, vast extents of swamps and boggy pasture land, desolate wastes infested with serpents and scorpions, and a mountain range of blackish lava known as Khāzu. It would have been folly to risk a march with the heavy Assyrian infantry in the face of such obstacles. Esarhaddon probably selected for the purpose a force composed of cavalry, chariots, and lightly equipped foot-soldiers, and despatched them with orders to reach the Jauf by forced marches through the Wady Haurān. The Arabs, who were totally unprepared for such a movement, had not time to collect their forces; eight of their chiefs were taken by surprise and killed one after another—among them Kisu of Khaldili, Agbaru of Ilpiati, Mansaku of Magalani,—and also some reigning queens. La, the King of Yadi, at first took refuge in the mountains, but afterwards gave himself up to the enemy, and journeyed as far as Nineveh to prostrate himself at Esarhaddon’s feet, who restored to him his gods and his crown, on the usual condition of paying tribute. A vassal occupying a country so remote and so difficult of access could not be supposed to preserve an unbroken fidelity towards his suzerain, but he no longer ventured to plunder the caravans which passed through his territory, and that in reality was all that was expected of him.

Esarhaddon thus pursued a prudent and unadventurous policy in the northern and eastern portions of his empire, maintaining a watchful attitude towards the Cimmerians and Scythians in the north, carrying on short defensive campaigns among the Medes in the east, preserving peace with Elam, and making occasional flying raids in the south, rather from the necessity for repressing troublesome border tribes than with any idea of permanent conquest.

This policy must have been due to a presentiment of danger from the side of Egypt, or to the inception of a great scheme for attacking the reigning Pharaoh. After the defeat of his generals at Altaku, Shabītoku had made no further attempt to take the offensive; his authority over the feudal nobility of Egypt was so widely acknowledged that it causes us no surprise to meet with his cartouches on more than one ruin between Thebes and Memphis,* but his closing years were marred by misfortune. There was then living at Napata a certain Taharqa, one of those scions of the solar race who enjoyed the title of “Royal brothers,” and from among whom Anion of the Holy Mountain was wont to choose his representative to reign over the land of Ethiopia whenever the throne became vacant. It does not appear that the father of Taharqa ever held the highest rank; it was from his mother, Ākaluka, that he inherited his pretensions to the crown, and through her probably that he traced his descent from the family of the high priests. Tradition asserts that he did not gain the regal power without a struggle; having been proclaimed king in Ethiopia at the age of twenty, as the result of some revolution, he is said to have marched against Shabītoku, and, coming up with him in the Delta, to have defeated him, taken him prisoner, and put him to death.** These events took place about 693 B.C.,*** and Taharqa employed the opening years of his reign in consolidating his authority over the double kingdom.

     * His name or monuments of his erection have been discovered
     at Karnak.

     ** Eusebius, who cites the fact, had his information from a
     trustworthy Greek source, perhaps from Manetho himself. The
     inscription of Tanis seems to say that Taharqa was twenty
     years old at the time of his revolt.

     *** Most of the lists of kings taken from Manetho assign
     twelve years to the reign of Sébikhos; one alone, that of
     Africanus, assigns him fourteen years.

He married the widow of Sabaco, Queen Dikahītamanu, and thus assumed the guardianship of Tanuatamanu, her son by her first husband, and this marriage secured him supreme authority in Ethiopia.* That he regarded Egypt as a conquered country can no longer be doubted, seeing that he inserted its name on his monuments among those of the nations which he had vanquished.

     * The text of several documents only mentioned that Tanuata-
     manu was the “son of his wife,” which Opport interpreted to
     mean son of Taharqa himself, while others see in him a son
     of Kashto, a brother of Amenertas, or a son of Shabītoku.

139.jpg Taharqa and his Queen DikahĪtamanu
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the coloured plate in Lepsius.

He nevertheless felt obliged to treat it with consideration; he respected the rights of the feudal princes, and behaved himself in every way like a Pharaoh of the old royal line. He summoned his mother from Napatą, where he had left her, and after proclaiming her regent of the South and the North, he associated her with himself in the rejoicings at his coronation. This ceremony, celebrated at Tanis with the usages customary in the Delta, was repeated at Karnak in accordance with the Theban ritual, and a chapel erected shortly afterwards on the northern quay of the great sacred lake has preserved to us the memory of it. Akaluka, installed with the rank and prerogatives of the “Divine Spouse” of Amon, presented her son to the deity, who bestowed upon him through his priests dominion over the whole world. She bent the bow, and let fly the arrows towards the four cardinal points, which she thereby symbolically delivered to him as wounded prisoners; the king, on his part, hurled against them bullets of stone, and by this attack figuratively accomplished their defeat. His wars in Africa were crowned with a certain meed of success,* and his achievements in this quarter won for him in after time so much popularity among the Egyptians, that they extolled him to the Greeks as one of their most illustrious conquering Pharaohs; they related that he had penetrated as far as the Pillars of Hercules in the west, and that he had invaded Europe in imitation of Sesostris.

     * The list inscribed on the base of the statue discovered by
     Mariette contains a large number of names belonging to
     Africa. They are the same as those met with in the time of
     the XVIIIth dynasty, and were probably copied from some
     monument of Ramses II., who had himself perhaps borrowed
     them from a document of the time of Thūtmosis III. A bas-
     relief at Medinet-Habu shows him to us in the act of smiting
     a group of tribes, among which figure the Tepa, Doshrīt, and
     “the humbled Kush;” this bas-relief was appropriated later
     on by Nectanebo.

What we know to be a fact is, that he secured to the valley of the Nile nearly twenty years of prosperity, and recalled the glories of the great reigns of former days, if not by his victories, at least by the excellence of his administration and his activity. He planned the erection at Karnak of a hypostyle hall in front of the pylons of Ramses II., which should equal, if not surpass, that of Seti I.*

     * These columns have been looked upon as triumphal pillars,
     designed to support statues or divine emblems. Mariette
     thinks that they supported “an edifice in the architectural
     style of the kiosk at Philę and the small hypothral temple
     on the roof of Denderah.” I am of opinion that the architect
     intended to make a hypostyle hall, but that when the columns
     were erected, he perceived that the great width of the aisle
     they formed would render the strength of the roof very
     doubtful, and so renounced the execution of his first

142.jpg the Column of Taharqa, at Karnak
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The columns of the central aisle were disposed in two lines of six pillars each, but only one of these now remains standing in its original place; its height, which is the same as that of Seti’s columns, is nearly sixty-nine feet. The columns of the side aisles, like those which should have flanked the immense colonnade at Luxor, were never even begun, and the hall of Taharqa, like that of Seti I., remains unfinished to this day. He bestowed his favour on Nubia and Ethiopia, as well as on Egypt proper; even Napata owed to his munificence the most beautiful portions of its temples. The temple of Amon, and subsequently that of Mūt, were enlarged by him; and he decorated their ancient halls with bas-reliefs, representing himself, accompanied by his mother and his wife, in attitudes of adoration before the deity. The style of the carving is very good, and the hieroglyphics would not disgrace the walls of the Theban temples. The Ethiopian sculptors and painters scrupulously followed the traditions of the mother-country, and only a few insignificant details of ethnic type or costume enable us to detect a slight difference between their works and those of pure Egyptian art. At the other extremity of Napata, on the western side of the Holy Mountain, Taharqa excavated in the cliff a rock-hewn shrine, which he dedicated to Hathor and Bīsū (Bes), the patron of jollity and happiness, and the god of music and of war.

143.jpg the Hemispeos Op HĀthor and BĪsŪ, At Gebel-barkal
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.

Bīsū, who was at first relegated to the lowest rank among the crowd of genii adored by the people, had gradually risen to the highest place in the hierarchy of the gods, and his images predominated in chapels destined to represent the cradle of the infant gods, and the sacred spots where goddesses gave birth to their divine offspring.

144.jpg Entrance to the Hemispeos of BĪsŪ (bes), At Gebel-barkal
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.

The portico erected in front of the pylon had a central avenue of pillars, against which stood monstrous and grinning statues of Bīsū, his hands on his hips, and his head crowned with a large bunch of lotus-flowers and plumes. Two rows of columns with Hathor-headed capitals flanked the central aisle, which led to a hall supported by massive columns, also with Hathor capitals, and beyond it again lay the actual shrine similarly excavated in the rocky hill; two statues of Bīsū, standing erect against their supporting columns, kept guard over the entrance, and their fantastic forms, dimly discernible in the gloom, must have appeared in ancient times to have prohibited the vulgar throng from approaching the innermost sanctuary. Half of the roof has fallen in since the building was deserted, and a broad beam of light falling through the aperture thus made reveals the hideous grotesqueness of the statues to all comers. The portraits of Taharqa represent him with a strong, square-shaped head, with full cheeks, vigorous mouth, and determined chin, such as belong to a man well suited to deal with that troubled epoch, and the knowledge we as yet possess of his conflict with Assyria fully confirms the character exhibited by his portrait statues.

145.jpg Taharqa
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from a cast
of the fragment
preserved at Gizeh

We may surmise that, when once absolute master of Egypt, he must have cast his eyes beyond the isthmus, and considered how he might turn to his own advantage the secret grudge borne by the Syrians against their suzerain at Nineveh, but up to the present time we possess no indications as to the policy he pursued in Palestine. We may safely assume, however, that it gave umbrage to the Assyrians, and that Esarhaddon resolved to put an end once for all to the uneasiness it caused him. More than half a century had elapsed since the day when the kings of Syria, alarmed at the earliest victories of Tiglath-pileser III., had conceived the idea of pitting their former conquerors against those of the day, and had solicited help from the Pharaohs against Assyria.

None of the sovereigns to whom they turned had refused to listen to their appeals, or failed to promise subsidies and reinforcements; but these engagements, however definite, had for the most part been left unfulfilled, and when an occasion for their execution had occurred, the Egyptian armies had merely appeared on the fields of battle to beat a hasty retreat: they had not prevented the subjugation of Damascus, Israel, Tyre, the Philistines, nor, indeed, of any of the princes or people who trusted to their renown; yet, notwithstanding these numerous disappointments, the prestige of the Egyptians was still so great that insubordinate or rebel states invariably looked to them for support and entreated their help. The Assyrian generals had learnt by experience to meet them unmoved, being well aware that the Egyptian army was inferior to their own in organisation, and used antiquated weapons and methods of warfare; they were also well aware that the Egyptian and even the Ethiopian soldiery had never been able successfully to withstand a determined attack by the Assyrian battalions, and that when once the desert which protected Egypt had been crossed, she would, like Babylon, fall an easy prey to their arms. It would merely be necessary to guard against the possible danger of opposition being offered to the passage of the invading host by the Idumoan and Arab tribes sparsely scattered over the country between the Nile and the Gulf of Akabah, as their hostility would be a cause of serious uneasiness. An expedition, sent against Milukhkha* in 675 B.C., had taught the inhabitants to respect the power of Assyria; but the campaign had not been brought to a satisfactory conclusion, for the King of Elam, Khumbān-khaldash II., seeing his rival occupied at the opposite extremity of his empire, fell unexpectedly upon Babylon, and pushing forward as far as Sippara, laid waste the surrounding country; and his hateful presence even prevented the god Shamash from making his annual progress outside the walls of the city. The people of Bīt-Dakkuri seem to have plucked up courage at his approach, and invaded the neighbouring territory, probably that of Borsippa. Esarhaddon was absent on a distant expedition, and the garrisons scattered over the province were not sufficiently strong in numbers to risk a pitched battle: Khumbān-khaldash, therefore, marched back with his booty to Susa entirely unmolested. He died suddenly in his palace a few days after his return, and was succeeded by his brother, Urtaku, who was too intent upon seating himself securely on the throne to send his troops on a second raid in the following year.

     * The name of Milukhkha, first applied to the countries in
     the neighbourhood of the Persian Gulf, had been transferred
     to the western coasts of Arabia, as well as that of Magan.

Esarhaddon deferred his revenge to a more convenient season, and utilised the respite fate had accorded him on the Elamite border to hasten his attack on Egypt (673 B.C.). The expedition was a failure, and Taharqa was greatly elated at having issued with honour from this trial of strength. As most of the countries over which his enemy exercised his supremacy were those which had been ruled by his Theban ancestors in days gone by, Taharqa engraved on the base of his statue a list of nations and towns copied from one of the monuments of Ramses II. The Khāti, Carchemish, Mitanni, Arvad—in short, a dozen peoples already extinct or in their decline, and whose names were merely perpetuated in the stereotyped official lists,—were enumerated in the list of his vanquished foes side by side with Assyria. It was a mere piece of bravado, for never, even when victorious, did he set foot on Syrian soil; but all the same the victory had caused the invading host to retire, and the fame of this exploit, spreading throughout Asia, was not without its effect on the minds of the inhabitants. The island of Tyre had never officially recognised the Assyrian suzerainty. The Tyrians had lived in peace since the defeat of Elulai, and had maintained constant commercial relations with the continent without interfering in active politics: they had, perhaps, even been permitted to establish some settlements on the coast of the mainland. Their king, Bāal, now deemed the moment a propitious one for coming forward and recovering his lost territory, and since the Greek princes of Cyprus had ranged themselves under the hegemony of Assyria, he thought he could best counterbalance their influence by seeking support from Egypt, whose ancient greatness was apparently reviving. He therefore concluded an alliance with Taharqa,* and it would be no cause for astonishment if we should one day discover that Judah had followed his example.

     * The alliance of Bāal with Taharqa is mentioned in the
     fragment of the Annals, under the date of year X., and the
     name Bāal is still decipherable amid the defaced linos which
     contained the account of events which took place before that
     year. I think we may reasonably assign the first
     understanding between the two sovereigns, either to the
     actual year of the first campaign or to the following year.

Hezekiah had devoted his declining years to religious reformation, and the organisation of his kingdom under the guidance of Isaiah or the group of prophets of which Isaiah was the leader. Judah had increased in population, and had quickly recovered its prosperity; when Hezekiah died, about 686 B.C., it had entirely regained its former vigour, but the memory of the disasters of 701 was still sufficiently fresh in the minds of the people to prevent the change of sovereign being followed by a change of policy. Manasseh, who succeeded his father, though he did not walk, as Hezekiah had done, in the ways of the Lord, at least remained loyal to his Assyrian masters. It is, however, asserted that he afterwards rebelled, though his reason for doing so is not explained, and that he was carried captive to Babylon as a punishment for this crime: he succeeded, nevertheless, in regaining favour, and was reinstated at Jerusalem on condition of not repeating his offence. If this statement is true, as I believe it to be, it was probably after the Egyptian campaign of 673 B.C.* that his conspiracy with Baal took place.

     * The fact of Manasseh’s captivity is only known to us from
     the testimony of 2 Chron. xxxiii. 10-13, and most modern
     critics consider it apocryphal. The moral development which
     accompanies the narrative, and the conversion which follows
     it, are certainly later additions, but the story may have
     some foundation in fact; we shall see later on that Necho
     I., King of Sais, was taken prisoner, led into captivity,
     and received again into favour in the same way as Manasseh
     is said to have been. The exile to Babylon, which at one
     time appeared to demonstrate the unauthenticity of the
     passage, would be rather in favour of its authenticity.
     Esarhaddon was King of Babylon during the whole of his
     reign, and the great works which he executed in that city
     obliged him, we know, to transport thither a large
     proportion of the prisoners whom he brought back from his

The Assyrian governors of the neighbouring provinces easily crushed these attempts at independence, but, the islands of Tyre being secure from attack, they were obliged to be content with establishing a series of redoubts along the coast, and with prohibiting the Tyrians from having access to the mainland.

The promptitude of their action quenched the hopes of the Egyptian party and prevented the spread of the revolt. Esarhaddon was, nevertheless, obliged to put off the fulfilment of his schemes longer than he desired: complications arose on his northern frontiers, near the sources of the Tigris, which distracted his attention from the intrigues taking place on the banks of the Nile. Urartu, hard pressed by the Cimmerians and Scythians, had lived for a quarter of a century in a condition of sullen peace with Assyria, and its kings avoided anything which could bring them into conflict with their hereditary rival. Argistis II. had been succeeded by one of his sons, Eusas IL, and both of them had been more intent upon strengthening their kingdom than on extending its area; they had rebuilt their capital, Dhuspas, on a magnificent scale, and from the security of their rocky home they watched the course of events without taking any part in it, unless forced to do so by circumstances. Andaria, chief of Lubdi, one of the remote mountain districts, so difficult of access that it always retained its independence in spite of frequent attacks, had seized Shupria, a province which had been from very early times subject to the sovereigns of Nineveh, and was the first to be colonised by them. The inhabitants, forgetful of their origin, had yielded voluntarily to Andaria; but this prince, after receiving their homage, was seized with alarm at his own audacity. He endeavoured to strengthen his position by an alliance with the Cimmerians,* and the spirit of insubordination which he aroused spread beyond the Euphrates; Mugallu of Milid, a king of the Tabal, resorted to such violent measures that Esarhaddon was alarmed lest the wild mountaineers of the Taurus should pour down upon the plain of Kuī and lay it waste. The danger would indeed have been serious had all these tribes risen simultaneously; but the Cimmerians were detained in Asia Minor by their own concerns,** and Mugallu, when he saw the Assyrian troops being concentrated to bring him to reason, remained quiet.

     * This seems, indeed, to be proved by a tablet in which
     Esarhaddon, addressing the god Shamash, asks him if the
     Cimmerians or Urartians will unite with a certain prince who
     can be no other than the King of Shupria.

     ** It was about this time they were dealing the death-blow
     to the kingdom of Phrygia.

The extension of Lubdi was not likely to meet with favour in the eyes of Eusas; he did not respond to the advances made to him, and Esarhaddon opened his campaign against the rebels without having to dread the intervention of Urartu. Andaria, besieged in his capital of Ubbumi, laid aside his royal robes, and, assuming the ragged garments of a slave, appeared upon the ramparts and pleaded for mercy in a voice choked with tears: “Shupria, the country which has sinned against thee, will yield to thee of her own accord; place thy officers over her, she will vow obedience to thee; impose on her a ransom and an annual tribute for ever. I am a robber, and for the crime I have committed I will make amends fifty-fold.” Esarhaddon would listen to no terms before a breach had been effected in the city walls. This done, he pardoned the prince who had taken refuge in the citadel, but resumed possession of Shupria: its inhabitants were mercilessly punished, being condemned to slavery, and their lands and goods divided among new colonists. Many Urartians were numbered among the captives: these Esarhaddon separated from the rest, and sent back to Rusas as a reward for his having remained neutral. All this had barely occupied the space of one month, the month of Tebet. The first-fruits of the spoil reserved for Uruk had already reached that town by the month Kislev, and the year was not so far advanced as to render further undertakings impossible, when the death of the queen, on the 5th Adar, suspended all warlike enterprises. The last months of the year were given up to mourning, and the whole of 671 B.C. passed without further action. The Ethiopian king was emboldened by this inactivity on the part of his foe to renew his intrigues with Syria with redoubled energy; at one moment, indeed, the Philistines of Ashkelon, secretly instigated, seemed on the point of revolt.*

     * Ashkelon is mentioned in two of the prayers in which
     Esarhaddon consults Shamash on the subject of his intended
     campaign in Egypt; he seems to fear lest that city and the
     Bedāwin of the Idumoan desert should espouse the cause of
     the King of Ethiopia.

They held themselves, however, in check, and Esarhaddon, reassured as to their attitude, entered into negotiations with the sheikhs of the Arab tribes, and purchased their assistance to cross the desert of Sinai. He bade them assemble at Raphia, at the western extremity of Palestine, each chief bringing all the camels he could command, and as many skins of water as their beasts could carry: this precaution, a wise one at any time, might secure the safety of the army in case Taharqa should have filled up the wells which marked the stages in the caravan route.* When all was ready, Esarhaddon consulted the oracle of Shamash, and, on receiving a favourable reply from the god, left Nineveh in the beginning of the month Nisān, 670 B.C., to join the invading army in Syria.**

     * This information is furnished by the fragment of the
     Annals. The Assyrian text introduces this into the
     narrative in such a manner that it would appear as if these
     negotiations were carried on at the very commencement of the
     campaign; it is, however, more probable that they were
     concluded beforehand, as occurred later on, in the time of
     Cambyses, when the Persians invaded Egypt.

     ** The published texts refer to the second Egyptian campaign
     of Esarhaddon. The reply of the god is not easy to
     interpret, but it was certainly favourable, since the
     expedition took place.

He made a detour in order to inspect the lines of forts which his generals had established along the coast opposite Tyre, and strengthened their garrisons to prevent Bāal from creating a diversion in the rear of his base of operations; he then proceeded southwards to the neighbourhood of Aphek, in the territory of the tribe of Simeon. The news which there met him must doubtless have informed him that the Bedāwin had been won over in the interval by the emissaries of Taharqa, and that he would run great risk by proceeding with his campaign before bringing them back to a sense of their duty. On leaving Aphek* he consequently turned southwards, and plunged into the heart of the desert, as if he had renounced all designs upon Egypt for that season, and was bent only on restoring order in Milukhkha and Magān before advancing further. For six weeks he marched in short stages, without other water than the supply borne, in accordance with his commands, by the Arab camels, passing through tracts of desert infested by strange birds and double-headed serpents; when he had at length dispersed the bands which had endeavoured to oppose his advance, he suddenly turned in a north-westerly direction, and, following the dry bed of the torrent of Muzur, at length reached Raphia. From thence he did not select the usual route, which follows the coast-line and leads to Pelusium, a place which he may have feared was too well defended, but he again pressed forward across the sands of the desert, and in the first days of Tammuz reached the cultivated land of the Delta by way of the Wady Tumilāt. The frontier garrisons, defeated on the 3rd of Tammuz near Ishkhupri,** retreated in good order.

     * The defaced name of the country in which this Aphek was
     situated was read as Samirina and translated “Samaria” by
     the first editor. This interpretation has been adopted by
     most historians, who have seen in Aphek the town of this
     name belonging to the western portion of Manasseh. Budge
     read it Samina, and this reading, verified by Craig, gave
     Winckler the idea of identifying Samina or Simina with the
     tribe of Simeon, and Aphek with the Aphckah (Josh. xv. 53)
     in the mountains of Judah.

     ** The text on the stele at Zinjirli gives a total of
     fifteen days’ march from Ishkhupri to Memphis, while
     Pinches’ Babyl. Chron. indicates three battles as having
     been fought on the 3rd, 16th, and 18th of Tammuz, and the
     taking of Memphis as occurring on the 22nd of the same
     month. If fifteen days is precisely accurate for the length
     of march, Esarhaddon would have reached Ishkhupri about the
     27th of Sivan.

Taharqa, hastening to their succour, disputed the ground inch by inch, and engaged the invaders in several conflicts, two at least of which, fought on the 16th and 18th of Tammuz, were regular pitched battles, but in every case the Assyrian tactics triumphed in spite of the dashing onslaught of the Egyptians; Memphis succumbed on the 22nd, after an assault lasting merely a few hours, and was mercilessly sacked. The Ethiopian king, with his army decimated and exhausted, gave up the struggle, and beat a hasty retreat southwards. The attack had been made with such rapidity that he had had no time to remove his court from the “palace of the White Wall” to the Said; the queen, therefore, together with other women of less exalted rank, fell into the hands of the conqueror, besides the crown-prince, Ushana-horu, several younger sons and daughters, and such of the children of Sabaco and Shabītoku as resided at court. But the victory had cost the Assyrians dearly, and the enemy still appeared to them so formidable that Esarhaddon prudently abstained from pursuing him up the Nile Valley. He favourably received those feudal lords and petty kings who presented themselves to pay him homage, and confirmed them in possession of their fiefs, but he placed over them Assyrian governors and imposed new official names on their cities; thus Athribis was officially called Limir-pateshī-assur, and other cities received the names Assur-makan-tishkul, Bīfc-marduk-sha-assur-taru, Shaīmuk-assur. He further imposed on them a heavy annual tribute of more than six talents of gold and six hundred talents of silver, besides robes and woven stuffs, wine, skins, horses, sheep, and asses; and having accomplished this, he retraced his steps towards the north-east with immense booty and innumerable convoys of prisoners. The complete defeat of the Ethiopian power filled not only Esarhaddon himself but all Asia with astonishment. His return to Nineveh was a triumphal progress; travelling through Syria by short stages, he paraded his captives and trophies before the peoples and princes who had so long relied on the invincible power of the Pharaoh.

156.jpg Southern Promontory at the Mouth of The Nahr-el-kelb
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph recently brought back by

Esarhaddon’s predecessors had more than once inscribed the record of their campaigns on the rocks of the Nahr-el-Kelb, beside the bas-relief engraved there by Ramses II., and it had been no small gratification to their pride thus to place themselves on a footing of equality with one of the most illustrious heroes of the ancient Egyptian empire.

157.jpg Stele of Esarhaddon at the Nahr-el-kelb
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lortet.

The footpath which skirts the southern bank of the river, and turning to the south is continued along the seashore, was bordered by the great stelę in which, one after another, they had thought to immortalise their glory; following their example, Esarhaddon was in like manner pleased to celebrate his prowess, and exhibit the ancient lords of the world subjugated to his will. He erected numerous triumphal monuments along his route, and the stele which was discovered at one of the gates of Zinjirli is, doubtless, but an example of those which he erected in other important cities.

158.jpg Stele of Zinjirli
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph of
the original in
the Berlin Museum.

He is represented on the Zinjirli stele standing erect, while at his feet are two kneeling prisoners, whom he is holding by a bridle of cord fastened to metal rings passed through their lips; these figures represent Bāal of Tyre and Taharqa of Napata, the latter with the uraaus on his forehead. As a matter of fact, these kings were safe beyond his reach, one surrounded by the sea, the other above the cataracts, and the people were well aware that they did not form part of the band of prisoners which denied before their eyes; but they were accustomed to the vain and extravagant boastings of their conquerors, and these very exaggerations enabled them to understand more fully the extent of the victory. Esarhaddon thenceforward styled himself King of Egypt, King of the Kings of Egypt, of the Said and of Kush, so great was his pride at having trampled underfoot the land of the Delta. And, in fact, Egypt had, for a century, been the only one of the ancient Eastern states which had always eluded the grasp of Assyria. The Elamites had endured disastrous defeats, which had cost them some of their provinces; the Urartians had been driven back into their mountains, and no longer attempted to emerge from them; Babylon had nearly been annihilated in her struggles for independence; while the Khāti, the Phoenicians, Damascus, and Israel had been absorbed one after another in the gradual extension of Ninevehe supremacy. Egypt, although she had had a hand in all then-wars and revolutions, had never herself paid the penalty of her intrigues, and even when she had sometimes risked her troops on the battle-fields of Palestine, her disasters had not cost her more than the loss of a certain number of men: having once retired to the banks of the Nile, no one had dared to follow, and the idea had gained credence among her enemies as well as among her friends that Egypt was effectually protected by the desert from every attack. The victory of Esarhaddon proved that she was no more invulnerable than the other kingdoms of the world, and that before a bold advance the obstacles, placed by nature in the path of an invader, disappeared; the protecting desert had been crossed, the archers and chariots of Egypt had fled before the Assyrian cavalry and pikemen, her cities had endured the ignominy and misery of being taken by storm, and the wives and daughters of her Pharaohs had been carried off into servitude in common with the numerous princesses of Elam and Syria of that day. Esarhaddon filled his palaces with furniture and woven stuffs, with vases of precious metal and sculptured ivories, with glass ornaments and statuettes looted from Memphis: his workers in marble took inspiration from the sphinxes of Egypt to modify the winged, human-headed lions upon which the columns of their palaces rested, and the plans of his architects became more comprehensive at the mere announcement of such a vast amount of spoil. The palace they had begun to build at Nineveh, on the ruins of an ancient edifice, already surpassed all previous architectural efforts. The alabaster quarries of the Assyrian mountains and the forests of Phoenicia had alike been put under contribution to face the walls of its state apartments; twenty-two chiefs of the country of the Khāti, of Phoenicia, and of the Mediterranean littoral—among them the Greek kings of Cyprus—had vied with one another in supplying Esarhaddon with great beams of pine, cedar, and cypress for its construction. The ceilings were of cedar supported by pillars of cypress-wood encircled by silver and iron; stone lions and bulls stood on either side of the gates, and the doors were made of cedar and cypress, incrusted or overlaid with iron, silver and ivory. The treasures of Egypt enabled Esarhaddon to complete this palace and begin a new one at Calah, where the buildings erected somewhat hurriedly by Tiglath-pileser III. had already fallen into ruin. Some of the slabs on which the latter conqueror had engraved his Annals, and recounted the principal episodes of his campaigns, were removed and transferred to the site selected by Esarhaddon, and one of the surfaces of each was pared down in order to receive new pictures and fresh inscriptions. They had, however, hardly been placed in the stonemason’s hands when the work was interrupted.*

     * The date of the building of the palace at Calah is
     furnished by the inscriptions, in which Esarhaddon assumes
     the title of King of Egypt.

161.jpg Assyrian Sphinx in Egyptian Style Supporting The Base of a Column
Drawn by Boudier,
from the alabaster
sculpture reproduced
by Layard.

It may have been that Esarhaddon had to suspend all his operations while putting down some conspiracy. At any rate, we know that in 669 B.C. many high personages of his court were seized and executed. The question of the succession to the throne was still undecided; Sinidina-bal, the son whom Esarhaddon had previously designated as his heir presumptive, was dead, and the people feared lest he should choose from among his other sons some prince who had not their interests at heart. The king’s affection for Babylon had certainly aroused jealousy and anxiety among his Assyrian subjects, and perhaps some further tokens of preference made them uneasy lest’ he should select Shamash-shumukīn, one of his children who manifested the same tendencies, and who was, moreover, the son of a Babylonian wife. Most of the nobles who had been led to join the conspiracy paid for their indiscretion with their heads, but their opposition gave the sovereign cause for reflection, and decided him to modify his schemes. Convinced that it was impossible to unite Babylon and Nineveh permanently under the same ruler, he reluctantly decided to divide his kingdom into two parts—Assyria, the strongest portion, falling naturally to his eldest son, Assur-bani-pal, while Babylonia was assigned to Shamash-shumukīn, on condition of his paying homage to his brother as suzerain.* The best method to ensure his wishes being carried into effect was to prepare their way for the fulfilment while he was still alive; and rebellions which broke out about this time beyond the isthmus afforded a good opportunity for so doing. Egypt was at this period divided into twenty states of various dimensions, very nearly the same as had existed a century before, when Piōnkhi had, for the first time, brought the whole country under Ethiopian rule.** In the south, the extensive Theban province occupied both sides of the river from Assuan to Thinis and Khemmis.

* Winokler considers that Assur-bani-pal
was the leader of the conspiracy, and that
he obliged his father to recognise him as
heir to the crown of Assyria, and to
associate him on the throne.

     ** The list of the principalities in the time of Esarhaddon
     and Assur-bani-pal is found on the cylinders of Assur-bani-

It was nominally governed by Amenertas or her daughter, Shapenuapīt, but the administration was, as usual, entrusted to a member of the priestly college, at that time to Montumihāīt, Count of Thebes, and fourth prophet of Anion.*

     * The Assyrian name of this personage, spelt first
     Mantimiankhi, has been more accurately transcribed
     Mantimikhi. The identification with the Montumihāīt of the
     Theban documents, is now generally adopted.

The four principalities of Thinis, Siut, Hermopolis, and Heracleopolis separated it from the small kingdom of Memphis and Sais, and each of the regions of the Delta was divided into one or two fiefs, according to the number and importance of the towns it contained. In the south, Thebes was too directly under the influence of Ethiopia to be able to exercise an independent policy with regard to the rest of the country. In the north, two families contested the supremacy more or less openly. One of them, whose hereditary domains included the Arabian, and parts of the surrounding nomes, was then represented by a certain Pakruru. He had united under his banner the numerous petty chiefs of the eastern side of the Delta, the heirs of the ancient dynasties of Tanis and Bubastis, and his energy or ability must have made a good impression on the minds of his contemporaries, for they handed down his memory to their successors, who soon metamorphosed him into a popular legendary hero, famed both for his valour and wisdom. The nobles of the western nomes acknowledged as their overlords the regents of Sais, the descendants of that Bocchoris who had for a short while brought the whole valley of the Nile under his sway. Sabaco, having put his rival to death, had installed in his hereditary domains an Ethiopian named Ammeris, but this Ammeris had disappeared from the scene about the same time as his patron, in 704 B.C., and after him three princes at least had succeeded to the throne, namely, Stephinates, Nekhepsos, and Necho.* Stephinates had died about 680 B.C., without accomplishing anything which was worth recording. Nekhepsos had had no greater opportunities of distinguishing himself than had fallen to the lot of his father, and yet legends grew up round his name as round that of Pakruru: he was reputed to have been a great soothsayer, astrologist, and magician, and medical treatises were ascribed to him, and almanacs much esteemed by the superstitious in the Roman period.**

     * The lists of Eusebius give the series Ammeres,
     Stephinates, Nekhepsos, Necho I., but Lepsius displaced
     Ammeres and identified him with the queen Amenertas; others
     have thought to recognise in him Miamun Piōnkhi, or
     Tanuatamanu, the successor of Taharqa. He must, however, be
     left in this place in the list, and we may perhaps consider
     him as the founder of the XXVIth dynasty. If the number of
     seven years for the reign of Stephinates is adopted, we must
     suppose either that Manetho passed over the name of a prince
     at the beginning of the XXVIth dynasty, or that Ammeris was
     only enthroned at Memphis after the death of Sabaco; but the
     lists of the Syncellus and of Sothis assign 27 years to the
     reign of Stephinates.

     ** The astrological works of Nekhepsos are cited, among
     others, by Pliny, and it is probably he whom a Greek papyrus
     of the Salt Collection mentions under the name of Nekheus.

Necho had already occupied the throne for three or four years when the invasion of 670 B.C. delivered him from the Ethiopian supremacy. He is represented as being brave, energetic, and enterprising, ready to hazard everything in order to attain the object towards which the ambition of his ancestors had been tending for a century past, namely, to restore unity to the ancient kingdom under the rule of the house of Sais. The extent of his realm, and, above all, the possession of Memphis, gave him a real superiority, and Esarhaddon did not hesitate to esteem him above his competitors; the Ninevite scribes placed him in the first rank, and he heads the list of the Egyptian vassals. He soon had an opportunity of proving his devotion to his foreign suzerain. Taharqa did not quietly accept his defeat, and Egypt looked to him to be revenged on the Assyrian as soon as he should have reorganised his army. He once more, accordingly, took the field in the middle of 669 B.C.; the barons of the Said rallied to his standard without hesitation, and he soon re-entered the “White Wall,” but there his advance was arrested. Necho and the neighbouring chiefs of the Delta, held in check by the presence of Semitic garrisons, did not venture to proclaim themselves on his side, and awaited under arms the arrival of Assyrian reinforcements.* Esarhaddon, in spite of failing health, assumed command of the troops, and before leaving home carried out the project to which the conspiracy of the preceding year had given rise; he assigned the government of Babylon to Shamash-shumukin, and solemnly designated Assur-bani-pal as the heir to Assyria proper, and to the suzerainty over the whole empire.**

     * The first Egyptian campaign of Assur-bani-pal is also the
     last campaign of Esarhaddon, and Assur-bani-pal appropriated
     all the earlier incidents of it, some of which belong to the
     sole reign of his father, and some to the few weeks in which
     he shared the throne with him.

     ** The association of Assur-bani-pal with his father on the
     throne was pointed out by G. Smith, who thought he could fix
     the date about 673 B.C., three or four years before the
     death of Esarhaddon. Tielo showed that Assur-bani-pal was
     then only made viceroy, and assigned his association in the
     sovereignty to the year 671 or 670 B.C., about the time of
     the second Egyptian campaign, while Hommel brought it down
     to 669. Winckler has, with much reason, placed the date in
     668 B.C. The Assyrian documents do not mention the
     coronation of Shamash-shuniukīn, for Assur-bani-pal
     afterwards affected to consider his brother a mere viceroy,
     appointed by himself after the death of his father
     Esarhaddon; but an examination of all the circumstances has
     shown that the enthronement of Shamash-shumukīn at Babylon
     was on a par with that of Assur-bani-pal at Nineveh, and
     that both owed their elevation to their father.

On the 12th of Lyyar, 668 B.C., on the day of the feast of Gula, he presented their new lord to all the inhabitants of Assyria, both small and great, who had assembled to be present at the ceremony, which ended in the installation of the prince in the palace of Bītriduti, reserved for the heirs-apparent. A few weeks later Esarhaddon set out for Egypt, but his malady became more serious on the journey, and he died on the 10th of Arakhsamna, in the twelfth year of his reign.*

     * Arakhsamna corresponds to the Jewish Marcheswān, and to
     our month of May.

When we endeavour to conjure up his image before us, we fancy we are right in surmising that he was not cast in the ordinary mould of Assyrian monarchs. The history of his campaigns shows that he was as active and resolute as Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., but he did not add to these good qualities their inflexible harshness towards their subjects, nor their brutal treatment of conquered foes. Circumstances in which they would have shown themselves merciless, he seized upon as occasions for clemency, and if massacres and executions are recorded among the events of his reign, at least he does not class them among the most important: the records of his wars do not continually speak of rebels flayed alive, kings impaled before the gates of their cities, and whole populations decimated by fire and sword. Of all the Assyrian conquerors, he is almost the only one for whom the historian can feel any regard, or from the study of whose reign he passes on with regret to pursue that of others in due course.

168.jpg Assur-banipal As a Bearer of Offerings
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
in Lehmann.

As soon as Esarhaddon had passed away, the separation of the two parts of the empire which he had planned was effected almost automatically: Assur-bani-pal proclaimed himself King of Assyria, and Shamash-shumukīn, in like manner, King of Babylon. One fact, which seems insignificant enough to us when we read it in the Annals, but was decisive in the eyes of their contemporaries, sanctioned the transformation thus accomplished: Bel and the gods of Accad quitted Assur in the month of Iyyār and returned to their resting-place in Babylon. The restoration of the images to their own country became necessary as soon as it was decided to have a king in Karduniash, even though he were an Assyrian. To enable him to exercise legitimate authority, he must have celebrated the rites and “taken the hands of Bel,” but it was a question whether this obligation could be fulfilled if Bel remained a prisoner in the neighbouring capital. Assur-bani-pal believed for a moment that this difficulty could be obviated, and consulted Shamash on this delicate question: “Shamash-shumukīn, the son of Esarhaddon, the King of Assyria, can he in this year take the hands of Bel, the mighty lord Marduk, in this very city, and then go to Babylon with the favour of Bel! If that would be pleasing to thy great divinity and to the mighty lord Marduk, thy great divinity must know it.” The reply was not favourable, and Shamash gave it as his opinion that Bel could not act as a sovereign lord while still languishing in prison in a city which was not his own. Assur-bani-pal had to resign himself to the release of his captive, and he did it with a good grace. He proceeded in pomp to the temple of Assur, where Marduk was shut up, and humbly entreated the exiled deity to vouchsafe to return to his own country.

169.jpg Sihamash-shumukin As a Bearer of Offerings
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph in Lehmann.

“Think on Babylon, which thou didst bring to nought in the rage of thy heart, and turn thy face towards the temple of E-sagilla, the lofty seat of thy divinity! Revisit thy city which thou hast forsaken to inhabit a place which is not worthy of thee, and do thou thyself, O Marduk, lord of the gods, give the command to return to Babylon.” The statue set out on its journey, and was escorted by a solemn procession headed by the two kings. The gods, by one accord, came forth from their cities and saluted the traveller as he passed by—Beltis of Agadź, Nebo of Borsippa, Shamash of Sippara, and Nirgal. At length he reached his beloved city, and entered E-sagilla in the midst of an immense throng of people. The kings headed the cortčge, and the delighted multitude joined their two names with that of the god in their acclamations: it was a day never to be forgotten. Assur-bani-pal, in his capacity of suzerain, opened the sacred edifice, and then presented his brother, who thereupon “took the hands of Bel.”

A quarter of a century had not passed since the victorious Sennacherib had, as he thought, inflicted a mortal blow on the one power which stood in the way of Assyria’s supremacy in Western Asia; already, in spite of his efforts, the city had sprung up from its ruins as vigorous as ever, and his sons and grandsons had felt themselves irresistibly drawn to resuscitate that which their ancestors had desired to annihilate irrevocably. Babylon had rebuilt her palaces, her walls, and her temples; she had received back her gods without a war, and almost without any agitation, by the mere force of the prestige she exercised over all around her, and even over her conquerors. As a matter of fact, she had not regained her former position, and was still depressed and enfeebled by the blow which had laid her low; in addition to this, her king was an Assyrian, and a vassal of Assyria, but nevertheless he was her own king, and hers alone. Her independence was already half regained. Shamash-shumukīn established his court at Babylon, and applied himself from the outset to restore, as far as he was able, the material and moral forces of his kingdom. Assur-bani-pal, on his side, met with no opposition from his subjects, but prudence cautioned him not to estrange them; the troubles of the preceding year were perhaps not so completely suppressed as to prevent the chiefs who had escaped punishment from being encouraged by the change of sovereign to renew their intrigues. The king, therefore, remained in Nineveh to inaugurate his rule, and confided to his generals the charge of conducting the expeditions which had been undertaken during his father’s lifetime.* One of these undertakings was unimportant. Tandaī of Kirbīt, a petty chief, was continually engaged in harassing the inhabitants of Yamutbal; he bore down upon them every year, and, after dealing a blow, retreated to his hiding-place in the mountains. He was attacked in his stronghold, and carried away captive with all his people into Egypt, at the furthest extremity of the empire, to serve in Assyrian garrisons in the midst of the fellahīn.**

     * In the numerous documents relating to the reign of Assur-
     bani-pal the facts are arranged in geographical order, not
     by the dates of the successive expeditions, and the
     chronological order of the campaigns is all the more
     difficult to determine accurately, as Pinches’ Babylonian
     Chronicle fails us after the beginning of this reign,
     immediately after the mention of the above-mentioned war
     with Kirbīt. Even the Eponym Canon is only accurate down
     to 666 B.C.; in that year there is a break, and although we
     possess for the succeeding period more than forty names of
     eponyms, their classification is not at present absolutely

     ** The expedition against Kirbīt is omitted in certain
     documents; it is inserted in the others in the fourth place,
     between the wars in Asia Minor and the campaign against the
     Mannai. The place assigned to it in the Bab. Chron. quite in
     the beginning of the reign, is confirmed by a fragment of a
     tablet quoted by Winckler. Perhaps it was carried out by a
     Babylonian army: although Assur-bani-pal claimed the glory
     of it, by reason of his suzerainty over Karduniash.

Meanwhile, the army which Esarhaddon had been leading against Taharqa pursued its course under command of the Tartan.* Syria received it submissively, and the twenty-two kings who still possessed a shadow of autonomy in the country sent assurances of their devotion to the new monarch: even Yakīnlu, King of Arvad, who had aroused suspicion by frequent acts of insubordination,** thought twice before rebelling against his terrible suzerain, and joined the rest in paying both homage and tribute. Cyprus and also Phoenicia remained faithful to their allegiance, and, what was of still more consequence, the states which lay nearest to Egypt—Philistia, Judah, Moab, and Ammon; the Assyrians were thus able to push forward to the Delta without losing time in repressing rebellions along their route. The Ethiopians had entrenched themselves at Karbanīti;*** they were, however, once more defeated, and left; so many of their soldiers dead upon the field, that Taharqa had not sufficient troops left to defend Memphis.

     * The text of Tablet K 2675-K 228 of the Brit. Mus., states
     distinctly that the Tartan commanded the first army.

     ** Assur-bani-pal, acting in the name of his father,
     Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, had consulted Shamash on the
     desirability of sending troops against Arvad: the prince of
     this city is called Ikkalu, which is a variant of Yakīnlu.
     Winckler concluded that the campaign against Arvad took
     place before 668 B.C., in the reign of Esarhaddon. It seems
     to me more natural to place it on the return from Egypt,
     when the people of Arvad were demoralised by the defeat of
     the Pharaoh whose alliance they had hoped for.

     *** I had compared Karbanīti with the Qarbīna mentioned in
     the Great Harris Papyrus, and this identification was
     accepted by most Egyptologists, even after Brugsch
     recognised in Qarbīna the name of Canopus or a town near
     Canopus. It has been contested by Steindorf, and, in fact,
     Karbanīti could not be identified with Canopus, any more
     than the Qarbina of the Harris Papyrus; its site must be
     looked for in the eastern or central part of the Delta.

He retreated upon Thebes, where he strongly fortified himself; but the Tartan had not suffered less than his adversary, and he would have been unable to pursue him, had not reinforcements promptly reached him. The Bab-shakeh, who had been despatched from Nineveh with some Assyrian troops, had summoned to his aid the principal Syrian feudal chiefs, who, stimulated by the news of the victories achieved on the banks of the Nile, placed themselves unreservedly at his disposal. He ordered their vessels to proceed along the coast as far as the Delta, where he purposed to collect a fleet to ascend the river, while their troops augmented the force already under his command. The two Assyrian generals, the Tartan and the Rabshakeh, quitted Memphis, probably in the early part of 667 B.C., and, cautiously advancing southwards, covered the distance separating the two Egyptian capitals in a steady march of forty days. When the Assyrians had advanced well up the valley, the princes of the Delta thought the opportunity had arrived to cut them off by a single bold stroke. They therefore opened cautious negotiations with the Ethiopian king, and proposed an arrangement which should secure their independence: “We will divide the country between us, and neither of us shall exercise authority over the other.” However secretly these negotiations were conducted, they were certain to come to the knowledge of the Assyrian generals: the couriers were intercepted; and discovering from the despatches the extent of the danger, the Assyrians seized as many of the leaders of the league as they could. As a warning they sacked Sais, Mendes, and Tanis, demolishing the fortifications, and flaying or impaling the principal citizens before their city gates; they then sent two of the intriguing chiefs, Necho and Sharludari of Pelusium, bound hand and foot with chains, to Nineveh. Pakruru, of the Arabian nome, managed, however, to escape them. Taharqa, thus bereft of his allies, was no longer in a condition to repel the invader: he fled to Ethiopia, abandoning Thebes to its fate. The city was ransomed by despoiling the temple of Amon of half its treasures: Montumihāīt transferred his allegiance unhesitatingly to Assur-bani-pal, and the whole of Egypt from the Mediterranean to the first cataract once more became Assyrian territory. The victory was so complete that Assur-bani-pal thought he might without risk show clemency to his prisoners. He summoned them to his presence, and there, instead of putting out their eyes or subjecting them to some horrible form of torture, he received them back into favour, and confirmed Necho in the possession of all the honours which Esarhaddon had conceded to him. He clothed him in a mantle of honour, and bestowed on him a straight-bladed sword with an iron scabbard ornamented with gold, engraved with his names and titles, besides rings, gold bracelets, chariots, horses, and mules; in short, all the appurtenances of royalty. Not content with restoring to him the cities of Sais and Memphis, he granted him the fief of Athribis for his eldest son, Psammetichus.

174.jpg MontumihĀĪt, Prince of Thebes
     Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph by Miss Benson. It is
     not quite certain that this statue represents Montumihāīt,
     as the inscription is wanting: the circumstances of the
     discovery, however, render it very probable.

Moreover, he neglected no measure likely to show his supremacy. Athribis received the new name of Limir-patesi-assur, may the high priest of Assur be glorious, and Sais that of Kar-bel-matāti, the fortress of the lord of the countries. Psammetichus was called Nebo-shezib-anni, Nebo, deliver me, and residents were installed at his court and that of his father, who were entrusted with the surveillance of their conduct, and the task of keeping them to the path of duty: Necho, thus well guarded, thenceforward never faltered in his allegiance.

The subjection of Egypt reacted on Syria and Asia Minor. Of the only two states still existing along the Phoenician seaboard, one, namely Tyre, had been in revolt for many years, and the other, Arvad, showed symptoms of disaffection.

175.jpg Psammetichus
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a bas-relief in
the British Museum.

Esarhaddon, from lack of a sufficient fleet, had never been able to subdue the former, but he had interrupted the communications of the island with the mainland, and the blockade, which was constantly increasing in strictness, had already lasted for four years. On receipt of the news from Egypt, Bāal realised that further resistance was hopeless; he therefore delivered up to the victor his heir-apparent, Yahī-melek, and one of his daughters, together with other hostages, besides silver, gold, and wood, and intreated for pardon. Assur-bani-pal left him in possession of his kingdom on condition of paying the regular tribute, but Yakīnlu, the King of Arvad, met with harsher treatment. In vain did he give up his sons, his daughters, and all his treasures; his intractability had worn out the patience of his suzerain: he was carried away captive to Nineveh, and replaced by Azībaal, his eldest son. Two chiefs of the Taurus—Mugallu of Tabal, who had given trouble to Esarhaddon in the last years of his life, and Sanda-sarme of Cilicia—purchased immunity from the punishment due for various acts of brigandage, by gifts of horses, and by handing over each of them a daughter, richly dowered, to the harem of the king at Nineveh. But these were incidents of slight moment, and their very insignificance proves how completely resigned to foreign domination the nations of the Mediterranean coast had now become. Vassal kings, princes, cities, peasants of the plain or shepherds of the mountains, all who were subject directly or indirectly to Assyria, had almost ceased to imagine that a change of sovereign afforded them any chance of regaining their independence. They no longer considered themselves the subjects of a conqueror whose death might free them from allegiance; they realised that they were the subjects of an empire whose power did not depend on the genius or incapacity of one man, but was maintained from age to age in virtue of the prestige it had attained, whatever might be the qualities of the reigning sovereign. The other independent states had at length come to the same conclusion, and the news of the accession of a fresh Assyrian king no longer awakened among them hopes of conquest or, at all events, of booty; such an occasion was regarded as a suitable opportunity for strengthening the bonds of neighbourly feeling or conciliatory friendship which united them to Assyria, by sending an embassy to congratulate the new sovereign. One of these embassies, which arrived about 667 B.C., caused much excitement at the court of Nineveh, and greatly flattered the vanity of the king. Reports brought back by sailors or the chiefs of caravans had revealed the existence of a kingdom of Lydia in the extreme west of Asia Minor, at the place of embarcation for crossing the sea.*

     * It is called nagu sha nibirti tāmtim, “the country of
     the crossing of the sea,” or more concisely, “the country
     this side the sea.”

It was known to be celebrated for its gold and its horses, but no direct relations between the two courts had ever been established, and the Lydian kings had hitherto affected to ignore the existence of Assyria. A revolution had broken out in this province a quarter of a century previously, which had placed on the throne of the Heraclidse that family of the Mermnado whose previous history had been so tragic. Dascylus, who had made his home for a long time among the White Syrians, had no intention of abandoning his adopted country, when one day, about the year 698 B.C., a messenger arrived bidding him repair to Sardes without delay. His uncle Ardys, prince of Tyrrha, having no children, had applied to Sadyattes, beseeching him to revoke the sentence of banishment passed on his nephew. “My house is desolate,” said he, “and all my kinsfolk are dead; and furthermore, Dascylus and his house have already been pardoned by thine ancestors.” Sadyattes consented, but Dascylus, preferring not to return, sent his son Gyges, then about eighteen years of age, in his stead. Gyges was a tall and very beautiful youth, and showed unusual skill as a charioteer and in the use of weapons, so that his renown soon spread throughout the country. Sadyattes desired to see him, and being captivated by his bold demeanour, enrolled him in his bodyguard, loaded him with presents, and took him into his entire confidence. Gyges was clever enough to utilise the king’s favour in order to enlarge his domains and increase his riches, and thus win partisans among the people and the body of “Friends.” Carian mercenaries at that time formed one of the most vigorous and best disciplined contingents in the armies of the period.* The Carians were, above all, a military race, and are said to have brought the shield and helmet to their highest perfection; at Sardes they formed the garrison of the citadel, and their captains were in high favour with the king. Gyges formed a fast friendship with Arselis of Mylasa, one of the chief of these officers, and thus made sure of the support of the garrison, and of the possibility of recruiting a corps among the Carian clans who remained in their own country.** He thus incurred the bitter jealousy of the Tylonidag, whose chief, Lixos, was ready to adopt any measures which might damage his rival, even going so far as to simulate madness and run through the streets of Sardes crying out that Gyges, the son of Dascylus, was about to assassinate the king; but this stratagem did not succeed any better than his other treacherous devices. Meanwhile Sadyattes had sought the hand of Toudō,*** daughter of Arnossos of Mysia, and sent his favourite to receive his affianced bride at the hand of her father.

     * Archilochus of Paros, a contemporary of Gyges, mentions
     the Carian mercenaries, and later on Ephorus said of them,
     that they had been the first to sell their services to

     ** The connection between Arselis and Gyges is mentioned by

     *** It is not certain whether the name is Toudō or Trydō.

Gyges fell in love with her on the journey, and tried in vain to win her favour. She repulsed his advances with indignation, and on the very night of her marriage complained to her husband of the insult which had been offered her. Sadyattes swore that he would avenge her on the morrow; but Gyges, warned by a servant, slew the king before daybreak. Immediately after thus assassinating his sovereign, Gyges called together the “Friends,” and ridding himself of those who were hostile to him, induced the others by bribes to further his designs; then descending to the place of public assembly, he summoned the people to a conclave. After a long and stormy debate, it was decided to consult the oracle at Delphi, which, corrupted by the gold from the Pactolus, enjoined on the Lydians to recognise Gyges as their king. He married Toudō, and by thus espousing the widow of the Heraclid sovereign, obtained some show of right to the crown; but the decision of the oracle was not universally acceptable, and war broke out, in which Gyges was victorious, thanks to the bravery of his Carian mercenaries. His career soon served as the fabric on which the popular imagination was continually working fresh embroideries. He was reported at the outset to have been of base extraction, a mere soldier of fortune, who had raised himself by degrees to the highest posts and had finally supplanted his patron. Herodotus, following the poet Archilochus of Paros, relates how the last of the Heraclidas, whom he calls by his private name of Kandaules, and not his official name of Sadyattes,* forcibly insisted on exposing to the admiration of Gyges the naked beauty of his wife; the queen, thus outraged, called upon the favourite to avenge the insult to her modesty by the blood of her husband, and then bestowed on him her hand, together with the crown.

     * Schubert considers that the names Sadyattes and Kandaules
     belong to two distinct persons. Kandaules, according to him,
     was probably a second son of Myrsos, who, after the murder
     of Sadyattes, disputed the possession of the crown with
     Gyges; in this case he was killed in battle by the Carian
     commander, Arselis, as related by Plutarch, and Gyges was
     not really king till after the death of Kandaules.

Plato made this story the groundwork of a most fantastic tale. Gyges, according to him, was originally a shepherd, who, after a terrible storm, noticed a fissure in the ground, into which he crept; there he discovered an enormous bronze horse, half broken, and in its side the corpse of a giant with a gold ring on his finger. Chance revealed to him that this ring rendered its wearer invisible: he set out for the court in quest of adventures, seduced the queen, murdered the king and seized his crown, accomplishing all this by virtue of his talisman.*

     * This version is curious, because it has preserved for us
     one of the earliest examples of a ring which renders its
     wearer invisible; it is well known how frequently such a
     talisman appears in Oriental tales of a later period.

181.jpg Lydian Horsemen
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a
Lydian bas-relief now in the
British Museum.

According to a third legend, his crime and exaltation had been presaged by a wondrous prodigy. Two eagles of supernatural size had alighted on the roof of Toudō’s room while she was still dwelling in her father’s house, and the soothsayers who were consulted prognosticated that the princess would be the wife of two kings in a single night; and, in fact, Gyges, having stabbed Sadyattes when his marriage was but just consummated, forced Toudō to become his wife on the spot without waiting for the morrow. Other stories were current, in which the events were related with less of the miraculous element, and which attributed the success of Gyges to the unbounded fidelity shown him by the Carian Arselis. In whatever manner it was brought about, his accession marked the opening of a new era for Lydia. The country had always been noted for its valiant and warlike inhabitants, but the Heraclidse had not expended its abundant resources on foreign conquest, and none of the surrounding peoples suspected that it could again become the seat of a brilliant empire as in fabulous times.

Gyges endeavoured to awaken the military instincts of his subjects. If he were not actually the first to organise that admirable cavalry corps which for nearly a century proved itself invincible on the field of battle, at least he enlarged and disciplined it, giving it cohesion and daring; and it was well he did so, for a formidable danger already menaced his newly acquired kingdom. The Cimmerians and Treres, so long as they did not act in concert, had been unable to overcome the resistance offered by the Phrygians; their raids, annually renewed, had never resulted in more than the destruction of a city or the pillaging of an ill-defended district. But from 690 to 680 B.C. the Cimmerians, held in check by the bold front displayed by Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, had at last broken away from the seductions of the east, and poured down in force on the centre of the peninsula. King Midas, after an heroic defence, at length gave way before their overwhelming numbers, and, rather than fall alive into the hands of the barbarians, poisoned himself by drinking the blood of a bull (676 B.C.).* The flower of his nobility perished with him, and the people of lower rank who survived were so terrified by the invasion, that they seemed in one day to lose entirely the brave and energetic character which had hitherto been their safeguard. The Cimmerians seized town after town;** they descended from the basin of the Sangarios into that of the Bhyndakos; they laid waste the Troad, and, about 670 B.C., they established themselves securely in the stronghold of Antandros, opposite the magnificent Ęolian island of Lesbos, and ere long their advanced posts were face to face on all sides with the outposts of Lydia.

     * The date of 676 B.C. has been borrowed from Julius
     Africanus by the Christian chronologists of the Byzantine
     period; these latter made the fall of the Phrygian kingdom
     coincide with the reign of Amon in Judęa, and this date is
     accepted by most modern historians.

     ** One fact alone, probably taken from the Lydiaca of
     Xanthus, is known to us concerning their operations in
     Phrygia, namely, the taking of Syassos and the capture of
     enormous stores of corn which were laid up in the silos in
     that city.

Gyges resolutely held his own, and successfully repulsed them; but the struggle was too unequal between their vast hordes, recruited incessantly from their reserves in Thrace or the Caucasus, and his scanty battalions of Lydians, Carians, and Creeks. Unaided, he had no chance of reopening the great royal highway, which the fall of the Phrygian monarchy had laid at the mercy of the barbarians along the whole of its middle course, and yet he was aware that a cessation of the traffic which passed between the Euphrates and the Hermos was likely to lead in a short time to the decay of his kingdom. If the numerous merchants who were wont to follow this ancient traditional route were once allowed to desert it and turn aside to one of the coast-roads which might replace it—either that of the Pontus in the north or of the Mediterranean in the south—they might not be willing to return to it even when again opened to traffic, and Lydia would lose for ever one of her richest sources of revenue.*

     * Radet deserves credit for being the first to point out the
     economic reasons which necessarily led Gyges to make his
     attempt at forming an alliance with Assur-bani-pal. He has
     thus definitely dismissed the objections which some recent
     critics had raised against the authenticity of this episode
     in order to defend classic tradition and diminish the
     authority of the Assyrian texts.

We may well conceive that Gyges, whose fortune and very existence was thus in jeopardy, would seek assistance against these barbarians from the sovereign whose interests appeared identical with his own. The renown of the Assyrian empire had penetrated far into the west; the Achęns of Cyprus who were its subjects, the Greek colonists of Cilicia, and the soldiers whom the exigencies of the coast-trade brought to Syrian ports, must all have testified to its splendour; and the fame of its conquests over the Tabal and the peoples on the Halys had spread abroad more than once during the previous century, and had reached as far as the western extremity of the peninsula of Asia Minor, by means of the merchants of Sardes or Ionia. The Cimmerians had harassed Assyria, and still continued to be a source of anxiety to her rulers; Gyges judged that participation in a common hatred or danger would predispose the king in his favour, and a dream furnished him with a pretext for notifying to the court of Nineveh his desire to enter into friendly relations with it. He dreamed that a god, undoubtedly Assur, had appeared to him in the night, and commanded him to prostrate himself at the feet of Assur-bani-pal: “In his name thou shalt overcome thine enemies.” The next morning he despatched horsemen to the great king, but when the leader of the embassy reached the frontier and met the Assyrians for the first time, they asked him, “Who, then, art thou, brother, thou from whose land no courier has as yet visited our country?” The language he spoke was unknown to them; they only gathered that he desired to be conducted into the presence of the king, and consequently sent him on to Nineveh under good escort. There the same obstacle presented itself, for none of the official interpreters at the court knew the Lydian tongue; however, an interpreter was at length discovered, who translated the story of the dream as best he could. Assur-bani-pal joyfully accepted the homage offered to him from such a far-off land, and from thenceforward some sort of alliance existed between Assyria and Lydia—an alliance of a very Platonic order, from which Gyges at least derived no sensible advantage. Some troops sent into the country of the White Syrians may have disquieted the Cimmerians, and, by causing a diversion in their rear, procured a respite for Lydia; but the caravan route across Asia Minor was only of secondary importance to the prosperity of Nineveh and the Syrian provinces, since the Phoenician navy provided sufficient outlets for their trade in the west. Assur-bani-pal lavished friendly speeches on the Lydians, but left them to bear the brunt of the attack alone, and devoutly thanked Assur for the security which their determined courage procured for the western frontier of his empire.

The Cimmerian peril being, for the present at least, averted, there no longer remained any foe to trouble the peace of the empire on the northern or eastern frontier, Urartu, the Mannai, and the Medes having now ceased to be formidable. Urartu, incessantly exposed to the ravages of the barbarians, had drawn closer and closer to Assyria; and though not actually descending to the point of owning its rival’s superiority in order to obtain succour against these terrible foes, it yet carefully avoided all pretexts for war, and persistently maintained friendly relations with its powerful neighbour. Its kings, Eusas II. and his successor Erimenas, no longer meditated feats of arms and successful raids, but devoted themselves to building their city walls, erecting palaces and temples, and planning pleasant retreats in the mountain fastnesses, where they lived surrounded by gardens planted at great cost, watered by streams brought thither from distant springs. The Mannai submitted without a murmur to their Assyrian governors, and the Medes, kept in check by the garrisons of Parsua and Kharkhar, seemed to have laid aside much of their fierce and turbulent disposition. Esarhaddon had endeavoured to conciliate the good will of Elam by a signal service. He had supplied its inhabitants with corn, wine, and provisions of all sorts during a famine which had afflicted the country about 670 B.C.; nor had his good will ended there. He refused to bring into servitude those Elamite subjects who had taken refuge with their families on Assyrian territory to escape the scourge, although the rights of nations authorised him so to do, but having nourished them as long as the dearth lasted, he then sent them back to their fellow-citizens. Urtaku of Elam had thenceforward maintained a kind of sullen neutrality, entering only into secret conspiracies against the Babylonian prefects on the Tigris. The Aramaeans in the valleys of the Ulaī, indeed, were restless, and several of their chiefs, Bel-ikīsha of the G-ambula, and Nabo-shumirīsh, plotted in secret with Marduk-shumibni, the Elamite general in command on the frontier. But no hint of this had yet transpired, and peace apparently reigned there as elsewhere. Never had the empire been so respected; never had it united so many diverse nations under one sceptre—Egyptians, Syrians, tribes of the Taurus, and the mountain districts round the Tigris and Euphrates, Mannai, Medes, Babylonians, and Arabs; never, moreover, had it possessed greater resources wherewith to compel obedience from the provinces or defend them against foreign attack.

187.jpg Assur-bani-pal
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from one of the bas-reliefs
from Kouyunjik in the
British Museum.

Doubtless the population of Assyria proper, and the ancient districts whose contingents formed the nucleus of the army, were still suffering from the results of the civil war which had broken out more than fifteen years before, after the assassination of Sennacherib; but under the easy rule of Esarhaddon the natural increase of population, unchecked by any extraordinary call for recruits, must have almost repaired their losses. The Egyptian campaigns, partially carried out by Syrian auxiliaries, had not sensibly retarded this progress, and, provided that peace were maintained for some years longer, the time seemed at hand when the king, having repaired his losses, could call upon the nation to make fresh efforts in offensive or defensive warfare, without the risk of seeing his people melt and disappear before his eyes. It seems, indeed, as if Assur-bani-pal, either by policy or natural disposition, was inclined for peace. But this did not preclude, when occasion demanded, his directing his forces and fighting in person like any other Assyrian monarch; he, however, preferred repose, and when circumstances forced war upon him, he willingly delegated the conduct of the army to his generals. He would probably have renounced possession of Egypt if he could have done so with safety and such a course would not have been without wisdom, the retention of this newly acquired province being difficult and costly. Not to speak of differences in language, religion, and manners, which would prevent it from ever becoming assimilated to Assyria as Damascus, Hamath, and Samaria, and most of the Asiatic states had been, it was merely connected with the rest of the empire by the thin chain of rocks, desert, and marshes stretching between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. A revolt of the cities of the Philistines, or of one of the Idumsean sheikhs, would have sufficed to isolate it, and, communications once interrupted, the safety of the numerous Assyrian officers and garrisons would be seriously jeopardised, all of whom must be maintained there if the country was to be permanently retained. The inclination to meddle in the affairs of Syria always displayed by the Pharaohs, and their obsolete claims to rule the whole country as far as the Euphrates, did not allow of their autonomy being restored to them at the risk of the immediate renewal of their intrigues with Tyre or Judah, and the fomenting of serious rebellions among the vassal princes of Palestine. On the other hand, Egypt was by its natural position so detached from the rest of the empire that it was certain to escape from the influence of Nineveh as soon as the pressure of circumstances obliged the suzerain to relax his efforts to keep it in subjection. Besides this, Ethiopia lay behind Egypt, almost inaccessible in the fabled realms of the south, always ready to provoke conspiracies or renew hostilities when the occasion offered. Montumihāīt had already returned to Thebes on the retreat of the Assyrian battalions, and though Taharqa, rendered inactive, as it was said, by a dream which bade him remain at Napata,* had not reappeared north of the cataract, he had sent Tanuatamanu, the son of his wife by Sabaco, to administer the province in his name.** Taharqa died shortly after (666 B.C.), and his stepson was preparing to leave Thebes in order to be solemnly crowned at Gebel Barkal, when he saw one night in a dream two serpents, one on his right hand, the other on his left. The soothsayers whom he consulted on the matter prognosticated for him a successful career: “Thou holdest the south countries; seize thou those of the north, and let the crowns of the two regions gleam upon thy brow!” He proceeded at once to present himself before his divine father Amon of Napata, and, encountering no opposition from the Ethiopian priests or nobles, he was able to fulfil the prediction almost immediately after his coronation.***

     * The legend quoted by Herodotus relates that Sabaco, having
     slain Necho I., the father of Psammetichus, evacuated Egypt
     which he had conquered, and retired to Ethiopia in obedience
     to a dream. The name of Sabaco was very probably substituted
     for that of Taharqa in the tradition preserved in Sais and
     Memphis, echoes of which reached the Greek historian in the
     middle of the fifth century B.C.

     ** It appears, from the Stele of the Dream, that
     Tanuatamanu was in the Thebaid at the time of his accession
     to the throne.

     *** Steindorff thinks that Tanuatamanu had been officially
     associated with himself on the throne by Taharqa, and
     Schsefer supposes that the dream dates from the first year
     of their joint reign. The presence of Tanuatamanu beside
     Taharqa, in the small Theban temple, the bas-reliefs of
     which were published by Mariette, does not necessarily prove
     that the two kings reigned conjointly: it may equally well
     indicate that the one accomplished the work commenced by the

The Said hailed his return with joy, and the inhabitants, massed upon either bank of the river, acclaimed him as he glided past them on his boat: “Go in peace! mayest thou have peace! Restore life to Egypt! Rebuild the ruined temples, set up once more the statues and emblems of the deities! Reestablish the endowments raised to the gods and goddesses, even the offerings to the dead! Restore the priest to his place, that he may minister at all the rites!”

The Assyrian officials and the princes of the north, with Necho at their head, were drawn up beneath the walls of Memphis to defy him. He overcame them, however, captured the city, and pushed on into the Delta in pursuit of the retreating foe. Necho either fell in a skirmish, or was taken prisoner and put to death: his son Psammetichus escaped to Syria, but the remaining princes shut themselves up, each in his own stronghold, to await reinforcements from Asia, and a series of tedious and interminable sieges began. Impatient at this dilatory method of warfare, Tanuatamanu at length fell back on Memphis, and there opened negotiations in the hope of securing at least a nominal submission, which might enable him to withdraw from the affair with honour.

190.jpg Mural Decorations from the Grottoes

The princes of the east received his overtures favourably, and consented to prostrate themselves before him at the White Wall under the auspices of Pakruru. “Grant us the breath of life, for he who acknowledges thee not cannot live, and we will be thy vassals, as thou didst declare at the beginning, on the day in which thou becamest king!”

191.jpg King Tanuatamanu in Adoration Before the Gods Of Thebes
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Legrain, taken in the
     small temple at Thebes.

The heart of his Majesty was filled with joy when he heard this discourse: he bestowed upon them in abundance bread, beer, and all manner of good things. After sojourning some days at the court of Pharaoh their lord, they said to him, “Why stay we here, O prince our master?” His Majesty replied, “Wherefore?” They answered then, “Graciously permit us to return to our own cities, that we may give commands to our subjects, and may bring thee our tribute offerings!” They returned ere long, bringing the promised gifts, and the king withdrew to Napata loaded with spoil.* The Delta proper at once ceased to obey him, but Memphis, as well as Thebes, still acknowledged his sway for some two or three years longer.**

     * Tanuatamanu was at first identified by Haigh with the
     person whose name Assyriologists read as Urdamani, but the
     impossibility of recognising the name Tanuatamanu in
     Urdamani decided E. de Rougé, and subsequently others, to
     admit an Urdamani different from Tanuatamanu. The discovery
     of the right reading of the name Tandamanu by Steindorff
     has banished all doubts, and it is now universally admitted
     that the person mentioned in the Assyrian documents is
     identical with the king who erected the Stele of the Dream
     at Gebel Barkal.

     ** A monument still exists which was dedicated at Thebes in
     the third year of Tanuatamanu.

It was neither indolence nor fear which had kept Assur-bani-pal from marching to the succour of his subjects as soon as the movement under Tanuatamanu became manifest, but serious complications had arisen in the south-east which had for the moment obliged him to leave Egypt to itself. Elam had at last laid aside the mask, and Urtaku, yielding to the entreaties of the Aramęan sheikhs, who were urged on by Marduk-shumibni, had crossed the Tigris. Shamash-shumukīn, thus taken unawares, could only shut himself up in Babylon, and in all haste send information of his plight to his brother and suzerain. Assur-bani-pal, preoccupied with the events taking place on the Nile, was for a moment in doubt whether this incursion was merely a passing raid or the opening of a serious war, but the reports of his scouts soon left no doubt as to the gravity of the danger: “The Elamite, like a swarm of grasshoppers, covers the fields, he covers Accad; against Babylon he has pitched his camp and drawn out his lines.” The city was too strong to be taken by storm. The Assyrians hastened to relieve it, and threatened to cut off the retreat of the aggressors: the latter, therefore, gave up the siege, and returned to their own country, but their demeanour was still so undaunted that Assur-bani-pal did not cross the frontier in pursuit of them (665 B.C.). He doubtless fully expected that they would soon return in larger numbers, and perhaps his fear would not have proved unfounded had not fate suddenly deprived them of all their leaders. Bel-ikīsha was killed in hunting by a wild boar, Nabu-shumirīsh was struck down by dropsy, and Marduk-shumibni perished in a mysterious manner. Finally Urtaku succumbed to an attack of apoplexy, and the year which had been so fatal to his allies proved not less so to himself (664 B.C.). It now seemed as if Assur-bani-pal might breathe freely, and inflict his long-deferred vengeance on Tanuatamanu, but the death of Urtaku did not remove all causes of uneasiness. Peace was not yet concluded, and it depended on the new King of Elam whether hostilities would be renewed. Fortunately for the Assyrians, the transmission of power had rarely taken place at Susa for a century past without a disturbance, and Urtaku himself had gained the throne by usurpation, possibly accompanied by murder. As he had treated his elder brother Khumbān-khaldash and the children of the latter, so did his younger brother Tammaritu now treat his sons. Tammaritu was “a devil” incarnate, whose whole thoughts were of murder and rapine; at least, this was the idea formed of him by his Assyrian contemporaries, who declared that he desired to put to death the sons of his two predecessors out of sheer cruelty. But we do not need a very vivid imagination to believe that these princes were anxious to dethrone him, and that in endeavouring to rid himself of them he was merely forestalling their secret plots. They escaped his murderous designs, however, and fled to Assyria,—Khumbān-igash, Khumbān-appa, and Tammaritu, sons of Uxtaku, and Kuduru and Parru, sons of Khumbān-khaldash, followed by sixty other princes of royal blood, together with archers and servants—forming, in fact, a small army of Elamites. Assur-bani-pal received them with honour, for their defection furnished him with a powerful weapon against the usurper: by succouring them he could rouse half Elam and involve it in civil war, in which the pretenders would soon exhaust their resources. It was now a favourable moment to renew hostilities in Egypt, while Tammaritu, still insecure on his throne, would not venture to provoke a conflict.*

     * The time of the war against Urtaku and the expedition
     against Tanuatamanu is indicated by a passage in a cylinder
     as yet unedited. There we read that the invasion of Urtaku
     took place at the moment when Tanuatamanu ascended the
     throne. These preliminary difficulties with Elam would thus
     have coincided with the two years which elapsed between the
     accession of Tanuatamanu and his conquest of Memphis, up to
     the third year mentioned in the Berlin inscription; the
     testimony of the Egyptian monuments would thus be in almost
     complete accord with the Assyrian documents on this point.

As a matter of fact, Tanuatamanu did not risk the defence of Memphis, but concentrated his forces at Thebes. Once more the Assyrian generals ascended the Nile, and, after a voyage lasting six weeks, at length reached the suburbs of the great city. Tanuatamanu had fled towards Kipkip, leaving Thebes at the mercy of the invaders. It was given up to pillage, its population was carried off into slavery, and its temples and palaces were despoiled of their treasures—gold, silver, metals, and precious stones, broidered and richly dyed stuffs, and horses of the royal stud.

Two of the obelisks which adorned the temple of Amon were taken down from their pedestals and placed on rafts to be transported to Nineveh, and we shall perhaps unearth them some day from its ruins. This work of reprisal accomplished, the conquerors made their way northwards, and the bulk of the army recrossed the isthmus: Ethiopian rule had ceased north of the cataract, and Egypt settled down once more under the Assyrian yoke (663-662 B.C.).*

     * The dates which I have adopted follow from the date of 666
     B.C. given for the death of Taharqa and the accession of
     Psammetichus I. The expedition against Thebes must have
     taken place at the end of the third or beginning of the
     fourth year of the reign of Tanuatamanu, shortly after the
     inscription of the third year, and was engraved either in
     663 or 662 B.C. at the latest.

195.jpg Assyrian Helmet Found at Thebes
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from the
photograph by Pétrie.

Impoverished and decayed as Thebes had now long since become, the nations whom she had afflicted so sorely in the days of her glory had retained for her feelings of respect and almost of awe: the rumour of her fall, spread through the Eastern world, filled them with astonishment and pity. The Hebrews saw in it the chastisement inflicted by their God on the tyrant who had oppressed their ancestors, and their prophets used it to impress upon the minds of their contemporaries the vanity of human prosperity. Half a century later, when Nineveh, menaced in her turn, was desperately arming herself to repel the barbarians, Nahum the Elkoshite demanded of her, amid his fierce denunciations, whether she vaunted herself to be better than “No-amon (city of Amon), that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite. Put and Lubim (Libya and the Nubians) came to her succour. Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.” Assur-bani-pal, lord of Egypt and conqueror of Ethiopia, might reasonably consider himself invincible; it would have been well for the princes who trembled at the name of Assur-bani-pal, if they had taken this lesson to heart, and had learned from the downfall of Tanuata-manu what fate awaited them in the event of their daring to arouse the wrath of Assyria by any kind of intrigue. Unfortunately, many of them either failed to see the warning or refused to profit by it. The Mannai had quickly recovered from the defeat inflicted on them by Esarhaddon, and their king, Akhsheri, in spite of his advancing years, believed that his own energy and resources were sufficient to warrant him in anticipating a speedy revenge. Perhaps a further insight into the real character of Assur-bani-pal may have induced him to venture on hostilities. For the king’s contemporaries had begun to realise that, beneath his apparent bravery and ostentation, he was by nature indolent, impatient of restraint, and fond of ease and luxury. When not absorbed in the routine of the court and the pleasures of the harem, he spent his leisure in hunting on the Mesopotamian plains, or in the extensive parks which had been laid out by himself or his predecessors in the vicinity of their summer palaces. Urus-stalking had become merely a memory of the past: these animals had been so persistently hunted for centuries that the species had almost become extinct; solitary specimens only were occasionally met with in remote parts of the forest or in out-of-the-way marshes. The wild ass was still to be found in large numbers, as well as the goat, the ostrich, and small game, but the lion was now rarely met with, and the beaters were no longer sure of finding him in his ancient haunts. Specimens had to be sought by the royal gamekeepers in the provinces, and when successfully trapped were forthwith despatched to one or other of the king’s country seats. The beast was often kept for several days in a cage while preparations were made for a fźte, at which he was destined to form one of the chief attractions, and when the time came he was taken to the appointed place and let loose; the sovereign pursued him either in a chariot or on horseback, and did not desist from the chase till he had pierced his quarry with arrows or lance.

Frequently the beast would be turned loose in the park, and left there till accustomed to his surroundings, so that later on he might be run down under conditions somewhat resembling his native freedom. Assur-bani-pal did not shun a personal encounter with an infuriated lion; he displayed in this hazardous sport a bravery and skill which rivalled that of his ancestors, and he never relegated to another the task of leading the attack or dealing the final death-blow. This, however, was not the case when it was a question of starting on some warlike expedition; he would then leave to his Tartans, or to the Eabshakeh, or to some other chosen officer, the entire conduct of all operations.*

     * We have seen, for example, that after the death of
     Esarhaddon, the Egyptian campaign was conducted by one of
     the Tartans and the Eabshakeh.

198.jpg a Lion Issuing from Its Cage
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from
a photograph taken from the
original in the British Museum.

This did not preclude the king from taking an interest in what was passing beyond the frontier, nor did he fail in his performance of the various religious duties which custom imposed on an Assyrian sovereign: he consulted the oracles of Shamash or Ishtar, he offered sacrifices, he fasted and humbled himself in the temples to obtain the success of his troops, and when they returned laden with spoil from the campaign, he attributed their victories no less to his prayers than to their courage or to the skill of their leaders. His generals, thoroughly equipped for their task, and well supported by their troops, had no need of the royal presence to ensure their triumph over any foe they might encounter; indeed, in the absence of the king they experienced a liberty of action and boldness in pressing their victories to the uttermost which they would not have enjoyed had he been in command. Foreigners, accustomed to see the sovereigns of Nineveh conduct their armies in person, as long as they were not incapacitated by age, thought that the indolence of Assur-bani-pal was the unconscious expression of weariness or of his feeble control of the empire, and Akhsheri determined to be one of the first to take advantage of it. Events proved that he was mistaken in his calculations. No sooner had his intentions become known, than a division of Assyrian troops appeared on his frontier, and prepared to attack him. Resolving to take the initiative, he fell one night unexpectedly upon the Assyrian camp, but fortune declared against him: he was driven back, and his broken ranks were closely pursued for a distance of twenty-three miles. Eight of his strongholds fell one after the other, and he was at length forced to abandon his capital of Izirtu, and flee precipitately to his fortress of Adrana in the heart of the mountains. Even there he did not find the security he desired, for the conqueror pursued him thither, methodically devastating by the way the districts through which he passed: he carried off everything—men, slaves, and herds of cattle—and he never retired from a city or village without previously setting it on fire. Paddir, Arsiyanīsh, and Eristiana were thus laid waste, after which the Assyrians returned to their camp, having re-established the authority of their master over several districts which had been lost to them for some generations previously. Akhsheri had shown no sign of yielding, but his people, weary of a hopeless resistance, put him to death, and hurling his corpse over the wall of Adrana, proclaimed his son Ualli as king. The new sovereign hastened to conclude a treaty with the Assyrians on reasonable terms: he gave up his eldest son, Erisinni, and one of his daughters as hostages, and promised to pay the former tribute augmented by an annual present of thirty horses; peace was not again disturbed on this side except by some unimportant skirmishes. In one of these, a Median chieftain, named Biriz-khadri, made an alliance with two princes of the people of the Sakhi, Sarāti, and Parikhia, sons of Gāgu,* to ravage the marches of the Greater Zab; but their territory was raided in return, and they themselves taken prisoners.

     * The name of Biriz-khadri has an Iranian appearance. The
     first element Biriz recalls the Zend bereza, berez,
     “tall, large;” the second, which appears in the names Bisi-
     khadir and Khali-khadri, is of uncertain derivation, and has
     been connected with atar, “fire,” or with Ichwathra,
     “brilliance.” Gāgu, which is found as the name of a people
     (Gagāti) in the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, has been identified
     from the first with the name of Gog, prince of Rosh,
     Meshech, and Tubal (Ezek. xxxviii. 2, 3; xxxix.) The name
     of the country of Sakhi, which has not been met with
     elsewhere, has been compared with that of the Sacaj, which
     seems to have existed not only in the name of the province
     of Sakascnō mentioned by the classical geographers, but in
     that of Shake known to the old Armenian geographers; the
     country itself, however, as it seems to me, cannot be sought
     in the direction of Sakasenō, and consequently the proposed
     identification cannot hold good.

A little later, Andaria, prince of Lubdi, forgetful of his oath of allegiance to the aged Esarhad-don, made a night attack on the towns of Kullimir and Ubbumī: the inhabitants armed in haste, and he was not only defeated, but was taken captive, and his head cut off to be sent to Nineveh. The garrisons and military colonies along the north-east frontier were constantly required to be on the alert; but they usually had sufficient available resources to meet any emergency, and the enemies who molested them were rarely dangerous enough to necessitate the mobilisation of a regular army.

This was not the case, however, in the south-west, where Tiummān, counting on the military strength of Elam, made continual hostile demonstrations. He was scarcely settled on his throne before he hastened to form alliances with those Aramęan states which had so often invoked the aid of his predecessors against the ancestors of Assur-bani-pal. The Kaldā rejected his proposals, as did most of the tribes of the littoral; but the Gambulā yielded to his solicitations, and their king, Dunānu, son of Bel-ikīsha, entered into an offensive and defensive alliance with Elam. Their defection left the eastern frontier of Karduniash unprotected, and, by opening to the Elamite the fords of the Tigris, permitted him to advance on Babylon unhindered by any serious obstacle. As soon as the compact was sealed, Tiummān massed his battalions on the middle course of the Uknu, and, before crossing the frontier, sent two of his generals, the Susian Khumba-darą and the Chaldean Nabu-damīq, as the bearers of an insolent ultimatum to the court of Nineveh: he offered the king the choice between immediate hostilities, or the extradition of the sons of Urtaku and Khumbān-khaldash, as well as of their partisans who had taken refuge in Assyria. To surrender the exiles would have been an open confession of inferiority, and such a humiliating acknowledgment of weakness promptly reported throughout the Eastern world might shortly have excited a general revolt: hence Assur-bani-pal disdainfully rejected the proposal of the Elamite sovereign, which had been made rather as a matter of form than with any hope of its acceptance, but the issue of a serious war with Susa was so uncertain that his refusal was accompanied with serious misgivings. It needed many favourable omens from the gods to encourage him to believe in his future success. The moon-god Sin was the first to utter his prediction: he suffered eclipse in the month of Tammuz, and for three successive days, at nightfall, showed himself in the sky surrounded by strange appearances which heralded the death of a king in Elam, and foretold calamity to that country. Then Assur and Ishtar struck Tiummān with violent convulsions; they caused his lips and eyes to be horribly distorted, but he despised their warning, and as soon as his seizure had passed, set out to assume command of his army. The news of his action reached Nineveh in the month of Ab, on the morning of the solemn festival of Ishtar. Assur-bani-pal was at Arbela, celebrating the rites in honour of the goddess, when the messenger appeared before him and repeated, together with the terms of the declaration of war, the scornful words which Tiummān had uttered against him and his patroness: “This prince whose wits have been crazed by Ishtar—I will let him escape no more, when once I have gone forth and measured my strength against him!” This blasphemy filled the Assyrian king with horror. That very evening he betook himself to the sanctuary, and there, prostrate before the image of the goddess, he poured forth prayers mingled with tears: “Lady of Arbela, I am Assur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, the creature of thy hands, the offspring of a father whom thou didst create! Behold now, this Tiummān, the King of Elam, who despises the gods of Assyria, hath sent forth his host and prepared himself for the conflict; he hath called for his arms to rush to attack Assyria. Do thou, O archer of the gods, like a bolt falling in the midst of the battle, overthrow him, and let loose upon him a tempest, and an evil wind!” Ishtar heard his prayer, and her voice sounded through the gloom: “Fear not,” said she, comforting him: “since thou hast raised thy hands to me in supplication, and thine eyes are bedewed with tears grant thee a boon!” Towards the end of that night, a seer slept in the temple and was visited by a dream. Ishtar of Arbela appeared to him, with a quiver on either side, a bow in one hand and a drawn sword in the other. She advanced towards the king, and spoke to him as if she had been his mother: “Make war boldly! whichever way thou turnest thy countenance, there will I go!” And the king replied to her, “Where thou goest, will I go with thee, sovereign lady!” But she answered, “Stay thou here. Dwell in this home of Nebo, eat thy food and drink thy wine, listen to joyful songs and honour my divinity, until I have gone and accomplished this work. Let not thy countenance grow pale, nor thy feet fail under thee, and expose not thyself to the danger of battle.” “And then, O king,” added the seer, “she hid thee in her bosom as a mother, and protected thy image. A flame shall spring forth before her, and shall spread abroad to destroy thine enemies: against Tiummān, King of Elam, who has angered her, has she set her face!” Like Mīnephtah of old, in the days of the Libyan invasions of Egypt, Assur-bani-pal allowed himself to be readily convinced by the decision of the gods; he did not quit Arbela, but gave orders to his troops to proceed to the front. His generals opened the campaign in the month of Em, and directed the main body of their forces against the fortress of Durīlu, at the point on the frontier nearest to Susa. Tiummān was not expecting such a prompt and direct attack: he had reckoned doubtless on uniting his forces with those of Dunānu with a view to invading Karduniash, and suddenly realised that his adversary had forestalled him and was advancing on the heart of his empire. He slowly withdrew his advanced guard, and concentrated his forces round the town of Tullīz, a few leagues on this side of Susa, and there awaited the enemy’s attack.*

     * The site of Tullīz is unknown. Billerbock considers, and
     with reason, I think, that the battle took place to the
     south of Susa, on the river Shavur, which would correspond
     to the Ulaī, on the lowest spurs of the ridge of hills
     bordering the alluvial plain of Susiana.

His position was a strong one, flanked on the right by a wood and on the left by the Ulaī, while the flower of the Elamite nobility was ranged around him. The equipment of his soldiers was simpler than that of the enemy: consisting of a low helmet, devoid of any crest, but furnished with a large pendant tress of horsehair to shade the neck; a shield of moderate dimensions; a small bow, which, however, was quite as deadly a weapon as that of the Assyrians, when wielded by skilful hands; a lance, a mace, and a dagger. He had only a small body of cavalry, but the chariotry formed an important force, and presented several original features. The chariot did not follow the classic model, rounded in front and open at the back; it was a kind of light car, consisting of a square footboard placed flat on the axle of the wheels, and furnished with triangular side-pieces on two sides only, the vehicle being drawn by a pair of horses. Such chariots were easier to manage, better adapted for rapid motion, and must have been more convenient for a reconnaissance or for skirmishes with infantry; but when thrown in a mass against the heavy chariotry of the peoples of the Euphrates, they were far too slightly built to overthrow the latter, and at close quarters were of necessity crushed by the superior weight of the adversary.

206.jpg Ituni Breaks his Bow With a Blow of His Sword, And Gives Himself up to the Executioner
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the original
     in the British Museum.

206b.jpg the Battle of Tulliz

Tiummān had not succeeded in collecting all his forces before the first columns of the Assyrian army advanced to engage his front line, but as he was expecting reinforcements, he endeavoured to gain time by despatching Ituni, one of his generals, with orders to negotiate a truce.

The Assyrian commander, suspecting a ruse, would not listen to any proposals, but ordered the envoy to be decapitated on the spot: Ituni broke his bow with a blow of his sword, and stoically yielded his neck to the executioner. The issue of the battle was for a long time undecided, but the victory finally remained with the heavy regiments of Assyria. The left wing of the Susians, driven into the Ulaī, perished by drowning, and the river was choked with the corpses of men and horses, and the débris of arms and broken chariots. The right wing took to flight under cover of a wood, and the survivors tried to reach the mountains.

209.jpg Urtaku Cousin of TiummĀn, Surrendering to An Assyrian
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum.

Urtaku, the cousin of Tiummān, was wounded by an arrow; perceiving an Assyrian soldier coming up to him, he told him who he was, and recommended him to carry his head to the general: “He will pay you handsomely for it,” he added. Tiummān had led in person several charges of his body-guard; and on being wounded, his son Tammaritu had succeeded in rescuing him from the thick of the fight: both seated together in a chariot, were in full flight, when one of the wheels caught against a tree and was shattered, the shock flinging the occupants to the ground. A large body of Assyrians were in close pursuit, led by one of the exiled Susian princes, a second Tam-maritu, son of Urtaku.

210.jpg the Last Arrow of TiummĀn and his Son
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British

At the first discharge an arrow wounded Tiummān in the right side, and brought him to his knee. He felt that all was over, and desiring at all events to be revenged, he pointed out the deserter prince to his companion, crying indignantly, “Let fly at him.” The arrow missed its mark, and a flight of hostile darts stretched the young man on the ground: the traitor Tammaritu dealt the son his death-blow with his mace, while an Assyrian decapitated the father. The corpses were left on the field, but the head of the king, after being taken to the general in command, was carried through the camp on one of the chariots captured during the action, and was eventually sent to the palace of Arbela by the hand of a well-mounted courier.

211.jpg Death of TiummĀn and his Son
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British

The day concluded with the making of an inventory of the spoil, and by an enumeration of the heads of the slain: prisoners from the rank and file were beaten to death according to custom, and several of the principal officers had their tongues torn out or were flayed alive. The news of the disaster was brought to Susa towards evening by the fugitives, and produced a revolution in the city. The partisans of the exiled princes, seizing the adherents of Tiummān, put them in chains, and delivered them up to the conqueror. The shattered remnants of the army rallied round them, and a throng of men and women in festal garb issued forth along the banks of the Ulai to meet the Assyrians. The priests and sacred singers marched to the sound of music, marking the rhythm with their feet, and filling the air with the noise of their harps and double flutes, while behind them came a choir of children, chanting a hymn under the direction of the consecrated eunuchs. The Tartan met them, and, acting in accordance with the orders of Assur-bani-pal, presented to the multitude Khumbān-igash, the eldest son of Urtaku, as their king. The people joyfully hailed the new sovereign, and the Assyrians, after exacting tribute from him and conferring the fief of Khaīdalu on his brother Tammaritu, withdrew, leaving to the new princes the task of establishing their authority outside the walls of Susa and Madaktu. As they returned, they attacked the Gambulā, speedily reducing them to submission. Dunānu, besieged in his stronghold of Shapībel, surrendered at discretion, and was carried away captive with all his family.

212.jpg Khumb.n-igash Proclaimed King

Thus Assur-bani-pal had scrupulously obeyed the orders of Ishtar. While his generals were winning his victories he had been eating and drinking, hunting, dallying with his wives, and living in the open air. He was taking his pleasure with the queen in the palace garden when the head of Tiummān was brought to him: he caused it to be suspended from the branch of a pine tree in full view of the whole court, and continued his banquet to the sound of harps and singing. Rusas III., King of Urartu, died about this time, and his successor, Sharduris III., thought it incumbent on him to announce his accession at Nineveh. Assur-bani-pal received the embassy at Arbela, with the graciousness befitting a suzerain whom a faithful vassal honours by his dutiful homage, and in order to impress the Urartians still further with an idea of his power, he showed them the two Elamite delegates, Khumba-darā and Nabu-damīq, in chains at his feet.*

     * Belck and Lehmann have very ingeniously connected the
     embassy, mentioned in the Assyrian documents, with the fact
     of the accession of the king who sent it.

215.jpg the Head of Thumman Sent to Nineveh
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British
     Museum. The chariot speeding along at a gallop in the
     topmost series of pictures carries a soldier bearing the
     head of Tiumraān in his hand; behind him, under a tent,
     scribes are registering the heads which are brought in. In
     the two lower bas-reliefs are displayed the closing scenes
     of the battle.

These wretched men had a more cruel ordeal yet in store for them: when the Assyrian army re-entered Nineveh, Assur-bani-pal placed them on the route along which the cortčge had to pass, and made them realise to the full the humiliation of their country. Dunānu walked at the head of the band of captive chiefs, with the head of Tiummān, taken from its tree, suspended round his neck. When the delegates perceived it, they gave way to despair:

Khumba-darā tore out his beard by handfuls, and Nabu-damīq, unsheathing the dagger which hung from his belt, plunged it into his own breast.

216.jpg Assur-bani-pal Banqueting With his Queen
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum The head of Tiummān hangs on the second tree
     on the left-hand side.

The triumphal entry was followed by the usual tortures. The head of Tiummān was fixed over the gate of Nineveh, to rot before the eyes of the multitude. Dunānu was slowly flayed alive, and then bled like a lamb; his brother Shamgunu had his throat cut, and his body was divided into pieces, which were distributed over the country as a warning. Even the dead were not spared: the bones of Nabu-shumirīsh were disinterred and transported to Assyria, where his sons were forced to bray them in a mortar.* We may estimate the extent of the alarm which had been felt at Nineveh by the outburst of brutal joy with which the victory was hailed.

     * The fullest text of all those which narrate the campaign
     against Tiummān and Dunānu is that on Cylinder B of the
     British Museum. It pretends, as usual, that the king led
     the army in person, but the words which the seer places in
     the mouth of Ishtar prove that the king remained at Arbela
     by divine command, and the inscription on one of the bas-
     reliefs, as well as Tablet K 2674, mentions, without
     giving his name, the general who was sent against Susa.

217.jpg Two Elamite Chiefs Flayed Alive After the Battle Of TullĪz
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken in the British

The experience of the past showed what a terrible enemy Assyria had in Elam, and how slight was the chance of a successful issue in a war against her. Her kings had often invaded Chaldęa, and had more than once brought it directly under their sway; they had ravaged its cities and pillaged its temples, and the sanctuary of Susa were filled with statues of the gods or with bas-reliefs which they had dedicated after their campaigns on the Euphrates. Although they had not been successful against Assyria to the same extent, they had at least always victoriously repelled her attacks: they had held their own against Sargon, given much trouble to Sennacherib, and defied the power of Esarhaddon with impunity. Never till now had an Assyrian army gained such an important victory over Elam, and though it was by no means decisive, we can easily believe that Assur-bani-pal was filled with pride and delight, since it was the first time that a king of Nineveh had imposed on Elam a sovereign of his own choice.

Since homage was voluntarily rendered him by the rulers of foreign nations, Assur-bani-pal doubtless believed that he might exact it without hesitation from the vassal princes dependent on the empire; and not from the weaker only like those who were still to be found in Syria, but also from the more powerful, not excepting the lord of Karduniash. Shamash-shumukīn had fully risen to his position as King of Babylon, and the unbroken peace which he had enjoyed since the death of Urtaku had enabled him almost to complete the restoration of the kingdom begun under Esarhaddon. He had finished the rebuilding of the walls of Babylon, and had fortified the approaches to the city, thus rendering it capable of withstanding a long siege; he had repaired the temple of Sippara, which had never recovered from the Elamite invasion; and while unstintingly lavishing his treasures in honour of the gods and for the safety of his capital, he watched with jealous care over the interests of his subjects. He obtained for them the privilege of being treated on the same footing as the Assyrians throughout his father’s ancestral domains; they consequently enjoyed the right of trading without restriction throughout the empire, and met with the same degree of protection from the officials of Nineveh as from the magistrates of their own country. Assur-bani-pal had at the outset furthered the wishes of his brother to the utmost of his power: he had granted the privileges demanded, and whenever a Chaldęan of noble birth arrived at his court, he received him with special marks of favour. The two states enjoyed a nearly absolute equality during the opening years of his reign, and though the will of Esarhaddon had made Babylon dependent on Assyria, the yoke of vassalage was far from heavy. The suzerain reserved to himself the honour of dedicating the mighty works begun by his father, the restoration of the temple of Bel-Marduk and of the double wall of fortification; he claimed, in his inscriptions, the whole merit of the work, but he none the less respected his brother’s rights, and in no way interfered in the affairs of the city except in state ceremonies in which the assertion of his superior rank was indispensable. But with success his moderation gradually gave place to arrogance. In proportion as his military renown increased, he accentuated his supremacy, and accustomed himself to treat Babylon more and more as a vassal state. After the conquest of Elam his infatuated pride knew no bounds, and the little consideration he still retained for Shamash-shumukīn vanished completely. He thenceforward refused to regard him as being more than a prefect bearing a somewhat higher title than his fellows, a viceroy owing his crown, not to the will of their common father, but to the friendship of his brother, and liable to be deprived of it at any moment through the caprice of the sovereign. He affected to consider all that took place at Babylon as his own doing, and his brother as being merely his docile instrument, not deserving mention any more than the ordinary agents who carried out his designs; and if, indeed, he condescended to mention him, it was with an assumption of disdainful superiority. It is a question whether Shamash-Shumukīn at this juncture believed that his brother was meditating a design to snatch the reins of government from his hand, or whether he merely yielded to the impulse of wounded vanity in resolving to shake off a yoke which had become intolerable. Knowing that his power was not equal to that of Assur-bani-pal, he sought to enter into relations with foreign allies who shared the same fears, or nursed a similar feeling of bitterness. The nobles and priests of the ancient Sumerian and Accadian cities were already on his side, but the Aramaeans had shown themselves hostile at his accession, and had brought down on him the forces of Elam. He found means, however, to conciliate them, together with the tribes which dwelt on the Tigris and the Uknu, as well as those of the lower Euphrates and the Arabian desert. He won over to his projects Nabu-bźlzikri, the chief of the Kaldā—grandson of that Merodach-baladan who had cherished invincible hatred against Sargon and Sennacherib—besides the lords of the Bit-Dakkuri and Bīt-Amukkāni, and the sheikh of the Pukudu. Khumbān-igash ought to have remained loyal to the friend to whom he owed his kingdom, but he chafed at the patronage of Assyria, and Assur-bani-pal had just formulated a demand to which he, not unreasonably, hesitated to accede. The archaic statue of Nana, stolen from Uruk by Kutur-nakhunta sixteen centuries before, and placed by that prince in one of the temples of Susa, had become so naturalised in its new abode that the kings of Elam, not content with rendering it an official cult, were wont to send presents to Babylonia, to the image which had replaced it in its original sanctuary. Assur-bani-pal now required Khumbān-igash to give back the original statue, but the Elamite could not obey this mandate without imperilling both his throne and his person: he would thereby have risked incurring the displeasure both of the nobles, whose pride would have suffered at the loss of so precious a trophy, and of the common people, who would have thus been deprived of one of their most venerable objects of devotion. The messengers of Shamash-shumukīn, arriving at the moment when this question was agitating the court of Susa, found the way already prepared for a mutual understanding. Besides, they held in their hands an irresistible argument, the treasures of Bel-Marduk of Babylon, of Nebo of Borsippa, and of Nergal of Kuta, which had been confided to them by the priests with a view to purchasing, if necessary, the support of Elam. Khumbān-igash thereupon promised to send a detachment of troops to Karduniash, and to invade the provinces of Assyria the moment war should be declared. The tribes of Guti were easily won over, and were followed by the kings of Phoenicia and the Bedāwin of Melukhkha, and perhaps Egypt itself was implicated in the plot. The Prince of Kedar, Amuladdin, undertook to effect a diversion on the frontiers of Syria, and Uatź, son of Layali, one of the Arab kings who had paid homage to Esarhaddon, was not behindhand in furnishing his contingent of horsemen and wild native infantry. The coalition already extended from the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf before Assur-bani-pal became aware of its existence. An unforeseen occurrence suddenly broke in upon his peace and revealed the extent of the peril which threatened him.*

     * The chronology of this war has been determined by G. Smith
     from the dates attached to the documents in the British
     Museum, which give the names of three limmi, Assur-
     durnzur, Zagabbu, and Bel-kharrān-shadua: these he assigned
     respectively to the years 650, 649, and 648 B.C. Tiele has
     shown that these three limmi must be assigned to the years
     652-650 B.C. Though these dates seem in the highest degree
     probable, we must wait before we can consider them as
     absolutely certain till chance restores to us the missing
     parts of the Canon.

Kudur, the Assyrian prefect of Uruk, learnt from Sin-tabnī-uzur, the governor of Uru, that certain emissaries of Shamash-shumukīn had surreptitiously entered that city and were secretly fomenting rebellion among the people. Sin-tabnī-uzur himself had been solicited to join the movement, but had absolutely refused to do so, and considering himself powerless to repress the disaffection with the few soldiers at his disposal, he had demanded reinforcements. Kudur first furnished him with five hundred men of his own troops, and subsequently sent some battalions which were under the command of the governors of Arrapkha and Amidi, but which were, for some unknown reason, encamped in the neighbourhood. It would appear that Shamash-shumukīn, finding his projects interfered with by this premature exposure, tried to counteract its effects by protestations of friendship: a special embassy was despatched to his brother to renew the assurances of his devotion, and he thus gained the time necessary to complete his armaments. As soon as he felt himself fully prepared, he gave up further dissimulation, and, throwing away the mask, proclaimed himself independent of Assyria, while at the same moment Khumbān-igash despatched his army to the frontier and declared war on his former protector. Assur-bani-pal was touched to the quick by what he truly considered the ingratitude of the Babylonians. “As for the children of Babylon, I had set them upon seats of honour, I had clothed them in robes of many colours, I had placed rings of gold upon their fingers; the children of Babylon had been established in Assyria, and were admitted into my presence. But Shamash-shumukīn, the false brother, he has not observed my ordinances, but has raised against me the peoples of Akkad, the Kaldā, the Aramaeans, the peoples of the country of the sea, from Akabah to Bab-salimźti!” Nineveh was at first in a state of trepidation at this unexpected blow; the sacred oracles gave obscure replies, and presaged evil four times out of five. At last, one day, a seer slept and dreamed a dream, in which he saw this sentence written on the ground in the temple of Sin: “All those who are meditating evil against Assur-bani-pal, King of Assyria, and who are preparing themselves to fight with him, I will inflict on them a terrible death: by the swift sword, by flinging them into fire, by famine and by pestilence, will I destroy their lives!” The courage of the people being revived by this prophecy, Assur-bani-pal issued a proclamation to the Babylonians, in which he denounced his brother’s treason, and commanded them to remain quiet as they valued their lives, and, having done this, he boldly assumed the offensive (652 B.C.).*

     * The proclamation is dated in the eponymous year of Assur-
     duruzur, corresponding to 652 B.C.; the events which
     immediately preceded the proclamation ought, very probably,
     to be assigned to the same year.

The only real danger came from the side of Elam; this state alone was in a condition to oppose him with as numerous and determined an army as that which he himself could put into the field; if Blam were disabled, it would be impossible for Babylon to be victorious, and its fall would be a mere question of time. The opening of the campaign was a difficult matter. Khumbān-igash, having sold his support dearly, had at all events spared no pains to satisfy his employer, and had furnished him with the flower of his nobility, comprising Undashi, one of the sons of Tiumman; Zazaz, prefect of Billatź; Parru, chief of Khilmu; Attamītu, commanding the archers; and Nesu, commander-in-chief of his forces. In order to induce Undashi to serve under him, he had not hesitated to recall to his memory the sad fate of Tiumman: “Go, and avenge upon Assyria the murder of the father who begat thee!” The two opposing forces continued to watch one another’s movements without any serious engagement taking place during the greater part of the year 651 B.C.; though the Assyrians won some slight advantages, killing Attamītu in a skirmish and sending his head to Nineveh, some serious reverses soon counterbalanced these preliminary successes. Nabo-bel-shumi had arrived on the scene with his Aramęan forces, and had compelled the troops engaged in the defence of Uruk and Uru to lay down their arms: their leaders, including Sin-tabni-uzur himself, had been forced to renounce the supremacy of Assyria, and had been enrolled in the rebel ranks.*

     * The official accounts say nothing of the intervention of
     Nabo-bel-shumi at this juncture, but the information
     furnished by Tablet K 159 in the British Museum makes up
     for their silence. The objection raised by Tielo to the
     interpretation given by G. Smith that this passage cannot
     refer to Assyrian deserters, falls to the ground if one
     admits that the Assyrian troops led into Elam at a
     subsequent period by Nabo-bel-shumi, were none other than
     the garrisons of the Lower Euphrates which were obliged to
     side with the insurgents in 651 B.C. The two despatches, K
     4696 and K 28 in the British Museum, which refer to the
     defection of Sin-tabni-uzur, are dated the 8th and 11th Abu
     in the eponymous year of Zagabbu, corresponding to the year
     651 B.C., as indicated by Tiele with very good reason.

Operations seemed likely to be indefinitely prolonged, and Assur-bani-pal, anxious as to the issue, importunately besought the gods to intervene on his behalf, when discords breaking out in the royal family of Elam caused the scales of fortune once more to turn in his favour. The energy with which Khumbān-igash had entered on the present struggle had not succeeded in effacing the disagreeable impression left on the minds of the majority of his subjects, by the fact that he had returned to his country in the chariots of the stranger and had been enthroned by the decree of an Assyrian general. Tammaritu, of Khaīdalu, who had then fought at his side in the ranks of the invaders, was now one of those who reproached him most bitterly for his conduct. He frankly confessed that his hand had cut off the head of Tiummān, but denied that he did so in obedience to the hereditary enemies of his country; he had but avenged his personal injuries, whereas Khumbān-igash, following the promptings of ambition, had kissed the ground at the feet of a slave of Assur-bani-pal and had received the crown as a recompense for his baseness. Putting his rival to death, Tammaritu seized the throne, and in order to prove that he was neither consciously nor unconsciously an instrument of Ninevite policy, he at once sent reinforcements to the help of Babylon without exacting in return any fresh subsidy. The Assyrians, taking advantage of the isolated position of Shamash-shumukīn, had pressed forward one of their divisions as far as the districts on the sea coast, which they had recovered from the power of Nabo-bel-shumi, and had placed under the administration of Belibni, a person of high rank. The arrival of the Elamite force was on the point of further compromising the situation, and rekindling the flames of war more fiercely than ever, when a second revolution broke out, which shattered for ever the hopes of Shamash-shumukīn. Assur-bani-pal naturally looked upon this event as the result of his supplications and sacrifices; Assur and Ishtar, in answer to his entreaties, raised up Indabigash, one of the most powerful feudal lords of the kingdom of Susa, and incited him to revolt. Tarnmaritu fled to the marshes which bordered the Nār-marratum, and seizing a vessel, put out to sea with his brothers, his cousins, seventeen princes of royal blood, and eighty-four faithful followers: the ship, driven by the wind on to the Assyrian shore, foundered, and the dethroned monarch, demoralised by sea-sickness, would have perished in the confusion had not one of his followers taken him on his back and carried him safely to land across the mud. Belibni sent him prisoner to Nineveh with all his suite, and Assur-bani-pal, after allowing him to humble himself before him, raised him from the ground, embraced him, and assigned to him apartments in the palace and a train of attendants befitting the dignity which he had enjoyed for a short time at Susa. Indabigash was too fully occupied with his own affairs to interfere again in the quarrel between the two brothers: his country, disorganised by the successive shocks it had sustained, had need of repose, for some years at least, before re-entering the lists, except at a disadvantage. He concluded no direct treaty with the Assyrian king, but he at once withdrew the troops which had entered Karduniash, and abstained from all hostile demonstrations against the garrisons of the border provinces: for the moment, indeed, this was all that was required of him (650 B.C.).

Deprived of the support of Elam, Babylon was doomed to fall. The Aramaeans deserted her cause, and Nabu-bel-shumi, grandson of Merodach-baladan, despairing of ever recovering the heritage of his family, withdrew to his haunts among the reed beds of the Uknu, taking back with him as hostages the Assyrians whom he had forced to join his army at the beginning of the campaign. Shamash-shumukīn, however, was not disconcerted: he probably hoped that his distant allies might yet effect a diversion in his favour, and thus oblige his brother to withdraw half of the forces employed against him. Indeed, after the blockade had already begun, a band of Arabs under the two sheikhs Abiyatź and Aamu forced a way through the besieging lines and entered the city. This was the last succour which reached Babylon from without: for many long months all communication between her citizens and the outer world was completely cut off. The Assyrians laid waste the surrounding country with ruthless and systematic cruelty, burning the villages, razing to the ground isolated houses, destroying the trees, breaking down the dykes, and filling up the canals. The year 649 B.C. was spent in useless skirmishes; the city offered an energetic and obstinate resistance, and as the walls were thick and the garrison determined, it would not have succumbed had not the supply of provisions finally failed. Famine raged in the city, and the inhabitants devoured even their own children, while pestilence spreading among them mowed them down by thousands.

228.jpg the Eastern World in The Reign of Assur-bani-pal

The Arab auxiliaries at this juncture deserted the cause of the defenders, and their sheikhs surrendered to Assur-bani-pal, who received and pardoned them; but the Babylonians themselves, knowing that they could expect no mercy, held out some time longer: at length, their courage and their strength exhausted, they rose against their chiefs, whose ambition or patriotic pride had brought them to such a pass, and determined to capitulate on any terms. Shamash-shumukm, not wishing to fall alive into the hands of his brother, shut himself up in his palace, and there immolated himself on a funeral pyre with his wives his children, his slaves, and his treasures at the moment when his conquerors were breaking down the gates and penetrating into the palace precincts.*

     * G. Smith thought that the Babylonians, rendered furious by
     their sufferings, had seized Shamash-shumukīn and burnt him
     to death. It is, however, certain that Shamash-shumukīn
     killed himself, according to the Eastern custom, to escape
     the tortures which awaited him if he fell alive into the
     hands of his enemies. The memory of this event, transferred
     by the popular imagination to Assur-bani-pal, appears lu the
     concluding portion of the legendary history of Sardanapalus.

The city presented a terrible spectacle, and shocked even the Assyrians, accustomed as they were to horrors of this sort. Most of the numerous victims to pestilence or famine lay about the streets or in the public squares, a prey to the dogs and swine; such of the inhabitants and of the soldiery as were comparatively strong had endeavoured to escape into the country, and only those remained who had not sufficient strength left to drag themselves beyond the walls. Assur-bani-pal pursued the fugitives, and, having captured nearly all of them, vented on them the full fury of his vengeance. He caused, the tongues of the soldiers to be torn out, and then had them clubbed to death. He massacred the common folk in front of the great winged bulls which had already witnessed a similar butchery half a century before, under his grandfather Sennacherib; the corpses of his victims remained long unburied, a prey to all unclean beasts and birds. When the executioners and the king himself were weary of the slaughter, the survivors were pardoned; the remains of the victims were collected and piled up in specified places, the streets were cleansed, and the temples, purified by solemn lustrations, were reopened for worship.* Assur-hani-pal proclaimed himself king in his brother’s room: he took the hands of Bel, and, according to custom, his Babylonian subjects gave him a new name, that of Kandalanu, by which he was henceforth known among them.**

     * The date of 648-647 B.C. for the taking of Babylon and the
     death of Shamash-shumukīn is corroborated by the Canon of
     Ptolemy and the fragments of Berosus, both of which
     attribute twenty or twenty-one years to the reign of
     Saosdukhm (Sammughes). Lehmann points out a document dated
     in the XXth year of Shamash-shumukīn, which confirms the
     exactitude of the information furnished by the Greek

     ** The Canon of Ptolemy gives as the successor of Saosdukhm
     a certain Kinźladan, who corresponds to Kandalanu, whose
     date has been fixed by contemporary documents. The identity
     of Kinźladan with Assur-bani-pal was known from the Greek
     chronologists, for whereas Ptolemy puts Kinźladan after
     Saosdukhm, the fragments of Berosus state that the successor
     of Sammughes was his brother; that is to say, Sardanapalus
     or Assur-bani-pal. This identification had been proposed by
     G. Smith, who tried to find the origin of the form Kinźladan
     in the name of Sinidinabal, which seems to be borne by
     Assur-bani-pal in Tablet K 195 of the British Museum, and
     which is really the name of his elder brother; it found
     numerous supporters as soon as Pinches had discovered the
     tablets dated in the reign of Kandalanu, and the majority of
     Assyriologists and historians hold that Kandalanu and Assur-
     bani-pal are one and the same person.

Had he been wise, he would have completed the work begun by famine, pestilence, and the sword, and, far from creating, a new Babylon, he would have completed the destruction of the ancient city. The same religious veneration which had disarmed so many of his predecessors probably withheld him from giving free rein to his resentment, and not daring to follow the example of Sennacherib, he fell back on the expedient adopted by Tiglath-pileser III. and Sargon, adhering to their idea of two capitals for two distinct states, but endeavouring to unite in his own person the two irreconcilable sovereignties of Marduk and Assur. He delegated the administration of Babylonian affairs to Shamash-danāni, one of his high officers of State,* and re-entered Nineveh with an amount of spoil almost equalling that taken from Egypt after the sack of Thebes.

     * Tin’s Shamash-danāni, who was limmu in 644 B.C., was
     called at that date prefect of Akkad, that is to say, of
     Babylon. He probably entered on this office immediately
     after the taking of the city.

Kuta, Sippara, and Borsippa, the vassal states of Babylon, which had shared the misfortune of their mistress, were, like her, cleared of their ruins, rebuilt and repeopled, and were placed under the authority of Shamash-danāni: such was their inherent vitality that in the short space of ten or a dozen years they had repaired their losses and reattained their wonted prosperity. Soon no effect of their disaster remained except an additional incentive for hating Nineveh, and a determination more relentless than ever not to spare her when the day of her overthrow should come and they should have her in their power.

235.jpg Psammetichus I.
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph.

It was impossible for so violent and so prolonged a crisis to take place without in some degree injuring the prestige of the empire. Subjects and allies of long standing remained loyal, but those only recently subjugated by conquest, as well as the neighbouring independent kingdoms, without hesitation threw off the yoke of suzerainty or of obligatory friendship under which they had chafed. Egypt freed herself from foreign domination as soon as the possibilities of war with Elam had shown themselves, and it was Psammetichus of Sais, son of Necho, one of the princes most favoured by the court of Nineveh, who set on foot this campaign against his former patron. He expelled the Assyrian garrisons, reduced the petty native princes to submission, and once more set up the kingdom of the Pharaohs from Elephantine to the Syrian desert, without Assur-bani-pal having been able to spare a single soldier to prevent him, or to bring him back to a sense of his duty. The details of his proceedings are unknown to us: we learn only that he owed his success to mercenaries imported from Asia Minor, and the Assyrian chroniclers, unaccustomed to discriminate between the different peoples dwelling on the shores of the Ęgean, believed that these auxiliaries were supplied to the Pharaoh by the only sovereign with whom they had had any dealings, namely, Gyges, King of Lydia. That Gyges had had negotiations with Psammetichus and procured assistance for him has not yet been proved, but to assert that he was incapable of conceiving and executing such a design is quite a different matter. On the contrary, all the information we possess concerning his reign shows that he was daring in his political undertakings, and anxious to court alliances with the most distant countries. The man who tried to draw Assur-bani-pal into a joint enterprise against the Cimmerians would not have hesitated to ally himself with Psammetichus if he hoped to gain the least profit from so doing. Constant intercourse by sea took place between Ionia or Caria and Egypt, and no event of any importance could occur in the Delta without being promptly reported in Ephesus or Miletus. Before this time the Heraclid rulers of Sardes had lived on excellent terms with most of the Ęolian or Ionian colonies: during the anxious years which followed his accession Gyges went still further, and entered into direct relations with the nations of Greece itself. It was no longer to the gods of Asia, to Zeus of Telmissos, that he addressed himself in order to legitimatise his new sovereignty, but, like Midas of Phrygia, he applied to the prophetic god of Hellas, to the Delphian Apollo and his priests.

He recompensed them lavishly for pronouncing judgment in his favour: beside the silver offerings with which he endowed the temple at Delphi, he presented to it a number of golden vases, and, among others, six craters weighing thirty talents each, which, placed by the side of the throne of Midas, were still objects of admiration in the treasury of the Corinthians in the time of Herodotus. To these he added at various times such valuable gifts that the Pythian priestess, who had hitherto been poor, was in later times accounted to have owed to him her wealth. Having made sure of the good will of the immortals, Gyges endeavoured to extend his influence among the Greek colonies along the coast, and if he did not in every case gain a footing amongst them, his failure seems to have been due, not to his incapacity, but to the force of circumstances or to the ambiguous position which he happened to occupy with regard to these colonies. Ambition naturally incited him to annex them and make them into Lydian cities, but the bold disposition of their inhabitants and their impatience of constraint never allowed any foreign rule to be established over them: conquest, to be permanent, would have to be preceded by a long period of alliance on equal terms, and of discreet patronage which might insensibly accustom them to recognise in their former friend, first a protector, and then a suzerain imbued with respect for their laws and constitution. Gyges endeavoured to conciliate them severally, and to attach them to himself by treaties favourable to their interests or flattering to their vanity, and by timely and generous assistance in their internecine quarrels; and thus, secretly fostering their mutual jealousies, he was able to reduce some by force of arms without causing too much offence to the rest. He took Colophon, and also, after several fruitless campaigns, the Magnesia which lay near Sardes, Magnesia of Sipylos, tradition subsequently adorning this fortunate episode in his history with various amusing anecdotes. According to one account he had a favourite in a youth of marvellous beauty called Magnes, whom the Magnesians, as an act of defiance to Gryges, had mutilated till he was past recognition; and it was related that the king appealed to the fortune of war to avenge the affront. By a bold stroke he seized the lower quarters of Smyrna, but was unable to take the citadel,* and while engaged in the struggle with this city, he entered into a friendly understanding with Ephesus and Miletus.

     * Herodotus mentions this war without entering into any
     details. We know from Pausanias that the people of Smyrna
     defended themselves bravely, and that the poet Mimnermus
     composed an elegy on this episode in their history.

Ephesus, situated at the mouth of the river Oayster, was the natural port of Sardes, the market in which the gold of Lydia, and the commodities imported from the East by the caravans which traversed the royal route, might be exchanged for the products of Hellas and of the countries of the West visited by the Greek mariners. The city was at this time under the control of a family of rich shipowners, of whom the head was called Melas: Gryges gave him his daughter in marriage, and by this union gained free access to the seaboard for himself and his successors. The reason for his not pushing his advantages further in this direction is not hard to discover; since the fall of the kingdom of Phrygia had left his eastern frontier unprotected, the attacks of the Cimmerians had obliged him to concentrate his forces in the interior, and though he had always successfully repulsed them, the obstinacy with which these inroads were renewed year after year prevented him from further occupying himself with the Greek cities. He had carefully fortified his vast domains in the basin of the Ehyndakos, he had reconquered the Troad, and though he had been unable to expel the barbarians from Adramyttium, he prevented them from having any inland communications. Miletus rendered vigorous assistance in this work of consolidating his power, for she was interested in maintaining a buffer state between herself and the marauders who had already robbed her of Sinope; and it was for this reason that Gyges, after mercilessly harassing her at the beginning of his reign, now preferred to enter into an alliance with her. He had given the Milesians permission to establish colonies along the Hellespont and the Propontid at the principal points where communication took place between Europe and Asia; Abydos, Lampsacus, Parium, and Cyzicus, founded successively by Milesian admirals, prevented the tribes which remained in Thrace from crossing over to reinforce their kinsfolk who were devastating Phrygia.

Gryges had hoped that his act of deference would have obtained for him the active support of Assur-bani-pal, and during the following years he perseveringly continued at intervals to send envoys to Nineveh: on one occasion he despatched with the embassy two Cimmerian chiefs taken in battle, and whom he offered in token of homage to the gods of Assyria. Experience, however, soon convinced him that his expectations were vain; the Assyrians, far from creating a diversion in his favour, were careful to avoid every undertaking which might draw the attention of the barbarians on themselves. As soon as Gyges fully understood their policy, he broke off all connection with them, and thenceforth relied on himself alone for the protection of his interests. The disappointment he thus experienced probably stirred up his anger against Assyria, and if he actually came to the aid of Psammetichus, the desire of giving expression to a secret feeling of rancour no doubt contributed to his decision. Assur-bani-pal deeply resented this conduct, but Lydia was too far off for him to wreak his vengeance on it in a direct manner, and he could only beseech the gods to revenge what he was pleased to consider as base ingratitude: he therefore prayed Assur and Ishtar that “his corpse might lie outstretched before his enemies, and his bones be scattered far and wide.” A certain Tugdami was at that time reigning over the Cimmerians, and seems to have given to their hitherto undisciplined hordes some degree of cohesion and guidance.*; He gathered under his standard not only the Trźres, the Thracian kinsfolk of the Cimmerians, but some of the Asianic tribes, such as the Lycians,** who were beginning to feel uneasy at the growing prosperity of Gyges, and let them loose upon their Lydian quarry.

     * The name Tugdami, mentioned in the hymn published by
     Strong, has been identified by Sayce with the Cimmerian
     chief mentioned by Strabo under the name of Lygdamis. The
     opinion of Sayce has been adopted by other Assyriologists.
     The inscription makes Tugdami a king of the Manda, and thus
     overthrows the hypothesis that Lygdamis or Dygdamis was a
     Lycian chief who managed to discipline the barbarian hordes.

     ** The alliance of the Lycians with the Cimmerians and
     Trźres is known from the evidence of Callisthenes preserved
     for us by Strabo. It is probable that many of the marauding
     tribes of the Taurus—Isaurians, Lycaonians, and
     Painphylians—similarly joined the Cimmerians.

Their heavy cavalry, with metal helmets and long steel swords, overran the peninsula from end to end, treading down everything under their horses’ hoofs. Gyges did his best to stand up against the storm, but his lancers quailed beneath the shock and fled in confusion: he himself perished in the flight, and his corpse remained in the enemy’s hands (652 B.C.). The whole of Lydia was mercilessly ravaged, and the lower town of Sardes was taken by storm.*

     * Strabo states definitely that it was Lygdamis who took the
     city. The account given by the same author of a double
     destruction of Sardes in 652 and 682 B.C. is due to an
     unfortunate borrowing from the work of Caliisthenes.

240.jpg Battle of the Cimmerians Against The Greeks Accompanied by Their Dogs
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sarcophagus of Clazomenę.

Ardys, who had succeeded his father on the throne, was able, however, to save the citadel: he rallied around him the remnants of his army and once more took the field. The cities of Ionia made common cause with him; their hoplites issued victorious from more than one engagement, and their dogs, trained to harry fearlessly the horses of the enemy, often took an active part in the battle. City after city was attacked by the barbarians, and the suburbs plundered. Ephesus, on account of the wealth it contained, formed their chief attraction, but their forces dashed themselves fruitlessly against its walls; they avenged themselves for their failure by setting on fire the temple of Artemis which stood in the outskirts. This act of sacrilege profoundly stirred the whole Hellenic world, and when the first fury of pillage was exhausted, the barbarians themselves seemed to have been struck with superstitious horror at their crime: deadly fevers contracted in the marshes near the city thinned their ranks, and in the scourge which struck down their forces they recognised the chastisement of the goddess.*

     * The invasion of Ionia by the Cimmerians is indicated in
     general terms by Herodotus; the details of the attack on
     Ephesus and the destruction of the temple of Artemis are
     preserved in a passage of Callimachus, and in the fragments
     quoted by Hesychius.

The survivors abandoned the siege and withdrew in disorder towards the mountains of the interior. On their way they surprised Magnesia on the Męander and entirely destroyed it, but this constituted their sole military success: elsewhere, they contented themselves with devastating the fields without venturing to attack the fortified towns. Scarcely had Ardys freed himself from their unwelcome presence, than, like his father before him, he tried to win the support of Assyria. He sent an envoy to Nineveh with a letter couched in very humble terms: “The king whom the gods acknowledge, art thou; for as soon as thou hadst pronounced imprecations against my father, misfortune overtook him. I am thy trembling servant; receive my homage graciously, and I will bear thy yoke!” Assur-bani-pal did not harden his heart to this suppliant who confessed his fault so piteously, and circumstances shortly constrained him to give a more efficacious proof of his favour to Ardys than he had done in the days of Gyges. On quitting Lydia, Tugdami, with his hordes, had turned eastwards, bent upon renewing in the provinces of the Taurus and the Euphrates the same destructive raids which he had made among the peoples of the Ęgean seaboard; but in the gorges of Cilicia he came into contact with forces much superior to his own, and fell fighting against them about the year 645 B.C. His son Sanda-khshatru led the survivors of this disaster back towards the centre of the peninsula, but the conflict had been so sanguinary that the Cimmerian power never fully recovered from it. Assur-bani-pal celebrated the victory won by his generals with a solemn thanksgiving to Marduk, accompanied by substantial offerings of gold and objects of great value.*

     * Strabo was aware, perhaps from Xanthus of Lyclia, that
     Lygdamis had fallen in battle in Cilicia. The hymn to
     Marduk, published by Strong, informs us that the Cimmerian
     chief fell upon the Assyrians, and that his son Sanda-
     khshatru carried on hostilities some time longer. Sanda-
     khshatru is an Iranian name of the same type as that of the
     Median king Uva-khshatra or Cyaxares.

The tranquillity of the north-west frontier was thus for a time secured, and this success most opportunely afforded the king leisure to turn his attention to those of his vassals who, having thrown off their allegiance during the war against Shamash-shumukīn, had not yet returned to their obedience. Among these were the Arabs and the petty princes of Egypt. The contingents furnished by Yauta, son of Hazael, had behaved valiantly during the siege of Babylon, and when they thought the end was approaching, their leaders, Abiyatź and Aamu, had tried to cut a way through the Assyrian lines: being repulsed, they had laid down their arms on condition of their lives being spared. There now remained the bulk of the Arab tribes to be reduced to submission, and the recent experiences of Esarhaddon had shown the difficulties attending this task. Assur-bani-pal entrusted its accomplishment to his subjects in Edom, Moab, Ammon, the Haurān, and Damascus, since, dwelling on the very borders of the desert, they were familiar with the routes and the methods of warfare best suited to the country. They proved victorious all along the line. Yauta, betrayed by his own subjects, took refuge with the Nabatęans; but their king, Nadanu, although he did not actually deliver him up to the Assyrians, refused to grant him an asylum, and the unhappy man was finally obliged to surrender to his pursuers. His cousin Uatź, son of Birdadda, was made chief in his place by the Assyrians, and Yauta was sent to Nineveh, where he was exposed at one of the city gates, chained in a niche beside the watch-dogs. Amuladdin, the leading prince of Kedar, met with no better fate: he was overcome, in spite of the assistance rendered him by Adīya, the queen of a neighbouring tribe, and was also carried away into captivity. His defeat completed the discouragement of the tribes who still remained unsubdued. They implored mercy, which Assur-bani-pal granted to them, although he deposed most of their sheikhs, and appointed as their ruler that Abiyatź who had dwelt at his court since the capitulation of Babylon. Abiyatź took the oath of fidelity, and was sent back to Kedar, where he was proclaimed king of all the Arab tribes under the suzerainty of Assyria.*

     * The Cylinder B of the Brit. Mus. attributes to the reign
     of Assur-bani-pala whole series of events, comprising the
     first submission of Yauta and the restitution of the statues
     of Atarsamain, which had taken place under Esarhaddon. The
     Assyrian annalists do not seem to have always clearly
     distinguished between Yauta, son of Hazael, and Uatč, son of

Of all the countries which had thrown off their allegiance during the late troubles, Egypt alone remained unpunished, and it now seemed as if its turn had come to suffer chastisement for its rebellion. It was, indeed, not to be tolerated that so rich and so recently acquired a province should slip from the grasp of the very sovereign who had completed its conquest, without his making an effort on the first opportunity to reduce it once more to submission. Such inaction on his part would be a confession of impotence, of which the other vassals of the empire would quickly take advantage: Tyre, Judah, Moab, the petty kings of the Taurus, and the chiefs of Media, would follow the example of Pharaoh, and the whole work of the last three centuries would have to be done over again. There can be no doubt that Assur-bani-pal cherished the secret hope of recovering Egypt in a short campaign, and that he hoped to attach it to the empire by more permanent bonds than before, but as a preliminary to executing this purpose it was necessary to close and settle if possible the account still open against Elam. Recent events had left the two rival powers in such a position that neither peace nor even a truce of long duration could possibly exist between them. Elam, injured, humiliated, and banished from the plains of the Lower Euphrates, over which she had claimed at all times an almost exclusive right of pillage, was yet not sufficiently enfeebled by her disasters to be convinced of her decided inferiority to Assyria. Only one portion of her forces, and that perhaps the smallest, had taken the field and sustained serious reverses: she had still at her disposal, besides the peoples of the plain and the marshes who had suffered the most, those almost inexhaustible reserves of warlike and hardy mountaineers, whose tribes were ranged on the heights which bounded the horizon, occupying the elevated valleys of the Uknu, the Ulaī, and their nameless affluents, on the western or southern slopes or in the enclosed basins of the Iranian table-land. Here Elam had at her command at least as many men as her adversaries could muster against her, and though these barbarian contingents lacked discipline and systematic training, their bravery compensated for the imperfection of their military education. Elam not only refused to admit herself conquered, but she believed herself sure of final victory, and, as a matter of fact, it is not at all certain that Assur-bani-pal’s generals would ever have completely triumphed over her, if internal discords and treason had not too often paralysed her powers. The partisans of Khumbān-igash were largely responsible for bringing about the catastrophe in which Tiummān had perished, and those who sided with Tammaritu had not feared to provoke a revolt at the moment when Khumbān-igash was occupied in Chaldęa; Indabigash in his turn had risen in rebellion in the rear of Tammaritu, and his intervention had enabled the Assyrians to deal their final blow at Shamash-shumukīn. The one idea of the non-reigning members of the royal house was to depose the reigning sovereign, and they considered all means to this end as justifiable, whether assassination, revolt, desertion to the enemy, or defection on the very field of battle. As soon as one of them had dethroned another, hatred of the foreigner again reigned supreme in his breast, and he donned his armour with a firm determination to bring the struggle to an end, but the course he had pursued towards his predecessor was now adopted by one of his relatives towards himself; the enemy meanwhile was still under arms, and each of these revolutions brought him a step nearer to the goal of his endeavours, the complete overthrow of the Elamite kingdom and its annexation to the empire of Nineveh. Even before the struggle with Babylon was concluded, Assur-bani-pal had demanded of Indabigash the release of the Assyrians whom Nabo-bel-shumu had carried off in his train, besides the extradition of that personage himself. Indabigash had no desire for war at this juncture, but hesitated to surrender the Kaldā, who had always served him faithfully: he entered into negotiations which were interminably prolonged, neither of the two parties being anxious to bring them to a close. After the fall of Babylon, Assur-bani-pal, who was tenacious in his hatred, summoned the Elamite ambassadors, and sent them back to their master with a message conceived in the following menacing terms: “If thou dost not surrender those men, I will go and destroy thy cities, and lead into captivity the inhabitants of Susa, Madaktu, and Khaidalu. I will hurl thee from thy throne, and will set up another thereon: as aforetime I destroyed Tiummān, so will I destroy thee.” A detachment of troops was sent to enforce the message of defiance, but when the messengers had reached the frontier town of Deri, Indabigash was no longer there: his nobles had assassinated him, and had elected Khumbān-khaldash, the son of Atta-mźtush, king in his stead. The opportunity was a favourable one to sow the seeds of division in the Elamite camp, before the usurper should have time to consolidate his power: Assur-bani-pal therefore threw himself into the cause of Tammaritu, supporting him with an army to which many malcontents speedily rallied. The Aramęans and the cities of the marsh-lands on the littoral, Khilmu, Billatź, Dummuku, Sulāa, Lakhiru, and Dibirīna, submitted without a struggle, and the invaders met with no resistance till they reached Bīt-Imbi. This town had formerly been conquered by Sennacherib, but it had afterwards returned to the rule of its ancient masters, who had strongly fortified it. It now offered a determined resistance, but without success: its population was decimated, and the survivors mutilated and sent as captives into Assyria—among them the commander of the garrison, Imbappi, son-in-law of Khumbān-khaldash, together with the harem of Tiummān, with his sons and daughters, and all the members of his family whom his successors had left under guard in the citadel. The siege had been pushed forward so rapidly that the king had not been able to make any attempt to relieve the defenders: besides this, a pretender had risen up against him, one Umbakhabua, who had been accepted as king by the important district of Bubīlu. The fall of Bīt-Imbi filled the two competitors with fear: they abandoned their homes and fled, the one to the mountains, the other to the lowlands on the shores of the Nar-Marratum. Tammaritu entered Susa in triumph and was enthroned afresh; but the insolence and rapacity of his auxiliaries was so ruthlessly manifested, that at the end of some days he resolved to rid himself of them by the sword. A traitor having revealed the design, Tammaritu was seized, stripped of his royal apparel, and cast into prison. The generals of Assur-bani-pal had no one whom they could proclaim king in his stead, and furthermore, the season being well advanced, the Elamites, who had recovered from their first alarm, were returning in a body, and threatened to cut off the Assyrian retreat: they therefore evacuated Susa, and regained Assyria with their booty. They burnt all the towns along the route whose walls were insufficient to protect them against a sudden escalade or an attack of a few hours’ duration, and the country between the capital and the frontier soon contained nothing but heaps of smoking ruins (647 e.g.).*

     * The difficulty we experience in locating on the map most
     of the names of Elamite towns is the reason why we cannot
     determine with any certainty the whole itinerary followed by
     the Assyrian army.

251.jpg Statues of the Gods Carried off by Assyrian Soldiery
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard,
The Monuments of Nineveh.

The campaign, which had been so successful at the outset, had not produced all the results expected from it. The Assyrians had hoped henceforth to maintain control of Elam through Tammaritu, but in a short time they had been obliged to throw aside the instrument with which they counted on effecting the complete humiliation of the nation: Khumbān-khaldash had reoccupied Susa, following on the heels of the last Assyrian detachment, and he reigned as king once more without surrendering Nabo-bel-shumi, or restoring the statue of Nana, or fulfilling any of the conditions which had been the price of a title to the throne. Assur-bani-pal was not inclined to bear patiently this partial reverse; as soon as spring returned he again demanded the surrender of the Chaldęan and the goddess, under pain of immediate invasion. Khumbān-khaldash offered to expel Nabo-bel-shumi from Lakhiru where he had entrenched himself, and to thrust him towards the Assyrian frontier, where the king’s troops would be able to capture him. His offer was not accepted, and a second embassy, headed by Tammaritu, who was once more in favour, arrived to propose more trenchant terms. The Elamite might have gone so far as to grant the extradition of Nabo-bel-shumi, but if he had yielded the point concerning Nana, a rebellion would have broken out in the streets of Susa: he preferred war, and prepared in desperation to carry it on to the bitter end. The conflict was long and sanguinary, and the result disastrous for Elam. Bīt-Imbi opened its gates, the district of Kashi surrendered at discretion, followed by the city of Khamanu and its environs, and the Assyrians approached Madaktu: Khumbān-khaldash evacuated the place before they reached it, and withdrew beneath the walls of Dur-Undasi, on the western bank of the Ididi. His enemies pursued him thither, but the stream was swift and swollen by rain, so that for two days they encamped on its bank without daring to cross, and were perhaps growing discouraged, when Ishtar of Arbela once more came to the rescue. Appearing in a dream to one of her seers, she said, “I myself go before Assur-bani-pal, the king whom my hands have created;” the army, emboldened by this revelation, overcame the obstacle by a vigorous effort, and dashed impetuously over regions as yet unvisited by any conqueror. The Assyrians burnt down fourteen royal cities, numberless small towns, and destroyed the cornfields, the vines, and the orchards; Khumbąn-khaldash, utterly exhausted, fled to the mountains “like a young dog.” Banunu and the districts of Tasarra, twenty cities in the country of Khumir, Khaīdalu, and Bashimu, succumbed one after another, and when the invaders at length decided to retrace their steps to the frontier, Susa, deserted by her soldiers and deprived of her leaders, lay before them an easy prey. It was not the first time in the last quarter of a century that the Assyrians had had the city at their mercy. They had made some stay in it after the battle of Tullīz, and also after the taking of Bīt-Imbi in the preceding year; but on those occasions they had visited it as allies, to enthrone a king owing allegiance to their own sovereign, and political exigencies had obliged them to repress their pillaging instincts and their long-standing hatred. Now that they had come as enemies, they were restrained by no considerations of diplomacy: the city was systematically pillaged, and the booty found in it was so immense that the sack lasted an entire month. The royal treasury was emptied of its gold and silver, its metals and the valuable objects which had been brought to it from Sumir, Accad, and Karduniash at successive periods from the most remote ages down to that day, in the course of the successful invasions conducted by the princes of Susa beyond the Tigris; among them, the riches of the Babylonian temples, which Shamash-shumukīn had lavished on Tiumman to purchase his support, being easily distinguishable. The furniture of the palace was sent to Nineveh in a long procession; it comprised beds and chairs of ivory, and chariots encrusted with enamel and precious stones, the horses of which were caparisoned with gold. The soldiers made their way into the ziggurāt, tore down the plates of ruddy copper, violated the sanctuary, and desecrated the prophetic statues of the gods who dwelt within it, shrouded in the sacred gloom, and whose names were only uttered by their devotees with trembling lips. Shumudu, Lagamar, Partikira, Ammankasibar, Udurān, Sapak, Aīpaksina, Bilala, Panintimri, and Kindakarpu, were now brought forth to the light, and made ready to be carried into exile together with their belongings and their priests.

Thirty-two statues of the kings, both ancient and modern, in silver, gold, bronze, and marble, escorted the gods on their exodus, among their number being those of Khumbānigash, son of Umbadarā, Shutruk-nakhunta, and Tammaritu II., the sovereigns who had treated Assyria with the greatest indignity. The effigy of Khalludush was subjected to humiliating outrage: “his mouth, with its menacing smile, was mutilated; his lips, which breathed forth defiance, were slit; his hands, which had brandished the bow against Assur, were cut off,” to avenge, though tardily, the ill success of Sennacherib. The sacred groves shared the fate of the temples, and all the riches collected in them by generations of victors were carried off in cartloads. They contained, amongst other edifices, the tombs of the ancient heroes of Elam, who had feared neither Assur nor Ishtar, and who had often brought trouble on the ancestors of Assur-bani-pal. Their sepulchres were violated, their coffins broken open, their bones collected and despatched to Nineveh, to crumble finally into dust in the land of exile: their souls, chained to their mortal bodies, shared their captivity, and if they were provided with the necessary sustenance and libations to keep them from annihilation, it was not from any motives of compassion or pity, but from a refinement of vengeance, in order that they might the longer taste the humiliation of captivity.

252.jpg the Tumulus of Suza

The image of Nana was found among those of the native gods: it was now separated from them, and after having been cleansed from pollution by the prescribed ceremonies, it was conducted to Uruk, which it entered in triumph on the 1st of the month Kislev. It was reinstated in the temple it had inhabited of old: sixteen hundred and thirty-five years had passed since it had been carried off, in the reign of Kutur-nakhunta, to dwell as a prisoner in Susa.

Assur-bani-pal had no intention of preserving the city of Susa from destruction, or of making it the capital of a province which should comprise the plain of Elam. Possibly it appeared to him too difficult to defend as long as the mountain tribes remained unsubdued, or perhaps the Elamites themselves were not so completely demoralised as he was pleased to describe them in his inscriptions, and the attacks of their irregular troops would have rendered the prolonged sojourn of the Assyrian garrison difficult, if not impossible. Whatever the reason, as soon as the work of pillage was fully accomplished, the army continued its march towards the frontier, carrying with it the customary spoil of the captured towns, and their whole population, or all, at least, who had not fled at the approach of the enemy. The king reserved for himself the archers and pikemen, whom he incorporated into his own bodyguard, as well as the artisans, smelters, sculptors, and stonemasons, whose talents he turned to account in the construction and decoration of his palaces; the remainder of the inhabitants he apportioned, like so many sheep, to the cities and the temples, governors of provinces, officers of state, military chiefs, and private soldiers. Khumbān-khaldash reoccupied Susa after the Assyrians had quitted it, but the misery there was so great that he could not endure it: he therefore transferred his court to Madaktu, one of the royal cities which had suffered least from the invasion, and he there tried to establish a regular government. Rival claimants to the throne had sprung up, but he overcame them without much difficulty: one of them, named Paź, took refuge in Assyria, joining Tammaritn and that little band of dethroned kings or pretenders to the throne of Susa, of whom Assur-bani-pal had so adroitly made use to divide the forces of his adversary. Khumbān-khaldash might well believe that the transportation of the statue of Nana and the sack of Susa had satisfied the vengeance of the Assyrians, at least for a time, and that they would afford him a respite, however short; but he had reckoned without taking into consideration the hatred which had pursued Nabo-bel-shumi during so many years: an envoy followed him as far as Madaktu, and offered Khumbān-khaldash once more the choice between the extradition of the Chaldean or the immediate reopening of hostilities. He seems to have had a moment’s hesitation, but when Nabo-bel-shumi was informed of the terms offered by the envoy, “life had no more value in his eyes: he desired death.” He ordered his shield-bearer to slay him, and when the man refused to do so, declaring that he could not live without his master, they stabbed each other simultaneously, and perished, as they had lived, together. Khumbān-khaldash, delivered by this suicide from his embarrassments, had the corpse of the master and the head of the faithful shield-bearer duly embalmed, and sent them to Nineveh. Assur-bani-pal mutilated the wretched body in order to render the conditions of life in the other world harder for the soul: he cut off its head, and forbade the burial of the remains, or the rendering to the dead of the most simple offerings.

260 (114K)


256.jpg Prayer in the Desert After Painting by Gerome

About this time the inhabitants of Bīt-Imbi, of Til-Khumba, and a dozen other small towns, who had fled for refuge to the woods of Mount Saladri, came forth from their hiding-places and cast themselves on the mercy of the conqueror: he deigned to receive them graciously, and enrolled them in his guard, together with the prisoners taken in the last campaign. He was contented to leave Elam to itself for the moment, as he was disquieted at the turn affairs were taking in Arabia. Abiyatź, scarcely seated on the throne, had refused to pay tribute, and had persuaded Uatź and Nadanu to join him in his contumacy; several cities along the Phoenician seaboard, led away by his example, shut their gates and declared themselves independent. Assur-bani-pal had borne all this patiently, while the mass of his troops were engaged against Khumbān-khaldash; but after the destruction of Susa, he determined to revenge himself. His forces left Nineveh in the spring of 642 B.C., crossed the Euphrates, and the line of wooded hills which bordered the course of the river towards the west, provisioned themselves with water at the halting-place of Laribda, and plunged into the desert in search of the rebels. The Assyrians overran the country of Mash, from the town of Iarki to Azalla, where “there dwell no beasts of the field, where no bird of the sky builds its nest,” and then, after filling their water-skins at the cisterns of Azalla, they advanced boldly into the thirsty lands which extend towards Qurazite; they next crossed the territory of Kedar, cutting down the trees, filling up the wells, burning the tents, and reached Damascus from the north-east side, bringing in their train innumerable flocks of asses, sheep, camels, and slaves. The Bedāwin of the north had remained passive, but the Nabathęans, encouraged by the remoteness of their country and the difficulty of access to it, persisted in their rebellion. The Assyrian generals did not waste much time in celebrating their victory in the Syrian capital: on the 3rd of Ab, forty days after leaving the Chaldsean frontier, they started from Damascus towards the south, and seized the stronghold of Khalkhuliti, at the foot of the basaltic plateau overlooked by the mountains of the Haurān; they then destroyed all the fortresses of the country one after another, driving the inhabitants to take shelter in the rugged range of volcanic rocks, where they were blockaded, and finally reduced by famine: Abiyatź capitulated, Nadanu ransomed himself by a promise of tribute, and the whole desert between Syria and the Euphrates fell once more into the condition of an Assyrian province. Before returning to Nineveh, Assur-bani-pal’s generals inflicted chastisement on Akko and Ushu, the two chief Tyrian cities which had revolted, and this vigorous action confirmed the fidelity of the Assyrian vassals in Palestine. Uate’s life was spared, but his lip and cheek were pierced by the hand of the king himself, and he was led by a cord passed through the wounds, as if he had been a wild beast intended for domestication; a dog’s collar was riveted round his neck, and he was exposed in a cage at one of the gates of Nineveh. Aamu, the brother of Abiyatź, was less fortunate, for he was flayed alive before the eyes of the mob. Assyria was glutted with the spoil: the king, as was customary, reserved for his own service the able-bodied men for the purpose of recruiting his battalions, distributing the remainder among his officers and soldiers. The camels captured were so numerous that their market-value was for a long time much reduced; they were offered in the open market, like sheep, for a half-shekel of silver apiece, and the vendor thought himself fortunate to find a purchaser even at this price.

The final ruin of Elam followed swiftly on the subjugation of Arabia. While one division of the army was scouring the desert, the remainder were searching the upland valleys of the Ulaī and the Uknu, and relentlessly pursuing Khumbān-khaldash. The wretched monarch was now in command of merely a few bands of tattered followers, and could no longer take the field; the approach of the enemy obliged him to flee from Madaktu, and entrench himself on the heights. Famine, misery, and probably also the treachery of his last adherents, soon drove him from his position, and, despairing of his cause, he surrendered himself to the officers who were in pursuit of him. He was the third king of Elam whom fate had cast alive into the hands of the conqueror: his arrival at Nineveh afforded the haughty Assur-bani-pal an occasion for celebrating one of those triumphal processions in which his proud soul delighted, and of going in solemn state to thank the gods for the overthrow of his most formidable enemy. On the day when he went to prostrate himself before Assur and Ishtar, he sent for Tammaritu, Paź, and Khumbān-khaldash, and adding to them Uatź, who was taken out of his cage for the occasion, he harnessed all four to his chariot of state, and caused himself to be drawn through Nineveh by this team of fallen sovereigns to the gate of the temple of Emashmash. And, indeed, at that moment, he might reasonably consider himself as having reached the zenith of his power. Egypt, it is true, still remained unpunished, and its renewed vitality under the influence of the Saļte Pharaohs allowed no hope of its being speedily brought back into subjection, but its intrigues no longer exerted any influence over Syria, and Tyre itself appeared to be resigned to the loss of its possessions on the mainland. Lydia under the rule of Ardys continued to maintain intermittent intercourse with its distant protector. The provinces of the Taurus, delivered from the terror inspired by the Cimmerians, desired peace above all things, and the Mannai had remained quiet since the defeat of Akhsheri. Babylon was rapidly recovering from the ills she had endured. She consoled herself for her actual servitude by her habitual simulation of independence; she called Assur-bani-pal Kandalanu, and this new name allowed her to fancy she had a separate king, distinct from the King of Assyria. Elam no longer existed. Its plains and marsh lands were doubtless occupied by Assyrian garrisons, and formed an ill-defined annexation to Nineveh; the mountain tribes retained their autonomy, and although still a source of annoyance to their neighbours by their raids or sudden incursions, they no longer constituted a real danger to the state: if there still remained some independent Elamite states, Elam itself, the most ancient, except Babylon, of all the Asiatic kingdoms, was erased from the map of the world. The memories of her actual history were soon effaced, or were relegated to the region of legend, where the fabulous Memnon supplanted in the memory of men those lines of hardy conquerors who had levied tribute from Syria in the day when Nineveh was still an obscure provincial town. Assyria alone remained, enthroned on the ruins of the past, and her dominion seemed established for all time; yet, on closer investigation, indications were not wanting of the cruel sufferings that she also had endured. Once again, as after the wars of Tiglath-pileser I. and those of Assur-nazir-pal and Shalmaneser III., her chiefs had overtaxed her powers by a long series of unremitting wars against vigorous foes. Doubtless the countries comprised within her wide empire furnished her with a more ample revenue and less restricted resources than had been at the command of the little province of ancient days, which had been bounded by the Khabur and the Zab, and lay on the two banks of the middle course of the Tigris; but, on the other hand, the adversaries against whom she had measured her forces, and whom she had overthrown, were more important and of far greater strength than her former rivals. She had paid dearly for humiliating Egypt and laying Babylon in the dust. As soon as Babylon was overthrown, she had, without pausing to take breath, joined issue with Elam, and had only succeeded in triumphing over it by drawing upon her resources to the utmost during many years: when the struggle was over, she realised to what an extent she had been weakened by so lavish an outpouring of the blood of her citizens. The Babylonian and Elamite recruits whom she incorporated into her army after each of her military expeditions, more or less compensated for the void which victory itself had caused in her population and her troops; but the fidelity of these vanquished foes of yesterday, still smarting from their defeat, could not be relied on, and the entire assimilation of their children to their conquerors was the work of at least one or two generations. Assyria, therefore, was on the eve of one of those periods of exhaustion which had so often enfeebled her national vitality and imperilled her very existence. On each previous occasion she had, it is true, recovered after a more or less protracted crisis, and the brilliancy of her prospects, though obscured for a moment, appeared to be increased by their temporary eclipse. There was, therefore, good reason to hope that she would recover from her latest phase of depression; and the only danger to be apprehended was that some foreign power, profiting by her momentary weakness, might rise up and force her, while still suffering from the effects of her heroic labours, to take the field once more.

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The legendary history of the kings of Media and the first contact of the Medes with the Assyrians: the alleged Iranian migrations of the Avesta—Media-proper, its fauna and flora; Phraortes and the beginning of the Median empire—Persia proper and the Persians; conquest of Persia by the Medes—The last monuments of Assur-bani-pal: the library of Kouyunjik—Phraortes defeated and slain by the Assyrians.

Cyaxares and his first attach on Nineveh—The Assyrian triangle and the defence of Nineveh: Assur-bani-pal summons the Scythians to his aid—The Scythian invasion—Judah under Manasseh and Amon: development in the conceptions of the prophets—The Scythians in Syria and on the borders of Egypt: they are defeated and driven back by Cyaxares—The last kings of Nineveh and Naliopolassar—Taking and, destruction of Nineveh: division of the Assyrian empire between the Chaldęans and the Medes (608 B.C.).

The XXVIth Egyptian dynasty—Psammetichus I. and the Ionian and Carian mercenaries; final retreat of the Ethiopians and the annexation of the Theban principality; the end of Egypt as a great power—First Greek settlements in the Delta; flight of the Mashauasha and the reorganisation of the army—Resumption of important works and the renaissance of art in Egypt—The occupation of Ashdod, and the Syrian policy of Psammetichus I.

Josiah, King of Judah: the discovery and public reading of the Book of the Covenant; the religious reform—Necho II. invades Syria: Josiah slain at Megiddo, the battle of Carchemish—Nebuchadrezzar II.: his policy with regard to Media—The conquests of Cyaxares and the struggles of the Mermnadę against the Greek colonies—The war between Alyattes and Cyaxares: the battle of the Halys and the peace of 585 B.C.—Necho reorganises his army and his fleet: the circumnavigation of Africa—Jeremiah and the Egyptian party in Jerusalem: the revolt of Jehoiakim and the captivity of Jehoiachin.

Psammetichus I. and Zedekiah—Apries and the revolt of Tyre and of Judah: the siege and destruction of Jerusalem—The last convulsions of Judah and the submission of Tyre; the successes of Aprics in Phoenicia—The Greeks in Libya and the founding of Cyrene: the defeat of Irasa and the fall of Apries—Amasis and the campaign of Nebuchadrezzar against Egypt—Relations between Nebuchadrezzar and Astyages—The fortifications of Babylon and the rebuilding of the Great Ziggurāt—The successors of Nebuchadrezzar: Nabonidus.

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The fall of Nineveh and the rise of the Chaldęan and Median empires—The XXVIth Egyptian dynasty: Cyaxares, Alyattes, and Nebuchadrezzar.

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the silver vase of
     Tchertomlitsk, now in the museum of the Hermitage. The
     vignette is also drawn by Faucher-Gudin, and represents an
     Egyptian torso in the Turin museum; the cartouche which is
     seen upon the arm is that of Psammetichus I.

The East was ever a land of kaleidoscopic changes and startling dramatic incidents. An Oriental empire, even when built up by strong hands and watched over with constant vigilance, scarcely ever falls to pieces in the slow and gradual process of decay arising from the ties that bind it together becoming relaxed or its constituent elements growing antiquated. It perishes, as a rule, in a cataclysm; its ruin comes like a bolt from the blue, and is consummated before the commencement of it is realised. One day it stands proud and stately in the splendour of its glory; there is no report abroad but that which tells of its riches, its industry, its valour, the good government of its princes and the irresistible might of its gods, and the world, filled with envy or with fear, deeming its good fortune immutable, never once applies to it, even in thought, the usual commonplaces on the instability of human things. Suddenly an ill wind, blowing up from the distant horizon, bursts upon it in destructive squalls, and it is overthrown in the twinkling of an eye, amid the glare of lightning, the resounding crash of thunder, whirlwinds of dust and rain: when the storm has passed away as quickly as it came, its mutterings heralding the desolation which it bears to other climes, the brightening sky no longer reveals the old contours and familiar outlines, but the sun of history rises on a new empire, emerging, as if by the touch of a magic wand, from the ruins which the tempest has wrought. There is nothing apparently lacking of all that, in the eyes of the many, invested its predecessor with glory; it seems in no wise inferior in national vigour, in the number of its soldiers, in the military renown of its chiefs, in the proud prosperity of its people, or in the majesty of its gods; the present fabric is as spacious and magnificent, it would seem, as that which has but just vanished into the limbo of the past. No kingdom ever shone with brighter splendour, or gave a greater impression of prosperity, than the kingdom of Assyria in the days succeeding its triumphs over Blam and Arabia: precisely at this point the monuments and other witnesses of its activity fail us, just as if one of the acts of the piece in which it had played a chief part having come to an end, the drop-curtain must be lowered, amid a flourish of trumpets and the illuminations of an apotheosis, to allow the actors a little breathing-space. Half a century rolls by, during which we have a dim perception of the subdued crash of falling empires, and of the trampling of armies in fierce fight; then the curtain rises on an utterly different drama, of which the plot has been woven behind the scenes, and the exciting motif has just come into play. We no longer hear of Assyria and its kings; their palaces are in ruins; their last faithful warriors sleep in unhonoured graves beneath the ashes of their cities, their prowess is credited to the account of half a dozen fabulous heroes such as Ninus, Sardanapalus, and Semiramis—heroes whose names call up in the memory of succeeding generations only vague but terrible images, such as the phantasies of a dream, which, although but dimly remembered in the morning, makes the hair to stand on end with terror. The nations which erewhile disputed the supremacy with Assyria have either suffered a like eclipse—such as the Khāti, Urartu, the Cossęans, and Elam—or have fallen like Egypt and Southern Syria into the rank of second-rate powers. It is Chaldaea which is now in the van of the nations, in company with Lydia and with Media, whose advent to imperial power no one would have ventured to predict forty or fifty years before.

The principality founded by Deļokes about the beginning of the seventh century B.C., seemed at first destined to play but a modest part; it shared the fortune of the semi-barbarous states with which the Ninevite conquerors came in contact on the western boundary of the Iranian plateau, and from which the governors of Arrapkha or of Kharkhar had extorted tribute to the utmost as often as occasion offered. According to one tradition, it had only three kings in an entire century: Deļokes up till 655 B.C., Phraortes from 655 to 633, and after the latter year Cyaxares, the hero of his race.* Another tradition claimed an earlier foundation for the monarchy, and doubled both the number of the kings and the age of the kingdom.**

     * This is the tradition gleaned by Herodotus, probably at
     Sardes, from the mouths of Persians residing in that city.

     ** This is the tradition derived from the court of
     Artaxerxes by Ctesias of Cnidus. Volney discovered the
     principle upon which the chronology of his Median dynasty
     was based by Ctesias. If we place his list side by side with
     that of Herodotus—

268.jpg and 269.jpg Table of Median Dynasty
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     We see that, while rejecting the names given by Herodotus,
     Ctesias repeats twice over the number of years assigned by
     the latter to the reigns of his kings, at least for the four
     last generations—

     At the beginning Herodotus gives before Deļokes an
     interregnum of uncertain duration. Ctesias substituted the
     round number of fifty years for the fifty-three assigned to
     Deļokes, and replaced the interregnum by a reign which he
     estimated at the mean duration of a human generation, thirty
     years; he then applied to this new pair of numbers the
     process of doubling he had employed for the couple mentioned

     The number twenty-eight has been attributed to the reign of
     Arbakes, instead of the number thirty, to give an air of
     truthfulness to the whole catalogue.

This tradition ignored the monarchs who had rendered the second Assyrian empire illustrious, and substituted for them a line of inactive sovereigns, reputed to be the descendants of Ninus and Semiramis. The last of them, Sardanapalus, had, according to this account, lived a life of self-indulgence in his harem, surrounded by women, dressing himself in their garb, and adopting feminine occupations and amusements. The satrap of Media, Arbakes, saw him at his toilet, and his heart turned against yielding obedience to such a painted doll: he rebelled in concert with Belesys the Babylonian. The imminence of the danger thus occasioned roused Sardanapalus from his torpor, and revived in him the warlike qualities of his ancestors; he placed himself at the head of his troops, overcame the rebels, and was about to exterminate them, when his hand was stayed by the defection of some Bactrian auxiliaries. He shut himself up in Nineveh, and for two whole years heroically repulsed all assaults; in the third year, the Tigris, swollen by the rains, overflowed its banks and broke down the city walls for a distance of twenty stadia. The king thereupon called to mind an oracle which had promised him victory until the day when the river should betray him. Judging that the prediction was about to be accomplished, he resolved not to yield himself alive to the besieger, and setting fire to his palace, perished therein, together with his children and his treasures, about 788 B.C. Arbakes, thus rendered an independent sovereign, handed down the monarchy to his son Mandaukas, and he in his turn was followed successively by Sosarmos, Artykas, Arbianes, Artaios, Artynes, and Astibaras.* These names are not the work of pure invention; they are met with in more than one Assyrian text: among the petty kings who paid tribute to Sargon are enumerated some which bear such names as Mashdaku,** Ashpanda,*** Arbaku, and Khartukka,*** and many others, of whom traces ought to be found some day among the archives of princely families of later times.

     * Oppert thought that the names given by Herodotus
     represented “Aryanised forms of Turanian names, of which
     Otesias has given the Persian translation.”

     ** Mashdaku is identified by Post with the Mandaukas or
     Maydaukas of Ctesias, which would then be a copyist’s error
     for Masdaukas. The identification with Vashd[t]aku, Vashtak,
     the name of a fabulous king of Armenia, is rejected by Rost;
     Mashdaku would be the Iranian Mazdaka, preserved in the
     Mazakes of Arrian.

     *** Ashpanda is the Aspandas or Aspadas which Ctesias gives
     instead of the Astyages of Herodotus.

     **** The name of Artykas is also found in the secondary form
     Kardikoas, which is nearer the Khartukka of the Assyrian

There were in these archives, at the disposal of scribes and strangers inclined to reconstruct the history of Asia, a supply of materials of varying value—authentic documents inscribed on brick tablets, legends of fabulous exploits, epic poems and records of real victories and conquests, exaggerated in accordance with the vanity or the interest of the composer: from these elements it was easy to compile lists of Median kings which had no real connection with each other as far as their names, order of succession, or duration of reign were concerned. The Assyrian chronicles have handed down to us, in place of these dynasties which were alleged to have exercised authority over the whole territory, a considerable number of noble houses scattered over the country, each of them autonomous, and a rival of its neighbour, and only brought into agreement with one another at rare intervals by their common hatred of the invader. Some of them were representatives of ancient races akin to the Susians, and perhaps to the first inhabitants of Chaldęa; others belonged to tribes of a fresh stock, that of the Aryans, and more particularly to the Iranian branch of the Aryan family. We catch glimpses of them in the reign of Shalmaneser III., who calls them the Amadaī; then, after this first brush with Assyria, intercourse and conflict between the two nations became more and more frequent every year, until the “distant Medes” soon began to figure among the regular adversaries of the Ninevite armies, and even the haughtiest monarchs refer with pride to victories gained over them. Rammān-nirāri waged ceaseless war against them, Tiglath-pileser III. twice drove them before him from the south-west to the north-east as far as the foot of Demavend, while Sargon, Sennacherib, and Esarhaddon, during their respective reigns, kept anxious watch upon them, and endeavoured to maintain some sort of authority over the tribes which lay nearest to them. Both in the personal names and names of objects which have come down to us in the records of these campaigns, we detect Iranian characteristics, in spite of the Semitic garb with which the inscriptions have invested them: among the names of countries we find Partukka, Diristānu, Patusharra, Nishaīa, Urivzān, Abīruz, and Ariarma, while the men bear such names as Ishpabarra, Eparna, Shītirparna, Uarzān, and Dayaukku. As we read through the lists, faint resemblances in sound awaken dormant classical memories, and the ear detects familiar echoes in the names of those Persians whose destinies were for a time linked with those of Athens and Sparta in the days of Darius and of Xerxes: it is like the first breath of Greek influence, faint and almost imperceptible as yet, wafted to us across the denser atmosphere of the East.

The Iranians had a vague remembrance of a bygone epoch, during which they had wandered, in company with other nations of the same origin as themselves, in that cradle of the Aryan peoples, Aryanem-Vaźjō. Modern historians at first placed their mythical birthplace in the wilder regions of Central Asia, near the Oxus and the Jaxartes, and not far from the so-called table-land of Pamir, which they regarded as the original point of departure of the Indo-European races. They believed that a large body of these primitive Aryans must have descended southwards into the basin of the Indus and its affluents, and that other detachments had installed themselves in the oases of Margiana and Khorasmia, while the Iranians would have made their way up to the plateau which separates the Caspian Sea from the Persian Gulf, where they sought to win for themselves a territory sufficient for their wants. The compilers of the sacred books of the Iranians claimed to be able to trace each stage of their peregrinations, and to describe the various accidents which befell them during this heroic period of their history. According to these records, it was no mere chance or love of adventure which had led them to wander for years from clime to clime, but rather a divine decree. While Ahurōmazdaō, the beneficent deity whom they worshipped, had provided them with agreeable resting-places, a perverse spirit, named Angrōmaīnyus, had on every occasion rendered their sojourn there impossible, by the plagues which he inflicted on them. Bitter cold, for instance, had compelled them to forsake Aryanem-Vaźjō and seek shelter in Sughdhā and Mūru.* Locusts had driven them from Sughdhā; the incursions of the nomad tribes, coupled with their immorality, had forced them to retire from Mūru to Bākhdhī, “the country of lofty banners,” ** and subsequently to Nisaya, which lies to the south-east, between Mūru and Bākhdhī. From thence they made their way into the narrow valleys of the Harōyu, and overran Vaźkereta, the land of noxious shadows.***

     * Sughdhā is Sogdiana; Mūru, in ancient Persian Margush, is
     the modern Merv, the Margiana of classical geographers.

     ** Bākhdhī is identical with Bactriana, but, as Spiegel
     points out, this Avestic form is comparatively recent, and
     readily suggests the modern Balkh, in which the consonants
     have become weakened.

     *** The Avesta places Nisaya between Mūru and Bākhdhī to
     distinguish it from other districts of the same name to be
     found in this part of Asia: Eugčne Burnouf is probably
     correct in identifying it with the Nźssea of Strabo and of
     Ptolemy, which lay to the south of Margiana, at the junction
     of the roads leading to Hyrcania in one direction and
     Bactriana in the other.

From this point forwards, the countries mentioned by their chroniclers are divided into two groups, lying in opposite directions: Arahvaiti, Haźtumant, and Haptahindu* on the east; and on the west, Urvā,** Harōyu or Haraźva is the Greek Aria, the modern province of Herat.

     * Arahvaiti, the Harauvatish of the Achsemenian
     inscriptions, is the Greek Arachosia, and Haźtumant the
     basin of their Etymander, the modern Helmend; in other
     words, the present province of Seīstan. Hapta-Hindu is the
     western part of the Indian continent, i.e. the Punjaub.

     ** The Pehlevi commentators identify Urvā with Mesōnź,
     mentioned by classical writers, at the confluence of the
     Tigris and Euphrates, or perhaps the plain around Ispahan
     which bore the name of Masān in the Sassanid period. Fr.
     Lenormant had connected it with the name Urivzān, which is
     applied in the Assyrian inscriptions to a district of Media
     in the time of Tiglath-pileser III.

274.jpg Map of the Lands Created by Ahura-mazda

The Pehlevi commentators identify Vaźkereta with Kabulistan, and also volunteer the following interpretation of the title which accompanies the name: “The shadow of the trees there is injurious to the body, or as some say, the shadow of the mountains,” and it produces fever there. Arguing from passages of similar construction, Lassen was led to recognise in the epithet duzhako-shayanem a place-name, “inhabitant of Duzhakō,” which he identified with a ruined city in this neighbourhood called Dushak; Haug believed he had found a confirmation of this hypothesis in the fact that the Pairika Khnāthaiti created there by Angrō-maīnyus recalls in sound, at any rate, the name of the people Parikani mentioned by classical writers, as inhabiting these regions. Khnenta-Vehrkāna,* Bhagā,** and Chakhra,*** as far as the districts of Varena**** and the basin of the Upper Tigris.^ This legend was composed long after the event, in order to explain in the first place the relationship between the two great families into which the Oriental Aryans were divided, viz. the Indian and Iranian, and in the second to account for the peopling by the Iranians of a certain number of provinces between the Indus and the Euphrates. As a matter of fact, it is more likely that the Iranians came originally from Europe, and that they migrated from the steppes of Southern Russia into the plains of the Kur and the Araxes by way of Mount Caucasus.^^

     * The name Khnenta seems to have been Hellenised into that
     of Kharindas, borne by a river which formed the frontier
     between Hyrcania and Media; according to the Pehlevi version
     it was really a river of Hyrcania, the Djordjān. The epithet
     Vehrkāna, which qualifies the name Khnenta, has been
     identified by Burnouf with the Hyrcania of classical

     ** Raghā is identified with Azerbaijan in the Pehlevi
     version of the Vendidād, but is, more probably, the Rhago of
     classical geographers, the capital of Eastern Media.

     *** Chakhra seems to be identical with the country of Karkh,
     at the northwestern extremity of Khorassan.

     **** Varena is identified by the Pehlevi commentators with
     Patishkhvargār, i.e. probably the Patusharra of the Assyrian

     ^ Haug proposed to identify this last station with the
     regions situated on the shores of the Caspian, near the
     south-western corner of that sea. But, as Garrez points out,
     the Pehlevi commentators prove that it must be the countries
     on the Upper Tigris.

     ^^ Spiegel has argued that Aryanem-Vaōjō is probably Arrān,
     the modern Kazabadagh, the mountainous district between the
     Kur and the Aras, and his opinion is now gaining acceptance.
     The settlement of the Iranians in Russia, and their entrance
     into Asia by way of the Caucasus, have been admitted by
     Rost. Classical writers reversed this order of things, and
     derived the Sauromato and other Scythian tribes from Media.

It is possible that some of their hordes may have endeavoured to wedge themselves in between the Halys and the Euphrates as far as the centre of Asia Minor. Their presence in this quarter would explain why we encounter Iranian personal names in the Sargonide epoch on the two spurs of Mount Taurus, such as that of the Kushtashpi, King of Kummukh, in the time of Tiglath-pileser III., and of the Kundashpi mentioned in the Annals of Shalmaneser III. in the ninth century B.C.*

     * The name Kushtashpi has been compared with that of
     Vistāspa or Gushtāsp by Fr. Lenormant, the name Kundashpi
     with that of Vindāspa by Gutschmid, and, later on, Ball has
     added to these a long list of names in Egyptian and Assyrian
     inscriptions which he looks upon as Iranian. Kundashpi
     recalls at first sight Gundobunas, a name of the Sassanid
     epoch, if this latter form be authentic. Tiele adopts the
     identification of Kushtashpi with Vistāspa, and Justi has
     nothing to say against it, nor against the identification of
     Kundashpi with Vindāspa.

The main body, finding its expansion southwards checked by Urartu, diverged in a south-easterly direction, and sweeping before it all the non-Aryan or Turanian tribes who were too weak to stem its progress, gradually occupied the western edge of the great plateau, where it soon became mainly represented by the two compact groups, the Persians to the south on the farthest confines of Elam, and the Medes between the Greater Zab, the Turnāt, and the Caspian. It is probable that the kingdom founded by Deļokes originally included what was afterwards termed Media Magna by the Gręco-Roman geographers. This sovereignty was formed by the amalgamation under a single monarch of six important tribes—the Buzo, Paraatakeni, Struchatas, Arizanti, Budii, and Magi. It extended north-westwards as far as the Kiziluzōn, which formed the frontier between the Persians and the Mannai on this side. Northwards, it reached as far as Demavend; the salt desert that rendered Central Iran a barren region, furnished a natural boundary on the east; on both the south and west, the Assyrian border-lands of Ellipi, Kharkhar, and Arrapkha prevented it from extending to the chief ranges of the Zagros and Cordioan mountains. The soil, though less fertile than that of Chaldęa or of Egypt, was by no means deficient in resources. The mountains contained copper, iron, lead, some gold and silver,* several kinds of white or coloured marble,** and precious stones, such as topaz, garnets, emeralds, sapphires, cornelian, and lapis-lazuli, the latter being a substance held in the highest esteem by Eastern jewellers from time immemorial; Mount Bikni was specially celebrated for the fine specimens of this stone which were obtained there.*** Its mountains were in those days clothed with dense forests, in which the pine, the oak, and the poplar grew side by side with the eastern plane tree, the cedar, lime, elm, ash, hazel, and terebinth.****

     * Rawlinson has collected traditions in reference to gold
     and silver mining among the mountains in the neighbourhood
     of Takht-i-Suleiman; one of these is still called Zerreh-
     Shardn, the mount of the gold-washers.

     ** The best known was the so-called Tauris marble quarried
     from the hills in the neighbourhood of Lake Urumiyah.

     *** The list of precious stones which Pliny tells us were
     found in Media, contains several kinds which we are unable
     to identify, e.g. the Zathźnź, the gassinades and
     narcissitis. Pliny calls lapis-lazuli sapphirus, and
     declares that the bright specks of pyrites it contained
     rendered it unsuitable for engraving. In the Assyrian
     inscriptions Mount Bikni, the modern Demavend, is described
     as a mountain of Uknu, or lapis-lazuli.

     **** A large part of the mountains and plains is now
     treeless, but it is manifest, both from the evidence of the
     inscriptions and from the observations of travellers, that
     the whole of Media was formerly well wooded.

The intermediate valleys were veritable orchards, in which the vegetation of the temperate zones mingled with tropical growths. The ancients believed that the lemon tree came originally from Persia.* To this day the peach, pear, apple, quince, cherry, apricot, almond, filbert, chestnut, fig, pistachio-nut, and pomegranate still flourish there: the olive is easily acclimatised, and the vine produces grapes equally suitable for the table or the winepress.** The plateau presents a poorer and less promising appearance—not that the soil is less genial, but the rivers become lost further inland, and the barrenness of the country increases as they come to an end one after another. Where artificial irrigation has been introduced, the fertility of the country is quite as great as in the neighbourhood of the mountains;*** outside this irrigated region no trees are to be seen, except a few on the banks of rivers or ponds, but wheat, barley, rye, oats, and an abundance of excellent vegetables grow readily in places where water is present.

     * The apple obtained from Media was known as the Modicum
     malum, and was credited with the property of being a
     powerful antidote to poison: it was supposed that it would
     not grow anywhere outside Media.

     ** In some places, as, for instance, at Kirmānshahąn, the
     vine stocks have to be buried during the winter to protect
     them from the frost.

     *** Irrigation was effected formerly, as now, by means of
     subterranean canals with openings at intervals, known as

The fauna include, besides wild beasts of the more formidable kinds, such as lions, tigers, leopards, and bears, many domestic animals, or animals capable of being turned to domestic use, such as the ass, buffalo, sheep, goat, dog, and dromedary, and the camel with two humps, whose gait caused so much merriment among the Ninevite idlers when they beheld it in the triumphal processions of their kings; there were, moreover, several breeds of horses, amongst which the Nisasan steed was greatly prized on account of its size, strength, and agility.* In short, Media was large enough and rich enough to maintain a numerous population, and offered a stable foundation to a monarch ambitious of building up a new empire.**

     * In the time of the Seleucides, Media supplied nearly the
     whole of Asia with these animals, and the grazing-lands of
     Bagistana, the modern Behistun, are said to have supported
     160,000 of them. Under the Parthian kings Media paid a
     yearly tribute of 3000 horses, and the Nisęan breed was
     still celebrated at the beginning of the Byzantine era.
     Horses are mentioned among the tribute paid by the Medic
     chiefs to the kings of Assyria.

     ** The history of the Medes remains shrouded in greater
     obscurity than that of any other Asiatic race. We possess no
     original documents which owe their existence to this nation,
     and the whole of our information concerning its history is
     borrowed from Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions, and from
     the various legends collected by the Greeks, especially by
     Herodotus and Ctesias, from Persian magnates in Asia Minor
     or at the court of the Achęmenian kings, or from fragments
     of vanished works such as the writings of Borosus. And yet
     modern archaeologists and philologists have, during the last
     thirty years, allowed their critical faculties, and often
     their imagination as well, to run riot when dealing with
     this very period. After carefully examining, one after
     another, most of the theories put forward, I have adopted
     those hypotheses which, while most nearly approximating to
     the classical legends, harmonise best with the chronological
     framework—far too imperfect as yet—furnished by the
     inscriptions dealing with the closing years of Nineveh; I do
     not consider them all to be equally probable, but though
     they may be mere stop-gap solutions, they have at least the
     merit of reproducing in many cases the ideas current among
     those races of antiquity who had been in direct
     communication with the Medes and with the last of their

The first person to conceive the idea of establishing one was, perhaps, a certain Fravartish, the Phraortes of the Greeks, whom Herodotus declares to have been the son and successor of Deiokes.*

     * The ancient form of the name, Fravartish or Frawarti, has
     been handed down to us by a passage in the great inscription
     of Behistun; it means the man who proclaims faith in Ahura-
     mazda, the believer.

280.jpg the Persian Realm

279.jpg NisĘan Houses Harnessed to a Royal Chariot
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph
of the bas-relief from Persepolis
now in the British Museum.

He came to the throne about 655 B.C. at a time when the styar of Assur-bani-pal was still in the ascendant, and at first does not seem to have thought of trying to shake off the incubus of Assyrian rule. He began very wisely by annexing such of the petty neighbouring states as had hitherto remained independent, and then set himself to attack the one other nation of Iranian blood which, by virtue of the number and warlike qualities of its clans, was in a position to enter into rivalry with his own people. The Persians, originally concentrated in the interior, among the steep valleys which divide the plateau on the south, had probably taken advantage of the misfortunes of Elam to extend their own influence at its expense. Their kings were chosen from among the descendants of a certain Akhāmanish, the Achęmenes of the Greeks, who at the time of the Iranian invasion had been chief of the Pasargadę, one of the Persian clans. Achęmenes is a mythical hero rather than a real person; he was, we are told, fed during infancy by an eagle—that mighty eagle whose shadow, according to a Persian belief in mediaeval times, assured the sovereignty to him on whom it chanced to fall. Achęmenes would seem to have been followed by a certain Chaispi—or Teispes—a less fabulous personage, described in the legends as his son. It was, doubtless, during his reign that Assur-bani-pal, in hot pursuit of Tiummān and Khumbān-khaldash, completed the downfall of Susa; Chaispi claimed the eastern half of Elam as his share of the spoil, and on the strength of his victory styled himself King of Anshān—a title on which his descendants still prided themselves a hundred years after his death.*

     * The fact that Teispes was the immediate successor of
     Achęmenes, indicated by Herodotus, is affirmed by Darius
     himself in the Behistun inscription. According to Billet-
     beck, the Anzān (Anshān) of the early Achęmenidę was merely
     a very small part of the ancient Anzān (Anshān), viz. the
     district on the east and south-east of Kuh-i-Dena, which
     includes the modern towns of Yezdeshast, Abadeh, Yoklīd, and

Persia, as then constituted, extended from the mouths of the Oroatis—the modern Tab—as far as the entrance to the Straits of Ormuzd.* The coast-line, which has in several places been greatly modified since ancient times by the formation of alluvial deposits, consists of banks of clay and sand, which lie parallel with the shore, and extend a considerable distance inland; in some places the country is marshy, in others parched and rocky, and almost everywhere barren and unhealthy. The central region is intersected throughout its whole length by several chains of hills, which rise terrace-like, one behind the other, from the sea to the plateau; some regions are sterile, more especially in the north and east, but for the most part the country is well wooded, and produces excellent crops of cereals. Only a few rivers, such as the Oroatis, which forms the boundary between Persia and Susiana,** the Araxes, and the Bagradas succeed in breaking through the barriers that beset their course, and reach the Persian Gulf;*** most of the others find no outlet, and their waters accumulate at the bottom of the valleys, in lakes whose areas vary at the different seasons.

     * Herodotus imagined Carmania and Persia Proper to be one
     and the same province; from the Alexandrine period onwards
     historians and geographers drew a distinction between the

     ** The form of the name varies in different writers. Strabo
     calls it the Oroatis, Nearchus the Arosis; in Pliny it
     appears as Oratis and Zarotis, and in Ammianus Marcellinus
     as Oroates.

     *** The Araxes is the modern Bendamīr. The Kyros, which
     flowed past Persepolis, is now the Pulwar, an affluent of
     the Bendamīr. The Bagradas of Ptolemy, called the Hyperis by
     Juba, is the modern Nabend.

282.jpg Scene in the Mountains of Persia.
     Drawn by Boudier, from Costs and Flandin, Voyage en Perse,
     vol. i. pl. xcvi.

285.jpg Head of a Persian Archer
Drawn by Boudier, from
a photograph of the
Naksh-i-Rustem bas-relief
taken by Dieulafoy.

The mountainous district is furrowed in all directions by deep ravines, with almost vertical sides, at the bottom of which streams and torrents follow a headlong course. The landscape wears a certain air of savage grandeur; giant peaks rise in needle-like points perpendicularly to the sky; mountain paths wind upward, cut into the sides of the steep precipices; the chasms are spanned by single-arched bridges, so frail and narrow that they seem likely to be swept away in the first gail that blows. No country could present greater difficulties to the movements of a regular army or lend itself more readily to a system of guerrilla warfare. It was unequally divided between some ten or twelve tribes:* chief among these were the Pasargadaa, from which the royal family took its origin; after them came the Maraphii and Maspii.

     * Herodotus only mentions ten
     Persian tribes; Xenophon
     speaks of twelve.

The chiefs of these two tribes were elected from among the members of seven families, who, at first taking equal rank with that of the Pasargadaę, had afterwards been reduced to subjection by the Achęmenidę, forming a privileged class at the court of the latter, the members of which shared the royal prerogatives and took a part in the work of government. Of the remaining tribes, the Panthialad, Derusięi, and Carmenians lived a sedentary life, while the Dai, Mardians, Dropici, and Sagartians were nomadic in their habits. Each one of these tribes occupied its own allotted territory, the limits of which were not always accurately defined; we know that Sagartia, Parseta-kōnź, and Mardia lay towards the north, on the confines of Media and the salt desert,* Taokźnź extended along the seaboard, and Carmania lay to the east. The tribes had constructed large villages, such as Armuza, Sisidōna, Apostana, Gogana, and Taōkź, on the sea-coast (the last named possessing a palace which was one of the three chief residences of the Achęmenian kings),** and Carmana, Persepolis, Pasargadę, and Gabę in the interior.***

     * Parsetakźnź, which has already been identified with the
     Partukkanu (or Partakkanu) of the Assyrian inscriptions, is
     placed by Ptolemy in Persia; Mardia corresponds to the
     mountainous district of Bebahan and Kazrun.

     ** The position of most of these towns is still somewhat
     doubtful. Armuza is probably Ormuz (or Hormuz) on the
     mainland, the forerunner of the insular Hormuz of the
     Portuguese, as the French scholar d’Anville has pointed out;
     Sisidōna has been identified with the modern village of
     Mogu, near Ras-Jerd, Apostana with the town of Shewār, the
     name seeming to be perpetuated in that of the Jebel Asban
     which rises not far from there. Gogana is probably Bender
     Kongūn, and Taokō, at the mouth of the Granis, is either
     Khor Gasseīr or Rohilla at the mouth of the Bishawer. The
     palace, which was one of the three principal residences of
     the Achęmenian kings, is probably mentioned by Strabo, and
     possibly in Dionysius Periegetes.

     *** Carmana is the modern Kermān; the exact position of
     Gabę, which also possesses a palace, is not known.

The Persians were a keen-witted and observant race, inured to all kinds of hardships in their occupation as mountain shepherds, and they were born warriors. The type preserved on the monuments differs but little from that which still exists at the present day in the more remote districts. It was marked by a tall and slender figure, with sturdy shoulders and loins, a small head, with a thick shock of hair and curling beard, a straight nose, a determined mouth, and an eye steady and alert. Yet, in spite of their valour, Phraortes overpowered them, and was henceforward able to reckon the princes of Anshān among his vassals; strengthened by the addition of their forces to his own, he directed his efforts to the subjection of the other races of the plateau. If we may believe the tradition of the Hellenic epoch, he reduced them to submission, and, intoxicated by his success, ventured at last to take up arms against the Assyrians, who for centuries past had held rule over Upper Asia.

This was about 635 B.C., or less than ten years after the downfall of Elam, and it does not seem likely that the vital forces of Assyria can have suffered any serious diminution within so short a space of time.*

     * The date is indicated by the figures given by Herodotus in
     regard to the Medic kings, based on the calculations of
     himself or his authorities. Phraortes died in 634 B.C.,
     after a reign of twenty-two years, and as the last year of
     his reign coincides with the war against Assyria, the
     preparations for it cannot have been much earlier than 635
     or 636 B.C., a year or two before the catastrophe.

287.jpg a Persian
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
of one of the bas-
reliefs at Persepolis,
in Dieulafoy.

Assur-bani-pal, weary of fighting, even though he no longer directed operations in person, had apparently determined to remain entirely on the defensive, and not to take the field, unless absolutely compelled to do so by rebellion at home or an attack from outside. In view of the growing need of rest for the Assyrian nation, he could not have arrived at a wiser decision, provided always that circumstances allowed of its being carried into effect, and that the tributary races and frontier nations were willing to fall in with his intentions. They did so at first, for the fate of Elam had filled even the most unruly among them with consternation, and peace reigned supreme from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. Assur-bani-pal took advantage of this unexpected lull to push forward the construction of public works in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. The palace of Sennacherib, though it had been built scarcely fifty years before, was already beginning to totter on its foundations; Assur-bani-pal entirely remodeled and restored it—a proceeding which gave universal satisfaction. The common people had, as usual, to make the bricks with their own hands and convey them to the spot, but as the chariots employed for this purpose formed part of the booty recently brought back from Elam, the privilege of using these trophies did something to lighten the burden of the tasks imposed on them. Moreover, they had the satisfaction of seeing at work among the squads of labourers several real kings, the Arabian chiefs who had been pursued and captured in the heart of the desert by Assur-bani-pal’s generals; they plodded along under their heavy baskets, stimulated by the crack of the whip, amid insults and jeers. This palace was one of the largest and most ornate ever built by the rulers of Assyria. True, the decoration does not reveal any novel process or theme; we find therein merely the usual scenes of battle or of the chase, but they are designed and executed with a skill to which the sculptor of Nineveh had never before attained. The animals, in particular, are portrayed with a light and delicate touch—the wild asses pursued by hounds, or checked while galloping at full speed by a cast of the lasso; the herds of goats and gazelles hurrying across the desert; the wounded lioness, which raises herself with a last dying effort to roar at the beaters. We are conscious of Egyptian influence underlying the Asiatic work, and the skilful arrangement of the scenes from the Elamite campaigns also reminds us of Egypt. The picture of the battle of Tullīz recalls, in the variety of its episodes and the arrangement of the perspective, the famous engagement at Qodshu, of which Ramses II. has left such numerous presentments on the Theban pylons. The Assyrians, led by the vicissitudes of invasion to Luxor and the Ramesseum, had, doubtless, seen these masterpieces of Egyptian art in a less mutilated state than that in which we now possess them, and profited by the remembrance when called upon to depict the private life of their king and the victories gained by his armies.

290.jpg a Herd of Wild Goats--a Bas-relief Of the Time Of Assur-bani-pal
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sketch by Place.

It was in this magnificent residence that Assur-bani-pal led an existence of indolent splendour, such as the chroniclers of a later age were wont to ascribe to all the Assyrian monarchs from the time of Semiramis onwards.*

     * Stories of the effeminacy of Sardanapalus had been
     collected by Ctesias of Cnidus; they soon grew under the
     hands of historians in the time of Alexander, and were
     passed on by them to writers of the Roman and Byzantine


290bth (150K)Illustrated Manuscript in Heiroglyphics

We would gladly believe that he varied the monotony of his hunting expeditions, his banquets, and entertainments in the gardens in company with the women of the harem, by pleasures of a more refined nature, and that he took an unusual interest in the history and literature of the races who had become subject to his rule. As a matter of fact, there have been discovered in several of the ruined chambers of his palaces the remains of a regular library, which must originally have contained thousands of clay tablets, all methodically arranged and catalogued for his use. A portion of them furnish us at first-hand with the records of his reign, and include letters exchanged with provincial governors, augural predictions, consultation of oracles, observations made by the royal astrologers, standing orders, accounts of income and expenditure, even the reports of physicians in regard to the health of members of the royal family or of the royal household: these documents reveal to us the whole machinery of government in actual operation, and we almost seem to witness the secret mechanism by which the kingdom was maintained in activity. Other tablets contain authentic copies of works which were looked upon as classics in the sanctuaries of the Euphrates. Probably, when Babylon was sacked, Sennacherib had ordered the books which lay piled up in E-Sagilla and the other buildings of the city to be collected and carried away to Nineveh along with the statues and property of the gods. They had been placed in the treasury, and there they remained until Esarhaddon re-established the kingdom of Karduniash, and Assur-bani-pal was forced to deliver up the statue of Marduk and restore to the sanctuaries, now rebuilt, all the wealth of which his grandfather had robbed them: but before sending back the tablets, he ordered copies to be made of them, and his secretaries set to work to transcribe for his use such of these works as they considered worthy of reproduction. The majority of them were treatises compiled by the most celebrated adepts in the sciences for which Chaldęa had been famous from time immemorial; they included collections of omens, celestial and terrestrial, in which the mystical meaning of each phenomenon and its influence on the destinies of the world was explained by examples borrowed from the Annals of world-renowned conquerors, such as Naramsin and Sargon of Agade; then there were formulę for exorcising evil spirits from the bodies of the possessed, and against phantoms, vampires, and ghosts, the recognised causes of all disease; prayers and psalms, which had to be repeated before the gods in order to obtain pardon for sin; and histories of divinities and kings from the time of the creation down to the latest date. Among these latter were several versions of the epic of Grilgames, the story of Etana, of Adapa, and many others; and we may hope to possess all that the Assyrians knew of the old Chaldęan literature in the seventh century B.C., as soon as the excavators have unearthed from the mound at Kouyunjik all the tablets, complete or fragmentary, which still lie hidden there. Even from the shreds of information which they have already yielded to us, we are able to piece together so varied a picture that we can readily imagine Assur-bani-pal to have been a learned and studious monarch, a patron of literature and antiquarian knowledge. Very possibly he either read himself, or had read to him, many of the authors whose works found a place in his library: the kings of Nineveh, like the Pharaohs, desired now and then to be amused by tales of the marvellous, and they were doubtless keenly alive to the delightful rhythm and beautiful language employed by the poets of the past in singing the praises of their divine or heroic ancestors. But the mere fact that his palace contained the most important literary collection which the ancient East has so far bequeathed to us, in no way proves that Assur-bani-pal displayed a more pronounced taste for literature than his predecessors; it indicates merely the zeal and activity of his librarians, their intelligence, and their respect and admiration for the great works of the past. Once he had issued his edict ordering new editions of the old masters to be prepared, Assur-bani-pal may have dismissed the matter from his mind, and the work would go on automatically without need for any further interference on his part. The scribes enriched his library for him, in much the same way as the generals won his battles, or the architects built his monuments: they were nothing more than nameless agents, whose individuality was eclipsed by that of their master, their skill and talent being all placed to his credit. Babylonia shared equally with Assyria in the benefits of his government. He associated himself with his brother Shamash-shumukin in the task of completing the temple of Ź-Sagilla; afterwards, when sole monarch, he continued the work of restoration, not only in Babylon, but in the lesser cities as well, especially those which had suffered most during the war, such as Uru, Uruk, Borsippa, and Cutha.*

     He refers to the works at Borsippa and Kuta towards the end
     of the account of his campaign against Shamash-shumukin, and
     to those at Uruk in describing the war against Khumbān-

He remodelled the temple of Bel at Nippur, the walls built there by him being even now distinguishable from the rest by the size of the bricks and the careful dressing of the masonry. From the shores of the Persian Gulf to the mountains of Armenia, Assyria and Karduniash were covered with building-yards just as they had been in the most peaceful days of the monarchy.

294.jpg Remains of Assur-bani-pal’s Wall at Nippur
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph published by

297.jpg Medic and Persian Foot-soldiers
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Coste
and Flandin. The first and third
figures are Medes, the second and
fourth Persians.

It was at this unique juncture of apparent grandeur and prosperity that Phraortes resolved to attack Assur-bani-pal. There is nothing to indicate that his action took place simultaneously with some movement on the part of other peoples, or with a serious insurrection in any of the Assyrian provinces. For my part, I prefer to set it down to one of those sudden impulses, those irresistible outbursts of self-confidence, which from time to time actuated the princes tributary to Nineveh or the kings on its frontier. The period of inactivity to which some previous defeat inflicted on them or on their predecessors had condemned them, allowed them to regain their strength, and one or two victories over less powerful neighbours served to obliterate the memory of former humiliation and disaster; they flew to arms full of hope in the result, and once more drew down defeat upon their heads, being lucky indeed if their abortive rising led to nothing worse than the slaughter of their armies, the execution of their generals, and an increase in the amount of their former tribute. This was the fate that overtook Phraortes; the conqueror of the Persians, when confronted by the veteran troops of Assyria, failed before their superior discipline, and was left dead upon the field of battle with the greater part of his army. So far the affair presented no unusual features; it was merely one more commonplace repetition of a score of similar episodes which had already taken place in the same region, under Tiglath-pileser III. or the early Sargonides; but Huvakshatara, the son of Phraortes, known to the Greeks as Cyaxares,* instead of pleading for mercy, continued to offer a stubborn resistance. Cyaxares belongs to history, and there can be no doubt that he exercised a decisive influence over the destinies of the Oriental world, but precise details of his exploits are wanting, and his personality is involved in such obscuring mists that we can scarcely seize it; the little we have so far been able to glean concerning him shows us, not so much the man himself, as a vague shadow of him seen dimly through the haze.

     * The original form of the name is furnished by passages in
     the Behistun inscription, where Chitrantakhma of Sagartia
     and Fravartish of Media, two of the claimants for the throne
     who rose against Darius, are represented as tracing their
     descent from Huvakshatara.

His achievements prove him to have been one of those perfect rulers of men, such as Asia produces every now and then, who knew how to govern as well as how to win battles—a born general and lawgiver, who could carry his people with him, and shone no less in peace than in war.*

     * G. Rawlinson takes a somewhat different view of Cyaxares’
     character; he admits that Cyaxares knew how to win
     victories, but refuses to credit him with the capacity for
     organisation required in order to reap the full benefits of
     conquest, giving as his reason for this view the brief
     duration of the Medic empire. The test applied by him does
     not seem to me a conclusive one, for the existence of the
     second Chaldęan empire was almost as short, and yet it would
     be decidedly unfair to draw similar inferences touching the
     character of Nabopolassar or Nebuchadrezzar from this fact.

The armies at the disposal of his predecessors had been little more than heterogeneous assemblies of feudal militia; each clan furnished its own contingent of cavalry, archers, and pikemen, but instead of all these being combined into a common whole, with kindred elements contributed by the other tribes, each one acted separately, thus forming a number of small independent armies within the larger one. Cyaxares saw that defeat was certain so long as he had nothing but these ill-assorted masses to match against the regular forces of Assyria: he therefore broke up the tribal contingents and rearranged the units of which they were composed according to their natural affinities, grouping horsemen with horsemen, archers with archers, and pikemen with pikemen, taking the Assyrian cavalry and infantry as his models.*

* Herodotus tells us that Cyaxares was “the first to divide the Asiatics
into different regiments, separating the pikemen from the archers and
horsemen; before his time, these troops were all mixed up haphazard
together.” I have interpreted his evidence in the sense which seems
most in harmony with what we know of Assyrian military tactics. It
seems incredible that the Medic armies can have fought pell-mell, as
Herodotus declares, seeing that for two hundred years past the Medes
had been frequently engaged against such well-drilled troops as those
of Assyria: if the statement be authentic, it merely means that Cyaxares
converted all the small feudal armies which had hitherto fought side
by side on behalf of the king into a single royal army in which the
different kinds of troops were kept separate.

The foot-soldiers wore a high felt cap known as a tiara; they had long tunics with wide sleeves, tied in at the waist by a belt, and sometimes reinforced by iron plates or scales, as well as gaiters, buskins of soft leather, and large wickerwork shields covered with ox-hide, which they bore in front of them like a movable bulwark; their weapons consisted of a short sword, which depended from the belt and lay along the thigh, one or two light javelins, a bow with a strongly pronounced curve, and a quiver full of arrows made from reeds.* Their horsemen, like those of other warlike nations II of the East, used neither saddle nor stirrups, and though they could make skilful use of lance and sword, their favourite weapon was the bow.**

     * Herodotus describes the equipment of the Persians in much
     the same terms as I have used above, and then adds in the
     following chapter that “the Medes had the same equipment,
     for it is the equipment of the Medes and not that of the

     ** Herodotus says that the Medic horsemen were armed in the
     same manner as the infantry.

298.jpg a Medic Horseman
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a cast
of the Medic intaglio in the Cabinet
des Médailles.

Accustomed from their earliest childhood to all kinds of equestrian exercises, they seemed to sit their horses as though they actually formed part of the animal. They seldom fought in line, but, from the very beginning of an action, hung like a dense cloud on the front and flanks of the enemy, and riddled them with missiles, without, however, coming to close quarters. Like the Parthians of a later epoch, they waited until they had bewildered and reduced the foe by their ceaseless evolutions before giving the final charge which was to rout them completely. No greater danger could threaten the Assyrians than the establishment of a systematically organised military power within the borders of Media. An invader starting from Egypt or Asia Minor, even if he succeeded in overthrowing the forces sent out to meet him, had still a long way to go before he could penetrate to the heart of the empire. Even if Cilicia and Syria should be conquered, nothing was easier than to oppose a further advance at the barrier of the Euphrates; and should the Euphrates be crossed, the Khabur still remained, and behind it the desert of Singar, which offered the last obstacle between Nineveh and the invaders. The distances were less considerable in the case of an army setting out from Urartu and proceeding along the basin of the Tigris or its affluents; but here, too, the difficulties of transit were so serious that the invader ran a great risk of gradually losing the best part of his forces on the road. On the north-east and east, however, the ancient heritage of Assur lay open to direct and swift attack. An enemy who succeeded in destroying or driving back the garrisons stationed as outposts on the rim of the plateau, from Kharkhar to Parsua, if he ventured to pursue his advantage and descended into the plain of the Tigris, had no less than three routes to choose from—the Kirind road on the south, the Baneh road on the north, and the Suleimanych road between the two. The last was the easiest of all, and led almost straight to the fords of Altun-Keupri and the banks of the Lesser Zab, on the confines of Assyria proper, close under the walls of Arbela, the holy city of Ishtar.

300.jpg the Assyrian Triangle

He needed but to win two victories, one upon leaving the mountains, the other at the passage of the Zab, and two or three weeks’ steady marching would bring him from Hamadān right up to the ramparts of Nineveh. Cyaxares won a victory over Assur-bani-pal’s generals, and for the first time in over a hundred years Assyria proper suffered the ignominy of foreign invasion. The various works constructed by twenty generations of kings had gradually transformed the triangle enclosed between the Upper Zab, the Tigris, and the Jebel-Makhlub into a regular fortified camp. The southern point of this triangle was defended by Calah from the attacks of Chaldoa or from foes coming down from Media by Iļolwān and Suleimanyeh, while Nineveh guarded it on the northeast, and several lines of walled cities—among which Dur-Sharrukīn and Imgur-Bel can still be identified—protected it on the north and east, extending from the Tigris as far as the G-hazīr and Zab. It was necessary for an enemy to break through this complex defensive zone, and even after this had been successfully accomplished and the walls of the capital had been reached, the sight which would meet the eye was well calculated to dismay even the most resolute invader. Viewed as a whole, Nineveh appeared as an irregular quadrilateral figure, no two sides of which were parallel, lying on the left bank of the Tigris.

301.jpg Map of Nineveh

The river came right up to the walls on the west, and the two mounds of Kouyunjik and Nebi-Yunus, on which stood the palaces of the Sargonides, were so skilfully fortified that a single wall connecting the two sufficed to ward off all danger of attack on this side. The south wall, which was the shortest of the four, being only about 870 yards in length, was rendered inaccessible by a muddy stream, while the north wall, some 2150 yards long, was protected by a wide moat which could be filled from the waters of the Khuzur.

302.jpg Part of the Fosse at Nineveh
     Drawn by Boudier, from a sketch in Layard.

The eastern front had for a long time depended for its safety on a single wall reinforced by a moat, but Sennacherib, deeming it insufficiently protected against a sudden attack, had piled up obstacles in front of it, so that it now presented a truly formidable appearance. It was skirted throughout its whole length by a main rampart, 5400 yards long, which described a gentle curve from north to south, and rose to a height of about 50 feet, being protected by two small forts placed close to the main gates. The fosse did not run along the foot of the wall, but at a distance of about fifty yards in front of it, and was at least some 20 feet deep and over 150 feet in width. It was divided into two unequal segments by the Khuzur: three large sluice-gates built on a level with the wall and the two escarpments allowed the river to be dammed back, so that its waters could be diverted into the fosse and thus keep it full in case of siege. In front of each segment was a kind of demi-lune, and—as though this was not precaution enough—two walls, each over 4300 yards long, were built in front of the demi-lunes, the ditch which separated them being connected at one end with the Khuzur, and allowed to empty itself into a stream on the south. The number of inhabitants sheltered behind these defences was perhaps 300,000 souls;* each separate quarter of the city was enclosed by ramparts, thus forming, as it were, a small independent town, which had to be besieged and captured after a passage had been cut through the outer lines of defence.

     * Jones and G. Rawlinson credit Nineveh with a population of
     not more than 175,000.

Cyaxares might well have lost heart in the face of so many difficulties, but his cupidity, inflamed by reports of the almost fabulous wealth of the city, impelled him to attack it with extraordinary determination: the spoils of Susa, Babylon, and Thebes, in fact, of the whole of Western Asia and Ethiopia, were, he felt, almost within his reach, and would inevitably fall into his hands provided his courage and perseverance did not fail him. After shutting up the remnant of the Assyrian army inside Nineveh he laid patient siege to the city, and the fame of his victories being noised abroad on all sides, it awoke among the subject races that longing for revenge which at one time appeared to have been sent to sleep for ever. It almost seemed as though the moment was approaching when the city of blood should bleed in its turn, when its kings should at length undergo the fate which they had so long imposed on other monarchs. Nahum the Elkoshite,* a Hebrew born in the Assyrian province of Samaria, but at that time an exile in Judah, lifted up his voice, and the echo of his words still resounds in our ears, telling us of the joy and hope felt by Judah, and with Judah, by the whole of Asia, at the prospect. Speaking as the prophet of Jahveh, it was to Jahveh that he attributed the impending downfall of the oppressor: “Jahveh is a jealous God and avengeth; Jahveh avengeth and is full of wrath; Jahveh taketh vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. Jahveh is slow to anger and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty; Jahveh hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.” * And, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.” Then he goes on to unfold before the eyes of his hearers a picture of Nineveh, humiliated and in the last extremity.

     * Elkosh is identified by Eusebius with Elkese, which St.
     Jerome declares to have been in Galileo, the modern el-
     Kauzeh, two and a half hours’ walk south of Tibnin. The
     prophecy of Nahum has been taken by some as referring to the
     campaign of Phraortes against Assyria, but more frequently
     to the destruction of Nineveh by the Medes and Chaldęans. It
     undoubtedly refers to the siege interrupted by the Scythian

There she lies, behind her bastions of brick, anxiously listening for the approach of the victorious Medes. “The noise of the whip, and the noise of the rattling of wheels; and prancing horses and jumping chariots; the horsemen mounting, and the flashing sword, and the glittering spear; and a multitude of slain and a great heap of carcases: and there is no end of the corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. Behold, I am against thee, saith Jahveh of hosts, and I will discover thy skirts upon they face; and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock. And it shall come to pass that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?” Thebes, the city of Amon, did not escape captivity; why then should Nineveh prove more fortunate? “All thy fortresses shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater. Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women; the gates of thy land are set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire hath devoured thy bars. Draw thee water for the siege, strengthen thy fortresses: go into the clay and tread the mortar, make strong the brick-kiln. There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off,... make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants as the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth and flieth away. Thy crowned are as the locusts and thy marshals as the swarms of grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. Thy shepherds slumber, O King of Assyria: thy worthies are at rest: thy people are scattered upon the mountains, and there is none to gather them. There is no assuaging of thy hurt; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee clap the hands over thee; for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?”

308.jpg Scythians Tending Their Wounded
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the
reliefs on a silver vase from Kul-Oba.

On this occasion Nineveh escaped the fate with which the prophet had threatened it, but its safety was dearly bought. According to the tradition accepted in Asia Minor two hundred years later, a horde of Scythians under King Madyes, son of Protothyes, setting out from the Bussian steppes in pursuit of the Cimmerians, made their appearance on the scene in the nick of time. We are told that they flung themselves through the Caspian Gates into the basin of the Kur, and came into contact with the Medes at the foot of Mount Caucasus. The defeat of the Medes here would necessarily compel them to raise the siege of Nineveh. This crisis in the history of Asia was certainly not determined by chance. For eighty years Assyria had been in contact with the Scythians, and the Assyrian kings had never ceased to keep an eye upon their movements, or lose sight of the advantage to which their bellicose temper might be turned in circumstances like the present. They had pitted them against the Cimmerians, then against the Medes, and probably against the kings of Urartu as well, and the intimacy between the two peoples came to be so close that the Scythian king Bartatua did not hesitate to demand one of the daughters of Bsarhaddon in marriage. From the very beginning of his reign Assur-bani-pal had shown them the utmost consideration, and when King Madyes, son of his ally Bartatua, intervened thus opportunely in the struggle, he did so, not by mere chance, as tradition would have us believe, but at the urgent request of Assyria. He attacked Media in the rear, and Cyaxares, compelled to raise the siege of Nineveh, hastened to join battle with him. The engagement probably took place on the banks of the Lower Araxes or to the north of Lake Urumiah, in the region formerly inhabited by the Mannai; but after defeating his foe and dictating to him the terms of submission, Madyes, carried away by the lust of conquest, did not hesitate to turn his arms against his ally. Exhausted by her recent struggle, Assyria lay at his mercy, her fortresses alone being able to offer any serious resistance: he overran the country from end to end, and though the walled cities withstood the fury of his attack, the rural districts were plundered right and left, and laid desolate for many a year to come. The Scythians of this epoch probably resembled those whom we find represented on the monuments of Greek art two centuries later. Tall fierce-looking men, with unkempt beards, their long and straggling locks surmounted by the kyrbasis, or pointed national cap of felt; they wore breeches and a blouse of embroidered leather, and were armed with lances, bows, and battle-axes. They rode bareback on untrained horses, herds of which followed their tribes about on their wanderings; each man caught the animal he required with the help of a lasso, put bit and bridle on him, and vaulting on to his back at a single bound, reduced him to a state of semi-obedience. No troops could stand their ground before the frantic charge of these wild horsemen; like the Huns of Roman times, the Scythians made a clean sweep of everything they found in their path. They ruined the crops, carried off or slaughtered the herds, and set fire to the villages from sheer love of destruction, or in order to inspire terror; every one who failed to fly to the mountains or take refuge in some fortress, was either massacred on the spot or led away into slavery.

Too ignorant of the arts of war to undertake a siege in the regular way, they usually contented themselves with levying ransoms on fortified towns; occasionally, however, when the wealth accumulated behind the walls held out a prospect of ample booty, they blockaded the place until famine compelled it to surrender. More than one ancient city which, thanks to the good government of its rulers and the industry of its citizens, had amassed treasure of inestimable value, was put to fire and sword, and more than one fertile and populous region left unfilled and deserted.* Most of the states which for the last three centuries had fought so stubbornly against the Assyrians for independence, went down before the storm, including the kingdoms of Urartu, of the Mushku, and of the Tabal,** the miserable end furnishing the Hebrew prophets full fifty years later with a theme of sombre rejoicing. “There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude; her graves are round about her: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for they caused their terror in the land of the living. And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war, and have laid their swords under their heads,*** and their iniquities are upon their bones; for they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.” ****

     * This may be deduced from the passage in Herodotus, where
     he says that “ the Scythians were masters of Asia for
     twenty-eight years, and overturned everything by their
     brutality and stupidity: for, in addition to tribute, they
     exacted from every one whatever they chose, and, moreover,
     they prowled here and there, plundering as they thought

     ** Strabo refers in general terms to the presence of
     Scythians (or, as he calls them, Sacae) in Armenia,
     Cappadocia, and on the shores of the Black Sea.

     *** This, doubtless, means that the Mushku and Tabal had
     been so utterly defeated that they could not procure
     honourable burial for their dead, i.e. with their swords
     beneath their heads and their weapons on their bodies.

     **** 1 Ezek. xxxii. 26, 27.

The Cimmerians, who, since their reverses in Lydia and on Mount Taurus, had concentrated practically the whole of their tribes in Cappadocia and in the regions watered by the Halys and Thermodon, shared the good fortune of their former adversaries. At that time they lived under the rule of a certain Kōbos, who seems to have left a terrible reputation behind him; tradition gives him a place beside Sesostris among the conquerors of the heroic age, and no doubt, like his predecessor Dugdamis, he owed this distinction to some expedition or other against the peoples who dwelt on the shores of the Ęgean Sea, but our knowledge of his career is confined to the final catastrophe which overtook him. After some partial successes, such as that near Zela, for instance, he was defeated and made prisoner by Madyes. His subjects, as vassals of the Scythians, joined them in their acts of brigandage,* and together they marched from province to province, plundering as they went; they overran the western regions of the Assyrian kingdom from Melitene and Mesopotamia to Northern Syria, from Northern Syria to Phoenicia, Damascus, and Palestine,** and at length made their appearance on the Judaean frontier.

     * It seems probable that this was so, when we consider the
     confusion between the Scythians or Sakse, and the Cimmerians
     in the Babylonian and Persian inscriptions of the
     Achsemenian epoch.

     ** Their migration from Media into Syria and Palestine is
     expressly mentioned by Herodotus.

Since the day when Sennacherib had been compelled to return to Assyria without having succeeded in destroying Jerusalem, or even carrying it by storm, Judah had taken little or no part in external politics. Divided at first by a conflict between the party of prudence, who advised submission to Nineveh, and the more warlike spirits who advocated an alliance with Egypt, it had ended by accepting its secondary position, and had on the whole remained fairly loyal to the dynasty of Sargon.

On the death of Hezekiah, his successor, Manasseh, had, as we know, been tempted to intervene in the revolutions of the hour, but the prompt punishment which followed his first attempt put an end for ever to his desire for independence. His successor, Amon, during his brief reign of two years,* had no time to desert the ways of his father, and Josiah,** who came to the throne in 638 B.C., at the age of eight, had so far manifested no hostility towards Assyria.

     * 2 Kings xxi. 18-26; cf. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 20-25. The reign
     of fifty-five years attributed to Manasseh by the Jewish
     annalists cannot be fitted into the chronology of the
     period; we must either take off ten years, thus reducing the
     duration of the reign to forty-five years, or else we must
     assume the first ten of Manasseh to be synchronous with the
     last ten of Hezekiah.

     ** 2 Kings xxii. 1; cf. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 1.

Thus, for more than fifty years, Judah enjoyed almost unbroken peace, and led as happy and prosperous an existence as the barrenness of its soil and the unruly spirit of its inhabitants would permit.

311.jpg Iranian Soldier Fighting Against the Scythians
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast
of a cylinder given byCunningham.
The cylinder is usually described as
Persian, but the dress is that of the
Medes as well as of the Persians.

But though its political activity had been almost nothing during this interval, its spiritual life had seldom been developed with a greater intensity. The reverse sustained by Sennacherib had undoubtedly been a triumph for Isaiah, and for the religious party of which we are accustomed to regard him as the sole representative. It had served to demonstrate the power of Jahveh, and His aversion for all idolatrous worship and for all foreign alliances. In vain did the partisans of Egypt talk loudly of Pharaoh and of all those principalities of this world which were drawn round in Pharaoh’s orbit; Egypt had shown herself incapable of safeguarding her friends, and things had gone steadily from bad to worse so long as these latter held the reins of government; their removal from office had been, as it were, the signal for a welcome change in the fortunes of the Jews. Jahveh had delivered His city the moment when, ceasing to rely upon itself, it had surrendered its guidance into His hands, and the means of avoiding disaster in the future was clearly pointed out to it. Judah must be content to follow the counsels which Isaiah had urged upon it in the name of the Most High, and submissively obey the voice of its prophets. “Thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. And ye shall defile the over-laying of thy graven images of silver, and the plating of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as an unclean thing; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.” Isaiah seems to disappear after his triumph, and none of his later prophecies have come down to us: yet the influence of his teaching lasted throughout the reign of Hezekiah, and the court, supported by the more religious section of the people, not only abjured the worship of false gods, but forsook the high places and discontinued the practices which he had so strenuously denounced. The great bulk of the nation, however, soon returned to their idolatrous practices, if, indeed, they had ever given them up, and many of the royal advisers grew weary of the rigid observances which it was sought to impose upon them; rites abhorrent to Jahveh found favour even among members of the king’s own family, and on Hezekiah’s death, about 686 B.C., a reaction promptly set in against both his religious views and the material reforms he had introduced.*

     * 2 Kings xxi. 2-7 (cf. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 2-7), where, in
     spite of manifest recensions of the text, the facts
     themselves seem to have been correctly set forth.

Manasseh was only thirteen years old when he came to the throne, and his youth naturally inclined him towards the less austere forms of divine worship: from the very first he tolerated much that his father had forbidden, and the spirit of eclecticism which prevailed among his associates rendered him, later on, an object of special detestation to the orthodox historians of Jerusalem. Worshippers again began openly to frequent the high places; they set up again the prostrate idols, replanted the sacred groves, and even “built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jahveh.” The chariots and horses of the sun reappeared within the precincts of the temple, together with the sacred courtesans. Baal and the Phoenician Astarte were worshipped on Mount Sion. The valley of Hinnom, where Ahaz had already burnt one of his children during a desperate crisis in the Syrian wars, was again lighted up by the flames of the sacred pyre. We are told that Manasseh himself set the example by passing his son through the flames; he also had recourse to astrologers, soothsayers, fortune-tellers, and sorcerers of the lowest type. The example of Assyria in matters of this kind exercised a preponderant influence on Jewish customs, and certainly it would have been a miracle if Jerusalem had succeeded in escaping it; did not Nineveh owe the lofty place it occupied to these occult sciences and to the mysterious powers of its gods? In thus imitating its conqueror, Judah was merely borrowing the weapons which had helped him to subdue the world. The partisans of the ancient religions who were responsible for these innovations must have regarded them as perfectly legitimate reforms, and their action was received with favour in the provinces: before long the latter contained as many sanctuaries as there were towns,* and by thus multiplying the centres of worship, they hoped that, in accordance with ancient belief, the ties which existed between Jahveh and His chosen people would also be increased.

     * Jer. ii. 26-30. For the quotation see also Jer. xi. 13:
     “For according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O
     Judah; and according to the number of the streets of
     Jerusalem have ye set up altars to the shameful thing, even
     altars to burn incense unto Baal.”

The fact that the provinces had been ravaged from end to end in the days of Sennacherib, while Jerusalem had been spared, was attributed to the circumstance that Hezekiah had destroyed the provincial sanctuaries, leaving the temple on Mount Sion alone standing. Wherever Jahveh possessed altars, He kept guard over His people, but His protection was not extended to those places where sacrifices were no longer offered to Him. The reaction was not allowed to take place without opposition on the part of the prophets and their followers. We are told that Manasseh “shed innocent blood very much till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another;” there is even a Kabbinic tradition to the effect that, weary of the admonitions of the aged Isaiah, he put him to death by shutting him up in the hollow trunk of a tree, and causing him to be sawn in two.*

     * 2 Kings xxi. 16. The tradition in regard to the fate of
     Isaiah took its foundation in this text, and it is perhaps
     indirectly referred to in Heb. xi. 37.

For a long time after this no instance can be found of a prophet administering public affairs or directing the actions of the king himself; the priests and reformers, finding no outlet for their energy in this direction, fell back on private preaching and literary propaganda. And, above all, they applied themselves to the task of rewriting the history of Israel, which, as told by the chroniclers of the previous century, presented the national Deity in too material a light, and one which failed to harmonise with the ideals then obtaining. So long as there were two separate Hebrew kingdoms, the existence of the two parallel versions of the Elohist and Jahvist gave rise to but little difficulty: each version had its own supporters and readers, whose consciences were readily satisfied by the interpolation of a few new facts into the text as occasion arose. But now that Samaria had fallen, and the whole political and religious life of the Hebrew race was centred in Judah alone, the necessity for a double and often contradictory narrative had ceased to exist, and the idea occurred of combining the two in a single work. This task, which was begun in the reign of Hezekiah and continued under Manasseh, resulted in the production of a literature of which fragments have been incorporated into the historical books of our Bible.*

The reign of Amon witnessed no alteration in the policy initiated by his predecessor Manasseh; but when, after less than two years’ rule, he was suddenly struck down by the knife of an assassin, the party of reform carried the day, and the views of Hezekiah and Isaiah regained their ascendency. Josiah had been king, in name at any rate, for twelve years,** and was learning to act on his own responsibility, when the Scythian danger appeared on the horizon.

     * The scheme of the present work prevents me from doing more
     than allude in passing to these preliminary stages in the
     composition of the Priestly Code. I shall have occasion to
     return briefly to the subject at the close of Volume IX.

     ** The date is supplied by the opening passage of the
     prophecy of Jeremiah, “to whom the word of Jehovah came in
     the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, King of Judah, in the
     thirteenth year of his reign” (i. 2). Volney recognised
     that chaps, i., iv., v., and vi. of Jeremiah refer to the
     Scythian invasion, and since his time it has been admitted
     that, with the exception of certain interpolations in chaps,
     i. and iii., the whole of the first six chapters date from
     this period, but that they underwent slight modifications in
     the recension which was made in the fourth year of
     Jehoiachin in order to make them applicable to the
     threatened Chaldęan invasion. The date is important, since
     by using it as a basis we can approximately restore the
     chronology of the whole period. If we assume the thirteenth
     year of Josiah to have been 627-626 B.C., we are compelled
     to place all the early Medic wars in the reign of Assur-
     bani-pal, as I have done.

This barbarian invasion, which burst upon the peace of Assyria like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky, restored to the faithful that confidence in the omnipotence of their God which had seemed about to fail them; when they beheld the downfall of states, the sack of provinces innumerable, whole provinces in flames and whole peoples irresistibly swept away to death or slavery, they began to ask themselves whether these were not signs of the divine wrath, indicating that the day of Jahveh was at hand. Prophets arose to announce the approaching judgment, among the rest a certain Zephaniah, a great-grandson of Hezekiah:* “I will utterly consume all things from off the face of the ground, saith Jahveh. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling-blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the earth, saith Jahveh. And I will stretch out My hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarim with the priests; and them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship, which swear to Jahveh and swear by Malcham; and them that are turned back from following Jahveh; and those that have not sought Jahveh nor inquired after Him. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord Jahveh; for the day of Jahveh is at hand; for Jahveh hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath sanctified His guests.”

     * Zephaniah gives his own genealogy at the beginning of his
     prophecy (i. 1), though, it is true, he does not add the
     title “King of Judah” after the name of his ancestor

“That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm, against the fenced cities, and against the high battlements. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Jahveh: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of Jahveh’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy; for He shall make an end, yea, a terrible end, of all them that dwell in the land.” During this same period of stress and terror, there came forward another prophet, one of the greatest among the prophets of Israel—Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah. He was born in the village of Anathoth, near Jerusalem, being descended from one of those priestly families in which the faith had been handed down from generation to generation in all its original purity.*

     * The descent and birthplace of Jeremiah are given at the
     beginning of his prophecies (i. 1). He must have been quite
     young in the thirteenth year of Josiah, as is evident from
     the statement in i. 6. We are told in chap, xxxvi. that in
     the fourth year of Jehoiakim he dictated a summary of all
     the prophecies delivered by him from the thirteenth year of
     Josiah up to the date indicated to his servant Baruch, and
     that later on he added a number of others of the same kind.

When Jahveh called him, he cried out in amazement, “Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.” But Jahveh reassured him, and touching his lips, said unto him, “Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth: see, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, and to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” Then the prophet perceived a seething cauldron, the face of which appeared from the north, for the Eternal declared to him that “Out of the north evil shall break out upon all the inhabitants of the land.” Already the enemy is hastening: “Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as the whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thine evil thoughts lodge within thee? For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth evil from the hills of Ephraim: make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem!” The Scythians had hardly been mentioned before they were already beneath the walls, and the prophet almost swoons with horror at the sound of their approach. “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart: my heart is disquieted in me; I cannot hold my peace; because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. How long shall I see the standard and hear the sound of the trumpet?” It would seem that the torrent of invasion turned aside from the mountains of Judah; it flowed over Galilee, Samaria, and the Philistine Shephelah, its last eddies dying away on the frontiers of Egypt. Psammetiehus is said to have bribed the barbarians to retire. As they fell back they plundered the temple of Derketō, near Ashkelon: we are told that in order to punish them for this act of sacrilege, the goddess visited them with a disease which caused serious ravages amongst them, and which the survivors carried back with them to their own country.*

     * Herodotus calls the goddess Aphrodite Urania, by which we
     must understand Derketō or Atargatis, who is mentioned by
     several other classical authors, e.g. Xanthus of Lydia,
     Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Pliny. According to Justin, the
     Scythians were stopped only by the marshes of the Delta. The
     disease by which the Scythians were attacked is described by
     Hippocrates; but in spite of what he tells us about it, its
     precise nature has not yet been determined.

There was, however, no need to introduce a supernatural agency in order to account for their rapid disappearance. The main body of invaders had never quitted Media or the northern part of the Assyrian empire, and only the southern regions of Syria were in all probability exposed to the attacks of isolated bands. These stragglers, who year after year embarked in one desperate adventure after another, must have found great difficulty in filling up the gaps which even victories made in their ranks; enervated by the relaxing nature of the climate, they could offer little resistance to disease, and excess completed what the climate had begun, the result being that most of them died on the way, and only a few survived to rejoin the main body with their booty. For several months the tide of invasion continued to rise, then it ebbed as quickly as it had risen, till soon nothing was left to mark where it had passed save a pathway of ruins, not easily made good, and a feeling of terror which it took many a year to efface. It was long before Judah forgot the “mighty nation, the ancient nation, the nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest thou what they say.” * Men could still picture in imagination their squadrons marauding over the plains, robbing the fellah of his crops, his bread, his daughters, his sheep and oxen, his vines and fig trees, for “they lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea, and they ride upon horses; every one set in array as a man to the battle,** against thee, O daughter of Sion. We have heard the fame thereof; our hands wax feeble; anguish hath taken hold of us, and pangs as of a woman in travail.” *** The supremacy of the Scythians was of short duration. It was said in after-times that they had kept the whole of Asia in a state of terror for twenty-eight years, dating from their defeat of Cyaxares; but the length of this period is exaggerated.****

     * Jer. v. 15; it seems curious that the Hebrew prophet
     should use the epithet “ancient,” when we remember that the
     Scythians claimed to be the oldest nation in the world,
     older than even the Egyptians themselves.

     ** An obvious allusion to the regular formation adopted by
     the Scythian squadrons.

     *** Jer. v. 17; vi. 23, 24.

     **** The authenticity of the number of years given in
     Herodotus has been energetically defended by some modern
     historians, and not less forcibly denied by others, who
     reduce it, for example, in accordance with a doubtful
     passage of Justin, to eight years. By assigning all the
     events relating to the Scythian invaders to the mean period
     of twenty years, we should obtain the length of time which
     best corresponds to what is actually known of the general
     history of this epoch.

The Medes soon recovered from their disaster, but before engaging their foes in open conflict, they desired to rid themselves of the prince who had conquered them, and on whom the fortunes of the whole Scythian nation depended. Cyaxares, therefore, invited Madyes and his officers to a banquet, and after plying them to excess with meat and drink, he caused them all to be slain.*

     * This episode is regarded as legendary by many modern
     historians. Winckler even goes so far as to deny the defeat
     of the Scythians: according to his view, they held
     possession of Media till their chief, Astyages, was
     overthrown by Cyrus; Rost has gone even further, deeming
     even Cyaxares himself to have been a Scythian. For my part,
     I see no reason to reject the tradition of the fatal
     banquet. Without referring to more ancient illustrations,
     Noldeke recalls the fact that in a period of only ten years,
     from 1030 to 1040 a.d., the princes reigning over the
     Iranian lands rid themselves by similar methods of the
     Turcoman bands which harassed them. Such a proceeding has
     never been repugnant to Oriental morality, and it is of a
     kind to fix itself in the popular mind: far from wishing to
     suppress it, I should be inclined to see in it the nucleus
     of the whole tradition.

The barbarians made a brave resistance, in spite of the treason which had deprived them of their leaders: they yielded only after a long and bloody campaign, the details of which are unknown to us. Iranian legends wove into the theme of their expulsion all kinds of fantastic or romantic incidents. They related, for instance, how, in combination with the Parthians, the Scythians, under the leadership of their queen Zarinsea, several times defeated the Medes: she consented at last to conclude a treaty on equal terms, and peace having been signed, she retired to her capital of Boxanakź, there to end her days. One body of the survivors re-entered Europe through the Caspian Gates, another wandered for some time between the Araxes and the Halys, seeking a country adapted to their native instincts and customs.* Cyaxares, relieved from the pressure put upon him by the Scythians, immediately resumed his efforts against Assyria, and was henceforward able to carry his plans to completion without encountering any serious obstacle. It would be incorrect to say that the Scythian invasion had overthrown the empire of the Sargonids: it had swept over it like a whirlwind, but had not torn from it one province, nor, indeed, even a single city. The nations, already exhausted by their struggles for independence, were incapable of displaying any energy when the barbarians had withdrawn, and continued to bow beneath the Ninevite yoke as much from familiarity with habitual servitude as from inability to shake themselves free. Assur-bani-pal had died about the year 625 B.C., after a reign of forty-two years, and his son Assur-etililāni had assumed the double crown of Assyria and Babylon without opposition.**

     * Herodotus speaks of these Scythians as having lived at
     first on good terms with Cyaxares.

     ** The date of Assur-bani-pal’s death is not furnished by
     any Assyrian monument, but is inferred from the Canon of
     Ptolemy, where Saosduchīn or Shamash-shumukin and Chinaladan
     or Assur-bani-pal each reigns forty-two years, from 668 or
     667 to 626 or 625 B.C. The order of succession of the last
     Assyrian kings was for a long time doubtful, and Sin-shar-
     ishkun was placed before Assur-etililāni; the inverse order
     seems to be now conclusively proved. The documents which
     seemed at one time to prove the existence of a last king of
     Assyria named Esarhaddon, identical with the Saracos of
     classical writers, really belong to Esarhaddon, the father
     of Assur-bani-pal. [Another king, Sin-sum-lisir, is
     mentioned in a contract dated at Nippur in his accession
     year. He may have been the immediate predecessor of
     Sarakos.—? Ed.]

Nineveh had been saved from pillage by the strength of her ramparts, but the other fortresses, Assur, Calah, and Dur-Sharrukīn, had been destroyed during the late troubles; the enemy, whether Medes or Scythians, had taken them by storm or reduced them by famine, and they were now mere heaps of ruin, deserted save for a few wretched remnants of their population. Assur-etililāni made some feeble attempts to restore to them a semblance of their ancient splendour. He erected at Calah, on the site of the palaces which had been destroyed by fire, a kind of castle rudely built, and still more rudely decorated, the rooms of which were small and low, and the walls of sun-dried brick were panelled only to the height of about a yard with slabs of limestone roughly squared, and without sculpture or inscription: the upper part of the walls was covered with a coating of uneven plaster. We do not know how long the inglorious reign of Assur-etililāni lasted, nor whether he was assassinated or died a natural death. His brother, Sin-shar-ishkun,* who succeeded him about 620 B.C., at first exercised authority, as he had done, over Babylon as well as Nineveh,** and laboured, like his predecessor, to repair the edifices which had suffered by the invasion, making war on his neighbours, perhaps even on the Medes, without incurring serious losses.

     * The name of this king was discovered by G. Smith on the
     fragments of a cylinder brought from Kouyunjik, where he
     read it as Bel-zakir-iskun. The real reading is Sin-shar-
     ishkun, and the similarity of this name with that of
     Saracos, the last king of Assyria according to Greek
     tradition, strikes one immediately. The relationship of this
     king to Assur-etililāni was pointed out by Father Scheil
     from the fragment of a tablet on which Sin-shar-ishkun is
     declared to be the son of Assur-bani-pal, king of Assyria.

     ** This may be deduced from a passage of Abydenus, where
     Saracos or Sin-shar-ishkun sends Bussalossoros (that is,
     Nabopolassar) to defend Chaldę against the invasion of the
     peoples of the sea; so according to Abydenus, or rather
     Berosus, from whom Abydenus indirectly obtained his
     information, Saracos was King of Babylon as well as of
     Nineveh at the beginning of his reign.

The Chaldęans, however, merely yielded him obedience from force of habit, and the moment was not far distant when they would endeavour to throw off his yoke. Babylon was at that time under the rule of a certain Nabu-bal-uzur, known to us as Nabopolassar, a Kaldu of ancient lineage, raised possibly by Assur-bani-pal to the dignity of governor, but who, in any case, had assumed the title of king on the accession of Assur-etililāni.*

     * The Canon of Ptolemy makes Nabopolassar the direct
     successor of Chinaladan, and his testimony is justified by
     the series of Babylonian contracts which exist in fairly
     regular succession from the second to the twenty-first years
     of Nabopolassar. The account given by Berosus makes him a
     general of Saracos, but the contradiction which this offers
     to the testimony of the Canon can be explained if he is
     considered as a vassal-king; the kings of Egypt and of Media
     were likewise only satraps, according to Babylonian

His was but a local sovereignty, restricted probably to the city and its environs; and for twelve or thirteen years he had rested content with this secondary position, when an unforeseen incident presented him with the opportunity of rising to the first rank. Tradition asserted that an immense army suddenly landed at the mouths of the Euphrates and the Tigris; probably under this story is concealed the memory of one of those revolts of the Bīt-Yakīn and the tribes dwelling on the shores of the Nar-Marratum, such as had often produced consternation in the minds of the Sargonid kings.* Sin-shar-ishkun, distracted doubtless by other anxieties, acted as his ancestors had done in similar circumstances, and enjoined on his vassal to march against the aggressors and drive them into the sea; but Nabopolassar, instead of obeying his suzerain, joined forces with the rebels, and declared his independence. Assur-etililāni and his younger brother had possibly neglected to take the hands of Bel, and were therefore looked upon as illegitimate sovereigns. The annalists of later times erased their names from the Royal Canon, and placed Nabopolassar immediately after Assur-bani-pal, whom they called Kandalanu. But however feeble Assyria had become, the cities on the Lower Euphrates feared her still, and refused to ally themselves with the pretender. Nabopolassar might perhaps have succumbed, as so many before him had done, had he been forced to rely entirely on his own resources, and he might have shared the sad fate of Merodach-baladan or of Shamash-shumukīn; but Marduk, who never failed to show favour to his faithful devotees, “raised up help for him and secured him an ally.” The eyes of all who were oppressed by the cruel yoke of Nineveh were now turned on Cyaxares, and from the time that he had dispersed the Scythian hordes it was to him that they looked for salvation. Nabopolassar besought his assistance, which the Median king graciously promised;** it is even affirmed that a marriage concluded between one of his daughters, Amyfcis, and Nebuchadrezzar, the heir to the throne of Babylon, cemented the alliance.***

     * Formerly these barbarians were identified with the remains
     of the Scythian hordes, and this hypothesis has been
     recently revived by Prashek. G. Rawlinson long ago
     recognised that the reference must be to the Chaldęans, who
     were perhaps joined by the Susians.

     ** The Cylinder of Nabonichs, the only original document
     in which allusion is made to the destruction of Nineveh,
     speaks of the Ummān-Manda and their king, whom it does not
     name, and it has been agreed to recognise Cyaxares in this
     sovereign. On the other hand, the name of Ummān-Manda
     certainly designates in the Assyrian texts the wandering
     Iranian tribes to whom the Greeks gave the name of Sakse or
     Scythians; the result, in the opinions of several
     Assyriologists of the present day, is that neither Astyages
     nor Cyaxares were Medes in the sense in which we have
     hitherto accepted them as such on the evidence of Herodotus,
     but that they were Scythians, the Scythians of the great
     invasion. This conclusion does not seem to me at present
     justified. The Babylonians, who up till then had not had any
     direct intercourse either with the Madai or the Ummān-Manda,
     did as the Egyptians had done whether in Saite or Ptolemaic
     times, continuing to designate as Kharī, Kafīti, Lotanu, and
     Khāti the nations subject to the Persians or Macedonians;
     they applied a traditional name of olden days to present
     circumstances, and I see, at present, no decisive reason to
     change, on the mere authority of this one word, all that the
     classical writers have handed down concerning the history of
     the epoch according to the tradition current in their days.

     *** The name of the princess is written Amuhia, Amyitis. The
     classical sources, the only ones which mention her, make her
     the daughter of Astyages, and this has given rise to various
     hypotheses. According to some, the notice of this princess
     has no historical value. According to others, the Astyages
     mentioned as her father is not Cyaxares the Mede, but a
     Scythian prince who came to the succour of Nabopolassar,
     perhaps a predecessor of Cyaxares on the Median throne, and
     in this case Phraortes himself under another name. The most
     prudent course is still to admit that Abydenus, or one of
     the compilers of extracts to whom we owe the information,
     has substituted the name of the last king of Media for that
     of his predecessor, either by mistake, or by reason of some
     chronological combinations. Amyitis, transported into the
     harem of the Chaldęan monarch, served, like all princesses
     married out of their own countries, as a pledge for the
     faithful observance by her relatives of the treaty which had
     been concluded.

The western provinces of the empire did not permit themselves to be drawn into the movement, and Judah, for example, remained faithful to its suzerain till the last moment,* but Sin-shar-ishkun received no help from them, and was obliged to fight his last battles single-handed. He shut himself up in Nineveh, and held out as long as he could; but when all his resources were exhausted—ammunitions of war, men and food supplies—he met his fate as a king, and burnt himself alive in his palace with his children and his wives, rather than fall alive into the hands of his conquerors (608 B.C.). The Babylonians would take no part in pillaging the temples, out of respect for the gods, who were practically identical with their own, but the Medes felt no such scruples. “Their king, the intrepid one, entirely destroyed the sanctuaries of the gods of Assur, and the cities of Accad which had shown themselves hostile to the lord of Accad, and had not rendered him assistance. He destroyed their holy places, and left not one remaining; he devastated their cities, and laid them waste as it were with a hurricane.” Nineveh laid low, Assyria no longer existed. After the lapse of a few years, she was named only among the legends of mythical days: two centuries later, her very site was forgotten, and a Greek army passed almost under the shadow of her dismantled towers, without a suspicion that there lay before it all that remained of the city where Semiramis had reigned in her glory.**

     * It was to oppose the march of Necho against the King of
     Assyria that Josiah fought the battle of Megiddo (2 Kings
     xxiii. 29, 30; cf. 2 Chron. xxxv. 20-24, where the mention
     of the King of Assyria is suppressed).

     ** This is what the Ten Thousand did when they passed
     before Larissa and Mespila. The name remained famous, and
     later on the town which bore it attained a relative

It is true that Egypt, Chaldęa, and the other military nations of the East, had never, in their hours of prosperity, shown the slightest consideration for their vanquished foes; the Theban Pharaohs had mercilessly crushed Africa and Asia beneath their feet, and had led into slavery the entire population of the countries they had subdued. But the Egyptians and Chaldaeans had, at least, accomplished a work of civilization whose splendour redeemed the brutalities of their acts of reprisal. It was from Egypt and Chaldęa that the knowledge and the arts of antiquity—astronomy, medicine, geometry, physical and natural sciences—spread to the ancestors of the classic races; and though Chaldęa yields up to us unwillingly, with niggard hand, the monuments of her most ancient kings, the temples and tombs of Egypt still exist to prove what signal advances the earliest civilised races made in the arts of the sculptor and the architect. But on turning to Assyria, if, after patiently studying the successive centuries during which she held supreme sway over the Eastern world, we look for other results besides her conquests, we shall find she possessed nothing that was not borrowed from extraneous sources. She received all her inspirations from Chaldęa—her civilisation, her manners, the implements of her industries and of agriculture, besides her scientific and religious literature: one thing alone is of native growth, the military tactics of her generals and the excellence of her soldiery. From the day when Assyria first realised her own strength, she lived only for war and rapine; and as soon as the exhaustion of her population rendered success on the field of battle an impossibility, the reason for her very existence vanished, and she passed away.

Two great kingdoms rose simultaneously from her ruins. Cyaxares claimed Assyria proper and its dependencies on the Upper Tigris, but he specially reserved for himself the yet unconquered lands on the northern and eastern frontiers, whose inhabitants had only recently taken part in the political life of the times. Nabopolassar retained the suzerainty over the lowlands of Elam, the districts of Mesopotamia lying along the Euphrates, Syria, Palestine, and most of the countries which had hitherto played a part in history;* he claimed to exert his supremacy beyond the Isthmus, and the Chaldęan government looked upon the Egyptian kings as its feudatories because for some few years they had owned the suzerainty of Nineveh.**

     * There was no actual division of the empire, as has been
     often asserted, but each of the allies kept the portion
     which fell into his power at the moment of their joint
     effort. The two new states gradually increased in power by
     successive conquests, each annexing by degrees the ancient
     provinces of Assyria nearest to its own frontier.

     ** This seems to be implied by the terms in which Berosus
     speaks of Necho: he considers him as a rebel satrap over the
     provinces of Egypt, Coele-Syria, and Phoenicia, and
     enumerates Egypt in conjunction with Syria, Phoenicia, and
     Arabia among the dependencies of Nabopolassar and
     Nebuchadrezzar. Just as the Egyptian state documents never
     mentioned the Lotanu or the Kharu without entitling them
     Children of Rebellion, so the Chaldęan government, the
     heir of Assyria, could only look upon the kings of Syria,
     Arabia, and Egypt as rebellious vassals.

330. Map of the Eastern World in The Time Of Nebuchadnezzar

The Pharaoh, however, did not long tolerate this pretension, and far from looking forward to bend the knee before a Chaldęan monarch, he believed himself strong enough to reassert his ancestral claims to the possession of Asia. Egypt had experienced many changes since the day when Tanuatamanu, returning to Ethiopia, had abandoned her to the ambition of the petty dynasties of the Delta. One of the romances current among the people of Sais in the fifth century B.C. related that at that time the whole land was divided between twelve princes. They lived peaceably side by side in friendly relations with each other, until an oracle predicted that the whole valley would finally belong to that prince among them who should pour a libation to Phtah into a brazen cup, and thenceforward they jealously watched each other each time they assembled to officiate in the temple of Memphis. One day, when they had met together in state, and the high priest presented to them the golden cups they were wont to use, he found he had mistaken their number, and had only prepared eleven. Psammetichus was therefore left without one, and in order not to disarrange the ceremonial he took off his brazen helmet and used it to make his libation; when the rest perceived this, the words of the oracle came to their remembrance, and they exiled the imprudent prince to the marshes along the sea-coast, and forbade him ever to quit them. He secretly consulted the oracle of Isis of Buto to know what he might expect from the gods, and she replied that the means of revenge would reach him from the sea, on the day when brazen soldiers should issue from its waters. He thought at first that the priests were mocking him, but shortly afterwards Ionian and Carian pirates, clad in their coats of mail, landed not far from his abode. The messenger who brought tidings of their advent had never before seen a soldier fully armed, and reported that brazen men had issued from the waves and were pillaging the country. Psammetichus, realising at once that the prediction was being fulfilled, ran to meet the strangers, enrolled them in his service, and with their aid overthrew successively his eleven rivals.*

     * The account given by Diodorus of these events is in
     general derived from that of Herodotus, with additional
     details borrowed directly or indirectly from some historian
     of the same epoch, perhaps Hellanicus of Mitylene: the
     reason of the persecution endured by Psammetichus is,
     according to him, not the fear of seeing the prediction
     fulfilled, but jealousy of the wealth the Saite prince had
     acquired by his commerce with the Greeks. I have separated
     the narrative of Herodotus from his account of the Labyrinth
     which did not originally belong to it, but was connected
     with a different cycle of legends. The original romance was
     part of the cycle which grew up around the oracle of Buto,
     so celebrated in Egypt at the Persian epoch, several other
     fragments of which are preserved in Herodotus; it had been
     mixed up with one of the versions of the stories relating to
     the Labyrinth, probably by some dragoman of the Fayyūm. The
     number twelve does not correspond with the information
     furnished by the Assyrian texts, which enumerate more than
     twenty Egyptian princes; it is perhaps of Greek origin, like
     the twelve great gods which the informants of Herodotus
     tried to make out in Egypt, and was introduced into the
     Egyptian version by a Greek interpreter.

A brazen helmet and an oracle had dethroned him; another oracle and brazen men had replaced him on his throne. A shorter version of these events made no mention of the twelve kings, but related instead that a certain Pharaoh named Tementhes had been warned by the oracle of Amon to beware of cocks. Now Psammetichus had as a companion in exile a Carian named Pigres, and in conversing with him one day, he learned by chance that the Carians had been the first people to wear crested helmets; he recalled at once the words of the oracle, and hired from Asia a number of these “cocks,” with whose assistance he revolted and overthrew his suzerain in battle under the walls of Memphis, close to the temple of Isis. Such is the legendary account of the Saite renaissance; its true history is not yet clearly and precisely known. Egypt was in a state of complete disintegration when Psammetichus at length revived the ambitious projects of his family, but the dissolution of the various component parts had not everywhere taken place in the same manner.

In the north, the Delta and the Nile valley, as far as Siut, were in the power of a military aristocracy, supported by irregular native troops and bands of mercenaries, for the most part of Libyan extraction, who were always designated by the generic name of Mashauasha. Most of these nobles were in possession of not more than two or three cities apiece: they had barely a sufficient number of supporters to maintain their precarious existence in their restricted domains, and would soon have succumbed to the attacks of their stronger neighbours, had they not found a powerful protector to assist them. They had finally separated themselves into two groups, divided roughly by the central arm of the Nile. One group comprised the districts that might be designated as the Asiatic zone of the country—Heliopolis, Bubastis, Mendes, Tanis, Busiris, and Seben-nytos—and it recognised as chief the lord of one or other of those wealthy cities, now the ruler of Bubastis, now of Tanis, and lastly Pakruru of Pisaptit. The second group centred in the lords of Sais, to whom the possession of Memphis had secured a preponderating voice in the counsels of the state for more than a century.*

     * This grouping, which might already have been suspected
     from the manner in which the Assyrian and Egyptian monuments
     of the period show us the feudal princes rallying round
     Necho I. and Pakruru, is indicated by the details in the
     demotic romance published by Krall, where the foundation of
     the story is the state of Egypt in the time of the “twelve

335.jpg Three Hoplites in Action
Drawn by faucher-Gudin, from an
archaic vase-painting in the
collection of Salzmann.

The fiefs and kingdoms of Middle Egypt wavered between the two groups, playing, however, a merely passive part in affairs: abandoning themselves to the stream of events rather than attempting to direct it, they owed allegiance to Sais and Tanis alternately as each prevailed over its rival. On passing thence into the Thebaid a different world appeared to be entered. There Amon reigned, ever increasingly supreme, and the steady advance of his influence had transformed his whole domain into a regular theocracy, where the women occupied the highest position and could alone transmit authority. At first, as we have seen, it was passed on to their husbands and their children, but latterly the rapidity with which the valley had changed masters had modified this law of succession in a remarkable way. Each time the principality shifted its allegiance from one king to another, the new sovereign naturally hastened to install beside the divine female worshipper a man devoted to his interests, who should administer the fief to the best advantage of the suzerain. It is impossible to say whether he actually imposed this minister on her as a husband, or whether the time came when she was obliged to submit to as many espousals as there occurred revolutions in the destinies of Egypt.* However this may be, we know that from the first half of the seventh century B.C. the custom arose of placing beside “the divine worshipper” a princess of the dominant family, whom she adopted, and who thus became her heiress-designate. Taharqa had in this way associated one of his sisters, Shapenuapīt II., with the queen Amenertas when the latter had lost her husband, Piōnkhi; and Shapenuapīt, succeeding her adopted mother, had reigned over Thebes in the Ethiopian interest during many years. There is nothing to show that she was married, and perhaps she was compensated for her official celibacy by being authorised to live the free life of an ordinary Pallacide;** her minister Montumihāīt directed her affairs for her so completely that the Assyrian conquerors looked upon him as petty king of Thebes. Tanuatamanu confirmed him in his office when the Assyrians evacuated the Said, and the few years which had elapsed since that event had in no way modified the régime established immediately on their departure.

     * They would have been, in fact, in the same condition as
     the Hova queens of our century, who married the ministers
     who reigned in their names.

     ** It is perhaps these last female descendants of the high
     priests that are intended in a passage where Strabo speaks
     of the Pallacides who were chosen from among the most noble
     families of the city. Diodorus mentions their tombs, quoting
     from Hecatous of Abdera, but he does not appear to know the
     nature of their life; but the name of Pallacides which he
     applies to them proves that their manner of life was really
     that which Strabo describes.

It is uncertain how long Assur-bani-pal in the north, and Tanuatamanu in the south, respectively maintained a precarious sovereignty over the portions of Egypt nearest to their own capitals.

The opening of the reign of Psammetichus seems to have been fraught with difficulties, and the tradition which represents him as proscribed by his peers, and confined to the marshes of the sea-coast, has probably a certain basis of truth. Pakruru, who had brought all the western part of the Delta under his own influence, and who, incessantly oscillating between Assyria and Ethiopia, had yet been able to preserve his power and his life, had certainly not of his own free will renounced the hope of some day wearing the double crown. It was against him or his successor that Psammetichus must have undertaken his first wars, and it was perhaps with the help of Assyrian governors that the federal coalition drove him back to the coast. He extricated himself from this untoward situation by the help of Greek and Asiatic mercenaries, his Ionians and Carians. Some historians stated that the decisive battle was fought near Memphis, in sight of the temple of Isis; others affirmed that it took place at Momemphis, that several of the princes perished in the conflict, and that the rest escaped into Libya, whence they never returned; others, again, spoke of an encounter on the Nile, when the fleet of the Saite king dispersed that of his rivals. It is, in fact, probable that a single campaign sufficed for Psammetichus, as formerly for the Ethiopian pretenders, to get the upper hand, and that the Egyptian feudal lords submitted after one or two defeats at most, hoping that, as in days gone by, when the first dash made by the new Pharaoh was over, his authority would decline, and their own would regain the ascendency. Events showed that they were deceived. Psammetichus, better served by his Hellenes than Tafnakhti or Bocchoris had been by their Libyans, or Piōnkhi and Tanuatamanu by their Ethiopians, soon consolidated his rule over the country he had conquered. From 660 or 659 B.C. he so effectively governed Egypt that foreigners, and even the Assyrians themselves commonly accorded him the title of king. The fall of the Ninevite rule had been involved in that of the feudal lords, but it was generally believed that Assur-bani-pal would leave no means untried to recall the countries of the Nile to their obedience: Psammetichus knew this, and knew also that, as soon as they were no longer detained by wars or rebellions elsewhere, the Assyrian armies would reappear in Egypt. He therefore entered into an alliance with Gyges,* and subsequently, perhaps, with Shamash-shumukīn also; then, while his former suzerain was waging war in Elam and Chaldęa, he turned southwards, in 658 B.C., and took possession of the Thebaid without encountering any opposition from the Ethiopians, as his ancestor Tafnakhti had from Piōnkhi-Miamun. Mon-tumihāīt** negotiated this capitulation of Thebes, as he had already negotiated so many others; in recompense for this service, he was confirmed in his office, and his queen retained her high rank.

     * The annexation of the Thebaid and the consequent
     pacification of Egypt was an accomplished fact in the year
     IX. of Psammetichus I. The analogy of similar documents,
     e.g. the stele of the high priest Menkhopirrī, shows that
     the ceremony of adoption which consecrated the reunion of
     Upper and Lower Egypt cannot have been separated by a long
     interval from the completion of the reunion itself: in
     placing this at the end of the year VIII., we should have
     for the two events the respective dates of 658-657 and 657-
     656 B.C.

     ** The part played by Montumihāīt in this affair is easily
     deduced: (1) from our knowledge of his conduct some years
     previously under Taharqa and Tanuatamanu; (2) from the
     position he occupied at Thebes, in the year IX., with regard
     to Shapenuapīt, according to the stele of Legrain.

338.jpg Statue of a Theban Queen
Drawn by Boudier,
from a photograph
by M. de Bissing.

[The statue, whose feet are missing, represents either Amenertas I. or Mutertas; it was never completely finished, and several of the parts have never received their final polish.]

A century or two earlier Psammetichus would have married one of the princesses of sacerdotal lineage, and this union would have sufficed to legalise his position; perhaps he actually associated Shapenuapīt with himself by a show of marriage, but in any case he provided her with an adopted daughter according to the custom instituted by the Ethiopian Pharaohs. She already had one daughter by adoption, whom she had received at the hands of Taharqa, and who, in changing her family, had assumed the name of Amenertas in honour of the queen who had preceded Shapenuapīt: Psammetichus forced her to replace the Ethiopian princess by one of his own daughters, who was henceforth called Shapenuapīt, after her new mother. A deputation of the nobles and priests of Thebes came to escort the princess from Memphis, in the month of Tybi, in the ninth year of the reign: Psammetichus formally presented her to them, and the ambassadors, having listened to his address, expatiated in the customary eulogies on his splendour and generosity. “They shall endure as long as the world lasteth; all that thou ordainest shall endure. How beautiful is that which God hath done for thee, how glorious that which thy divine father hath done for thee? He is pleased that thy double should be commemorated, he rejoices in the pronouncing of thy name, for our lord Psammetichus has made a gift to his father Amon, he has given him his eldest daughter, his beloved Mtauqrīt Shapenuapīt, to be his divine spouse, that she may shake the sistrum before him!” On the 28th of Tybi the princess left the harem, clothed in fine linen and adorned with ornaments of malachite, and descended to the quay, accompanied by an immense throng, to set out for her new home. Relays stationed along the river at intervals made the voyage so expeditious that at the end of sixteen days the princess came in sight of Thebes. She disembarked on the 14th of Khoiak, amid the acclamations of the people: “She comes, the daughter of the King of the South, Nitauqrīt, to the dwelling of Amon, that he may possess her and unite her to himself; she comes, the daughter of the King of the North, Shapenuapīt, to the temple of Karnak, that the gods may there chant her praises.” As soon as the aged Shapenuapīt had seen her coadjutor, “she loved her more than all things,” and assigned her a dowry, the same as that which she had received from her own parents, and which she had granted to her first adopted daughter Amenertas. The magnates of Thebes—the aged Montumihāīt, his son Nsiphtah, and the prophets of Amon—vied with each other in their gifts of welcome: Psammetichus, on his side, had acted most generously, and the temples of Egypt assigned to the princess an annual income out of their revenues, or bestowed upon her grants of houses and lands, in all constituting a considerable inheritance, which somewhat consoled the Thebans for their subjection to a dynasty emanating from the cities of the north. The rest of the principality imitated the example of Thebes and the whole of Egypt, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the rocks of the first cataract, once more found itself reunited under the sceptre of an Egyptian king. A small part of Nubia, the portion nearest to Elephantine, followed this movement, but the greater part refused to cut itself off from the Ethiopians. These latter were henceforth confined to the regions along the middle course of the Nile, isolated from the rest of the world by the deserts, the Red Sea, and Egypt. It is probable that they did not give up without a struggle the hope of regaining the ground they had lost, and that their armies made more than one expedition in a northerly direction. The inhabitants of the Thebaid could hardly fail to remain faithful to them at heart, and to recognise in them the legitimate representatives of the posterity of Amon; it is possible that now and again they succeeded in penetrating as far as the ancient capital, but if so, their success was always ephemeral, and their sojourn left no permanent traces. The same causes, however, which had broken up the constituent elements, and destroyed the unity of Greater Egypt at the end of the Theban period, were still at work in Saite times to prevent the building up again of the empire. The preservation of the balance of power in this long and narrow strip of country depended on the centre of attraction and on the seat of government being nearly equidistant from the two extremities. This condition had been fulfilled as long as the court resided at Thebes; but as the removal of the seat of government to the Delta caused the loss and separation of the southern provinces, so its sudden return to the extreme south, with a temporary sojourn at Napata, necessarily produced a similar effect, and led to the speedy secession of the northern provinces. In either case, the dynasty placed at one extremity of the empire was unable to sustain for any length of time the weight depending on it at the other; when once the balance became even slightly disturbed, it could not regain its equilibrium, and there was consequently a sudden dislocation of the machinery of government.

The triumph of the Saite dynasty accomplished the final ruin of the work begun under the Papis, and brought to completion by the Amenemhāīts and the Usirtasens. Greater Egypt ceased to exist, after more than twenty centuries of glorious life, and was replaced by the Little Egypt of the first ages of history. The defeat of the military chiefs of the north, the annexation of the principality of Amon, and the final expulsion of the Ethiopians and the Asiatics had occupied scarcely nine years, but these feats constituted only the smaller part of the work Psammetichus had to accomplish: his subsequent task lay in restoring prosperity to his kingdom, or, at all events, in raising it from the state of misery into which two centuries of civil wars and invasions had plunged it. The important cities had suffered grievously: Memphis had been besieged and taken by assault by both Piōnkhi and Esar-haddon, Thebes had been twice sacked by the veterans of Assur-bani-pal, and from Syenź to Pelusium there was not a township but had suffered at the hands of foreigners or of the Egyptians themselves. The country had enjoyed a moment’s breathing-space under Sabaco, but the little good which this prince had been able to accomplish was effaced immediately after his death: the canals and dykes had been neglected, the supervision of the police relaxed, and the population, periodically decimated or driven to take refuge in the strongholds, had often allowed the lands to lie waste, so that famine had been superadded to the other evils under which the land already groaned. Psammetichus, having forced the feudal lords to submit to his supremacy, deprived them of the royal titles they had unduly assumed; he no longer tolerated their habits of private warfare, but restricted them to the functions of hereditary governors, which their ancestors had exercised under the conquering dynasties of former times,* and this enforced peace soon allowed the rural population to devote themselves joyfully to their regular occupations.

     * During the last few years records of a certain number of
     persons have been discovered whose names and condition prove
     that they were the descendants of semi-independent princes
     of the Ethiopian and Bubastite periods: e.g. a certain
     Akaneshu, who was prince of Sebennytos under Psammetichus
     I., and who very probably was the grandson of Akaneshu,
     prince of the same town under Piōnkhi; and a Sheshonq of
     Busiris, who was perhaps a descendant of Sheshonq, prince of
     Busiris under Piōnkhi.

347.jpg the Saite Fortress of Daphne
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a restoration by Fl. Petrie.

With so fertile a soil, two or three years of security, during which the fellahīn were able to sow and reap their crops free from the fear of marauding bands, sufficed to restore abundance, if not wealth, to the country, and Psammetichus succeeded in securing both these and other benefits to Egypt, thanks to the vigilant severity of his administration. He would have been unable to accomplish these reforms had he relied only on the forces which had been at the disposal of his ancestors—the native troops demoralised by poverty, and the undisciplined bands of Libyan mercenaries, which constituted the sole normal force of the Tanite and Bubastite Pharaohs and the barons of the Delta and Middle Egypt. His experience of these two classes of soldiery had decided him to look elsewhere for a less precarious support, and ever since chance had brought him in contact with the Ionians and Carians, he had surrounded himself with a regular army of Hellenic and Asiatic mercenaries. It is impossible to exaggerate the terror that the apparition of these men produced in the minds of the African peoples, or the revolution they effected, alike in peace or war, in Oriental states: the charge of the Spanish soldiery among the lightly clad foot-soldiers of Mexico and Peru could not have caused more dismay than did that of the hoplites from beyond the sea among the half-naked archers and pikemen of Egypt and Libya. With their bulging corselets, the two plates of which protected back and chest, their greaves made of a single piece of bronze reaching from the ankle to the knee, their square or oval bucklers covered with metal, their heavy rounded helmets fitting closely to the head and neck, and surmounted by crests of waving plumes, they were, in truth, men of brass, invulnerable to any Oriental weapon. Drawn up in close array beneath their “tortoise,” they received almost unhurt the hail of arrows and stones hurled against them by the lightly armed infantry, and then, when their own trumpet sounded the signal for attack, and they let themselves fall with their whole weight upon the masses of the enemy, brandishing their spears above the upper edge of their bucklers, there was no force of native troops or company of Mashauasha that did not waver beneath the shock and finally give way before their attack. The Egyptians felt themselves incapable of overcoming them except by superior numbers or by stratagem, and it was the knowledge of their own hopeless inferiority which prevented the feudal lords from attempting to revenge themselves on Psammetichus. To make themselves his equals, they would have been obliged either to take a sufficient number of similar warriors into their own pay—and this they were not able to afford—or they must have won over those already in the employ of their suzerain; but the liberality with which Psammetichus treated his mercenaries gave them good cause to be faithful, even if military honour had not sufficed to keep them loyal to their employer. Psammetichus granted to them and their compatriots, who were attracted by the fame of Egypt, a concession of the fertile lands of the Delta stretching along the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, and he was careful to separate the Ionians from the Carians by the whole breadth of the river: this was a wise precaution, for their union beneath a common flag had not extinguished their inherited hatred of one another, and the authority of the general did not always suffice to prevent fatal quarrels breaking out between contingents of different nationalities.

They occupied, moreover, regularly entrenched camps, enclosed within massive walls, containing a collection of mud huts or houses of brick, the whole enclosure commanded by a fortress which formed the headquarters of the general and staff of officers. Some merchants from Miletus, emboldened by the presence of their fellow-countrymen, sailed with thirty vessels into the mouth of the Bolbitine branch of the Nile, and there founded a settlement which they named the Port of the Milesians, and, following in their wake, successive relays of emigrants arrived to reinforce the infant colony. The king entrusted a certain number of Egyptian children to the care of these Greek settlers, to be instructed in their language,* and the interpreters thus educated in their schools increased in proportion as the bonds of commercial and friendly intercourse between Greece and Egypt became strengthened, so that ere long, in the towns of the Delta, they constituted a regular class, whose function was to act as intermediaries between the two races.

     * Diodorus, or rather the historian whom he follows, assures
     us that Psammetichus went still further, and gave his own
     children a Greek education; what is possible and even
     probable, is, that he had them taught Greek. A bronze Apis
     in the Gizeh Museum was dedicated by an interpreter who
     inscribed on it a bilingual inscription in hieroglyphics and

By thus bringing his subjects in contact with an active, industrious, and enterprising nation, full of youthful vigour, Psammetichus no doubt hoped to inspire them with some of the qualities which he discerned in the colonists, but Egypt during the last two centuries had suffered too much at the hands of foreigners of all kinds to be favourably disposed to these new-comers. It would have been different had they presented themselves in humble guise like the Asiatics and Africans to whom Egypt had opened her doors so freely after the XVIIIth dynasty, and if they had adopted the obsequious manners of the Phoenician and Hebrew merchants; but they landed from their ships fully equipped for war, and, proud of their own courage and ability, they vied with the natives of the ancient race, whether of plebeian or noble birth, for the favour of the sovereign. Their language, their rude military customs, their cunning devices in trade, even the astonishment they manifested at the civilisation of the country, rendered them objects of disdain, as well as of jealous hatred to the Egyptian. The food of which they partook made them unclean in native estimation, and the horrified fellah shunned contact with them from fear of defiling himself, refusing to eat with them, or to use the same knife or cooking-vessel: the scribes and members of the higher classes, astonished at their ignorance, treated them like children with no past history, whose ancestors a few generations back had been mere savages.

Although unexpressed at first, this hostility towards the Hellenes was not long in manifesting itself openly. The Saite tradition attributed it to a movement of wounded vanity. Psammetichus, to recompense the prowess of his Ionian and Carian soldiers, had attached them to his own person, and assigned to them the post of honour on the right wing when the army was drawn up for review or in battle array.*

     * Diodorus Siculus states that it was during the Syrian war
     that the king thus honoured his mercenary troops. Wiedemann
     thinks this is an erroneous inference drawn from the passage
     of Herodotus, in which he explains the meaning of the word

348a.jpg Egyptian Greek
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from Petrie.
The original statuette
in alabaster is
now in the Gizeh Museum;
the Cyprian style of the
figure is easily recognised.

348b.jpg Egyptian Greek
Drawn by
from Petrie.

They reaped thus the double advantage of the glory, which they greatly prized, and of the higher pay attached to the title of body-guard, but the troops who had hitherto enjoyed these advantages were naturally indignant at losing them, and began to murmur. One particularly galling circumstance at last caused their discontent to break out. The eastern and southern frontiers of Egypt were conterminous with those of two conquering empires, Assyria and Ethiopia, and on the west the Libyan tribes along the shores of the Mediterranean were powerful enough to demand constant vigilance on the part of the border garrisons. Psammetichus, among other reforms, had reorganised the ancient system of defence. While placing outposts at the entrance to the passes leading from the desert into the Nile valley, he had concentrated considerable masses of troops at the three most vulnerable points—the outlets of the road to Syria, the country surrounding Lake Mareotis, and the first cataract; he had fortified Daphnse, near the old town of Zalu, as a defence against the Assyrians, Marea against the Libyan Bedāwin, and Elephantine against the Ethiopians. These advanced posts had been garrisoned with native troops who were quartered there for a year at a time. To be condemned to such an exile for so long a period raised in them a sense of profound indignation, but when the king apparently forgot them and left them there three years without sending other troops to relieve them, their anger knew no bounds. They resolved to put an end to such treatment, and as the hope of a successful rebellion seemed but small, they decided to leave the country. Two hundred and forty thousand of them assembled on a given day with their arms and baggage, and marched in good order towards Ethiopia. Psammetichus, warned of their intentions when ifc was too late, hastened after them with a handful of followers, and coming up with them, besought them not to desert their national gods, their wives, and their children. He had nearly prevailed on them to return, when one soldier, with a significant gesture, intimated that while manhood lasted they had power to create new families wherever they might chance to dwell. The details of this story betray the popular legend, but nevertheless have a basis of truth. The inscriptions from the time of Psammetichus onwards never mention the Mashauasha, while their name and their exploits constantly recur in the history of the preceding dynasties: henceforth they and their chiefs vanish from sight, and discord and brigandage simultaneously cease in the Egyptian nomes. It was very probably the most turbulent among these auxiliaries who left the country in the circumstances above narrated: since they could not contest the superiority of their Greek rivals, they concluded that their own part was played out, and rather than be relegated to the second rank, they preferred to quit the land in a body. Psammetichus, thus deprived of their support at the moment when Egypt had more than ever need of all her forces to regain her rightful position in the world, reorganised the military system as best he could. He does not seem to have relied much upon the contingents from Upper Egypt, to whom was doubtless entrusted the defence of the Nubian frontier, and who could not be withdrawn from their posts without danger of invasion or revolt. But the source of imminent peril did not lie in this direction, where Ethiopia, exhausted by the wars of Taharqa and Tanuatamanu, perhaps needed repose even more than Egypt itself, but rather on the Asiatic side, where Assur-bani-pal, in spite of the complications constantly arising in Karduniash and Elam, had by no means renounced his claims to the suzerainty of Egypt. The Pharaoh divided the feudatory militia of the Delta into two classes, which resided apart in different sets of nomes. The first group, who were popularly called Hermotybies, were stationed at Busiris, Sais, and Khemmis, in the island of Prosopitis, and in one half of Natho—in fact, in the district which for the last century had formed the centre of the principality of the Saite dynasty: perhaps they were mostly of Libyan origin, and represented the bands of Mashauasha who, from father to son, had served under Tafnakhti and his descendants. Popular report numbered them at 160,000 men, all told, and the total number of the other class, known as the Calasiries, at 250,000; these latter belonged, in my opinion, to the pure Egyptian race, and were met with at Thebes, while the troops of the north, who were more generally called out, were scattered over the territory which formerly supported the Tanite and Bubastite kings, and latterly Pakruru, and which comprised the towns of Bubastis, Aphthis, Tanis, Mendes, Sebennytos, Athribis, Pharbaathos, Thmuis, Onuphis, Anysis, and Myecphoris. Each year one thousand Hermotybies and one thousand Calasiries were chosen to form the royal body-guard, and these received daily five minae of bread apiece, two minas of beef, and four bowls of wine; the jealousy which had been excited by the Greek troops was thus lessened, as well as the discontent provoked by the emigration.*

     * Calasiris, the exact transcription of Khala-shiri,
     Khala-shere, signifying young man. The meaning and
     original of the word transcribed Hermotybies by Herodotus,
     and Hermotymbies according to a variant given by Stephen of
     Byzantium, is as yet unknown, but it seems to me to conceal
     a title analogous to that of Hir-mazaīu, and to designate
     what remained of Libyan soldiers in Egypt. This organisation
     of the army is described by Herodotus as existing in his own
     days, and there were Calasiries and Hermotybies in the
     Egyptian contingent which accompanied the army of Mardonius
     to Greece; it is nowhere stated that it was the work of
     Psammetichus, but everything points to the conclusion that
     it was so, at all events in the form in which it was known
     to the Greeks.

The King of Napata gladly welcomed the timely reinforcements which arrived to fill up the vacancies in his army and among his people, weakened by a century of rapid changes, and generously gave them permission to conquer for themselves some territory in the possession of his enemies! Having driven out the barbarians, they established themselves in the peninsula formed by the White and Blue Niles, and their numbers increased so greatly that in course of time they became a considerable nation. They called themselves Asmakh, the men who stand on the king’s left hand, in memory of the affront put upon them, and which they had avenged by their self-exile: Greek travellers and geographers called them sometimes Automoli, sometimes Sembrites, names which clung to them till almost the beginning of our present era.

This departure of the Mashauasha was as the last blast of wind after a storm: the swell subsided by degrees, and peace reigned in the interior. Thebes accommodated itself as best it could to the new order of things under the nominal administration of the Divine Spouses, the two Shapenuapīts. Building works were recommenced at all points where it appeared necessary, and the need of restoration was indeed pressing after the disorders occasioned by the Assyrian invasion and the Ethiopian suzerainty. At Karnak, and in the great temples on both banks of the Nile, Psammetichus, respecting the fiction which assigned the chief authority to the Pallacides, effaced himself in favour of them, allowing them to claim all the merit of the work; in the cities they erected small chapels, in which they are portrayed as queens fulfilling their sacerdotal functions, humbly escorted by the viceroy who in other respects exercised the real power. The king’s zeal for restoration is manifest all along the Nile, at Coptos, Abydos,* and in the plains of the Delta, which are crowded with memorials of him. His two favourite capitals were Memphis and Sais, on both of which he impartially lavished his favours.

     * The first Egyptologists attributed the prénommai cartouche
     of Psammetichus I. to Psammetichus II., and vice versa:
     this error must always be kept in mind in referring to their

At Memphis he built the propylons on the south side of the temple of Phtah, and the court in which the living Apis took his exercise and was fed: this court was surrounded by a colonnade, against the pillars of which were erected statues twelve cubits high, probably representing Osiris as in the Eames-seum and at Medinet-Habu. Apis even when dead also received his share of attention. Since the days when Ramses II. had excavated the subterranean Serapeum as a burial-place of the sacred bulls, no subsequent Pharaoh who had reigned at Memphis had failed to embellish their common tomb, and to celebrate with magnificence their rites of sepulture.

355.jpg Chamber and Sarcophagus of an Apis
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an engraving published in

The body of the Apis, carefully embalmed, was sealed up in a coffin or sarcophagus of hard stone, the mouth of the vault was then walled up, and against the fresh masonry, at the foot of the neighbouring rocks, on the very floor of the passage, or wherever there was a clear space available, the high dignitaries, the workmen or the priests who had taken any part in the ceremonial, set up a votive stele calling down upon themselves and their families divine benedictions.

356.jpg the Great Gallery of The Serapeum
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an engraving of Devéria.

The gallery was transformed by degrees into a kind of record-office, where each dynasty in turn recorded its name, whenever a fresh apotheosis afforded them the opportunity: these records were discovered in our own time by Mariette, almost perfect in spite of the destroying hand of men, and comprised inscriptions by the Bubastites, by Bocchoris, and even by the Ethiopians. Taharqa, when menaced by the Assyrians, had stayed at Memphis, only a year before his death, in the interval between two campaigns, in order to bury an Apis, and Psammetichus likewise took care not to neglect this part of his regal duties. He at first was content to imitate his predecessors, but a subsidence having occurred in that part of the Serapeum where the Apis who had died in the twentieth year of his reign reposed, he ordered his engineers to bore another gallery in a harder vein of limestone, and he performed the opening ceremony in his fifty-second year. It was the commencement of a thorough restoration. The vaults in which the sacred bulls were entombed were severally inspected, the wrappings were repaired together with the mummy cases, the masonry of the chapel was strengthened, and the building endowed with woods, stuffs, perfumes, and the necessary oils. No less activity apparently was displayed at Sais, the native home and favourite residence of the Pharaoh; but all the monuments which adorned the place, including the temple of Nit, and the royal palace, have been entirely destroyed; the enclosing wall of unbaked bricks alone remains, and here and there, amid the débris of the houses, may be seen some heaps of shattered stone where the public buildings once stood. On several blocks the name and titles of Psammetichus may yet be deciphered, and there are few cities in the Delta which cannot make a similar show. From one end of the Nile valley to the other the quarries were reopened, and the arts, stimulated by the orders which flowed in, soon flourished anew. The engraving of hieroglyphics and the art of painting both attained a remarkable degree of elegance; fine statues and bas-reliefs were executed in large numbers, and a widely spread school of art was developed. The local artists had scrupulously observed and handed down the traditions which obtained in the time of the Pyramids, and more especially those of the first Theban period; even the few fragments that have come down to us of the works of these artists in the age of the Ramessides recall rather the style of the VIth and XIIth dynasties than that of their Theban contemporaries. Their style, brought to perfection by evident imitation of the old Memphite masters, pleases us by its somewhat severe elegance, the taste shown in the choice of detail, and the extraordinary skill displayed in the working of the stone. The Memphites had by preference used limestone for their sculpture, the Thebans red and grey granite or sandstone; but the artists of the age of Psammetichus unhesitatingly attacked basalt, breccia, or serpentine, and obtained marvellous effects from these finely grained materials of regular and even texture. The artistic renaissance which they brought to its height had been already inaugurated under the Ethiopians, and many of the statues we possess of the reign of Taharqa are examples of excellent workmanship. That of Amenertas was over-praised at the time of its discovery; the face, half buried by the wig which we usually associate with the statues of the goddesses, has a dull and vacant expression in spite of its set smile, and the modelling of the figure is rather weak, but nevertheless there is something easy and refined in the gracefulness of the statue as a whole.

358 (103K)Chieck Beled—Gizeh Museum

A statuette of another “Divine Spouse,” though mutilated and unfinished, is pleasing from its greater breadth of style, although such breadth is rarely found in the works of this school, which toned down, elongated, and attenuated the figure till it often lost in vigour what it gained in distinction. The one point in which the Saite artists made a real advance, was in the treatment of the heads of their models.

359.jpg Memphite Bas-relief of the Saite Epoch
     Drawn by Boudier, from a heliogravure in Mariette. The bas-
     relief was worked into the masonry of a house in Memphis in
     the Byzantine period, and it was in order to fit it to the
     course below that the masons bevelled the lower part of it.

The expression is often refined and idealised as in the case of older works, but occasionally the portraiture is exact even to coarseness. It was not the idealised likeness of Montumihāīt which the artist wished to portray, but Montumihāīt himself, with his low forehead, his small close-set eyes, his thin cheeks, and the deep lines about his nose and mouth. And besides this, the wrinkles, the crows’ feet, the cranial projections, the shape of ear and neck, are brought out with minute fidelity. A statue was no longer, as in earlier days, merely a piece of sacred stone, the support of the divine or human double, in which artistic value was an accessory of no importance and was esteemed only as a guarantee of resemblance: without losing aught of its religious significance, a statue henceforward became a work of art, admired and prized for the manner in which the sculptor faithfully represented his model, as well as for its mystic utility.

The reign of Psammetichus lasted till nearly the end of the century, and was marked by peace both at home and abroad. No doubt skirmishes of some kind took place in Lydia and Nubia, but we know nothing of them, nor have we any account of engagements with the Asiatics which from time to time must have taken place during this reign. Psammetichus followed with a vigilant eye the revolutionary changes beyond the isthmus, actuated at first by the fear of an offensive movement on the part of Syria, and when that ceased to be a danger, by the hope of one day recovering, in Southern Syria, at all events, that leading position which his predecessors had held so long. Tradition asserts that he wisely confined his ambition to the conquest of the Philistine Pentapolis; it is even reported that he besieged Ashdod for twenty-nine years before gaining possession of it. If we disregard the cipher, which is evidently borrowed from some popular romance, the fact in itself is in no way improbable. Ashdod was a particularly active community, and had played a far more important part in earlier campaigns than any other member of the Pentapolis. It possessed outside the town proper, which was situated some little distance from the coast, a seaport similar to that of Gaza, and of sufficient size to shelter a whole fleet.

361.jpg the Ruins of Sais
     Drawn by Boudior, from a photograph by Golenischeff.

Whoever held this harbour could exercise effective control over the main routes leading from Syria into Egypt. Psammetichus probably undertook this expedition towards the end of his life, when the victories gained by the Medes had demonstrated the incapacity of Assyria to maintain the defence of her distant provinces.*

     * At one time I was inclined to explain this period of
     twenty-nine years by assuming that the fall of Ashdod took
     place in the twenty-ninth year of the king’s reign, and that
     Herodotus had mistaken the date of its surrender for the
     duration of the siege: such an hypothesis is, however,
     unnecessary, since it is very probable that we have here one
     of those exaggerated estimates of time so dear to the hearts
     of popular historians. If we are to believe the account
     given by Diodorus, it was in Syria that Psammetichus granted
     the honour of a place in the right wing of his army to the
     Greek mercenaries: the capture of Ashdod must, in this case,
     have occurred before the emigration of the native troops. In
     Jer. xxv. 20, reference is made to “the remnant of Ashdod,”
      in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, i.e. about 603 B.C., and
     the decadence of the city is generally attributed to the war
     with Egypt; it might with equal probability be ascribed to
     the Scythian invasion.

The attack of the Scythians, which might have proved dangerous to Egypt, had it been pushed far enough, had left her unharmed, and was in the end even advantageous to her. It was subsequent to the retreat of the barbarians, no doubt, that Psam-metichus sent his troops into Philistia and succeeded in annexing the whole or part of it. After this success he was content to wait and watch the course of events. The surprising revival of Egypt must have had the effect of infusing fresh life into the Egyptian factions existing in all the autonomous states, and in the prefectures of Syria. The appearance of the Pharaoh’s troops, and the toleration of their presence within the territory of the Assyrian empire, aroused on all sides the hope of deliverance, and incited the malcontents to take some immediate action.

We do not know what may have happened at Tyre and Sidon, or among the peoples of Edom and Arabia, but Judah, at any rate, under the rule of Josiah, carefully abstained from any action inconsistent with the pledge of fidelity which it had given to Assyria. Indeed, the whole kingdom was completely absorbed in questions of a theological nature, and the agitations which affected the religious life of the nation reacted on its political life as well. Josiah, as he grew older, began to identify himself more and more with the doctrines taught by the prophets, and, thanks to his support, the party which sought to complete the reforms outlined by Hezekiah gained fresh recruits every day. The opposition which they had formerly aroused among the priests of the temple had gradually died out, partly as the result of genuine conviction, and partly because the priests had come to realise that the establishment of a single exclusive sanctuary would work for their own interest and advantage. The high priest Hilkiah took up the line followed by Jeremiah, and was supported by a number of influential personages such as Shaphan the scribe, son of Azaliah, Ahikam, Achbor son of Micaiab, and a prophetess named Huldah, who had married the keeper of the royal wardrobe. The terrors of the Scythian invasion had oppressed the hearts and quickened the zeal of the orthodox. Judah, they declared, had no refuge save Jahveh alone; all hope was lost if it persisted in the doctrines which had aroused against the faithless the implacable wrath of Jahveh; it must renounce at once those idols and superstitious rites with which His worship had been disfigured, and overthrow the altars which were to be found in every part of the country in order to concentrate all its devotion on the temple of Solomon. In a word, Judah must return to an observance of the strict letter of the law, as it had been followed by their forefathers. But as this venerable code was not to be found either in the “Book of the Covenant” or in any of the other writings held sacred by Israel, the question naturally arose as to where it was now hidden. In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah sent Shaphan the scribe to the temple in order to audit the accounts of the sums collected at the gates for the maintenance of the building. After the accounts had been checked, Hilkiah suddenly declared that he had “found the Book of the Law” in the temple, and thereupon handed the document to Shaphan, who perused it forthwith. On his return to the palace, the scribe made his report: “Thy servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen;” then he added “Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book,” and proceeded to read it to the king. When the latter had heard the words contained in this Book of the Law, he was seized with anguish, and rent his garments; then, unable to arrive at any decision by himself, he sent Hilkiah, Shaphan, Ahikam, Achbor, and Asaiah to inquire of Jahveh for him and for his people, “for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.”

364.jpg Decorations on the Wrappings of a Mummy.

The envoys betook themselves not to the official oracle or the recognised prophets, but to a woman, the prophetess Huldah, who was attached to the court in virtue of her husband’s office; and she bade them, in the name of the Most High, to summon a meeting of the faithful, and, after reading the new code to them, to call upon all present to promise that they would henceforth observe its ordinances: thus Jahveh would be appeased, and since the king had “rent his garments and wept before Me, I also have heard thee, saith Jahveh. Therefore, behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace.” Josiah thereupon having summoned the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, went up into the temple, and there, standing on the platform, he read the Book of the Law in the presence of the whole people.*

     * 2 Kings xxii. 3-20; xxiii. 1, 2. The narrative has
     undergone slight interpolation in places, e.g. verses 46,
     5a, 6, and 7, where the compiler has made it harmonise with
     events previously recorded in connection with the reign of
     Joash (2 Kings xii. 6-16). The beginning of Huldah’s
     prophecy was suppressed, when the capture of Jerusalem
     proved that the reform of divine worship had not succeeded
     in averting the wrath of Jahveh. It probably contained
     directions to read the Book of the Covenant to the people,
     and to persuade them to adopt its precepts, followed by a
     promise to save Judah provided it remained faithful to its

It dealt with questions which had been frequent subjects of debate in prophetic circles since the days of Hezekiah, and the anonymous writer who had compiled it was so strongly imbued with the ideas of Jeremiah, and had so closely followed his style, that some have been inclined to ascribe the work to Jeremiah himself. It has always been a custom among Orientals to affirm that any work for which they profess particular esteem was discovered in the temple of a god; the Egyptian priests, for instance, invented an origin of this nature for the more important chapters of their Book of the Dead, and for the leading treatises in the scientific literature of Egypt. The author of the Book of the Law had ransacked the distant past for the name of the leader who had delivered Israel from captivity in Egypt. He told how Moses, when he began to feel the hand of death upon him, determined to declare in Gilead the decrees which Jahveh had delivered to him for the guidance of His people.* In these ordinances the indivisible nature of God, and His jealousy of any participation of other deities in the worship of His people, are strongly emphasised. “Ye shall surely destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills, and under every green tree: and ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of that place.” **

     * Even St. Jerome and St. John Chrysostom admitted that
     Deuteronomy was the book discovered by Hilkiah in the temple
     during the reign of Josiah, and this view is accepted at
     present, though it is applied, not to the book of
     Deuteronomy as it appears in the Pentateuch, but rather to
     the nucleus of this book, and especially chaps, xii.-xxvi.

     ** Deut. xii. 2, 3.

Even were a prophet or dreamer of dreams to arise in the midst of the faithful and direct them by a sign or a miracle to turn aside after those accursed gods, they must not follow the teaching of these false guides, not even if the sign or miracle actually came to pass, but must seize and slay them. Even “if thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods,... thou shalt not consent unto him nor hearken unto him: neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: but thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and, afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die; because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jahveh!”* And this Jahveh was not the Jahveh of any special place. He was not the Jahveh of Bethel, or of Dan, or of Mizpah, or of Geba, or of Beersheba; He is simply Jahveh.** Yet the seat of His worship was not a matter of indifference to Him. “Unto the place which Jahveh shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither shalt thou come: and thither shall ye bring your... sacrifices and your tithes.” *** Jerusalem is not mentioned by name, but the reference to it was clear, since every one knew that the suppression of the provincial sanctuaries must necessarily benefit it. One part of the new code dealt with the relations between different members of the community. The king was to approximate as closely as possible to the ideal priest; he was not to lift up his heart above his brethren, nor set his mind on the possession of many chariots, horses, or wives, but must continually read the law of God and ponder over His ordinances, and observe them word for word all the days of his life.****

     * Deut. xiii. 1-10.

     ** Deut. vi. 4. The expression found in Zecli. xiv. 9 was
     borrowed from the second of the introductions added to
     Deuteronomy at a later date; the phrase harmonises so
     closely with the main purpose of the book itself, that there
     can be no objection to employing it here.

     *** Deut. xii. 5, 6.

     **** Deut. xvii. 14-20; cf. xx. 1-9 for the regulations in
     regard to the levying of troops.

Even in time of war he was not to put his trust in his soldiers or in his own personal valour; here again he must allow himself to be guided by Jahveh, and must undertake nothing without first consulting Him through the medium of His priests. The poor,* the widow, and the orphan,** the bondservant,*** and even the stranger within the gates—in remembrance of the bondage in Egypt ****—were all specially placed under the divine protection; every Jew who had become enslaved to a fellow-countryman was to be set at liberty at the end of six years, and was to receive a small allowance from his master which would ensure him for a time against starvation.^

     * As to the poor, and the charitable obligations towards
     them imposed by their common religion, cf. Deut. xv. 7-11;
     as to the rights of the hired servant, cf. xxiv. 14, 15.

     ** Deut. xxiv. 17-22 forbids the taking of a widow’s
     clothing in pledge, and lays down regulations in regard to
     gleaning permitted to widows and orphans (cf. Lev. xix. 9,
     10); reference is also made to their share in triennial
     tithe (Deut. xiv. 28, 29; xxvi. 12, 13) and in the solemn
     festivals (Deut. xvi. 11-14).

     *** Slaves were allowed to share in the rejoicings during
     the great festivals (Deut. xvi. 11, 14), and certain rights
     were accorded to women taken prisoners in war who had become
     their captors’ concubines (Deut. xxi. 10-14).

     ****Participation of the stranger in the triennial tithe
     (Deut. xiv. 28, 29; xxvi. 12, 13).

     ^ Deut. xv. 12-18.

The regulations in regard to divine worship had not as yet been drawn up in that spirit of hair-splitting minuteness which, later on, became a characteristic of Hebrew legislation. Only three great festivals are mentioned in the Book of the Law. The Passover was celebrated in the month of Abīb, when the grain is in the ear, and had already come to be regarded as commemorative of the Exodus; but the other two, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Tabernacles, were merely associated with the agricultural seasons, and took place, the former seven weeks after the beginning of the harvest, the latter after the last of the crops had been housed.* The claim of the priest to a share in the victim and in the offerings made on various occasions is maintained, and the lawgiver allows him to draw a similar benefit from the annual and triennial tithes which he imposes on corn and wine and on the firstborn of cattle, the produce of this tithe being devoted to a sort of family festival celebrated in the Holy Place.** The priest was thus placed on the same footing as the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, and his influence was but little greater than it had been in the early days of the monarchy. It was to the prophet and not to the priest that the duty belonged of directing the public conscience in all those cases for which the law had made no provision. “I will put My words into his mouth (said Jahveh), and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet which shall speak a word presumptuously in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?—when a prophet speaketh in the name of Jahveh, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which Jahveh hath not spoken: the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

     * Deut. xvi. 1-17.

     ** Deut. xviii. 1-8; as to the share in the triennial tithe,
     cf. Deut. xiv. 28, 29; xxvi. 12, 13.

When the reading of the law had ended, Josiah implored the people to make a covenant with Jahveh; that is to say, “to walk after Jahveh, and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all their hearts and all their souls, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book.” The final words, which lingered in every ear, contained imprecations of even more terrible and gloomy import than those with which the prophets had been wont to threaten Judah. “If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Jahveh thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; then all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy kneading-trough. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, the increase of thy kine, and the young of thy flock.... Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her; thou shalt build an house, and shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not use the fruit thereof. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof.... Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people; and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day: and there shall be naught in the power of thine hand.... Jahveh shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shalt not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.” This enemy was to burn and destroy everything: “and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, throughout all thy land, which Jahveh thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters... in the straitness wherewith thine enemies shall straiten thee.” Those who escape must depart into captivity, and there endure for many a long year the tortures of direst slavery; “thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear night and day, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: in the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart which thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” *

     * Deut. xxviii. The two sets of imprecations (xxvii.,
     xxviii.) which terminate the actual work are both of later
     redaction, but the original MS. undoubtedly ended with some
     analogous formula. I have quoted above the most
     characteristic parts of the twenty-eighth chapter.

The assembly took the oath required of them, and the king at once displayed the utmost zeal in exacting literal performance of the ordinances contained in the Book of the Law. His first step was to purify the temple: Hilkiah and his priests overthrew all the idols contained in it, and all the objects that had been fashioned in honour of strange gods—the Baals, the Asherim, and all the Host of Heaven—and, carrying them out of Jerusalem into the valley of the Kidron, cast them into the flames, and scattered the ashes upon the place where all the filth of the city was cast out. The altars and the houses of the Sodomites which defiled the temple courts were demolished, the chariots of the sun broken in pieces, and the horses of the god sent to the stables of the king’s chamberlain;* the sanctuaries and high places which had been set up at the gates of the city, in the public places, and along the walls were razed to the ground, and the Tophet, where the people made their children pass through the fire, was transformed into a common sewer.

     * [The Hebrew text admits of this meaning, which is,
     however, not clear in the English A.V.—Tr.]

The provincial sanctuaries shared the fate of those of the capital; in a short time, from Geba to Beersheba, there remained not one of those “high places,” at which the ancestors of the nation and their rulers had offered prayers for generations past. The wave of reform passed even across the frontier and was borne into the Assyrian province of Samaria; the temple and image which Jeroboam had set up at Bethel were reduced to ashes, and human bones were burnt upon the altar to desecrate it beyond possibility of purification.*

     * 2 Kings xxiii. 3-20, 24-27, where several glosses and
     interpolations are easily recognisable, such as the episode
     at Bethel (v. 15-20), the authenticity of which is otherwise
     incontestable. The account in 2 Chron. xxxiv. is a defaced
     reproduction of that of 2 Kings, and it places the reform,
     in part at least, before the discovery of the new law.

The governor offered no objection to these acts; he regarded them, in the first place, as the private affairs of the subjects of the empire, with which he had no need to interfere, so long as the outburst of religious feeling did not tend towards a revolt: we know, moreover, that Josiah, guided on this point by the prophets, would have believed that he was opposing the divine will had he sought to free himself from the Assyrian yoke by ordinary political methods; besides this, in 621, under Assur-etililāni, five years after the Scythian invasion, the prefect of Samaria had possibly not sufficient troops at his disposal to oppose the encroachments of the vassal princes. It was an affair of merely a few months. In the following year, when the work of destruction was over, Josiah commanded that the Passover should be kept in the manner prescribed in the new book; crowds flocked into Jerusalem, from Israel as well as from Judah, and the festival made a deep impression on the minds of the people. Centuries afterwards the Passover of King Josiah was still remembered: “There was not kept such a Passover from the days of the Judges... nor in all the days of the Kings of Israel, nor of the Kings of Judah.” *

     1 2 Kings xxiii. 21-23; cf. 2 Chron. xxxv. 1-19. The text of
     the Soptuagint appears to imply that it was the first
     Passover celebrated in Jerusalem. It also gives in chap.
     xxii. 3, after the mention of the eighteenth year, a date of
     the seventh or eighth month, which is not usually accepted,
     as it is in contradiction with what is affirmed in chap,
     xxiii. 21-23, viz. that the Passover celebrated at Jerusalem
     was in the same year as the reform, in the eighteenth year.
     It is to do away with the contradiction between these two
     passages that the Hebrew text has suppressed the mention of
     the month. I think, however, it ought to be considered
     authentic and be retained, if we are allowed to place the
     celebration of the Passover in what would be one year after.
     To do this it would not be needful to correct the regnal
     date in the text: admitting that the reform took place in
     621, the Passover of 620 would still quite well have taken
     place in the eighteenth year of Josiah, that being dependent
     on the time of year at which the king had ascended the

The first outburst of zeal having spent itself, a reaction was ere long bound to set in both among the ruling classes and among the people, and the spectacle that Asia at that time presented to their view was truly of a nature to incite doubts in the minds of the faithful. Assyria—that Assyria of which the prophets had spoken as the irresistible emissary of the Most High—had not only failed to recover from the injuries she had received at the hands, first of the Medes, and then of the Scythians, but had with each advancing year seen more severe wounds inflicted upon her, and hastening her irretrievably to her ruin. And besides this, Egypt and Chaldęa, the ancient kingdoms which had for a short time bent beneath her yoke, had now once more arisen, and were astonishing the world by their renewed vigour. Psammetichus, it is true, after having stretched his arm across the desert and laid hands upon the citadel which secured to him an outlet into Syria for his armies, had proceeded no further, and thus showed that he was not inclined to reassert the ancient rights of Egypt over the countries of the Jordan and the Orontes; but he had died in 611, and his son, Necho II., who succeeded him, did not manifest the same peaceful intentions.*

     * The last dated stele of Psammetichus I. is the official
     epitaph of the Apis which died in his fifty-second year. On
     the other hand, an Apis, born in the fifty-third year of
     Psammetichus, died in the sixteenth year of Necho, after
     having lived 16 years, 7 months, 17 days. A very simple
     calculation shows that Psammetichus I. reigned fifty-four
     years, as stated by Herodotus and Manetho, according to
     Julius Africanus.

If he decided to try his fortune in Syria, supported by his Greek and Egyptian battalions, what would be the attitude that Judah would assume between moribund Assyria and the kingdom of the Pharaohs in its renewed vigour? It was in the spring of 608 that the crisis occurred. Nineveh, besieged by the Medes, was on the point of capitulating, and it was easy to foresee that the question as to who should rule there would shortly be an open one: should Egypt hesitate longer in seizing what she believed to be her rightful heritage, she would run the risk of finding the question settled and another in possession. Necho quitted Memphis and made his way towards the Asiatic frontier with the army which his father had left to him. It was no longer composed of the ill-organised bands of the Ethiopian kings or the princes of the Delta, temporarily united under the rule of a single leader, but all the while divided by reciprocal hatreds and suspicions which doomed it to failure. All the troops which constituted it—Egyptians, Libyans, and Greeks alike—were thoroughly under the control of their chief, and advanced in a compact and irresistible mass “like the Nile: like a river its volume rolls onward. It said: I arise, I inundate the earth, I will drown cities and people! Charge, horses! Chariots, fly forward at a gallop! Let the warriors march, the Ethiopian and the Libyan under the shelter of his buckler, the fellah bending the bow!”*

     * Jer. xlvi. 7-9, where the prophet describes, not the army
     which marched against Josiah, but that which was beaten at
     Carchemish. With a difference of date of only three or four
     years, the constituent elements of the army were certainly
     the same, so that the description of one would apply to the

As soon as Josiah heard the news, he called together his troops and prepared to resist the attack. Necho affected not to take his demonstrations seriously, and sent a disdainful message recommending him to remain neutral: “What have I to do with thee, thou King of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: and God hath commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God who is with me, that He destroy thee not!”*

     * The message of Necho to Josiah is known to us from 2
     Chron. xxxv. 20-22.

Having despatched the message, probably at the moment of entering the Shephelah, he continued in a northerly direction, nothing doubting that his warning had met a friendly reception; but however low Nineveh had fallen, Josiah could not feel that he was loosed from the oaths which bound him to her, and, trusting in the help of Jahveh, he threw himself resolutely into the struggle. The Egyptian generals were well acquainted with the route as far as the farther borders of Philistia, having passed along it a few years previously, at the time of the campaign of Psammetichus; but they had no experience of the country beyond Ashdod, and were solely dependent for guidance on the information of merchants or the triumphant records of the old Theban Pharaohs. These monuments followed the traditional road which had led their ancestors from Gaza to Megiddo, from Megiddo to Qodshu, from Qodshu to Carchemish, and they were reckoning on passing through the valley of the Jordan, and then that of the Orontes, without encountering any resistance, when, at the entrance to the gorges of Carmel, they were met by the advance guard of the Judęan army.

Josiah, not having been warned in time to meet them as they left the desert, had followed a road parallel to their line of march, and had taken up his position in advance of them on the plain of Megiddo, on the very spot where Thutmosis III. had vanquished the Syrian confederates nearly ten centuries before. The King of Judah was defeated and killed in the confusion of the battle, and the conqueror pushed on northwards without, at that moment, giving the fate of the scattered Jews a further thought.* He rapidly crossed the plain of the Orontes by the ancient caravan track, and having reached the Euphrates, he halted under the walls of Carchemish. Perhaps he may have heard there of the fall of Nineveh, and the fear of drawing down upon himself the Medes or the Babylonians prevented him from crossing the river and raiding the country of the Balikh, which, from the force of custom, the royal scribes still persisted in designating by the disused name of Mitanni.**

     * 2 Kings xxiii. 29; cf. 2 Chron. xxxv. 22, 23. It is
     probably to this battle that Herodotus alludes when he says
     that Necho overcame the Syrians at Magdōlos. The identity of
     Magdōlos and Megiddo, accepted by almost all historians, was
     disputed by Gutschmid, who sees in the Magdōlos of Herodotus
     the Migdol of the Syro-Egyptian frontier, and in the
     engagement itself, an engagement of Necho with the Assyrians
     and their Philistine allies; also by Th. Reinach, who
     prefers to identify Magdōlos with one of the Migdols near
     Ascalon, and considers this combat as fought against the
     Assyrian army of occupation. If the information in Herodotus
     were indeed borrowed from Hecatasus of Miletus, and by the
     latter from the inscription placed by Necho in the temple of
     Branchidae, it appears to me impossible to admit that
     Magdōlos does not here represent Megiddo.

     ** The text of 2 Kings xxiii. 29 says positively that Necho
     was marching towards the Euphrates. The name Mitanni is
     found even in Ptolemaic times.

He returned southwards, after having collected the usual tributes and posted a few garrisons at strategic points; at Biblah he held a kind of Durbar to receive the homage of the independent Phoenicians* and of the old vassals of Assyria, who, owing to the rapidity of his movements, had not been able to tender their offerings on his outward march.

     * The submission of the Phoenicians to Necho is gathered
     from a passage in Berosus, where he says that the Egyptian
     army beaten at Carchemish comprised Phoenicians, besides
     Syrians and Arabs.

378.jpg Victorious Necho
Drawn by Faucher-
Gudin, from a
published in

The Jews had rescued the body of their king and had brought it back in his chariot to Jerusalem; they proclaimed in his stead, not his eldest son Eliakim, but the youngest, Shallum, who adopted the name of Jehoahaz on ascending the throne. He was a young man, twenty-three years of age, light and presumptuous of disposition, opposed to the reform movement, and had doubtless been unwise enough to display his hostile feelings towards the conqueror. Necho summoned him to Eiblah, deposed him after a reign of three months, condemned him to prison, and replaced him by Eliakim, who changed his name to that of Jehoiakim—“he whom Jahveh exalts;” and after laying Judah under a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and one of gold, the Egyptian monarch returned to his own country. Certain indications lead us to believe that he was obliged to undertake other punitive expeditions. The Philistines, probably deceived by false rumours of his defeat, revolted against him about the time that he was engaged in hostilities in Northern Syria, and on receiving news not only of his safety, but of the victory he had gained, their alarm was at once aroused. Judah forgot her own sorrows on seeing the peril in which they stood, and Jeremiah pronounced against them a prophecy full of menace. “Behold,” he cried, “waters rise up out of the north, and shall become an overflowing stream, and shall overflow the land and all that is therein, the city and them that dwell therein; and the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl... for the Lord will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the Isle of Caphtor. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ascalon is dumb with terror, and you, all that are left of the giants, how long will ye tear your faces in your mourning?” * Ascalon was sacked and then Gaza,** and Necho at length was able to re-enter his domains, doubtless by the bridge of Zalu, following in this his models, his heroic ancestors of the great Theban dynasties.

     * [R.V., “Ashkolon is brought to nought, the remnant of
     their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?”—Tr.]

     ** Jer. xlvii., which is usually attributed to a period
     subsequent to the defeat at Carchemish or even later; the
     title, which alone mentions the Egyptians, is wanting in the
     LXX. If we admit that the enemy coming from the north is the
     Egyptian and not the Chaldaean, as do most writers, the only
     time that danger could have threatened Philistia from the
     Egyptians coming from the north, was when Necho, victorious,
     was returning from his first campaign. In this case, the
     Kadytis of Herodotus, which has caused so much trouble to
     commentators, would certainly be Gaza, and there would be no
     difficulty in explaining how the tradition preserved by the
     Greek historian placed the taking of this town after the
     battle of Megiddo.

He wished thereupon to perpetuate the memory of the Greeks who had served him so bravely, and as soon as the division of the spoil had been made, he sent as an offering to the temple of Apollo at Miletus, the cuirass which he had worn throughout the campaign.

We can picture the reception which his subjects gave him, and how the deputations of priests and nobles in white robes flocked out to meet him with garlands of flowers in their hands, and with acclamations similar to those which of old had heralded the return of Seti I. or Ramses II. National pride, no doubt, was flattered by this revival of military glory, but other motives than those of vanity lay at the root of the delight exhibited by the whole country at the news of the success of the expedition. The history of the century which was drawing to its close, had demonstrated more than once how disadvantageous it was to Egypt to be separated from a great power merely by the breadth of the isthmus. If Taharqa, instead of awaiting the attack on the banks of the Nile, had met the Assyrians at the foot of Carmel, or even before Gaza, it would have been impossible for Esarhaddon to turn the glorious kingdom of the Pharaohs into an Assyrian province after merely a few weeks of fighting. The dictates of prudence, more than those of ambition, rendered, therefore, the conquest of Syria a necessity, and Necho showed his wisdom in undertaking it at the moment when the downfall of Nineveh reduced all risk of opposition to a minimum; it remained to be seen whether the conquerors of Sin-shar-ishkun would tolerate for long the interference of a third robber, and would consent to share the spoil with these Africans, who, having had none of the trouble, had hastened to secure the profit. All the Mediterranean dependencies of Assyria, such as Mesopotamia, Syria, and Judę, fell naturally within the sphere of Babylon rather than that of Media, and, indeed, Cyaxares never troubled himself about them; and Nabopolassar, who considered them his own by right, had for the moment too much in hand to permit of his reclaiming them. The Aramęans of the Khabur and the Balikh, the nomads of the Mesopotamian plain, had not done homage to him, and the country districts were infested with numerous bands of Cimmerians and Scythians, who had quite recently pillaged the sacred city of Harrān and violated the temple of the god Sin.* Nabopolassar, who was too old to command his troops in person, probably entrusted the conduct of them to Nebuchadrezzar, who was the son he had appointed to succeed him, and who had also married the Median princess. Three years sufficed this prince to carry the frontier of the new Chaldęan empire as far as the Syrian fords of the Euphrates, within sight of Thapsacus and Carchemish. Harrān remained in the hands of the barbarians,** probably on condition of their paying a tribute, but the district of the Subaru was laid waste, its cities reduced to ashes, and the Babylonian suzerainty established on the southern slopes of the Masios.

     * Inscrip. of the Cylinder of Nabonidus mentions the
     pillage of Harrān as having taken place fifty-four years
     before the date of its restoration by Nabonidus. This was
     begun, as we know, in the third year of that king, possibly
     in 554-3. The date of the destruction is, therefore, 608-7,
     that is to say, a few months before the destruction of

     ** The passage in the Cylinder of Nabonidus shows that the
     barbarians remained in possession of the town.

Having brought these preliminary operations to a successful issue, Nabopolassar, considering himself protected on the north and north-east by his friendship with Cyaxares, no longer hesitated to make an effort to recover the regions dominated by Egyptian influence, and, if the occasion presented itself, to reduce to submission the Pharaoh who was in his eyes merely a rebellious satrap. Nebuchadrezzar again placed himself at the head of his troops; Necho, warned of his projects, hastened to meet him with all the forces at his disposal, and, owing probably to the resistance offered by the garrisons which he possessed in the Hittite fortresses, he had time to continue his march as far as the Euphrates. The two armies encountered each other at Carchemish; the Egyptians were completely defeated in spite of their bravery and the skilful tactics of their Greek auxiliaries, and the Asiatic nations, who had once more begun to rely on Egypt, were obliged to acknowledge that they were as unequal to the task of overcoming Chaldaea as they had been of sustaining a struggle with Assyria.*

     * Jer. xlvi. 2; cf. 2 Kings xxiv. 7, where the editor,
     without mentioning the battle of Carchemish, recalls in
     passing that “the King of Babylon had taken, from the brook
     of Egypt unto the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the
     King of Egypt.”

The religious party in Judah, whose hopes had been disappointed by the victory of Pharaoh at Megiddo, now rejoiced at his defeat, and when the remains of his legions made their way back across the Philistine plain, closely pressed by the enemy, Jeremiah hailed them as they passed with cutting irony. Two or three brief, vivid sentences depicting the spirit that had fired them a few months before, and then the picture of their disorderly flight: “Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle. Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, put on the coats of mail. Wherefore have I seen it? They are dismayed and turn backward; and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back; terror is on every side, saith the Lord. Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; in the north by the river Euphrates have they stumbled and fallen.... Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain dost thou use many medicines; there is no healing for thee. The nations have heard of thy shame, and the earth is full of thy cry: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, they are fallen both of them together.” * Nebuchadrezzar received by the way the submission of Jehoiakim, and of the princes of Ammon, Moab, and the Philistines;** he was nearing Pelusium on his way into Egypt, when a messenger brought him the news of his father’s death.

     * Jer. xlvi. 3-6, 11, 12.

     ** The submission of all these peoples is implied by the
     passage already cited in 2 Kings xxiv. 7; Berosus speaks of
     the Phoenician, Jewish, and Syrian prisoners whom
     Nebuchadrezzar left to his generals, when he resolved to
     return to Babylon by the shortest route.

He feared lest a competitor should dispute his throne—perhaps his younger brother, that Nabu-shum-lishir who had figured at his side at the dedication of a temple to Marduk. He therefore concluded an armistice with Necho, by the terms of which he remained master of the whole of Syria between the Euphrates and the Wady el-Arish, and then hastily turned homewards. But his impatience could not brook the delay occasioned by the slow march of a large force, nor the ordinary circuitous route by Carchemish and through Mesopotamia. He hurried across the Arabian desert, accompanied by a small escort of light troops, and presented himself unexpectedly at the gates of Babylon. He found all in order. His Chaldęan ministers had assumed the direction of affairs, and had reserved the throne for the rightful heir; he had only to appear to be acclaimed and obeyed (B.C. 605).

His reign was long, prosperous, and on the whole peaceful. The recent changes in Asiatic politics had shut out the Chaldęans from the majority of the battle-fields on which the Assyrians had been wont to wage warfare with the tribes on their eastern and northern frontiers. We no longer see stirring on the border-land those confused masses of tribes and communities of whose tumultuous life the Ninevite annals make such frequent record: Elam as an independent state no longer existed, neither did Philipi and Namri, nor the Cossęans, nor Parsua, nor the Medes with their perpetual divisions, nor the Urartians and the Mannai in a constant state of ferment within their mountain territory; all that remained of that turbulent world now constituted a single empire, united under the hegemony of the Medes, and the rule of a successful conqueror. The greater part of Blam was already subject to those Achęmenides who called themselves sovereigns of Anshān as well as of Persia, and whose fief was dependent on the kingdom of Ecbatana:* it is probable that Chaldasa received as her share of the ancient Susian territory the low countries of the Uknu and the Ulai, occupied by the Aramęan tribes of the Puqudu, the Eutu, and the Grambulu;** but Susa fell outside her portion, and was soon transformed into a flourishing Iranian town.

     * “The king and the princes of Elam” mentioned in Jer. xxv.
     25, xlix.35-39, and in Ezele. xxxii. 24, 25, in the time of
     Nebuchadrezzar, are probably the Persian kings of Anshān and
     their Elamite vassals—not only, as is usually believed, the
     kings and native princes conquered by Assur-bani-pal; the
     same probably holds good of the Elam which an anonymous
     prophet associates with the Medes under Nabonidus, in the
     destruction of Babylon (Isa. xxi. 2). The princes of Malamīr
     appear to me to belong to an anterior epoch.

     ** The enumeration given in Ezelc. xxiii. 23, “the
     Babylonians and all the Chaldęans, Pelted, and Shoa, and
     Koa,” shows us probably that the Aramęans of the Lower
     Tigris represented by Pekōd, as those of the Lower Euphrates
     are by the Chaldęans, belonged to the Babylonian empire in
     the time of the prophet. They are also considered as
     belonging to Babylon in the passage of an anonymous prophet
     (Jer. I. 21), who wrote in the last days of the Chaldęn
     empire: “Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against
     it and the inhabitants of Pekod.” Translators and
     commentators have until quite recently mistaken the import
     of the name Pekōd.

The plains bordering the right bank of the Tigris, from the Uknu to the Turnat or the Eadanu, which had belonged to Babylon from the very earliest times, were no doubt still retained by her;* but the mountain district which commanded them certainly remained in the hands of Cyaxares, as well as the greater part of Assyria proper, and there is every reason to believe that from the Eadanu northwards the Tigris formed the boundary between the two allies, as far as the confluence of the Zab.

     * This is what appears to me to follow from the account of
     the conquest o£ Babylon by Cyrus, as related by Herodotus.

The entire basin of the Upper Tigris and its Assyrian colonies, Amidi and Tushkān were now comprised in the sphere of Medic influence, and the settlement of the Scythians at Harrān, around one of the most venerated of the Semitic sanctuaries, shows to what restrictions the new authority of Chaldasa was subjected, even in the districts of Mesopotamia, which were formerly among the most faithful possessions of Nineveh. If these barbarians had been isolated, they would not long have defied the King of Babylon, but being akin to the peoples who were subject to Cyaxares, they probably claimed his protection, and regarded themselves as his liege men; it was necessary to treat them with consideration, and tolerate the arrogance of their presence upon the only convenient road which connected the eastern with the western provinces of the kingdom. It is therefore evident that there was no opening on this side for those ever-recurring struggles in which Assyria had exhausted her best powers; one war was alone possible, that with Media, but it was fraught with such danger that the dictates of prudence demanded that it should be avoided at all costs, even should the alliance between the two courts cease to be cemented by a royal marriage. However great the confidence which he justly placed in the valour of his Chaldęans, Nebuchadrezzar could not hide from himself the fact that for two centuries they had always been beaten by the Assyrians, and that therefore he would run too great a risk in provoking hostilities with an army which had got the better of the conquerors of his people. Besides this, Cyaxares was fully engaged in subjecting the region which he had allotted to himself, and had no special desire to break with his ally. Nothing is known of his history during the years which followed the downfall of Nineveh, but it is not difficult to guess what were the obstacles he had to surmount, and the result of the efforts which he made to overcome them. The country which extends between the Caspian and the Black Sea—the mountain block of Armenia, the basins of the Araxes and the Kur, the valleys of the Halys, the Iris, and the Thermodon, and the forests of the Anti-Taurus and the Taurus itself—had been thrown into utter confusion by the Cimmerians and the Scythians. Nothing remained of the previous order of things which had so long prevailed there, and the barbarians who for a century and a half had destroyed everything in the country seemed incapable of organising anything in its place. Urartu had shrunk within its ancient limits around Ararat, and it is not known who ruled her; the civilisation of Argistis and Menuas had almost disappeared with the dynasty which had opposed the power of Assyria, and the people, who had never been much impregnated by it, soon fell back into their native rude habits of life. Confused masses of European barbarians were stirring in Etiaus and the regions of the Araxes, seeking a country in which to settle themselves, and did not succeed in establishing themselves firmly till a much later period in the district of Sakasźnź, to which was attached the name of one of their tribes.*

     * Strabo states that Armenia and the maritime regions of
     Cappadocia suffered greatly from the invasion of the

Such of the Mushku and the Tabal as had not perished had taken refuge in the north, among the mountains bordering the Black Sea, where they were ere long known to the Greeks as the Moschi and the Tibarenians. The remains of the Cimmerian hordes had taken their place in Cappadocia, and the Phrygian population which had followed in their wake had spread themselves over the basin of the Upper Halys and over the ancient Milidu, which before long took from them the name of Armenia.* All these elements constituted a seething, struggling, restless mass of people, actuated by no plan or method, and subject merely to the caprice of its chiefs; it was, indeed, the “seething cauldron” of which the Hebrew prophets had had a vision, which at times overflowed over the neighbouring nations, and at others was consumed within and wasted itself in fruitless ebullition.**

     * The Phrygian origin of the Armenians is pointed out by
     Herodotus and by Eudoxius.

     ** Jer. i. 13.

It took Cyaxares years to achieve his conquests; he finally succeeded, however, in reducing the various elements to subjection—Urartians, Scythians, Cimmerians, Chaldę, and the industrious tribes of the Chalybes and the White Syrians—and, always victorious, appeared at last on the right hank of the Halys; but having reached it, he found himself face to face with foes of quite a different calibre from those with whom he had hitherto to deal. Lydia had increased both in wealth and in vigour since the days when her king Ardys informed his ally Assur-bani-pal that he had avenged the death of his father and driven the Cimmerians from the valley of the Msoander.

He had by so doing averted all immediate danger; but as long as the principal horde remained unexterminated, another invasion was always to be feared; besides which, the barbarian inroad, although of short duration, had wrought such havoc in the country that no native power in Asia Minor appeared, nor in reality was, able to make the effort needful to destroy them. Their king Dugdamis, it will be remembered, met his death in Cilicia at the hands of the Assyrians about the year 640, and Kōbos, his successor, was defeated and killed by the Scythians under Madyes about 633. The repeated repulses they had suffered had the effect of quickly relieving Lydia, Phrygia, and the remaining states of the Ęgean and the Black Sea from their inroads; the Milesians wrested Sinope from them about 630, and the few bands left behind when the main body set out for the countries of the Euphrates were so harried and decimated by the people over whom they had terrorised for nearly a century, that they had soon no refuge except round the fortress of Antandros, in the mountains of the Troad. Most of the kingdoms whose downfall they had caused never recovered from their reverses; but Lydia, which had not laid down its arms since the death of Gyges, became possessed by degrees of the whole of their territory; Phrygia proper came back to her in the general redistribution, and with it most of the countries which had been under the rule of the dynasty of Midas, from the mountains of Lycia to the shores of the Black Sea. The transfer was effected, apparently, with very slight opposition and with little loss of time, since in the four or five years which followed the death of Kōbos, Ardys had risen in the estimation of the Greeks to the position enjoyed by Gyges; and when, in 628, Aristomenes, the hero of the Messenian wars, arrived at Rhodes, it is said that he contemplated proceeding from thence, first to Sardes and then to Ecbatana, for the purpose of gaining the adherence of Lydia and Media to his cause.

390.jpg View in the Mountains of The Messogis
     Drawn by Boudier, from the heliogravure of Rayet and Thomas.

Death put an end to his projects, but he would not for a moment have entertained them had not Ardys been at that time at the head of a renowned and flourishing kingdom. The renewal of international commerce followed closely on the re-establishment of peace, and even if the long period of Scythian invasion, followed by the destruction of Nineveh, rendered the overland route less available for regular traffic than before, at all events relations between the inhabitants of the Euphrates valley and those of the iEgean littoral were resumed to such good purpose that before long several fresh marts were opened in Lydia.

391.jpg the Site of Priźnź.
     Drawn by Boudier, from the heliogravure of Rayet and Thomas.

Kymź and Ephesus put the region of the Messogis and the Tmolus into communication with the sea, but the lower valleys of the Hermos and the Masander were closed by the existence of Greek colonies at Smyrna, Clazomenas, Colophon, Priźnź, and Miletus—all hostile to the Mermnadę—which it would be necessary to overcome if these countries were to enjoy the prosperity shared by other parts of the kingdom; hence the principal effort made by the Lydians was either directly to annex these towns, or to impose such treaties on them as would make them their dependencies. Ardys seized Priźnź towards 620, and after having thus established himself on the northern shore of the Latrnio Gulf,* he proceeded to besiege Miletus in 616, at the very close of his career. Hostilities were wearily prolonged all through the reign of Sadyattes (615-610), and down to the sixth year of Alyattes.**

     * The well-known story that Priźnź was saved under Alyattes
     by a stratagem of the philosopher Bias is merely a fable, of
     which several other examples are found. It would not be
     possible to conclude from it, as Grote did, that Ardys’ rule
     over the town was but ephemeral.

     ** The periods of duration assigned here to the reigns of
     these princes are those of Euschius—that is to say, 15
     years for Crosus, 37 for Alyattes, 5 for Sadyattes, 37 for
     Ardys; Julius Africanus gives 15 for Sadyattes and 38 for
     Ardys, while Herodotus suggests 14 for Crosus, 57 for
     Alyattes, 12 for Sadyattes, and 59 for Ardys.

The position of Miletus was too strong to permit of its being carried by a coup de main; besides which, the Lydians were unwilling to destroy at one blow a town whose colonies, skilfully planted at the seaports from the coasts of the Black Sea to those of Egypt, would one day furnish them with so many outlets for their industrial products. Their method of attacking it resolved itself into a series of exhausting raids. “Every year, as soon as the fruit crops and the harvests began to ripen, Alyattes set out at the head of his troops, whom he caused to march and encamp to the sound of instruments. Having arrived in the Milesian territory, he completely destroyed the crops and the orchards, and then again withdrew.” In these expeditions he was careful to avoid any excesses which would have made the injury inflicted appear irretrievable; his troops were forbidden to destroy dwelling-houses or buildings dedicated to the gods; indeed, on one occasion, when the conflagration which consumed the lands accidentally spread to the temple of Athena near Assźsos, he rebuilt two temples for the goddess at his own expense. The Milesians sustained the struggle courageously, until two reverses at Limeneion and in the plain of the Maeander at length induced them to make terms. Their tyrant, Thrasybulus, acting on the advice of the Delphic Apollo and by the mediation of Periander of Corinth, concluded a treaty with Alyattes in which the two princes, declaring themselves the guest and the ally one of the other, very probably conceded extensive commercial privileges to one another both by land and sea (604).*

     * Thrasybulus’ stratagem is said to have taken place at
     Priźnź by Diogenes Laertes and by Polysenus. The war begins
     under Ardys, lasts for five years under Sadyattes, instead
     of the six years which Herodotus attributes to it, and five
     years under Alyattes.

Alyattes rewarded the oracle by the gift of a magnificent bowl, the work of Glaucus of Chios, which continued to be shown to travellers of the Roman period as one of the most remarkable curiosities of Delphi. Alyattes continued his expeditions against the other Greek colonies, but directed them prudently and leisurely, so as not to alarm his European friends, and provoke the formation against himself of a coalition of the Hellenic communities shattered over the isles or along the littoral of the Ęgean. We know that towards the end of his reign he recovered Colophon, which had been previously acquired by Gyges, but had regained its independence during the Cimmerian crisis;* he razed Smyrna to the ground, and forced its inhabitants to occupy unfortified towns, where his suzerainty could not be disputed;** he half devastated Clazomense, whose citizens saved it by a despairing effort, and he renewed the ancient alliances with Ephesus, Kymź, and the cities of the region of the Caicus and the Hellespont,*** though it is impossible to attribute an accurate date to each of these particular events.

     * Polysenus tells the story of the trick by which Alyattes,
     after he had treated with the people of Colophon, destroyed
     their cavalry and seized on their town. The fact that a
     treaty was made seems to be confirmed by a fragment of
     Phylarchus, and the surrender of the town to the Lydians by
     a fragment of Xenophanes, quoted in Athenseus. Schubert does
     not seem to believe that the town was taken by Alyattes; I
     have adopted the opinion of Ladet on this point.

     ** Herodotus and Nicolas of Damascus confine themselves to
     relating the capture of the city; adds that the Lydians
     compelled the inhabitants to dwell in unfortified towns.
     Schubert thinks that the passage in Strabo refers, not to
     the time of Alyattes, but to a subsequent event in the fifth
     century; he relies for this opinion on a fragment of Pindar,
     which represents Smyrna as still flourishing in his time.
     But, as Busolt has pointed out, the intention of the text of
     Pindar is to represent the state of the city at about the
     time of Homer’s birth, and not in the fifth century.

     *** The peace between Ephesus and Lydia must have been
     troubled for a little while in the reign of Sadyattes, but
     it was confirmed under Alyattes by the marriage of Melas II.
     with one of the king’s daughters.

Most of them had already taken place or were still proceeding when the irruption of the Medes across the Halys obliged him to concentrate all his energies on the eastern portion of his kingdom.

The current tradition in Lydia of a century later attributed the conflict of the two peoples to a romantic cause. It related that Cyaxares had bestowed his favour on the bands of Scythians who had become his mercenaries on the death of Madyes, and that he had entrusted to them the children of some of the noblest Medic families, that they might train them to hunt and also teach them the use of the bow. One day, on their returning from the chase without any game, Cyaxares reproached them for their want of skill in such angry and insulting terms, that they resolved on immediate revenge. They cut one of the children in pieces, which they dressed after the same manner as that in which they were accustomed to prepare the game they had killed, and served up the dish to the king; then, while he was feasting upon it with his courtiers, they lied in haste and took refuge with Alyattes. The latter welcomed them, and refused to send them back to Cyaxares; hence the outbreak of hostilities. It is, of course, possible that the emigration of a nomad horde may have been the cause of the war,* but graver reasons than this had set the two nations at variance.

     * Grote has collected a certain number of examples in later
     times to show that the journeying of a nomad horde from one
     state to another may provoke wars, and he concludes
     therefrom that at least the basis of Herodotus’ account may
     be considered as true.

The hardworking inhabitants of the valleys of the Iris and the Halys were still possessed of considerable riches, in spite of the losses they had suffered from the avaricious Cimmerians, and their chief towns, Comana, Pteria and Teiria, continued to enjoy prosperity under the rule of their priest-kings. Pteria particularly had developed in the course of the century, thanks to her favourable situation, which had enabled her to offer a secure refuge to the neighbouring population during the late disasters.

396.jpg the Ruins of Pteria
     Drawn by Boudier, from Charles Texier.

The town itself was crowded into a confined plain, on the left bank of a torrent which flowed into the Halys, and the city walls may still be clearly traced upon the soil; the outline of the houses, the silos, cisterns, and rock-cut staircases are still visible in places, besides the remains of a palace built of enormous blocks of almost rough-hewn limestone. The town was defended by wide ramparts, and also by two fortresses perched upon enormous masses of rock, while a few thousand yards to the east of the city, on the right bank of the torrent, three converging ravines concealed the sanctuary of one of those mysterious oracles whose fame attracted worshippers from far and wide during the annual fairs.

397.jpg the Entrance to The Sanctuary of Pteria
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Chantre.

The bas-reliefs which decorate them belong to that semi-barbarous art which we have already met with in the monuments attributed to the Khāfci, near the Orontes and Euphrates, on both slopes of the Amanus, in Cilioia, and in the ravines of the Taurus.

398.jpg One of the Processions in The Ravine Of Pteria
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Chantre.

Long processions of priests and votaries defile before figures of the gods and goddesses standing erect upon their sacred animals; in one scene, a tall goddess, a Cybele or an Anaitis, leans affectionately upon her chosen lover, and seems to draw him with her towards an image with a lion’s body and the head of a youth.*

     * These bas-reliefs seem to me to have been executed at
     about the time with which we are dealing, or perhaps a few
     years later—in any case, before the Persian conquest.

Pteria and its surrounding hills formed a kind of natural fortress which overlooked the whole bend of the Halys; it constituted, in the land of the Lydians, an outpost which effectually protected their possessions in Phrygia and Papnlagonia against an attack from the East; in the hands of the Medes it would be a dominant position which would counteract the defensive features of the Halys, and from it they might penetrate into the heart of Asia Minor without encountering any serious obstacles. The struggle between the two sovereigns was not so unequal as might at first appear. No doubt the army of Alyattes was inferior in numbers, but the bravery of its component forces and the ability of its leaders compensated for its numerical inferiority, and Cyaxares had no troop to be compared with the Carian lancers, with the hoplites of Ionia, or with the heavy Męonian cavalry. During six years the two armies met again and again—fate sometimes favouring one and sometimes the other—and were about to try their fortune once more, after several indecisive engagements, when an eclipse of the sun suspended operations (585). The Iranian peoples would fight only in full daylight, and their adversaries, although warned, so it is said, by the Milesian philosopher Thaļes of the phenomenon about to take place in the heavens, were perhaps not completely reassured as to its significance, and the two hosts accordingly separated without coming to blows.*

     * This eclipse was identified at one time with that of Sept.
     30, 610, at another with that of May 28, 585. The latter of
     these two dates appears to me to be the correct one, and is
     the only one which agrees with what we know of the general
     history of the sixth century.

Nebuchadrezzar had followed, not without some misgivings, the vicissitudes of the campaign, and his anxiety was shared by the independent princes of Asia Minor, who were allies of the Lydians; he and they alike awaited with dread a decisive action, which, by crushing one of the belligerents beyond hope of recovery, would leave the onlookers at the mercy of the victor in the full flush of his success. Tradition relates that Syennesis of Cilicia and the Babylonian Nabonidus had taken advantage of the alarm produced by the eclipse to negotiate an armistice, and that they were soon successful in bringing the rival powers to an agreement.* The Halys remained the recognised frontier of the two kingdoms, but the Lydians probably obtained advantages for their commerce, which they regarded as compensatory for the abandonment of their claim to the district of Pteria. To strengthen the alliance, it was agreed that Alyattes should give his daughter Aryenis in marriage to Ishtuvigu, or, as the Greeks called him, Astyages, the son of Cyaxares.** According to the custom of the times, the two contracting parties, after taking the vow of fidelity, sealed the compact by pricking each other’s arms and sucking the few drops of blood which oozed from the puncture.***

     * The name Labynetos given by Herodotus is a transcript of
     Nabonidus, but cannot here designate the Babylonian king of
     that name, for the latter reigned more than thirty years
     after the peace was concluded between the Lydians and the
     Medes. If Herodotus has not made the mistake of putting
     Labynetos for Nebuchadrezzar, we may admit that this
     Labynetos was a prince of the royal family, or simply a
     general who was commanding the Chaldoan auxiliaries of

     ** The form Ishtuvigu is given us by the Chaldoan documents.
     Its exact transcript was Astuigas, Astyigas, according to
     Ctosias; in fact, this coincides so remarkably with the
     Babylonian mode of spelling, that we may believe that it
     faithfully reproduces the original pronunciation.

     *** Many ancient authors have spoken of this war, or at
     least of the eclipse which brought it to an end. Several of
     them place the conclusion of peace not in the reign of
     Cyaxares, but in that of Astyages—Cicero, Solinus, and the
     Armenian Eusebius—and their view has been adopted by some
     modern historians. The two versions of the account can be
     reconciled by saying that Astyages was commanding the Median
     army instead of his father, who was too old to do so, but
     such an explanation is unnecessary, and Cyaxares, though
     over seventy, might still have had sufficient vigour to wage
     war. The substitution of Astyages for Cyaxares by the
     authors of Roman times was probably effected with the object
     of making the date of the eclipse agree with a different
     system of chronology from that followed by Herodotus.

Cyaxares died in the following year (584), full of days and renown, and was at once succeeded by Astyages. Few princes could boast of having had such a successful career as his, even in that century of unprecedented fortunes and boundless ambitions. Inheriting a disorganised army, proclaimed king in the midst of mourning, on the morrow of a defeat in which the fate of his kingdom had hung in the balance, he succeeded within a quarter of a century in overthrowing his enemies and substituting his supremacy for theirs throughout the whole of Western Asia. At his accession Media had occupied only a small portion of the Iranian table-land; at his death, the Median empire extended to the banks of the Halys. It is now not difficult to understand why Nebuchadrezzar abstained from all expeditions in the regions of the Taurus, as well as in those of the Upper Tigris. He would inevitably have come into contact with the allies of the Lydians, perchance with the Lydians themselves, or with the Medes, as the case might be; and he would have been drawn on to take an active part in their dangerous quarrels, from which, after all, he could not hope to reap any personal advantage. In reality, there was one field of action only open to him, and that was Southern Syria, with Egypt in her rear. He found himself, at this extreme limit of his dominions, in a political situation almost identical with that of his Assyrian predecessors, and consequently more or less under the obligation of repeating their policy. The Saites, like the Ethiopians before them, could enjoy no assured sense of security in the Delta, when they knew that they had a great military state as their nearest neighbour on the other side of the isthmus; they felt with reason that the thirty leagues of desert which separated Pelusium from Gaza was an insufficient protection from invasion, and they desired to have between themselves and their adversary a tract of country sufficiently extensive to ward off the first blows in the case of hostilities. If such a buffer territory could be composed of feudal provinces or tributary states, Egyptian pride would be flattered, while at the same time the security of the kingdom would be increased, and indeed the victorious progress of Necho had for the moment changed their most ambitious dreams into realities. Driven back into the Nile valley after the battle of Carchemish, their pretensions had immediately shrunk within more modest limits; their aspirations were now confined to gaining the confidence of the few surviving states which had preserved some sort of independence in spite of the Assyrian conquest, to detaching them from Chaldoan interests and making them into a protecting zone against the ambition of a new Esarhaddon. To this work Necho applied himself as soon as Nebuchadrezzar had left him in order to hasten back to Babylon. The Egyptian monarch belonged to a persevering race, who were never kept, down by reverses, and had not once allowed themselves to be discouraged during the whole of the century in which they had laboured to secure the crown for themselves; his defeat had not lessened his tenacity, nor, it would seem, his certainty of final success. Besides organising his Egyptian and Libyan troops, he enrolled a still larger number of Hellenic mercenaries, correctly anticipating that the restless spirits of the Phoenicians and Jews would soon furnish him with an opportunity of distinguishing himself upon the scene of action.

It was perhaps at this juncture that he decided to strengthen his position by the co-operation of a fleet. The superiority of the Chaldoan battalions had been so clearly manifested, that he could scarcely hope for a decisive victory if he persisted in seeking it on land; but if he could succeed in securing the command of the sea, his galleys, by continually cruising along the Syrian coast, and conveying troops, provisions, arms, and money to the Phoenician towns, would so successfully foster and maintain a spirit of rebellion, that the Chaldęans would not dare to venture into Egypt until they had dealt with this source of danger in their rear. He therefore set to work to increase the number of his war-vessels on the Bed Sea, but more especially on the Mediterranean, and as he had drawn upon Greece for his troops, he now applied to her for shipbuilders.*

     * Herodotus tells us that in his time the ruins of the docks
     which Necho had made for the building of his triremes could
     still be seen on the shore of the Red Sea as well as on that
     of the Mediterranean. He seems also to say that the building
     of the fleet was anterior to the first Syrian expedition.

404.jpg an Egyptian Vessel of the Saite Period
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph sent
by G. Benédite.

The trireme, which had been invented by either the Samian or Corinthian naval constructors, had as yet been little used, and possibly Herodotus is attributing an event of his own time to this earlier period when he affirms that Necho filled a dockyard with a whole fleet of these vessels; he possessed, at any rate, a considerable number of them, and along with them other vessels of various build, in which the blunt stem and curved poop of the Greeks were combined with the square-cabined barque of the Egyptians. At the same time, in order to transport the squadron from one sea to another when occasion demanded, he endeavoured to reopen the ancient canal.

He improved its course and widened it so as to permit of two triremes sailing abreast or easily clearing each other in passing. The canal started from the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, not far from Patumos, and skirted the foot of the Arabian hills from west to east; it then plunged into the Wady Tumilat, and finally entered the head of the bay which now forms the Lake of Ismaļlia. The narrow channel by which this sheet of water was anciently connected with the Gulf of Suez was probably obstructed in places, and required clearing out at several points, if not along its entire extent. A later tradition states that after having lost 100,000 men in attempting this task, the king abandoned the project on the advice of an oracle, a god having been supposed to have predicted to him that he was working for the barbarians.*

     * The figures, 100,000 men, are evidently exaggerated, for
     in a similar undertaking, the digging of the Mahmudiyeh
     canal, Mehemet-Ali lost only 10,000 men, though the work was

405.jpg the Ancient Head of The Red Sea, Now The Northern Extremity of the Bitter Lakes
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the railway
     between Ismaļlia and Suez, on the eastern shore of the lake.

Another of Necho’s enterprises excited the admiration of his contemporaries, and remained for ever in the memory of the people. The Carthaginians had discovered on the ocean coast of Libya, a country rich in gold, ivory, precious woods, pepper, and spices, but their political jealousy prevented other nations from following in their wake in the interests of trade. The Egyptians possibly may have undertaken to dispute their monopoly, or the Phoenicians may have desired to reach their colony by a less frequented highway than the Mediterranean. The merchants of the Said and the Delta had never entirely lost touch with the people dwelling on the shores of the Red Sea, and though the royal fleets no longer pursued their course down it on their way to Punt as in the days of Hātshopsītu and Ramses III., private individuals ventured from time to time to open trade communications with the ancient “Ladders of Incense.” Necho despatched the Phoenician captains of his fleet in search of new lands, and they started from the neighbourhood of Suez, probably accompanied by native pilots accustomed to navigate in those waters. The undertaking, fraught with difficulty even in the last century, was, indeed, a formidable one for the small vessels of the Saite period. They sailed south for months with the east to the left of them, and on their right the continent which seemed to extend indefinitely before them. Towards the autumn they disembarked on some convenient shore, sowed the wheat with which they were provided, and waited till the crop was ripe; having reaped the harvest, they again took to the sea. Any accurate remembrance of what they saw was soon effaced; they could merely recollect that, having reached a certain point, they observed with astonishment that the sun appeared to have reversed its course, and now rose on their right hand. This meant that they had turned the southern extremity of Africa and were unconsciously sailing northwards. In the third year they passed through the pillars of Hercules and reached Egypt in safety. The very limited knowledge of navigation possessed by the mariners of that day rendered this voyage fruitless; the dangerous route thus opened up to commerce remained unused, and its discovery was remembered only as a curious feat devoid of any practical use.*

     * The Greek writers after Herodotus denied the possibility
     of such a voyage, and they thought that it could not be
     decided whether Africa was entirely surrounded by water, and
     that certainly no traveller had ever journeyed above 5000
     stadia beyond the entrance to the Red Sea. Modern writers
     are divided on the point, some denying and others
     maintaining the authenticity of the account. The observation
     made by the navigators of the apparent change in the course
     of the sun, which Herodotus has recorded, and which neither
     he nor his authorities understood, seems to me to be so
     weighty an argument for its authenticity, that it is
     impossible to reject the tradition until we have more
     decided grounds for so doing.

In order to obtain any practical results from the arduous voyage, it would have been necessary for Egypt to devote a considerable part of its resources to the making of such expeditions, whereas the country preferred to concentrate all its energies on its Tyrian policy. Necho certainly possessed the sympathies of the Tyrians, who had transferred their traditional hatred of the Assyrians to the Chaldęans. He could also count with equal certainty on the support of a considerable party in Moab, Ammon, and Edom, as well as among the Nabatęans and the Arabs of Kedar; but the key of the whole position lay with Judah—that ally without whom none of Necho’s other partisans would venture to declare openly against their master. The death of Josiah had dealt a fatal blow to the hopes of the prophets, and even long after the event they could not recall it without lamenting the fate of this king after their own heart. “And like unto him,” exclaims their chronicler, “was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.” *

     * 2 Kings xxiii. 25.

The events which followed his violent death—the deposition of Jehoahaz, the establishment and fall of the Egyptian supremacy, the proclamation of the Chaldęan suzerainty, the degradation of the king and the misery of the people brought about by the tribute exacted from them by their foreign masters,—all these revolutions which had succeeded each other without break or respite had all but ruined the belief in the efficacy of the reform due to Hilkiah’s discovery, and preached by Jeremiah and his followers. The people saw in these calamities the vengeance of Jahveh against the presumptuous faction which had overthrown His various sanctuaries and had attempted to confine His worship to a single temple; they therefore restored the banished attractions, and set themselves to sacrifice to strange gods with greater zest than ever.

A like crisis occurred and like party divisions had broken out around Jehoiakim similar to those at the court of Ahaz and Hezekiah a century earlier. The populace, the soldiery, and most of the court officials, in short, all who adhered to the old popular form of religion or were attracted to strange devotions, hoped to rid themselves of the Chaldęans by earthly means, and since Necho declared himself an implacable enemy of their foe, their principal aim was to come to terms with Egypt. Jeremiah, on the contrary, and those who remained faithful to the teaching of the prophets, saw in all that was passing around them cogent reasons for rejecting worldly wisdom and advice, and for yielding themselves unreservedly to the Divine will in bowing before the Chaldęan of whom Jahveh made use, as of the Assyrian of old, to chastise the sins of Judah. The struggle between the two factions constantly disturbed the public peace, and it needed little to cause the preaching of the prophets to degenerate into an incitement to revolt. On a feast-day which occurred in the early months of Jehoiakim’s reign, Jeremiah took up his station on the pavement of the temple and loudly apostrophised the crowd of worshippers. “Thus saith the Lord: If ye will not hearken unto Me, to walk in My law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I send unto you, even rising up early and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” Such a speech, boldly addressed to an audience the majority of whom were already moved by hostile feelings, brought their animosity to a climax; the officiating priests, the prophets, and the pilgrims gathered round Jeremiah, crying, “Thou shalt surely die.” The people thronged into the temple, the princes of Judah went up to the king’s house and to the house of the Lord, and sat in council in the entry of the new gate. They decreed that Jeremiah, having spoken in the name of the Lord, did not merit death, and some of their number, recalling the precedent of Micaiah the Morasthite, who in his time had predicted the ruin of Jerusalem, added, “Did Hezekiah King of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death?” Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, one of those who had helped in restoring the law, took the prophet under his protection and prevented the crowd from injuring him, but some others were not able to escape the popular fury. The prophet Uriah of Kirjath-jearim, who unweariedly prophesied against the city and country after the manner of Jeremiah, fled to Egypt, but in vain; Jehoiakim despatched Elnathan, the son of Achbor, “and certain men with him,” who brought him back to Judah, “slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.” * If popular feeling had reached such a pitch before the battle of Carchemish, to what height must it have risen when the news of Nebuchadrezzar’s victory had given the death-blow to the hopes of the Egyptian faction! Jeremiah believed the moment ripe for forcibly arresting the popular imagination while it was swayed by the panic of anticipated invasion. He dictated to his disciple Baruch the prophecies he had pronounced since the appearance of the Scythians under Josiah, and on the day of the solemn fast proclaimed throughout Judah during the winter of the fifth year of the reign, a few months after the defeat of the Egyptians, he caused the writing to be read to the assembled people at the entry of the new gate.**

     * Jer. xxvi., where the scene takes place at the beginning
     of Jehoiakim’s reign, i.e. under the Egyptian domination.

     ** The date given in Jer. xxxvi. 9 makes the year begin in
     spring, since the ninth month occurs in winter; this date
     belongs, therefore, to the later recensions of the text. It
     is nevertheless probably authentic, representing the exact
     equivalent of the original date according to the old

Micaiah, the son of Gremariah, was among those who listened, and noting that the audience were moved by the denunciations which revived the memory of their recent misfortunes, he hastened to inform the ministers sitting in council within the palace of what was passing. They at once sent for Baruch, and begged him to repeat to them what he had read. They were so much alarmed at its recital, that they advised him to hide himself in company with Jeremiah, while they informed the king of the matter. Jehoiakim was sitting in a chamber with a brazier burning before him on account of the severe cold: scarcely had they read three or four pages before him when his anger broke forth; he seized the roll, slashed it with the scribe’s penknife, and threw the fragments into the fire. Jeremiah recomposed the text from memory, and inserted in it a malediction against the king. “Thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim, King of Judah: He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity: and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.” *

     * Jer. xxxvi. Attempts have been made to reconstruct the
     contents of Jeremiah’s roll, and most of the authors who
     have dealt with this subject think that the roll contained
     the greater part of the fragments which, in the book of the
     prophet, occupy chaps, i. 4-11, ii., iii. 1-5, 19-25, iv.-
     vi., vii., viii., ix. 1-21, x. 17-25, xi., xii. 1-6, xvii.
     19-27, xviii., xix. 1-13, which it must be admitted have not
     in every case been preserved in their original form, but
     have been abridged or rearranged after the exile. Other
     chapters evidently belong to the years previous to the fifth
     year of Jehoiakim, as well as part of the prophecies against
     the barbarians, but they could not have been included in the
     original roll, as the latter would then have been too long
     to have been read three times in one day.

The Egyptian tendencies evinced at court, at first discreetly veiled, were now accentuated to such a degree that Nebuchadrezzar became alarmed, and came in person to Jerusalem in the year 601. His presence frustrated the intrigues of Pharaoh. Jehoiakim was reduced to order for a time, but three years later he revolted afresh at the instigation of Necho, and this time the Chaldęan satraps opened hostilities in earnest. They assembled their troops, which were reinforced by Syrian, Moabite, and Ammonite contingents, and laid siege to Jerusalem.*

     * 2 Kings xxiv. 1-4. The passage is not easy to be
     understood as it stands, and it has been differently
     interpreted by historians. Some have supposed that it refers
     to events immediately following the battle of Carchemish,
     and that Jehoiakim defended Jerusalem against Nebuchadrezzar
     in 605. Others think that, after the battle of Carchemish,
     Jehoiakim took advantage of Nebuchadrezzar’s being obliged
     to return at once to Babylon, and would not recognise the
     authority of the Chaldęans; that Nebuchadrezzar returned
     later, towards 601, and took Jerusalem, and that it is to
     this second war that allusion is made in the Book of Kings.
     It is more simple to consider that which occurred about 600
     as a first attempt at rebellion which was punished lightly
     by the Chaldęans.

Jehoiakim, left to himself, resisted with such determination that Nebuchadrezzar was obliged to bring up his Chaldęan forces to assist in the attack. Judah trembled with fear at the mere description which her prophet Habakkuk gave of this fierce and sturdy people, “which march through the breadth of the earth to possess dwelling-places which are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen spread themselves; yea, their horsemen come from far; they fly as an eagle that hasteneth to devour. They come all of them for violence; their faces are set eagerly as the east wind, and they gather captives as the sand. Yea, he scoffeth at kings, and princes are a derision unto him: he derideth every stronghold: for he heapeth up dust and taketh it. Then shall he sweep by as a wind, and shall pass over the guilty, even he whose might is his god.” Nebuchadrezzar’s army must have presented a spectacle as strange as did that of Necho. It contained, besides its nucleus of Chaldęn and Babylonian infantry, squadrons of Scythian and Median cavalry, whose cruelty it was, no doubt, that had alarmed the prophet, and certainly bands of Greek hoplites, for the poet Alcasus had had a brother, Antimenidas by name, in the Chaldęan monarch’s service. Jehoiakim died before the enemy appeared beneath the walls of Jerusalem, and was at once succeeded by his son Jeconiah,* a youth of eighteen years, who assumed the name of Jehoiachin.**

     * [Jehoiachin is called Coniah in Jer. xxii. 24 and xxiv. 1,
     and Jeconiah in 1 Chron. iii. 16.—Tr.]

     ** 2 Kings xxiv. 5-10; cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 6-9, where the
     writer says that Nebuchadrezzar bound Jehoiakim “in
     fetters, to carry him to Babylon.”

The new king continued the struggle at first courageously, but the advent of Nebuchadrezzar so clearly convinced him of the futility of the defence, that he suddenly decided to lay down his arms. He came forth from the city with his mother Nehushta, the officers of his house, his ministers, and his eunuchs, and prostrated himself at the feet of his suzerain. The Chaldęn monarch was not inclined to proceed to extremities; he therefore exiled to Babylon Jehoiachin and the whole of his seditious court who had so ill-advised the young king, the best of his officers, and the most skilful artisans, in all 3023 persons, but the priests and the bulk of the people remained at Jerusalem. The conqueror appointed Mattaniah, the youngest son of Josiah, to be their ruler, who, on succeeding to the crown, changed his name, after the example of his predecessors, adopting that of Zedekiah. Jehoiachin had reigned exactly three months over his besieged city (596).*

The Egyptians made no attempt to save their ally, but if they felt themselves not in a condition to defy the Chaldasans on Syrian territory, the Chaldaeans on their side feared to carry hostilities into the heart of the Delta. Necho died two years after the disaster at Jerusalem, without having been called to account by, or having found an opportunity of further annoying, his rival, and his son Psammetichus II. succeeded peacefully to the throne.** He was a youth at this time,*** and his father’s ministers conducted the affairs of State on his behalf, and it was they who directed one of his early campaigns, if not the very first, against Ethiopia.****

     * 2 Kings xxiv. 11-17; cf. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 10.

     ** The length of Necho’s reign is fixed at sixteen years by
     Herodotus, and at six or at nine years by the various
     abbreviators of Manetho. The contemporaneous monuments have
     confirmed the testimony of Herodotus on this point as
     against that of Manetho, and the stelse of the Florentine
     Museum, of the Leyden Museum, and of the Louvre have
     furnished certain proof that Necho died in the sixteenth
     year, after fifteen and a half years’ reign.

     *** His sarcophagus, discovered in 1883, and now preserved
     in the Gizeh Museum, is of such small dimensions that it can
     have been used only for a youth.

     **** The graffiti of Abu-Simbel have been most frequently
     attributed to Psammetichus I., and until recently I had
     thought it possible to maintain this opinion. A. von
     Gutsehmid was the first to restore them to Psammetichus IL,
     and his opinion has gained ground since Wiedemann’s vigorous
     defence of it. The Alysian mercenary’s graffito contains
     the Greek translation of the current Egyptian phrase “when
     his Majesty came on his first military expedition into this
     country,” which seems to point to no very early date in a
     reign for a first campaign. Moreover, one of the generals in
     command of the expedition is a Psammetichus, son of
     Theocles, that is, a Greek with an Egyptian name. A
     considerable lapse of time must have taken place since
     Psammetichus’ first dealings with the Greeks, for otherwise
     the person named after the king would not have been of
     sufficiently mature age to be put at the head of a body of

They organised a small army for him composed of Egyptians, Greeks, and Asiatic mercenaries, which, while the king was taking up his residence at Elephantine, was borne up the Nile in a fleet of large vessels.* It probably went as far south as the northern point of the second cataract, and not having encountered any Ethiopian force,** it retraced its course and came to anchor at Abu-Simbel.

     * The chief graffito at Abu-Simbel says, in fact, that the
     king came to Elephantine, and that only the troops
     accompanying the General Psammetichus, the son of Theocles,
     went beyond Kerkis. It was probably during his stay at
     Elephantine, while awaiting the return of the expedition,
     that Psammetichus II. had the inscriptions containing his
     cartouches engraved upon the rocks of Bigga, Abaton, Philo,
     and Konosso, or among the ruins of Elephantine and of

     ** The Greek inscription says above Kerlcis. Wiedemann has
     corrected Kerkis into Kortis, the Korte of the first
     cataract, but the reading Kerkis is too well established for
     there to be any reason for change. The simplest explanation
     is to acknowledge that the inscription refers to a place
     situated a few miles above Abu-Simbel, towards Wady-Halfa.

The officers in command, after having admired the rock-cut chapel of Ramses II., left in it a memento of their visit in a fine inscription cut on the right leg of one of the colossi. This inscription informs us that “King Psammatikhos having come to Elephantine, the people who were with Psammatikhos, son of Theocles, wrote this. They ascended above Kerkis, to where the river ceases; Potasimto commanded the foreigners, Amasis the Egyptians. At the same time also wrote Arkhōn, son of Amoibikhos, and Peleqos, son of Ulamos.” Following the example of their officers, the soldiers also wrote their names here and there, each in his own language—Ionians, Rhodians, Carians, Phoenicians, and perhaps even Jews; e.g. Elesibios of Teos, Pabis of Colophon, Telephos of Ialysos, Abdsakon son of Petiehvź, Gerhekal son of Hallum. The whole of this part of the country, brought to ruin in the gradual dismemberment of Greater Egypt, could not have differed much from the Nubia of to-day; there were the same narrow strips of cultivation along the river banks, gigantic temples half buried by their own ruins, scattered towns and villages, and everywhere the yellow sand creeping insensibly down towards the Nile. The northern part of this province remained in the hands of the Saite Pharaohs, and the districts situated further south just beyond Abu-Simbel formed at that period a sort of neutral ground between their domain and that of the Pharaohs of Napata. While all this was going on, Syria continued to plot in secret, and the faction which sought security in a foreign alliance was endeavouring to shake off the depression caused by the reverses of Jehoiakim and his son; and the tide of popular feeling setting in the direction of Egypt became so strong, that even Zedekiah, the creature of Nebuchadrezzar, was unable to stem it. The prophets who were inimical to religious reform, persisted in their belief that the humiliation of the country was merely temporary.

417.jpg the Faēade of The Great Temple Of Abu-simbel
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Daniel Héron.

Those of them who still remained in Jerusalem repeated at every turn, “Ye shall not serve the King of Babylon... the vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon.” Jeremiah endeavoured to counteract the effect of their words, but in vain; the people, instead of listening to the prophet, waxed wroth with him, and gave themselves more and more recklessly up to their former sins. Incense was burnt every morning on the roofs of the houses and at the corners of the streets in honour of Baal, lamentations for Tammuz again rent the air at the season of his festival; the temple was invaded by uncircumcised priests and their idols, and the king permitted the priests of Moloch to raise their pyres in the valley of Hinnom. The exiled Jews, surrounded on all sides by heathen peoples, presented a no less grievous spectacle than their brethren at Jerusalem; some openly renounced the God of their fathers, others worshipped their chosen idols in secret, while those who did not actually become traitors to their faith, would only listen to such prophets as promised them a speedy revenge—Ahab, Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, and Shemaiah. There was one man, however, who appeared in their midst, a priest, brought up from his youth in the temple and imbued with the ideas of reform—Ezekiel, son of Buzi, whose words might have brought them to a more just appreciation of their position, had they not drowned his voice by their clamour; alarmed at their threats, he refrained from speech in public, but gathered round him a few faithful adherents at his house in Tel-AMb, where the spirit of the Lord first came upon him in their presence about the year 592.*

     * Ezelc. i. 1, 2. We see him receiving the elders in his
     house in chaps, viii. 1, xiv. 1, xx. 1, et. seq.

This little band of exiles was in constant communication with the mother-country, and the echo of the religious quarrels and of the controversies provoked between the various factions by the events of the political world, was promptly borne to them by merchants, travelling scribes, or the king’s legates who were sent regularly to Babylon with the tribute.* They learnt, about the year 590, that grave events were at hand, and that the moment had come when Judah, recovering at length from her trials, should once more occupy, in the sight of the sun, that place for which Jahveh had destined her. The kings of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Tyre, and Sidon had sent envoys to Jerusalem, and there, probably at the dictation of Egypt, they had agreed on what measures to take to stir up a general insurrection against Chaldęa.** The report of their resolutions had revived the courage of the national party, and of its prophets; Hananiah, son of Azzur, had gone through the city announcing the good news to all.***

     * Jer. xxix. 3 gives the names of two of these transmitters
     of the tribute—Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the
     son of Hilkiah, to whom Jeremiah had entrusted a message for
     those of the captivity.

     ** Jer. xxvii. 1-3. The statement at the beginning of this
     chapter: In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim,
     contains a copyist’s error; the reading should be: In the
     beginning of the reign of Zedekiah (see ver. 12).

     *** Jer. xxvii., xxviii.

“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the King of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house .. . and Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, with all the captives of Judah that went to Babylon!” But Jeremiah had made wooden yokes and had sent them to the confederate princes, threatening them with divine punishment if they did not bow their necks to Nebuchadrezzar; the prophet himself bore one on his own neck, and showed himself in the streets on all occasions thus accoutred, as a living emblem of the slavery in which Jahveh permitted His people to remain for their spiritual good. Hananiah, meeting the prophet by chance, wrested the yoke from him and broke it, exclaiming, “Thus saith the Lord: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadrezzar, King of Babylon, within two full years from off the neck of all the nations.” The mirth of the bystanders was roused, but on the morrow Jeremiah appeared with a yoke of iron, which Jahveh had put “upon the neck of all the nations, that they may serve Nebuchadrezzar, King of Babylon.” Moreover, to destroy in the minds of the exiled Jews any hope of speedy deliverance, he wrote to them: “Let not your prophets that be in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you, neither hearken ye to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in My name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord.” The prophet exhorted them to resign themselves to their fate, at all events for the time, that the unity of their nation might be preserved until the time when it might indeed please Jahveh to restore it: “Build ye houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat the fruit of them: take ye wives and beget sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply ye there and be not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” Psammetichus II. died in 589,* and his reign, though short, was distinguished by the activity shown in rebuilding and embellishing the temples.

     * Herodotus reckoned the length of the reign of Psammetichus
     II. at six years, in which he agrees with the Syncellus,
     while the abbreviators of Manetho fix it at seventeen years.
     The results given by the reading of a stele of the Louvre
     enable us to settle that the figure 6 is to be preferred to
     the other, and to reckon the length of the reign at five
     years and a half.

422.jpg Apries, from a Sphinx in the Louvre
Drawn by Boudier, from
the bronze statuette
in the Louvre Museum.

His name is met with everywhere on the banks of the Nile—at Karnak, where he completed the decoration of the great columns of Taharqa, at Abydos, at Heliopolis, and on the monuments that have come from that town, such as the obelisk set up in the Campus Martius at Borne. The personal influence of the young sovereign did not count for much in the zeal thus displayed; but the impulse that had been growing during three or four generations, since the time of the expulsion of the Assyrians, now began to have its full effect. Egypt, well armed, well governed by able ministers, and more and more closely bound to Greece by both mercantile and friendly ties, had risen to a very high position in the estimation of its contemporaries; the inhabitants of Elis had deferred to her decision in the question whether they should take part in the Olympic games in which they were the judges, and following the advice she had given on the matter, they had excluded their own citizens from the sports so as to avoid the least suspicion of partiality in the distribution of the prizes.* The new king, probably the brother of the late Pharaoh, had his prenomen of Uahibn from his grandfather Psammetichus I., and it was this sovereign that the Greeks called indifferently Uaphres and Apries.**

     * Diodorus Siculus has transferred the anecdote to Amasis,
     and the decision given is elsewhere attributed to one of the
     seven sages. The story is a popular romance, of which
     Herodotus gives the version current among the Greeks in

     ** According to Herodotus, Apries was the son of Psammis.
     The size of the sarcophagus of Psammetichus II., suitable
     only for a youth, makes this filiation improbable.
     Psammetichus, who came to the throne when he was hardly more
     than a child, could have left behind him only children of
     tender age, and Apries appears from the outset as a prince
     of full mental and physical development.

He was young, ambitious, greedy of fame and military glory, and longed to use the weapon that his predecessors had for some fifteen years past been carefully whetting; his emissaries, arriving at Jerusalem at the moment when the popular excitement was at its height, had little difficulty in overcoming Zede-kiah’s scruples. Edoni, Moab, and the Philistines, who had all taken their share in the conferences of the rebel party, hesitated at the last moment, and refused to sever their relations with Babylon. Tyre and the Ammonites alone persisted in their determination, and allied themselves with Egypt on the same terms as Judah.

423.jpg Stele of Nebuchadrezzar
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Pognon. The figures
     have been carefully defaced with the hammer, but the outline
     of the king can still be discerned on the left; he seizes
     the rampant lion by the right paw, and while it raises its
     left paw against him, he plunges his dagger into the body of
     the beast.

Nebuchadrezzar, thus defied by three enemies, was at a loss to decide upon which to make his first attack. Ezekiel, whose place of exile put him in a favourable position for learning what was passing, shows him to us as he “stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.” Judah formed as it were the bridge by which the Egyptians could safely enter Syria, and if Nebuchadrezzar could succeed in occupying it before their arrival, he could at once break up the coalition into three separate parts incapable of rejoining one another—Ammon in the desert to the east, Tyre and Sidon on the seaboard, and Pharaoh beyond his isthmus to the south-west. He therefore established himself in a central position at Eiblah on the Orontes, from whence he could observe the progress of the operations, and hasten with his reserve force to a threatened point in the case of unforeseen difficulties; having done this, he despatched the two divisions of his army against his two principal adversaries. One of these divisions crossed the Lebanon, seized its fortresses, and, leaving a record of its victories on the rocks of the Wady Brissa, made its way southwards along the coast to blockade Tyre.*

     * The account of this Phoenician campaign is contained in
     one of the inscriptions discovered and commented on by
     Pognon. Winckler, the only one to my knowledge who has tried
     to give a precise chronological position to the events
     recorded in the inscription, places them at the very
     beginning of the reign, after the victory of Carchemish,
     about the time when Nebuchadrezzar heard that his father had
     just died. I think that this date is not justified by the
     study of the inscription, for the king speaks therein of the
     great works that he had accomplished, the restoration of the
     temples, the rebuilding of the walls of Babylon, and the
     digging of canals, all of which take us to the middle or the
     end of his reign. We are therefore left to choose between
     one of two dates, namely, that of 590-587, during the Jewish
     war, and that from the King’s thirty-seventh year to 568
     B.C., during the war against Amasis which will be treated
     below. I have chosen the first, because of Nebuchadrezzar’s
     long sojourn at Riblah, which gave him sufficient time for
     the engraving of the stelse on Lebanon: the bas-reliefs of
     Wady. Brissa could have been cut before the taking of
     Jerusalem, for no allusion to the war against the Jews is
     found in them. The enemy mentioned in the opening lines is
     perhaps Apries, whose fleet was scouring the Phoenician

The other force bore down upon Zedekiah, and made war upon him ruthlessly. It burnt the villages and unwalled towns, gave the rural districts over as a prey to the Philistines and the Edomites, surrounded the two fortresses of Lachish and Azekah, and only after completely exhausting the provinces, appeared before the walls of the capital. Jerusalem was closely beset when the news reached the Chaldęans that Apries was approaching Gaza; Zedekiah, in his distress, appealed to him for help, and the promised succour at length came upon the scene. The Chaldęans at once raised the siege with the object of arresting the advancing enemy, and the popular party, reckoning already on a Chaldean defeat, gave way to insolent rejoicing over the prophets of evil. Jeremiah, however, had no hope of final success. “Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldęans shall surely depart from us; for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.” What actually took place is not known; according to one account, Apries accepted battle and was defeated; according to another, he refused to be drawn into an engagement, and returned haughtily to Egypt.*

     * That, at least, is what Jeremiah seems to say (xxxvii. 7):
     “Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you,
     shall return to Egypt into their own land.” There is no hint
     here of defeat or even of a battle.

His fleet probably made some effective raiding on the Phoenician coast. It is easy to believe that the sight of the Chaldoan camp inspired him with prudence, and that he thought twice before compromising the effects of his naval campaign and risking the loss of his fine army—the only one which Egypt possessed—in a conflict in which his own safety was not directly concerned. Nebuchadrezzar, on his side, was not anxious to pursue so strongly equipped an adversary too hotly, and deeming himself fortunate in having escaped the ordeal of a trial of strength with him, he returned to his position before the walls of Jerusalem.

The city receiving no further succour, its fall was merely a question of time, and resistance served merely to irritate the besiegers. The Jews nevertheless continued to defend it with the heroic obstinacy and, at the same time, with the frenzied discord of which they have so often shown themselves capable. During the respite which the diversion caused by Apries afforded them, Jeremiah had attempted to flee from Jerusalem and seek refuge in Benjamin, to which tribe he belonged. Arrested at the city gate on the pretext of treason, he was unmercifully beaten, thrown into prison, and the king, who had begun to believe in him, did not venture to deliver him. He was confined in the court of the palace, which served as a gaol, and allowed a ration of a loaf of bread for his daily food.1 The courtyard was a public place, to which all comers had access who desired to speak to the prisoners, and even here the prophet did not cease to preach and exhort the people to repentance: “He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he that goeth forth to the Chaldęans shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey, and he shall live. Thus saith the Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the King of Babylon, and he shall take it.”

427.jpg Prisoners Under Torture Having Their Tongues Torn Out
     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum.

The princes and officers of the king, however, complained to Zedekiah of him: “Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; forasmuch as he weakeneth the hands of the men of war, and the hands of all the people in speaking such words.” Given up to his accusers and plunged in a muddy cistern, he escaped by the connivance of a eunuch of the royal household, only to renew his denunciations with greater force than ever.

428.jpg a King Putting out the Eyes of A Prisoner
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from several engravings in Botta.
     The mutilated remains of several bas-reliefs have been
     combined so as to form a tolerably correct scene; the
     prisoners have a ring passed through their lips, and the
     king holds them by a cord attached to it.

The king sent for him secretly and asked his advice, but could draw from him nothing but threats: “If thou wilt go forth unto the King of Babylon’s princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and thou shalt live and thine house: but if thou wilt not go forth to the King of Babylon’s princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chal-dseans, and they shall burn it with fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand.” Zedekiah would have asked no better than to follow his advice, but he had gone too far to draw back now. To the miseries of war and sickness the horrors of famine were added, but the determination of the besieged was unshaken; bread was failing, and yet they would not hear of surrender. At length, after a year and a half of sufferings heroically borne, in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the eleventh month, and the fourth day of the month, a portion of the city wall fell before the attacks of the battering-rams, and the Chaldęan army entered by the breach. Zedekiah assembled his remaining soldiers, and took counsel as to the possibility of cutting his way through the enemy to beyond the Jordan; escaping by night through the gateway opposite the Pool of Siloam, he was taken prisoner near Jericho, and carried off to Eiblah, where Nebuchadrezzar was awaiting with impatience the result of the operations. The Chaldęans were accustomed to torture their prisoners in the fashion we frequently see represented on the monuments of Nineveh, and whenever an unexpected stroke of good fortune brings to light any decorative bas-relief from their palaces, we shall see represented on it the impaling stake, rebels being flayed alive, and chiefs having their tongues torn out. Nebuchadrezzar, whose patience was exhausted, caused the sons of Zedekiah to be slain in the presence of their father, together with all the prisoners of noble birth, and then, having put out his eyes, sent the king of Babylon loaded with chains. As for the city which had so long defied his wrath, he gave it over to Nebuzaradan, one of the great officers of the crown, with orders to demolish it and give it up systematically to the flames. The temple was despoiled of its precious wall-coverings, the pillars and brazen ornaments of the time of Solomon which still remained were broken up, and the pieces carried off to Chaldoa in sacks, the masonry was overthrown and the blocks of stone rolled down the hill into the ravine of the Kedron. The survivors among the garrison, the priests, scribes, and members of the upper classes, were sent off into exile, but the mortality during the siege had been so great that the convoy barely numbered eight hundred and thirty-two persons.

430b.jpg a People Carried Away Into Captivity

Some of the poorer population were allowed to remain in the environs, and the fields and vineyards of the exiles were divided among them.1 Having accomplished the work of destruction, the Chal-dseans retired, leaving the government in the hands of Gedaliah, son of Ahikam,* a friend of Jeremiah. Gedaliah established himself at Mizpah, where he endeavoured to gather around him the remnant of the nation, and fugitives poured in from Moab, Ammon, and Edom.

     *Chron. xxxvi. 17-20. The following is the table of the
     kings of Judah from the death of Solomon to the destruction
     of Jerusalem:—

430.jpg Table of the Kings Of Judah

It seemed that a Jewish principality was about to rise again from the ruins of the kingdom. Jeremiah was its accredited counsellor, but his influence could not establish harmony among these turbulent spirits, still smarting from their recent misfortunes.* The captains of the bands which had been roaming over the country after the fall of Jerusalem refused, moreover, to act in concert with Gedaliah, and one of them, Ishmael by name, who was of the royal blood, assassinated him, but, being attacked in Gibeon by Johanan, the son of Kareah, was forced to escape almost alone and take refuge with the Ammonites.** These acts of violence aroused the vigilance of the Chaldasans; Johanan feared reprisals, and retired into Egypt, taking with him Jeremiah, Baruch, and the bulk of the people.*** Apries gave the refugees a welcome, and assigned them certain villages near to his military colony at Daphnae, whence they soon spread into the neighbouring nomes as far as Migdol, Memphis, and even as far as the Thebaid.****

     * For the manner in which Jeremiah was separated from the
     rest of the captives, set at liberty and sent back to
     Gedaliah, see Jer. xxxix. 11-18, xl. 1-6.

     ** 2 Kings xxv. 23-25, and Jer. xl. 7-16, xli. 1-15, where
     these events are recorded at length.

     *** 2 Kings xxv. 26; Jer. xli. 16-18, xlii., xliii. 1-7.

     **** Jer. xliv. 1, where the word of the Lord is spoken to
     “all the Jews... which dwelt at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes
     (Daphno), and at Moph (corr. Moph, Memphis), and in the
     country of Pathros.”

Even after all these catastrophes Judah’s woes were not yet at an end. In 581, the few remaining Jews in Palestine allied themselves with the Moabites and made a last wild effort for independence; a final defeat, followed by a final exile, brought them to irretrievable ruin.* The earlier captives had entertained no hope of advantage from these despairing efforts, and Ezekiel from afar condemned them without pity: “They that inherit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.... Ye lift up your eyes unto your idols and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour’s wife: and shall ye possess the land?... Thus saith the Lord God: As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.” **

     * Josephus, following Berosus, speaks of a war against the
     Moabites and the Ammonites, followed by the conquest of
     Egypt in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar. To this
     must be added a Jewish revolt if we are to connect with
     these events the mention of the third captivity, carried out
     in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar by Nebuzaradan.

     ** Ezek. xxxiii. 23-27.

436.jpg Bronze Lion of Bohbait
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from an engraving in Mariette.

The first act of the revolution foreseen by the prophets was over; the day of the Lord, so persistently announced by them, had at length come, and it had seen not only the sack of Jerusalem, but the destruction of the earthly kingdom of Judah. Many of the survivors, refusing still to acknowledge the justice of the chastisement, persisted in throwing the blame of the disaster on the reformers of the old worship, and saw no hope of salvation except in their idolatrous practices. “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly perform every word that is gone forth out of our mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”

There still remained to these misguided Jews one consolation which they shared in common with the prophets—the certainty of seeing the hereditary foes of Israel involved in the common overthrow: Ammon had been already severely chastised; Tyre, cut off from the neighbouring mainland, seemed on the point of succumbing, and the turn of Egypt must surely soon arrive in which she would have to expiate in bitter sufferings the wrongs her evil counsels had brought upon Jerusalem. Their anticipated joy, however, of witnessing such chastisements was not realised. Tyre defied for thirteen years the blockade of Nebuchadrezzar, and when the city at length decided to capitulate, it was on condition that its king, Ethbaal III., should continue to reign under the almost nominal suzerainty of the Chaldeans (574 B.C.).*

* The majority of Christian writers have imagined, contrary
to the testimony of the Phoenician annals, that the island
of Tyre was taken by Nebuchadrezzar; they say that the
Chaldęans united the island to the mainland by a causeway
similar to that constructed subsequently by Alexander. It is
worthy of notice that a local tradition, still existing in
the eleventh century of our era, asserted that the besiegers
were not successful in their enterprise.

Egypt continued not only to preserve her independence, but seemed to increase in prosperity in proportion to the intensity of the hatred which she had stirred up against her.

Apries set about repairing the monuments and embellishing the temples: he erected throughout the country stelę, tables of offerings, statues and obelisks, some of which, though of small size, like that which adorns the Piazza della Minerva at Borne,* erected so incongruously on the back of a modern elephant, are unequalled for purity of form and delicacy of cutting. The high pitch of artistic excellence to which the schools of the reign of Psam-metichus II. had attained was maintained at the same exalted level. If the granite sphinxes** and bronze lions of this period lack somewhat in grace of form, it must be acknowledged that they display greater refinement and elegance in the technique of carving or moulding than had yet been attained.

     * [One of the two obelisks of the Campus Martius, on which
     site the Church of S. Maria Sopra Minerva was built.—Tr.]

     ** Above the summary of the contents of the present chapter,
     will be found one of these sphinxes which was discovered in

437.jpg the Small Obelisk in The Piazza Della Minerva At Home
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

While engaged in these works at home, Apries was not unobservant of the revolutions occurring in Asia, upon which he maintained a constant watch, and in the years which followed the capitulation of Tyre, he found the opportunity, so long looked for, of entering once more upon the scene. The Phoenician navy had suffered much during the lengthy blockade of their country, and had become inferior to the Egyptian, now well organised by Thelonians: Apries therefore took the offensive by sea, and made a direct descent on the Phoenician coasts. Nebuchadrezzar opposed him with the forces of the recently subjugated Tyrians, and the latter, having cooled in their attachment to Egypt owing to the special favour shown by the Pharaoh to their rivals the Hellenes, summoned their Cypriote vassals to assist them in repelling the attack. The Egyptians dispersed the combined fleets, and taking possession of Sidon, gave it up to pillage. The other maritime cities surrendered of their own accord,* including Gebal, which received an Egyptian garrison, and where the officers of Pharaoh founded a temple to the goddess whom they identified with the Egyptian Hāthor.

* The war of Apries against the Phoenicians
cannot have taken place before the capitulation
of Tyre in 574 B.C.,because the Tyrians took
part in it by order of Nebuchadrezzar, and on
the other hand it cannot be put later than
569 B.C., the date of the revolt of Amasis;
it must therefore be assigned to about 571 B.C.

The object at which Necho and Psammetichus II. had aimed for fifteen years was thus attained by Apries at one fortunate blow, and he could legitimately entitle himself “more fortunate than all the kings his predecessors,” and imagine, in his pride, that “the gods themselves were unable to injure him.” The gods, however, did not allow him long to enjoy the fruits of his victory. Greeks had often visited Libya since the time when Egypt had been thrown open to the trade of the iEgean. Their sailors had discovered that the most convenient course thither was to sail straight to Crete, and then to traverse the sea between this island and the headlands of the Libyan plateau; here they fell in with a strong current setting towards the east, which carried them quickly and easily as far as Eakotis and Canopus, along the Marmarican shore. In these voyages they learned to appreciate the value of the country; and about 631 B.C. some Dorians of Thera, who had set out to seek for a new home at the bidding of the Delphic oracle, landed in the small desert island of Platsea, where they built a strongly fortified settlement. Their leader, Battos,* soon crossed over to the mainland, where, having reached the high plateau, he built the city of Cyrene on the borders of an extremely fertile region, watered by abundant springs. The tribes of the Labu, who had fought so valiantly against the Pharaohs of old, still formed a kind of loose confederation, and their territory stretched across the deserts from the Egyptian frontier to the shores of the Syrtes. The chief of this confederation assumed the title of king, as in the days of Mīnephtah or of Ramses III.**

     * Herodotus seems to have been ignorant of the real name of
     the founder of Cyrene, which has been preserved for us by
     Pindar, by Callimachus, by the spurious Heraclides of
     Pontus, and by the chronologists of the Christian epoch.
     Herodotus says that Battos signifies king in the
     language of Libya.

     ** The description given by Herodotus of these Libyan tribes
     agrees with the slight amount of information furnished by
     the Egyptian monuments for the thirteenth century B.C.

The most civilised of these tribes were those which now dwelt nearest to the coast: first the Adyrmakhides, who were settled beyond Marea, and had been semi-Egyptianised by constant intercourse with the inhabitants of the Delta; then the Giligammes, who dwelt between the port of Plynus and the island of Aphrodisias; and beyond these, again, the Asbystes, famed for their skill in chariot-driving, the Cabales, and the Auschises. The oases of the hinterland were in the hands of the Nasamones and of the Mashauasha, whom the Greeks called Maxyes.

One of the revolutions so frequent among the desert tribes had compelled the latter to remove from their home near the Nile valley, to a district far to the west, on the banks of the river Triton.

440.jpg the Oasis of Amok and The Spring Of The Sun
     Drawn by Boudier, from Minutoli.

There they had settled down in a permanent fashion, dwelling in houses of stone, and giving themselves up to the cultivation of the soil. They continued, however, to preserve in their new life some of their ancient customs, such as that of painting their bodies with vermilion, and of shaving off the hair from their heads, with the exception of one lock which hung over the right ear. The Theban Pharaohs had formerly placed garrisons in the most important oases, and had consecrated temples there to their god Amon.

441.jpg Portion of the Ruins Of Cyrene

One of these sanctuaries, built close to an intermittent spring, which gave forth alternately hot and cold water, had risen to great eminence, and the oracle of these Ammonians was a centre of pilgrimage from far and near. The first Libyans who came into contact with the Greeks, the Asbystes and the Giligammes, received the new-comers kindly, giving them their daughters in marriage; from the fusion of the two races thus brought about sprang, first under Battos and then under his son Arkesilas I., an industrious and valiant race.

443a.jpg Map of Lybia in the Vith Century B.c.

The main part of their revenues was derived from commerce in silphium and woollen goods, and even the kings themselves did not deem it beneath their dignity to preside in person at the weighing of the crop, and the storing of the trusses in their magazines. The rapid increase in the wealth of the city having shortly brought about a breach in the friendly relations hitherto maintained between it and its neighbours, Battos the Fortunate, the son of Arkesilas I., sent for colonists from Greece: numbers answered to his call, on the faith of a second oracular prediction, and in order to provide them with the necessary land, Battos did not hesitate to dispossess his native allies. The latter appealed to Adikrān, king of the confederacy, and this prince, persuaded that this irregular militia would not be able to withstand the charge of the hoplites, thereupon applied in his turn to Apries for assistance.

There was much tempting spoil to be had in Cyrene, and Apries was fully aware of the fact, from the accounts of the Libyans and the Greeks. His covetousness must have been aroused at the prospect of such rich booty, and perhaps he would have thought of appropriating it sooner, had he not been deterred from the attempt by his knowledge of the superiority of the Greek fleets, and of the dangers attendant on a long and painful march over an almost desert country through disaffected tribes.

444.jpg Weighing Silphium in Presence of King Arkesilas
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of the original in
     the Coin Room in the Bibliothčque Nationale at Paris. The
     king here represented is Arkesilas II. the Bad.

Now that he could rely on the support of the Libyans, he hesitated no longer to run these risks. Deeming it imprudent, with good reason, to employ his mercenary troops against their own compatriots, Apries mobilised for his encounter with Battos an army exclusively recruited from among his native reserves. The troops set out full of confidence in themselves and of disdain for the enemy, delighted moreover at an opportunity for at length convincing their kings of their error in preferring barbarian to native forces. But the engagement brought to nought all their boastings. The Egyptians were defeated in the first encounter near Irasa, hard by the fountain of Thestź, near the spot where the high plateaus of Cyrene proper terminate in the low cliffs of Marmarica: and the troops suffered so severely during the subsequent retreat that only a small remnant of the army regained in safety the frontier of the Delta.*

     * The interpretation I have given to the sentiments of the
     Egyptian army follows clearly enough from the observation of
     Herodotus, that “the Egyptians, having never experienced
     themselves the power of the Greeks, had felt for them
     nothing but contempt.” The site of Irasa and the fountain of
     Thestź has been fixed with much probability in the fertile
     district watered still by the fountain of Ersen, Erazem, or

443b.jpg the Silphium
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from the cast of a
coin of Cyrene.

This unexpected reverse was the occasion of the outbreak of a revolution which had been in preparation for years. The emigration to Ethiopia of some contingents of the military class had temporarily weakened the factions hostile to foreign influence; these factions had felt themselves powerless under the rule of Psammetichus I., and had bowed to his will, prepared all the while to reassert themselves when they felt strong enough to do so successfully. The reorganisation of the native army furnished them at once with the means of insurrection, of which they had temporarily been deprived. Although Pharaoh had lavished privileges on the Hermotybies and Calasiries, she had not removed the causes for discontent which had little by little alienated the good will of the Mashauasha: to do so would have rendered necessary the disbanding of the Ionian guard, the object of their jealousy, and to take this step neither he nor his successors could submit themselves. The hatred of these mercenaries, and the irritation against the sovereigns who employed them, grew fiercer from reign to reign, and now wanted nothing but a pretext to break forth openly: such a pretext was furnished by the defeat at Irasa. When the fugitives arrived at the entrenched camp of Marea, exasperated by their defeat, and alleging doubtless that it was due to treachery, they found others who affected to share their belief that Pharaoh had despatched his Egyptian troops against Cyrene with the view of consigning to certain death those whose loyalty to him was suspected, and it was not difficult to stir up the disaffected soldiers to open revolt. It was not the first time that a military tumult had threatened the sovereignty of Apries. Some time previous to this, in an opposite quarter of the Nile valley, the troops stationed at Elephantine, composed partly of Egyptians, partly of Asiatic and Greek mercenaries—possibly the same who had fought in the Ethiopian campaign under Psammetichus II.—had risen in rebellion owing to some neglect in the payment of their wages: having devastated the Thebaid, they had marched straight across the desert to the port of Shashirīt, in the hope of there seizing ships to enable them to reach the havens of Idumęa or Nabatoa. The governor of Elephantine, Nsihor, had at first held them back with specious promises; but on learning that Apries was approaching with reinforcements, he attacked them boldly, and driving them before him, hemmed them in between his own force and that of the king and massacred them all. Apries thought that the revolt at Marea would have a similar issue, and that he might succeed in baffling the rebels by fair words; he sent to them as his representative Amasis, one of his generals, distantly connected probably with the royal house. What took place in the camp is not clearly known, for the actual events have been transformed in the course of popular transmission into romantic legends. The story soon took shape that Amasis was born of humble parentage in the village of Siuph, not far from Sais; he was fond, it was narrated, of wine, the pleasures of the table, and women, and replenished his empty purse by stealing what he could lay his hands on from his neighbours or comrades—a gay boon-companion all the while, with an easy disposition and sarcastic tongue. According to some accounts, he conciliated the favour of Apries by his invariable affability and good humour; according to others, he won the king’s confidence by presenting him with a crown of flowers on his birthday.*

     * The king to whom Amasis made this offering is called
     Patarmis, and the similarity of this name with the
     Patarbemis of Herodotus seems to indicate a variant of the
     legend, in which Patarmis or Patarbemis took the place of

The story goes on to say that while he was haranguing the rebels, one of them, slipping behind him, suddenly placed on his head the rounded helmet of the Pharaohs: the bystanders immediately proclaimed him king, and after a slight show of resistance he accepted the dignity. As soon as the rumour of these events had reached Sais, Apries despatched Patarbemis, one of his chief officers, with orders to bring back the rebel chief alive. The latter was seated on his horse, on the point of breaking up his camp and marching against his former patron, when the envoy arrived. On learning the nature of his mission, Amasis charged him to carry back a reply to the effect that he had already been making preparation to submit, and besought the sovereign to grant him patiently a few days longer, so that he might bring with him the Egyptian subjects of Pharaoh. Tradition adds that, on receiving this insolent defiance, Apries fell into a violent passion, and without listening to remonstrance, ordered the nose and ears of Patarbemis to be cut off, whereupon the indignant people, it is alleged, deserted his cause and ranged themselves on the side of Amasis. The mercenaries, however, did not betray the confidence reposed in them by their Egyptian lords. Although only thirty thousand against a whole people, they unflinchingly awaited the attack at Momemphis (569 B.C.); but, being overwhelmed by the numbers of their assailants, disbanded and fled, after a conflict lasting one day. Apries, taken prisoner in the rout, was at first well treated by the conqueror, and seems even to have retained for a time the external pomp of royalty; but the populace of Sais demanding his execution with vehemence, Amasis was at length constrained to deliver him up to their vengeance, and Apries was strangled by the mob. He was honourably interred between the royal palace and the temple of Nit, not far from the spot where his predecessors reposed in their glory,* and the usurper made himself sole master of the country. It was equivalent to a change of dynasty, and Amasis had recourse to the methods usual in such cases to consolidate his power. He entered into a marriage alliance with princesses of the Saite line, and thus legitimatised his usurpation as far as the north was concerned.**

     * It was probably from this necropolis that the coffin of
     Psammetichus II. came.

     ** The wife of Amasis, who was mother of Psammetichus III.,
     the queen Tintkhiti, daughter of Petenit, prophet of Phtah,
     was probably connected with the royal family of Sais.

In the south, the “divine worshippers” had continued to administer the extensive heritage of Amon, and Nitocris, heiress of Shapenuapīt, had adopted in her old age a daughter of her great-nephew, Psammetichus IL, named Ankhnasnofiribrī: this princess was at this time in possession of Thebes, and Amasis appears to have entered into a fictitious marriage with her in order to assume to himself her rights to the crown. He had hardly succeeded in establishing his authority on a firm basis when he was called upon to repel the Chaldaean invasion. The Hebrew prophets had been threatening Egypt with this invasion for a long time, and Ezekiel, discounting the future, had already described the entrance of Pharaoh into Hades, to dwell among the chiefs of the nations—Assur, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and Philistia—who, having incurred the vengeance of Jahveh, had descended into the grave one after the other: “Pharaoh and all his army shall be slain by the sword, saith the Lord God! For I have put this terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God!” Nebuchadrezzar had some hesitation in hazarding his fortune in a campaign on the banks of the Nile: he realised tolerably clearly that Babylon was not in command of such resources as had been at the disposal of Nineveh under Esarhaddon or Assur-bani-pal, and that Egypt in the hands of a Saite dynasty was a more formidable foe than when ruled by the Ethiopians. The report of the revolution of which Apries had become a victim at length determined him to act; the annihilation of the Hellenic troops, and the dismay which the defeat at Irasa had occasioned in the hearts of the Egyptians, seemed to offer an opportunity too favourable to be neglected. The campaign was opened by Nebuchadrezzar about 568, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign,* but we have no certain information as to the issue of his enterprise.

     * A fragment of his Annals, discovered by Pinches, mentions
     in the thirty-seventh year of his reign a campaign against
     [Ah]masu, King of Egypt; and Wiedemann, from the evidence of
     this document combined with the information derived from one
     of the monuments in the Louvre, thought that the fact of a
     conquest of Egypt as far as Syenō might be admitted; at that
     point the Egyptian general Nsihor would have defeated the
     Chaldęans and repelled the invasion, and this event would
     have taken place during the joint reign of Apries and
     Amasis. A more attentive examination of the Egyptian
     monument shows that it refers not to a Chaldęan war, but to
     a rebellion of the garrisons in the south of Egypt,
     including the Greek and Semitic auxiliaries.

According to Chaldęan tradition, Nebuchadrezzar actually invaded the valley of the Nile and converted Egypt into a Babylonian province, with Amasis as its satrap.* We may well believe that Amasis lost the conquests won by his predecessor in Phoenicia, if, indeed, they still belonged to Egypt at his accession: but there is nothing to indicate that the Chaldęans ever entered Egypt itself and repeated the Assyrian exploit of a century before.

     * These events would have taken place in the twenty-third
     year of Nebuchadrezzar; the reigning king (Apries) being
     killed and his place taken by one of his generals (Amasis),
     who remained a satrap of the Babylonian empire.

This was Nebuchadrezzar’s last war, the last at least of which history makes any mention. As a fact, the kings of the second Babylonian empire do not seem to have been the impetuous conquerors which we have fancied them to be. We see them as they are depicted to us in the visions of the Hebrew prophets, who, regarding them and their nation as a scourge in the hands of God, had no colours vivid enough or images sufficiently terrible to portray them. They had blotted out Nineveh from the list of cities, humiliated Pharaoh, and subjugated Syria, and they had done all this almost at their first appearance in the field—such a feat as Assyria and Egypt in the plenitude of their strength had been unable to accomplish: they had, moreover, destroyed Jerusalem and carried Judah into captivity. There is nothing astonishing in the fact that this Nebuchadrezzar, whose history is known to us almost entirely from Jewish sources, should appear as a fated force let loose upon the world. “O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into the scabbard; rest and be still! How canst thou be quiet, seeing the Lord hath given thee a charge?” But his campaigns in Syria and Africa, of which the echoes transmitted to us still seem so formidable, were not nearly so terrible in reality as those in which Blam had perished a century previously; they were, moreover, the only conflicts which troubled the peace of his reign. The Arabian chroniclers affirm, indeed, that the fabulous wealth of Yemen had incited him to invade that region. Nebuchadrezzar, they relate, routed, not far from the town of Dhāt-īrk, the Joctanides of Jorhom, who had barred his road to the Kaabah, and after seizing Mecca, reached the borders of the children of Himyrā: the exhausted condition of his soldiers having prevented him from pressing further forward in his career of conquest, he retraced his steps and returned to Babylon with a great number of prisoners, including two entire tribes, those of Hadhurā and Uabar, whom he established as colonists in Chaldęa.* He never passed in this direction beyond the limits reached by Assur-bani-pal, and his exploits were restricted to some successful raids against the tribes of Kedar and Nabatsea.**

* Most of the Arabic legends relating to these conquests of Nebuchadrezzar are indirectly derived from the biblical story; but it is possible that the history of the expeditions against Central Arabia is founded on fact.

** This seems to follow from Jeremiah’s imprecations upon Kedar

The same reasons which at the commencement of his reign had restrained his ambition to extend his dominions towards the east and north, were operative up to the end of his life. Astyages had not inherited the martial spirit of his father Cyaxares, and only one warlike expedition, that against the Cadusians, is ascribed to him.*

     * Moses of Chorene attributes to him long wars against an
     Armenian king named Tigranes; but this is a fiction of a
     later age.

Naturally indolent, lacking in decision, superstitious and cruel, he passed a life of idleness amid the luxury of a corrupt court, surrounded by pages, women, and eunuchs, with no more serious pastime than the chase, pursued within the limits of his own parks or on the confines of the desert. But if the king was weak, his empire was vigorous, and Nebuchadrezzar, brought up from his youth to dread the armies of Media, retained his respect for them up to the end of his life, even when there was no longer any occasion to do so. Nebuchadrezzar was, after all, not so much a warrior as a man of peace, whether so constituted by nature or rendered so by political necessity in its proper sense, and he took advantage of the long intervals of quiet between his campaigns to complete the extensive works which more than anything else have won for him his renown. During the century which had preceded the fall of Nineveh, Babylonia had had several bitter experiences; it had suffered almost entire destruction at the hands of Sennacherib; it had been given up to pillage by Assur-bani-pal, not to mention the sieges and ravages it had sustained in the course of continual revolts. The other cities of Babylonia, Sippara, Borsippa, Kutha, Nipur, Uruk, and Uru, had been subjected to capture and recapture, while the surrounding districts, abandoned in turn to Elamites, Assyrians, and the Kaldā, had lain uncultivated for many years. The canals at the same time had become choked with mud, the banks had fallen in, and the waters, no longer kept under control, had overflowed the land, and the plains long since reclaimed for cultivation had returned to their original condition of morasses and reed-beds; at Babylon itself the Arakhtu, still encumbered with the debris cast into it by Sennacherib, was no longer navigable, and was productive of more injury than profit to the city: in some parts the aspect of the country must have been desolate and neglected as at the present day, and the work accomplished by twenty generations had to be begun entirely afresh. Nabopolassar had already applied himself to the task in spite of the anxieties of his Assyrian campaigns, and had raised many earthworks in both the capital and the provinces. But a great deal more still remained to be done, and Nebuchadrezzar pushed forward the work planned by his father, and carried it to completion undeterred and undismayed by any difficulties.* The combined system of irrigation and navigation introduced by the kings of the first Babylonian empire twenty centuries previously, was ingeniously repaired; the beds of the principal canals, the Royal river and the Arakhtu, were straightened and deepened; the drainage of the country between the Tigris and the Euphrates was regulated by means of subsidiary canals and a network of dykes; the canals surrounding Babylon or intersecting in the middle of the city were cleaned out, and a waterway was secured for navigation from one river to the other, and from the plateau of Mesopotamia to the Nar-Marratum.**

     * The only long inscriptions of Nebuchadrezzar which we
     possess, are those commemorating the great works he designed
     and executed.

     ** The irrigation works of Nebuchadrezzar are described at
     length, and perhaps exaggerated, by Abydenus, who merely
     quotes Berosus more or less inaccurately. The completion of
     the quays along the Arakhtu, begun by Nabopolassar, is
     noticed in the East India Company’s Inscription. A special
     inscription, publ. by H. Rawlinson, gives an account of the
     repairing of the canal Libil-khigallu, which crossed

We may well believe that all Nebuchadrezzar’s undertakings were carried out in accordance with a carefully prepared scheme for perfecting the defences of the kingdom while completing the system of internal communication. The riches of Karduniash, now restored to vigour by continued peace, and become the centre of a considerable empire, could not fail to excite the jealousy of its neighbours, and particularly that of the most powerful among them, the Medes of Ecbatana. It is true that the relations between Nebuchadrezzar and Astyages continued to be cordial, and as yet there were no indications of a rupture; but it was always possible that under their successors the good understanding between the two courts might come to an end, and it was needful to provide against the possibility of the barbarous tribes of Iran being let loose upon Babylon, and attempting to inflict on her the fate they had brought upon Nineveh. Nebuchadrezzar, therefore, was anxious to interpose, between himself and these possible foes, such a series of fortifications that the most persevering enemy would be worn out by the prolonged task of forcing them one after another, provided that they were efficiently garrisoned. He erected across the northern side of the isthmus between the two rivers a great embankment, faced with bricks cemented together with bitumen, called the Wall of Media; this wall, starting from Sippara, stretched from the confluence of the Saklauiyeh with the Euphrates to the site of the modern village of Jibbara on the Tigris; on both sides of it four or five deep trenches were excavated, which were passable on raised causeways or by bridges of boats, so arranged as to be easily broken up in case of invasion.

456.jpg City Defended by a Triple Wall
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief of the time of
     Sargon, in the Museum of the Louvre.

The eastern frontier was furnished with a rampart protected by a wide moat, following, between Jibbara and Nipur, the contours of a low-lying district which could be readily flooded. The western boundary was already protected by the Pallakottas, and the lakes or marshes of Bahr-ī-Nejīf: Nebuchadrezzar multiplied the number of the dikes, and so arranged them that the whole country between the suburbs of Borsippa and Babylon could be inundated at will. Babylon itself formed as it were the citadel in the midst of these enormous outlying fortifications, and the engineers both of Nabopo-lassar and of his son expended all the resources of their art on rendering it impregnable. A triple rampart surrounded it and united it to Borsippa, built on the model of those whose outline is so frequently found on the lowest tier of an Assyrian bas-relief.

457.jpg Probable Section of the Triple Wall Of Babylon
     Reproduced by Faucher-Gudin, from the restoration by

A moat of great width, with banks of masonry, communicating with the Euphrates, washed the foot of the outer wall, which retained the traditional name of Imgur-bel: behind this wall rose Nimitti-bel, the true city wall, to a height of more than ninety feet above the level of the plain, appearing from a distance, with its battlements and towers, more like a mountain chain than a rampart built by the hand of man; finally, behind Nimitti-bel ran a platform on the same level as the curtain of Imgur-bel, forming a last barrier behind which the garrison could rally before finally owning itself defeated and surrendering the city. Large square towers rose at intervals along the face of the walls, to the height of some eighteen feet above the battlements: a hundred gates fitted with bronze-plated doors, which could be securely shut at need, gave access to the city.*

     * The description of the fortifications of the city is
     furnished by Herodotus, who himself saw them still partially
     standing; the account of their construction has been given
     by Nebuchadrezzar himself, in the East India Company’s

The space within the walls was by no means completely covered by houses, but contained gardens, farms, fields, and, here and there, the ruins of deserted buildings. As in older Babylon, the city proper clustered round the temple of Merodach, with its narrow winding streets, its crowded bazaars, its noisy and dirty squares, its hostelries and warehouses of foreign merchandise.

The pyramid of Esarhad-don and Assur-bani-pal, too hastily built, had fallen into ruins: Nebuchadrezzar reconstructed its seven stages, and erected on the topmost platform a shrine furnished with a table of massive gold, and a couch on which the priestess chosen to be the spouse of the god might sleep at night. Other small temples were erected here and there on both banks of the river, and the royal palace, built in the marvellously short space of fifteen days, was celebrated for its hanging gardens, where the ladies of the harem might walk unveiled, secure from vulgar observation. No trace of all these extensive works remains at the present day.

459.jpg Ruins of the ZiggurĀt Of The Temple Of Bel
     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Layard.

460.jpg the Stone Lion of Babylon
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a photograph
furnished by Father Scheil.

Some scattered fragments of crumbling walls alone betray the site of the great ziggurāt, a few bas-reliefs are strewn over the surface of the ground, and a lion of timeworn stone, lying on its back in a depression of the soil, is perhaps the last survivor of those which kept watch, according to custom, at the gates of the palace. But the whole of this vast work of reconstruction and ornamentation must not be attributed to Nebuchadrezzar alone. The plans had been designed by Nabopolassar under the influence of one of his wives, who by a strange chance bears in classic tradition the very Egyptian name of Nitocris; but his work was insignificant compared with that accomplished by his son, and the name of Nebuchadrezzar was justly connected with the marvels of Babylon by all ancient writers. But even his reign of fifty-five years did not suffice for the completion of all his undertakings, and many details still remained imperfect at his death in the beginning of 562 B.C. Though of Kaldu origin, and consequently exposed to the suspicions and secret enmity of the native Babylonians, as all of his race, even Mero-dach-Baladan himself, had been before him, he had yet succeeded throughout the whole of his reign in making himself respected by the turbulent inhabitants of his capital, and in curbing the ambitious pretensions of the priests of Merodach. As soon as his master-hand was withdrawn, the passions so long repressed broke forth, and proved utterly beyond the control of his less able or less fortunate successors.*

     * The sequel of this history is known from the narrative of
     Berosus. Its authenticity is proved by passages on the
     Cylinder of Nabonidus. Messer-schmidt considers that Amil-
     marduk and Labashi-marduk were overthrown by the priestly
     faction, but a passage on the Cylinder, in which Nabonidus
     represents himself as inheriting the political views of
     Nebuchadrezzar and Nergal-sharuzur, leads me to take the
     opposite view. We know what hatred Nabonidus roused in the
     minds of the priests of Merodach because his principles of
     government were opposed to theirs: the severe judgment he
     passed on the rule of Amil-marduk and Labashi-marduk seems
     to prove that he considered them as belonging to the rival
     party in the state, that is, to the priestly faction. The
     forms of the names and the lengths of the several reigns
     have been confirmed by contemporary monuments, especially by
     the numerous contract tablets. The principal inscriptions
     belonging to the reign of Nergal-sharuzur deal only with
     public works and the restoration of monuments.

458.jpg Fragment of a Babylonian Bas-relief
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin,
from a sketch in Layard.

As far as we are able to judge by the documents which have come down to us, two factions had arisen in the city since the fall of Nineveh, both of which aspired to power and strove to gain a controlling influence with the sovereign. The one comprised the descendants of the Kaldā who had delivered the city from the Assyrian yoke, together with those of the ancient military nobility. The other was composed of the great priestly families and their adherents, who claimed for the gods or their representatives the right to control the affairs of the state, and to impose the will of heaven on the rulers of the kingdom. The latter faction seems to have prevailed at first at the court of Amil-marduk, the sole surviving son and successor of Nebuchadrezzar. This prince on his accession embraced a policy contrary to that pursued by his father: and one of his first acts was to release Jehoiachin, King of Judah, who had been languishing in chains for twenty-seven years, and to ameliorate the condition of the other expatriated Jews. The official history of a later date represented him as having been an unjust sovereign, but we have no information as to his misdeeds, and know only that after two years a conspiracy broke out against him, led by his own brother-in-law, Nergal-sharuzur, who assassinated him and seized the vacant throne (560 B.C.). Nergal-sharuzur endeavoured to revive the policy of Nebuchadrezzar, and was probably supported by the military party, but his reign was a short one; he died in 556 B.C., leaving as sole heir a youth of dissipated character named Labashi-marduk, whose name is stigmatised by the chroniclers as that of a prince who knew not how to rule. He was murdered at the end of nine months, and his place taken by a native Babylonian, a certain Nabonāīd (Nabonidus), son of Nabo-balatsu-ikbi, who was not connected by birth with his immediate predecessors on the throne (556-555 B.C.).

No Oriental empire could escape from the effects of frequent and abrupt changes in its rulers: like so many previous dynasties, that of Nabopolassar became enfeebled as if from exhaustion immediately after the death of its most illustrious scion, and foundered in imbecility and decrepitude. Popular imagination, awe-struck by such a sudden downfall from exalted prosperity, recognised the hand of God in the events which brought about the catastrophe. A Chaldęan legend, current not long after, related how Nebuchadrezzar, being seized towards the end of his life with the spirit of prophecy, mounted to the roof of his palace, and was constrained, as a punishment for his pride, to predict to his people, with his own lips, the approaching ruin of their city; thereupon the glory of its monarch suffered an eclipse from which there was no emerging. The Jews, nourishing undying hatred for conqueror who had overthrown Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of Solomon, were not satisfied with a punishment so inadequate. According to them, Nebuchadrezzar, after his victorious career, was so intoxicated with his own glory that he proclaimed himself the equal of God. “Is not this great Babylon,” he cried, “which I have built for the royal dwelling-place, by the might of my power, and for the glory of my majesty!” and while he thus spake, there came a voice from heaven, decreeing his metamorphosis into the form of a beast. “He was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair was grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” For seven years the king remained in this state, to resume his former shape at the end of this period, and recover his kingdom after having magnified the God of Israel.*

     * Dan. iv.

The founder of the dynasty which replaced that of Nebuchadrezzar, Nabonidus, was certainly ill fitted to brave the storms already threatening to break over his kingdom. It has not been ascertained whether he had any natural right to the throne, or by what means he attained supreme power, but the way in which he dwells on the names of Nebuchadrezzar and Nergal-sharuzur renders it probable that he was raised to the throne by the military faction. He did not prove, as events turned turned out, a good general, nor even a soldier of moderate ability, and it is even possible that he also lacked that fierce courage of which none of his predecessors was ever destitute. He allowed his army to dwindle away and his fortresses to fall into ruins; the foreign alliances existing at his accession, together with those which he himself had concluded, were not turned to the best advantage; his provinces were badly administered, and his subjects rendered discontented: his most salient characteristic was an insatiable curiosity concerning historical and religious antiquities, which stimulated him to undertake excavations in all the temples, in order to bring to light monuments of ages long gone by. He was a monarch of peaceful disposition, who might have reigned with some measure of success in a century of unbroken peace, or one troubled only by petty wars with surrounding inferior states; but, unfortunately, the times were ill suited to such mild sovereignty. The ancient Eastern world, worn out by an existence reckoned by thousands of years, as well as by its incessant conflicts, would have desired, indeed, no better fate than to enjoy some years of repose in the condition in which recent events had left it; but other nations, the Greeks and the Persians, by no means anxious for tranquillity, were entering the lists. For the moment the efforts of the Greeks were concentrated on Egypt, where Pharaoh manifested for them inexhaustible good will, and on Cyprus, two-thirds of which belonged to them; the danger for Chaldęa lay in the Persians, kinsfolk and vassals of the Medes, whose semi-barbarous chieftains had issued from their mountain homes some eighty years previously to occupy the eastern districts of Elam.


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