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Title: History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12)
Author: Maspero, G. (Gaston), 1846-1916
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 6 (of 12)" ***

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[Illustration: Spines]

[Illustration: Cover]


By G. MASPERO, Honorable Doctor of Civil Laws, and Fellow of Queen's
College, Oxford; Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of

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

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


Volume VI.




[Illustration: Frontispiece]

[Illustration: Titlepage]

[Illustration: 001.jpg Page Image]



_The Theban necropolis: mummies--The funeral of a rich Theban: the
procession of the offerings and the funerary furniture, the crossing
of the Nile, the tomb, the farewell to the dead, the sacrifice, the
coffins, the repast of the dead, the song of the Harper--The common
ditch--The living inhabitants of the necropolis: draughtsmen, sculptors,
painters--The bas-reliefs of the temples and the tombs, wooden
statuettes, the smelting of metals, bronze--The religions of the
necropolis: the immorality and want of discipline among the people:
workmen s strikes._

_Amon and the beliefs concerning him: his kingdom over the living and
the dead, the soul's destiny according to the teaching of Amon--Khonsû
and his temple; the temple of Amon at Karnak, its revenue, its
priesthood--The growing influence of the high priests of Amon under
the sons of Ramses III.: Hamsesnaklûti, Amenôthes; the violation of the
royal burying-places--Hrihor and the last of the Ramses, Smendês and the
accession to power of the XXIst dynasty: the division of Egypt into two
States--The priest-kings of Amon masters of Thebes under the suzerainty
of the Tanite Pharaohs--The close of the Theban empire._

[Illustration: 003.jpg Page Image]


_Ramses III.: Manners and Customs--Population--The predominance of Amon
and his high priests._

Opposite the Thebes of the living, Khafîtnîbûs, the Thebes of the dead,
had gone on increasing in a remarkably rapid manner. It continued to
extend in the south-western direction from the heroic period of
the XVIIIth dynasty onwards, and all the eminence and valleys were
gradually appropriated one after the other for burying-places. At the
time of which I am speaking, this region formed an actual town, or
rather a chain of villages, each of which was grouped round some
building constructed by one or other of the Pharaohs as a funerary
chapel. Towards the north, opposite Karnak, they clustered at
Drah-abu'l-Neggah around pyramids of the first Theban monarchs, at
Qurneh around the mausolæ of Ramses I. and Seti I., and at Sheikh
Abd el-Qurneh they lay near the Amenopheum and the Pamonkaniqîmît,
or Ramesseum built by Ramses II. Towards the south they diminished
in number, tombs and monuments becoming fewer and appearing at wider
intervals; the Migdol of Ramses III. formed an isolated suburb, that of
Azamît, at Medinet-Habu; the chapel of Isis, constructed by Amenôthes,
son of Hapû, formed a rallying-point for the huts of the hamlet of
Karka;* and in the far distance, in a wild gorge at the extreme limit
of human habitations, the queens of the Ramesside line slept their last

     * The village of Karka or Kaka was identified by Brugsch
     with the hamlet of Deîr el-Medineh: the founder of the
     temple was none other than Amenôthes, who was minister under
     Amenôthes III.

[Illustration: 004.jpg THE THEBAN CEMETERIES]

Each of these temples had around it its enclosing wall of dried brick,
and the collection of buildings within this boundary formed the Khîrû,
or retreat of some one of the Theban Pharaohs, which, in the official
language of the time, was designated the "august Khîrû of millions of


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.

A sort of fortified structure, which was built into one of the corners,
served as a place of deposit for the treasure and archives, and could be
used as a prison if occasion required.*

     * This was the hliatmû, the dungeon, frequently mentioned in
     the documents bearing upon the necropolis.

The remaining buildings consisted of storehouses, stables, and houses
for the priests and other officials. In some cases the storehouses were
constructed on a regular plan which the architect had fitted in with
that of the temple. Their ruins at the back and sides of the Ramesseum
form a double row of vaults, extending from the foot of the hills to
the border of the cultivated lands. Stone recesses on the roof furnished
shelter for the watchmen.* The outermost of the village huts stood among
the nearest tombs. The population which had been gathered together there
was of a peculiar character, and we can gather but a feeble idea of its
nature from the surroundings of the cemeteries in our own great cities.
Death required, in fact, far more attendants among the ancient Egyptians
than with us. The first service was that of mummification, which
necessitated numbers of workers for its accomplishment. Some of the
workshops of the embalmers have been discovered from time to time at
Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh and Deîr el-Baharî, but we are still in ignorance
as to their arrangements, and as to the exact nature of the materials
which they employed. A considerable superficial space was required, for
the manipulations of the embalmers occupied usually from sixty to eighty
days, and if we suppose that the average deaths at Thebes amounted to
fifteen or twenty in the twenty-four hours, they would have to provide
at the same time for the various degrees of saturation of some twelve to
fifteen hundred bodies at the least.**

     * The discovery of quantities of ostraca in the ruins of
     these chambers shows that they served partly for cellars.

     ** I have formed my estimate of fifteen to twenty deaths per
     day from the mortality of Cairo during the French
     occupation. This is given by R. Desgenettes, in the
     _Description de l'Egypte_, but only approximately, as many
     deaths, especially of females, must have been concealed from
     the authorities; I have, however, made an average from the
     totals, and applied the rate of mortality thus obtained to
     ancient Thebes. The same result follows from calculations
     based on more recent figures, obtained before the great
     hygienic changes introduced into Cairo by Ismail Pacha, i.e.
     from August 1, 1858, to July 31, 1859, and from May 24,
     1865, to May 16, 1866, and for the two years from April 2,
     1869, to March 21, 1870, and from April 2, 1870, to March
     21, 1871.

Each of the corpses,moreover, necessitated the employment of at least
half a dozen workmen to wash it, cut it open, soak it, dry it, and
apply the usual bandages before placing the amulets upon the canonically
prescribed places, and using the conventional prayers.

[Illustration: 007.jpg HEAD OF A THEBAN MUMMY]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

There was fastened to the breast, immediately below the neck, a stone
or green porcelain scarab, containing an inscription which was to be
efficacious in preventing the heart, "his heart which came to him from
his mother, his heart from the time he was upon the earth," from rising
up and witnessing against the dead man before the tribunal of Osiris.*
There were placed on his fingers gold or enamelled rings, as talismans
to secure for him the true voice.**

     * The manipulations and prayers were prescribed in the "Book
     of Embalming."

     ** The prescribed gold ring was often replaced by one of
     blue or green enamel.

The body becomes at last little more than a skeleton, with a covering of
yellow skin which accentuates the anatomical, details, but the head, on
the other hand, still preserves, where the operations have been properly
conducted, its natural form. The cheeks have fallen in slightly, the
lips and the fleshy parts of the nose have become thinner and more
drawn than during life, but the general expression of the face remains


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Rosellini.

A mask of pitch was placed over the visage to preserve it, above
which was adjusted first a piece of linen and then a series of bands
impregnated with resin, which increased the size of the head to twofold
its ordinary bulk. The trunk and limbs were bound round with a first
covering of some pliable soft stuff, warm to the touch. Coarsely
powdered natron was scattered here and there over the body as an
additional preservative. Packets placed between the legs, the arms and
the hips, and in the eviscerated abdomen, contained the heart, spleen,
the dried brain, the hair, and the cuttings of the beard and nails. In
those days the hair had a special magical virtue: by burning it while
uttering certain incantations, one might acquire an almost limitless
power over the person to whom it had belonged. The ernbalmers,
therefore, took care to place with the mummy such portions of the hair
as they had been obliged to cut off, so as to remove them out of the way
of the perverse ingenuity of the sorcerers.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Rosellini.

Over the first covering of the mummy already alluded to, there was
sometimes placed a strip of papyrus or a long piece of linen, upon which
the scribe had transcribed selections--both text and pictures--from "The
Book of the going forth by Day:" in such cases the roll containing the
whole work was placed between the legs. The body was further wrapped in
several bandages, then in a second piece of stuff, then in more bands,
the whole being finally covered with a shroud of coarse canvas and a
red linen winding-sheet, sewn together at the back, and kept in place by
transverse bands disposed at intervals from head to foot. The son of the
deceased and a "man of the roll" were present at this lugubrious toilet,
and recited at the application of each piece a prayer, in which its
object was defined and its duration secured. Every Egyptian was supposed
to be acquainted with the formulas, from having learned them during his
lifetime, by which he was to have restored to him the use of his limbs,
and be protected from the dangers of the world beyond. These were
repeated to the dead person, however, for greater security, during the
process of embalming, and the son of the deceased, or the master of the
ceremonies, took care to whisper to the mummy the most mysterious parts,
which no living ear might hear with impunity. The wrappings having
been completed, the deceased person became aware of his equipment, and
enjoyed all the privileges of the "instructed and fortified Manes." He
felt himself, both mummy and double, now ready for the tomb.

Egyptian funerals were not like those to which we are accustomed--mute
ceremonies, in which sorrow is barely expressed by a furtive tear:
noise, sobbings, and wild gestures were their necessary concomitants.
Not only was it customary to hire weeping women, who tore their hair,
filled the air with their lamentations, and simulated by skilful actions
the depths of despair, but the relatives and friends themselves did not
shrink from making an outward show of their grief, nor from disturbing
the equanimity of the passers-by by the immoderate expressions of their
sorrow. One after another they raised their voices, and uttered some
expression appropriate to the occasion: "To the West, the dwelling of
Osiris, to the West, thou who wast the best of men, and who always hated
guile." And the hired weepers answered in chorus: "O chief,* as thou
goest to the West, the gods themselves lament." The funeral _cortege_
started in the morning from the house of mourning, and proceeded at a
slow pace to the Nile, amid the clamours of the mourners.

     * The "chief" is one of the names of Osiris, and is applied
     naturally to the dead person, who has become an Osiris by
     virtue of the embalming.

The route was cleared by a number of slaves and retainers. First came
those who carried cakes and flowers in their hands, followed by others
bearing jars full of water, bottles of liqueurs, and phials of perfumes;
then came those who carried painted boxes intended for the provisions
of the dead man, and for containing the Ushabtiu, or "Respondents." The
succeeding group bore the usual furniture required by the deceased
to set up house again, coffers for linen, folding and arm chairs,
state-beds, and sometimes even a caparisoned chariot with its quivers.
Then came a groom conducting two of his late master's favourite horses,
who, having accompanied the funeral to the tomb, were brought back
to their stable. Another detachment, more numerous than the others
combined, now filed past, bearing the effects of the mummy; first the
vessels for the libations, then the cases for the Canopic jars, then the
Canopic jars themselves, the mask of the deceased, coloured half in gold
and half in blue, arms, sceptres, military batons, necklaces, scarabs,
vultures with encircling wings worn on the breast at festival-times,
chains, "Respondents," and the human-headed sparrow-hawk, the emblem of
the soul. Many of these objects were of wood plated with gold, others
of the same material simply gilt, and others of solid gold, and thus
calculated to excite the cupidity of the crowd. Offerings came next,
then a noisy company of female weepers; then a slave, who sprinkled at
every instant some milk upon the ground as if to lay the dust; then
a master of the ceremonies, who, the panther skin upon his shoulder,
asperged the crowd with perfumed water; and behind him comes the hearse.

[Illustration: 012.jpg THE FUNERAL OF HARMHABI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after a coloured print in Wilkinson.
     The cut on the following page joins this on the right.

The latter, according to custom, was made in the form of a
boat--representing the bark of Osiris, with his ark, and two guardians,
Isis and Nephthys--and was placed upon a sledge, which was drawn by a
team of oxen and a relay of fellahîn. The sides of the ark were, as
a rule, formed of movable wooden panels, decorated with pictures and
inscriptions; sometimes, however, but more rarely, the panels were
replaced by a covering of embroidered stuff or of soft leather. In
the latter case the decoration was singularly rich, the figures and
hieroglyphs being cut out with a knife, and the spaces thus left filled
in with pieces of coloured leather, which gave the whole an appearance
of brilliant mosaic-work.*

     * One of these coverings was found in the hiding-place at
     Deîr el-Baharî; it had belonged to the Princess Isîmkhobiû,
     whose mummy is now at Gîzeh.

[Illustration: 013.jpg THE FUNERAL OF HABMHABÎ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the coloured print in
     Wilkinson. The left side of this design fits on to the right
     of the preceding cut.

In place of a boat, a shrine of painted wood, also mounted upon a
sledge, was frequently used. When the ceremony was over, this was left,
together with the coffin, in the tomb.*

     * I found in the tomb of Sonnozmû two of these sledges with
     the superstructure in the form of a temple. They are now in
     the Gîzeh Museum.

The wife and children walked as close to the bier as possible, and
were followed by the friends of the deceased, dressed in long linen
garments,* each of them bearing a wand. The ox-driver, while goading his
beasts, cried out to them: "To the West, ye oxen who draw the hearse,
to the West! Your master comes behind you!" "To the West," the friends
repeated; "the excellent man lives no longer who loved truth so dearly
and hated lying!"**

     ** The whole of this description is taken from the pictures
     representing the interment of a certain Harmhabî, who died
     at Thebes in the time of Thfitmosis IV.

     * These expressions are taken from the inscriptions on the
     tomb of Rai

[Illustration: 014.jpg THE BOAT CARRYING THE MUMMY]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from pictures in the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

This lamentation is neither remarkable for its originality nor for its
depth of feeling. Sorrow was expressed on such occasions in prescribed
formulas of always the same import, custom soon enabling each individual
to compose for himself a repertory of monotonous exclamations of
condolence, of which the prayer, "To the West!" formed the basis,
relieved at intervals by some fresh epithet. The nearest relatives
of the deceased, however, would find some more sincere expressions of
grief, and some more touching appeals with which to break in upon the
commonplaces of the conventional theme. On reaching the bank of the Nile
the funeral cortege proceeded to embark.*

     * The description of this second part of the funeral
     arrangements is taken from the tomb of Harmhabî, and
     especially from that of Nofirhotpû.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from paintings on the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

They blended with their inarticulate cries, and the usual protestations
and formulas, an eulogy upon the deceased and his virtues, allusions
to his disposition and deeds, mention of the offices and honours he had
obtained, and reflections on the uncertainty of human life--the whole
forming the melancholy dirge which each generation intoned over its
predecessor, while waiting itself for the same office to be said over it
in its turn.

The bearers of offerings, friends, and slaves passed over on hired
barges, whose cabins, covered externally with embroidered stuffs of
several colours, or with _applique_ leather, looked like the pedestals
of a monument: crammed together on the boats, they stood upright with
their faces turned towards the funeral bark. The latter was supposed to
represent the Noshemît, the mysterious skiff of Abydos, which had been
used in the obsequies of Osiris of yore.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from paintings on the tomb of
     Nofirhotpû at Thebes.

It was elegant, light, and slender in shape, and ornamented at bow and
stern with a lotus-flower of metal, which bent back its head gracefully,
as if bowed down by its own weight. A temple-shaped shrine stood in
the middle of the boat, adorned with bouquets of flowers and with
green palm-branches. The female members of the family of the deceased,
crouched beside the shrine, poured forth lamentations, while two
priestesses, representing respectively Isis and Nephthys, took up
positions behind to protect the body. The boat containing the female
mourners having taken the funeral barge in tow, the entire flotilla
pushed out into the stream. This was the solemn moment of the
ceremony--the moment in which the deceased, torn away from his earthly
city, was about to set out upon that voyage from which there is no
return. The crowds assembled on the banks of the river hailed the dead
with their parting prayers: "Mayest thou reach in peace the West from
Thebes! In peace, in peace towards Abydos, mayest thou descend in peace
towards Abydos, towards the sea of the West!"


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a stele in the Gîzeh Museum.

This crossing of the Nile was of special significance in regard to
the future of the soul of the deceased: it represented his pilgrimage
towards Abydos, to the "Mouth of the Cleft" which gave him access to
the other world, and it was for this reason that the name of Abydos is
associated with that of Thebes in the exclamations of the crowd. The
voices of the friends replied frequently and mournfully: "To the West,
to the West, the land of the justified! The place which thou lovedst
weeps and is desolate!" Then the female mourners took up the refrain,
saying: "In peace, in peace, to the West! O honourable one, go in peace!
If it please God, when the day of Eternity shall shine, we shall see
thee, for behold thou goest to the land which mingles all men together!"
The widow then adds her note to the concert of lamentations: "O my
brother, O my husband, O my beloved, rest, remain in thy place, do not
depart from the terrestrial spot where thou art! Alas, thou goest away
to the ferry-boat in order to cross the stream! O sailors, do not hurry,
leave him; you, you will return to your homes, but he, he is going away
to the land of Eternity! O Osirian bark, why hast thou come to take away
from me him who has left me!" The sailors were, of course, deaf to her
appeals, and the mummy pursued its undisturbed course towards the last
stage of its mysterious voyage.

The majority of the tombs--those which were distributed over the plain
or on the nearest spurs of the hill--were constructed on the lines of
those brick-built pyramids erected on mastabas which were very common
during the early Theban dynasties. The relative proportions of the parts
alone were modified: the mastaba, which had gradually been reduced to
an insignificant base, had now recovered its original height, while the
pyramid had correspondingly decreased, and was much reduced in size. The
chapel was constructed within the building, and the mummy-pit was sunk
to a varying depth below. The tombs ranged along the mountain-side were,
on the other hand, rock-cut, and similar to those at el-Bersheh and


The heads of wealthy families or the nobility naturally did not leave to
the last moment the construction of a sepulchre worthy of their rank and
fortune. They prided themselves on having "finished their house which is
in the funeral valley when the morning for the hiding away of their body
should come." Access to these tombs was by too steep and difficult a
path to allow of oxen being employed for the transport of the mummy: the
friends or slaves of the deceased were, therefore, obliged to raise the
sarcophagus on their shoulders and bear it as best they could to the
door of the tomb.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the paintings in the Theban

The mummy was then placed in an upright position on a heap of sand, with
its back to the wall and facing the assistants, like the master of some
new villa who, having been accompanied by his friends to see him take
possession, turns for a moment on the threshold to take leave of
them before entering. A sacrifice, an offering, a prayer, and a fresh
outburst of grief ensued; the mourners redoubled their cries and threw
themselves upon the ground, the relatives decked the mummy with flowers
and pressed it to their bared bosoms, kissing it upon the breast and
knees. "I am thy sister, O great one! forsake me not! Is it indeed thy
will that I should leave thee? If I go away, thou shalt be here alone,
and is there any one who will be with thee to follow thee? O thou
who lovedst to jest with me, thou art now silent, thou speakest
not!" Whereupon the mourners again broke out in chorus: "Lamentation,
lamentation! Make, make, make, make lamentation without ceasing as loud
as can be made. O good traveller, who takest thy way towards the land of
Eternity, thou hast been torn from us! O thou who hadst so many around
thee, thou art now in the land which bringest isolation! Thou who
lovedst to stretch thy limbs in walking, art now fettered, bound,
swathed! Thou who hadst fine stuffs in abundance, art laid in the linen
of yesterday!" Calm in the midst of the tumult, the priest stood and
offered the incense and libation with the accustomed words: "To thy
double, Osiris Nofirhotpû, whose voice before the great god is true!"
This was the signal of departure, and the mummy, carried by two men,
disappeared within the tomb: the darkness of the other world had laid
hold of it, never to let it go again.

The chapel was usually divided into two chambers: one, which was of
greater width than length, ran parallel to the façade; the other, which
was longer than it was wide, stood at right angles with the former,
exactly opposite to the entrance. The decoration of these chambers
took its inspiration from the scheme which prevailed in the time of the
Memphite dynasties, but besides the usual scenes of agricultural labour,
hunting, and sacrifice, there were introduced episodes from the public
life of the deceased, and particularly the minute portrayal of the
ceremonies connected with his burial.

[Illustration: 021.jpg NICHE IN THE TOMB OF MENNA]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

These pictorial biographies are always accompanied by detailed
explanatory inscriptions; every individual endeavoured thus to show
to the Osirian judges the rank he had enjoyed here upon earth, and to
obtain in the fields of lalû the place which he claimed to be his due.

The stele was to be found at the far end of the second chamber; it was
often let in to a niche in the form of a round-headed doorway, or else
it was replaced by a group of statues, either detached or sculptured in
the rock itself, representing the occupant, his wives and children, who
took the place of the supporters of the double, formerly always hidden
within the serdab. The ceremony of the "Opening of the Mouth" took
place in front of the niche on the day of burial, at the moment when the
deceased, having completed his terrestrial course, entered his new home
and took possession of it for all eternity. The object of this ceremony
was, as we know, to counteract the effects of the embalming, and to
restore activity to the organs of the body whose functions had been
suspended by death. The "man of the roll" and his assistants, aided by
the priests, who represented the "children of Horus," once more raised
the mummy into an upright position upon a heap of sand in the middle of
the chapel, and celebrated in his behalf the divine mystery instituted
by Horus for Osiris. They purified it both by ordinary and by red water,
by the incense of the south and by the alum of the north, in the same
manner as that in which the statues of the gods were purified at the
beginning of the temple sacrifices; they then set to work to awake the
deceased from his sleep: they loosened his shroud and called back the
double who had escaped from the body at the moment of the death-agony,
and restored to him the use of his arms and legs. As soon as the
sacrificial slaughterers had despatched the bull of the south, and cut
it in pieces, the priest seized the bleeding haunch, and raised it
to the lips of the mask as if to invite it to eat; but the lips still
remained closed, and refused to perform their office. The priest then
touched them with several iron instruments hafted on wooden handles,
which were supposed to possess the power of unsealing them.

[Illustration: 023a.jpg COFFIN-LID]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.

[Illustration: 023b.jpg COFFIN-LID]

The "opening" once effected, the double became free, and the
tomb-paintings from thenceforward ceasing to depict the mummy,
represented the double only. They portrayed it "under the form which he
had on this earth," wearing the civil garb, and fulfilling his ordinary
functions. The corpse was regarded as merely the larva, to be maintained
in its integrity in order to ensure survival; but it could be relegated
without fear to the depths of the bare and naked tomb, there to remain
until the end of time, if it pleased the gods to preserve it from
robbers or archaeologists. At the period of the first Theban empire
the coffins were rectangular wooden chests, made on the models of the
limestone and granite sarcophagi, and covered with prayers taken from
the various sacred writings, especially from the "Book of the Dead";
during the second Theban empire, they were modified into an actual
sheath for the body, following more or less the contour of the human
figure. This external model of the deceased covered his remains, and
his figure in relief served as a lid to the coffin. The head was covered
with the full-dress wig, a tippet of white cambrio half veiled the
bosom, the petticoat fell in folds about the limbs, the feet were shod
with sandals, the arms were outstretched or were folded over the breast,
and the hands clasped various objects--either the _crux ansata_, the
buckle of the belt, the _tat_, or a garland of flowers. Sometimes, on
the contrary, the coffin was merely a conventional reproduction of
the human form. The two feet and legs were joined together, and the
modelling of the knee, calf, thigh, and stomach was only slightly
indicated in the wood. Towards the close of the XVIIIth dynasty it was
the fashion for wealthy persons to have two coffins, one fitting inside
the other, painted black or white. From the XXth dynasty onwards they
were coated with a yellowish varnish, and so covered with inscriptions
and mystic signs that each coffin was a tomb in miniature, and could
well have done duty as such, and thus meet all the needs of the soul.*

     * The first to summarise the characteristics of the coffins
     and sarcophagi of the second Theban period was Mariette, but
     he places the use of the yellow-varnished coffins too late,
     viz. during the XXIInd dynasty. Examples of them have since
     been found which incontestably belong to the XXth.

[Illustration: 024.jpg THE MUMMY FACTORY]

Later still, during the XXIst and XXIInd dynasties, these two, or even
three coffins, were enclosed in a rectangular sarcophagus of thick wood,
which, surmounted by a semicircular lid, was decorated with pictures and
hallowed by prayers: four sparrow-hawks, perched on the uprights at the
corners, watched at the four cardinal points, and protected the body,
enabling the soul at the same time to move freely within the four houses
of which the world was composed.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Mariette.

The workmen, after having deposited the mummy in its resting-place,
piled upon the floor of the tomb the canopio jars, the caskets, the
provisions, the furniture, the bed, and the stools and chairs; the
Usha-btiu occupied compartments in their allotted boxes, and sometimes
there would be laid beside them the mummy of a favourite animal--a
monkey, a dog of some rare breed, or a pet gazelle, whose coffins were
shaped to their respective outlines, the better to place before the
deceased the presentment of the living animal.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a fragment in the British
     Museum. The scene representing the funeral repast and its
     accompanying dances occurs frequently in the Theban tombs.

A few of the principal objects were broken or damaged, in the belief
that, by thus destroying them, their doubles would go forth and
accompany the human double, and render him their accustomed services
during the whole of his posthumous existence; a charm pronounced over
them bound them indissolubly to his person, and constrained them to obey
his will. This done, the priest muttered a final prayer, and the masons
walled up the doorway.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

The funeral feast now took place with its customary songs and dances.
The _almehs_ addressed the guests and exhorted them to make good use of
the passing hour: "Be happy for one day! for when you enter your tombs
you will rest there eternally throughout the length of every day!"

Immediately after the repast the friends departed from the tomb, and the
last link which connected the dead with our world was then broken. The
sacred harper was called upon to raise the farewell hymn:*

     * The harper is often represented performing this last
     office. In the tomb of Nofirhotpû, and in many others, the
     daughters or the relatives of the deceased accompany or even
     replace the harper; in this case they belonged to a priestly
     family, and fulfilled the duties of the "Female Singers" of
     Amon or some other god.

"O instructed mummies, ennead of the gods of the coffin, who listen to
the praises of this dead man, and who daily extol the virtues of this
instructed mummy, who is living eternally like a god, ruling in Amentît,
ye also who shall live in the memory of posterity, all ye who shall
come and read these hymns inscribed, according to the rites, within
the tombs, repeat: 'The greatness of the under-world, what is it? The
annihilation of the tomb, why is it?' It is to conform to the image
of the land of Eternity, the true country where there is no strife and
where violence is held in abhorrence, where none attacks his neighbour,
and where none among our generations who rest within it is rebellious,
from the time when your race first existed, to the moment when it shall
become a multitude of multitudes, all going the same way; for instead
of remaining in this land of Egypt, there is not one but shall leave it,
and there is said to all who are here below, from the moment of their
waking to life: 'Go, prosper safe and sound, to reach the tomb at
length, a chief among the blessed, and ever mindful in thy heart of the
day when thou must lie down on the funeral bed!'" The ancient song
of Antûf, modified in the course of centuries, was still that which
expressed most forcibly the melancholy thought paramount in the minds of
the friends assembled to perform the last rites. "The impassibility of
the chief* is, in truth, the best of fates!"

     * Osiris is here designated by the word "chief," as I have
     already pointed out.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken Byjnsinger in

"Since the times of the god bodies are created merely to pass away, and
young generations take their place: Râ rises in the morning, Tûmû lies
down to rest in the land of the evening, all males generate, the females
conceive, every nose inhales the air from the morning of their birth
to the day when they go to their place! Be happy then for one day, O
man!--May there ever be perfumes and scents for thy nostrils, garlands
and lotus-flowers for thy shoulders and for the neck of thy beloved
sister* who sits beside thee! Let there be singing and music before
thee, and, forgetting all thy sorrows, think only of pleasure until the
day when thou must enter the country of Marîtsakro, the silent goddess,
though all the same the heart of the son who loves thee will not cease
to beat! Be happy for one day, O man!--I have heard related what befell
our ancestors; their walls are destroyed, their place is no more, they
are as those who have ceased to live from the time of the god! The walls
of thy tomb are strong, thou hast planted trees at the edge of thy pond,
thy soul reposes beneath them and drinks the water; follow that which
seemeth good to thee as long as thou art on earth, and give bread to him
who is without land, that thou mayest be well spoken of for evermore.
Think upon the gods who have lived long ago: their meat offerings
fall in pieces as if they had been torn by a panther, their loaves are
defiled with dust, their statues no longer stand upright within the
temple of Râ, their followers beg for alms! Be happy for one day!"

     * Marriages between brothers and sisters in Egypt rendered
     this word "sister" the most natural appellation.

Those gone before thee "have had their hour of joy," and they have put
off sadness "which shortens the moments until the day when hearts are
destroyed!--Be mindful, therefore, of the day when thou shalt be taken
to the country where all men are mingled: none has ever taken thither
his goods with him, and no one can ever return from it!" The grave did
not, however, mingle all men as impartially as the poet would have us
believe. The poor and insignificant had merely a place in the common
pit, which was situated in the centre of the Assassîf,* one of the
richest funerary quarters of Thebes.

     * There is really only one complete description of a
     cemetery of the poor, namely, that given by A. Rhind.
     Mariette caused extensive excavations to be made by Gabet
     and Vassalli, 1859-1862, in the Assassif, near the spot
     worked by Rhind, and the objects found are now in the Gîzeh
     Museum, but the accounts of the work are among his
     unpublished papers, vassalli assures me that he sometimes
     found the mummies piled one on another to the depth of sixty
     bodies, and even then he did not reach the lowest of the
     pile. The hurried excavations which I made in 1882 and 1884,
     appeared to confirm these statements of Rhind and Vassalli.

Yawning trenches stood ever open there, ready to receive their prey;
the rites were hurriedly performed, and the grave-diggers covered the
mummies of the day's burial with a little sand, out of which we receive
them intact, sometimes isolated, sometimes in groups of twos or threes,
showing that they had not even been placed in regular layers. Some
are wrapped only in bandages of coarse linen, and have been consigned
without further covering to the soil, while others have been bound round
with palm-leaves laid side by side, so as to form a sort of primitive
basket. The class above the poorest people were buried in rough-hewn
wooden boxes, smaller at the feet than towards the head, and devoid of
any inscription or painting. Many have been placed in any coffin that
came to hand, with a total indifference as to suitability of size;
others lie in a badly made bier, made up of the fragments of one or more
older biers. None of them possessed any funerary furniture, except the
tools of his trade, a thin pair of leather shoes, sandals of cardboard
or plaited reeds, rings of terra-cotta or bronze, bracelets or necklets
of a single row of blue beads, statuettes of divinities, mystic eyes,
scarabs, and, above all, cords tied round the neck, arms, limbs, or
waist, to keep off, by their mystic knots, all malign influences.

The whole population of the necropolis made their living out of the
dead. This was true of all ranks of society, headed by the sacerdotal
colleges of the royal chapels,* and followed by the priestly bodies, to
whom was entrusted the care of the tombs in the various sections,
but the most influential of whom confined their attentions to the old
burying-ground, "Isît-mâît," the True Place.**

     * We find on several monuments the names of persons
     belonging to these sacerdotal bodies, priests of Ahmosis I.,
     priests of Thûtmosis I., of Thût-mosis II., of Amenôthes
     II., and of Seti I.

     ** The persons connected with the "True Place" were for a
     long time considered as magistrates, and the "True Place" as
     a tribunal.

It was their duty to keep up the monuments of the kings, and also of
private individuals, to clean the tombs, to visit the funerary chambers,
to note the condition of their occupants, and, if necessary, repair
the damage done by time, and to provide on certain days the offerings
prescribed by custom, or by clauses in the contract drawn up between
the family of the deceased and the religious authorities. The titles of
these officials indicated how humble was their position in relation to
the deified ancestors in whose service they were employed; they called
themselves the "Servants of the True Place," and their chiefs the
"Superiors of the Servants," but all the while they were people of
considerable importance, being rich, well educated, and respected in
their own quarter of the town.


They professed to have a special devotion for Amenôthes I. and his
mother, Nofrîtari, who, after five or six centuries of continuous
homage, had come to be considered as the patrons of Khafîtnîbûs, but
this devotion was not to the depreciation of other sovereigns. It is
true that the officials were not always clear as to the identity of the
royal remains of which they had the care, and they were known to have
changed one of their queens or princesses into a king or some royal

     * Thus Queen Ahhotpû I., whom the "servant" Anhûrkhâû knew
     to be a woman, is transformed into a King Ahhotpû in the
     tomb of Khâbokhnît.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Gayet.

They were surrounded by a whole host of lesser
functionaries--bricklayers, masons, labourers, exorcists, scribes (who
wrote out pious formulae for poor people, or copied the "Books of the
going forth by day" for the mummies), weavers, cabinet-makers, and
goldsmiths. The sculptors and the painters were grouped into guilds;*
many of them spent their days in the tombs they were decorating, while
others had their workshops above-ground, probably very like those of our
modern monumental masons.

     * We gather this from the inscriptions which give us the
     various titles of the sculptors, draughtsmen, or workmen,
     but I have been unable to make out the respective positions
     held by these different persons.

They kept at the disposal of their needy customers an assortment of
ready-made statues and stelæ, votive tablets to Osiris, Anubis, and
other Theban gods and goddesses, singly or combined. The name of the
deceased and the enumeration of the members of his family were left
blank, and were inserted after purchase in the spaces reserved for the

     * I succeeded in collecting at the Boulak Museum a
     considerable number of these unfinished statues and stelæ,
     coming from the workshops of the necropolis.

These artisans made the greater part of their livelihood by means of
these epitaphs, and the majority thought only of selling as many of them
as they could; some few, however, devoted themselves to work of a higher
kind. Sculpture had reached a high degree of development under the
Thûtmoses and the Ramses, and the art of depicting scenes in bas-relief
had been brought to a perfection hitherto unknown. This will be easily
seen by comparing the pictures in the old mastabas, such as those of Ti
or Phtahhotpû, with the finest parts of the temples of Qurneh, Abydos,
Karnak, Deîr el-Baharî, or with the scenes in the tombs of Seti I. and
Ramses II., or those of private individuals such as Hûi. The modelling
is firm and refined, showing a skill in the use of the chisel and an
elegance of outline which have never been surpassed: the Amenôthes III.
of Luxor and the Khâmhâît of Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh might serve for models
in our own schools of the highest types which Egyptian art could produce
at its best in this particular branch. The drawing is freer than in
earlier examples, the action is more natural, the composition more
studied, and the perspective less wild. We feel that the artist handled
his subject _con amore_. He spared no trouble in sketching out
his designs and in making studies from nature, and, as papyrus was
expensive, he drew rough drafts, or made notes of his impressions on the
flat chips of limestone with which the workshops were strewn.

[Illustration: 035.jpg KHÂMHAÎT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.

Nothing at that date could rival these sketches for boldness of
conception and freedom in execution, whether it were in the portrayal of
the majestic gait of a king or the agility of an acrobat. Of the latter
we have an example in the Turin Museum. The girl is nude, with the
exception of a tightly fitting belt about her hips, and she is throwing
herself backwards with so natural a motion, that we are almost tempted
to expect her to turn a somersault and fall once more into position with
her heels together.

[Illustration: 026.jpg SKETCH OF A FEMALE ACROBAT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Petrie.

The unfinished figures on the tomb of Seti I. shows with what a steady
hand the clever draughtsman could sketch out his subjects. The head from
the nape of the neck round to the throat is described by a single line,
and the contour of the shoulders is marked by another. The form of the
body is traced by two undulating lines, while the arms and legs are
respectively outlined by two others. The articles of apparel and
ornaments, sketched rapidly at first, had to be gone over again by the
sculptor, who worked out the smallest details. One might almost count
the tresses of the hair, while the folds of the dress and the enamels of
the girdle and bracelets are minutely chiselled.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from photographs by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

When the draughtsman had finished his picture from the sketch which he
had made, or when he had enlarged it from a smaller drawing, the master
of the studio would go over it again, marking here and there in red the
defective points, to which the sculptor gave his attention when working
the subject out on the wall. If he happened to make a mistake in
executing it, he corrected it as well as he was able by filling up with
stucco or hard cement the portions to be remodelled, and by starting to
work again upon the fresh surface. This cement has fallen out in some
cases, and reveals to our eyes to-day the marks of the underlying
chiselling. There are, for example, two profiles of Seti I. on one of
the bas-reliefs of the hypostyle hall at Karnak, one faintly outlined,
and the other standing fully out from the surface of the stone. The
sense of the picturesque was making itself felt, and artists were
no longer to be excused for neglecting architectural details, the
configuration of the country, the drawing of rare plants, and, in fact,
all those accessories which had been previously omitted altogether or
merely indicated. The necessity of covering such vast surfaces as the
pylons offered had accustomed them to arrange the various scenes of one
and the same action in a more natural and intimate connexion than their
predecessors could possibly have done. In these scenes the Pharaoh
naturally played the chief part, but in place of choosing for treatment
merely one or other important action of the monarch calculated
to exhibit his courage, the artist endeavoured to portray all the
successive incidents in his campaigns, in the same manner as the early
Italian painters were accustomed to depict, one after the other, and on
the same canvas, all the events of the same legend. The details of these
gigantic compositions may sometimes appear childish to us, and we may
frequently be at a loss in determining the relations of the parts, yet
the whole is full of movement, and, although mutilated, gives us even
yet the impression which would have been made upon us by the turmoil of
a battle in those distant days.

The sculptor of statues for a long time past was not a whit less skilful
than the artist who executed bas-reliefs. The sculptor was doubtless
often obliged to give enormous proportions to the figure of the king, to
prevent his being overshadowed by the mass of buildings among which the
statue was to appear; but this necessity of exaggerating the human form
did not destroy in the artist that sense of proportion and that skilful
handling of the chisel which are so strikingly displayed in the sitting
scribe or in the princess at Meîdûm; it merely trained him to mark out
deftly the principal lines, and to calculate the volume and dimensions
of these gigantic granite figures of some fifty to sixty-five feet high,
with as great confidence and skill as he would have employed upon any
statue of ordinary dimensions which might be entrusted to him.
The colossal statues at Abu-Simbel and Thebes still witness to the
incomparable skill of the Theban sculptors in the difficult art of
imagining and executing superhuman types. The decadence of Egyptian art
did not begin until the time of Ramses III., but its downward progress
was rapid, and the statues of the Ramesside period are of little or no
artistic value. The form of these figures is poor, the technique crude,
and the expression of the faces mean and commonplace. They betray the
hand of a mechanical workman who, while still in the possession of the
instruments of his trade, can infuse no new life into the traditions of
the schools, nor break away from them altogether.

[Illustration: 040.jpg THE KNEELING SCRIBE AT TURIN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie; the
     scribe bears upon his right shoulder, perhaps tattooed, the
     human image of the god Amon-Râ, whose animal emblem he

We must look, not to the royal studios, but to the workshops connected
with the necropolis, if we want to find statues of half life-size
displaying intelligent workmanship, all of which we might be tempted to
refer to the XVIIIth dynasty if the inscriptions upon them did not fix
their date some two or three centuries later. An example of them may be
seen at Turin in the kneeling scribe embracing a ram-headed altar:
the face is youthful, and has an expression at once so gentle and
intelligent that we are constrained to overlook the imperfections in the
bust and legs of the figure. Specimens of this kind are not numerous,
and their rarity is easily accounted for. The multitude of priests,
soldiers, workmen, and small middle-class people who made up the bulk of
the Theban population had aspirations for a luxury little commensurate
with their means, and the tombs of such people are, therefore, full
of objects which simulate a character they do not possess, and are
deceptive to the eye: such were the statuettes made of wood, substituted
from economical motives instead of the limestone or sandstone statues
usually provided as supporters for the "double."

[Illustration: 041a.jpg YOUNG GIRL IN THE TURING MUSEUM]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Petrie.

[Illustration: 041b.jpg THE LADY NEHAI]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.
     Enamelled eyes, according to a common custom, were inserted
     in the sockets, but have disappeared.

The funerary sculptors had acquired a perfect mastery of the kind of
art needed for people of small means, and we find among the medley of
commonplace objects which encumber the tomb they decorated, examples of
artistic works of undoubted excellence, such as the ladies Naî and Tûî
now in the Louvre, the lady Nehaî now at Berlin, and the naked child at
Turin. The lady Tûî in her lifetime had been one of the singing-women of
Amon. She is clad in a tight-fitting robe, which accentuates the
contour of the breasts and hips without coarseness: her right arm falls
gracefully alongside her body, while her left, bent across her chest,
thrusts into her bosom a kind of magic whip, which was the sign of her
profession. The artist was not able to avoid a certain heaviness in the
treatment of her hair, and the careful execution of the whole work was
not without a degree of harshness, but by dint of scraping and polishing
the wood he succeeded in softening the outline, and removing from the
figure every sharp point. The lady Nehaî is smarter and more graceful,
in her close-fitting garment and her mantle thrown over the left elbow;
and the artist has given her a more alert pose and resolute air than we
find in the stiff carriage of her contemporary Tûî. The little girl in
the Turin Museum is a looser work, but where could one find a better
example of the lithe delicacy of the young Egyptian maiden of eight or
ten years old? We may see her counterpart to-day among the young Nubian
girls of the cataract, before they are obliged to wear clothes; there is
the same thin chest, the same undeveloped hips, the same meagre thighs,
and the same demeanour, at once innocent and audacious. Other statuettes
represent matrons, some in tight garments, and with their hair closely
confined, others without any garment whatever.

[Illustration: 043a.jpg a soldier]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.

[Illustration: 043b.jpg STATUE IN THE TURIN MUSEUM]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Petrie.

The Turin example is that of a lady who seems proud of her large
ear-rings, and brings one of them into prominence, either to show it
off or to satisfy herself that the jewel becomes her: her head is
square-shaped, the shoulders narrow, the chest puny, the pose of the
arm stiff and awkward, but the eyes have such a joyful openness, and her
smile such a self-satisfied expression, that one readily over looks the
other defects of the statue. In this collection of miniature figures
examples of men are not wanting, and there are instances of old
soldiers, officials, guardians of temples, and priests proudly executing
their office in their distinctive panther skins. Three individuals in
the Gîzeh were contemporaries, or almost so, of the young girl of the
Turin Museum. They are dressed in rich costumes, to which they have,
doubtless, a just claim; for one of them, Hori, surnamed Râ, rejoiced in
the favour of the Pharaoh, and must therefore have exercised some
court function. They seem to step forth with a measured pace and firm
demeanour, the body well thrown back and the head erect, their
faces displaying something of cruelty and cunning. An officer, whose
retirement from service is now spent in the Louvre, is dressed in a
semi-civil costume, with a light wig, a closely fitting smock-frock
with shirt-sleeves, and a loin-cloth tied tightly round the hips and
descending halfway down the thigh, to which is applied a piece of stuff
kilted lengthwise, projecting in front. A colleague of his, now in the
Berlin Museum, still maintains possession of his official baton, and is
arrayed in his striped petticoat, his bracelets and gorget of gold.
A priest in the Louvre holds before him, grasped by both hands, the
insignia of Amon-Ra--a ram's head, surmounted by the solar disk, and
inserted on the top of a thick handle; another, who has been relegated
to Turin, appears to be placed between two long staves, each surmounted
by an idol, and, to judge from his attitude, seems to have no small idea
of his own beauty and importance. The Egyptians were an observant
people and inclined to satire, and I have a shrewd suspicion that the
sculptors, in giving to such statuettes this character of childlike
vanity, yielded to the temptation to be merry at the expense of their

The smelters and engravers in metal occupied in relation to the
sculptors a somewhat exalted position. Bronze had for a long time been
employed in funerary furniture, and _ushabtiu_ (respondents),* amulets,
and images of the gods, as well as of mortals, were cast in this metal.
Many of these tiny figures form charming examples of enamel-work, and
are distinguished not only by the gracefulness of the, modelling, but
also by the brilliance of the superimposed glaze; but the majority of
them were purely commercial articles, manufactured by the hundred from
the same models, and possibly cast, for centuries, from the same moulds
for the edification of the devout and of pilgrims.

     * Bronze _respondents_ are somewhat rare, and most of those
     which are to be found among the dealers are counterfeit. The
     Gîzeh Museum possesses two examples at least of indisputable
     authenticity; both of these belong to the XXth dynasty.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

[Illustration: 046.jpg SHRINE IN THE TURIN MUSEUM]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Lanzone.

We ought not, therefore, to be surprised if they are lacking in
originality; they are no more to be distinguished from each other than
the hundreds of coloured statuettes which one may find on the stalls of
modern dealers in religious statuary.

[Illustration: 046b.jpg The Lady Taksûhît]

     From a bronze in the Museum at Athens

[Illustration: 046b.jpg-text]

Here and there among the multitude we may light upon examples showing
a marked individuality: the statuette of the lady Takûshit, which now
forms one of the ornaments of the museum at Athens, is an instance. She
stands erect, one foot in advance, her right arm hanging at her side,
her left pressed against her bosom; she is arrayed in a short dress
embroidered over with religious scenes, and wears upon her ankles
and wrists rings of value. A wig with stiff-looking locks, regularly
arranged in rows, covers her head. The details of the drapery and the
ornaments are incised on the surface of the bronze, and heightened
with a thread of silver. The face is evidently a portrait, and is that
apparently of a woman of mature age, but the body, according to the
tradition of the Egyptian schools of art, is that of a young girl,
lithe, firm, and elastic. The alloy contains gold, and the warm and
softened lights reflected from it blend most happily and harmoniously
with the white lines of the designs. The joiners occupied, after the
workers in bronze, an important position in relation to the necropolis,
and the greater part of the furniture which they executed for the
mummies of persons of high rank was remarkable for its painting and
carpentry-work. Some articles of their manufacture were intended for
religious use--such as those shrines, mounted upon sledges, on which the
image of the god was placed, to whom prayers were made for the deceased;
others served for the household needs of the mummy, and, to distinguish
these, there are to be seen upon their sides religious and funereal
pictures, offerings to the two deceased parents, sacrifices to a god or
goddess, and incidents in the Osirian life. The funerary beds consisted,
like those intended for the living, of a rectangular framework, placed
upon four feet of equal height, although there are rare examples in
which the supports are so arranged as to give a gentle slope to the
structure. The fancy which actuated the joiner in making such beds
supposed that two benevolent lions had, of their own free will,
stretched out their bodies to form the two sides of the couch, the
muzzles constituting the pillow, while the tails were curled up under
the feet of the sleeper. Many of the heads given to the lions are so
noble and expressive, that they will well bear comparison with the
granite statues of these animals which Amenôthes III. dedicated in his
temple at Soleb. The other trades depended upon the proportion of their
members to the rest of the community for the estimation in which they
were held. The masons, stone-cutters, and common labourers furnished
the most important contingent; among these ought also to be reckoned
the royal servants--of whose functions we should have been at a loss
to guess the importance, if contemporary documents had not made it
clear--fishermen, hunters, laundresses, wood-cutters, gardeners, and

     * The Cailliaud ostracon, which contains a receipt given to
     some fishermen, was found near Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh, and
     consequently belonged to the fishermen of the necropolis.
     There is a question as to the water-carriers of the Khirû in
     the hieratic registers of Turin, also as to the washers of
     clothes, wood-cutters, gardeners and workers in the


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Lanzone.

Without reckoning the constant libations needed for the gods and the
deceased, the workshops required a large quantity of drinking water for
the men engaged in them. In every gang of workmen, even in the present
day, two or three men are set apart to provide drinking-water for the
rest; in some arid places, indeed, at a distance from the river, such
as the Valley of the Kings, as many water-carriers are required as there
are workmen. To the trades just mentioned must be added the low-caste
crowd depending oh the burials of the rich, the acrobats, female
mourners, dancers and musicians. The majority of the female corporations
were distinguished by the infamous character of their manners, and
prostitution among them had come to be associated with the service of
the god.*

     * The heroine of the erotic papyrus of Turin bears the title
     of "Singing-woman of Amon," and the illustrations indicate
     her profession so clearly and so expressively, that no
     details of her sayings and doings are wanting.

[Illustration: 049.jpg THE GODDESS MABÎTSAKBO]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Lanzone.

There was no education for all this mass of people, and their religion
was of a meagre character. They worshipped the official deities, Amon,
Mût, Isis, and Hâthor, and such deceased Pharaohs as Amenôthes I.
and Nofrîtari, but they had also their own Pantheon, in which animals
predominated--such as the goose of Amon, and his ram Pa-rahaninofir,
the good player on the horn, the hippopotamus, the cat, the chicken,
the swallow, and especially reptiles. Death was personified by a great
viper, the queen of the West, known by the name Marîtsakro, the friend
of silence. Three heads, or the single head of a woman, attached to the
one body, were assigned to it. It was supposed to dwell in the mountain
opposite Karnak, which fact gave to it, as well as to the necropolis
itself, the two epithets of Khafîtnîbûs and Ta-tahnît, that is, The

     * The abundance of the monuments of Marîtsakro found at
     Sheikh Abd el-Gurneh, inclines me to believe that her
     sanctuary was situated in the neighbourhood of the temple of
     Uazmosû, but there was also on the top of the hill another
     sanctuary which would equally satisfy the name Ta-tahnît.

Its chapel was situated at the foot of the hill of Sheikh Abd el-Qurneh,
but its sacred serpents crawled and wriggled through the necropolis,
working miracles and effecting the cure of the most dangerous maladies.
The faithful were accustomed to dedicate to them, in payment of their
vows, stelas, or slabs of roughly hewn stone, with inscriptions
which witnessed to a deep gratitude. "Hearken! I, from the time of my
appearance on earth, I was a 'Servant of the True Place,' Nofirâbû, a
stupid ignorant person, who knew not good from evil, and I committed
sin against The Summit. She punished me, and I was in her hand day and
night. I lay groaning on my couch like a woman in childbed, and I made
supplication to the air, but it did not come to me, for I was hunted
down by The Summit of the West, the brave one among all the gods and all
the goddesses of the city; so I would say to all the miserable sinners
among the people of the necropolis: 'Give heed to The Summit, for there
is a lion in The Summit, and she strikes as strikes a spell-casting
Lion, and she pursues him who sins against her! 'I invoked then my
mistress, and I felt that she flew to me like a pleasant breeze;
she placed herself upon me, and this made me recognise her hand, and
appeased she returned to me, and she delivered me from suffering, for
she is my life, The Summit of the West, when she is appeased, and she
ought to be invoked!'" There were many sinners, we may believe, among
that ignorant and superstitious population, but the governors of Thebes
did not put their confidence in the local deities alone to keep them
within bounds, and to prevent their evil deeds; commissioners, with the
help of a detachment of Mazaîû, were an additional means of conducting
them into the right way. They had, in this respect, a hard work to
accomplish, for every day brought with it its contingent of crimes,
which they had to follow up, and secure the punishment of the authors.
Nsisûamon came to inform them that the workman Nakhtummaût and his
companions had stolen into his house, and robbed him of three large
loaves, eight cakes, and some pastry; they had also drunk a jar of beer,
and poured out from pure malice the oil which they could not carry
away with them. Panîbi had met the wife of a comrade alone near an
out-of-the-way tomb, and had taken advantage of her notwithstanding her
cries; this, moreover, was not the first offence of the culprit, for
several young girls had previously been victims of his brutality, and
had not ventured up to this time to complain of him on account of the
terror with which he inspired the neighbourhood. Crimes against the dead
were always common; every penniless fellow knew what quantities of gold
and jewels had been entombed with the departed, and these treasures,
scattered around them at only a few feet from the surface of the ground,
presented to them a constant temptation to which they often succumbed.
Some were not disposed to have accomplices, while others associated
together, and, having purchased at a serious cost the connivance of the
custodians, set boldly to work on tombs both recent and ancient. Not
content with stealing the funerary furniture, which they disposed of to
the undertakers, they stripped the mummies also, and smashed the
bodies in their efforts to secure the jewels; then, putting the remains
together again, they rearranged the mummies afresh so cleverly that
they can no longer be distinguished by their outward appearance from the
originals, and the first wrappings must be removed before the fraud can
be discovered. From time to time one of these rogues would allow himself
to be taken for the purpose of denouncing his comrades, and avenging
himself for the injustice of which he was the victim in the division
of the spoil; he was laid hold of by the Mazaîû, and brought before the
tribunal of justice. The lands situated on the left bank of the
Nile belonged partly to the king and partly to the god Amon, and any
infraction of the law in regard to the necropolis was almost certain
to come within the jurisdiction of one or other of them. The commission
appointed, therefore, to determine the damage done in any case, included
in many instances the high priest or his delegates, as well as the
officers of the Pharaoh. The office of this commission was to examine
into the state of the tombs, to interrogate the witnesses and the
accused, applying the torture if necessary: when they had got at the
facts, the tribunal of the notables condemned to impalement some half
a dozen of the poor wretches, and caused some score of others to be
whipped.* But, when two or three months had elapsed, the remembrance of
the punishment began to die away, and the depredations began afresh. The
low rate of wages occasioned, at fixed periods, outbursts of discontent
and trouble which ended in actual disturbances. The rations allowed to
each workman, and given to him at the beginning of each month, would
possibly have been sufficient for himself and his family, but, owing to
the usual lack of foresight in the Egyptian, they were often consumed
long before the time fixed, and the pinch soon began to be felt. The
workmen, demoralised by their involuntary abstinence, were not slow to
turn to the overseer; "We are perishing of hunger, and there are still
eighteen days before the next month." The latter was prodigal of fair
speeches, but as his words were rarely accompanied by deeds, the
workmen would not listen to him; they stopped work, left the workshop in
turbulent crowds, ran with noisy demonstrations to some public place to
hold a meeting--perhaps the nearest monument, at the gate of the temple
of Thûtmosis III.,** behind the chapel of Mînephtah,*** or in the court
of that of Seti I.

     * This is how I translate a fairly common expression, which
     means literally, "to be put on the wood." Spiegelberg sees in
     this only a method of administering torture.

     ** Perhaps the chapel of Uazmôsû, or possibly the free space
     before the temple of Deîr el-Baharî.

     *** The site of this chapel was discovered by Prof. Petrie
     in the spring of 1896. It had previously been supposed to be
     a temple of Amenôthes III.

Their overseers followed them; the police commissioners of the locality,
the Mazaîû, and the scribes mingled with them and addressed themselves
to some of the leaders with whom they might be acquainted. But these
would not at first give them a hearing. "We will not return," they would
say to the peacemakers; "make it clear to your superiors down below
there." It must have been manifest that from their point of view their
complaints were well founded, and the official, who afterwards gave an
account of the affair to the authorities, was persuaded of this. "We
went to hear them, and they spoke true words to us." For the most part
these strikes had no other consequence than a prolonged stoppage of
work, until the distribution of rations at the beginning of the next
month gave the malcontents courage to return to their tasks. Attempts
were made to prevent the recurrence of these troubles by changing
the method and time of payments. These were reduced to an interval of
fifteen days, and at length, indeed, to one of eight. The result was
very much the same as before: the workman, paid more frequently, did not
on that account become more prudent, and the hours of labour lost did
not decrease. The individual man, if he had had nobody to consider but
himself, might have put up with the hardships of his situation, but
there were almost always wife and children or sisters concerned, who
clamoured for bread in their hunger, and all the while the storehouses
of the temples or those of the state close by were filled to overflowing
with durrah, barley, and wheat.*

     * Khonsu, for example, excites his comrades to pillage the
     storehouses of the gate.

The temptation to break open the doors and to help themselves in the
present necessity must have been keenly felt. Some bold spirits among
the strikers, having set out together, scaled the two or three boundary
walls by which the granaries were protected, but having reached this
position their hearts, failed them, and they contented themselves with
sending to the chief custodian an eloquent pleader, to lay before him
their very humble request: "We are come, urged by famine, urged by
thirst, having no more linen, no more oil, no more fish, no more
vegetables. Send to Pharaoh, our master, send to the king, our lord,
that he may provide us with the necessaries of life." If one of them,
with less self-restraint, was so carried away as to let drop an oath,
which was a capital offence, saying, "By Amon! by the sovereign, whose
anger is death!" if he asked to be taken before a magistrate in order
that he might reiterate there his complaint, the others interceded for
him, and begged that he might escape the punishment fixed by the law
for blasphemy; the scribe, good fellow as he was, closed his ears to the
oath, and, if it were in his power, made a beginning of satisfying their
demands by drawing upon the excess of past months to such an extent as
would pacify them for some days, and by paying them a supplemental wage
in the name of the Pharaoh. They cried out loudly: "Shall there not be
served out to us corn in excess of that which has been distributed to
us; if not we will not stir from this spot?"

At length the end of the month arrived, and they all appeared together
before the magistrates, when they said: "Let the scribe, Khâmoîsît,
who is accountable, be sent for!" He was thereupon brought before the
notables of the town, and they said to him: "See to the corn which thou
hast received, and give some of it to the people of the necropolis."
Pmontunîboîsît was then sent for, and "rations of wheat were given to
us daily." Famine was not caused only by the thriftlessness of the
multitude: administrators of all ranks did not hesitate to appropriate,
each one according to his position, a portion of the means entrusted
to them for the maintenance of their subordinates, and the latter often
received only instalments of what was due to them. The culprits often
escaped from their difficulties by either laying hold of half a dozen
of their brawling victims, or by yielding to them a proportion of
their ill-gotten gains, before a rumour of the outbreak could reach
head-quarters. It happened from time to time, however, when the
complaints against them were either too serious or too frequent, that
they were deprived of their functions, cited before the tribunals, and
condemned. What took place at Thebes was repeated with some variations
in each of the other large cities. Corruption, theft, and extortion had
prevailed among the officials from time immemorial, and the most active
kings alone were able to repress these abuses, or confine them within
narrow limits; as soon as discipline became relaxed, however, they began
to appear again, and we have no more convincing proof of the state of
decadence into which Thebes had fallen towards the middle of the XXth
dynasty, than the audacity of the crimes committed in the necropolis
during the reigns of the successors of Ramses III.

The priesthood of Amon alone displayed any vigour and enjoyed any
prosperity in the general decline. After the victory of the god over the
heretic kings no one dared to dispute his supremacy, and the Ramessides
displayed a devout humility before him and his ministers. Henceforward
he became united to Râ in a definite manner, and his authority not only
extended over the whole of the land of Egypt, but over all the countries
also which were brought within her influence; so that while Pharaoh
continued to be the greatest of kings, Pharaoh's god held a position
of undivided supremacy among the deities. He was the chief of the two
Bnneads, the Heliopolitan and the Hermopolitan, and displayed for
the latter a special affection; for the vague character of its eight
secondary deities only served to accentuate the position of the ninth
and principal divinity with whose primacy that of Amon was identified.
It was more easy to attribute to Amon the entire work of creation when
Shû, Sibû, Osiris, and Sit had been excluded--the deities whom the
theologians of Heliopolis had been accustomed to associate with the
demiurge; and in the hymns which they sang at his solemn festivals they
did not hesitate to ascribe to him all the acts which the priests of
former times had assigned to the Ennead collectively. "He made earth,
silver, gold,--the true lapis at his good pleasure.--He brought forth
the herbs for the cattle, the plants upon which men live.--He made to
live the fish of the river,--the birds which hover in the air,--giving
air to those which are in the egg.--He animates the insects,--he makes
to live the small birds, the reptiles, and the gnats as well.--He
provides food for the rat in his hole,--supports the bird upon the
branch.--May he be blessed for all this, he who is alone, but with many
hands." "Men spring from his two eyes," and quickly do they lose
their breath while acclaiming him--Egyptians and Libyans, Negroes and
Asiatics: "Hail to thee!" they all say; "praise to thee because thou
dwellest amongst us!--Obeisances before thee because thou createst
us!"--"Thou art blessed by every living thing,--thou hast worshippers in
every place,--in the highest of the heavens, in all the breadth of
the earth,--in the depths of the seas.--The gods bow before thy
Majesty,--magnifying the souls which form them,--rejoicing at meeting
those who have begotten them,--they say to thee: 'Go in peace,--father
of the fathers of all the gods,--who suspended the heaven, levelled the
earth;--creator of beings, maker of things,--sovereign king, chief of
the gods,--we adore thy souls, because thou hast made us,--we lavish
offerings upon thee, because thou hast given us birth,--we shower
benedictions upon thee, because thou dwellest among us.'" We have here
the same ideas as those which predominate in the hymns addressed to
Atonû,* and in the prayers directed to Phtah, the Nile, Shû, and the
Sun-god of Heliopolis at the same period.

     * Breasted points out the decisive influence exercised by
     the solar hymns of Amenôthes IV. on the development of the
     solar ideas contained in the hymns to Amon put forth or re-
     edited in the XXIIIrd dynasty.

The idea of a single god, lord and maker of all things, continued to
prevail more and more throughout Egypt--not, indeed, among the lower
classes who persisted in the worship of their genii and their animals,
but among the royal family, the priests, the nobles, and people of
culture. The latter believed that the Sun-god had at length absorbed
all the various beings who had been manifested in the feudal divinities:
these, in fact, had surrendered their original characteristics in order
to become forms of the Sun, Amon as well as the others--and the new
belief displayed itself in magnifying the solar deity, but the solar
deity united with the Theban Amon, that is, Amon-Râ. The omnipotence of
this one god did not, however, exclude a belief in the existence of his
compeers; the theologians thought all the while that the beings to whom
ancient generations had accorded a complete independence in respect of
their rivals were nothing more than emanations from one supreme being.
If local pride forced them to apply to this single deity the designation
customarily used in their city--Phtah at Memphis, Anhûri-Shû at Thinis,
Khnûmû in the neighbourhood of the first cataract--they were quite
willing to allow, at the same time, that these appellations were but
various masks for one face. Phtah, Hâpi, Khnûmû, Râ,--all the gods, in
fact,--were blended with each other, and formed but one deity--a unique
existence, multiple in his names, and mighty according to the importance
of the city in which he was worshipped. Hence Amon, lord of the capital
and patron of the dynasty, having more partisans, enjoyed more respect,
and, in a word, felt himself possessed of more claims to be the sole god
of Egypt than his brethren, who could not claim so many worshippers. He
did not at the outset arrogate to himself the same empire over the dead
as he exercised over the living; he had delegated his functions in this
respect to a goddess, Marîtsakro, for whom the poorer inhabitants of the
left bank entertained a persistent devotion. She was a kind of Isis or
hospitable Hathor, whose subjects in the other world adapted themselves
to the nebulous and dreary existence provided for their disembodied
"doubles." The Osirian and solar doctrines were afterwards blended
together in this local mythology, and from the XIth dynasty onwards the
Theban nobility had adopted, along with the ceremonies in use in the
Memphite period, the Heliopolitan beliefs concerning the wanderings
of the soul in the west, its embarkation on the solar ship, and its
resting-places in the fields of Ialû. The rock-tombs of the XVIIIth
dynasty demonstrate that the Thebans had then no different concept of
their life beyond the world from that entertained by the inhabitants
of the most ancient cities: they ascribed to that existence the same
inconsistent medley of contradictory ideas, from which each one might
select what pleased him best--either repose in a well-provisioned tomb,
or a dwelling close to Osiris in the middle of a calm and agreeable
paradise, or voyages with Râ around the world.*

     * The Pyramid texts are found for the most part in the tombs
     of Nofirû and Harhôtpû; the texts of the Book of the Dead
     are met with on the Theban coffins of the same period.

[Illustration: 060.jpg DECORATED WRAPPINGS OF A MUMMY]

The fusion of Râ and Amon, and the predominance of the solar idea which
arose from it, forced the theologians to examine more closely these
inconsistent notions, and to eliminate from them anything which might be
out of harmony with the new views. The devout servant of Amon, desirous
of keeping in constant touch with his god both here and in the other
would, could not imagine a happier future for his soul than in its going
forth in the fulness of light by day, and taking refuge by night on
the very bark which carried the object of his worship through the thick
darkness of, Hades. To this end he endeavoured to collect the formulae
which would enable him to attain to this supreme happiness, and also
inform him concerning the hidden mysteries of that obscure half of the
world in which the sun dwelt between daylight and daylight, teaching him
also how to make friends and supporters of the benevolent genii, and how
to avoid or defeat the monsters whom he would encounter. The best
known of the books relating to these mysteries contained a geographical
description of the future world as it was described by the Theban
priests towards the end of the Ramesside period; it was, in fact, an
itinerary in which was depicted each separate region of the underworld,
with its gates, buildings, and inhabitants.*

     * The monumental text of this book is found sculptured on a
     certain number of the tombs of the Theban kings. It was
     first translated into English by Birch, then into French by
     Dévéria, and by Maspero.

The account of it given by the Egyptian theologians did not exhibit much
inventive genius. They had started with the theory that the sun, after
setting exactly west of Thebes, rose again due east of the city, and
they therefore placed in the dark hemisphere all the regions of the
universe which lay to the north of those two points of the compass. The
first stage of the sun's journey, after disappearing below the horizon,
coincided with the period of twilight; the orb travelled along the open
sky, diminishing the brightness of his fires as he climbed northward,
and did not actually enter the underworld till he reached Abydos,
close to the spot where, at the "Mouth of the Cleft," the souls of the
faithful awaited him. As soon as he had received them into his boat,
he plunged into the tunnel which there pierces the mountains, and the
cities through which he first passed between Abydos and the Fayûm were
known as the Osirian fiefs. He continued his journey through them for
the space of two hours, receiving the homage of the inhabitants, and
putting such of the shades on shore as were predestined by their special
devotion for the Osiris of Abydos and his associates, Horus and Anubis,
to establish themselves in this territory. Beyond Heracleopolis, he
entered the domains of the Memphite gods, the "land of Sokaris," and
this probably was the most perilous moment of his journey.


The feudatories of Phtah were gathered together in grottoes, connected
by a labyrinth of narrow passages through which even the most fully
initiated were scarcely able to find their way; the luminous boat,
instead of venturing within these catacombs, passed above them by
mysterious tracks. The crew were unable to catch a glimpse of the
sovereign through whose realm they journeyed, and they in like manner
were invisible to him; he could only hear the voices of the divine
sailors, and he answered them from the depth of the darkness. Two hours
were spent in this obscure passage, after which navigation became easier
as the vessel entered the nomes subject to the Osirises of the Delta:
four consecutive hours of sailing brought the bark from the province in
which the four principal bodies of the god slept to that in which
his four souls kept watch, and, as it passed, it illuminated the eight
circles reserved for men and kings who worshipped the god of Mendes.
From the tenth hour onwards it directed its course due south, and passed
through the Aûgàrît, the place of fire and abysmal waters to which the
Heliopolitans consigned the souls of the impious; then finally quitting
the tunnel, it soared up in the east with the first blush of dawn. Each
of the ordinary dead was landed at that particular hour of the twelve,
which belonged to the god of his choice or of his native town. Left to
dwell there they suffered no absolute torment, but languished in the
darkness in a kind of painful torpor, from which condition the approach
of the bark alone was able to rouse them. They hailed its daily coming
with acclamations, and felt new life during the hour in which its rays
fell on them, breaking out into lamentations as the bark passed away and
the light disappeared with it. The souls who were devotees of the sun
escaped this melancholy existence; they escorted the god, reduced though
he was to a mummied corpse, on his nightly cruise, and were piloted by
him safe and sound to meet the first streaks of the new day. As the
boat issued from the mountain in the morning between the two trees which
flanked the gate of the east, these souls had their choice of several
ways of spending the day on which they were about to enter. They might
join their risen god in his course through the hours of light, and
assist him in combating Apophis and his accomplices, plunging again at
night into Hades without having even for a moment quitted his side.

[Illustration: 066.jpg THE ENTRANCE TO A ROYAL TOMB]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph, by Beato, of the
     tomb of Ramses IV.

[Illustration: 066b.jpg ONE OF THE HOURS OF THE NIGHT]

They might, on the other hand, leave him and once more enter the world
of the living, settling themselves where they would, but always by
preference in the tombs where their bodies awaited them, and where they
could enjoy the wealth which had been accumulated there: they might walk
within their garden, and sit beneath the trees they had planted; they
could enjoy the open air beside the pond they had dug, and breathe the
gentle north breeze on its banks after the midday heat, until the time
when the returning evening obliged them to repair once more to Abydos,
and re-embark with the god in order to pass the anxious vigils of the
night under his protection. Thus from the earliest period of Egyptian
history the life beyond the tomb was an eclectic one, made up of a
series of earthly enjoyments combined together.

The Pharaohs had enrolled themselves instinctively among the most ardent
votaries of this complex doctrine. Their relationship to the sun made
its adoption a duty, and its profession was originally, perhaps, one of
the privileges of their position. Râ invited them on board because they
were his children, subsequently extending this favour to those whom
they should deem worthy to be associated with them, and thus become
companions of the ancient deceased kings of Upper and Lower Egypt.*

     * This is apparently what we gather from the picture
     inserted in chapter xvii. of the "Book of the Dead," where
     we see the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt guiding the divine
     bark and the deceased with them.

The idea which the Egyptians thus formed of the other world, and of the
life of the initiated within it, reacted gradually on their concept of
the tomb and of its befitting decoration. They began to consider the
entrances to the pyramid, and its internal passages and chambers, as a
conventional representation of the gates, passages, and halls of Hades
itself; when the pyramid passed out of fashion, and they had replaced
it by a tomb cut in the rock in one or other of the branches of the Bab
el-Moluk valley, the plan of construction which they chose was an exact
copy of that employed by the Memphites and earlier Thebans, and they
hollowed out for themselves in the mountain-side a burying-place on the
same lines as those formerly employed within the pyramidal structure.
The relative positions of the tunnelled tombs along the valley were not
determined by any order of rank or of succession to the throne; each
Pharaoh after Ramses I. set to work on that part of the rock where the
character of the stone favoured his purpose, and displayed so little
respect for his predecessors, that the workmen, after having tunnelled
a gallery, were often obliged to abandon it altogether, or to change the
direction of their excavations so as to avoid piercing a neighbouring
tomb. The architect's design was usually a mere project which could be
modified at will, and, which he did not feel bound to carry out with
fidelity; the actual measurements of the tomb of Ramses IV. are almost
everywhere at variance with the numbers and arrangement of the working
drawing of it which has been preserved to us in a papyrus. The general
disposition of the royal tombs, however, is far from being complicated;
we have at the entrance the rectangular door, usually surmounted by the
sun, represented by a yellow disk, before which the sovereign kneels
with his hands raised in the posture of adoration; this gave access to
a passage sloping gently downwards, and broken here and there by a level
landing and steps, leading to a first chamber of varying amplitude, at
the further end of which a second passage opened which descended to one
or more apartments, the last of which, contained the coffin. The oldest
rock-tombs present some noteworthy exceptions to this plan, particularly
those of Seti I. and Ramses III.; but from the time of Ramses IV., there
is no difference to be remarked in them except in the degree of finish
of the wall-paintings or in the length of the passages. The shortest of
the latter extends some fifty-two feet into the rock, while the longest
never exceeds three hundred and ninety feet. The same artifices
which had been used by the pyramid-builders to defeat the designs of
robbers--false mummy-pits, painted and sculptured walls built across
passages, stairs concealed under a movable stone in the corner of a
chamber--were also employed by the Theban engineers. The decoration of
the walls was suggested, as in earlier times, by the needs of the royal
soul, with this difference--that the Thebans set themselves to render
visible to his eyes by paintings that which the Memphites had been
content to present to his intelligence in writing, so that the Pharaoh
could now see what his ancestors had been able merely to read on the
walls of their tombs. Where the inscribed texts in the burial-chamber
of Unas state that Unas, incarnate in the Sun, and thus representing
Osiris, sails over the waters on high or glides into the Elysian fields,
the sculptured or painted scenes in the interior of the Theban catacombs
display to the eye Ramses occupying the place of the god in the solar
bark and in the fields of laid. Where the walls of Unas bear only the
prayers recited over the mummy for the opening of his mouth, for the
restoration of the use of his limbs, for his clothing, perfuming, and
nourishment, we see depicted on those of Seti I. or Ramses IV. the
mummies of these kings and the statues of their doubles in the hands
of the priests, who are portrayed in the performance of these various
offices. The starry ceilings of the pyramids reproduce the aspect of the
sky, but without giving the names of the stars: on the ceilings of some
of the Ramesside rock-tombs, on the other hand, the constellations are
represented, each with its proper figure, while astronomical tables give
the position of the heavenly bodies at intervals of fifteen days, so
that the soul could tell at a glance into what region of the firmament
the course of the bark would bring him each night. In the earlier
Ramesside tombs, under Seti I. and Ramses II., the execution of these
subjects shows evidence of a care and skill which are quite marvellous,
and both figures and hieroglyphics betray the hand of accomplished
artists. But in the tomb of Ramses III. the work has already begun to
show signs of inferiority, and the majority of the scenes are coloured
in a very summary fashion; a raw yellow predominates, and the tones of
the reds and blues remind us of a child's first efforts at painting.
This decline is even more marked under the succeeding Ramessides; the
drawing has deteriorated, the tints have become more and more crude,
and the latest paintings seem but a lamentable caricature of the earlier

The courtiers and all those connected with the worship of
Amon-Râ--priests, prophets, singers, and functionaries connected with
the necropolis--shared the same belief with regard to the future world
as their sovereign, and they carried their faith in the sun's power
to the point of identifying themselves with him after death, and of
substituting the name of Râ for that of Osiris; they either did not
venture, however, to go further than this, or were unable to introduce
into their tombs all that we find in the Bab el-Moluk. They confined
themselves to writing briefly on their own coffins, or confiding to
the mummies of their fellow-believers, in addition to the "Book of the
Dead," a copy of the "Book of knowing what there is in Hades," or of
some other mystic writing which was in harmony with their creed. Hastily
prepared copies of these were sold by unscrupulous scribes, often badly
written and almost always incomplete, in which were hurriedly set
down haphazard the episodes of the course of the sun with explanatory
illustrations. The representations of the gods in them are but little
better than caricatures, the text is full of faults and scarcely
decipherable, and it is at times difficult to recognize the
correspondence of the scenes and prayers with those in the royal tombs.
Although Amon had become the supreme god, at least for this class of
the initiated, he was by no means the sole deity worshipped by the
Egyptians: the other divinities previously associated with him still
held their own beside him, or were further defined and invested with
a more decided personality. The goddess regarded as his partner was at
first represented as childless, in spite of the name of Maût or Mût--the
mother--by which she was invoked, and Amon was supposed to have adopted
Montû, the god of Hermonthis, in order to complete his triad. Montû,
however, formerly the sovereign of the Theban plain, and lord over Amon
himself, was of too exalted a rank to play the inferior part of a divine

[Illustration: 074.jpg KHONSÛ* AND TEMPLE OF KHONSÛ**.]

     * Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bronze statuette in the
     Gizeh Museum.

     ** Drawn by Thuillier: A is the pylon, B the court, C the
     hypostyle hall, E the passage isolating the sanctuary, D the
     sanctuary, F the opisthodomos with its usual chambers.

The priests were, therefore, obliged to fall back upon a personage
of lesser importance, named Khonsû, who up to that period had been
relegated to an obscure position in the celestial hierarchy. How they
came to identify him with the moon, and subsequently with Osiris and
Thot, is as yet unexplained,* but the assimilation had taken place
before the XIXth dynasty drew to its close. Khonsû, thus honoured, soon
became a favourite deity with both the people and the upper classes,
at first merely supplementing Montû, but finally supplanting him in the
third place of the Triad. From the time of Sesostris onwards, Theban
dogma acknowledged him alone side by side with Amon-Râ and Mût the
divine mother.

     * It is possible that this assimilation originated in the
     fact that Khonsû is derived from the verb "khonsû," to
     navigate: Khonsû would thus have been he who crossed the
     heavens in his bark--that is, the moon-god.

[Illustration: 075.jpg THE TEMPLE OF KHONSÛ AT KARNAK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

It was now incumbent on the Pharaoh to erect to this newly made
favourite a temple whose size and magnificence should be worthy of the
rank to which his votaries had exalted him. To this end, Ramses III.
chose a suitable site to the south of the hypostyle hall of Karnak,
close to a corner of the enclosing wall, and there laid the foundations
of a temple which his successors took nearly a century to finish.*

     * The proof that the temple was founded by Ramses III. is
     furnished by the inscriptions of the sanctuary and the
     surrounding chambers.

Its proportions are by no means perfect, the sculpture is wanting in
refinement, the painting is coarse, and the masonry was so faulty, that
it was found necessary in several places to cover it with a coat of
stucco before the bas-reliefs could be carved on the walls; yet, in
spite of all this, its general arrangement is so fine, that it may
well be regarded, in preference to other more graceful or magnificent
buildings, as the typical temple of the Theban period. It is divided
into two parts, separated from each other by a solid wall. In the centre
of the smaller of these is placed the Holy of Holies, which opens
at both ends into a passage ten feet in width, isolating it from the
surrounding buildings. To the right and left of the sanctuary are dark
chambers, and behind it is a hall supported by four columns, into which
open seven small apartments. This formed the dwelling-place of the god
and his compeers. The sanctuary communicates, by means of two doors
placed in the southern wall, with a hypostyle hall of greater width
than depth, divided by its pillars into a nave and two aisles. The
four columns of the nave are twenty-three feet in height, and have
bell-shaped capitals, while those of the aisles, two on either side, are
eighteen feet high, and are crowned with lotiform capitals.

[Illustration: 077.jpg THE COURT OF THE TEMPLE OF KHONSÛ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The roof of the nave was thus five feet higher than those of the aisles,
and in the clear storey thus formed, stone gratings, similar to those
in the temple of Amon, admitted light to the building. The courtyard,
surrounded by a fine colonnade of two rows of columns, was square, and
was entered by four side posterns in addition to the open gateway at the
end placed between two quadrangular towers.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

This pylon measures 104 feet in length, and is 32 feet 6 inches wide,
by 58 feet high. It contains no internal chambers, but merely a narrow
staircase which leads to the top of the doorway, and thence to the
summit of the towers. Four long angular grooves run up the façade of the
towers to a height of about twenty feet from the ground, and are in
the same line with a similar number of square holes which pierce the
thickness of the building higher up. In these grooves were placed
Venetian masts, made of poles spliced together and held in their place
by means of hooks and wooden stays which projected from the four holes;
these masts were to carry at their tops pennons of various colours.
Such was the temple of Khonsû, and the majority of the great Theban
buildings--at Luxor, Qurneh, and Bamesseum, or Medinet-Uabu--were
constructed on similar lines. Even in their half-ruined condition there
is something oppressive and uncanny in their appearance. The gods
loved to shroud themselves in mystery, and, therefore, the plan of
the building was so arranged as to render the transition almost
imperceptible from the blinding sunlight outside to the darkness of
their retreat within. In the courtyard, we are still surrounded by vast
spaces to which air and light have free access. The hypostyle hall,
however, is pervaded by an appropriate twilight, the sanctuary is veiled
in still deeper darkness, while in the chambers beyond reigns an almost
perpetual night. The effect produced by this gradation of obscurity
was intensified by constructional artifices. The different parts of the
building are not all on the same ground-level, the pavement rising as
the sanctuary is approached, and the rise is concealed by a few steps
placed at intervals. The difference of level in the temple of Khonsû is
not more than five feet three inches, but it is combined with a still
more considerable lowering of the height of the roof. From the pylon
to the wall at the further end the height decreases as we go on; the
peristyle is more lofty than the hypostyle hall, this again is higher
than the sanctuary and the hall of columns, and the chamber beyond it
drops still further in altitude.*

     * This is "the law of progressive diminution of heights" of

Karnak is an exception to this rule; this temple had in the course of
centuries undergone so many restorations and additions, that it formed a
collection of buildings rather than a single edifice. It might have
been regarded, as early as the close of the Theban empire, as a kind of
museum, in which every century and every period of art, from the XIIth
dynasty downwards, had left its distinctive mark.*

     * A on the plan denotes the XIIth dynasty temple; B is the
     great hypostyle hall of Seti I. and Ramses II.; C the temple
     of Ramses III.

[Illustration: 081.jpg THE TEMPLE OF AMON AT KARNAK]

All the resources of architecture had been brought into requisition
during this period to vary, at the will of each sovereign, the
arrangement and the general effect of the component parts. Columns with
sixteen sides stand in the vicinity of square pillars, and lotiform
capitals alternate with those of the bell-shape; attempts were even made
to introduce new types altogether. The architect who built at the back
of the sanctuary what is now known as the colonnade of Thûtmosis
III., attempted to invert the bell-shaped capital; the bell was turned
downwards, and the neck attached to the plinth, while the mouth rested
on the top of the shaft. This awkward arrangement did not meet with
favour, for we find it nowhere repeated; other artists, however, with
better taste, sought at this time to apply the flowers symbolical of
Upper and Lower Egypt to the decorations of the shafts. In front of the
sanctuary of Karnak two pillars are still standing which have on them
in relief representations respectively of the fullblown lotus and the
papyrus. A building composed of so many incongruous elements required
frequent restoration--a wall which had been undermined by water needed
strengthening, a pylon displaying cracks claimed attention, some
unsafe colonnade, or a colossus which had been injured by the fall of
a cornice, required shoring up--so that no sooner had the corvée for
repairs completed their work in one part, than they had to begin again

[Illustration: 082.jpg THE TWO STELE-PILLARS AT KARNAK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The revenues of Amon must, indeed, have been enormous to have borne the
continual drain occasioned by restoration, and the resources of the god
would soon have been exhausted had not foreign wars continued to furnish
him during several centuries with all or more than he needed.

The gods had suffered severely in the troublous times which had followed
the reign of Seti II., and it required all the generosity of Ramses III.
to compensate them for the losses they had sustained during the anarchy
under Arisû. The spoil taken from the Libyans, from the Peoples of the
Sea, and from the Hittites had flowed into the sacred treasuries, while
the able administration of the sovereign had done the rest, so that on
the accession of Ramses IV. the temples were in a more prosperous state
than ever.* They held as their own property 169 towns, nine of which
were in Syria and Ethiopia; they possessed 113,433 slaves of both sexes,
493,386 head of cattle, 1,071,780 arurse of land, 514 vineyards and
orchards, 88 barks and sea-going vessels, 336 kilograms of gold both in
ingots and wrought, 2,993,964 grammes of silver, besides quantities of
copper and precious stones, and hundreds of storehouses in which they
kept corn, oil, wine, honey, and preserved meats--the produce of their
domains. Two examples will suffice to show the extent of this latter
item: the live geese reached the number of 680,714, and the salt or
smoked fish that of 494,800.** Amon claimed the giant share of this
enormous total, and three-fourths of it or more were reserved for his
use, namely---86,486 slaves, 421,362 head of cattle, 898,168 _arurse_
of cornland, 433 vineyards and orchards, and 56 Egyptian towns. The nine
foreign towns all belonged to him, and one of them contained the temple
in which he was worshipped by the Syrians whenever they came to pay
their tribute to the king's representatives: it was but just that his
patrimony should surpass that of his compeers, since the conquering
Pharaohs owed their success to him, who, without the co-operation of the
other feudal deities, had lavished victories upon them.

     * The donations of Ramses III., or rather the total of the
     donations made to the gods by the predecessors of that
     Pharaoh, and confirmed and augmented by him, are enumerated
     at length in the _Great Harris Papyrus_.

     ** An abridgement of these donations occupies seven large
     plates in the _Great Harris Papyrus_.

His domain was at least five times more considerable than that of Râ of
Heliopolis, and ten times greater than that of the Memphite Phtah, and
yet of old, in the earlier times of history, Râ and Phtah were reckoned
the wealthiest of the Egyptian gods. It is easy to understand the
influence which a god thus endowed with the goods of this world
exercised over men in an age when the national wars had the same
consequences for the immortals as for their worshippers, and when the
defeat of a people was regarded as a proof of the inferiority of
its patron gods. The most victorious divinity became necessarily the
wealthiest, before whom all other deities bowed, and whom they, as well
as their subjects, were obliged to serve.

So powerful a god as Amon had but few obstacles to surmount before
becoming the national deity; indeed, he was practically the foremost of
the gods during the Ramesside period, and was generally acknowledged
as Egypt's representative by all foreign nations.* His priests shared in
the prestige he enjoyed, and their influence in state affairs increased
proportionately with his power.

     * From the XVIIIth dynasty, at least, the first prophet of
     Amon had taken the precedence of the high priests of
     Heliopolis and Memphis, as is proved by the position he
     occupies in the Egyptian hierarchy in the _Hood Papyrus_.

The chief of their hierarchy, however, did not bear the high titles
which in ancient times distinguished those of Memphis and Heliopolis; he
was content with the humble appellation of first prophet of Amon. He
had for several generations been nominated by the sovereign, but he was
generally chosen from the families attached hereditarily or otherwise
to the temple of Karnak, and must previously have passed through every
grade of the priestly hierarchy. Those who aspired to this honour had to
graduate as "divine fathers;" this was the first step in the initiation,
and one at which many were content to remain, but the more ambitious or
favoured advanced by successive stages to the dignity of third, and then
of second, prophet before attaining to the highest rank.*

     * What we know on this subject has been brought to light
     mainly by the inscriptions on the statue of Baûkûni-Khonsû
     at Munich, published and commented on by Dévéria, and by
     Lauth. The cursus honorum of Ramâ shows us that he was first
     third, then second prophet of Amon, before being raised to
     the pontificate in the reign of Mînephtah.

The Pharaohs of the XIXth dynasty jealously supervised the promotions
made in the Theban temples, and saw that none was elected except him who
was devoted to their interests--such as, for example, Baûkûni-khonsû
and Unnofri under Ramses II. Baûkûni-khonsû distinguished himself by his
administrative qualities; if he did not actually make the plans for the
hypostyle hall at Karnak, he appears at least to have superintended
its execution and decoration. He finished the great pylon, erected the
obelisks and gateways, built the _bari_ or vessel of the god, and found
a further field for his activity on the opposite bank of the Nile, where
he helped to complete both the chapel at Qurneh and also the Ramesseum.
Ramses II. had always been able to make his authority felt by the high
priests who succeeded Baûkûni-khonsû, but the Pharaohs who followed him
did not hold the reins with such a strong hand. As early as the reigns
of Mînephtah and Seti II. the first prophets, Raî and Ramâ, claimed the
right of building at Karnak for their own purposes, and inscribed on the
walls long inscriptions in which their own panegyrics took precedence
of that of the sovereign; they even aspired to a religious hegemony, and
declared themselves to be the "chief of all the prophets of the gods
of the South and North." We do not know what became of them during the
usurpation of Arisû, but Nakhtû-ramses, son of Miribastît, who filled
the office during the reign of Ramses III., revived these ambitious
projects as soon as the state of Egypt appeared to favour them. The
king, however pious he might be, was not inclined to yield up any of his
authority, even though it were to the earthly delegate of the divinity
whom he reverenced before all others; the sons of the Pharaoh were,
however, more accommodating, and Nakhtû-ramses played his part so well
that he succeeded in obtaining from them the reversion of the high
priesthood for his son Amenôthes. The priestly office, from having been
elective, was by this stroke suddenly made hereditary in the family.
The kings preserved, it is true, the privilege of confirming the new
appointment, and the nominee was not considered properly qualified until
he had received his investiture from the sovereign.*

     * This is proved by the Maunier stele, now in the Louvre; it
     is there related how the high priest Manakh-pirrî received
     his investiture from the Tanite king.

Practically the Pharaohs lost the power of choosing one among the sons
of the deceased pontiff; they were forced to enthrone the eldest of his
survivors, and legalise his accession by their approbation, even when
they would have preferred another. It was thus that a dynasty of vassal
High Priests came to be established at Thebes side by side with the
royal dynasty of the Pharaohs.

The new priestly dynasty was not long in making its power felt in
Thebes. Nakhtû-ramses and Amenôthes lived to a great age--from the reign
of Ramses III. to that of Ramses X., at the least; they witnessed the
accession of nine successive Pharaohs, and the unusual length of their
pontificates no doubt increased the already extraordinary prestige which
they enjoyed throughout the length and breadth of Egypt. It seemed as if
the god delighted to prolong the lives of his representatives beyond the
ordinary limits, while shortening those of the temporal sovereigns. When
the reigns of the Pharaohs began once more to reach their normal length,
the authority of Amenôthes had become so firmly established that no
human power could withstand it, and the later Ramessides were merely a
set of puppet kings who were ruled by him and his successors. Not only
was there a cessation of foreign expeditions, but the Delta, Memphis,
and Ethiopia were alike neglected, and the only activity displayed
by these Pharaohs, as far as we can gather from their monuments, was
confined to the service of Amon and Khonsû at Thebes. The lack of energy
and independence in these sovereigns may not, however, be altogether
attributable to their feebleness of character; it is possible that they
would gladly have entered on a career of conquest had they possessed
the means. It is always a perilous matter to allow the resources of
a country to fall into the hands of a priesthood, and to place its
military forces at the same time in the hands of the chief religious
authority. The warrior Pharaohs had always had at their disposal the
spoils obtained from foreign nations to make up the deficit which their
constant gifts to the temples were making in the treasury. The sons
of Ramses III., on the other hand, had suspended all military efforts,
without, however, lessening their lavish gifts to the gods, and they
must, in the absence of the spoils of war, have drawn to a considerable
extent upon the ordinary resources of the country; their successors
therefore found the treasury impoverished, and they would have been
entirely at a loss for money had they attempted to renew the campaigns
or continue the architectural work of their forefathers. The priests of
Amon had not as yet suffered materially from this diminution of revenue,
for they possessed property throughout the length and breadth of Egypt,
but they were obliged to restrict their expenditure, and employ the sums
formerly used for the enlarging of the temples on the maintenance
of their own body. Meanwhile public works had been almost everywhere
suspended; administrative discipline became relaxed, and disturbances,
with which the police were unable to cope, were increasing in all the
important towns. Nothing is more indicative of the state to which Egypt
was reduced, under the combined influence of the priesthood and the
Ramessides, than the thefts and pillaging of which the Theban necropolis
was then the daily scene. The robbers no longer confined themselves
to plundering the tombs of private persons; they attacked the royal
burying-places, and their depredations were carried on for years before
they were discovered. In the reign of Ramses IX., an inquiry, set on
foot by Amenôthes, revealed the fact that the tomb of Sovkûmsaûf I. and
his wife, Queen Nûbk-hâs, had been rifled, that those of Amenôthes I.
and of Antuf IV. had been entered by tunnelling, and that some dozen
other royal tombs in the cemetery of Drah abu'l Neggah were threatened.*

     * The principal part of this inquiry constitutes the _Abbott
     Papyrus_, acquired and published by the British Museum,
     first examined and made the subject of study by Birch,
     translated simultaneously into French by Maspero and by
     Chabas, into German by Lauth and by Erman. Other papyri
     relate to the same or similar occurrences, such as the Salt
     and Amherst Papyri published by Chabas, and also the
     Liverpool Papyri, of which we possess merely scattered
     notices in the writings of Goodwin, and particularly in
     those of Spiegelberg.

The severe means taken to suppress the evil were not, however,
successful; the pillagings soon began afresh, and the reigns of the last
three Ramessides between the robbers and the authorities, were marked by
a struggle in which the latter did not always come off triumphant.

[Illustration: 089.jpg RAMSES IX.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

A system of repeated inspections secured the valley of Biban el-Moluk
from marauders,* but elsewhere the measures of defence employed were
unavailing, and the necropolis was given over to pillage, although both
Amenôthes and Hrihor had used every effort to protect it.

     * Graffiti which are evidences of these inspections have
     been drawn on the walls of several royal tombs by the
     inspectors. Others have been found on several of the coffins
     discovered at Deîr el-Baharî, e.g. on those of Seti I. and
     Ramses II.; the most ancient belong to the pontificate of
     Hrihor, others belong to the XXIst dynasty.

Hrihor appears to have succeeded immediately after Amenôthes, and
his accession to the pontificate gave his family a still more exalted
position in the country. As his wife Nozmit was of royal blood, he
assumed titles and functions to which his father and grandfather
had made no claim. He became the "Royal Son" of Ethiopia and
commander-in-chief of the national and foreign troops; he engraved his
name upon the monuments he decorated, side by side with that of Ramses
XII.; in short, he possessed all the characteristics of a Pharaoh except
the crown and the royal protocol. A century scarcely had elapsed since
the abdication of Ramses III., and now Thebes and the whole of Egypt
owned two masters: one the embodiment of the ancient line, but a mere
nominal king; the other the representative of Amon, and the actual ruler
of the country.

What then happened when the last Ramses who bore the kingly title was
gathered to his fathers? The royal lists record the accession after his
death of a new dynasty of Tanitic origin, whose founder was Nsbindidi
or Smendes; but, on the other hand, we gather from the Theban monuments
that the crown was seized by Hrihor, who reigned over the southern
provinces contemporaneously with Smendes. Hrihor boldly assumed as
prenomen his title of "First Prophet of Amon," and his authority was
acknowledged by Ethiopia, over which he was viceroy, as well as by the
nomes forming the temporal domain of the high priests. The latter had
acquired gradually, either by marriage or inheritance, fresh territory
for the god, in the lands of the princes of Nekhabît, Kop-tos, Akhmîm,
and Abydos, besides the domains of some half-dozen feudal houses
who, from force of circumstances, had become sacerdotal families; the
extinction of the direct line of Ramessides now secured the High
Priests the possession of Thebes itself, and of all the lands within the
southern provinces which were the appanage of the crown.

[Illustration: 091.jpg HRIHOR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Champollion.

They thus, in one way or another, became the exclusive masters of the
southern half of the Nile valley, from Elephantine to Siut; beyond Siut
also they had managed to acquire suzerainty over the town of Khobît, and
the territory belonging to it formed an isolated border province in the
midst of the independent baronies.*

     * The extent of the principality of Thebes under the high
     priests has been determined by means of the sacerdotal
     titles of the Theban princesses.

The representative of the dynasty reigning at Tanis held the remainder
of Egypt from Shit to the Mediterranean--the half belonging to the
Memphite Phtah and the Helio-politan Râ, as opposed to that assigned to
Anion. The origin of this Tanite sovereign is uncertain, but it would
appear that he was of more exalted rank than his rival in the south. The
official chronicling of events was marked by the years of his reign, and
the chief acts of the government were carried out in his name even in
the Thebaid.* Repeated inundations had caused the ruin of part of the
temple of Karnak, and it was by the order and under the auspices of this
prince that all the resources of the country were employed to accomplish
the much-needed restoration.**

     * I have pointed out that the years of the reign mentioned
     in the inscriptions of the high priests and the kings of the
     sacerdotal line must be attributed to their suzerains, the
     kings of Tanis. Hrihor alone seems to have been an
     exception, since to him are attributed the dates inscribed
     in the name of the King Siamon: M. Daressy, however, will
     not admit this, and asserts that this Siamon was a Tanite
     sovereign who must not be identified with Hrihor, and must
     be placed at least two or three generations later than the
     last of the Ramessides.

     * The real name Nsbindidi and the first monument of the
     Manethonian Smendes were discovered in the quarries of
     Dababîeh, opposite Gebelên.

It would have been impossible for him to have exercised any authority
over so rich and powerful a personage as Hrihor had he not possessed
rights to the crown, before which even the high priests of Amon were
obliged to bow, and hence it has been supposed that he was a descendant
of Ramses II. The descendants of this sovereign were doubtless divided
into at least two branches, one of which had just become extinct,
leaving no nearer heir than Hrihor, while another, of which there were
many ramifications, had settled in the Delta. The majority of these
descendants had become mingled with the general population, and had sunk
to the condition of private individuals; they had, however, carefully
preserved the tradition of their origin, and added proudly to their name
the qualification of royal son of Ramses. They were degenerate scions
of the Ramessides, and had neither the features nor the energy of their
ancestor. One of them, Zodphta-haûfônkhi, whose mummy was found at Deîr
el-Baharî, appears to have been tall and vigorous, but the head lacks
the haughty refinement which characterizes those of Seti I. and Ramses
II., and the features are heavy and coarse, having a vulgar, commonplace


     Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph by Insinger.

It seems probable that one branch of the family, endowed with greater
capability than the rest, was settled at Tanis, where Sesostris had,
as we have seen, resided for many years; Smendes was the first of this
branch to ascend the throne. The remembrance of his remote ancestor,
Ramses IL, which was still treasured up in the city he had completely
rebuilt, as well as in the Delta into which he had infused new life, was
doubtless of no small service in securing the crown for his descendant,
when, the line of the Theban kings having come to an end, the Tanites
put in their claim to the succession. We are unable to discover if
war broke out between the two competitors, or if they arrived at an
agreement without a struggle; but, at all events, we may assume that,
having divided Egypt between them, neither of them felt himself strong
enough to overcome his rival, and contented himself with the possession
of half the empire, since he could not possess it in its entirety. We
may fairly believe that Smendes had the greater right to the throne,
and, above all, the more efficient army of the two, since, had it been
otherwise, Hrihor would never have consented to yield him the priority.

The unity of Egypt was, to outward appearances, preserved, through the
nominal possession by Smendes of the suzerainty; but, as a matter of
fact, it had ceased to exist, and the fiction of the two kingdoms
had become a reality for the first time within the range of history.
Henceforward there were two Egypts, governed by different constitutions
and from widely remote centres. Theban Egypt was, before all things,
a community recognizing a theocratic government, in which the kingly
office was merged in that of the high priest. Separated from Asia by the
length of the Delta, it turned its attention, like the Pharaohs of the
VIth and XIIth dynasties, to Ethiopia, and owing to its distance from
the Mediterranean, and from the new civilization developed on its
shores, it became more and more isolated, till at length it was reduced
to a purely African state. Northern Egypt, on the contrary, maintained
contact with European and Asiatic nations; it took an interest in their
future, it borrowed from them to a certain extent whatever struck it as
being useful or beautiful, and when the occasion presented itself, it
acted in concert with Mediterranean powers. There was an almost constant
struggle between these two divisions of the empire, at times
breaking out into an open rupture, to end as often in a temporary
re-establishment of unity. At one time Ethiopia would succeed in
annexing Egypt, and again Egypt would seize some part of Ethiopia; but
the settlement of affairs was never final, and the conflicting elements,
brought with difficulty into harmony, relapsed into their usual
condition at the end of a few years. A kingdom thus divided against
itself could never succeed in maintaining its authority over those
provinces which, even in the heyday of its power, had proved impatient
of its yoke.

Asia was associated henceforward in the minds of the Egyptians with
painful memories of thwarted ambitions, rather than as offering a field
for present conquest. They were pursued by the memories of their former
triumphs, and the very monuments of their cities recalled what they
were anxious to forget. Wherever they looked within their towns they
encountered the representation of some Asiatic scene; they read the
names of the cities of Syria on the walls of their temples; they saw
depicted on them its princes and its armies, whose defeat was recorded
by the inscriptions as well as the tribute which they had been forced
to pay. The sense of their own weakness prevented the Egyptians from
passing from useless regrets to action; when, however, one or other of
the Pharaohs felt sufficiently secure on the throne to carry his troops
far afield, he was always attracted to Syria, and crossed her frontiers,
often, alas! merely to encounter defeat.

[Illustration: 095.jpg Tailpiece]



_The continuance of Egyptian influence over Syrian civilization after
the death of Ramses III.--Egyptian myths in Phoenicia: Osiris and Isis
at Byblos--Horus, Thot, and the origin of the Egyptian alphabet--The
tombs at Arvad and the Kabr-Hiram; Egyptian designs in Phoenician glass
and goldsmiths'work--Commerce with Egypt, the withdrawal of Phoenician
colonies in the Ægean Sea and the Achæans in Cyprus; maritime
expeditions in the Western Mediterranean._

_Northern Syria: the decadence of the Hittites and the steady growth
of the Aramæan tribes--The decline of the Babylonian empire under the
Cossæan kings, and its relations with Egypt: Assuruballit, Bammdn-nirdri
I. and the first Assyrian conquests--Assyria, its climate, provinces,
and cities: the god Assur and his Ishtar--The wars against
Chaldæa: Shalmaneser I., Tulculi-ninip I., and the taking of
Babylon--Belchadrezzar and the last of the Cosssæans._

_The dynasty of Pashê: Nebuchadrezzar I., his disputes with Elam, his
defeat by Assurrîshishî--The legend of the first Assyrian empire, Ninos
and Semiramis--The Assyrians and their political constitution: the
limmu, the king and his divine character, his hunting and his wars--The
Assyrian army: the infantry and chariotry, the crossing of rivers, mode
of marching in the plains and in the mountain districts--Camps, battles,
sieges; cruelty shown to the vanquished, the destruction of towns and
the removal of the inhabitants, the ephemeral character of the Assyrian

_Tiglath pileser I.: Ms campaign against the Mushhu, his conquest of
Kurhhi and of the regions of the Zab--The petty Asiatic kingdoms
and their civilization: art and writing in the old Hittite
states--Tiglath-pileser I. in Nairi and in Syria: his triumphal stele
at Sebbeneh-Su--His buildings, his hunts, his conquest of
Babylon--Merodach-nadin-akhi and the close of the Pashê
dynasty--Assur-belkala and Samsi-rammân III.: the decline of
Assyria--Syria without a foreign rider: the incapacity of the Khdti to
give unity to the country._

[Illustration: 099.jpg Page Image]


_Phoenicia and the northern nations after the death of Ramses III.--The
first Assyrian empire: Tiglath-pileser I.--The Aramoans and the Khâti._

The cessation of Egyptian authority over countries in which it had so
long prevailed did not at once do away with the deep impression which
it had made upon their constitution and customs. While the nobles
and citizens of Thebes were adopting the imported worship of Baal and
Astartê, and were introducing into the spoken and written language words
borrowed from Semitic speech, the Syrians, on the other hand, were
not unreceptive of the influence of their conquerors. They had applied
themselves zealously to the study of Egyptian arts, industry and
religion, and had borrowed from these as much, at least, as they had
lent to the dwellers on the Nile. The ancient Babylonian foundation
of their civilization was not, indeed, seriously modified, but it was
covered over, so to speak, with an African veneer which varied in depth
according to the locality.*

     * Most of the views put forth in this part of the chapter
     are based on posterior and not contemporary data. The most
     ancient monuments which give evidence of it show it in such
     a complete state that we may fairly ascribe it to some
     centuries earlier; that is, to the time when Egypt still
     ruled in Syria, the period of the XIXth and even the XVIIIth

Phoenicia especially assumed and retained this foreign exterior. Its
merchants, accustomed to establish themselves for lengthened periods in
the principal trade-centres on the Nile, had become imbued therein
with something of the religious ideas and customs of the land, and
on returning to their own country had imported these with them and
propagated them in their neighbourhood. They were not content with other
household utensils, furniture, and jewellery than those to which they
had been accustomed on the Nile, and even the Phonician gods seemed to
be subject to this appropriating mania, for they came to be recognised
in the indigenous deities of the Said and the Delta. There was, at
the outset, no trait in the character of Baalat by which she could be
assimilated to Isis or Hathor: she was fierce, warlike, and licentious,
and wept for her lover, while the Egyptian goddesses were accustomed
to shed tears for their husbands only. It was this element of a common
grief, however, which served to associate the Phonician and Egyptian
goddesses, and to produce at length a strange blending of their persons
and the legends concerning them; the lady of Byblos ended in becoming an
Isis or a Hathor,* and in playing the part assigned to the latter in the
Osirian drama.

* The assimilation must have been ancient, since the Egyptians of the
Theban dynasties already accepted Baalat as the Hathor of Byblos.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Prisse d'Avennes

This may have been occasioned by her city having maintained closer
relationships than the southern towns with Bûto and Mendes, or by her
priests having come to recognise a fundamental agreement between their
theology and that of Egypt. In any case, it was at Byblos that the most
marked and numerous, as well as the most ancient, examples of borrowing
from the religions of the Nile were to be found. The theologians of
Byblos imagined that the coffin of Osiris, after it had been thrown into
the sea by Typhon, had been thrown up on the land somewhere near their
city at the foot of a tamarisk, and that this tree, in its rapid growth,
had gradually enfolded within its trunk the body and its case. King
Malkander cut it down in order to use it as a support for the roof of
his palace: a marvellous perfume rising from it filled the apartments,
and it was not long before the prodigy was bruited abroad. Isis, who was
travelling through the world in quest of her husband, heard of it, and
at once realised its meaning: clad in rags and weeping, she sat down
by the well whither the women of Byblos were accustomed to come every
morning and evening to draw water, and, being interrogated by them,
refused to reply; but when the maids of Queen Astartê* approached
in their turn, they were received by the goddess in the most amiable
manner--Isis deigning even to plait their hair, and to communicate to
them the odour of myrrh with which she herself was impregnated.

     * Astartê is the name taken by the queen in the Phoenician
     version: the Egyptian counterpart of the same narrative
     substituted for it Nemanous or Saôsis; that is to say, the
     two principal forms of Hathor--the Hermopolitan Nahmâûît and
     the Heliopolitan lûsasît. It would appear from the presence
     of these names that there must have been in Egypt two
     versions at least of the Phoenician adventures of Isis--the
     one of Hermopolitan and the other of Heliopolitan origin.

Their mistress came to see the stranger who had thus treated her
servants, took her into her service, and confided to her the care of her
lately born son. Isis became attached to the child, adopted it for her
own, after the Egyptian manner, by inserting her finger in its mouth;
and having passed it through the fire during the night in order to
consume away slowly anything of a perishable nature in its body,
metamorphosed herself into a swallow, and flew around the miraculous
pillar uttering plaintive cries. Astartê came upon her once while she
was bathing the child in the flame, and broke by her shrieks of
fright the charm of immortality. Isis was only able to reassure her by
revealing her name and the object of her presence there. She opened the
mysterious tree-trunk, anointed it with essences, and wrapping it in
precious cloths, transmitted it to the priests of Byblos, who deposited
it respectfully in their temple: she put the coffin which it contained
on board ship, and brought it, after many adventures, into Egypt.
Another tradition asserts, however, that Osiris never found his way back
to his country: he was buried at Byblos, this tradition maintained, and
it was in his honour that the festivals attributed by the vulgar to the
young Adonis were really celebrated. A marvellous fact seemed to support
this view. Every year a head of papyrus, thrown into the sea at some
unknown point of the Delta, was carried for six days along the Syrian
coast, buffeted by wind and waves, and on the seventh was thrown up at
Byblos, where the priests received it and exhibited it solemnly to the
people.* The details of these different stories are not in every case
very ancient, but the first fact in them carries us back to the time
when Byblos had accepted the sovereignty of the Theban dynasties,
and was maintaining daily commercial and political relations with the
inhabitants of the Nile valley.**

     * In the later Roman period it was letters announcing the
     resurrection of Adonis-Osiris that the Alexandrian women
     cast into the sea, and these were carried by the current as
     far as Byblos. See on this subject the commentaries of Cyril
     of Alexandra and Procopius of Gaza on chap, xviii. of

     ** It is worthy of note that Philo gives to the divinity
     with the Egyptian name Taautos the part in the ancient
     history of Phoenicia of having edited the mystic writings
     put in order by Sanchoniathon at a very early epoch.

The city proclaimed Horus to be a great god.* El-Kronos allied himself
with Osiris as well as with Adonis; Isis and Baalat became blended
together at their first encounter, and the respective peoples made
an exchange of their deities with the same light-heartedness as they
displayed in trafficking with the products of their soil or their

     * This is confirmed by one of the names inscribed on the Tel
     el-Amarna tablets as being that of a governor of Byblos
     under Amenôthes IV. This name was read Rabimur, Anrabimur,
     or Ilrabimur, and finally Ilurabihur: the meaning of it is,
     "Muru is the great god," or "Horus is the great god." Muru is
     the name which we find in an appellation of a Hittite king,
     Maurusaru, "Mauru is king." On an Aramoan cylinder in the
     British Museum, representing a god in Assyrian dress
     fighting with two griffins, there is the inscription
     "Horkhu," Harmakhis.

[Illustration: 104.jpg THE PHOENICIAN HORUS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an intaglio engraved in
     Cesnola. The Phoenician figures of Horus and Thot which I
     have reproduced were pointed out to me by my friend

After Osiris, the Ibis Thot was the most important among the deities
who had emigrated to Asia. He was too closely connected with the Osirian
cycle to be forgotten by the Phoenicians after they had adopted his
companions. We are ignorant of the particular divinity with whom he was
identified, or would be the more readily associated from some similarity
in the pronunciation of his name: we know only that he still preserved
in his new country all the power of his voice and all the subtilty of
his mind. He occupied there also the position of scribe and enchanter,
as he had done at Thebes, Memphis, Thinis, and before the chief of each
Heliopolitan Ennead. He became the usual adviser of El-Kronos at Byblos,
as he had been of Osiris and Horus; he composed charms for him,
and formulae which increased the warlike zeal of his partisans; he
prescribed the form and insignia of the god and of his attendant
deities, and came finally to be considered as the inventor of letters.*

     * The part of counsellor which Thot played in connexion with
     the god of Byblos was described at some length in the
     writings attributed to Sankhoniathon.

[Illustration: 105.jpg THE PHOENICIAN THOT]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after an intaglio engraved in M. de

The epoch, indeed, in which he became a naturalised Phoenician coincides
approximately with a fundamental revolution in the art of writing--that
in which a simple and rapid stenography was substituted for the
complicated and tedious systems with which the empires of the ancient
world had been content from their origin. Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Arvad,
had employed up to this period the most intricate of these systems. Like
most of the civilized nations of Western Asia, they had conducted their
diplomatic and commercial correspondence in the cuneiform character
impressed upon clay tablets. Their kings had had recourse to a
Babylonian model for communicating to the Amenôthes Pharaohs the
expression of their wishes or their loyalty; we now behold them, after
an interval of four hundred years and more*--during which we have no
examples of their monuments--possessed of a short and commodious script,
without the encumbrance of ideograms, determinatives, polyphony and
syllabic sounds, such as had fettered the Egyptian and Chaldæan
scribes, in spite of their cleverness in dealing with them. Phonetic
articulations were ultimately resolved into twenty-two sounds, to each
of which a special sign was attached, which collectively took the place
of the hundreds or thousands of signs formerly required.

     * The inscription on the bronze cup dedicated to the Baal of
     the Lebanon, goes back probably to the time of Hiram I., say
     the Xth century before our era; the reasons advanced by
     Winckler for dating it in the time of Hiram II. have not
     been fully accepted up to the present. By placing the
     introduction of the alphabet somewhere between Amenôthes IV.
     in the XVth and Hiram I. in the Xth century before our era,
     and by taking the middle date between them, say the
     accession of the XXIs'dynasty towards the year 1100 B.C. for
     its invention or adoption, we cannot go far wrong one way or
     the other.


     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from a heliogravure. This is the cup
     of the Baal of the Lebanon.

This was an alphabet, the first in point of time, but so ingenious and
so pliable that the majority of ancient and modern nations have found
it able to supply all their needs--Greeks and Europeans of the western
Mediterranean on the one hand, and Semites of all kinds, Persians and
Hindus on the other.

[Illustration: 107.jpg Table of Alphabets]

It must have originated between the end of the XVIIIth and the beginning
of the XXIst dynasties, and the existence of Pharaonic rule in Phoenicia
during this period has led more than one modern scholar to assume that
it developed under Egyptian influence.*

     * The hypothesis of an Egyptian origin, suggested casually
     by Champollion, has been ably dealt with by E. de Rougé. E.
     de Rougé derives the alphabet from the Hieratic, and his
     identifications have been accepted by Lauth, by Brugsch, by
     P. Lenormant, and by Isaac Taylor. Halévy would take it from
     the Egyptian hieroglyphics directly without the intervention
     of the Hieratic. The Egyptian origin, strongly contested of
     late, has been accepted by the majority of scholars.

Some affirm that it is traceable directly to the hieroglyphs, while
others seek for some intermediary in the shape of a cursive script,
and find this in the Hieratic writing, which contains, they maintain,
prototypes of all the Phoenician letters. Tables have been drawn up,
showing at a glance the resemblances and differences which appear
respectively to justify or condemn their hypothesis. Perhaps the
analogies would be more evident and more numerous if we were in
possession of inscriptions going back nearer to the date of origin. As
it is, the divergencies are sufficiently striking to lead some scholars
to seek the prototype of the alphabet elsewhere--either in Babylon, in
Asia Minor, or even in Crete, among those barbarous hieroglyphs which
are attributed to the primitive inhabitants of the island. It is no easy
matter to get at the truth amid these conflicting theories. Two points
only are indisputable; first, the almost unanimous agreement among
writers of classical times in ascribing the first alphabet to the
Phoenicians; and second, the Phonician origin of the Greek, and
afterwards of the Latin alphabet which we employ to-day.

To return to the religion of the Phoenicians: the foreign deities were
not content with obtaining a high place in the estimation of priests
and people; they acquired such authority over the native gods that
they persuaded them to metamorphose themselves almost completely into
Egyptian divinities.

[Illustration: 109.jpg RASHUF ON HIS LION]

     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from a photograph reproduced in

One finds among the majority of them the emblems commonly used in the
Pharaonic temples, sceptres with heads of animals, head-dress like the
Pschent, the _crux ansata_, the solar disk, and the winged scarab. The
lady of Byblos placed the cow's horns upon her head from the moment
she became identified with Hathor.* The Baal of the neighbouring
Arvad--probably a form of Bashuf--was still represented as standing
upright on his lion in order to traverse the high places: but while, in
the monument which has preserved the figure of the god, both lion and
mountain are given according to Chaldæan tradition, he himself, as the
illustration shows, is dressed after the manner of Egypt, in the striped
and plaited loin-cloth, wears a large necklace on his neck and bracelets
on his arms, and bears upon his head the white mitre with its double
plume and the Egyptian uraaus.**

     * She is represented as Hathor on the stele of Iéhav-melek,
     King of Byblos, during the Persian period.

     ** This monument, which belonged to the Péretié collection,
     was found near Amrîth, at the place called Nahr-Abrek. The
     dress and bearing are so like those of the Rashuf
     represented on Egyptian monuments, that I have no hesitation
     in regarding this as a representation of that god.

He brandishes in one hand the weapon of the victor, and is on the point
of despatching with it a lion, which he has seized by the tail with
the other, after the model of the Pharaonic hunters, Amenôthes I. and
Thûtmosis III. The lunar disk floating above his head lends to him,
it is true, a Phonician character, but the winged sun of Heliopolis
hovering above the disk leaves no doubt as to his Egyptian antecedents.*

     * The Phonician symbol represents the crescent moon holding
     the darkened portion in its arms, like the symbol reserved
     in Egypt for the lunar gods.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Renan.

The worship, too, offered to these metamorphosed gods was as much
changed as the deities themselves; the altars assumed something of the
Egyptian form, and the tabernacles were turned into shrines, which were
decorated at the top with a concave groove, or with a frieze made up of
repetitions of the uraeus. Egyptian fashions had influenced the better
classes so far as to change even their mode of dealing with the dead, of
which we find in not a few places clear evidence. Travellers arriving in
Egypt at that period must have been as much astonished as the tourist of
to-day by the monuments which the Egyptians erected for their dead.

[Illustration: 111.jpg AMENÔTHES I. SEIZING A LION]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin. This monument was in the Louvre
     Museum. Analogous figures of gods or kings holding a lion by
     the tail are found on various monuments of the Theban

The pyramids which met their gaze, as soon as they had reached the apex
of the Delta, must have far surpassed their ideas of them, no matter how
frequently they may have been told about them, and they must have been
at a loss to know why such a number of stones should have been brought
together to cover a single corpse. At the foot of these colossal
monuments, lying like a pack of hounds asleep around their master, the
mastabas of the early dynasties were ranged, half buried under the sand,
but still visible, and still visited on certain days by the descendants
of their inhabitants, or by priests charged with the duty of keeping
them up. Chapels of more recent generations extended as a sort of screen
before the ancient tombs, affording examples of the two archaic types
combined--the mastaba more or less curtailed in its proportions, and the
pyramid with a more or less acute point. The majority of these monuments
are no longer in existence, and only one of them has come down to us
intact--that which Amenôthes III. erected in the Serapeum at Memphis in
honour of an Apis which had died in his reign.

[Illustration: 112.jpg A PHOENICIAN MASTABA AT ARVAD]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the restoration by Thobois, as
     given in Renan. The cuttings made in the lower stonework
     appear to be traces of unfinished steps. The pyramid at the
     top is no longer in existence, but its remains are scattered
     about the foot of the monument, and furnished M. Thobois
     with the means of reconstructing with exactness the original

Phoenicians visiting the Nile valley must have carried back with them
to their native country a remembrance of this kind of burying-place, and
have suggested it to their architects as a model. One of the cemeteries
at Arvad contains a splendid specimen of this imported design.*

     * Pietschmann thinks that the monument is not older than the
     Greek epoch, and it must be admitted that the cornice is not
     such as we usually meet with in Egypt in Theban times;
     nevertheless, the very marked resemblance to the Theban
     mastaba shows that it must have been directly connected with
     the Egyptian type which prevailed from the XVIIIth to the
     XXth dynasties.

[Illustration: 113.jpg TWO OF THE TOMBS AT ARVAD]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a water-colour by Thobois,
     reproduced in Renan.

It is a square tower some thirty-six feet high; the six lower courses
consist of blocks, each some sixteen and a half feet long, joined to each
other without mortar. The two lowest courses project so as to form a
kind of pedestal for the building. The cornice at the top consists of
a deep moulding, surmounted by a broad flat band, above which rises the
pyramid, which attains a height of nearly thirty feet. It is impossible
to deny that it is constructed on a foreign model; it is not a slavish
imitation, however, but rather an adaptation upon a rational plan to
the conditions of its new home. Its foundations rest on nothing but a
mixture of soil and sand impregnated with water, and if vaults had been
constructed beneath this, as in Egypt, the body placed there would soon
have corrupted away, owing to the infiltration of moisture. The dead
bodies were, therefore, placed within the structure above ground, in
chambers corresponding to the Egyptian chapel, which were superimposed
the one upon the other. The first storey would furnish space for three
bodies, and the second would contain twelve, for which as many niches
were provided. In the same cemetery we find examples of tombs which the
architect has constructed, not after an Egyptian, but a Chaldæan model.
A round tower is here substituted for the square structure and a
cupola for the pyramid, while the cornice is represented by crenellated
markings. The only Egyptian feature about it is the four lions, which
seem to support the whole edifice upon their backs.*

     * The fellahîn in the neighbourhood call these two monuments
     the Meghazîl or "distaffs."

Arvad was, among Phoenician cities, the nearest neighbour to the
kingdoms on the Euphrates, and was thus the first to experience either
the brunt of an attack or the propagation of fashions and ideas from
these countries. In the more southerly region, in the country about
Tyre, there are fewer indications of Babylonian influence, and such
examples of burying-places for the ruling classes as the Kabr-Hiram
and other similar tombs correspond with the mixed mastaba of the Theban
period. We have the same rectangular base, but the chapel and its
crowning pyramid are represented by the sarcophagus itself with its
rigid cover. The work is of an unfinished character, and carelessly
wrought, but there is a charming simplicity about its lines and a
harmony in its proportions which betray an Egyptian influence.

[Illustration: 115.jpg THE KABR-HIRAM NEAR TYRE]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a sketch by Thobois, reproduced by

The spirit of imitation which we find in the religion and architecture
of Phoenicia is no less displayed in the minor arts, such as
goldsmiths'work, sculpture in ivory, engraving on gems, and
glass-making. The forms, designs, and colours are all rather those of
Egypt than of Chaldæa. The many-hued glass objects, turned out by the
manufacturers of the Said in millions, furnished at one time valuable
cargoes for the Phoenicians; they learned at length to cast and
colour copies of these at home, and imitated their Egyptian models so
successfully that classical antiquity was often deceived by them.*

     * Glass manufacture was carried to such a degree of
     perfection among the Phoenicians, that many ancient authors
     attributed to them the invention of glass.

Their engravers, while still continuing to employ cones and cylinders
of Babylonian form, borrowed the scarab type also, and made use of it
on the bezils of rings, the pendants of necklaces, and on a kind of
bracelet used partly for ornament and partly as a protective amulet.
The influence of the Egyptian model did not extend, however, amongst the
masses, and we find, therefore, no evidence of it in the case of common
objects, such as those of coarse sand or glazed earthenware. Egyptian
scarab forms were thus confined to the rich, and the material upon which
they are found is generally some costly gem, such as cut and polished
agate, onyx, haematite, and lapis-lazuli. The goldsmiths did not
slavishly copy the golden and silver bowls which were imported from the
Delta; they took their inspiration from the principles displayed in
the ornamentation of these objects, but they treated the subjects
after their own manner, grouping them afresh and blending them with
new designs. The intrinsic value of the metal upon which these artistic
conceptions had been impressed led to their destruction, and among the
examples which have come down to us I know of no object which can be
traced to the period of the Egyptian conquest. It was Theban art for
the most part which furnished the Phoenicians with their designs. These
included the lotus, the papyrus, the cow standing in a thicket and
suckling her calf, the sacred bark, and the king threatening with his
uplifted arm the crowd of conquered foes who lie prostrate before him.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Grifi.

The king's double often accompanied him on some of the original objects,
impassive and armed with the banner bearing the name of Horus. The
Phoenician artist modified this figure, which in its original form
did not satisfy his ideas of human nature, by transforming it into
a protective genius, who looks with approval on the exploits of his
_protégé_, and gathers together the corpses of those he has slain. Once
these designs had become current among the goldsmiths, they continued to
be supplied for a long period, without much modification, to the markets
of the Eastern and Western worlds. Indeed, it was natural that they
should have taken a stereotyped form, when we consider that the
Phoenicians who employed them held continuous commercial relations
with the country whence they had come--a country of which, too, they
recognised the supremacy. Egypt in the Ramesside period was, as we
have seen, distinguished for the highest development of every branch of
industry; it had also a population which imported and exported more raw
material and more manufactured products than any other.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Longpérier.

The small nation which acted as a commercial intermediary between Egypt
and the rest of the world had in this traffic a steady source of profit,
and even in providing Egypt with a single article--for example, bronze,
or the tin necessary for its preparation--could realise enormous
profits. The people of Tyre and Sidon had been very careful not to
alienate the good will of such rich customers, and as long as the
representatives of the Pharaoh held sway in Syria, they had shown
themselves, if not thoroughly trustworthy vassals, at least less
turbulent than their neighbours of Arvad and Qodshû. Even when the
feebleness and impotence of the successors of Ramses III. relieved them
from the obligation of further tribute, they displayed towards their old
masters such deference that they obtained as great freedom of trade with
the ports of the Delta as they had enjoyed in the past. They maintained
with these ports the same relations as in the days of their dependence,
and their ships sailed up the river as far as Memphis, and even higher,
while the Egyptian galleys continued to coast the littoral of Syria.
An official report addressed to Hrihor by one of the ministers of the
Theban Amon, indicates at one and the same time the manner in which
these voyages were accomplished, and the dangers to which their crews
were exposed. Hrihor, who was still high priest, was in need of foreign
timber to complete some work he had in hand, probably the repair of the
sacred barks, and commanded the official above mentioned to proceed
by sea to Byblos, to King Zikarbâl,* in order to purchase cedars of

     * This is the name which classical tradition ascribed to the
     first husband of Dido, the founder of Carthage--Sicharbas,
     Sichaeus, Acerbas.

The messenger started from Tanis, coasted along Kharu, and put into
the harbour of Dor, which then belonged to the Zakkala: while he was
revictualling his ship, one of the sailors ran away with the cash-box.
The local ruler, Badilu, expressed at first his sympathy at this
misfortune, and gave his help to capture the robber; then unaccountably
changing his mind he threw the messenger into prison, who had
accordingly to send to Egypt to procure fresh funds for his liberation
and the accomplishment of his mission. Having arrived at Byblos, nothing
occurred there worthy of record. The wood having at length been cut and
put on board, the ship set sail homewards. Driven by contrary winds,
the vessel was thrown upon the coast of Alasia, where the crew were
graciously received by the Queen Khatiba. We have evidence everywhere,
it may be stated, as to the friendly disposition displayed, either with
or without the promptings of interest, towards the representative of the
Theban pontiff. Had he been ill-used, the Phoenicians living on Egyptian
territory would have been made to suffer for it.

Navigators had to take additional precautions, owing to the presence
of Ægean or Asiatic pirates on the routes followed by the mercantile
marine, which rendered their voyages dangerous and sometimes interrupted
them altogether. The Syrian coast-line was exposed to these marauders
quite as much as the African had been during the sixty or eighty years
which followed the death of Ramses II.; the seamen of the north--Achæans
and Tyrseni, Lycians and Shardanians--had pillaged it on many occasions,
and in the invasion which followed these attacks it experienced as
little mercy as Naharaim, the Khâti, and the region of the Amorites. The
fleets which carried the Philistines, the Zakkala, and their allies had
devastated the whole coast before they encountered the Egyptian ships of
Ramses III. near Magadîl, to the south of Carmel. Arvad as well as Zahi
had succumbed to the violence of their attack, and if the cities of
Byblos, Berytus, Sidon, and Tyre had escaped, their suburbs had been
subjected to the ravages of the foe.*

     * See, for this invasion, vol. v. pp. 305-311, of the
     present work.

Peace followed the double victory of the Egyptians, and commerce on
the Mediterranean resumed once more its wonted ways, but only in those
regions where the authority of the Pharaoh and the fear of his vengeance
were effective influences. Beyond this sphere there were continual
warfare, piracy, migrations of barbaric hordes, and disturbances of all
kinds, among which, if a stranger ventured, it was at the almost certain
risk of losing his life or liberty. The area of undisturbed seas became
more and more contracted in proportion as the memory of past defeats
faded away. Cyprus was not comprised within it, and the Ægeans, who were
restrained by the fear of Egypt from venturing into any region under
her survey, perpetually flocked thither in numerous bodies. The Achæans,
too, took up their abode on this island at an early date--about the time
when some of their bands were infesting Libya, and offering their help
to the enemies of the Pharaoh. They began their encroachments on the
northern side of the island--the least rich, it is true, but the nearest
to Cilicia, and the easiest to hold against the attacks of their rivals.
The disaster of Piriu had no doubt dashed their hopes of finding a
settlement in Egypt: they never returned thither any more, and the
current of emigration which had momentarily inclined towards the south,
now set steadily towards the east, where the large island of Cyprus
offered an unprotected and more profitable field of adventure. We know
not how far they penetrated into its forests and its interior. The
natives began, at length, under their influence, to despise the customs
and mode of existence with which they had been previously contented:
they acquired a taste for pottery rudely decorated after the Mycenean
manner, for jewellery, and for the bronze swords which they had seen in
the hands of the invaders. The Phoenicians, in order to maintain their
ground against the intruders, had to strengthen their ancient posts
or found others--such as Carpasia, Gerynia, and Lapathos on the
Achæan coast itself, Tamassos near the copper-mines, and a new town,
Qart-hadashât, which is perhaps only the ancient Citium under a new
name.* They thus added to their earlier possessions on the island
regions on its northern side, while the rest either fell gradually into
the hands of Hellenic adventurers, or continued in the possession of
the native populations. Cyprus served henceforward as an advance-post
against the attacks of Western nations, and the Phoenicians must have
been thankful for the good fortune which had made them see the wisdom
of fortifying it. But what became of their possessions lying outside
Cyprus? They retained several of them on the southern coasts of Asia
Minor, and Rhodes remained faithful to them, as well as Thasos, enabling
them to overlook the two extremities of the Archipelago;** but, owing to
the movements of the People of the Sea and the political development of
the Mycenean states, they had to give up the stations and harbours of
refuge which they held in the other islands or on the continent.

     * It is mentioned in the inscription of Baal of Lebanon, and
     in the Assyrian inscriptions of the VII"'century B.C.

     * This would appear to be the case, as far as Rhodes is
     concerned, from the traditions which ascribed the final
     expulsion of the Phoenicians to a Doric invasion from Argos.
     The somewhat legendary accounts of the state of affairs
     after the Hellenic conquest are in the fragments of Ergias
     and Polyzelos.

They still continued, however, to pay visits to these
localities--sometimes in the guise of merchants and at others as
raiders, according to their ancient custom. They went from port to port
as of old, exposing their wares in the market-places, pillaging the
farms and villages, carrying into captivity the women and children whom
they could entice on board, or whom they might find defenceless on the
strand; but they attempted all this with more risk than formerly, and
with less success. The inhabitants of the coast were possessed of
fully manned ships, similar in form to those of the Philistines or
the Zakkala, which, at the first sight of the Phoenicians, set out in
pursuit of them, or, following the example set by their foe, lay in
wait for them behind some headland, and retaliated upon them for their
cruelty. Piracy in the Archipelago was practised as a matter of course,
and there was no islander who did not give himself up to it when
the opportunity offered, to return to his honest occupations after a
successful venture. Some kings seem to have risen up here and there who
found this state of affairs intolerable, and endeavoured to remedy it
by every means within their power: they followed on the heels of the
corsairs and adventurers, whatever might be their country; they followed
them up to their harbours of refuge, and became an effective police
force in all parts of the sea where they were able to carry their flag.
The memory of such exploits was preserved in the tradition of the Cretan
empire which Minos had constituted, and which extended its protection
over a portion of continental Greece.

If the Phoenicians had had to deal only with the piratical expeditions
of the peoples of the coast or with the jealous watchfulness of the
rulers of the sea, they might have endured the evil, but they had now
to put up, in addition, with rivalry in the artistic and industrial
products of which they had long had the monopoly. The spread of art
had at length led to the establishment of local centres of production
everywhere, which bade fair to vie with those of Phoenicia. On the
continent and in the Cyclades there were produced statuettes, intaglios,
jewels, vases, weapons, and textile fabrics which rivalled those of the
East, and were probably much cheaper. The merchants of Tyre and Sidon
could still find a market, however, for manufactures requiring great
technical skill or displaying superior taste--such as gold or silver
bowls, engraved or decorated with figures in outline--but they had to
face a serious falling off in their sales of ordinary goods. To extend
their commerce they had to seek new and less critical markets, where the
bales of their wares, of which the Ægean population was becoming weary,
would lose none of their attractions. We do not know at what date they
ventured to sail into the mysterious region of the Hesperides, nor by
what route they first reached it. It is possible that they passed from
Crete to Cythera, and from this to the Ionian Islands and to the point
of Calabria, on the other side of the straits of Otranto, whence they
were able to make their way gradually to Sicily.*

     * Ed. Meyer thinks that the extension of Phoenician commerce
     to the Western Mediterranean goes back to the XVIIIth
     dynasty, or, at the latest, the XVth century before our era.
     Without laying undue stress on this view, I am inclined to
     ascribe with him, until we get further knowledge, the
     colonisation of the West to the period immediately following
     the movements of the People of the Sea and the diminution of
     Phoenician trade in the Grecian Archipelago. Exploring
     voyages had been made before this, but the founding of
     colonies was not earlier than this epoch.

Did the fame of their discovery, we may ask, spread so rapidly in the
East as to excite there the cupidity and envy of their rivals? However
this may have been, the People of the Sea, after repeated checks
in Africa and Syria, and feeling more than ever the pressure of the
northern tribes encroaching on them, set out towards the west, following
the route pursued by the Phoenicians. The traditions current among
them and collected afterwards by the Greek historians give an account,
mingled with many fabulous details, of the causes which led to their
migrations and of the vicissitudes which they experienced in the course
of them. Daedalus having taken flight from Crete to Sicily, Minos, who
had followed in his steps, took possession of the greater part of the
island with his Eteocretes. Iolaos was the leader of Pelasgic bands,
whom he conducted first into Libya and finally to Sardinia. It came also
to pass that in the days of Atys, son of Manes, a famine broke out and
raged throughout Lydia: the king, unable to provide food for his people,
had them numbered, and decided by lot which of the two halves of the
population should expatriate themselves under the leadership of his son
Tyrsenos. Those-who were thus fated to leave their country assembled at
Smyrna, constructed ships there, and having embarked on board of them
what was necessary, set sail in quest of a new home. After a long
and devious voyage, they at length disembarked in the country of the
Umbrians, where they built cities, and became a prosperous people under
the name of Tyrseni, being thus called after their leader Tyrsenos.*

     * Herodotus, whence all the information of other classical
     writers is directly or indirectly taken. Most modern
     historians reject this tradition. I see no reason for my own
     part why they should do so, at least in the present state of
     our knowledge. The Etrurians of the historical period were
     the result of a fusion of several different elements, and
     there is nothing against the view that the Tursha--one of
     these elements--should have come from Asia Minor, as
     Herodotus says. Properly understood, the tradition seems
     well founded, and the details may have been added
     afterwards, either by the Lydians themselves, or by the
     Greek historians who collected the Lydian traditions.

The remaining portions of the nations who had taken part in the attack
on Egypt--of which several tribes had been planted by Ramses III. in
the Shephelah, from Gaza to Carmel--proceeded in a series of successive
detachments from Asia Minor and the Ægean Sea to the coasts of Italy
and of the large islands; the Tursha into that region which was known
afterwards as Etruria, the Shardana into Sardinia, the Zakkala into
Sicily, and along with the latter some Pulasati, whose memory is still
preserved on the northern slope of Etna. Fate thus brought the Phonician
emigrants once more into close contact with their traditional enemies,
and the hostility which they experienced in their new settlements from
the latter was among the influences which determined their further
migration from Italy proper, and from the region occupied by the
Ligurians between the Arno and the Ebro. They had already probably
reached Sardinia and Corsica, but the majority of their ships had sailed
to the southward, and having touched at Malta, Gozo, and the small
islands between Sicily and the Syrtes, had followed the coast-line of
Africa, until at length they reached the straits of Gribraltar and the
southern shores of Spain. No traces remain of their explorations, or of
their early establishments in the western Mediterranean, as the towns
which they are thought--with good reason in most instances--to have
founded there belong to a much later date. Every permanent settlement,
however, is preceded by a period of exploration and research, which may
last for only a few years or be prolonged to as many centuries. I am
within the mark, I think, in assuming that Phonician adventurers,
or possibly even the regular trading ships of Tyre and Sidon, had
established relations with the semi-barbarous chiefs of Botica as early
as the XIIth century before our era, that is, at the time when the power
of Thebes was fading away under the weak rule of the pontiffs of Amon
and the Tanite Pharaohs.

The Phoenicians were too much absorbed in their commercial pursuits
to aspire to the inheritance which Egypt was letting slip through her
fingers. Their numbers were not more than sufficient to supply men
for their ships, and they were often obliged to have recourse to their
allies or to mercenary tribes--the Leleges or Carians--in order to
provide crews for their vessels or garrisons for their trading posts;
it was impossible, therefore, for them to think of raising armies fit to
conquer or keep in check the rulers on the Orontes or in Naharaim. They
left this to the races of the interior--the Amorites and Hittites--and
to their restless ambition. The Hittite power, however, had never
recovered from the terrible blow inflicted on it at the time of the
Asianic invasion.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. Barthélémy.

The confederacy of feudal chiefs, which had been brought momentarily
together by Sapalulu and his successors, was shattered by the violence
of the shock, and the elements of which it was composed were engaged
henceforward in struggles with each other. At this time the entire plain
between the Amanus and the Euphrates was covered with rich cities, of
which the sites are represented to-day by only a few wretched villages
or by heaps of ruins. Arabian and Byzantine remains sometimes crown the
summit of the latter, but as soon as we reach the lower strata we find
in more or less abundance the ruins of buildings of the Greek or Persian
period, and beneath these those belonging to a still earlier time. The
history of Syria lies buried in such sites, and is waiting only for a
patient and wealthy explorer to bring it to light.* The Khâti proper
were settled to the south of the Taurus in the basin of the Sajur,
but they were divided into several petty states, of which that which
possessed Carchemish was the most important, and exercised a practical
hegemony over the others. Its chiefs alone had the right to call
themselves kings of the Khâti. The Patinu, who were their immediate
neighbours on the west, stretched right up to the Mediterranean above
the plains of Naharairn and beyond the Orontes; they had absorbed, it
would seem, the provinces of the ancient Alasia. Aramaeans occupied
the region to the south of the Patinu between the two Lebanon ranges,
embracing the districts of Hamath and Qobah.**

     * The results of the excavations at Zinjirli are evidence of
     what historical material we may hope to find in these
     tumuli. See the account of the earlier results in P. von
     Luschan, _Ausgrabungen in Sendschirli_, 1893.

     ** The Aramaeans are mentioned by Tiglath-pileser I. as
     situated between the Balikh, the Euphrates, and the Sajur.

The valleys of the Amanus and the southern slopes of the Taurus included
within them some half-dozen badly defined principalities--Samalla on the
Kara-Su,* Gurgum** around Marqasi, the Qui*** and Khilakku**** in
the classical Cilicia, and the Kasku^ and Kummukh^^ in a bend of the
Euphrates to the north and north-east of the Khâti.

     * The country of Samalla, in Egyptian Samalûa, extended
     around the Tell of Zinjirli, at the foot of the Amanus, in
     the valley of Marash of the Arab historians.

     ** The name has been read Gamgumu, Gaugum, and connected by
     Tom-kins with the Egyptian Augama, which he reads Gagama, in
     the lists of Thûtmosis III. The Aramaean inscription on the
     statue of King Panammu shows that it must be read Gurgumu,
     and Sachau has identified this new name with that of Jurjum,
     which was the name by which the province of the Amanus,
     lying between Baias and the lake of Antioch, was known in
     the Byzantine period; the ancient Gurgum stretches further
     towards the north, around the town of Marqasi, which Tomkins
     and Sachau have identified with Marash.

     *** The site of the country of Qui was determined by
     Schrader; it was that part of the Cilician plain which
     stretches from the Amanus to the mountains of the Kêtis, and
     takes in the great town of Tarsus. F. Lenor-mant has pointed
     out that this country is mentioned twice in the Scriptures
     (1 _Kings_ x, 28 and 2 _Chron_. i. 16), in the time of
     Solomon. The designation of the country, transformed into
     the appellation of an eponymous god, is found in the name
     Qauîsaru, "Qauî is king."

     **** Khilakku, the name of which is possibly the same as the
     Egyptian Khalakka, is the Cilicia Trachsea of classical

     ^ The country of Kashku, which has been connected with
     Kashkisha, which takes the place of Karkisha in an Egyptian
     text, was still a dependency of the Hittites in the time of
     Tiglath-pileser. It was in the neighbourhood of the Urumu,
     whose capital seems to have been Urum, the Ourima of
     Ptolemy, near the bend of the Euphrates between Sumeîsat and
     Birejik; it extended into the Commagene of classical times,
     on the borders of Melitene and the Tubal.

     ^^ Kummukh lay on both sides of the Euphrates and of the
     Upper Tigris; it became gradually restricted, until at
     length it was conterminous with the Commagene of classical

The ancient Mitanni to the east of Carchemish, which was so active in
the time of the later Amenôthes, had now ceased to exist, and there
was but a vague remembrance of its farmer prowess. It had foundered
probably in the great cataclysm which engulfed the Hittite empire,
although its name appears inscribed once more among those of the vassals
of Egypt on the triumphal lists of Ramses III. Its chief tribes had
probably migrated towards the regions which were afterwards described by
the Greek geographers as the home of the Matieni on the Halys and in the
neighbourhood of Lake Urmiah. Aramaean kingdoms, of which the greatest
was that of Bit-Adîni,* had succeeded them, and bordered the Euphrates
on each side as far as the Chalus and Balikh respectively; the ancient
Harran belonged also to them, and their frontier stretched as far as
Hamath, and to that of the Patinu on the Orontes.

     * The province of Bît-Adîni was specially that part of the
     country which lay between the Euphrates and the Balikh, but
     it extended also to other Syrian provinces between the
     Euphrates and the Aprie.

It was, as we have seen, a complete breaking up of the old
nationalities, and we have evidence also of a similar disintegration in
the countries to the north of the Taurus, in the direction of the Black
Sea. Of the mighty Khâti with whom Thûtmosis III. had come into contact,
there was no apparent trace: either the tribes of which they were
composed had migrated towards the south, or those who had never left
their native mountains had entered into new combinations and lost even
the remembrance of their name. The Milidu, Tabal (Tubal), and Mushku
(Meshech) stretched behind each other from east to west on the confines
of the Tokhma-Su, and still further away other cities of less importance
contended for the possession of the Upper Saros and the middle region of
the Halys. These peoples, at once poor and warlike, had been attracted,
like the Hittites of some centuries previous, by the riches accumulated
in the strongholds of Syria. Eevolutions must have been frequent in
these regions, but our knowledge of them is more a matter of conjecture
than of actual evidence. Towards the year 1170 B.C. the Mushku swooped
down on Kummukh, and made themselves its masters; then pursuing their
good fortune, they took from the Assyrians the two provinces, Alzi and
Purukuzzi, which lay not far from the sources of the Tigris and the

     * The _Annals of Tiglath-pileser I_. place their invasion
     fifty years before the beginning of his reign. Ed. Meyer saw
     a connexion between this and the invasion of the People of
     the Sea, which took place under Ramses III. I think that the
     invasion of the Mushku was a purely local affair, and had
     nothing in common with the general catastrophe occasioned by
     the movement of the Asiatic armies.

A little later the Kashku, together with some Aramaeans, broke into
Shubarti, then subject to Assyria, and took possession of a part of it.
The majority of these invasions had, however, no permanent result: they
never issued in the establishment of an empire like that of the Khâti,
capable by its homogeneity of offering a serious resistance to the march
of a conqueror from the south. To sum up the condition of affairs: if
a redistribution of races had brought about a change in Northern Syria,
their want of cohesion was no less marked than in the time of the
Egyptian wars; the first enemy to make an attack upon the frontier of
one or other of these tribes was sure of victory, and, if he persevered
in his efforts, could make himself master of as much territory as he
might choose. The Pharaohs had succeeded in welding together their
African possessions, and their part in the drama of conquest had
been played long ago; but the cities of the Tigris and the Lower
Euphrates--Nineveh and Babylon-were ready to enter the lists as soon as
they felt themselves strong enough to revive their ancient traditions of
foreign conquest.

The successors of Agumkakrimê were not more fortunate than he had been
in attempting to raise Babylon once more to the foremost rank; their
want of power, their discord, the insubordination and sedition that
existed among their Cossæan troops, and the almost periodic returns of
the Theban generals to the banks of the Euphrates, sometimes even to
those of the Balikh and the Khabur, all seemed to conspire to aggravate
the helpless state into which Babylon had sunk since the close of the
dynasty of Uruazagga. Elam was pressing upon her eastern, and Assyria
on her northern frontier, and their kings not only harassed her with
persistent malignity, but, by virtue of their alliances by marriage with
her sovereigns, took advantage of every occasion to interfere both
in domestic and state affairs; they would espouse the cause of some
pretender during a revolt, they would assume the guardianship of such
of their relatives as were left widows or minors, and, when the occasion
presented itself, they took possession of the throne of Bel, or bestowed
it on one of their creatures. Assyria particularly seemed to regard
Babylon with a deadly hatred. The capitals of the two countries were not
more than some one hundred and eighty-five miles apart, the intervening
district being a flat and monotonous alluvial plain, unbroken by any
feature which could serve as a natural frontier. The line of demarcation
usually followed one of the many canals in the narrow strip of land
between the Euphrates and the Tigris; it then crossed the latter, and
was formed by one of the rivers draining the Iranian table-land,--either
the Upper Zab, the Radanu, the Turnat, or some of their ramifications in
the spurs of the mountain ranges. Each of the two states strove by every
means in its power to stretch its boundary to the farthest limits,
and to keep it there at all hazards. This narrow area was the scene of
continual war, either between the armies of the two states or those of
partisans, suspended from time to time by an elaborate treaty which was
supposed to settle all difficulties, but, as a matter of fact, satisfied
no one, and left both parties discontented with their lot and jealous of
each other. The concessions made were never of sufficient importance
to enable the conqueror to crush his rival and regain for himself the
ancient domain of Khammurabi; his losses, on the other hand, were
often considerable enough to paralyse his forces, and prevent him from
extending his border in any other direction. When the Egyptians seized
on Naharaim, Assyria and Babylon each adopted at the outset a different
attitude towards the conquerors. Assyria, which never laid any permanent
claims to the seaboard provinces of the Mediterranean, was not disposed
to resent their occupation by Egypt, and desired only to make sure of
their support or their neutrality. The sovereign then ruling Assyria,
but of whose name we have no record, hastened to congratulate Thûtmosis
III. on his victory at Megiddo, and sent him presents of precious vases,
slaves, lapis-lazuli, chariots and horses, all of which the Egyptian
conqueror regarded as so much tribute. Babylon, on the other hand, did
not take action so promptly as Assyria; it was only towards the latter
years of Thûtmosis that its king, Karaîndash, being hard pressed by the
Assyrian Assurbelnishishu, at length decided to make a treaty with the

     * We have no direct testimony in support of this hypothesis,
     but several important considerations give it probability. As
     no tribute from Babylon is mentioned in the _Annals of
     Thûtmosis III_., we must place the beginning of the
     relations between Egypt and Chaldæa at a later date. On the
     other hand, Burnaburiash II., in a letter written to
     Amenôthes III., cites Karaîndash as the first of _his
     fathers,_ who had established friendly relations with _the
     fathers_ of the Pharaoh, a fact which obliges us to place
     the interchange of presents before the time of Amenôthes
     III.: as the reigns of Amenôthes II. and of Thûtmosis IV.
     were both short, it is probable that these relations began
     in the latter years of Thûtmosis III.

The remoteness of Egypt from the Babylonian frontier no doubt relieved
Karaîndash from any apprehension of an actual invasion by the Pharaohs;
but there was the possibility of their subsidising some nearer enemy,
and also of forbidding Babylonish caravans to enter Egyptian provinces,
and thus crippling Chaldæan commerce. Friendly relations, when once
established, soon necessitated a constant interchange of embassies and
letters between the Nile and the Euphrates. As a matter of fact, the
Babylonian king could never reconcile himself to the idea that Syria had
passed out of his hands. While pretending to warn the Pharaoh of Syrian
plots against him,* the Babylonians were employing at the same time
secret agents, to go from city to city and stir up discontent at
Egyptian rule, praising the while the great Cosssean king and his
armies, and inciting to revolt by promises of help never meant to be
fulfilled. Assyria, whose very existence would have been endangered by
the re-establishment of a Babylonian empire, never missed an opportunity
of denouncing these intrigues at head-quarters: they warned the royal
messengers and governors of them, and were constantly contrasting the
frankness and honesty of their own dealings with the duplicity of their

     * This was done by Kurigalzu I., according to a letter
     addressed by his son Burnaburiash to Amenôthes IV.

This state of affairs lasted for more than half a century, during which
time both courts strove to ingratiate themselves in the favour of the
Pharaoh, each intriguing for the exclusion of the other, by exchanging
presents with him, by congratulations on his accession, by imploring
gifts of wrought or unwrought gold, and by offering him the most
beautiful women of their family for his harem. The son of Karaîndash,
whose name still remains to be discovered, bestowed one of his daughters
on the young Amenôthes III.: Kallimasin, the sovereign who succeeded
him, also sent successively two princesses to the same Pharaoh. But
the underlying bitterness and hatred would break through the veneer of
polite formula and protestations when the petitioner received, as the
result of his advances, objects of inconsiderable value such as a lord
might distribute to his vassals,'or when he was refused a princess of
solar blood, or even an Egyptian bride of some feudal house; at such
times, however, an ironical or haughty epistle from Thebes would recall
him to a sense of his own inferiority.

As a fact, the lot of the Cossæan sovereigns does not appear to have
been a happy one, in spite of the variety and pomposity of the titles
which they continued to assume. They enjoyed but short lives, and we
know that at least three or four of them--Kallimasin, Burnaburiash I.,
and Kurigalzu I. ascended the throne in succession during the forty
years that Amenôthes III. ruled over Egypt and Syria.*

     * The copy we possess of the Royal Canon of Babylon is
     mutilated at this point, and the original documents are not
     sufficiently complete to fill the gap. About two or three
     names are missing after that of Agumkakrimê, and the reigns
     must have been very short, if indeed, as I think, Agumka-
     krimî and Karaîndash were both contemporaries of the earlier
     Pharaohs bearing the name of Thûtmosis. The order of the
     names which have come down to us is not indisputably
     established. The following order appears to me to be the
     most probable at present:--

     Karaîndash. Kallimasin. Burnaburiash I. Kurigalzu I.
     Burnaburiash II. Karakhardash. Kadashmankiiarbê I.
     Nazibugas II.. Kurigalzu II. Nazimaruttasii. Kadashmanturgu.

     This is, with a slight exception, the classification adopted
     by Winckler, and that of Hilprecht differs from it only in
     the intercalation of Kudurturgu and Shagaraktiburiash
     between Burnaburiash II. and Karakhardash.

Perhaps the rapidity of this succession may have arisen from some
internal revolution or from family disturbances. The Chaldæans of the
old stock reluctantly rendered obedience to these Cosssean kings,
and, if we may judge from the name, one at least of these ephemeral
sovereigns, Kallimasin, appears to have been a Semite, who owed his
position among the Cossoan princes to some fortunate chance. A few
rare inscriptions stamped on bricks, one or two letters or documents of
private interest, and some minor objects from widely distant spots, have
enabled us to ascertain the sites upon which these sovereigns erected
buildings; Karaîndash restored the temple of Nana at Uruk, Burnaburiash
and Kurigalzu added to that of Shamash at Larsam, and Kurigalzu took in
hand that of Sin at Uru. We also possess a record of some of their acts
in the fragments of a document, which a Mnevite scribe of the time of
Assurbanipal had compiled, or rather jumbled together,* from certain
Babylonian chronicles dealing with the wars against Assyria and Elam,
with public treaties, marriages, and family quarrels. We learn from
this, for example, that Burnaburiash I. renewed with Buzurassur the
conventions drawn up between Karaîndash and Assurbelnishishu. These
friendly relations were maintained, apparently, under Kurigalzu I.
and Assur-nadin-akhi, the son of Buzurassur;** if Kurigalzu built or
restored the fortress, long called after him Dur-Kurigalzu,*** at one
of the fords of the Narmalka, it was probably as a precautionary measure
rather than because of any immediate danger. The relations between
the two powers became somewhat strained when Burnaburiash II.
and Assuruballît had respectively succeeded to Kurigalzu and
Assur-nadin-akhi; **** this did not, however, lead to hostilities, and
the subsequent betrothal of Karakhardash, son of Burnaburiash II., to
Mubauîtatseruâ, daughter of Assuruballît, tended to restore matters to
their former condition.

     * This is what is generally called the "Synchronous
     History," the principal remains of which were discovered and
     published by H. Rawlinson. It is a very unskilful
     complication, in which Winckler has discovered several

     ** Assur-nadin-akhi I. is mentioned in a Tel el-Amarna
     tablet as being the father of Assuruballît.

     *** This is the present Akerkuf, as is proved by the
     discovery of bricks bearing the name of Kurigalzu; but
     perhaps what I have attributed to Kurigalzu I. must be
     referred to the second king of that name.

     **** We infer this from the way in which Burnaburiash speaks
     of the Assyrians in the correspondence with Amenôthes IV.

The good will between the two countries became still more pronounced
when Kadashmankharbê succeeded his father Karakhardash. The Cossæan
soldiery had taken umbrage at his successor and had revolted,
assassinated Kadashmankharbê, and proclaimed king in his stead a man
of obscure origin named Nazibùgash. Assuruballît, without a moment's
hesitation, took the side of his new relatives; he crossed the frontier,
killed Nazibugash, and restored the throne to his sister's child,
Kurigalzu II., the younger. The young king, who was still a minor at
his accession, appears to have met with no serious difficulties; at any
rate, none were raised by his Assyrian cousins, Belnirârî I. and his
successor Budîlu.*

     * The _Synchronous History_ erroneously places the events of
     the reign of Rammân-nirâri in that of Belnirârî. The order
     of succession of Buzurassur, Assuruballît, Belnirârî, and
     Budîlu, has been established by the bricks of Kalah-Shergât.

Towards the close of his reign, however, revolts broke out, and it was
only by sustained efforts that he was able to restore order in Babylon,
Sippara, and the Country of the Sea. While the king was in the midst of
these difficulties, the Elamites took advantage of his troubles to
steal from him a portion of his territory, and their king, Khurbatila,
challenged him to meet his army near Dur-Dungi. Kurigalzu accepted the
challenge, gained a decisive victory, took his adversary prisoner, and
released him only on receiving as ransom a province beyond the Tigris;
he even entered Susa, and, from among other trophies of past wars,
resumed possession of an agate tablet belonging to Dungi, which the
veteran Kudurnakhunta had stolen from the temple of Nipur nearly
a thousand years previously. This victory was followed by the
congratulations of most of his neighbours, with the exception of
Bammân-nirâri II., who had succeeded Budîlu in Assyria, and probably
felt some jealousy or uneasiness at the news. He attacked the Cossæans,
and overthrew them at Sugagi, on the banks of the Salsallât; their
losses were considerable, and Kurigalzu could only obtain peace by the
cession to Assyria of a strip of territory the entire length of the
north-west frontier, from the confines of the Shubari country, near
the sources of the Khabur, to the suburbs of Babylon itself. Nearly the
whole of Mesopotamia thus changed hands at one stroke, but Babylon had
still more serious losses to suffer. Nazimaruttash, who attempted to
wipe out the disaster sustained by his father Kurigalzu, experienced two
crushing defeats, one at Kar-Ishtar and the other near Akarsallu, and
the treaty which he subsequently signed was even more humiliating for
his country than the preceding one. All that part of the Babylonian
domain which lay nearest to Nineveh was ceded to the Assyrians, from
Pilaski on the right bank of the Tigris to the province of Lulumê in
the Zagros mountains. It would appear that the Cossæan tribes who had
remained in their native country, took advantage of these troublous
times to sever all connection with their fellow-countrymen established
in the cities of the plain; for we find them henceforward carrying on a
petty warfare for their own profit, and leading an entirely independent
life. The descendants of Gandish, deprived of territories in the north,
repulsed in the east, and threatened in the south by the nations of
the Persian Gulf, never recovered their former ascendency, and their
authority slowly declined during the century which followed these
events. Their downfall brought about the decadence of the cities over
which they had held sway; and the supremacy which Babylon had exercised
for a thousand years over the countries of the Euphrates passed into the
hands of the Assyrian kings.

Assyria itself was but a poor and insignificant country when compared
with her rival. It occupied, on each side of the middle course of the
Tigris, the territory lying between the 35th and 37th parallels of

     * These are approximately the limits of the first Assyrian
     empire, as given by the monuments; from the Persian epoch
     onwards, the name was applied to the whole course of the
     Tigris as far as the mountain district. The ancient
     orthography of the name is Aushâr.

It was bounded on the east by the hills and mountain ranges running
parallel to the Zagros Chain--Gebel Guar, Gebel Gara, Zerguizavân-dagh,
and Baravân-dagh, with their rounded monotonous limestone ridges, scored
by watercourses and destitute of any kind of trees. On the north it
was hemmed in by the spurs of the Masios, and bounded on the east by an
undefined line running from Mount Masios to the slopes of Singar,
and from these again to the Chaldæan plain; to the south the frontier
followed the configuration of the table-land and the curve of the low
cliffs, which in prehistoric times had marked the limits of the Persian
Gulf; from here the boundary was formed on the left side of the Tigris
by one of its tributaries, either the Lower Zab or the Badanu. The
territory thus enclosed formed a compact and healthy district: it was
free from extremes of temperature arising from height or latitude, and
the relative character and fertility of its soil depended on the absence
or presence of rivers. The eastern part of Assyria was well watered by
the streams and torrents which drained the Iranian plateau and the lower
mountain chains which ran parallel to it. The beds of these rivers are
channelled so deeply in the alluvial soil, that it is necessary to stand
on the very edge of their banks to catch a sight of their silent and
rapid waters; and it is only in the spring or early summer, when they
are swollen by the rains and melting snow, that they spread over the
adjacent country. As soon as the inundation is over, a vegetation of the
intensest green springs up, and in a few days the fields and meadows are
covered with a luxuriant and fragrant carpet of verdure. This brilliant
growth is, however, short-lived, for the heat of the sun dries it up as
quickly as it appears, and even the corn itself is in danger of being
burnt up before reaching maturity. To obviate such a disaster, the
Assyrians had constructed a network of canals and ditches, traces of
which are in many places still visible, while a host of _shadufs_
placed along their banks facilitated irrigation in the dry seasons. The
provinces supplied with water in this manner enjoyed a fertility which
passed into a proverb, and was well known among the ancients; they
yielded crops of cereals which rivalled those of Babylonia, and included
among their produce wheat, barley, millet, and sesame. But few olive
trees were cultivated, and the dates were of inferior quality; indeed,
in the Greek period, these fruits were only used for fattening pigs and
domestic animals. The orchards contained the pistachio, the apple, the
pomegranate, the apricot, the vine, the almond, and the fig, and, in
addition to the essences common to both Syria and Egypt, the country
produced cédrats of a delicious scent which were supposed to be an
antidote to all kinds of poisons. Assyria was not well wooded, except in
the higher valleys, where willows and poplars bordered the rivers, and
sycamores, beeches, limes, and plane trees abounded, besides several
varieties of pines and oaks, including a dwarf species of the latter,
from whose branches manna was obtained.

[Illustration: 143.jpg THE 1ST ASSYRIAN EMPIRE--MAP]

This is a saccharine substance, which is deposited in small lumps, and
is found in greater abundance during wet years and especially on foggy
days. When fresh, it has an agreeable taste and is pleasant to eat;
but as it will not keep in its natural state, the women prepare it for
exportation by dissolving it in boiling water, and evaporating it to a
sweetish paste, which has more or less purgative, qualities. The aspect
of the country changes after crossing the Tigris westward. The slopes of
Mount Masios are everywhere furrowed with streams, which feed the Khabur
and its principal affluent, the Kharmis;* woods become more frequent,
and the valleys green and shady.

     * The Kharmis is the Mygdonios of Greek geographers, the
     Hirmâs of the Arabs; the latter name may be derived from
     Kharmis, or it may be that it merely presents a fortuitous
     resemblance to it.

The plains extending southwards, however, contain, like those of the
Euphrates, beds of gypsum in the sub-soil, which render the water
running through them brackish, and prevent the growth of vegetation.
The effects of volcanic action are evident on the surface of these
great steppes; blocks of basalt pierce through the soil, and near the
embouchure of the Kharmis, a cone, composed of a mass of lava, cinders,
and scorial, known as the Tell-Kôkab, rises abruptly to a height of
325 feet. The mountain chain of Singar, which here reaches its western
termination, is composed of a long ridge of soft white limestone, and
seems to have been suddenly thrown up in one of the last geological
upheavals which affected this part of the country: in some places it
resembles a perpendicular wall, while in others it recedes in natural
terraces which present the appearance of a gigantic flight of steps. The
summit is often wooded, and the spurs covered with vineyards and fields,
which flourish vigorously in the vicinity of streams; when these fail,
however, the table-land resumes its desolate aspect, and stretches
in bare and sandy undulations to the horizon, broken only where it
is crossed by the Thartar, the sole river in this region which is not
liable to be dried up, and whose banks may be traced by the scanty line
of vegetation which it nourishes.

[Illustration: 145.jpg THE VOLCANIC CONE OF KÔKAB]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the cut in Layard.

In a country thus unequally favoured by nature, the towns are
necessarily distributed in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. Most of them
are situated on the left bank of the Tigris, where the fertile nature
of the soil enables it to support a dense population. They were all
flourishing centres of population, and were in close proximity to each
other, at all events during the centuries of Assyrian hegemony.*

     * We find, for example, in the inscription of Bavian, a long
     enumeration of towns and villages situated almost within the
     suburbs of Nineveh, on the banks of the Khôser.

Three of them soon eclipsed their rivals in political and religious
importance; these were Kalakh and Nina on the Tigris, and Arbaîlu,
lying beyond the Upper Zab, in the broken plain which is a continuation
eastwards of the first spurs of the Zagros.* On the right bank, however,
we find merely some dozen cities and towns, scattered about in places
where there was a supply of water sufficient to enable the inhabitants
to cultivate the soil; as, for example, Assur on the banks of the Tigris
itself, Singara near the sources of the Thartar, and Nazibina near those
of the Kharmis, at the foot of the Masios. These cities were not all
under the rule of one sovereign when Thûtmosis III. appeared in Syria,
for the Egyptian monuments mention, besides the kingdom of Assyria, that
of Singara** and Araphka in the upper basin of the Zab.***

     * The name of Arbeles is written in a form which appears to
     signify "the town of the four gods."

     ** This kingdom of Singara is mentioned in the Egyptian
     lists of Thûtmosis III. Schrader was doubtful as to its
     existence, but one of its kings is mentioned in a letter
     from the King of Alasia to Amenôthes IV.; according to
     Niebuhr, the state of which Singara was the capital must
     have been identical, at all events at one period, with the
     Mitanni of the Egyptian texts.

     *** The Arapakha of the Egyptian monuments has been
     identified with the Arrapakhitis of the Greeks.

Assyria, however, had already asserted her supremacy over this corner of
Asia, and the remaining princes, even if they were not mere vicegerents
depending on her king, were not strong enough in wealth and extent
of territory to hold their own against her, since she was undisputed
mistress of Assur, Arbeles, Kalakh, and Nineveh, the most important
cities of the plain. Assur covered a considerable area, and the
rectangular outline formed by the remains of its walls is still
discernible on the surface of the soil. Within the circuit of the
city rose a mound, which the ancient builders had transformed, by
the addition of masses of brickwork, into a nearly square platform,
surmounted by the usual palace, temple, and ziggurat; it was enclosed
within a wall of squared stone, the battlements of which remain to the
present day.* The whole pile was known as the "Ekharsagkurkurra," or the
"House of the terrestrial mountain," the sanctuary in whose decoration
all the ancient sovereigns had vied with one another, including
Samsirammân I. and Irishum, who were merely vicegerents dependent upon
Babylon. It was dedicated to Anshar, that duplicate of Anu who had
led the armies of heaven in the struggle with Tiâmat; the name Anshar,
softened into Aushar, and subsequently into Ashshur, was first applied
to the town and then to the whole country.**

     * Ainsworth states the circumference of the principal mound
     of Kalah-Shergât to be 4685 yards, which would make it one
     of the most extensive ruins in the whole country.

     ** Another name of the town in later times was Palbêki, "the
     town of the old empire," "the ancient capital," or Shauru.
     Many Assyriologists believe that the name Ashur, anciently
     written Aushâr, signified "the plain at the edge of the
     water"; and that it must have been applied to the town
     before being applied to the country and the god. Others, on
     the contrary, think, with more reason, that it was the god
     who gave his name to the town and the country; they make a
     point of the very ancient play of words, which in Assyria
     itself attributed the meaning "good god" to the word Ashur.
     Jensen was the first to state that Ashur was the god Anshâr
     of the account of the creation.

The god himself was a deity of light, usually represented under the form
of an armed man, wearing the tiara and having the lower half of his body
concealed by a feathered disk. He was supposed to hover continually
over the world, hurling fiery darts at the enemies of his people, and
protecting his kingly worshippers under the shadow of his wings. Their
wars were his wars, and he was with them in the thick of the attack,
placing himself in the front rank with the soldiery,* so that when he
gained the victory, the bulk of the spoil--precious metals, gleanings
of the battle-field, slaves and productive lands--fell to his share. The
gods of the vanquished enemy, moreover, were, like their princes, forced
to render him homage. In the person of the king he took their statues
prisoners, and shut them up in his sanctuary; sometimes he would engrave
his name upon their figures and send them back to their respective
temples, where the sight of them would remind their worshippers of his
own omnipotence.** The goddess associated with him as his wife had given
her name, Nina, to Nineveh,*** and was, as the companion of the Chaldæan
Bel, styled the divine lady Belit; she was, in fact, a chaste and
warlike Ishtar, who led the armies into battle with a boldness
characteristic of her father.****

     * In one of the pictures, for instance, representing the
     assault of a town, we see a small figure of the god, hurling
     darts against the enemy. The inscriptions also state that
     the peoples "are alarmed and quit their cities _before the
     arms of Assur, the powerful one_."

     ** As, for instance, the statues of the gods taken from the
     Arabs in the time of Esarhaddon. Tiglath-pileser I. had
     carried away twenty-five statues of gods taken from the
     peoples of Kurkhi and Kummukh, and had placed them in the
     temples of Beltis, Ishtar, Anu, and Rammân; he mentions
     other foreign divinities who had been similarly treated.

     *** The ideogram of the name of the goddess Nina serves to
     write the name of the town Nineveh. The name itself has been
     interpreted by Schrader as "station, habitation," in the
     Semitic languages, and by Fr. Delitzsch "repose of the god,"
     an interpretation which Delitzsch himself repudiated later
     on. It is probable that the town, which, like Assur, was a
     Chaldæan colony, derived its name from the goddess to whom
     it was dedicated, and whose temple existed there as early as
     the time of the vicegerent Samsirammân.

     **** Belit is called by Tiglath-pileser I. "the great spouse
     beloved of Assur," but Belit, "the lady," is here merely an
     epithet used for Ishtar: the Assyrian Ishtar, Ishtar of
     Assur, Ishtar of Nineveh, or rather--especially from the
     time of the Sargonids--Ishtar of Arbeles, is almost always a
     fierce and warlike Ishtar, the "lady of combat, who directs
     battles," "whose heart incites her to the combat and the
     struggle." Sayce thinks that the union of Ishtar and Assur
     is of a more recent date.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from squeezes brought back by M. do

These two divinities formed an abstract and solitary pair, around whom
neither story nor myth appears to have gathered, and who never became
the centre of any complex belief. Assur seems to have had no parentage
assigned to him, no statue erected to him, and he was not associated
with the crowd of other divinities; on the contrary, he was called their
lord, their "peerless king," and, as a proof of his supreme sovereignty
over them, his name was inscribed at the head of their lists, before
those of the triads constituted by the Chaldæan priests--even before
those of Anu, Bel, and Ba. The city of Assur, which had been the first
to tender him allegiance for many years, took precedence of all the
rest, in spite of the drawbacks with which it had to contend. Placed at
the very edge of the Mesopotamian desert, it was exposed to the dry and
burning winds which swept over the plains, so that by the end of the
spring the heat rendered it almost intolerable as a residence. The
Tigris, moreover, ran behind it, thus leaving it exposed to the attacks
of the Babylonian armies, unprotected as it was by any natural fosse
or rampart. The nature of the frontier was such as to afford it no
safeguard; indeed, it had, on the contrary, to protect its frontier.
Nineveh, on the other hand, was entrenched behind the Tigris and the
Zab, and was thus secure from any sudden attack. Northerly and easterly
winds prevailed during the summer, and the coolness of the night
rendered the heat during the day more bearable. It became the custom for
the kings and vicegerents to pass the most trying months of the year at
Nineveh, taking up their abode close to the temple of Nina, the Assyrian
Ishtar, but they did not venture to make it their habitual residence,
and consequently Assur remained the official capital and chief sanctuary
of the empire. Here its rulers concentrated their treasures, their
archives, their administrative offices, and the chief staff of the army;
from this town they set out on their expeditions against the Cossæans of
Babylon or the mountaineers of the districts beyond the Tigris, and it
was in this temple that they dedicated to the god the tenth of the spoil
on their return from a successful campaign.*

* The majority of scholars now admit that the town of Nina, mentioned by
Gudea and the vicegerents of Telloh, was a quarter of, or neighbouring
borough of, Lagash, and had nothing in common with Nineveh, in spite of
Hommel's assumption to the contrary.

The struggle with Chaldæa, indeed, occupied the greater part of their
energies, though it did not absorb all their resources, and often left
them times of respite, of which they availed themselves to extend their
domain to the north and east. We cannot yet tell which of the Assyrian
sovereigns added the nearest provinces of the Upper Tigris to his
realm; but when the names of these districts appear-in history, they
are already in a state of submission and vassalage, and their principal
towns are governed by Assyrian officers in the same manner as those of
Singara and Nisibe. Assuruballît, the conqueror of the Cossæans, had
succeeded in establishing his authority over the turbulent hordes of
Shubari which occupied the neighbourhood of the Masios, between the
Khabur and the Balîkh, and extended perhaps as far as the Euphrates; at
any rate, he was considered by posterity as the actual founder of the
Assyrian empire in these districts.* Belnirâri had directed his efforts
in another direction, and had conquered the petty kingdoms established
on the slopes of the Iranian table-land, around the sources of the two
Zabs, and those of the Badanu and the Turnât.**

     * It is called, in an inscription of his great-grandson,
     Rammân-nirâri L, the powerful king "who reduced to servitude
     the forces of the vast country of Shubari, and who enlarged
     the territory and limits "of Assur.

     ** The inscription of Rammân-nirâri I. styles him the prince
     "who crushes the army of the Cossæans, he whose hand
     unnerves the enemy, and who enlarges the territory and its
     limits." The Cossæans mentioned in this passage are usually
     taken to be the Cossæan kings of Babylon, and not the
     mountain tribes.

Like Susiana, this part of the country was divided up into parallel
valleys, separated from each other by broken ridges of limestone, and
watered by the tributaries of the Tigris or their affluents.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a drawing by Père Durand.

It was thickly strewn with walled towns and villages; the latter,
perched upon the precipitous mountain summits, and surrounded by deep
ravines, owed their security solely to their position, and, indeed,
needed no fortification. The country abounded in woods and pastures,
interspersed with cornlands; access to it was gained by one or two
passes on the eastern side, which thus permitted caravans or armies to
reach the districts lying between the Erythræan and Caspian Seas.
The tribes who inhabited it had been brought early under Chaldæan
civilization, and had adopted the cuneiform script; such of their
monuments as are still extant resemble the bas-reliefs and inscriptions
of Assyria.* It is not always easy to determine the precise locality
occupied by these various peoples; the Guti were situated near the upper
courses of the Turnât and the Badanu, in the vicinity of the Kashshu;**
the Lulumê had settled in the neighbourhood of the Batîr, to the north
of the defiles of Zohab;*** the Namar separated the Lulumê from Elam,
and were situated half in the plain and half in the mountain, while the
Arapkha occupied, both banks of the Great Zab.

     * Pinches has published an inscription of a king of Khani,
     named Tukultimir, son of Ilushaba, written in
     Chaldeo-Assyrian, and found in the temple of Shamash at
     Sippara, where the personage himself had dedicated it.
     Winckler gives another inscription of a king of the Guti,
     which is also in Semitic and in cuneiform character.

     ** The name is written sometimes Quti, at others Guti, which
     induced Pognon to believe that they were two different
     peoples: the territory occupied by this nation must have
     been originally to the east of the Lesser Zab, in the upper
     basins of the Adhem and the Diyaleh. Oppert proposes to
     recognise in these Guti "the ancestors of the Goths, who,
     fifteen hundred years ago, pushed forward to the Russia of
     the present day: we find," (he adds), "in this passage and in
     others, some of which go back to the third millennium before
     the Christian era, the earliest mention of the Germanic

     *** The people of Lulumô-Lullubi have been pointed out as
     living to the east of the Lesser Zab by Schrader; their
     exact position, together with that of Mount Padîr-Batîr in
     whose neighbourhood they were, has been determined by Père

Budîlu carried his arms against these tribes, and obtained successes
over the Turuki and the Nigimkhi, the princes of the Guti and the Shuti,
as well as over the Akhlamî and the Iauri.*

     * The Shutu or Shuti, who are always found in connection
     with the Guti, appear to have been the inhabitants of the
     lower mountain slopes which separate the basin of the Tigris
     with the regions of Elam, to the south of Turnât. The
     Akhlamê were neighbours of the Shuti and the Guti; they were
     settled partly in the Mesopotamian plain and partly in the
     neighbourhood of Turnât. The territory of the Iauri is not
     known; the Turuki and the Nigimkhi were probably situated
     somewhere to the east of the Great Zab: in the same way that
     Oppert connects the Goths with the Guti, so Hommel sees in
     the Turuki the Turks of a very early date.

The chiefs of the Lulumê had long resisted the attacks of their
neighbours, and one of them, Anu-banini, had engraved on the rocks
overhanging the road not far from the village of Seripul, a bas-relief
celebrating his own victories. He figures on it in full armour, wearing
a turban on his head, and treading underfoot a fallen foe, while Ishtar
of Arbeles leads towards him a long file of naked captives, bound
ready for sacrifice. The resistance of the Lulumê was, however, finally
overcome by Rammân-nirâri, the son of Budilû; he strengthened the
suzerainty gained by his predecessor over the Guti, the Cossæans, and
the Shubarti, and he employed the spoil taken from them in beautifying
the temple of Assur. He had occasion to spend some time in the regions
of the Upper Tigris, warring against the Shubari, and a fine bronze
sabre belonging to him has been found near Diarbekîr, among the ruins of
the ancient Amidi, where, no doubt, he had left it as an offering in one
of the temples. He was succeeded by Shalmânuâsharîd,* better known to
us as Shalmaneser I., one of the most powerful sovereigns of this heroic
age of Assyrian history.

[Illustration: 155.jpg THE SABRE OF RAMMAN-NIRARI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sketch published in the
     _Transactions_ of the Bibl. Arch. Soc.

His reign seems to have been one continuous war against the various
races then in a state of ferment on the frontiers of his kingdom. He
appears in the main to have met with success, and in a few years had
doubled the extent of his dominions.* His most formidable attacks were
directed against the Aramaeans** of Mount Masios, whose numerous tribes
had advanced on one side till they had crossed the Tigris, while on the
other they had pushed beyond the river Balîkh, and had probably reached
the Euphrates.***

     * Shalmânu-âsharîd, or Shulmânu-âsharîd, signifies "the god
     Shulmânu (Shalmânu) is prince," as Pinches was the first to
     point out.

     ** Some of the details of these campaigns have been
     preserved on the much-mutilated obelisk of Assur-nazir-pal.
     This was a compilation taken from the Annals of Assyria to
     celebrate the important acts of the king's ancestors. The
     events recorded in the third column were at first attributed
     to the reign of Tiglath-pileser I.; Fr. Delitzsch was the
     first to recognise that they could be referred to the reign
     of this Shalmaneser, and his opinion is now admitted by most
     of the Assyriologists who have studied the question.

     *** The identity of the Arami (written also Armaya, Arumi,
     Arimi) with the Aramoans, admitted by the earlier Kammin-
     nikâbi Assyriologists.

He captured their towns one after another, razed their fortresses, smote
the agricultural districts with fire and sword, and then turned upon the
various peoples who had espoused their cause--the Kirkhu, the Euri, the
Kharrîn,* and the Muzri, who inhabited the territory between the basins
of the two great rivers;** once, indeed, he even crossed the Euphrates
and ventured within the country of Khanigalbat, a feat which his
ancestors had never even attempted.***

     * The people of the country of Kilkhi, or Kirkhi, the
     Kurkhi, occupied the region between the Tigris at Diarbekîr
     and the mountains overlooking the lake of Urumiah. The
     position of the Ruri is not known, but it is certain that on
     one side they joined the Aramaeans, and that they were in
     the neighbourhood of Tushkhân. Kharrân is the Harrân of the
     Balikh, mentioned in vol. iv. pp. 37, 38 of the present

     ** The name of Muzri frequently occurs, and in various
     positions, among the countries mentioned by the Assyrian
     conquerors; the frequency of its occurrence is easily
     explained if we are to regard it as a purely Assyrian term
     used to designate the military confines or marches of the
     kingdom at different epochs of its history. The Muzri here
     in question is the borderland situated in the vicinity of
     Cilicia, probably the Sophene and the Gumathene of classical
     geographers. Winckler appears to me to exaggerate their
     importance when he says they were spread over the whole of
     Northern Syria as early as the time of Shalmaneser I.

     *** Khanigalbat is the name of the province in which Milid
     was placed.

He was recalled by a revolt which had broken out in the scattered cities
of the district of Dur-Kurigalzu; he crushed the rising in spite of the
help which Kadash-manburiash, King of Babylon, had given to the rebels,
and was soon successful in subduing the princes of Lulumê. These were
not the raids of a day's duration, undertaken, without any regard to the
future, merely from love of rapine or adventure. Shalmaneser desired to
bring the regions which he annexed permanently under the authority of
Assyria, and to this end he established military colonies in suitable
places, most of which were kept up long after his death.*

     * More than five centuries after the time of Shalmaneser I.,
     Assurnazir-pal makes mention, in his _Annals_, of one of
     these colonies, established in the country of Diarbekîr at
     Khabzilukha (or Khabzidipkha), near to the town of Damdamua.

He seems to have directed the internal affairs of his kingdom with the
same firmness and energy which he displayed in his military expeditions.
It was no light matter for the sovereign to decide on a change in
the seat of government; he ran the risk of offending, not merely his
subjects, but the god who presided over the destinies of the State, and
neither his throne nor his life would have been safe had he failed in
his attempt. Shalmaneser, however, did not hesitate to make the change,
once he was fully convinced of the drawbacks presented by Assur as
a capital. True, he beautified the city, restored its temples, and
permitted it to retain all its privileges and titles; but having
done so, he migrated with his court to the town of Kalakh, where
his descendants continued to reside for several centuries. His son
Tukulti-ninip made himself master of Babylon, and was the first of his
race who was able to claim the title of King of Sumir and Akkad.
The Cossæans were still suffering from their defeat at the hands of
Bammân-nirâri. Four of their princes had followed Nazimaruttash on the
throne in rapid succession--Kadashmanturgu, Kadashmanburiash, who
was attacked by Shalmaneser, a certain Isammeti whose name has been
mutilated, and lastly, Shagaraktiburiash: Bibeiasdu, son of this latter,
was in power at the moment when Tukulti-ninip ascended the throne. War
broke out between the two monarchs, but dragged on without any marked
advantage on one side or the other, till at length the conflict was
temporarily suspended by a treaty similar to others which had been
signed in the course of the previous two or three centuries.*

     * The passage from the _Synchronous History_, republished by
     Winckler, contains the termination of the mutilated name of
     a Babylonian king... _ashu_, which, originally left
     undecided by Winckler, has been restored "Bibeiashu" by
     Hilprecht, in the light of monuments discovered at Nipur, an
     emendation which has since then been accepted by Winckler.
     Winckler, on his part, has restored the passage on the
     assumption that the name of the King of Assyria engaged
     against Bibeiashu was Tukulti-ninip; then, combining this
     fragment with that in the _Pinches Chronicle_, which deals
     with the taking of Babylon, he argues that Bibeiashu was the
     king dethroned by Tukulti-ninip. An examination of the
     dates, in so far as they are at present known to us from the
     various documents, seems to me to render this arrangement
     inadmissible. The _Pinches Chronicle_ practically tells us
     that Tukulti-ninip reigned over Babylon for _seven years_,
     when the Chaldæans revolted, and named Rammânshumusur king.
     Now, the Babylonian Canon gives us the following reigns for
     this epoch: Bibeiashu _8 years_, Belnadînshumu _1 year 6
     months_, Kadashmankharbe _1 year 6 months_, Rammânnadînshumu
     _6 years_, Rammânshumusur _30 years,_ or _9 years_ between
     the end of the reign of Bibeiashu and the beginning of that
     of Rammânshumusur, instead of the _7 years_ given us by the
     _Pinches Chronicle_ for the length of the reign of Tukulti-
     ninip at Babylon. If we reckon, as the only documents known
     require us to do, seven years from the beginning of the
     reign of Rammânshumusur to the date of the taking of
     Babylon, we are forced to admit that this took place in the
     reign of Kadashmankharbe IL, and, consequently, that the
     passage in the _Synchronous History_, in which mention is
     made of Bibeiashu, must be interpreted as I have done in the
     text, by the hypothesis of a war prior to that in which
     Babylon fell, which was followed by a treaty between this
     prince and the King of Assyria.

The peace thus concluded might have lasted longer but for an unforeseen
catastrophe which placed Babylon almost at the mercy of her rival. The
Blamites had never abandoned their efforts to press in every conceivable
way their claim to the Sebbeneh-su, the supremacy, which, prior to
Kbammurabi, had been exercised by their ancestors over the whole of
Mesopotamia; they swooped down on Karduniash with an impetuosity like
that of the Assyrians, and probably with the same alternations of
success and defeat. Their king, Kidinkhutrutash, unexpectedly attacked
Belnadînshumu, son of Bibeiashu, appeared suddenly under the walls
of Nipur and forced the defences of Durîlu and Étimgarka-lamma:
Belnadînshumu disappeared in the struggle after a reign of eighteen
months. Tukulti-ninip left Belna-dînshumu's successor, Kadashmankharbe
II., no time to recover from this disaster; he attacked him in turn,
carried Babylon by main force, and put a number of the inhabitants to
the sword. He looted the palace and the temples, dragged the statue of
Merodach from its sanctuary and carried it off into Assyria, together
with the badges of supreme power; then, after appointing governors of
his own in the various towns, he returned to Kalakh, laden with booty;
he led captive with him several members of the royal family--among
others, Bammânshumusur, the lawful successor of Bibeiashu.

This first conquest of Chaldæa did not, however, produce any lasting
results. The fall of Babylon did not necessarily involve the subjection
of the whole country, and the cities of the south showed a bold front to
the foreign intruder, and remained faithful to Kadashmankharbe; on the
death of the latter, some months after his defeat, they hailed as king a
certain Bammânshumnadîn, who by some means or other had made his escape
from captivity. Bammânshumnadîn proved himself a better man than his
predecessors; when Kidinkhutrutash, never dreaming, apparently, that he
would meet with any serious resistance, came to claim his share of
the spoil, he defeated him near Ishin, drove him out of the districts
recently occupied by the Elamites, and so effectually retrieved his
fortunes in this direction, that he was able to concentrate his whole
attention on what was going on in the north. The effects of his victory
soon became apparent: the nobles of Akkad and Karduniash declined to pay
homage to their Assyrian governors, and, ousting them from the offices
to which they had been appointed, restored Babylon to the independence
which it had lost seven years previously. Tukulti-ninip paid dearly
for his incapacity to retain his conquests: his son Assurnazirpal I.
conspired with the principal officers, deposed him from the throne, and
confined him in the fortified palace of Kar-Tukulti-ninip, which he
had built not far from Kalakh, where he soon after contrived his
assassination. About this time Rammânshumnadîn disappears, and we can
only suppose that the disasters of these last years had practically
annihilated the Cossæan dynasty, for Rammânshu-musur, who was a prisoner
in Assyria, was chosen as his successor. The monuments tell us nothing
definite of the troubles which next befell the two kingdoms: we seem to
gather, however, that Assyria became the scene of civil wars, and
that the sons of Tukulti-ninip fought for the crown among themselves.
Tukultiassurbel, who gained the upper hand at the end of six years, set
Raminân-shumusur at liberty, probably with the view of purchasing
the support of the Chaldæans, but he did not succeed in restoring his
country to the position it had held under Shalmaneser and Tukulti-ninip
I. The history of Assyria presents a greater number of violent contrasts
and extreme vicissitudes than that of any other Eastern people in the
earliest times. No sooner had the Assyrians arrived, thanks to the
ceaseless efforts of five or six generations, at the very summit of
their ambition, than some incompetent, or perhaps merely unfortunate,
king appeared on the scene, and lost in a few years all the ground
which had been gained at the cost of such tremendous exertions: then
the subject races would rebel, the neighbouring peoples would pluck up
courage and reconquer the provinces which they had surrendered, till the
dismembered empire gradually shrank back to its original dimensions. As
the fortunes of Babylon rose, those of Nineveh suffered a corresponding
depression: Babylon soon became so powerful that Eammânshumusur was able
to adopt a patronising tone in his relations with Assur-nirâri I. and
Nabodaînâni, the descendants of Tukultiassurbel, who at one time shared
the throne together.*

     * All that we know of these two kings is contained in the
     copy, executed in the time of Assurbanipal, of a letter
     addressed to them by Eammânshumusur. They have been placed,
     at one time or another, either at the beginning of Assyrian
     history before Assurbelnishishu, or after Tigiath-pileser
     I., about the XIth or Xth, or even the VIIIth century before
     our era. It has since been discovered that the
     Rammânshumusur who wrote this letter was the successor of
     Tukulti-ninip I. in Chaldæa.

This period of subjection and humiliation did not last long.
Belkudurusur, who appears on the throne not long after Assurnirâri
and his partner, resumed military operations against the Cossæans, but
cautiously at first; and though he fell in the decisive engagement,
yet Bammân-shumusur perished with him, and the two states were thus
simultaneously left rulerless. Milishikhu succeeded Bammânshumusur,
and Ninipahalesharra filled the place of Belkudurusur; the disastrous
invasion of Assyria by the Chaldæans, and their subsequent retreat, at
length led to an armistice, which, while it afforded evidence of the
indisputable superiority of Milishikhu, proved no less plainly the
independence of his rival. Mero-dachabaliddina I. replaced Milishikhu,
Zamâniashu-middin followed Merodachabaliddina: Assurdân I., son of
Ninipahalesharra, broke the treaty, captured the towns of Zabân, Irrîa,
and Akarsallu, and succeeded in retaining them. The advantage thus
gained was but a slight one, for these provinces lying between the two
Zabs had long been subject to Assyria, and had been wrested from her
since the days of Tukulti-ninip: however, it broke the run of ill luck
which seemed to have pursued her so relentlessly, and opened the way for
more important victories. This was the last Cossæan war; at any rate,
the last of which we find any mention in history: Bel-nadînshumu II.
reigned three years after Zamâmashu-middin, but when he died there was
no man of his family whom the priests could invite to lay hold of the
hand of Merodach, and his dynasty ended with him. It included thirty-six
kings, and had lasted five hundred and seventy-six years and six

* The following is a list of some of the kings of this dynasty according
to the canon discovered by Pinches.

[Illustration: 163.jpg TABLE]

It had enjoyed its moments of triumph, and at one time had almost seemed
destined to conquer the whole of Asia; but it appears to have invariably
failed just as it was on the point of reaching the goal, and it became
completely exhausted by its victories at the end of every two or
three generations. It had triumphed over Elam, and yet Elam remained a
constant peril on its right. It had triumphed over Assyria, yet Assyria,
after driving it back to the regions of the Upper Tigris, threatened to
bar the road to the Mediterranean by means of its Masian colonies: were
they once to succeed in this attempt, what hope would there be left to
those who ruled in Babylon of ever after re-establishing the traditional
empire of the ancient Sargon and Khammurabi? The new dynasty sprang from
a town in Pashê, the geographical position of which is not known. It was
of Babylonian origin, and its members placed, at the be ginning of their
protocols, formula which were intended to indicate, in the clearest
possible manner, the source from which they sprang: they declared
themselves to be scions of Babylon, its vicegerents, and supreme
masters. The names of the first two we do not know: the third,
Nebuchadrezzar, shows himself to have been one of the most remarkable
men of all those who flourished during this troubled era. At no time,
perhaps, had Chaldæa been in a more abject state, or assailed by more
active foes. The Elamite had just succeeded in wresting from her Namar,
the region from whence the bulk of her chariot-horses were obtained, and
this success had laid the provinces on the left bank of the Tigris open
to their attacks. They had even crossed the river, pillaged Babylon,
and carried away the statue of Bel and that of a goddess named Eria, the
patroness of Khussi: "Merodach, sore angered, held himself aloof from
the country of Akkad;" the kings could no longer "take his hands" on
their coming to the throne, and were obliged to reign without proper
investiture in consequence of their failure to fulfil the rite required
by religious laws.*

     * The _Donation to Shamud and Shamaî_ informs us that
     Nebuchadrezzar "took the hands of Bel" as soon as he
     regained possession of the statue. The copy we possess of
     the Royal Canon. Nebuchadrezzar I.'s place in the series
     has, therefore, been the subject of much controversy.
     Several Assyriologists were from the first inclined to place
     him in the first or second rank, some being in favour of the
     first, others preferring the second; Dolitzsch put him into
     the fifth place, and Winckler, without pronouncing
     definitely on the position to be assigned him, thought he
     must come in about half-way down the dynasty. Hilprecht, on
     taking up the questions, adduced reasons for supposing him
     to have been the founder of the dynasty, and his conclusions
     have been adopted by Oppert; they have been disputed by
     Tiele, who wishes to put the king back to fourth or fifth in
     order, and by Winckler, who places him fourth or fifth. It
     is difficult, however, to accept Hilprecht's hypothesis,
     plausible though it is, so long as Assyriologists who have
     seen the original tablet agree in declaring that the name of
     the first king began with the sign of _Merodach_ and not
     with that of _Nebo_, as it ought to do, were this prince
     really our Nebuchadrezzar.

Nebuchadrezzar arose "in Babylon,--roaring like a lion, even as Bammân
roareth,--and his chosen nobles, roared like lions with him.--To
Merodach, lord of Babylon, rose his prayer:--'How long, for me, shall
there be sighing and groaning?--How long, for my land, weeping and
mourning?--How long, for my countries, cries of grief and tears? Till
what time, O lord of Babylon, wilt thou remain in hostile regions?--Let
thy heart be softened, and make Babylon joyful,--and let thy face be
turned toward Eshaggil which thou lovest!'" Merodach gave ear to the
plaint of his servant: he answered him graciously and promised his
aid. Namar, united as it had been with Chaldæa for centuries, did not
readily become accustomed to its new masters. The greater part of the
land belonged to a Semitic and Cossæan feudality, the heads of which,
while admitting their suzerain's right to exact military service from
them, refused to acknowledge any further duty towards him. The kings of
Susa declined to recognise their privileges: they subjected them to a
poll-tax, levied the usual imposts on their estates, and forced them
to maintain at their own expense the troops quartered on them for the
purpose of guaranteeing their obedience.*

     * Shamuà and Shamaî "fled in like manner towards Karduniash,
     before the King of Elam;" it would seem that Rittimerodach
     had entered into secret negotiations with Nebuchadrezzar,
     though this is nowhere explicitly stated in the text.

Several of the nobles abandoned everything rather than submit to such
tyranny, and took refuge with Nebuchadrezzar: others entered into secret
negotiations with him, and promised to support him if he came to their
help with an armed force. He took them at their word, and invaded Namar
without warning in the month of Tamuz, while the summer was at its
height, at a season in which the Elamites never even dreamt he would
take the field. The heat was intense, water was not to be got, and the
army suffered terribly from thirst during its forced march of over
a hundred miles across a parched-up country. One of the malcontents,
Eittimerodach, lord of Bitkarziabku, joined Nebuchadrezzar with all the
men he could assemble, and together they penetrated as far as Ulaî.
The King of Elam, taken by surprise, made no attempt to check their
progress, but collected his vassals and awaited their attack on the
banks of the river in front of Susa. Once "the fire of the combat had
been lighted between the opposing forces, the face of the sun grew dark,
the tempest broke forth, the whirlwind raged, and in this whirlwind of
the struggle none of the characters could distinguish the face of his
neighbour." Nebuchadrezzar, cut off from his own men, was about to
surrender or be killed, when Eittimerodach flew to his rescue and
brought him off safely. In the end the Chaldæans gained the upper hand.*

     * _Donation to Rittimerodach,_ col. i. 11. 12-43. The
     description of the battle as given in this document is
     generally taken to be merely symbolical, and I have followed
     the current usage. But if we bear in mind that the text lays
     emphasis on the drought and severity of the season, we are
     tempted to agree with Pinches and Budge that its statements
     should be taken literally. The affair may have been begun in
     a cloud of dust, and have ended in a downpour of rain so
     heavy as to partly blind the combatants. The king was
     probably drawn away from his men in the confusion; it was
     probably then that he was in danger of being made prisoner,
     and that Rittimerodach, suddenly coming up, delivered him
     from the foes who surrounded him.

The Elamites renounced their claims to the possession of Namar, and
restored the statues of the gods: Nebuchadrezzar "at once laid hold of
the hands of Bel," and thus legalised his accession to the throne. Other
expeditions against the peoples of Lulurne and against the Cossæans
restored his supremacy in the regions of the north-east, and a campaign
along the banks of the Euphrates opened out the road to Syria. He
rewarded generously those who had accompanied him on his raid against
Elam. After issuing regulations intended to maintain the purity of the
breed of horses for which Namar was celebrated, he reinstated in their
possessions Shamuâ and his son Shamaî, the descendants of one of the
priestly families of the province, granting them in addition certain
domains near Upi, at the mouth of the Turnât. He confirmed Rittimerodach
in possession of all his property, and reinvested him with all the
privileges of which the King of Elam had deprived him. From that time
forward the domain of Bitkarziabku was free of the tithe on corn, oxen,
and sheep; it was no longer liable to provide horses and mares for the
exchequer, or to afford free passage to troops in time of peace; the
royal jurisdiction ceased on the boundary of the fief, the seignorial
jurisdiction alone extended over the inhabitants and their property.
Chaldæan prefects ruled in Namar, at Khalman, and at the foot of the
Zagros, and Nebuchadrezzar no longer found any to oppose him save the
King of Assyria.

The long reign of Assurdân in Assyria does not seem to have been
distinguished by any event of importance either good or bad: it is true
he won several towns on the south-east from the Babylonians, but then
he lost several others on the north-west to the Mushku,* and the loss on
the one side fully balanced the advantage gained on the other.

     * Hommel has proved, by a very simple calculation, that
     Assurdân must have been the king in whose reign the Mushku
     made the inroad into the basin of the Upper Tigris and of
     the Balikh, which is mentioned in the _Annals of Tiglath-
     pileser I._ These _Annals_ are our authority for stating
     that Assurdân was on the throne for a long period, though
     the exact length of his reign is not known.

His son Mutakkilnusku lived in Assur at peace,* but his grandson,
Assurîshishî, was a mighty king, conqueror of a score of countries, and
the terror of all rebels: he scattered the hordes of the Akhlamê and
broke up their forces; then Ninip, the champion of the gods, permitted
him to crush the Lulumê and the G-uti in their valleys and on their
mountains covered with forests. He made his way up to the frontiers of
Elam,** and his encroachments on territories claimed by Babylon stirred
up the anger of the Chaldæans against him; Nebuchadrezzar made ready to
dispute their ownership with him.

     * _Annals of Tiglath-pileser I_. Mutakkilnusku himself has
     only left us one inscription, in which he declares that he
     had built a palace in the city of Assyria.

     ** Smith discovered certain fragments of Annals, which he
     attributed to Assurîshishî. The longest of these tell of a
     campaign against Elam. Lotz attributed them to Tiglath-
     pileser I., and is supported in this by most Assyriologists
     of the day.

The earlier engagements went against the Assyrians; they were driven
back in disorder, but the victor lost time before one of their
strongholds, and, winter coming on before he could take it, he burnt his
engines of war, set fire to his camp, and returned home. Next year,
a rapid march carried him right under the walls of Assur; then
Assurîshishî came to the rescue, totally routed his opponent, captured
forty of his chariots, and drove him flying across the frontier. The war
died out of itself, its end being marked by no treaty: each side kept
its traditional position and supremacy over the tribes inhabiting the
basins of the Turnât and Eadanu. The same names reappear in line after
line of these mutilated Annals, and the same definite enumerations of
rebellious tribes who have been humbled or punished. These kings of
the plain, both Ninevite and Babylonian, were continually raiding the
country up and down for centuries without ever arriving at any decisive
result, and a detailed account of their various campaigns would be as
tedious reading as that of the ceaseless struggle between the Latins and
Sabines which fills the opening pages of Roman history. Posterity soon
grew weary of them, and, misled by the splendid position which Assyria
attained when at the zenith of its glory, set itself to fabricate
splendid antecedents for the majestic empire established by the latter
dynasties. The legend ran that, at the dawn of time, a chief named
Ninos had reduced to subjection one after the other--Babylonia, Media,
Armenia, and all the provinces between the Indies and the Mediterranean.
He built a capital for himself on the banks of the Tigris, in the form
of a parallelogram, measuring a hundred and fifty stadia in length,
ninety stadia in width; altogether, the walls were four hundred and
eighty stadia in circumference. In addition to the Assyrians who formed
the bulk of the population, he attracted many foreigners to Nineveh,
so that in a few years it became the most flourishing town in the whole
world. An inroad of the tribes of the Oxus interrupted his labours;
Ninos repulsed the invasion, and, driving the barbarians back into
Bactria, laid siege to it; here, in the tent of one of his captains, he
came upon Semiramis, a woman whose past was shrouded in mystery. She
was said to be the daughter of an ordinary mortal by a goddess, the
Ascalonian Derketô. Exposed immediately after her birth, she was found
and adopted by a shepherd named Simas, and later on her beauty aroused
the passion of Oannes, governor of Syria. Ninos, amazed at the courage
displayed by her on more than one occasion, carried her off, made her
his favourite wife, and finally met his death at her hands. No sooner
did she become queen, than she founded Babylon on a far more extensive
scale than that of Nineveh. Its walls were three hundred and sixty
stadia in length, with two hundred and fifty lofty towers, placed here
and there on its circuit, the roadway round the top of the ramparts
being wide enough for six chariots to drive abreast. She made a kind of
harbour in the Euphrates, threw a bridge across it, and built quays one
hundred and sixty stadia in length along its course; in the midst of the
town she raised a temple to Bel. This great work was scarcely finished
when disturbances broke out in Media; these she promptly repressed, and
set out on a tour of inspection through the whole of her provinces,
with a view to preventing the recurrence of similar outbreaks by her
presence. Wherever she went she left records of her passage behind her,
cutting her way through mountains, quarrying a pathway through the solid
rock, making broad highways for herself, bringing rebellious tribes
beneath her yoke, and raising tumuli to mark the tombs of such of her
satraps as fell beneath the blows of the enemy. She built Ecbatana in
Media, Semiramocarta on Lake Van in Armenia, and Tarsus in Cilicia;
then, having reached the confines of Syria, she crossed the isthmus, and
conquered Egypt and Ethiopia. The far-famed wealth of India recalled her
from the banks of the Nile to those of the Euphrates, _en route_ for
the remote east, but at this point her good fortune forsook her: she was
defeated by King Stratobates, and returned to her own dominions, never
again to leave them. She had set up triumphal stelae on the boundaries
of the habitable globe, in the very midst of Scythia, not far from the
Iaxartes, where, centuries afterwards, Alexander of Macedon read
the panegyric of herself which she had caused to be engraved there.
"Nature," she writes, "gave me the body of a woman, but my deeds have
put me on a level with the greatest of men. I ruled over the dominion of
Ninos, which extends eastwards to the river Hinaman, southwards to the
countries of Incense and Myrrh, and northwards as far as the Sacaa and
Sogdiani. Before my time no Assyrian had ever set eyes on the sea: I
have seen four oceans to which no mariner has ever sailed, so far remote
are they. I have made rivers to flow where I would have them, in the
places where they were needed; thus did I render fertile the barren soil
by watering it with my rivers. I raised up impregnable fortresses, and
cut roadways through the solid rock with the pick. I opened a way for
the wheels of my chariots in places to which even the feet of wild
beasts had never penetrated. And, amidst all these labours, I yet found
time for my pleasures and for the society of my friends." On discovering
that her son Ninyas was plotting her assassination, she at once
abdicated in his favour, in order to save him from committing a crime,
and then transformed herself into a dove; this last incident betrays the
goddess to us. Ninos and Semiramis are purely mythical, and their mighty
deeds, like those ascribed to Ishtar and Gilgames, must be placed in the
same category as those other fables with which the Babylonian legends
strive to fill up the blank of the prehistoric period.*

     * The legend of Ninos and Semiramis is taken from Diodorus
     Siculus, who reproduces, often word for word, the version of

[Illustration: 172.jpg the dove-goddess]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the sketch published in Longpérier.

The real facts were, as we know, far less brilliant and less extravagant
than those supplied by popular imagination. It would be a mistake,
however, to neglect or despise them on account of their tedious monotony
and the insignificance of the characters who appear on the stage. It
was by dint of fighting her neighbours again and again, without a single
day's respite, that Rome succeeded in forging the weapons with which
she was to conquer the world; and any one who, repelled by their tedious
sameness, neglected to follow the history of her early struggles, would
find great difficulty in understanding how it came about that a city
which had taken centuries to subjugate her immediate neighbours should
afterwards overcome all the states on the Mediterranean seaboard with
such magnificent ease. In much the same way the ceaseless struggles of
Assyria with the Chaldaeans, and with the mountain tribes of the
Zagros Chain, were unconsciously preparing her for those lightning-like
campaigns in which she afterwards overthrew all the civilized nations
of the Bast one after another. It was only at the cost of unparalleled
exertions that she succeeded in solidly welding together the various
provinces within her borders, and in kneading (so to speak) the many
and diverse elements of her vast population into one compact mass,
containing in itself all that was needful for its support, and able to
bear the strain of war for several years at time without giving way, and
rich enough in men and horses to provide the material for an effective
army without excessive impoverishment of her trade or agriculture.

[Illustration: 173.jpg AN ASSYRIAN]

Drawn by Boudier, from a painted bas-relief given in Layard.

The race came of an old Semitic strain, somewhat crude as yet, and
almost entirely free from that repeated admixture of foreign elements
which had marred the purity of the Babylonian stock. The monuments show
us a type similar in many respects to that which we find to-day on the
slopes of Singar, or in the valleys to the east of Mossul.

The figures on the monuments are tall and straight, broad-shouldered and
wide in the hips, the arms well developed, the legs robust, with good
substantial feet. The swell of the muscles on the naked limbs is perhaps
exaggerated, but this very exaggeration of the modelling suggests
the vigour of the model; it is a heavier, more rustic type than the
Egyptian, promising greater strength and power of resistance, and in so
far an indisputable superiority in the great game of war. The head is
somewhat small, the forehead low and flat, the eyebrows heavy, the eye
of a bold almond shape, with heavy lids, the nose aquiline, and full at
the tip, with wide nostrils terminating in a hard, well-defined curve;
the lips are thick and full, the chin bony, while the face is framed by
the coarse dark wavy hair and beard, which fell in curly masses over the
nape of the neck and the breast. The expression of the face is rarely
of an amiable and smiling type, such as we find in the statues of the
Theban period or in those of the Memphite empire, nor, as a matter of
fact, did the Assyrian pride himself on the gentleness of his manners:
he did not overflow with love for his fellow-man, as the Egyptian made
a pretence of doing; on the contrary, he was stiff-necked and proud,
without pity for others or for himself, hot-tempered and quarrelsome
like his cousins of Chaldæa, but less turbulent and more capable of
strict discipline. It mattered not whether he had come into the world in
one of the wretched cabins of a fellah village, or in the palace of
one of the great nobles; he was a born soldier, and his whole education
tended to develop in him the first qualities of the soldier--temperance,
patience, energy, and unquestioning obedience: he was enrolled in an
army which was always on a war footing, commanded by the god Assur, and
under Assur, by the king, the vicegerent and representative of the god.
His life was shut in by the same network of legal restrictions which
confined that of the Babylonians, and all its more important events
had to be recorded on tablets of clay; the wording of contracts, the
formalities of marriage or adoption, the status of bond and free, the
rites of the dead and funeral ceremonies, had either remained identical
with those in use during the earliest years of the cities of the Lower
Euphrates, or differed from them only in their less important details.
The royal and municipal governments levied the same taxes, used the
same procedure, employed the same magistrates, and the grades of their
hierarchy were the same, with one exception. After the king, the highest
office was filled by a soldier, the _tartan_ who saw to the recruiting
of the troops, and led them in time of war, or took command of the
staff-corps whenever the sovereign himself deigned to appear on the
scene of action.*

     * We can determine the rank occupied, by the _tartanu_ at
     court by the positions they occupy in the lists of eponymous
     _limmu_: they invariably come next after the king--a fact
     which was noticed many years ago.

The more influential of these functionaries bore, in addition to their
other titles, one of a special nature, which, for the space of one year,
made its holder the most conspicuous man in the country; they became
_limmu_, and throughout their term of office their names appeared on
all official documents. The Chaldæans distinguished the various years of
each reign by a reference to some event which had taken place in
each; the Assyrians named them after the _limmu_.* The king was the
_ex-officio limmu_ for the year following that of his accession, then
after him the _tartan_, then the ministers and governors of provinces
and cities in an order which varied little from reign to reign. The
names of the _limmu_, entered in registers and tabulated--just as,
later on, were those of the Greek archons and Roman consuls--furnished
the annalists with a rigid chronological system, under which the facts
of history might be arranged with certainty.**

     * According to Delitzsch, the term _limu,_ or _limmu_, meant
     at first any given period, then later more especially the
     year during which a magistrate filled his office; in the
     opinion of most other Assyriologists it referred to the
     magistrate himself as eponymous archon.

     ** The first list of _limmu_ was discovered by H. Rawlinson.
     The portions which have been preserved extend from the year
     893 to the year 666 B.C. without a break. In the periods
     previous and subsequent to this we have only names scattered
     here and there which it has not been possible to classify:
     the earliest _limmu_ known at present flourished under
     Rammân-nirâri I., and was named Mukhurilâni. Three different
     versions of the canon have como down to us. In the most
     important one the names of the eponymous officials are
     written one after another without titles or any mention of
     important events; in the other two, the titles of each
     personage, and any important occurrences which took place
     during his year of office, are entered after the name.

The king still retained the sacerdotal attributes with which Cossæan
monarchs had been invested from the earliest times, but contact with the
Egyptians had modified the popular conception of his personality. His
subjects were no longer satisfied to regard him merely as a man superior
to his fellow-men; they had come to discover something of the divine
nature in him, and sometimes identified him--not with Assur, the master
of all things, who occupied a position too high above the pale of
ordinary humanity--but with one of the demi-gods of the second rank,
Shamash, the Sun, the deity whom the Pharaohs pretended to represent in
flesh and blood here below. His courtiers, therefore, went as far as to
call him "Sun" when they addressed him, and he himself adopted this title
in his inscriptions.*

     * Nebuchadrezzar I. of Babylon assumes the title of _Shamash
     mati-shu_, the "Sun of his country," and Hilprecht rightly
     sees in this expression a trace of Egyptian influences;
     later on, Assurnazirpal, King of Assyria similarly describes
     himself as _Shamshu kishshat nishi_, the "Sun of all
     mankind." Tiele is of opinion that these expressions do not
     necessarily point to any theory of the actual incarnation of
     the god, as was the case in Egypt, but that they may be mere
     rhetorical figures.

Formerly he had only attained this apotheosis after death, later on he
was permitted to aspire to it during his lifetime. The Chaldæans adopted
the same attitude, and in both countries the royal authority shone with
the borrowed lustre of divine omnipotence. With these exceptions life
at court remained very much the same as it had been; at Nineveh, as at
Babylon, we find harems filled with foreign princesses, who had either
been carried off as hostages from the country of a defeated enemy, or
amicably obtained from their parents. In time of war, the command of the
troops and the dangers of the battle-field; in time of peace, a host
of religious ceremonies and judicial or administrative duties, left but
little leisure to the sovereign who desired to perform conscientiously
all that was required of him. His chief amusement lay in the hunting of
wild beasts: the majority of the princes who reigned over Assyria had a
better right than even Amenôthes III. himself to boast of the hundreds
of lions which they had slain. They set out on these hunting expeditions
with quite a small army of charioteers and infantry, and were often away
several days at a time, provided urgent business did not require their
presence in the palace. They started their quarry with the help of large
dogs, and followed it over hill and dale till they got within bowshot:
if it was but slightly wounded and turned on them, they gave it the
finishing stroke with their lances without dismounting.

[Illustration: 178.jpg A LION-HUNT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

Occasionally, however, they were obliged to follow their prey into
places where horses could not easily penetrate; then a hand-to-hand
conflict was inevitable. The lion would rise on its hind quarters and
endeavour to lay its pursuer low with a stroke of its mighty paw, but
only to fall pierced to the heart by his lance or sword.

[Illustration: 179.jpg LION TRANSFIXED BY AN ARROW]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

This kind of encounter demanded great presence of mind and steadiness of
hand; the Assyrians were, therefore, trained to it from their youth
up, and no hunter was permitted to engage in these terrible encounters
without long preliminary practice. Seeing the lion as they did so
frequently, and at such close quarters, they came to know it quite as
well as the Egyptians, and their sculptors reproduce it with a realism
and technical skill which have been rarely equalled in modern times.
But while the Theban artist generally represents it in an attitude of
repose, the Assyrians prefer to show it in violent action in all the
various attitudes which it assumes during a struggle, either crouching
as it prepares to spring, or fully extended in the act of leaping;
sometimes it rears into an upright position, with arched back, gaping
jaws, and claws protruded, ready to bite or strike its foe; at others
it writhes under a spear-thrust, or rolls over and over in its dying
agonies. In one instance, an arrow has pierced the skull of a male lion,
crashing through the frontal bone a little above the left eyebrow, and
protrudes obliquely to the right between his teeth: under the shock of
the blow he has risen on his hind legs, with contorted spine, and beats
the air with his fore paws, his head thrown back as though to free
himself of the fatal shaft. Not far from him the lioness lies stretched
out upon its back in the rigidity of death.

[Illustration: 180.jpg PAINTINGS OF CHAIRS]

The "rimu," or urus, was, perhaps, even a more formidable animal to
encounter than any of the _felido_, owing to the irresistible fury of
his attack. No one would dare, except in a case of dire necessity, to
meet him on foot. The loose flowing robes which the king and the nobles
never put aside--not even in such perilous pastimes as these--were ill
fitted for the quick movements required to avoid the attack of such an
animal, and those who were unlucky enough to quit their chariot ran a
terrible risk of being gored or trodden underfoot in the encounter. It
was the custom, therefore, to attack the beast by arrows, and to keep it
at a distance. If the animal were able to come up with its pursuer, the
latter endeavoured to seize it by the horn at the moment when it lowered
its head, and to drive his dagger into its neck. If the blow were
adroitly given it severed the spinal cord, and the beast fell in a heap
as if struck by lightning. A victory over such animals was an occasion
for rejoicing, and solemn thanks were offered to Assur and Ishtar, the
patrons of the chase, at the usual evening sacrifice.

[Illustration: 181.jpg A UBUS HUNT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a bas-relief in the British Museum.

The slain beasts, whether lion or urus, were arranged in a row
before the altar, while the king, accompanied by his flabella, and
umbrella-bearers, stood alongside them, holding his bow in his left
hand. While the singers intoned the hymn of thanksgiving to the
accompaniment of the harp, the monarch took the bowl of sacred wine,
touched his lips with it, and then poured a portion of the contents on
the heads of the victims. A detailed account of each hunting exploit was
preserved for posterity either in inscriptions or on bas-reliefs.*

     * In the _Annals of Tiglath-pileser I._ the king counts the
     number of his victims: 4 urus, 10 male elephants, 120 lions
     slain in single combat on foot, 800 lions killed by arrows
     let fly from his chariot. In the _Annals of Assurnazirpal,_
     the king boasts of having slain 30 elephants, 250 urus, and
     370 lions.

The chase was in those days of great service to the rural population;
the kings also considered it to be one of the duties attached to their
office, and on a level with their obligation to make war on neighbouring
nations devoted by the will of Assur to defeat and destruction.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hommel.

The army charged to carry out the will of the god had not yet acquired
the homogeneity and efficiency which it afterwards attained, yet it had
been for some time one of the most formidable in the world, and even
the Egyptians themselves, in spite of their long experience in military
matters, could not put into the field such a proud array of effective
troops. We do not know how this army was recruited, but the bulk of it
was made up of native levies, to which foreign auxiliaries were added
in numbers varying with the times.* A permanent nucleus of troops was
always in garrison in the capital under the "tartan," or placed in the
principal towns at the disposal of the governors.**

     * We have no bas-relief representing the armies of Tiglath-
     pileser I. Everything in the description which follows is
     taken from the monuments of Assurnazirpal and Shalmaneser
     II., revised as far as possible by the inscriptions of
     Tiglath-pileser; the armament of both infantry and chariotry
     must have been practically the same in the two periods.

     ** This is based on the account given in the Obelisk of
     Shalmaneser, where the king, for example, after having
     gathered his soldiers together at Kalakh [Calah], put at
     their head Dainassur the artan, "the master of his
     innumerable troops."

[Illustration: 183.jpg TWO ASSYRIAN ARCHERS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin.

The contingents which came to be enrolled at these centres on the first
rumour of war may have been taken from among the feudal militia, as was
the custom in the Nile valley, or the whole population may have had to
render personal military service, each receiving while with the colours
a certain daily pay. The nobles and feudal lords were accustomed to call
their own people together, and either placed themselves at their head or
commissioned an officer to act in their behalf.*

     * The assembling of foot-soldiers and chariots is often
     described at the beginning of each campaign; the _Donation
     of Bittimerodach_ brings before us a great feudal lord, who
     leads his contingent to the King of Chaldæa, and anything
     which took place among the Babylonians had its counterpart
     among the Assyrians. Sometimes the king had need of all the
     contingents, and then it was said he "assembled the
     country." Auxiliaries are mentioned, for example, in the
     _Annals of Assurnazirpal_, col. iii. 11. 58-77, where the
     king, in his passage, rallies one after the other the troops
     of Bît-Bakhiâni, of Azalli, of Bît-Adini, of Garganish, and
     of the Patinu.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mansell.

These recruits were subjected to the training necessary for their
calling by exercises similar to those of the Egyptians, but of a rougher
sort and better adapted to the cumbrous character of their equipment.
The blacksmith's art had made such progress among the Assyrians since
the times of Thûtmosis III. and Ramses IL, that both the character and
the materials of the armour were entirely changed.

[Illustration: 185a.jpg HARNESS OF THE HORSES]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from G. Rawlinson.

[Illustration: 185b.jpg PIKEMAN]

While the Egyptian of old entered into the contest almost naked, and
without other defence than a padded cap, a light shield, and a leather
apron, the Assyrian of the new age set out for war almost cased in
metal. The pikemen and archers of whom the infantry of the line was
composed wore a copper or iron helmet, conical in form, and having
cheek-pieces covering the ears; they were clad in a sort of leathern
shirt covered with plates or imbricated scales of metal, which protected
the body and the upper part of the arm; a quilted and padded loin-cloth
came over the haunches, while close-fitting trousers, and buskins laced
up in the front, completed their attire. The pikemen were armed with a
lance six feet long, a cutlass or short sword passed through the girdle,
and an enormous shield, sometimes round and convex, sometimes arched at
the top and square at the bottom. The bowmen did not encumber themselves
with a buckler, but carried, in addition to the bow and quiver,
a poignard or mace. The light infantry consisted of pikemen and
archers--each of whom wore a crested helmet and a round shield of
wicker-work--of slingers and club-bearers, as well as of men armed with
the two-bladed battle-axe. The chariots were heavier and larger than
those of the Egyptians. They had high, strongly made wheels with eight
spokes, and the body of the vehicle rested directly on the axle; the
panels were of solid wood, sometimes covered with embossed or carved
metal, but frequently painted; they were further decorated sometimes
with gold, silver, or ivory mountings, and with precious stones. The
pole, which was long and heavy, ended in a boss of carved wood or
incised metal, representing a flower, a rosette, the muzzle of a lion,
or a horse's head. It was attached to the axle under the floor of the
vehicle, and as it had to bear a great strain, it was not only fixed to
this point by leather thongs such as were employed in Egypt, but also
bound to the front of the chariot by a crossbar shaped like a spindle,
and covered with embroidered stuff--an arrangement which prevented its
becoming detached when driving at full speed. A pair of horses were
harnessed to it, and a third was attached to them on the right side
for the use of a supplementary warrior, who could take the place of his
comrade in case of accident, or if he were wounded. The trappings were
very simple; but sometimes there was added to these a thickly padded
caparison, of which the various parts were fitted to the horse by tags
so as to cover the upper part of his head, his neck, back, and breast.
The usual complement of charioteers was two to each vehicle, as in
Egypt, but sometimes, as among the Khâti, there were three--one on the
left to direct the horses, a warrior, and an attendant who protected the
other two with his shield; on some occasions a fourth was added as an
extra assistant. The equipment of the charioteers was like that of the
infantry, and consisted of a jacket with imbricated scales of metal,
bow and arrows, and a lance or javelin. A standard which served as a
rallying-point for the chariots in the battle was set up on the front
part of each vehicle, between the driver and the warrior; it bore at
the top a disk supported on the heads of two bulls, or by two complete
representations of these animals, and a standing figure of Assur letting
fly his arrows. The chariotry formed, as in most countries of that time,
the picked troops of the service, in which the princes and great lords
were proud to be enrolled. Upon it depended for the most part the issue
of the conflict, and the position assigned to it was in the van,
the king or commander-in-chief reserving to himself the privilege of
conducting the charge in person. It was already, however, in a state
of decadence, both as regards the number of units composing it and its
methods of manoeuvring; the infantry, on the other hand, had increased
in numbers, and under the guidance of abler generals tended to become
the most trustworthy force in Assyrian campaigns.*

     * Tiglath-pileser is seen, for instance, setting out on a
     campaign in a mountainous country with only thirty chariots.

Notwithstanding the weight of his equipment, the Assyrian foot-soldier
was as agile as the Egyptian, but he had to fight usually in a much more
difficult region than that in which the Pharaoh's troops were accustomed
to manouvre.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

The theatre of war was not like Syria, with its fertile and almost
unbroken plains furrowed by streams which offered little obstruction
to troops throughout the year, but a land of marshes, arid and rocky
deserts, mighty rivers, capable, in one of their sudden floods, of
arresting progress for days, and of jeopardising the success of a
campaign;* violent and ice-cold torrents, rugged mountains whose summits
rose into "points like daggers," and whose passes could be held against
a host of invaders by a handful of resolute men.**

     * Sennacherib was obliged to arrest his march against Elam,
     owing to his inability to cross the torrents swollen by the
     rain; a similar contretemps must have met Assurbanipal on
     the banks of the Ididi.

     ** The Assyrian monarchs dwell with pleasure on the
     difficulties of the country which they have to overcome.

Bands of daring skirmishers, consisting of archers, slingers, and
pikemen, cleared the way for the mass of infantry marching in columns,
and for the chariots, in the midst of which the king and his household
took up their station; the baggage followed, together with the prisoners
and their escorts.*

     * Assurbanipal relates, for instance, that he put under his
     escort a tribe which had surrendered themselves as

If they came to a river where there was neither ford nor bridge, they
were not long in effecting a passage.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze
     gates of Balawât.

Each soldier was provided with a skin, which, having inflated it by the
strength of his lungs and closed the aperture, he embraced in his arms
and cast himself into the stream. Partly by floating and partly by
swimming, a whole regiment could soon reach the other side. The chariots
could not be carried over so easily.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

If the bed of the river was not very wide, and the current not too
violent, a narrow bridge was constructed, or rather an improvised dyke
of large stones and rude gabions filled with clay, over which was spread
a layer of branches and earth, supplying a sufficiently broad passage
for a single chariot, of which the horses were led across at walking

     * Flying bridges, _tîturâti_, were mentioned as far back as
     the time of Tiglath-pileser I.

But when the distance between the banks was too great, and the stream
too violent to allow of this mode of procedure, boats were requisitioned
from the neighbourhood, on which men and chariots were embarked, while
the horses, attended by grooms, or attached by their bridles to the
flotilla, swam across the river.* If the troops had to pass through a
mountainous district intersected by ravines and covered by forests, and
thus impracticable on ordinary occasions for a large body of men, the
advance-guard were employed in cutting a passage through the trees
with the axe, and, if necessary, in making with the pick pathways
or rough-hewn steps similar to those met with in the Lebanon on the
Phoenician coast.**

     * It was in this manner that Tiglath-pileser I. crossed the
     Euphrates on his way to the attack of Carchemish.

     ** Tiglath-pileser I. speaks on several occasions, and not
     without pride, of the roads that he had made for himself
     with bronze hatchets through the forests and over the


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze gates of

The troops advanced in narrow columns, sometimes even in single file,
along these improvised roads, always on the alert lest they should be
taken at a disadvantage by an enemy concealed in the thickets. In case
of attack, the foot-soldiers had each to think of himself, and endeavour
to give as many blows as he received; but the charioteers, encumbered
by their vehicles and the horses, found it no easy matter to extricate
themselves from the danger. Once the chariots had entered into the
forest region, the driver descended from his vehicle, and led the horses
by the head, while the warrior and his assistant were not slow to follow
his example, in order to give some relief to the animals by tugging at
the wheels. The king alone did not dismount, more out of respect for his
dignity than from indifference to the strain upon the animals; for, in
spite of careful leading, he had to submit to a rough shaking from the
inequalities of this rugged soil; sometimes he had too much of this, and
it is related of him in his annals that he had crossed the mountains on
foot like an ordinary mortal.*

     * The same fact is found in the accounts of every
     expedition, but more importance is attached to it as we
     approach the end of the Ninevite empire, when the kings were
     not so well able to endure hardship. Sennacherib mentions it
     on several occasions, with a certain amount of self-pity for
     the fatigue he had undergone, but with a real pride in his
     own endurance.

A halt was made every evening, either at some village, whose inhabitants
were obliged to provide food and lodging, or, in default of this, on
some site which they could fortify by a hastily thrown up rampart of
earth. If they were obliged to remain in any place for a length of time,
a regular encircling wall was constructed, not square or rectangular
like those of the Egyptians, but round or oval.*

     * The oval inclines towards a square form, with rounded
     corners, on the bas-reliefs of the bronze gates of
     Shalmaneser II. at Balawât.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mansell, taken in the
     British Museum.

It was made of dried brick, and provided with towers like an ancient
city; indeed, many of these entrenched camps survived the occasion of
their formation, and became small fortified towns or castles, whence a
permanent garrison could command the neighbouring country. The interior
was divided into four equal parts by two roads, intersecting each other
at right angles. The royal tents, with their walls of felt or brown
linen, resembled an actual palace, which could be moved from place to
place; they were surrounded with less pretentious buildings reserved for
the king's household, and the stables.

[Illustration: 194.jpg AN ASSYRIAN CAMP]

     Drawn by Boudier, from Layard.

The tent-poles at the angles of these habitations were plated with
metal, and terminated at their upper extremities in figures of goats and
other animals made of the same material. The tents of the soldiers, were
conical in form, and each was maintained in its position by a forked
pole placed inside. They contained the ordinary requirements of the
peasant---bed and head-rest, table with legs like those of a gazelle,
stools and folding-chairs; the household utensils and the provisions
hung from the forks of the support. The monuments, which usually
give few details of humble life, are remarkable for their complete
reproductions of the daily scenes in the camp. We see on them, the
soldier making his bed, grinding corn, dressing the carcase of a sheep,
which he had just killed, or pouring out wine; the pot boiling on the
fire is watched by the vigilant eye of a trooper or of a woman, while
those not actively employed are grouped together in twos and threes,
eating, drinking, and chatting. A certain number of priests and
soothsayers accompanied the army, but they did not bring the statues of
their gods with them, the only emblems of the divinities seen in battle
being the two royal ensigns, one representing Assur as lord of the
territory, borne on a single bull and bending his bow, while the other
depicted him standing on two bulls as King of Assyria.* An altar smoked
before the chariot on which these two standards were planted, and every
night and morning the prince and his nobles laid offerings upon it, and
recited prayers before it for the well-being of the army.

Military tactics had not made much progress since the time of the great
Egyptian invasions. The Assyrian generals set out in haste from Nineveh
or Assur in the hope of surprising their enemy, and they often succeeded
in penetrating into the very heart of his country before he had time
to mobilise or concentrate his forces. The work of subduing him was
performed piecemeal; they devastated his fields, robbed his orchards,
and, marching all through the night,** they would arrive with such
suddenness before one or other of his towns, that he would have no time
to organise a defence. Most of their campaigns were mere forced marches
across plains and mountains, without regular sieges or pitched battles.

     * It is possible that each of these standards corresponded
     to some dignity of the sovereign; the first belonged to him,
     inasmuch as he was _shar kishshati,_ "king of the regions,"
     and the other, by virtue of his office, of _shar Ashshur_,
     "King of Assyria."

     ** Assurnazirpal mentions several night marches, which
     enabled him to reach the heart of the enemy's country.

[Illustration: 196.jpg A FORTIFIED TOWN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mansell. The
     inhabitants of the town who have been taken prisoners, are
     leaving it with their cattle under the conduct of Assyrian

Should the enemy, however, seek an engagement, and the men be drawn up
in line to meet him, the action would be opened by archers and light
troops armed with slings, who would be followed by the chariotry and
heavy infantry for close attack; a reserve of veterans would await
around the commanding-general the crucial moment of the engagement, when
they would charge in a body among the combatants, and decide the victory
by sheer strength of arm.*

     * Tiglath-pileser I. mentions a pitched battle against the
     Muskhu, who numbered 20,000 men; and another against
     Kiliteshub, King of Kummukh, in his first campaign. In one
     of the following campaigns he overcame the people of Saraush
     and those of Maruttash, and also 6000 Sugi; later on he
     defeated 23 allied kings of Naîri, and took from them 120
     chariots and 20,000 people of Kumanu. The other wars are
     little more than raids, during which he encountered merely
     those who were incapable of offering him any resistance.

The pursuit of the enemy was never carried to any considerable distance,
for the men were needed to collect the spoil, despatch the wounded, and
carry off the trophies of war. Such of the prisoners as it was deemed
useful or politic to spare were stationed in a safe place under a guard
of sentries. The remainder were condemned to death as they were brought
in, and their execution took place without delay; they were made to
kneel down, with their backs to the soldiery, their heads bowed, and
their hands resting on a flat stone or a billet of wood, in which
position they were despatched with clubs. The scribes, standing before
their tent doors, registered the number of heads cut off; each soldier,
bringing his quota and throwing it upon the heap, gave in his name and
the number of his company, and then withdrew in the hope of receiving a
reward proportionate to the number of his victims.*

     * The details of this bringing of heads are known to us by
     representations of a later period. The allusions contained
     in the _Annals of Tiglath-pileser I_. show that the custom
     was in full force under the early Assyrian conquerors.

When the king happened to accompany the army, he always presided at this
scene, and distributed largesse to those who had shown most bravery; in
his absence he required that the heads of the enemy's chiefs should be
sent to him, in order that they might be exposed to his subjects on the
gates of his capital. Sieges were lengthy and arduous undertakings. In
the case of towns situated on the plain, the site was usually chosen
so as to be protected by canals, or an arm of a river on two or three
sides, thus leaving one side only without a natural defence, which the
inhabitants endeavoured to make up for by means of double or treble

     * The town of Tela had three containing walls, that of
     Shingisha had four, and that of Pitura two.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

These fortifications must have resembled those of the Syrian towns; the
walls were broad at the base, and, to prevent scaling, rose to a height
of some thirty or forty feet: there were towers at intervals of a
bowshot, from which the archers could seriously disconcert parties
making attacks against any intervening points in the curtain wall; the
massive gates were covered with raw hides, or were plated with metal
to resist assaults by fire and axe, while, as soon as hostilities
commenced, the defence was further completed by wooden scaffolding.
Places thus fortified, however, at times fell almost without an attempt
at resistance; the inhabitants, having descended into the lowlands to
rescue their crops from the Assyrians, would be disbanded, and, while
endeavouring to take refuge within their ramparts, would be pursued by
the enemy, who would gain admittance with them in the general disorder.
If the town did not fall into their hands by some stroke of good
fortune, they would at once attempt, by an immediate assault, to terrify
the garrison into laying down their arms.*

     * Assurnazirpal, in this fashion, took the town of Pitura in
     two days, in spite of its strong double ramparts.

The archers and slingers led the attack by advancing in couples till
they were within the prescribed distance from the walls, one of the two
taking careful aim, while the other sheltered his comrade behind his
round-topped shield. The king himself would sometimes alight from his
chariot and let fly his arrows in the front rank of the archers, while
a handful of resolute men would rush against the gates of the town
and attempt either to break them down or set them alight with torches.
Another party, armed with stout helmets and quilted jerkins, which
rendered them almost invulnerable to the shower of arrows or stones
poured on them by the besieged, would attempt to undermine the walls by
means of levers and pick-axes, and while thus engaged would be protected
by mantelets fixed to the face of the walls, resembling in shape the
shields of the archers. Often bodies of men would approach the suburbs
of the city and endeavour to obtain access to the ramparts from the
roofs of the houses in close proximity to the walls. If, however,
they could gain admittance by none of these means, and time was of no
consideration, they would resign themselves to a lengthy siege, and the
blockade would commence by a systematic desolation of the surrounding
country, in which the villages scattered over the plain would be burnt,
the vines torn up, and all trees cut down.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

The Assyrians waged war with a brutality which the Egyptians would never
have tolerated. Unlike the Pharaohs, their kings were not content to
imprison or put to death the principal instigators of a revolt, but
their wrath would fall upon the entire population. As long as a town
resisted the efforts of their besieging force, all its inhabitants
bearing arms who fell into their hands were subjected to the most cruel
tortures; they were cut to pieces or impaled alive on stakes, which were
planted in the ground just in front of the lines, so that the besieged
should enjoy a full view of the sufferings of their comrades.

[Illustration: 201.jpg ASSYRIAN SAPPERS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

Even during the course of a short siege this line of stakes would
be prolonged till it formed a bloody pale between the two contending
armies. This horrible spectacle had at least the effect of shaking the
courage of the besieged, and of hastening the end of hostilities. When
at length the town yielded to the enemy, it was often razed to the
ground, and salt was strewn upon its ruins, while the unfortunate
inhabitants were either massacred or transplanted _en masse_ elsewhere.
If the bulk of the population were spared and condemned to exile, the
wealthy and noble were shown no clemency; they were thrown from, the top
of the city towers, their ears and noses were cut off, their hands and
feet were amputated, or they and their children were roasted over a slow
fire, or flayed alive, or decapitated, and their heads piled up in a

[Illustration: 202.jpg A TOWN TAKEN BY SCALING]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the
     bronze gate at Balawât. The two soldiers who represent the
     Assyrian army carry their shields before them; flames appear
     above the ramparts, showing that the conquerors have burnt
     the town.

The victorious sovereigns appear to have taken a pride in the
ingenuity with which they varied these means of torture, and dwell with
complacency on the recital of their cruelties. "I constructed a pillar
at the gate of the city," is the boast of one of them; "I then flayed
the chief men, and covered the post with their skins; I suspended their
dead bodies from this same pillar, I impaled others on the summit of the
pillar, and I ranged others on stakes around the pillar."

Two or three executions of this kind usually sufficed to demoralise the
enemy. The remaining inhabitants assembled: terrified by the majesty of
Assur, and as it were blinded by the brightness of his countenance, they
sunk down at the knees of the victor and embraced his feet.*

     * These are the very expressions used in the Assyrian texts:
     "The terror of my strength overthrew them, they feared the
     combat, and they embraced my feet;" and again: "The
     brightness of Assur, my lord, overturned them." This latter
     image is explained by the presence over the king of the
     winged figure of Assur directing the battle.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs of the
     bronze gates of Balawât; on the right the town is seen in
     flames, and on the walls on either side hangs a row of
     heads, one above another.

The peace secured at the price of their freedom left them merely with
their lives and such of their goods as could not be removed from the
soil. The scribes thereupon surrounded the spoil seized by the soldiery
and drew up a detailed inventory of the prisoners and their property:
everything worth carrying away to Assyria was promptly registered, and
despatched to the capital.


     Drawn by Faucher Gudin, from Layard.

The contents of the royal palace led the way; it comprised the silver,
gold, and copper of the vanquished prince, his caldrons, dishes and
cups of brass, the women of his harem, the maidens of his household,
his furniture and stuffs, horses and chariots, together with his men
and women servants. The enemy's gods, like his kings, were despoiled
of their possessions, and poor and rich suffered alike. The choicest of
their troops were incorporated into the Assyrian regiments, and helped
to fill the gaps which war had made in the ranks;* the peasantry and
townsfolk were sold as slaves, or were despatched with their families to
till the domains of the king in some Assyrian village.* Tiglath-pileser
I. in this manner incorporated 120 chariots of the Kashki and the Urumi
into the Assyrian chariotry.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief of one of the
     gates of Balawât.

The monuments often depict the exodus of these unfortunate wretches.
They were represented as proceeding on their way in the charge of a few
foot-soldiers--each of the men carrying, without any sign of labour, a
bag of provisions, while the women bear their young children on their
shoulders or in their arms: herds of cows and flocks of goats and sheep
follow, chariots drawn by mules bringing up the rear with the baggage.
While the crowd of non-combatants were conducted in irregular columns
without manacles or chains, the veteran troops and the young men capable
of bearing arms were usually bound together, and sometimes were further
secured by a wooden collar placed on their necks. Many perished on the
way from want or fatigue, but such as were fortunate enough to reach
the end of the journey were rewarded with a small portion of land and
a dwelling, becoming henceforward identified with the indigenous
inhabitants of the country. Assyrians were planted as colonists in the
subjugated towns, and served to maintain there the authority of the
conqueror. The condition of the latter resembled to a great extent that
of the old Egyptian vassals in Phoenicia or Southern Syria. They were
allowed to retain their national constitution, rites, and even their
sovereigns; when, for instance, after some rebellion, one of these
princes had been impaled or decapitated, his successor was always chosen
from among the members of his own family, usually one of his sons, who
was enthroned almost before his father had ceased to breathe. He was
obliged to humiliate his own gods before Assur, to pay a yearly tribute,
to render succour in case of necessity to the commanders of neighbouring
garrisons, to send his troops when required to swell the royal army, to
give his sons or brothers as hostages, and to deliver up his own sisters
and daughters, or those of his nobles, for the harem or the domestic
service of the conqueror. The unfortunate prince soon resigned himself
to this state of servitude; he would collect around him and reorganise
his scattered subjects, restore them to their cities, rebuild their
walls, replant the wasted orchards, and sow the devastated fields. A few
years of relative peace and tranquillity, during which he strove to
be forgotten by his conqueror, restored prosperity to his country; the
population increased with extraordinary rapidity, and new generations
arose who, unconscious of the disasters suffered by their predecessors,
had, but one aim, that of recovering their independence. We must,
however, beware of thinking that the defeat of these tribes was as
crushing or their desolation as terrible as the testimony of the
inscriptions would lead us to suppose. The rulers of Nineveh were but
too apt to relate that this or that country had been conquered and its
people destroyed, when the Assyrian army had remained merely a week or
a fortnight within its territory, had burnt some half-dozen fortified
towns, and taken two or three thousand prisoners.*

     * For example, Tiglath-pileser I. conquers the Kummukli in
     the first year of his reign, burning, destroying, and
     depopulating the towns, and massacring "the remainder of the
     Kummukh" who had taken refuge in the mountains, after which,
     in his second campaign, he again pillages, burns, destroys,
     and depopulates the towns, and again massacres the remainder
     of the inhabitants hiding in the mountains. He makes the
     same statements with regard to most of the other countries
     and peoples conquered by him, but we find them reappearing
     with renewed vigour on the scene, soon after their supposed

If we were to accept implicitly all that is recorded of the Assyrian
exploits in Naîri or the Taurus, we should be led to believe that for
at least half a century the valleys of the Upper Tigris and Middle
Euphrates were transformed into a desert; each time, however, that they
are subsequently mentioned on the occasion of some fresh expedition,
they appear once more covered with thriving cities and a vigorous
population, whose generals offer an obstinate resistance to the
invaders. We are, therefore, forced to admit that the majority of these
expeditions must be regarded as mere raids. The population, disconcerted
by a sudden attack, would take refuge in the woods or on the mountains,
carrying with them their gods, whom they thus preserved from captivity,
together with a portion of their treasures and cattle; but no sooner had
the invader retired, than they descended once more into the plain and
returned to their usual occupations. The Assyrian victories thus rarely
produced the decisive results which are claimed for them; they almost
always left the conquered people with sufficient energy and resources
to enable them to resume the conflict after a brief interval, and the
supremacy which the suzerain claimed as a result of his conquests was of
the most ephemeral nature. A revolt would suffice to shake it, while a
victory would be almost certain to destroy it, and once more reduce the
empire to the limits of Assyria proper.

Tukultiabalesharra, familiar to us under the name of Tiglath-pileser,*
is the first of the great warrior-kings of Assyria to stand out before
us with any definite individuality.

     * Tiglath-pileser is one of the transcriptions given in the
     LXX. for the Hebrew version of the name: it signifies, "The
     child of Esharra is my strength." By "the child of Esharra"
     the Assyrians, like the Chaldæans, understood the child of

We find him, in the interval between two skirmishes, engaged in hunting
lions or in the pursuit of other wild beasts, and we see him lavishing
offerings on the gods and enriching their temples with the spoils of
his victories; these, however, were not the normal occupations of this
sovereign, for peace with him was merely an interlude in a reign of
conflict. He led all his expeditions in person, undeterred by any
consideration of fatigue or danger, and scarcely had he returned from
one arduous campaign, than he proceeded to sketch the plan of that for
the following year; in short, he reigned only to wage war. His father,
Assurîshishi, had bequeathed him not only a prosperous kingdom, but a
well-organised army, which he placed in the field without delay. During
the fifty years since the Mushku, descending through the gorges of the
Taurus, had invaded the Alzi and the Puru-kuzzi, Assyria had not only
lost possession of all the countries bordering the left bank of the
Euphrates, but the whole of Kummukh had withdrawn its allegiance from
her, and had ceased to pay tribute. Tiglath-pileser had ascended the
throne only a few weeks ere he quitted Assur, marched rapidly across
Eastern Mesopotamia by the usual route, through Singar and Nisib, and
climbing the chain of the Kashiara, near Mardîn, bore down into the very
heart of Kummukh, where twenty thousand Mushku, under the command of
five kings, resolutely awaited him. He repulsed them in the very first
engagement, and pursued them hotly over hill and vale, pillaging the
fields, and encircling the towns with trophies of human heads taken
from the prisoners who had fallen into his hands; the survivors, to the
number of six thousand, laid down their arms, and were despatched to

     * The king, starting from Assur, must have followed the
     route through Sindjar, Nisib, Mardîn, and Diarbekîr--a road
     used later by the Romans, and still in existence at the
     present day. As he did not penetrate that year as far as the
     provinces of Alzi and Purukuzzi, he must have halted at the
     commencement of the mountain district, and have beaten the
     allies in the plain of Kuru-tchaî, before Diarbekîr, in the
     neighbourhood of the Tigris.

The Kummukh contingents, however, had been separated in the rout from
the Mushku, and had taken refuge beyond the Euphrates, near to the
fortress of Shirisha, where they imagined themselves in safety behind a
rampart of mountains and forests. Tiglath-pileser managed, by cutting
a road for his foot-soldiers and chariots, to reach their retreat: he
stormed the place without apparent difficulty, massacred the defenders,
and then turning upon the inhabitants of Kurkhi,* who were on their way
to reinforce the besieged, drove their soldiers into the Nâmi, whose
waters carried the corpses down to the Tigris. One of their princes,
Kilite-shub, son of Kaliteshub-Sarupi, had been made prisoner during
the action. Tiglath-pileser sent him, together with his wives, children,
treasures, and gods,** to share the captivity of the Mushku; then
retracing his steps, he crossed over to the right bank of the Tigris,
and attacked the stronghold of Urrakhinas which crowned the summit of

     * The country of the Kurkhi appears to have included at this
     period the provinces lying between the Sebbeneh-Su and the
     mountains of Djudî, probably a portion of the Sophene, the
     Anzanone and the Gordyenc of classical authors.

     ** The vanquished must have crossed the Tigris below
     Diarbekîr and have taken refuge beyond Mayafarrikîn, so that
     Shirisha must be sought for between the Silvan-dagh and the
     Ak-dagh, in the basin of the Batman-tchai, the present Nâmi.

The people, terror-stricken by the fate of their neighbours, seized
their idols and hid themselves within the thickets like a flock of
birds. Their chief, Shaditeshub, son of Khâtusaru,* ventured from out of
his hiding-place to meet the Assyrian conqueror, and prostrated himself
at his feet. He delivered over his sons and the males of his family
as hostages, and yielded up all his possessions in gold and copper,
together with a hundred and twenty slaves and cattle of all kinds;
Tiglath-pileser thereupon permitted him to keep his principality under
the suzerainty of Assyria, and such of his allies as followed his
example obtained a similar concession. The king consecrated the tenth
of the spoil thus received to the use of his god Assur and also to
Rammân;** but before returning to his capital, he suddenly resolved to
make an expedition into the almost impenetrable regions which separated
him from Lake Van.

     * The name of this chief's father has always been read
     Khâtukhi: it is a form of the name Khâtusaru borne by the
     Hittite king in the time of Ramses II.

     ** The site of Urrakhinas--read by Winckler Urartinas--is
     very uncertain: the town was situated in a territory which
     could belong equally well to the Kummukh or to the Kurkhi,
     and the mention of the crossing of the Tigris seems to
     indicate that it was on the right bank of the river,
     probably in the mountain group of Tur-Abdîn.

This district was, even more than at the present day, a confused
labyrinth of wooded mountain ranges, through which the Eastern Tigris
and its affluents poured their rapid waters in tortuous curves. As
hitherto no army had succeeded in making its way through this territory
with sufficient speed to surprise the fortified villages and scattered
clans inhabiting the valleys and mountain slopes, Tiglath-pileser
selected from his force a small troop of light infantry and thirty
chariots, with which he struck into the forests; but, on reaching the
Aruma, he was forced to abandon his chariotry and proceed with the
foot-soldiers only. The Mildîsh, terrified by his sudden appearance,
fell an easy prey to the invader; the king scattered the troops hastily
collected to oppose him, set fire to a few fortresses, seized the
peasantry and their flocks, and demanded hostages and the usual tribute
as a condition of peace.*

     * The Mildîsh of our inscription is to be identified with
     the country of Mount Umildîsh, mentioned by Sargon of

In his first campaign he thus reduced the upper and eastern half of
Kummukh, namely, the part extending to the north of the Tigris, while in
the following campaign he turned his attention to the regions bounded by
the Euphrates and by the western spurs of the Kashiari. The Alzi and the
Purukuzzi had been disconcerted by his victories, and had yielded him
their allegiance almost without a struggle. To the southward, the Kashku
and the Urumi, who had, to the number of four thousand, migrated from
among the Khâti and compelled the towns of the Shubarti to break their
alliance with the Ninevite kings, now made no attempt at resistance;
they laid down their arms and yielded at discretion, giving up
their goods and their hundred and twenty war-chariots, and resigning
themselves to the task of colonising a distant corner of Assyria. Other
provinces, however, were not so easily dealt with; the inhabitants
entrenched themselves within their wild valleys, from whence they had
to be ousted by sheer force; in the end they always had to yield, and to
undertake to pay an annual tribute. The Assyrian empire thus regained
on this side the countries which Shalmaneser I. had lost, owing to the
absorption of his energies and interests in the events which were taking
place in Chaldæa.

In his third campaign Tiglath-pileser succeeded in bringing about the
pacification of the border provinces which shut in the basin of the
Tigris to the north and east. The Kurkhi did not consider themselves
conquered by the check they had received at the Nâmi; several of their
tribes were stirring in Kharia, on the highlands above the Arzania, and
their restlessness threatened to infect such of their neighbours as
had already submitted themselves to the Assyrian yoke. "My master Assur
commanded me to attack their proud summits, which no king has ever
visited. I assembled my chariots and my foot-soldiers, and I
passed between the Idni and the Ala, by a difficult country, across
cloud-capped mountains whose peaks were as the point of a dagger,
and unfavourable to the progress of my chariots; I therefore left my
chariots in reserve, and I climbed these steep mountains. The community
of the Kurkhi assembled its numerous troops, and in order to give me
battle they entrenched themselves upon the Azubtagish; on the slopes of
the mountain, an incommodious position, I came into conflict with
them, and I vanquished them." This lesson cost them twenty-five towns,
situated at the feet of the Aîa, the Shuîra, the Idni, the Shizu, the
Silgu, and the Arzanabiu*--all twenty-five being burnt to the ground.

     * The site of Kharia must be sought for probably between the
     sources of the Tigris and the Batman-tchaî.

The dread of a similar fate impelled the neighbouring inhabitants of
Adaush to beg for a truce, which was granted to them;* but the people of
Saraush and of Ammaush, who "from all time had never known what it was
to obey," were cut to pieces, and their survivors incorporated into the
empire--a like fate overtaking the Isua and the Daria, who inhabited

     * According to the context, the Adaush ought to be between
     the Kharia and the Saraush; possibly between the Batman-
     tchaî and the Bohtân-tchaî, in the neighbourhood of Mildîsh.

     ** As Tiglath-pileser was forced to cross Mount Aruma in
     order to reach the Ammaush and the Saraush, these two
     countries, together with Isua and Daria, cannot be far from
     Mildîsh; Isua is, indeed, mentioned as near to Anzitene in
     an inscription of Shalmaneser II., which obliges us to place
     it somewhere near the sources of the Batman-tchaî. The
     position of Muraddash and Saradaush is indirectly pointed
     out by the mention of the Lower Zab and the Lulumê; the name
     of Saradaush is perhaps preserved in that of Surtash, borne
     by the valley through which runs one of the tributaries of
     the Lower Zab.

Beyond this, again, on the banks of the Lesser Zab and the confines of
Lulumô, the principalities of Muraddash and of Saradaush refused to come
to terms. Tiglath-pileser broke their lines within sight of Muraddash,
and entered the town with the fugitives in the confusion which ensued;
this took place about the fourth hour of the day. The success was so
prompt and complete, that the king was inclined to attribute it to the
help of Rammân, and he made an offering to the temple of this god at
Assur of all the copper, whether wrought or in ore, which was found
among the spoil of the vanquished. He was recalled almost immediately
after this victory by a sedition among the Kurkhi near the sources of
the Tigris. One of their tribes, known as the Sugi, who had not as
yet suffered from the invaders, had concentrated round their standards
contingents from some half-dozen cities, and the united force was, to
the number of six thousand, drawn up on Mount Khirikhâ. Tiglath-pileser
was again victorious, and took from them twenty-five statues of their
gods, which he despatched to Assyria to be distributed among the
sanctuaries of Belît at Assur, of Anu, Bammân, and of Ishtar. Winter
obliged him to suspend operations. When he again resumed them at the
beginning of his third year, both the Kummukh and the Kurkhi were so
peaceably settled that he was able to carry his expeditions without fear
of danger further north, into the regions of the Upper Euphrates between
the Halys and Lake Van, a district then known as Naîri. He marched
diagonally across the plain of Diarbekîr, penetrated through dense
forests, climbed sixteen mountain ridges one after the other by paths
hitherto considered impracticable, and finally crossed the Euphrates by
improvised bridges, this being, as far as we know, the first time that
an Assyrian monarch had ventured into the very heart of those countries
which had formerly constituted the Hittite empire.

He found them occupied by rude and warlike tribes, who derived
considerable wealth from working the mines, and possessed each their
own special sanctuary, the ruins of which still appear above ground,
and invite the attention of the explorer. Their fortresses must have all
more or less resembled that city of the Pterians which flourished for so
many ages just at the bend of the Halys;* its site is still marked by
a mound rising to some thirty feet above the plain, resembling the
platforms on which the Chaldæan temples were always built--a few walls
of burnt brick, and within an enclosure, among the débris of rudely
built houses, the ruins of some temples and palaces consisting of large
irregular blocks of stone.

     * The remains of the palace of the city of the Pterians, the
     present Euyuk, are probably later than the reign of Tiglath-
     pileser, and may be attributed to the Xth or IXth century
     before our era; they, however, probably give a very fair
     idea of what the towns of the Cappadocian region were like
     at the time of the first Assyrian invasions.

[Illustration: 216.jpg GENERAL VIEW OF THE RUINS OF EUYUK]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

[Illustration: 217.jpg THE SPHINX ON THE RIGHT OF EUYUK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

Two colossal sphinxes guard the gateway of the principal edifice,
and their presence proves with certainty how predominant was Egyptian
influence even at this considerable distance from the banks of the Nile.
They are not the ordinary sphinxes, with a human head surmounting the
body of a lion couchant on its stone pedestal; but, like the Assyrian
bulls, they are standing, and, to judge from the Hathorian locks which
fall on each side of their countenances, they must have been intended
to represent a protecting goddess rather than a male deity. A remarkable
emblem is carved on the side of the upright to which their bodies are
attached; it is none other than the double-headed eagle, the prototype
of which is not infrequently found at Telloh in Lower Chaldæa, among
remains dating from the time of the kings and vicegerents of Lagash.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

The court or hall to which this gate gave access was decorated with
bas-reliefs, which exhibit a glaring imitation of Babylonian art; we can
still see on these the king, vested in his long flowing robes, praying
before an altar, while further on is a procession of dignitaries
following a troop of rams led by a priest to be sacrificed; another
scene represents two individuals in the attitude of worship, wearing
short loin-cloths, and climbing a ladder whose upper end has an
uncertain termination, while a third person applies his hands to his
mouth in the performance of some mysterious ceremony; beyond these are
priests and priestesses moving in solemn file as if in the measured
tread of some sacred dance, while in one corner we find the figure of a
woman, probably a goddess, seated, holding in one hand a flower, perhaps
the full-blown lotus, and in the other a cup from which she is about to
drink. The costume of all these figures is that which Chaldæan fashion
had imposed upon the whole of Western Asia, and consisted of the long
heavy robe, falling from the shoulders to the feet, drawn in at the
waist by a girdle; but it is to be noted that both sexes are shod with
the turned-up shoes of the Hittites, and that the women wear high peaked

[Illustration: 219.jpg MYSTIC SCENE AT EUYUK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

The composition of the scenes is rude, the drawing incorrect, and the
general technique reminds us rather of the low reliefs of the Memphite
or Theban sculptors than of the high projection characteristic of the
artists of the Lower Euphrates. These slabs of sculptured stone formed
a facing at the base of the now crumbling brick walls, the upper
surface of which was covered with rough plastering. Here and there a
few inscriptions reveal the name, titles, and parentage of some once
celebrated personage, and mention the god in whose honour he had
achieved the work.

[Illustration: 220.jpg AN ASIATIC GODDESS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

The characters in which these inscriptions are written are not, as a
rule, incised in the stone, but are cut in relief upon its surface,
and if some few of them may remind us of the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the
majority are totally unlike them, both in form and execution. A careful
examination of them reveals a medley of human and animal outlines,
geometrical figures, and objects of daily use, which all doubtless
corresponded to some letter or syllable, but to which we have as yet
no trustworthy key. This system of writing is one of a whole group of
Asiatic scripts, specimens of which are common in this part of the world
from Crete to the banks of the Euphrates and Orontes. It is thought that
the Khâti must have already adopted it before their advent to power, and
that it was they who propagated it in Northern Syria. It did not take
the place of the cuneiform syllabary for ordinary purposes of daily life
owing to its clumsiness and complex character, but its use was reserved
for monumental inscriptions of a royal or religious kind, where it could
be suitably employed as a framework to scenes or single figures.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth.

It, however, never presented the same graceful appearance and
arrangement as was exhibited in the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the signs
placed side by side being out of proportion with each other so as to
destroy the general harmony of the lines, and it must be regarded as a
script still in process of formation and not yet emerged from infancy.
Every square yard of soil turned up among the ruins of the houses of
Euyuk yields vestiges of tools, coarse pottery, terra-cotta and bronze
statuettes of men and animals, and other objects of a not very high
civilization. The few articles of luxury discovered, whether in
furniture or utensils, were not indigenous products, but were imported
for the most part from Chaldæa, Syria, Phoenicia, and perhaps from
Egypt; some objects, indeed, came from the coast-towns of the Ægean,
thus showing that Western influence was already in contact with the
traditions of the East.

[Illustration: 222.jpg DOUBLE SCEND OF OFFERINGS]

     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth. It
     will be remarked that both altars are in the form of a
     female without a head, but draped in the Assyrian robe.

All the various races settled between the Halys and the Orontes were
more or less imbued with this foreign civilization, and their monuments,
though not nearly so numerous as those of the Pharaohs and Ninevite
kings, bear, nevertheless, an equally striking evidence of its power.
Examples of it have been pointed out in a score of different places in
the valleys of the Taurus and on the plains of Cappadocia, in
bas-reliefs, steke, seals, and intaglios, several of which must be
nearly contemporaneous with the first Assyrian conquest.

[Illustration: 223.jpg THE BAS-RELIEF OF IBRIZ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Hogarth.

One instance of it appears on the rocks at Ibriz, where a king stands in
a devout attitude before a jovial giant whose hands are full of grapes
and wheat-ears, while in another bas-relief near Frakhtîn we have a
double scene of sacrifice. The rock-carving at Ibriz is, perhaps, of all
the relics of a forgotten world, that which impresses the spectator most
favourably. The concept of the scene is peculiarly naïve; indeed, the
two figures are clumsily brought together, though each of them, when
examined separately, is remarkable for its style and execution. The king
has a dignified bearing in spite of his large head, round eyes, and the
unskilful way in which his arms are set on his body. The figure of the
god is not standing firmly on both feet, but the sculptor has managed
to invest him with an air of grandeur and an expression of vigour and
_bonhomie,_ which reminds us of certain types of the Greek Hercules.

Tiglath-pileser was probably attracted to Asia Minor as much by
considerations of mercantile interest as by the love of conquest or
desire for spoil. It would, indeed, have been an incomparable gain for
him had he been able, if not to seize the mines themselves, at least
to come into such close proximity to them that he would be able to
monopolise their entire output, and at the same time to lay hands on the
great commercial highway to the trade centres of the west. The eastern
terminus of this route lay already within his domains, namely, that
which led to Assur by way of Amid, Nisibe, Singar, and the valley of the
Upper Tigris; he was now desirous of acquiring that portion of it
which wound its way from the fords of the Euphrates at Malatîyeh to the
crossing of the Halys. The changes which had just taken place in
Kummukh and Nairi had fully aroused the numerous petty sovereigns of
the neighbourhood. The bonds which kept them together had not been
completely severed at the downfall of the Hittite empire, and a certain
sense of unity still lingered among them in spite of their continual
feuds; they constituted, in fact, a sort of loose confederation, whose
members never failed to help one another when they were threatened by a
common enemy. As soon as the news of an Assyrian invasion reached them,
they at once put aside their-mutual quarrels and combined to oppose
the invader with their united forces. Tiglath-pileser had, therefore,
scarcely crossed the Euphrates before he was attacked on his right flank
by twenty-three petty kings of Naîri,* while sixty other chiefs from the
same neighbourhood bore down upon him in front. He overcame the first
detachment of the confederates, though not without a sharp struggle; he
carried carnage into their ranks, "as it were the whirlwind of Eammân,"
and seized a hundred and twenty of the enemy's chariots. The sixty
chiefs, whose domains extended as far as the "Upper Sea,"** were
disconcerted by the news of the disaster, and of their own accord laid
down their arms, or offered but a feeble resistance.

     * The text of the Annals of the Xth year give thirty instead
     of twenty-three; in the course of five or six years the
     numbers have already become exaggerated.

     ** The site of the "Upper Sea" has furnished material for
     much discussion. Some believe it to be the Caspian Sea or
     the Black Sea, others take it to be Lake Van, while some
     think it to be the Mediterranean, and more particularly the
     Gulf of Issus between Syria and Cilicia. At the present day
     several scholars have returned to the theory which makes it
     the Black Sea.

Tiglath-pileser presented some of them in chains to the god Shamash; he
extorted an oath of vassalage from them, forced them to give up their
children as hostages, and laid a tax upon them _en masse_ of 1200
stallions and 2000 bulls, after which he permitted them to return to
their respective towns. He had, however, singled out from among them to
grace his own triumph, Sini of Dayana, the only chief among them who had
offered him an obstinate resistance; but even he was granted his liberty
after he had been carried captive to Assur, and made to kneel before the
gods of Assyria.*

     * Dayani, which is mentioned in the Annals of Shalmaneser
     II., has been placed on the banks of the Murad-su by
     Schrader, and more particularly in the neighbourhood of
     Melasgerd by Sayce; Delattre has shown that it was the last
     and most westerly of twenty-three kingdoms conquered by
     Tiglath-pileser I., and that it was consequently enclosed
     between the Murad-su and the Euphrates proper.

Before returning to the capital, Tiglath-pileser attacked Khanigalbat,
and appeared before Milidia: as the town attempted no defence, he spared
it, and contented himself with levying a small contribution upon
its inhabitants. This expedition was rather of the nature of a
reconnaissance than a conquest, but it helped to convince the king
of the difficulty of establishing any permanent suzerainty over the
country. The Asiatic peoples were quick to bow before a sudden attack;
but no sooner had the conqueror departed, than those who had sworn him
eternal fealty sought only how best to break their oaths. The tribes in
immediate proximity to those provinces which had been long subject to
the Assyrian rule, were intimidated into showing some respect for a
power which existed so close to their own borders. But those further
removed from the seat of government felt a certain security in
their distance from it, and were tempted to revert to the state of
independence they had enjoyed before the conquest; so that unless the
sovereign, by a fresh campaign, promptly made them realise that their
disaffection would not remain unpunished, they soon forgot their
feudatory condition and the duties which it entailed.

Three years of merciless conflict with obstinate and warlike mountain
tribes had severely tried the Assyrian army, if it had not worn out
the sovereign; the survivors of so many battles were in sore need of a
well-merited repose, the gaps left by death had to be filled, and both
infantry and chariotry needed the re-modelling of their corps. The
fourth year of the king's reign, therefore, was employed almost entirely
in this work of reorganisation; we find only the record of a raid of
a few weeks against the Akhlamî and other nomadic Aramæans situated
beyond the Mesopotamian steppes. The Assyrians spread over the district
between the frontiers of Sukhi and the fords of Carchemish for a whole
day, killing all who resisted, sacking the villages and laying hands
on slaves and cattle. The fugitives escaped over the Euphrates, vainly
hoping that they would be secure in the very heart of the Khâti.
Tiglath-pileser, however, crossed the river on rafts supported on skins,
and gave the provinces of Mount Bishri over to fire and sword:* six
walled towns opened their gates to him without having ventured to strike
a blow, and he quitted the country laden with spoil before the kings of
the surrounding cities had had time to recover from their alarm.

     * The country of Bishri was situated, as the _Annals_ point
     out, in the immediate neighbourhood of Carchemish. The name
     is preserved in that of Tell Basher still borne by the
     ruins, and a modern village on the banks of the Sajur. The
     Gebel Bishri to which Hommel alludes is too far to the south
     to correspond to the description given in the inscription of

This expedition was for Tiglath-pileser merely an interlude between
two more serious campaigns; and with the beginning of his fifth year
he reappeared in the provinces of the Upper Euphrates to complete his
conquest of them. He began by attacking and devastating Musri, which lay
close to the territory of Milid. While thus occupied he was harassed by
bands of Kumani; he turned upon them, overcame them, and imprisoned the
remainder of them in the fortress of Arini, at the foot of Mount Aisa,
where he forced them to kiss his feet. His victory over them, however,
did not disconcert their neighbours. The bulk of the Kumani, whose
troops had scarcely suffered in the engagement, fortified themselves
on Mount Tala, to the number of twenty thousand; the king carried the
heights by assault, and hotly pursued the fugitives as far as the range
of Kharusa before Musri, where the fortress of Khunusa afforded them
a retreat behind its triple walls of brick. The king, nothing daunted,
broke his way through them one after another, demolished the ramparts,
razed the houses, and strewed the ruins with salt; he then constructed
a chapel of brick as a sort of trophy, and dedicated within it what
was known as a copper thunderbolt, being an image of the missile which
Eammân, the god of thunder, brandished in the face of his enemies. An
inscription engraved on the object recorded the destruction of Khunusa,
and threatened with every divine malediction the individual, whether
an Assyrian or a stranger, who should dare to rebuild the city. This
victory terrified the Kumani, and their capital, Kibshuna, opened
its gates to the royal troops at the first summons. Tiglath-pileser
completely destroyed the town, but granted the inhabitants their lives
on condition of their paying tribute; he chose from among them, however,
three hundred families who had shown him the most inveterate hostility,
and sent them as exiles into Assyria.*

     * The country of the Kumani or Kammanu is really the
     district of Comana in Cataonia, and not the Comana Pontica
     or the Khammanene on the banks of the Halys. Delattre thinks
     that Tiglath-pileser penetrated into this region by the
     Jihun, and consequently seeks to identify the names of towns
     and mountains, e.g. Mount Ilamuni with Jaur-dagh, the
     Kharusa with Shorsh-dagh, and the Tala with the Kermes-dagh;
     but it is difficult to believe that, if the king took this
     route, he would not mention the town of Marqasi-Marash,
     which lay at the very foot of the Jaur-dagh, and would have
     stopped his passage. It is more probable that the Assyrians,
     starting from Melitene, which they had just subdued, would
     have followed the route which skirts the northern slope of
     the Taurus by Albistan; the scene of the conflict in this
     case would probably have been the mountainous district of

With this victory the first half of his reign drew to its close; in five
years Tiglath-pileser had subjugated forty-two peoples and their princes
within an area extending from the banks of the Lower Zab to the plains
of the Khâti, and as far as the shores of the Western Seas. He revisited
more than once these western and northern regions in which he had
gained his early triumphs. The reconnaissance which he had made
around Carchemish had revealed to him the great wealth of the Syrian
table-land, and that a second raid in that direction could be made more
profitable than ten successful campaigns in Naîri or upon the banks
of the Zab. He therefore marched his battalions thither, this time
to remain for more than a few days. He made his way through the whole
breadth of the country, pushed forward up the valley of the Orontes,
crossed the Lebanon, and emerged above the coast of the Mediterranean in
the vicinity of Arvad.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

This is the first time for many centuries that an Oriental sovereign had
penetrated so far west; and his contemporaries must have been obliged
to look back to the almost fabulous ages of Sargon of Agadê or of
Khammurabi, to find in the long lists of the dynasties of the Euphrates
any record of a sovereign who had planted his standards on the shores of
the Sea of the Setting Sun.*

     *This is the name given by the Assyrians to the

Tiglath-pileser embarked on its waters, made a cruise into the open, and
killed a porpoise, but we have no record of any battles fought, nor do
we know how he was received by the Phoenician towns. He pushed on, it is
thought, as far as the Nahr el-Kelb, and the sight of the hieroglyphic
inscriptions which Ramses had caused to be cut there three centuries
previously aroused his emulation. Assyrian conquerors rarely quitted
the scene of their exploits without leaving behind them some permanent
memorial of their presence. A sculptor having hastily smoothed the
surface of a rock, cut out on it a figure of the king, to which was
usually added a commemorative inscription. In front of this stele was
erected an altar, upon which sacrifices were made, and if the monument
was placed near a stream or the seashore, the soldiers were accustomed
to cast portions of the victims into the water in order to propitiate
the river-deities.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs on the
     bronze gates of Balawât.

One of the half-effaced Assyrian stelæ adjoining those of the Egyptian
conqueror is attributed to Tiglath-pileser.*

     *Boscawen thinks that we may attribute to Tiglath-pileser I.
     the oldest of the Assyrian stelæ at Nahr el-Kelb; no
     positive information has as yet confirmed this hypothesis,
     which is in other respects very probable.

It was on his return, perhaps, from this campaign that he planted
colonies at Pitru on the right, and at Mutkînu on the left bank of the
Euphrates, in order to maintain a watch over Carchemish, and the more
important fords connecting Mesopotamia with the plains of the Apriê and
the Orontes.*

     * The existence of these colonies is known only from an
     inscription of Shalmaneser II.

The news of Tiglath-pileser's expedition was not long in reaching the
Delta, and the Egyptian monarch then reigning at Tanis was thus made
acquainted with the fact that there had arisen in Syria a new power
before which his own was not unlikely to give way. In former times such
news would have led to a war between the two states, but the time
had gone by when Egypt was prompt to take up arms at the slightest
encroachment on her Asiatic provinces. Her influence at this time was
owing merely to her former renown, and her authority beyond the isthmus
was purely traditional. The Tanite Pharaoh had come to accept with
resignation the change in the fortunes of Egypt, and he therefore
contented himself with forwarding to the Assyrian conqueror, by one of
the Syrian coasting vessels, a present of some rare wild beasts and
a few crocodiles. In olden times Assyria had welcomed the arrival of
Thûtmosis III. on the Euphrates by making him presents, which the Theban
monarch regarded in the light of tribute: the case was now reversed, the
Egyptian Pharaoh taking the position formerly occupied by the Assyrian
monarch. Tiglath-pileser graciously accepted this unexpected homage, but
the turbulent condition of the northern tribes prevented his improving
the occasion by an advance into Phoenicia and the land of Canaan. Naîri
occupied his attention on two separate occasions at least; on the second
of these he encamped in the neighbourhood of the source of the river
Subnat. This stream, had for a long period issued from a deep grotto,
where in ancient times a god was supposed to dwell. The conqueror
was lavish in religious offerings here, and caused a bas-relief to be
engraved on the entrance in remembrance of his victories.

[Illustration 233.jpg THE STELE AT SEBENNEH-SU]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by P. Taylor, in G.

He is here represented as standing upright, the tiara on his brow, and
his right arm extended as if in the act of worship, while his left, the
elbow brought up to his side, holds a club. The inscription appended
to the figure tells, with an eloquence all the more effective from its
brevity, how, "with the aid of Assur, Shamash, and Eammân, the
great gods, my lords, I, Tiglath-pileser, King of Assyria, son of
Assurîshishî, King of Assyria, son of Mutakkilnusku, King of Assyria,
conqueror from the great sea, the Mediterranean, to the great sea of
Naîri, I went for the third time to Naîri."

The gods who had so signally favoured the monarch received the greater
part of the spoils which he had secured in his campaigns. The majority
of the temples of Assyria, which were founded at a time when its city
was nothing more than a provincial capital owing allegiance to Babylon,
were either, it would appear, falling to ruins from age, or presented a
sorry exterior, utterly out of keeping with the magnitude of its recent
wealth. The king set to work to enlarge or restore the temples of
Ishtar, Martu, and the ancient Bel;* he then proceeded to rebuild,
from the foundations to the summit, that of Anu and Bammân, which the
vicegerent Samsirammân, son of Ismidagan, had constructed seven hundred
and one years previously. This temple was the principal sanctuary of
the city, because it was the residence of the chief of the gods, Assur,
under his appellation of Anu.**

     * "Bel the ancient," or possibly "the ancient master,"
     appears to have been one of the names of Anu, who is
     naturally in this connexion the same as Assur.

     ** This was the great temple of which the ruins still exist.

The soil was cleared away down to the bed-rock, upon which an enormous
substructure, consisting of fifty courses of bricks, was laid, and above
this were erected two lofty ziggurâts, whose tile-covered surfaces shone
like the rising sun in their brightness; the completion of the whole was
commemorated by a magnificent festival. The special chapel of Bammân
and his treasury, dating from the time of the same Samsirammân who had
raised the temple of Anu, were also rebuilt on a more important scale.*

     * The British Museum possesses bricks bearing the name of
     Tiglath-pileser I., brought from this temple, as is shown by
     the inscription on their sides.

These works were actively carried on notwithstanding the fact that war
was raging on the frontier; however preoccupied he might be with warlike
projects, Tiglath-pileser never neglected the temples, and set to work
to collect from every side materials for their completion and adornment.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief on the bronze
     doors at Balawât.

He brought, for example, from Naîri such marble and hard stone as might
be needed for sculptural purposes, together with the beams of cedar and
cypress required by his carpenters. The mountains of Singar and of the
Zab furnished the royal architects with building stone for ordinary
uses, and for those facing slabs of bluish gypsum on which the
bas-reliefs of the king's exploits were carved; the blocks ready squared
were brought down the affluents of the Tigris on rafts or in boats, and
thus arrived at their destination without land transport.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast in the Louvre. The
     original is in the British Museum.

The kings of Assyria, like the Pharaohs, had always had a passion for
rare trees and strange animals; as soon as they entered a country, they
inquired what natural curiosities it contained, and they would send back
to their own land whatever specimens of them could be procured.

[Illustration: 237.jpg MONKEY BROUGHT BACK AS TRIBUTE]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the bas-relief in Layard.

The triumphal _cortege_ which accompanied the monarch on his return
after each campaign comprised not only prisoners and spoil of a
useful sort, but curiosities from all the conquered districts, as,
for instance, animals of unusual form or habits, rhinoceroses and
crocodiles,* and if some monkey of a rare species had been taken in the
sack of a town, it also would find a place in the procession, either
held in a leash or perched on the shoulders of its keeper.

     * A crocodile sent as a present by the King of Egypt is
     mentioned in the _Inscription of the Broken Obelisk_. The
     animal is called _namsukha_, which is the Egyptian _msuhu_
     with the plural article _na._

The campaigns of the monarch were thus almost always of a double nature,
comprising not merely a conflict with men, but a continual pursuit of
wild beasts. Tiglath-pileser, "in the service of Ninib, had killed four
great specimens of the male urus in the desert of Mitanni, near to the
town of Arazîki, opposite to the countries of the Khâti;* he killed them
with his powerful bow, his dagger of iron, his pointed lance, and he
brought back their skins and horns to his city of Assur. He secured ten
strong male elephants, in the territory of Harrân and upon the banks of
the Khabur, and he took four of them alive: he brought back their skins
and their tusks, together with the living elephants, to his city of
Assur." He killed moreover, doubtless also in the service of Ninib, a
hundred and twenty lions, which he attacked on foot, despatching eight
hundred more with arrows from his chariot,** all within the short space
of five years, and we may well ask what must have been the sum total,
if the complete record for his whole reign were extant. We possess,
unfortunately, no annals of the later years of this monarch; we have
reason to believe that he undertook several fresh expeditions into
Nairi,*** and a mutilated tablet records some details of troubles with
Elam in the Xth year of his reign.

     * The town of Arazîki has been identified with the Eragiza
     (Eraziga) of Ptolemy; the Eraziga of Ptolemy was on the
     right bank of the Euphrates, while the text of Tiglath-
     pileser appears to place Arazîki on the left bank.

     ** The account of the hunts in the _Annals_ is supplemented
     by the information furnished in the first column of the
     "Broken Obelisk." The monument is of the time of Assur-nazir-
     pal, but the first column contains an abstract from an
     account of an anonymous hunt, which a comparison of numbers
     and names leads us to attribute to Tiglath-pileser I.; some
     Assyri-ologists, however, attribute it to Assur-nazir-pal.

     * The inscription of Sebbeneh-Su was erected at the time of
     the third expedition into Naîri, and the _Annals_ give only
     one; the other two expeditions must, therefore, be
     subsequent to the Vth year of his reign.

We gather that he attacked a whole series of strongholds, some of
whose names have a Cossæan ring about them, such as Madkiu, Sudrun,
Ubrukhundu, Sakama, Shuria, Khirishtu, and Andaria. His advance in this
direction must have considerably provoked the Chaldæans, and, indeed,
it was not long before actual hostilities broke out between the two
nations. The first engagement took place in the valley of the Lower Zab,
in the province of Arzukhina, without any decisive result, but in the
following year fortune favoured the Assyrians, for Dur-kurigalzu, both
Sipparas, Babylon, and Upi opened their gates to them, while Akar-sallu,
the Akhlamê, and the whole of Sukhi as far as Eapîki tendered their
submission to Tiglath-achuch-sawh-akhl-pileser.

[Illustration: 239.jpg MERODACH-NADIN-AKHI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the heliogravure in Pr.
     Lenormant. The original is in the British Museum. It is one
     of the boundary stones which were set up in a corner of a
     field to mark its legal limit.

Merodach-nadin-akhi, who was at this time reigning in Chaldæa, was
like his ancestor Nebuchadrezzar I., a brave and warlike sovereign: he
appears at first to have given way under the blow thus dealt him, and to
have acknowledged the suzerainty of his rival, who thereupon assumed the
title of Lord of the four Houses of the World, and united under a single
empire the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. But this state of things
lasted for a few years only; Merodach-nadin-akhi once more took courage,
and, supported by the Chaldæan nobility, succeeded in expelling the
intruders from Sumir and Akkad. The Assyrians, however, did not allow
themselves to be driven out without a struggle, but fortune turned
against them; they were beaten, and the conqueror inflicted on the
Assyrian gods the humiliation to which they had so often subjected those
of other nations. He took the statues of Eammân and Shala from Ekallati,
carried them to Babylon, and triumphantly set them up within the temple
of Bel. There they remained in captivity for 418 years.* Tiglath-pileser
did not long survive this disaster, for he died about the year 1100
B.C.,** and two of his sons succeeded him on the throne. The elder,
Assur-belkala,*** had neither sufficient energy nor resources to resume
the offensive, and remained a passive spectator of the revolutions which
distracted Babylon.

     * We know this fact from the inscription of Bavian, in which
     Sennacherib boasts of having brought back these statues to
     Assyria after they had been 418 years in the possession of
     the enemy. I have followed the commonly received opinion,
     which places the defeat of Tiglath-pileser after the taking
     of Babylon; others think that it preceded the decisive
     victory of the Assyrians. It is improbable that, if the loss
     of the statues preceded the decisive victory, the Assyrian
     conquerors should have left their gods prisoners in a
     Babylonian temple, and should not have brought them back
     immediately to Ekallati.

     ** The death of Tiglath-pileser must have followed quickly
     on the victory of Babylon; the contents of the inscription
     of Bavian permit us to fix the taking of Ekallati by the
     Chaldæans about the year 1108-1106 B.C. We shall not be far
     wrong in supposing Tiglath-pileser to have reigned six or
     eight years after his defeat.

     *** I followed the usually received classification. It is,
     however, possible that we must reverse the order of the

Merodach-nadin-akhi had been followed by his son Merodach-shapîk-zîrîm,*
but this prince was soon dethroned by the people, and Bammân-abaliddîn,
a man of base extraction, seized the crown.

     * The name of the Babylonian king has been variously read
     Merodach-shapîk-zirat, Merodach-shapîk-kullat, Merodach-
     shapîk-zirmâti and Merodach-shapîk-zîrîm.

Assur-belkala not only extended to this usurper the friendly relations
he had kept up with the legitimate sovereign, but he asked for the hand
of his daughter in marriage, and the rich dowry which she brought her
husband no doubt contributed to the continuation of his pacific policy.
He appears also to have kept possession of all the parts of Mesopotamia
and Kammukh conquered by his father, and it is possible that he may have
penetrated beyond the Euphrates. His brother, Samsi-rammân III.,
does not appear to have left any more definite mark upon history than
Assur-belkala; he decorated the temples built by his predecessors,
but beyond this we have no certain record of his achievements. We know
nothing of the kings who followed him, their names even having been
lost, but about a century and a half after Tiglath-pileser, a certain
Assurirba seems to have crossed Northern Syria, and following in the
footsteps of his great ancestor, to have penetrated as far as the
Mediterranean: on the rocks of Mount Amanus, facing the sea, he left
a triumphal inscription in which he set forth the mighty deeds he
had accomplished. This is merely a gleam out of the murky night which
envelops his history, and the testimony of one of his descendants
informs us that his good fortune soon forsook him: the Aramaeans wrested
from him the fortresses of Pitru and Mutkînu, which commanded both banks
of the Euphrates near Carchemish. Nor did the retrograde movement slaken
after his time: Assyria slowly wasted away down to the end of the Xth
century, and but for the simultaneous decadence of the Chaldaeans, its
downfall would have been complete. But neither Rammân-abaliddîn nor his
successor was able to take advantage of its weakness; discord and
want of energy soon brought about their own ruin. The dynasty of
Pashê disappeared towards the middle of the Xth century, and a family
belonging to the "Countries of the Sea" took its place: it had continued
for about one hundred and thirty-two years, and had produced eleven

     * It is no easy matter to draw up an exact list of this
     dynasty, and Hilprecht's attempt to do so contains more than
     one doubtful name. The following list is very imperfect and
     doubtful, but the best that our present knowledge enables us
     to put forward.

[Illustration: 242.jpg TABLE OF KINGS]

What were the causes of this depression, from which Babylon suffered at
almost regular intervals, as though stricken with some periodic malady?
The main reason soon becomes apparent if we consider the nature of
the country and the material conditions of its existence. Chaldæa was
neither extensive enough nor sufficiently populous to afford a solid
basis for the ambition of her princes. Since nearly every man capable
of bearing arms was enrolled in the army, the Chaktean kings had no
difficulty in raising, at a moment's notice, a force which could be
employed to repel an invasion, or make a sudden attack on some distant
territory; it was in schemes which required prolonged and sustained
effort that they felt the drawbacks of their position. In that age of
hand-to-hand combats, the mortality in battle was very high, forced
marches through forests and across mountains entailed a heavy loss of
men, and three or four consecutive campaigns against a stubborn foe soon
reduced an army to a condition of dangerous weakness. Recruits might be
obtained to fill the earlier vacancies in the ranks, but they soon grew
fewer and fewer if time was not given for recovery after the opening
victories in the struggle, and the supply eventually ceased if
operations were carried on beyond a certain period.

The total duration of the dynasty was, according to the Royal Canon, 72
years 6 months. Peiser has shown that this is a mistake, and he proposes
to correct it to 132 years 6 months, and this is accepted by most

A reign which began brilliantly often came to an impotent conclusion,
owing to the king having failed to economise his reserves; and the
generations which followed, compelled to adopt a strictly defensive
attitude, vegetated in a sort of anaemic condition, until the birth-rate
had brought the proportion of males up to a figure sufficiently high to
provide the material for a fresh army. When Nebuchadrezzar made war upon
Assurîshishî, he was still weak from the losses he had incurred during
the campaign against Elam, and could not conduct his attack with the
same vigour as had gained him victory on the banks of the Ulaî; in
the first year he only secured a few indecisive advantages, and in the
second he succumbed. Merodach-nadin-akhi was suffering from the reverses
sustained by his predecessors when Tiglath-pileser provoked him to war,
and though he succeeded in giving a good account of an adversary who was
himself exhausted by dearly bought successes, he left to his descendants
a kingdom which had been drained of its last drop of blood. The same
reason which explains the decadence of Babylon shows us the cause of
the periodic eclipses undergone by Assyria after each outburst of her
warlike spirit. She, too, had to pay the penalty of an ambition
which was out of all proportion to her resources. The mighty deeds of
Shalmaneser and Tukulti-ninip were, as a natural consequence,
followed by a state of complete prostration under Tukultiassurbel
and Assurnîrarî: the country was now forced to pay for the glories of
Assurîshishî and of Tiglath-pileser by falling into an inglorious state
of languor and depression. Its kings, conscious that their rule must be
necessarily precarious as long as they did not possess a larger stock of
recruits to fall back on, set their wits to work to provide by various
methods a more adequate reserve. While on one hand they installed native
Assyrians in the more suitable towns of conquered countries, on the
other they imported whole hordes of alien prisoners chosen for their
strength and courage, and settled them down in districts by the banks of
the Tigris and the Zab. We do not know what Eammânirâni and Shalmaneser
may have done in this way, but Tiglath-pileser undoubtedly introduced
thousands of the Mushku, the Urumseans, the people of Kummukh and
Naîri, and his example was followed by all those of his successors
whose history has come down to us. One might have expected that such an
invasion of foreigners, still smarting under the sense of defeat, might
have brought with it an element of discontent or rebellion; far from
it, they accepted their exile as a judgment of the gods, which the
gods alone had a right to reverse, and did their best to mitigate the
hardness of their lot by rendering unhesitating obedience to their
masters. Their grandchildren, born in the midst of Assyrians, became
Assyrians themselves, and if they did not entirely divest themselves of
every trace of their origin, at any rate became so closely identified
with the country of their adoption, that it was difficult to distinguish
them from the native race. The Assyrians who were sent out to colonise
recently acquired provinces were at times exposed to serious risks. Now
and then, instead of absorbing the natives among whom they lived, they
were absorbed by them, which meant a loss of so much fighting strength
to the mother country; even under the most favourable conditions
a considerable time must have passed before they could succeed in
assimilating to themselves the races amongst whom they lived. At
last, however, a day would dawn when the process of incorporation was
accomplished, and Assyria, having increased her area and resources
twofold, found herself ready to endure to the end the strain of
conquest. In the interval, she suffered from a scarcity of fighting men,
due to the losses incurred in her victories, and must have congratulated
herself that her traditional foe was not in a position to take advantage
of this fact.

The first wave of the Assyrian invasion had barely touched Syria; it
had swept hurriedly over the regions in the north, and then flowed
southwards to return no more, so that the northern races were able to
resume the wonted tenor of their lives. For centuries after this
their condition underwent no change; there was the same repetition of
dissension and intrigue, the same endless succession of alliances and
battles without any signal advantage on either side. The Hittites still
held Northern Syria: Carchemish was their capital, and more than one
town in its vicinity preserved the tradition of their dress, their
language, their arts, and their culture in full vigour. The Greek
legends tell us vaguely of some sort of Cilician empire which is said
to have brought the eastern and central provinces of Asia Minor into
subjection about ten centuries before our era.*

     * Solinus, relying on the indirect evidence of Hecatseus of
     Miletus, tells us that Cilicia extended not only to the
     countries afterwards known as Cataonia, Commagene, and
     Syria, but also included Lydia, Media, Armenia, Pamphylia,
     and Cappadocia; the conquests of the Assyrian kings must
     have greatly reduced its area. I am of opinion that the
     tradition preserved by  Hecatous referred both to the
     kingdom of Sapalulu and to that of the monarchs of this
     second epoch.

Is there any serious foundation for such a belief, and must we assume
that there existed at this time and in this part of the world a kingdom
similar to that of Sapalulu? Assyria was recruiting its forces, Chaldæa
was kept inactive by its helplessness, Egypt slumbered by the banks of
its river, there was no actor of the first rank to fill the stage; now
was the opportunity for a second-rate performer to come on the scene and
play such a part as his abilities permitted. The Cilician conquest, if
this be indeed the date at which it took place, had the boards to itself
for a hundred years after the defeat of Assurirba. The time was too
short to admit of its striking deep root in the country. Its leaders and
men were, moreover, closely related to the Syrian Hittites; the language
they spoke was, if not precisely the Hittite, at any rate a dialect of
it; their customs were similar, if, perhaps, somewhat less refined, as
is often the case with mountain races, when compared with the peoples of
the plain. We are tempted to conclude that some of the monuments found
south of the Taurus were their handiwork, or, at any rate, date from
their time. For instance, the ruined palace at Sinjirli, the lower
portions of which are ornamented with pictures similar to those
at Pteria, representing processions of animals, some real, others
fantastic, men armed with lances or bending the bow, and processions
of priests or officials. Then there is the great lion at Marash, which
stands erect, with menacing head, its snarling lips exposing the teeth;
its body is seamed with the long lines of an inscription in the Asiatic
character, in imitation of those with which the bulls in the Assyrian
palaces are covered. These Cilicians gave an impulse to the civilization
of the Khâti which they sorely needed, for the Semitic races, whom they
had kept in subjection for centuries, now pressed them hard on all the
territory over which they had formerly reigned, and were striving to
drive them back into the hills.

[Illustration: 248.jpg LION AT MAKASH]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the cast shown at the
     Paris Exhibition of 1889.

The Aramæans in particular gave them a great deal of trouble. The states
on the banks of the Euphrates had found them awkward neighbours; was
this the moment chosen by the Pukudu, the Eutu, the Gambulu, and a dozen
other Aramaean tribes, for a stealthy march across the frontier of Elam,
between Durilu and the coast? The tribes from which, soon after, the
Kaldi nation was formed, were marauding round Eridu, Uru, and Larsa, and
may have already begun to lay the foundations of their supremacy over
Babylon: it is, indeed, an open question whether those princes of the
Countries of the Sea who succeeded the Pashê dynasty did not come from
the stock of the Kaldi Aramaeans. While they were thus consolidating on
the south-east, the bulk of the nation continued to ascend northwards,
and rejoined its outposts in the central region of the Euphrates, which
extends from the Tigris to the Khabur, from the Khabur to the Balîkh and
the Apriê. They had already come into frequent conflict with most of the
victorious Assyrian kings, from Eammânirâri down to Tiglath-pileser; the
weakness of Assyria and Chaldæa gave them their opportunity, and they
took full advantage of it. They soon became masters of the whole of
Mesopotamia; a part of the table-land extending from Carchemish to Mount
Amanus fell into their hands, their activity was still greater in the
basin of the Orontes, and their advanced guard, coming into collision
with the Amorites near the sources of the Litany, began gradually to
drive farther and farther southwards all that remained of the races
which had shown so bold a front to the Egyptian troops. Here was an
almost entirely new element, gradually eliminating from the scene of the
struggle other elements which had grown old through centuries of war,
and while this transformation was taking place in Northern and Central,
a similar revolution was effecting a no less surprising metamorphosis in
Southern Syria. There, too, newer races had gradually come to displace
the nations over which the dynasties of Thûtmosis and Ramses had once
held sway. The Hebrews on the east, the Philistines and their allies on
the south-west, were about to undertake the conquest of the Kharu and
its cities. As yet their strength was inadequate, their temperament
undecided, their system of government imperfect; but they brought with
them the quality of youth, and energies which, rightly guided, would
assure the nation which first found out how to take advantage of
them, supremacy over all its rivals, and the strength necessary for
consolidating the whole country into a single kingdom.

[Illustration: 250.jpg TAILPIECE]



_The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The
Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest
of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud,
Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech,

_The Philistines, their political organisation, their army and
fleet--Judah, Dan, and the story of Samson--Benjamin on the Philistine
frontier--Eli and the ark of the covenant--The Philistine dominion over
Israel; Samuel, Saul, the Benjamite monarchy--David, his retreat to the
desert of Judah and his sojourn at Zilclag--The battle of Gilboa and the
death of Saul--The struggle between Ish-bosheth and David--David sole
king, and the final defeat of the Philistines--Jerusalem becomes
the capital; the removal of the ark--Wars with the peoples of the
East--Absalom's rebellion; the coronation of Solomon._

_Solomon's government and his buildings--Phoenician colonisation in
Spain: Hiram I. and the enlargement of Tyre--The voyages to Ophir and
Tarshish--The palace at Jerusalem, the temple and its dedication: the
priesthood and prophets--The death of Solomon; the schism of the ten
tribes and the division of the Hebrew kingdom._

_The XXIst Egyptian dynasty: the Theban high priests and the Tanite
Pharaohs--The Libyan mercenaries and their predominance in the state:
the origin of the XXIInd (Bubastite) dynasty--Sheshonq I. as king
and his son Aûpûti as high priest of Amon; the hiding-place at Deîr
el-Baharî--Sheshonq's expedition against Jerusalem._

_The two Hebrew "kingdoms"; the fidelity of Judah to the descendants
of Solomon, and the repeated changes of dynasty in Israel--Asa and
Baasha--The kingdom of Damascus and its origin--Bezon, Tabrimmon,
Benhadad I.--Omri and the foundation of Samaria: Ahab and the Tyrian
alliance--The successors of Hiram I. at Tyre: Ithobaal I.--The prophets,
their struggle against Phonician idolatry, the story of Elijah--The wars
between Israel and Damascus up to the time of the Assyrian invasion._

[Illustration: 253.jpg PAGE IMAGE]


_The Israelites in the land of Canaan: the judges--The Philistines
and the Hebrew kingdom--Saul, David, Solomon, the defection of the ten
tribes--the XXIst Egyptian dynasty--Sheshonq--Damascus._

After reaching Kadesh-barnea, the Israelites in their wanderings had
come into contact with various Bedawin tribes--Kenites, Jerahmelites,
Edomites, and Midianites, with whom they had in turn fought or allied
themselves, according to the exigencies of their pastoral life.
Continual skirmishes had taught them the art of war, their numbers had
rapidly increased, and with this increase came a consciousness of their
own strength, so that, after a lapse of two or three generations, they
may be said to have constituted a considerable nation. Its component
elements were not, however, firmly welded together; they consisted of
an indefinite number of clans, which were again subdivided into several
families. Each of these families had its chief or "ruler," to whom it
rendered absolute obedience, while the united chiefs formed an assembly
of elders who administered justice when required, and settled any
differences which arose among their respective followers. The clans in
their turn were grouped into tribes,* according to certain affinities
which they mutually recognised, or which may have been fostered by daily
intercourse on a common soil, but the ties which bound them together at
this period were of the most slender character. It needed some special
event, such as a projected migration in search of fresh pasturage, or
an expedition against a turbulent neighbour, or a threatened invasion
by some stranger, to rouse the whole tribe to corporate action; at
such times they would elect a "nasi," or ruler, the duration of whose
functions ceased with the emergency which had called him into office.**

     * The tribe was designated by two words signifying "staff" or

     ** The word _nasi,_ first applied to the chiefs of the
     tribes (_Exod._ xxxiv. 31; _Lev_. iv. 22; _Numb_. ii. 3),
     became, after the captivity, the title of the chiefs of
     Israel, who could not be called _kings_ owing to the foreign
     suzerainty (_Esdras_ i. 8).

Both clans and tribes were designated by the name of some ancestor from
whom they claimed to be descended, and who appears in some cases to
have been a god for whom they had a special devotion; some writers have
believed that this was also the origin of the names given to several of
the tribes, such as Gad, "Good Fortune," or of the totems of the hyena
and the dog, in Arabic and Hebrew, "Simeon" and "Caleb."* Gad, Simeon,
and Caleb were severally the ancestors of the families who ranged
themselves under their respective names, and the eponymous heroes of
all the tribes were held to have been brethren, sons of one father, and
under the protection of one God. He was known as the Jahveh with whom
Abraham of old had made a solemn covenant; His dwelling-place was Mount
Sinai or Mount Seîr, and He revealed Himself in the storm;** His voice
was as the thunder "which shaketh the wilderness," His breath was as "a
consuming fire," and He was decked with light "as with a garment." When
His anger was aroused, He withheld the dew and rain from watering the
earth; but when His wrath was appeased, the heavens again poured their
fruitful showers upon the fields.***

     * Simeon is derived by some from a word which at times
     denotes a hyena, at others a cross between a dog and a
     hyena, according to Arab lexicography. With regard to Caleb,
     Renan prefers a different interpretation; it is supposed to
     be a shortened form of Kalbel, and "Dog of El" is a strong
     expression to denote the devotion of a tribe to its patron

     ** Cf. the graphic description of the signs which
     accompanied the manifestations of Jahveh in the _Song of
     Deborah (Judges_ v. 4, 5), and also in 1 _Kings_ xix. 11-13.

     *** See 1 _Kings_ xvii., xviii., where the conflict between
     Elijah and the prophets of Baal for the obtaining of rain is

He is described as being a "jealous God," brooking no rival, and
"visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third
and fourth generation." We hear of His having been adored under the
figure of a "calf,"* and of His Spirit inspiring His prophets, as well
as of the anointed stones which were dedicated in His honour. The common
ancestor of the nation was acknowledged to have been Jacob, who, by his
wrestling with God, had obtained the name of Israel; the people were
divided theoretically into as many tribes as he had sons, but the number
twelve to which they were limited does not entirely correspond with all
that we know up to the present time of these "children of Israel." Some
of the tribes appear never to have had any political existence, as for
example that of Levi,** or they were merged at an early date into some
fellow-tribe, as in the case of Reuben with Gad;*** others, such as
Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, and Judah, apparently did not attain their
normal development until a much later date.

     * The most common of these animal forms was that of a calf
     or bull (Exod. xxxii.; Deut. ix. 21; and in the kingly
     period, 1 Kings xii. 28-30; 2 Kings x. 29); we are not told
     the form of the image of Micah the Ephraimite (Judges xviii.
     14, 17, 18, 20, 30, 31).

     ** Levi appears to have suffered dispersion after the events
     of which there are two separate accounts combined in Gen.
     xxxiv. In conjunction with Simeon, he appears to have
     revenged the violation of his sister Dinah by a massacre of
     the Shechemites, and the dispersion alluded to in Jacob's
     blessing (Gen. xlix. 5-7) is mentioned as consequent on this
     act of barbarism.

     *** In the IXth century Mesha of Moab does not mention the
     Reubenites, and speaks of the Gadites only as inhabiting the
     territory formerly occupied by them. Tradition attributed
     the misfortunes of the tribe to the crime of its chief in
     his seduction of Bilhah, his father's concubine (Gen. xlix.
     3, 4; cf. xxxv. 22)

The Jewish chroniclers attempted by various combinations to prove that
the sacred number of tribes was the correct one. At times they included
Levi in the list, in which case Joseph was reckoned as one;* while on
other occasions Levi or Simeon was omitted, when for Joseph would be
substituted his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.** In addition to this,
the tribes were very unequal in size: Ephraim, Gad, and Manasseh
comprised many powerful and wealthy families; Dan, on the contrary,
contained so few, that it was sometimes reckoned as a mere clan.

     * As, for instance, in Jacob's blessing (Gen. xlix. 5-7) and
     in the enumeration of the patriarch's sons at the time of
     his journey to Egypt (Gen. xlvi. 9-26).

     ** Numb. i. 20, et seq., where the descendants of Levi are
     not included among the twelve, and Deut. xxxiii. 6-25, where
     Simeon is omitted from among the tribes blessed by Moses
     before his death.

The tribal organisation had not reached its full development at the
time of the sojourn in the desert. The tribes of Joseph and Judah, who
subsequently played such important parts, were at that period not held
in any particular estimation; Reuben, on the other hand, exercised a
sort of right of priority over the rest.*

     * This conclusion is drawn from the position of eldest son
     given to him in all the genealogies enumerating the children
     of Jacob. Stade, on the contrary, is inclined to believe
     that this place of honour was granted to him on account of
     the smallness of his family, to prevent any jealousy arising
     between the more powerful tribes, such as Ephraim and Judah
     (_Ges. des Vollces Isr._, vol. i. pp. 151, 152).

The territory which they occupied soon became insufficient to support
their numbers, and they sought to exchange it for a wider area, such as
was offered by the neighbouring provinces of Southern Syria. Pharaoh
at this time exercised no authority over this region, and they were,
therefore, no longer in fear of opposition from his troops; the latter
had been recalled to Egypt, and it is doubtful even whether he retained
possession of the Shephelah by means of his Zakkala and Philistine
colonies; the Hebrews, at any rate, had nothing to fear from him so long
as they respected Gaza and Ascalon. They began by attempting to possess
themselves of the provinces around Hebron, in the direction of the Dead
Sea, and we read that, before entering them, they sent out spies to
reconnoitre and report on the country.* Its population had undergone
considerable modifications since the Israelites had quitted Goshen.
The Amorites, who had seriously suffered from the incursions of Asiatic
hordes, and had been constantly harassed by the attacks of the Aramæans,
had abandoned the positions they had formerly occupied on the banks
of the Orontes and the Litany, and had moved southwards, driving the
Canaanites before them; their advance was accelerated as the resistance
opposed to their hordes became lessened under the successors of Ramses
III., until at length all opposition was withdrawn. They had possessed
themselves of the regions about the Lake of Genesareth, the mountain
district to the south of Tabor, the middle valley of the Jordan, and,
pressing towards the territory east of that river, had attacked the
cities scattered over the undulating table-land. This district had
not been often subjected to incursions of Egyptian troops, and yet its
inhabitants had been more impressed by Egyptian influence than many

[Illustration: 259.jpg THE AMORITE ASTARTE]

     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from the squeezes and sketches
     published in the _Zeitschrift ties Palcistina-Vereins_.

Whereas, in the north and west, cuneiform writing was almost entirely
used, attempts had been made here to adapt the hieroglyphs to the native

The only one of their monuments which has been preserved is a rudely
carved bas-relief in black basalt, representing a two-horned Astarte,
before whom stands a king in adoration; the sovereign is Ramses II., and
the inscriptions accompanying the figures contain a religious formula
together with a name borrowed from one of the local dialects.*

     *This is the "Stone of Job" discovered by Strahmacher. The
     inscription appears to give the name of a goddess, Agana-
     Zaphon, the second part of which recalls the name of Baal-

The Amorites were everywhere victorious, but our information is confined
to this bare fact; soon after their victory, however, we find the
territory they had invaded divided into two kingdoms: in the north that
of Bashan, which comprised, besides the Haurân, the plain watered by the
Yarrnuk; and to the south that of Heshbon, containing the district lying
around the Arnon, and the Jabbok to the east of the Dead Sea.* They seem
to have made the same rapid progress in the country between the Jordan
and the Mediterranean as elsewhere. They had subdued some of the small
Canaanite states, entered into friendly relation with others, and
penetrated gradually as far south as the borders of Sinai, while we find
them establishing petty kings among the hill-country of Shechem around
Hebron, on the confines of the Negeb, and the Shephelah.** When the
Hebrew tribes ventured to push forward in a direct line northwards, they
came into collision with the advance posts of the Amorite population,
and suffered a severe defeat under the walls of Hormah.*** The check
thus received, however, did not discourage them. As a direct course
was closed to them, they turned to the right, and followed, first the
southern and then the eastern shores of the Red Sea, till they reached
the frontier of Gilead.****

     * The extension of the Amorite power in this direction is
     proved by the facts relating to the kingdoms of Sihon and Og
     Gent. i. 4, ii. 24-37, iii. 1-1.7.

     ** For the Amorite occupation of the Negeb and the hill-
     country of Judah, cf. Numb. xiii. 29; Bent. i. 7, 19-46;
     Josh. x. 5, 6, 12, xi. 3; for their presence in the
     Shephelah, cf. Judges i. 34-36.

     *** See the long account in Numb, xiii., xiv., which
     terminates with the mention of the defeat of the Israelites
     at Hormah; and cf. Bent. i. 19-46.

     **** The itinerary given in Numb. xx. 22-29, xxxi., xxxiii.
     37-49, and repeated in Bent, ii., brings the Israelites as
     far as Ezion-geber, in such a manner as to avoid the
     Midianites and the Moabites. The friendly welcome accorded
     to them in the regions situated to the east of the Dead Sea,
     has been accounted for either by an alliance made with Moab
     and Ammon against their common enemy, the Amorites, or by
     the fact that Ammon and Moab did not as yet occupy those
     regions; the inhabitants in that case would have been
     Edomites and Midianites, who were in continual warfare with
     each other.

There again they were confronted by the Amorites, but in lesser
numbers, and not so securely entrenched within their fortresses as their
fellow-countrymen in the Negeb, so that the Israelites were able to
overthrow the kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan.*

     * War against Sihon, King of Heshbon (Numb. xxi. 21-31;
     Beut. ii. 26-37), and against Og, King of Bashan (Numb. xxi.
     32-35; Beut. iii. 1-13).


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 336 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

Gad received as its inheritance nearly the whole of the territory lying
between the Jabbok and the Yarmuk, in the neighbourhood of the ancient
native sanctuaries of Penuel, Mahanaim, and Succoth, associated with
the memory of Jacob.* Reuben settled in the vicinity, and both tribes
remained there isolated from the rest. From this time forward they took
but a slight interest in the affairs of their brethren: when the latter
demanded their succour, "Gilead abode beyond Jordan," and "by the
watercourses of Reuben there were great resolves at heart," but without
any consequent action.** It was not merely due to indifference on their
part; their resources were fully taxed in defending themselves against
the Aramæans and Bedawins, and from the attacks of Moab and Ammon.
Gad, continually threatened, struggled for centuries without being
discouraged, but Reuben lost heart,*** and soon declined in power, till
at length he became merely a name in the memory of his brethren.

     * Gad did not possess the districts between the Jabbok and
     the Arnon till the time of the early kings, and retained
     them only till about the reign of Jehu, as we gather from
     the inscription of Mesa.

     ** These are the very expressions used by the author of the
     _Song of Deborah_ in Judges v. 16, 17.

     *** The recollection of these raids by Reuben against the
     Beduin of the Syrian desert is traceable in 1 Citron, v. 10,

Two tribes having been thus provided for, the bulk of the Israelites
sought to cross the Jordan without further delay, and establish
themselves as best they might in the very heart of the Canaanites. The
sacred writings speak of their taking possession of the country by
a methodic campaign, undertaken by command of and under the visible
protection of Jahveh* Moses had led them from Egypt to Kadesh, and from
Kadesh to the land of Gilead; he had seen the promised land from the
summit of Mount Nebo, but he had not entered it, and after his death,
Joshua, son of Nun, became their leader, brought them across Jordan
dryshod, not far from its mouth, and laid siege to Jericho.

     * The history of the conquest is to be found in the _Book of

The walls of the city fell of themselves at the blowing of the brazen
trumpets,* and its capture entailed that of three neighbouring towns,
Aï, Bethel, and Shechem. Shechem served as a rallying-place for the
conquerors; Joshua took up his residence there, and built on the summit
of Mount Ebal an altar of stone, on which he engraved the principal
tenets of the divine Law.**

     * Josh, i.-vi.

     ** Josh, vii., viii. Mount Ebal is the present Gebel


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph brought back by Lortet.

The sudden intrusion of a new element naturally alarmed the worshippers
of the surrounding local deities; they at once put a truce to their
petty discords, and united in arms against the strangers. At the
instigation of Adoni-zedeck, King of Jerusalem, the Canaanites collected
their forces in the south; but they were routed not far from Gibeon, and
their chiefs killed or mutilated.* The Amorites in the north, who had
assembled round Jabin, King of Hazor, met with no better success; they
were defeated at the waters of Merom, Hazor was burnt, and Galilee
delivered to fire and sword.**

     * Josh. x. The same war is given rather differently in
     Judges i. 1-9, where the king is called Adoni-bezek.

     ** Josh. xi. As another Jabin appears in the history of
     Deborah, it has


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The country having been thus to a certain extent cleared, Joshua set
about dividing the spoil, and assigned to each tribe his allotted
portion of territory.* Such, in its main outlines, is the account given
by the Hebrew chroniclers; but, if closely examined, it would appear
that the Israelites did not act throughout with that unity of purpose
and energy which they [the Hebrew chroniclers] were pleased to imagine.
They did not gain possession of the land all at once, but established
themselves in it gradually by detachments, some settling at the fords
of Jericho,** others more to the north, and in the central valley of the
Jordan as far up as She-chem.***

     * The lot given to each tribe is described in Josh, xiii.-
     xxi. It has been maintained by some critics that there is a
     double rôle assigned to one and the same person, only that
     some maintain that the Jabin of Josh. xi. has been
     transferred to the time of the Judges, while others make out
     that the Jabin of Deborah was carried back to the time of
     the conquest.

     ** Renan thinks that the principal crossing must have taken
     place opposite Jericho, as is apparent from the account in
     Josh, ii., iii.

     *** Carl Niebuhr believes that he has discovered the exact
     spot at the ford of Admah, near Succoth.

[Illustration: 265.jpg ONE OF THE WELLS OF BEERSHEBA]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The latter at once came into contact with a population having a
higher civilization than themselves, and well equipped for a vigorous
resistance; the walled towns which had defied the veterans of the
Pharaohs had not much to fear from the bands of undisciplined Israelites
wandering in their neighbourhood. Properly speaking, there were no
pitched battles between them, but rather a succession of raids or
skirmishes, in which several citadels would successively fall into the
hands of the invaders. Many of these strongholds, harassed by repeated
attacks, would prefer to come to terms with the enemy, and would cede or
sell them some portion of their territory; others would open their gates
freely to the strangers, and their inhabitants would ally themselves by
intermarriage with the Hebrews. Judah and the remaining descendants of
Simeon and Levi established themselves in the south; Levi comprised but
a small number of families, and made no important settlements; whereas
Judah took possession of nearly the whole of the mountain district
separating the Shephelah from the western shores of the Dead Sea, while
Simeon made its abode close by on the borders of the desert around the
wells of Beersheba.*

     * Wellhausen has remarked that the lot of Levi must not be
     separated from that of Simeon, and, as the remnant of Simeon
     allied themselves with Judah, that of Levi also must have
     shared the patrimony of Judah.

The descendants of Rachel and her handmaid received as their inheritance
the regions situated more to the centre of the country, the house of
Joseph taking the best domains for its branches of Ephraim and Manasseh.
Ephraim received some of the old Canaanite sanctuaries, such as Ramah,
Bethel, and Shiloh, and it was at the latter spot that they deposited
the ark of the covenant. Manasseh settled to the north of Ephraim, in
the hills and valleys of the Carmel group, and to Benjamin were assigned
the heights which overlook the plain of Jericho. Four of the less
important tribes, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulon, ventured
as far north as the borders of Tyre and Sidon, behind the Phoenician
littoral, but were prevented by the Canaanites and Amorites from
spreading over the plain, and had to confine themselves to the
mountains. All the fortresses commanding the passes of Tabor and
Carmel, Megiddo, Taanach, Ibleam, Jezreel, Endor, and Bethshan remained
inviolate, and formed as it were an impassable barrier-line between the
Hebrews of Galilee and their brethren of Ephraim. The Danites were long
before they found a resting-place; they attempted to insert themselves
to the north of Judah, between Ajalon and Joppa, but were so harassed
by the Amorites, that they had to content themselves with the precarious
tenure of a few towns such as Zora, Shaalbîn, and Eshdol. The foreign
peoples of the Shephelah and the Canaanite cities almost all preserved
their autonomy; the Israelites had no chance against them wherever they
had sufficient space to put into the field large bodies of infantry or
to use their iron-bound chariots. Finding it therefore impossible to
overcome them, the tribes were forced to remain cut off from each other
in three isolated groups of unequal extent which they were powerless
to connect: in the centre were Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan; in the south,
Judah, Levi, and Simeon; while Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Zebulon
lay to the north.

The period following the occupation of Canaan constituted the heroic age
of the Hebrews. The sacred writings agree in showing that the ties which
bound the twelve tribes together were speedily dissolved, while their
fidelity and obedience to God were relaxed with the growth of the young
generations to whom Moses or Joshua were merely names. The conquerors
"dwelt among the Canaanites: the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the
Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and they took their
daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons,
and served their gods. And the children of Israel did that which was
evil in the sight of the Lord their God, and served the Baalim and the


When they had once abandoned their ancient faith, political unity was
not long preserved. War broke out between one tribe and another; the
stronger allowed the weaker to be oppressed by the heathen, and were
themselves often powerless to retain their independence. In spite of the
thousands of men among them, all able to bear arms, they fell an easy
prey to the first comer; the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, and
the Philistines, all oppressed them in turn, and repaid with usury the
ills which Joshua had inflicted on the Canaanites. "Whithersoever they
went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord
had spoken, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were sore
distressed. And the Lord raised up judges, which saved them out of the
hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they hearkened not unto their
judges, for they went a-whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves
down unto them: they turned aside quickly out of the way wherein their
fathers walked obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not
so. And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the
judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of
the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groaning by reason
of them that oppressed them and vexed them. But it came to pass, when
the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than
their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down
unto them; they ceased not from their doings, nor from their stubborn
way."* The history of this period lacks the unity and precision with
which we are at first tempted to credit it.

     * Judges ii. 15-19.

The Israelites, when transplanted into the promised land, did not
immediately lose the nomadic habits they had acquired in the desert.
They retained the customs and prejudices they had inherited from their
fathers, and for many years treated the peasantry, whose fields they
had devastated, with the same disdain that the Bedawin of our own day,
living in the saddle, lance in hand, shows towards the fellahîn who till
the soil and bend patiently over the plough. The clans, as of old,
were impatient of all regular authority; each tribe tended towards an
isolated autonomy, a state of affairs which merited reprisals from the
natives and encouraged hatred of the intruders, and it was only when
the Canaanite oppression became unendurable that those who suffered most
from it united themselves to make a common effort, and rallied for
a moment round the chief who was ready to lead them. Many of these
liberators must have acquired an ephemeral popularity, and then have
sunk into oblivion together with the two or three generations who had
known them; those whose memory remained green among their kinsmen were
known by posterity as the judges of Israel.*

     * The word "judges," which has been adopted to designate
     these rulers, is somewhat misleading, as it suggests the
     idea of an organized civil magistracy. The word "shophet,"
     the same that we meet with in classical times under the form
     _suffetes_, had indeed that sense, but its primary meaning
     denotes a man invested with an absolute authority, regular
     or otherwise; it would be better translated _chief, prince,

These judges were not magistrates invested with official powers and
approved by the whole nation, or rulers of a highly organised republic,
chosen directly by God or by those inspired by Him. They were merely
local chiefs, heroes to their own immediate tribe, well known in their
particular surroundings, but often despised by those only at a short
distance from them. Some of them have left only a name behind them, such
as Shamgar, Ibzan, Tola, Elon, and Abdon; indeed, some scholars have
thrown doubts on the personality of a few of them, as, for instance,
Jair, whom they affirm to have personified a Gileadite clan, and
Othnîel, who is said to represent one of the Kenite families associated
with the children of Israel.* Others, again, have come down to us
through an atmosphere of popular tradition, the elements of which modern
criticism has tried in vain to analyse. Of such unsettled and turbulent
times we cannot expect an uninterrupted history:** some salient episodes
alone remain, spread over a period of nearly two centuries, and from
these we can gather some idea of the progress made by the Israelites,
and observe their stages of transition from a cluster of semi-barbarous
hordes to a settled nation ripe for monarchy.

     * The name Tola occurs as that of one of the clans of
     Issachar (Gen. xlvi. 13; Numb. xxvi. 23); Elon was one of
     the clans of Zebulon (Gen. xlvi. 14; Numb. xxvi. 26)

     ** Renan, however, believes that the judges "formed an
     almost continuous line, and that there merely lacks a
     descent from father to son to make of them an actual
     dynasty." The chronology of the _Book of Judges_ appears to
     cover more than four centuries, from Othnîel to Samson, but
     this computation cannot be relied on, as "forty
     years" represents an indefinite space of time. We must
     probably limit this early period of Hebrew history to about
     a century and a half, from cir. 1200 to 1050 B.C.

The first of these episodes deals merely with a part, and that the least
important, of the tribes settled in Central Canaan.* The destruction of
the Amorite kingdoms of Heshbon and Bashan had been as profitable to
the kinsmen of the Israelites, Ammon and Moab, as it had been to the
Israelites themselves.

     * The episode of Othnîel and Cushan-rishathaim, placed at
     the beginning of the history of this period (Judges iii. 8-
     11), is, by general consent, regarded as resting on a
     worthless tradition.

The Moabites had followed in the wake of the Hebrews through all the
surrounding regions of the Dead Sea; they had pushed on from the banks
of the Arnon to those of the Jabbok, and at the time of the Judges were
no longer content with harassing merely Reuben and Gad.

[Illustration: 272.jpg MOABITE WARRIOR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the original in the Louvre.

They were a fine race of warlike, well-armed Beda-wins. Jericho had
fallen into their hands, and their King Eglon had successfully scoured
the entire hill-country of Ephraim,* so that those who wished to escape
being pillaged had to safeguard themselves by the payment of an annual

     * The text seems to infer (Judges iii. 13-15) that, after
     having taken the Oily of Palm Trees, i.e. Jericho (Deut.
     xxxiv. 3; 2 Ghron. xxviii. 15), Eglon had made it his
     residence, which makes the story incomprehensible from a
     geographical point of view. But all difficulties would
     disappear if we agreed to admit that in ver. 15 the name of
     the capital of Eglon has dropped out.

Ehud the Left-handed concealed under his garments a keen dagger, and
joined himself to the Benjamite deputies who were to carry their dues to
the Moabite sovereign. The money having been paid, the deputies turned
homewards, but when they reached the cromlech of Gilgal,* and were safe
beyond the reach of the enemy, Ehud retraced his steps, and presenting
himself before the palace of Eglon in the attitude of a prophet,
announced that he had a secret errand to the king, who thereupon
commanded silence, and ordered his servants to leave him with the divine
messenger in his summer parlour.

     * The cromlech at Gilgal was composed of twelve stones,
     which, we are told, were erected by Joshua as a remembrance
     of the crossing of the Jordan (Josh. iv. 19-24).

"And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of
his seat. And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his
right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: and the haft also went in
after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, for he drew not the
sword out of his belly; and it came out behind." Then Ehud locked the
doors and escaped. "Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and
they saw, and, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked; and they
said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber." But by the
time they had forced an entrance, Ehud had reached Gilgal and was in
safety. He at once assembled the clans of Benjamin, occupied the fords
of the Jordan, massacred the bands of Moabites scattered over the plain
of Jericho, and blocked the routes by which the invaders attempted to
reach the hill-country of Ephraim. Almost at the same time the tribes
in Galilee had a narrow escape from a still more formidable enemy.* They
had for some time been under the Amorite yoke, and the sacred writings
represent them at this juncture as oppressed either by Sisera of
Harosheth-ha-Goyîm or by a second Jabin, who was able to bring nine
hundred chariots of iron into the field.** At length the prophetess
Deborah of Issachar sent to Barak of Kadesh a command to assemble his
people, together with those of Zebulon, in the name of the Lord;*** she
herself led the contingents of Issachar, Ephraim, and Machir to meet him
at the foot of Tabor, where the united host is stated to have comprised
forty thousand men. Sisera,**** who commanded the Canaanite force,
attacked the Israelite army between Taanach and Megiddo in that plain
of Kishon which had often served as a battle-field during the Egyptian

     * The text tells us that, after the time of Ehud, the land
     had rest eighty years (Judges iii. 30). This, again, is one
     of those numbers which represent an indefinite space of

     ** It has been maintained that two versions are here blended
     together in the text, one in which the principal part is
     played by Sisera, the other in which it is attributed to
     Jabin. The episode of Deborah and Barak (Judges iv., v.)
     comprises a narrative in prose (chap, iv.), and the song
     (chap, v.) attributed to Deborah. The prose account probably
     is derived from the song. The differences in the two
     accounts may be explained as having arisen partly from an
     imperfect understanding of the poetic text, and partly from
     one having come down from some other source.

     *** Some critics suppose that the prose narrative (Judges
     iv. 5) has confounded the prophetess Deborah, wife of
     Lapidoth, with Deborah, nurse of Rachel, who was buried near
     Bethel, under the "Oak of Weeping" (Gen. xxxv. 8), and
     consequently place it between Rama and Bethel, in the hill-
     country of Ephraim.

     **** In the prose narrative (Judges iv. 2-7) Sisera is
     stated to have been the general of Jabin: there is nothing
     incompatible in this statement with the royal dignity
     elsewhere attributed to Sisera. Harosheth-ha-Goyîm has been
     identified with the present village of El-Haretîyeh, on the
     right bank of the Kishon.

It would appear that heavy rains had swelled the streams, and thus
prevented the chariots from rendering their expected service in the
engagement; at all events, the Amorites were routed, and Sisera escaped
with the survivors towards Hazor.

[Illustration: 275.jpg TELL]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lortet.

The people of Meroz facilitated his retreat, but a Kenite named Jael,
the wife of Heber, traitorously killed him with a blow from a hammer
while he was in the act of drinking.*

     * Meroz is the present Marus, between the Lake of Huleh and
     Safed. I have followed the account given in the song (Judges
     v. 24-27). According to the prose version (iv. 17-22), Jael
     slew Sisera while he was asleep with a tent-pin, which she
     drove into his temple. [The text of Judges v. 24-27 does not
     seem to warrant the view that he was slain "in the act of
     drinking," nor does it seem to conflict with Judges iv. 11.-

This exploit was commemorated in a song, the composition of which is
attributed to Deborah and Barak: "For that the leaders took the lead in
Israel, for that the people offered themselves willingly, bless ye the
Lord. Hear, O ye kings, give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing
unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord, the God of Israel."* The
poet then dwells on the sufferings of the people, but tells how Deborah
and Barak were raised up, and enumerates the tribes who took part in
the conflict as well as those who turned a deaf ear to the appeal. "Then
came down a remnant of the nobles and the people.... Out of Ephraim
came down they whose root is in Amalek:--out of Machir came down
governors,--and out of Zebulon they that handle the marshal's
staff.--And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah--as was Issachar
so was Barak,--into the valley they rushed forth at his feet.**--By the
watercourses of Reuben--there were great resolves of heart.--Why satest
thou among the sheepfolds,--to hear the pipings for the flocks?--At
the watercourses of Reuben--there were great searchings of heart--Gilead
abode beyond Jordan:--and Dan, why did he remain in ships?--Asher sat
still at the haven of the sea--and abode by his creeks.--Zebulon was a
people that jeoparded their lives unto the death,--and Naphtali upon the
high places of the field.--The kings came and fought;--then fought the
kings of Canaan.--In Taanach by the waters of Megiddo:--they took no
gain of money.--They fought from heaven,--the stars in their courses
fought against Sisera.--The river of Kishon swept them away,--that
ancient river, the river Kishon.--O my soul, march on with
strength.--Then did the horsehoofs stamp--by reason of the pransings,
the pransings of their strong ones."

     * Judges v. 2, 3 (R.V.).

     ** The text of the song (Judges v. 14) contains an allusion
     to Benjamin, which is considered by many critics to be an
     interpolation. It gives a mistaken reading, "_Issachar_ with
     Barak;" Issachar having been already mentioned with Deborah,
     probably Zébulon should be inserted in the text.

Sisera flies, and the poet follows him in fancy, as if he feared to see
him escape from vengeance. He curses the people of Meroz in passing,
"because they came not to the help of the Lord." He addresses Jael and
blesses her, describing the manner in which the chief fell at her feet,
and then proceeds to show how, at the very time of Sisera's death, his
people were awaiting the messenger who should bring the news of his
victory; "through the window she looked forth and cried--the mother
of Sisera cried through the lattice--'Why is his chariot so long in
coming?--Why tarry the wheels of his chariot?'--Her wise ladies answered
her,--yea, she returned answer to herself,--'Have they not found, have
they not divided the spoil?--A damsel, two damsels to every man;--to
Sisera a spoil of divers colours,--a spoil of divers colours of
embroidery on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?--So let all Thine
enemies perish, O Lord:--but let them that love Him be as the sun when
he goeth forth in his might.'"

It was the first time, as far as we know, that several of the Israelite
tribes combined together for common action after their sojourn in the
desert of Kadesh-barnea, and the success which followed from their
united efforts ought, one would think, to have encouraged them to
maintain such a union, but it fell out otherwise; the desire for freedom
of action and independence was too strong among them to permit of the
continuance of the coalition.

[Illustration: 278.jpg MOUNT TABOR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. C. Alluaud
     of Limoges.

Manasseh, restricted in its development by the neighbouring Canaanite
tribes, was forced to seek a more congenial neighbourhood to the east of
the Jordan--not close to Gad, in the land of Gilead, but to the north
of the Yarmuk and its northern affluents in the vast region extending
to the mountains of the Haurân. The families of Machir and Jair migrated
one after the other to the east of the Lake of Gennesaret, while that
of Nobah proceeded as far as the brook of Kanah, and thus formed in this
direction the extreme outpost of the children of Israel: these families
did not form themselves into new tribes, for they were mindful of
their affiliation to Manasseh, and continued beyond the river to
regard themselves still as his children.* The prosperity of Ephraim and
Manasseh, and the daring nature of their exploits, could not fail
to draw upon them the antagonism and jealousy of the people on their
borders. The Midianites were accustomed almost every year to pass
through the region beyond the Jordan which the house of Joseph had
recently colonised. Assembling in the springtime at the junction of the
Yarmuk with the Jordan, they crossed the latter river, and, spreading
over the plains of Mount Tabor, destroyed the growing crops, raided the
villages, and pushed, sometimes, their skirmishing parties over hill and
dale as far as Gaza.**

     * Manasseh was said to have been established beyond the
     Jordan at the time that Gad and Reuben were in possession of
     the land of Gilead (Numb, xxxii. 33, 39-42, xxxiv. 14, 15;
     Dent. iii. 13-15; Josh. xiii. 8, 29-32, xxii.). Earlier
     traditions placed this event in the period which followed
     the conquest of Canaan by Joshua. It is not certain that all
     the families which constituted the half-tribe of Manasseh
     took their origin from Manasseh: one of them, for example,
     that of Jair, was regarded as having originated partly from
     Judah (1 Chron. ii. 21-24).

     ** Judges vi. 2-6. The inference that they dare not beat
     wheat in the open follows from ver. 11, where it is said
     that "Gideon was beating out wheat in his winepress to hide
     it from the Midianites."

A perpetual terror reigned wherever they were accustomed to pass*: no
one dared beat out wheat or barley in the open air, or lead his herds to
pasture far from his home, except under dire necessity; and even on such
occasions the inhabitants would, on the slightest alarm, abandon their
possessions to take refuge in caves or in strongholds on the mountains.1
During one of these incursions two of their sheikhs encountered some
men of noble mien in the vicinity of Tabor, and massacred them without
compunction.** The latter were people of Ophrah,*** brethren of a
certain Jerubbaal (Gideon) who was head of the powerful family of

     * The history of the Midianite oppression (Judges vi.-viii.)
     seems to be from two different sources; the second (Judges
     viii. 4-21), which is also the shortest, is considered by
     some to represent the more ancient tradition. The double
     name of the hero, Gideon-Jerubbaal, has led some to assign
     its elements respectively to Gideon, judge of the western
     portion of Manasseh, and Jerubbaal, judge of the eastern
     Manasseh, and to the consequent fusion of the two men in

     ** This is an assumption which follows reasonably from
     Judges viii. 18, 19.

     *** The site of the Ophrah of Abiezer is not known for
     certain, but it would seem from the narrative that it was in
     the neighbourhood of Shechem.

     **** The position of Gideon-Jerubbaal as head of the house
     of Abiezer follows clearly from the narrative; if he is
     represented in the first part of the account as a man of
     humble origin (Judges vi. 15, 16), it was to exalt the power
     of Jahveh, who was accustomed to choose His instruments from
     amongst the lowly. The name Jerubbaal (1 Sam. xii. 11:2 Sam.
     xi. 21, where the name is transformed into Jerubbesheth, as
     Ishbaal and Meribbaal are into Ishbosheth and Mephibosheth
     respectively), in which "Baal" seems to some not to
     represent the Canaanite God, but the title Lord as applied
     to Jahveh, was supposed to mean "Baal fights against him,"
     and was, therefore, offensive to the orthodox. Kuenen
     thought it meant "Lord, fight for him!" Renan read it
     Yarebaal, from the Vulgate form Jerobaal, and translated "He
     who fears Baal." Gideon signifies "He who overthrows" in the

Assembling all his people at the call of the trumpet, Jerubbaal chose
from among them three hundred of the strongest, with whom he came
down unexpectedly upon the raiders, put them to flight in the plain of
Jezreel, and followed them beyond the Jordan. Having crossed the river,
"faint and yet pursuing," he approached the men of Succoth, and asked
them for bread for himself and his three hundred followers. Their fear
of the marauders, however, was so great that the people refused to give
him any help, and he had no better success with the people of Penuel
whom he encountered a little further on. He did not stop to compel them
to accede to his wishes, but swore to inflict an exemplary punishment
upon them on his return. The Midianites continued their retreat, in the
mean time, "by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of
Nobah and Jogbehah," but Jerubbaal came up with them near Karkâr, and
discomfited the host. He took vengeance upon the two peoples who had
refused to give him bread, and having thus fulfilled his vow, he began
to question his prisoners, the two chiefs: "What manner of men were they
whom ye slew at Tabor?" "As thou art, so were they; each one resembled
the children of a king." "And he said, They were my brethren, the sons
of my mother: as the Lord liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would
not slay you. And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them.
But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a
youth." True Bedawins as they were, the chiefs' pride revolted at the
idea of their being handed over for execution to a child, and they cried
to Jerubbaal: "Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is
his strength." From this victory rose the first monarchy among the
Israelites. The Midianites, owing to their marauding habits and the
amount of tribute which they were accustomed to secure for escorting
caravans, were possessed of a considerable quantity of gold, which they
lavished on the decoration of their persons: their chiefs were clad in
purple mantles, their warriors were loaded with necklaces, bracelets,
rings, and ear-rings, and their camels also were not behind their
masters in the brilliance of their caparison. The booty which Gideon
secured was, therefore, considerable, and, as we learn from the
narrative, excited the envy of the Ephraimites, who said: "Why hast thou
served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight
with Midian?"*

     * Judges viii. 1-3.

The spoil from the golden ear-rings alone amounted to one thousand seven
hundred shekels, as we learn from the narrative, and this treasure in
the hands of Jerubbaal was not left unemployed, but was made, doubtless,
to contribute something to the prestige he had already acquired: the
men of Israel, whom he had just saved from their foes, expressed their
gratitude by offering the crown to him and his successors. The mode of
life of the Hebrews had been much changed after they had taken up their
abode in the mountains of Canaan. The tent had given place to the house,
and, like their Canaanite neighbours, they had given themselves up
to agricultural pursuits. This change of habits, in bringing about
a greater abundance of the necessaries of life than they had been
accustomed to, had begotten aspirations which threw into relief the
inadequacy of the social organisation, and of the form of government
with which they had previously been content. In the case of a horde
of nomads, defeat or exile would be of little moment. Should they be
obliged by a turn in their affairs to leave their usual haunts, a few
days or often a few hours would suffice to enable them to collect
their effects together, and set out without trouble, and almost
without regret, in search of a new and more favoured home. But with
a cultivator of the ground the case would be different: the farm,
clearings, and homestead upon which he had spent such arduous and
continued labour; the olive trees and vines which had supplied him
with oil and wine--everything, in fact, upon which he depended for a
livelihood, or which was dependent upon him, would bind him to the soil,
and expose his property to disasters likely to be as keenly felt as
wounds inflicted on his person. He would feel the need, therefore,
of laws to secure to him in time of peace the quiet possession of his
wealth, of an army to protect it in time of war, and of a ruler to
cause, on the one hand, the laws to be respected, and to become the
leader, on the other, of the military forces. Jerubbaal is said to have,
in the first instance, refused the crown, but everything goes to prove
that he afterwards virtually accepted it. He became, it is true, only
a petty king, whose sovereignty was limited to Manasseh, a part of
Ephraim, and a few towns, such as Succoth and Penuel, beyond the Jordan.
The Canaanite city of Shechem also paid him homage. Like all great
chiefs, he had also numerous wives, and he recognised as the national
Deity the God to whom he owed his victories.

Out of the spoil taken from the Midianites he formed and set up at
Ophrah an ephod, which became, as we learn, "a snare unto him and unto
his house," but he had also erected under a terebinth tree a stone altar
to Jahveh-Shalom ("Jehovah is peace").* This sanctuary, with its altar
and ephod, soon acquired great celebrity, and centuries after its
foundation it was the object of many pilgrimages from a distance.

Jerubbaal was the father by his Israelite wives of seventy children,
and, by a Canaanite woman whom he had taken as a concubine at Shechem,
of one son, called Abimelech.**

     * The _Book of Judges_ separates the altar from the ephod,
     placing the erection of the former at the time of the
     vocation of Gideon (vi. 11-31) and that of the ephod after
     the victory (viii. 24-27). The sanctuary of Ophrah was
     possibly in existence before the time of Jerubbaal, and the
     sanctity of the place may have determined his selection of
     the spot for placing the altar and ephod there.

     ** Judges viii. 30, 31.

The succession to the throne would naturally have fallen to one of the
seventy, but before this could be arranged, Abimelech "went to Shechem
unto his mother's brethren, and spake with them, and with all the family
of the house of his mother's father, saying, Speak, I pray you, in the
ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, that all the
sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, rule over you,
or that one rule over you? remember also that I am your bone and your
flesh." This advice was well received; it flattered the vanity of the
people to think that the new king was to be one of themselves; "their
hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.
And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house
of Baal-berith (the Lord of the Covenant), wherewith Abimelech hired
vain and light fellows, which followed him.... He slew his brethren the
sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone."
The massacre having been effected, "all the men of Shechem assembled
themselves together, and all the house of Millo,* and made Abimelech
king, by the oak of the pillar which was in Shechem."** He dwelt at
Ophrah, in the residence, and near the sanctuary, of his father, and
from thence governed the territories constituting the little kingdom
of Manasseh, levying tribute upon the vassal villages, and exacting
probably tolls from caravans passing through his domain.

     * The word "Millo" is a generic term, meaning citadel or
     stronghold of the city: there was a Millo in every important
     town, Jerusalem included.

     ** The "oak of the pillar" was a sacred tree overshadowing
     probably a _cippus_: it may have been the tree mentioned in
     Gen. xxxv. 4, under which Jacob buried the strange gods; or
     that referred to in Josh. xxiv. 26, under which Joshua set
     up a stone commemorative of the establishment of the law.
     Jotham, the youngest son of Gideon, escaped the massacre. As
     soon as he heard of the election of Abimelech, he ascended
     Mount Gerizim, and gave out from there the fable of the
     trees, applying it to the circumstances of the time, and
     then fled. Some critics think that this fable--which is
     confessedly old--was inserted in the text at a time when
     prophetical ideas prevailed and monarchy was not yet

This condition of things lasted for three years, and then the
Shechemites, who had shown themselves so pleased at the idea of having
"one of their brethren" as sovereign, found it irksome to pay the taxes
levied upon them by him, as if they were in no way related to him. The
presence among them of a certain Zebul, the officer and representative
of Abimelech, restrained them at first from breaking out into rebellion,
but they returned soon to their ancient predatory ways, and demanded
ransom for the travellers they might capture even when the latter were
in possession of the king's safe conduct. This was not only an insult to
their lord, but a serious blow to his treasury: the merchants who found
themselves no longer protected by his guarantee employed elsewhere the
sums which would have come into his hands. The king concealed his anger,
however; he was not inclined to adopt premature measures, for the place
was a strong one, and defeat would seriously weaken his prestige. The
people of Shechem, on their part, did not risk an open rupture for fear
of the consequences. Gaal, son of Ebed,* a soldier of fortune and of
Israelitish blood, arrived upon the scene, attended by his followers: he
managed to gain the confidence of the people of Shechem, who celebrated
under his protection the feast of the Vintage.

     * The name Ebed ("slave," "servant") is assumed to have been
     substituted in the Massorotic text for the original name
     Jobaal, because of the element Baal in the latter word,
     which was regarded as that of the strange god, and would
     thus have the sacrilegious meaning "Jahveh is Baal." The term
     of contempt, Ebed, was, according to this view, thus used to
     replace it.

On this occasion their merrymaking was disturbed by the presence among
them of the officer charged with collecting the tithes, and Gaal did not
lose the opportunity of stimulating their ire by his ironical speeches:
"Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is
not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve ye the men of
Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him? And would to
God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And
he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out." Zebul promptly
gave information of this to his master, and invited him to come by night
and lie in ambush in the vicinity of the town, "that in the morning,
as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city:
and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against
thee, thou mayest do to them as thou shalt find occasion." It turned out
as he foresaw; the inhabitants of Shechem went out in order to take part
in the gathering in of the vintage, while Gaal posted his men at the
entering in of the gate of the city. As he looked towards the hills he
thought he saw an unusual movement among the trees, and, turning round,
said to Zebul, who was close by, "Behold, there come people down from
the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the
shadow of the mountains as if they were men." A moment after he looked
in another direction, "and spake again and said, See, there come people
down by the middle of the land, and one company cometh by the way of
the terebinth of the augurs." Zebul, seeing the affair turn out so well,
threw off the mask, and replied railingly, "Where is now thy mouth,
wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is
not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray, now, and
fight with him." The King of Manasseh had no difficulty in defeating
his adversary, but arresting the pursuit at the gates of the city, he
withdrew to the neighbouring village of Arumah.*

     * This is now el-Ormeh, i.e.Kharbet el-Eurmah, to the south-
     west of Nablus.

He trusted that the inhabitants, who had taken no part in the affair,
would believe that his wrath had been appeased by the defeat of Gaal;
and so, in fact, it turned out: they dismissed their unfortunate
champion, and on the morrow returned to their labours as if nothing had

[Illustration: 288.jpg MOUNT GERIZIM, WITH A VIEW OF NABLUS]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph reproduced by the Duc de

Abimelech had arranged his Abiezerites in three divisions: one of
which made for the gates, while the other two fell upon the scattered
labourers in the vineyards. Abimelech then fought against the city and
took it, but the chief citizens had taken refuge in "the hold of the
house of El-berith." "Abimelech gat him up to Mount Zalmon, he and all
the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand,
and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his
shoulder: and he said unto the people that were with him, What ye
have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. And all the people
likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put
them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the
men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women."

[Illustration: 289.jpg THE TOWN OF ASCALON]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief in the Ramesseum.
     This is a portion of the picture representing the capture of
     Ascalon by Ramses II.

This summary vengeance did not, however, prevent other rebellions.
Thebez imitated Shechem, and came nigh suffering the same penalty.* The
king besieged the city and took it, and was about to burn with fire the
tower in which all the people of the city had taken refuge, when a woman
threw a millstone down upon his head "and brake his skull."

     * Thebez, now Tubas, the north-east of Nablus.

The narrative tells us that, feeling himself mortally wounded, he called
his armour-bearer to him, and said, "Draw thy sword, and kill me, that
men say not of me, A woman slew him." His monarchy ceased with him, and
the ancient chronicler recognises in the catastrophe a just punishment
for the atrocious crime he had committed in slaying his half-brothers,
the seventy children of Jerubbaal.* His fall may be regarded also as
the natural issue of his peculiar position: the resources upon which he
relied were inadequate to secure to him a supremacy in Israel. Manasseh,
now deprived of a chief, and given up to internal dissensions, became
still further enfeebled, and an easy prey to its rivals. The divine
writings record in several places the success attained by the central
tribes in their conflict with their enemies. They describe how a certain
Jephthah distinguished himself in freeing Gilead from the Ammonites.**

     * Judges ix. 23, 24. "And God sent an evil spirit between
     Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem
     dealt treacherously with Abimelech: that the violence done
     to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and
     that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother,
     which slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, which
     strengthened his hands to slay his brethren."

     ** The story of Jephthah is contained in chaps, xi., xii. 1-
     7, of the _Book of Judges_. The passage (xi. 12-29) is
     regarded by some, owing to its faint echo of certain
     portions of Numb, xx., xxi., to be an interpolation.
     Jephthah is said to have had Gilead for his father and a
     harlot for his mother. Various views have been put forward
     as to the account of his victories over the Midianites, some
     seeing in it, as well as in the origin of the four
     days'feast in honour of Jephthah's daughter, insertions of a
     later date.

But his triumph led to the loss of his daughter, whom he sacrificed in
order to fulfil a vow he had made to Jahveh before the battle.* These
were, however, comparatively unimportant episodes in the general history
of the Hebrew race. Bedawins from the East, sheikhs of the Midianites,
Moabites, and Ammonites--all these marauding peoples of the frontier
whose incursions are put on record--gave them continual trouble, and
rendered their existence so miserable that they were unable to develop
their institutions and attain the permanent freedom after which they
aimed. But their real dangers--the risk of perishing altogether, or of
falling back into a condition of servitude--did not arise from any of
these quarters, but from the Philistines.

     * There are two views as to the nature of the sacrifice of
     Jephthah's daughter. Some think she was vowed to perpetual
     virginity, while others consider that she was actually

By a decree of Pharaoh, a new country had been assigned to the remnants
of each of the maritime peoples: the towns nearest to Egypt, lying
between Raphia and Joppa, were given over to the Philistines, and the
forest region and the coast to the north of the Philistines, as far as
the Phoenician stations of Dor and Carmel,* were appropriated to the
Zakkala. The latter was a military colony, and was chiefly distributed
among the five fortresses which commanded the Shephelah.

     * We are indebted to the _Papyrus Golenischeff_ for the
     mention of the position of the Zakkala at the beginning of
     the XXIst dynasty.

[Illustration: 292.jpg A ZAKKALA]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a "squeeze."

Gaza and Ashdod were separated from the Mediterranean by a line of
sand-dunes, and had nothing in the nature of a sheltered port--nothing,
in fact, but a "maiuma," or open roadstead, with a few dwellings and
storehouses arranged along the beach on which their boats were drawn
up. Ascalon was built on the sea, and its harbour, although well enough
suited for the small craft of the ancients, could not have been entered
by the most insignificant of our modern ships. The Philistines had here
their naval arsenal, where their fleets were fitted out for scouring
the Egyptian waters as a marine police, or for piratical expeditions
on their own account, when the occasion served, along the coasts of
Phoenicia. Ekron and Gath kept watch over the eastern side of the plain
at the points where it was most exposed to the attacks of the people
of the hills--the Canaanites in the first instance, and afterwards
the Hebrews. These foreign warriors soon changed their mode of life in
contact with the indigenous inhabitants; daily intercourse, followed up
by marriages with the daughters of the land, led to the substitution of
the language, manners, and religion of the environing race for those of
their mother country. The Zakkala, who were not numerous, it is true,
lost everything, even to their name, and it was all that the Philistines
could do to preserve their own. At the end of one or two generations,
the "colts" of Palestine could only speak the Canaanite tongue, in which
a few words of the old Hellenic _patois_ still continued to survive.
Their gods were henceforward those of the towns in which they resided,
such as Marna and Dagon and Gaza,* Dagon at Ashdod,** Baalzebub at
Ekron,*** and Derketô in Ascalon;**** and their mode of worship, with
its mingled bloody and obscene rites, followed that of the country.

     * Marna, "our lord," is mentioned alongside Baalzephon in a
     list of strange gods worshipped at Memphis in the XIXth
     dynasty. The worship of Dagon at Gaza is mentioned in the
     story of Samson (Judges xvi. 21-30).

     ** The temple and statue of Dagon are mentioned in the
     account of the events following the taking of the ark in 1
     Sam. v. 1-7. It is, perhaps, to him that 1 Chron. x. 10
     refers, in relating how the Philistines hung up Saul's arms
     in the house of their gods, although 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 calls
     the place the "house of the Ashtoreth."

     *** Baalzebub was the god of Ekron (2 Kings i. 2-6), and his
     name was doubtfully translated "Lord of Flies." The
     discovery of the name of the town Zebub on the Tell el-
     Amarna tablets shows that it means the "Baal of Zebub."
     Zebub was situated in the Philistine plains, not far from
     Ekron. Halévy thinks it may have been a suburb of that town.

     **** The worship of Derketô or Atergatis at Ascalon is
     witnessed to by the classical writers.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

Two things belonging to their past history they still retained--a clear
remembrance of their far-off origin, and that warlike temperament which
had enabled them to fight their way through many obstacles from the
shores of the Ægean to the frontiers of Egypt. They could recall
their island of Caphtor,* and their neighbours in their new home were
accustomed to bestow upon them the designation of Cretans, of which they
themselves were not a little proud.**

     * Jer. xlvii. 4 calls them "the remnant of the isle of
     Caphtor;" Amos (ix. 7) knew that the Lord had brought "the
     Philistines from Caphtor;" and in Dent. ii. 23 it is related
     how "the Caphtorim which came forth out of Caphtor destroyed
     the Avvim, which dwelt in villages as far as Gaza, and dwelt
     in their stead." Classical tradition falls in with the sacred
     record, and ascribes a Cretan origin to the Philistines; it
     is suggested, therefore, that in Gen. x. 14 the names
     Casluhim and Caphtorim should be transposed, to bring the
     verse into harmony with history and other parts of

     ** In an episode in the life of David (1 Sam. xxx. 14),
     there is mention of the "south of the Cherethites," which
     some have made to mean Cretans--that is to say, the region
     to the south of the Philistines, alongside the territory of
     Judah, and to the "south of Caleb." Ezelc. xx. 16 also
     mentions in juxtaposition with the Philistines the
     Cherethites, and "the remnant of the sea-coast," as objects
     of God's vengeance for the many evils they had inflicted on
     Israel. By the Cherethims here, and the Cherethites in Zoph.
     ii. 5, the Cretans are by some thought to be meant, which
     would account for their association with the Philistines.

Gaza enjoyed among them a kind of hegemony, alike on account of its
strategic position and its favourable situation for commerce, but this
supremacy was of very precarious character, and brought with it no
right whatever to meddle in the internal affairs of other members of the
confederacy. Each of the latter had a chief of its own, a Seren,* and
the office of this chief was hereditary in one case at least--Gath, for
instance, where there existed a larger Canaanite element than elsewhere,
and was there identified with that of "melek,"** or king.

     * The _sarnê plishtîm_ figure in the narrative of the last
     Philistine campaign against Saul (1 Sam. xxix. 2-4, 7, 9).
     Their number, five, is expressly mentioned in 1 Sam. vi. 4,
     16-18, as well as the names of the towns over which they

     ** Achish was King of Gath (1 Sam. xxi. 10, 12, xxvii. 2),
     and probably Maoch before him.

The five Sarnîm assembled in council to deliberate upon common
interests, and to offer sacrifices in the name of the Pentapolis. These
chiefs were respectively free to make alliances, or to take the field
on their own account, but in matters of common importance they acted
together, and took their places each at the head of his own contingent.*
Their armies were made up of regiments of skilled archers and of
pikemen, to whom were added a body of charioteers made up of the princes
and the nobles of the nation. The armour for all alike was the coat
of scale mail and the helmet of brass; their weapons consisted of the
two-edged battle-axe, the bow, the lance, and a large and heavy sword of
bronze or iron.**

     * Achish, for example, King of Gath, makes war alone against
     the pillaging tribes, owing to the intervention of David and
     his men, without being called to account by the other
     princes (1 Sam. xxvii. 2-12, xxviii. 1, 2), but as soon as
     an affair of moment is in contemplation--such as the war
     against Saul--they demand the dismissal of David, and Achish
     is obliged to submit to his colleagues acting together (1
     Sam. xxix.).

     ** Philistine archers are mentioned in the battle of Gilboa
     (1 Sam. xxxi. 3) as well as chariots (2 Sam. i. 6). The
     horsemen mentioned in the same connexion are regarded by
     some critics as an interpolation, because they cannot bring
     themselves to think that the Philistines had cavalry corps
     in the Xth century B.C. The Philistine arms are described at
     length in the duel between David and Goliath (1 Sam. xvii. 5
     -7, 38, 39). They are in some respects like those of the
     Homeric heroes.

Their war tactics were probably similar to those of the Egyptians, who
were unrivalled in military operations at this period throughout the
whole East. Under able leadership, and in positions favourable for the
operations of their chariots, the Philistines had nothing to fear from
the forces which any of their foes could bring up against them. As to
their maritime history, it is certain that in the earliest period,
at least, of their sojourn in Syria, as well as in that before their
capture by Ramses III., they were successful in sea-fights, but the
memory of only one of their expeditions has come down to us: a squadron
of theirs having sailed forth from Ascalon somewhere towards the end
of the XIIth dynasty,* succeeded in destroying the Sidonian fleet, and
pillaging Sidon itself.

     * _Justinus_, xviii. 3, § 5. The memory of this has been
     preserved, owing to the disputes about precedence which
     raged in the Greek period between the Phoenician towns. The
     destruction of Sidon must have allowed Tyre to develop and
     take the first place.

[Illustration: 297.jpg A PHILISTINE SHIP OF WAR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

But however vigorously they may have plied the occupation of Corsairs at
the outset of their career, there was, it would appear, a rapid falling
off in their maritime prowess; it was on land, and as soldiers, that
they displayed their bravery and gained their fame. Their geographical
position, indeed, on the direct and almost only route for caravans
passing between Asia and Africa, must have contributed to their success.
The number of such caravans was considerable, for although Egypt had
ceased to be a conquering nation on account of her feebleness at home,
she was still one of the great centres of production, and the most
important market of the East. A very great part of her trade with
foreign countries was carried on through the mouths of the Nile, and of
this commerce the Phoenicians had made themselves masters; the remainder
followed the land-routes, and passed continually through the territory
of the Philistines. These people were in possession of the tract of land
which lay between the Mediterranean and the beginning of the southern
desert, forming as it were a narrow passage, into which all the roads
leading from the Nile to the Euphrates necessarily converged. The chief
of these routes was that which crossed Mount Carmel, near Megiddo, and
passed up the valleys of the Litâny and the Orontes. This was met
at intervals by other secondary roads, such as that which came from
Damascus by way of Tabor and the plain of Jezreel, or those which,
starting out from the highland of Gilead, led through the fords of the
Lower Jordan to Ekron and Gath respectively. The Philistines charged
themselves, after the example and at the instigation of the Egyptians,
with the maintenance of the great trunk road which was in their hands,
and also with securing safe transit along it, as far as they could
post their troops, for those who confided themselves to their care. In
exchange for these good offices they exacted the same tolls which had
been levied by the Canaanites before them.

In their efforts to put down brigandage, they had been brought into
contact with some of the Hebrew clans after the latter had taken
possession of Canaan. Judah, in its home among the mountains of the
Dead Sea, had become acquainted with the diverse races which were found
there, and consequently there had been frequent intermarriages between
the Hebrews and these peoples. Some critics have argued from this that
the chronicler had this fact in his mind when he assigned a Canaanite
wife, Shuah, to the father of the tribe himself. He relates how Judah,
having separated from his brethren, "turned in to a certain Adullamite,
whose name was Hiram," and that here he became acquainted with Shuah,
by whom he had three sons. With Tamar, the widow of the eldest of the
latter, he had accidental intercourse, and two children, Perez and
Zerah, the ancestors of numerous families, were born of that union.*

     * Gen. xxxviii., where there is a detailed account of
     Judah's unions.

Edomites, Arabs, and Midianites were associated with this semi-Canaanite
stock--for example, Kain, Caleb, Othniel, Kenaz, Shobal, Ephah, and
Jerahmeel, but the Kenites took the first place among them, and played
an important part in the history of the conquest of Canaan. It is
related how one of their subdivisions, of which Caleb was the eponymous
hero, had driven from Hebron the three sons of Anak--Sheshai, Ahiman,
and Talmai--and had then promised his daughter Achsah in marriage to
him who should capture Debir; this turned out to be his youngest brother
Othniel, who captured the city, and at the same time obtained a
wife. Hobab, another Kenite, who is represented to have been the
brother-in-law of Moses, occupied a position to the south of Arad, in
Idumsean territory.* These heterogeneous elements existed alongside each
other for a long time without intermingling; they combined, however, now
and again to act against a common foe, for we know that the people
of Judah aided the tribe of Simeon in the reduction of the city of
Zephath;** but they followed an independent course for the most part,
and their isolation prevented their obtaining, for a lengthened period,
any extension of territory.

     * The father-in-law of Moses is called Jethro in Exod. iii.
     1, iv. 19, but Raguel in Exod. ii. 18-22. Hobab is the son
     of Raguel, Numb. x. 29.

     ** Judges i. 17, where Zephath is the better reading, and
     not Arad, as has been suggested.

They failed, as at first, in their attempts to subjugate the province of
Arad, and in their efforts to capture the fortresses which guarded
the caravan routes between Ashdod and the mouth of the Jordan. It
is related, however, that they overthrew Adoni-bezek, King of the
Jebusites, and that they had dealt with him as he was accustomed to deal
with his prisoners. "And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings,
having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat
under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me." Although
Adoni-bezek had been overthrown, Jerusalem still remained independent,
as did also Gibeon. Beeroth, Kirjath-Jearim, Ajalon, Gezer, and
the cities of the plain, for the Israelites could not drive out the
inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron, with which
the Hebrew foot-soldiers found it difficult to deal.* This independent
and isolated group was not at first, however, a subject of anxiety
to the masters of the coast, and there is but a bare reference to
the exploits of a certain Shamgar, son of Anath, who "smote of the
Philistines six hundred men with an ox-goad."**

     * See Josh. ix. 3-27 for an explanation of how these people
     were allowed afterwards to remain in a subordinate capacity
     among the children of Israel.

     ** Judges iii. 31; cf. also Judges v. 6, in which Shamgar is
     mentioned in the song of Deborah.


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 265 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

These cities had also to reckon with Ephraim, and the tribes which had
thrown in their lot with her. Dan had cast his eyes upon the northern
districts of the Shephelah--which were dependent upon Ekron or Gath--and
also upon the semi-Phoenician port of Joppa; but these tribes did not
succeed in taking possession of those districts, although they had
harassed them from time to time by raids in which the children of Israel
did not always come off victorious. One of their chiefs--Samson--had a
great reputation among them for his bravery and bodily strength. But the
details of his real prowess had been forgotten at an early period.
The episodes which have been preserved deal with some of his exploits
against the Philistines, and there is a certain humour in the
chronicler's account of the weapons which he employed: "with the jawbone
of an ass have I smitten a thousand men;" he burned up their harvest
also by letting go three hundred foxes, with torches attached to their
tails, among the standing corn of the Philistines. Various events in his
career are subsequently narrated; such as his adventure in the house
of the harlot at Gaza, when he carried off the gate of the city and
the gate-posts "to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron." By
Delilah's treachery he was finally delivered over to his enemies, who,
having put out his eyes, condemned him to grind in the prison-house. On
the occasion of a great festival in honour of Dagon, he was brought into
the temple to amuse his captors, but while they were making merry at his
expense, he took hold of the two pillars against which he was resting,
and bowing "himself with all his might," overturned them, "and the house
fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein."*

     * Some learned critics considered Samson to have been a sort
     of solar deity.

The tribe of Dan at length became weary of these unprofitable
struggles, and determined to seek out another and more easily defensible
settlement. They sent out five emissaries, therefore, to look out for
a new home. While these were passing through the mountains they called
upon a certain Michah in the hill-country of Ephraim and lodged there.
Here they took counsel of a Levite whom Michah had made his priest, and,
in answer to the question whether their journey would be prosperous, he
told them to "Go in peace: before the Lord is the way wherein ye go."
Their search turned out successful, for they discovered near the sources
of the Jordan the town of Laish, whose people, like the Zidonians, dwelt
in security, fearing no trouble. On the report of the emissaries, Dan
decided to emigrate: the warriors set out to the number of six hundred,
carried off by the way the ephod of Micah and the Levite who served
before it, and succeeded in capturing Laish, to which they gave the
name of their tribe. "They there set up for themselves the ephod: and
Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, he and his sons were
priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of
the land."* The tribe of Dan displayed in this advanced post of peril
the bravery it had shown on the frontiers of the Shephelah, and showed
itself the most bellicose of the tribes of Israel.

     * The history of this migration, which is given summarily in
     Josh. xix. 47, is, as it now stands, a blending of two
     accounts. The presence of a descendant of Moses as a priest
     in this local sanctuary probably offended the religious
     scruples of a copyist, who substituted Manasseh for Moses
     (Judges xviii. 30), but the correction was not generally
     accepted. [The R.V. reads "Moses" where the authorised text
     has "Manasseh."--Tr.]

It bore out well its character--"Dan is a lion's whelp that leapeth
forth from Bashan" on the Hermon;* "a serpent in the way, an adder
in the path, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider falleth
backward."** The new position they had taken up enabled them to protect
Galilee for centuries against the incursions of the Aramaeans.

     * See the Blessing of Moses (Dent, xxxiii. 22).

     ** These are the words used in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen.
     xlix. 17).


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 100 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

Their departure, however, left the descendants of Joseph unprotected,
with Benjamin as their only bulwark. Benjamin, like Dan, was one of
the tribes which contained scarcely more than two or three clans, but
compensated for the smallness of their numbers by their energy and
tenacity of character: lying to the south of Ephraim, they had developed
into a breed of hardy adventurers, skilled in handling the bow and
sling, accustomed from childhood to use both hands indifferently,
and always ready to set out on any expedition, not only against the
Canaanites, but, if need be, against their own kinsfolk.* They had
consequently aroused the hatred of both friend and foe, and we read that
the remaining tribes at length decreed their destruction; a massacre
ensued, from which six hundred Benjamites only escaped to continue the
race.** Their territory adjoined on the south that of Jerusalem, the
fortress of the Jebusites, and on the west the powerful confederation of
which Gibeon was the head. It comprised some half-dozen towns--Ramah,
Anathoth, Michmash, and Nob, and thus commanded both sides of the passes
leading from the Shephelah into the valley of the Jordan. The Benjamites
were in the habit of descending suddenly upon merchants who were making
their way to or returning from Gilead, and of robbing them of their
wares; sometimes they would make a raid upon the environs of Ekron and
Gath, "like a wolf that ravineth:" realising the prediction of Jacob,
"in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at even he shall divide
the spoil."***

     * Benjamin signifies, properly speaking, "the Southern."

     ** Story of the Lévite of Ephraim (Judges xix.-xxi.). The
     groundwork of it contains only one historical element. The
     story of the Lévite is considered by some critics to be of a
     later date than the rest of the text.

     *** He is thus characterised in the Blessing of Jacob (Gen.
     xlix. 27). VOL. VI.  X

The Philistines never failed to make reprisals after each raid, and the
Benjamites were no match for their heavily armed battalions; but the
labyrinth of ravines and narrow gorges into which the Philistines had
to penetrate to meet their enemy was a favourable region for guerilla
warfare, in which they were no match for their opponents. Peace was
never of long duration on this ill-defined borderland, and neither
intercourse between one village and another, alliances, nor
intermarriage between the two peoples had the effect of interrupting
hostilities; even when a truce was made at one locality, the feud would
be kept up at other points of contact. All details of this conflict have
been lost, and we merely know that it terminated in the defeat of the
house of Joseph, a number of whom were enslaved. The ancient sanctuary
of Shiloh still continued to be the sacred town of the Hebrews, as it
had been under the Canaanites, and the people of Ephraim kept there the
ark of Jahveh-Sabaoth, "the Lord of Hosts."* It was a chest of wood,
similar in shape to the shrine which surmounted the sacred barks of the
Egyptian divinities, but instead of a prophesying statue, it contained
two stones on which, according to the belief of a later age, the law had
been engraved.** Yearly festivals were celebrated before it, and it was
consulted as an oracle by all the Israelites. Eli, the priest to whose
care it was at this time consigned, had earned universal respect by
the austerity of his life and by his skill in interpreting the divine

     * At the very opening of the _First Book of Samuel_ (i. 3),
     Shiloh is mentioned as being the sanctuary of _Jahveh-
     Sabaoth_, Jahveh the Lord of hosts. The tradition preserved
     in Josh, xviii. 1, removes the date of its establishment as
     far back as the earliest times of the Israelite conquest.

     ** The idea that the Tables of the Law were enclosed in the
     Ark is frequently expressed in Exodus and in subsequent
     books of the Hexateuch.

     *** The history of Eli extends over chaps, i.-iv. of the
     _First Book of Samuel_; it is incorporated with that of
     Samuel, and treats only of the events which accompanied the
     destruction of the sanctuary of Shiloh by the Philistines.

His two sons, on the contrary, took advantage of his extreme age to
annoy those who came up to worship, and they were even accused of
improper behaviour towards the women who "served at the door of" the
tabernacle. They appropriated to themselves a larger portion of the
victims than they were entitled to, extracting from the caldron the
meat offerings of the faithful after the sacrifice was over by means of
flesh-hooks. Their misdeeds were such, that "men abhorred the offering
of the Lord," and yet the reverence for the ark was so great in the
minds of the people, that they continued to have recourse to it on every
occasion of national danger.* The people of Ephraim and Benjamin having
been defeated once between Eben-ezer and Aphek, bore the ark in state to
the battle-field, that its presence might inspire them with confidence.
The Philistines were alarmed at its advent, and exclaimed, "God is come
into the camp. Woe unto us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of
these mighty gods?... Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye
Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been
to you."** In response to this appeal, their troops fought so boldly
that they once more gained a victory. "And there ran a man of Benjamin
out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent,
and with earth upon his head. And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon his
seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God.
And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried
out. And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth
the noise of this tumult? And the man hasted, and came and told Eli. Now
Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were set, that he could
not see. And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army,
and I fled to-day out of the army. And he said, How went the matter, my
son? And he that brought the tidings answered and said, Israel is fled
before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among
the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phineas, are dead, and the
ark of God is taken. And it came to pass, when he made mention of the
ark of God, that he fell from off his seat backward by the side of
the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and

     * Sam. iv. 12-18.

     ** This is not mentioned in the sacred books; but certain
     reasons for believing this destruction to have taken place
     are given by Stade.

     *** The Philistine garrison at Geba (Gibeah) is mentioned in
     1 Sam. xiii. 3, i.

The defeat of Eben-ezer completed, at least for a time, the overthrow of
the tribes of Central Canaan. The Philistines destroyed the sanctuary
of Shiloh, and placed a garrison at Gibeah to keep the Benjamites in
subjection, and to command the route of the Jordan;* it would even
appear that they pushed their advance-posts beyond Carmel in order to
keep in touch with the independent Canaanite cities such as Megiddo,
Taanach, and Bethshan, and to ensure a free use of the various routes
leading in the direction of Damascus, Tyre, and Coele-Syria.**

     * After the victory at Gilboa, the Philistines exposed the
     dead bodies of Saul and his sons upon the walls of Bethshan
     (1 Sam. xxxi. 10, 12), which they would not have been able
     to do had the inhabitants not been allies or vassals.
     Friendly relations with Bethshan entailed almost as a matter
     of course some similar understanding with the cities of the
     plain of Jezreel.

     ** 1 Sam. vii. 16, 17. These verses represent, as a matter
     of fact, all that we know of Samuel anterior to his
     relations with Saul. This account seems to represent him as
     exercising merely a restricted influence over the territory
     of Benjamin and the south of Ephraim. It was not until the
     prophetic period that, together with Eli, he was made to
     figure as Judge of all Israel.

The Philistine power continued dominant for at least half a century. The
Hebrew chroniclers, scandalised at the prosperity of the heathen,
did their best to abridge the time of the Philistine dominion, and
interspersed it with Israelitish victories. Just at this time, however,
there lived a man who was able to inspire them with fresh hope. He was
a priest of Bamah, Samuel, the son of Elkanah, who had acquired the
reputation of being a just and wise judge in the towns of Bethel,
Gilgal, and Mizpah; "and he judged Israel in all those places, and his
return was to Bamah, for there was his house... and he built there an
altar unto the Lord." To this man the whole Israelite nation attributed
with pride the deliverance of their race. The sacred writings relate how
his mother, the pious Hannah, had obtained his birth from Jahveh after
years of childlessness, and had forthwith devoted him to the service of
God. She had sent him to Shiloh at the age of three years, and there,
clothed in a linen tunic and in a little robe which his mother made for
him herself, he ministered before God in the presence of Eli. One night
it happened, when the latter was asleep in his place, "and the lamp
of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep in the
temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, that the Lord called
Samuel: and he said, Here am I. And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here
am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called thee not; lie down
again." Twice again the voice was heard, and at length Eli perceived
that it was God who had called the child, and he bade him reply: "Speak,
Lord; for Thy servant heareth." From thenceforward Jahveh was "with him,
and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from
Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet
of the Lord." Twenty years after the sad death of his master, Samuel
felt that the moment had come to throw off the Philistine yoke; he
exhorted the people to put away their false gods, and he assembled them
at Mizpah to absolve them from their sins. The Philistines, suspicious
of this concourse, which boded ill for the maintenance of their
authority, arose against him. "And when the children of Israel heard it,
they were afraid of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and
offered it for a whole burnt offering unto the Lord: and Samuel cried
unto the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him." The Philistines,
demoralised by the thunderstorm which ensued, were overcome on the very
spot where they had triumphed over the sons of Eli, and fled in disorder
to their own country. "Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between
Mizpah and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer (the Stone of
Help), saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." He next attacked the
Tyrians and the Amorites, and won back from them all the territory they
had conquered.* One passage, in which Samuel is not mentioned, tells
us how heavily the Philistine yoke had weighed upon the people, and
explains their long patience by the fact that their enemies had taken
away all their weapons. "Now there was no smith found throughout all
the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them
swords or spears;" and whoever needed to buy or repair the most ordinary
agricultural implements was forced to address himself to the Philistine
blacksmiths.** The very extremity of the evil worked its own cure. The
fear of the Midian-ites had already been the occasion of the ephemeral
rule of Jerubbaal and Abimelech; the Philistine tyranny forced first the
tribes of Central and then those of Southern Canaan to unite under the
leadership of one man. In face of so redoubtable an enemy and so grave a
peril a greater effort was required, and the result was proportionate to
their increased activity.

     * This manner of retaliating against the Philistines for the
     disaster they had formerly inflicted on Israel, is supposed
     by some critics to be an addition of a later date, either
     belonging to the time of the prophets, or to the period when
     the Jews, without any king or settled government, rallied at
     Mizpah. According to these scholars, 1 Sam. vii. 2-14 forms
     part of a biography, written at a time when the foundation
     of the Benjamite monarchy had not as yet been attributed to

     ** 1 Sam. xiii. 20, 21.

The Manassite rule extended at most over two or three clans, but that
of Saul and David embraced the Israelite nation.* Benjamin at that
time reckoned among its most powerful chiefs a man of ancient and
noble family--Saul, the son of Kish--who possessed extensive flocks and
considerable property, and was noted for his personal beauty, for "there
was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from
his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people."** He had
already reached mature manhood, and had several children, the eldest
of whom, Jonathan, was well known as a skilful and brave soldier, while
Saul's reputation was such that his kinsmen beyond Jordan had recourse
to his aid as to a hero whose presence would secure victory. The
Ammonites had laid siege to Jabesh-Gilead, and the town was on the point
of surrendering; Saul came to their help, forced the enemy to raise the
siege, and inflicted such a severe lesson upon them, that during the
whole of his lifetime they did not again attempt hostilities. He was
soon after proclaimed king by the Benjamites, as Jerubbaal had been
raised to authority by the Manassites on the morrow of his victory.***

     * The beginning of Saul's reign, up to his meeting with
     David, will be found in 1 Sam. viii.-xv. We can distinguish
     the remains of at least two ancient narratives, which the
     writer of the Book of Samuel has put together in order to
     form a complete and continuous account. As elsewhere in this
     work, I have confined myself to accepting the results at
     which criticism has arrived, without entering into detailed
     discussions which do not come within the domain of history.

     ** 1 Sam. ix. 2. In one account he is represented as quite a
     young man, whose father is still in the prime of life (1
     Sam. ix.), but this cannot refer to the time of the
     Philistine war, where we find him accompanied, at the very
     outset of his reign, by his son, who is already skilled in
     the use of weapons.

     *** 1 Sam. xi. According to the text of the Septuagint, the
     war against the Ammonites broke out a month after Saul had
     been secretly anointed by Samuel; his popular proclamation
     did not take place till after the return from the campaign.

We learn from the sacred writings that Samuel's influence had helped to
bring about these events. It had been shown him by the divine voice that
Saul was to be the chosen ruler, and he had anointed him and set him
before the people as their appointed lord; the scene of this must have
been either Mizpah or Gilgal.*

     * One narrative appears to represent him as being only the
     priest or local prophet of Hamah, and depicts him as
     favourable to the establishment of the monarchy (1 Sam. ix.
     1-27, x. 1-16); the other, however, admits that he was
     "judge" of all Israel, and implies that he was hostile to the
     choice of a king (1 Sam. viii. 1-22, x. 17, 27, xii. 1-25)

The accession of a sovereign who possessed the allegiance of all Israel
could not fail to arouse the vigilance of their Philistine oppressors;
Jonathan, however, anticipated their attack and captured Gibeah. The
five kings at once despatched an army to revenge this loss; the main
body occupied Michmash, almost opposite to the stronghold taken from
them, while three bands of soldiers were dispersed over the country,
ravaging as they went, with orders to attack Saul in the rear. The
latter had only six hundred men, with whom he scarcely dared to face
so large a force; besides which, he was separated from the enemy by the
Wady Suweinît, here narrowed almost into a gorge between two precipitous
rocks, and through which no body of troops could penetrate without
running the risk of exposing themselves in single file to the enemy.
Jonathan, however, resolved to attempt a surprise in broad daylight,
accompanied only by his armour-bearer. "There was a rocky crag on the
one side, and a rooky crag on the other side: and the name of the one
was Bozez (the Shining), and the name of the other Seneh (the Acacia).
The one crag rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on
the south in front of Geba (Gribeah)." The two descended the side of the
gorge, on the top of which they were encamped, and prepared openly to
climb the opposite side. The Philistine sentries imagined they were
deserters, and said as they approached: "Behold, the Hebrews come forth
out of the holes where they had hid themselves. And the men of the
garrison answered Jonathan and his armour-bearer, and said, Come up
to us, and we will show you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his
armour-bearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into
the hand of Israel. And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his
feet, and his armour-bearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan;
and his armour-bearer slew them after him. And that first slaughter that
Jonathan and his armour-bearer made, was about twenty men, within as
it were half a furrow's length in an acre of land." From Gribeah, where
Saul's troops were in ignorance of what was passing, the Benjamite
sentinels could distinguish a tumult. Saul guessed that a surprise had
taken place, and marched upon the enemy.

[Illustration: 314.jpg THE WADY SUWEINIT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 402 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund_.

The Philistines were ousted from their position, and pursued hotly
beyond Bethel as far as Ajalon.* This constituted the actual birthday of
the Israelite monarchy.

     * The account of these events, separated by the parts
     relating to the biography of Samuel (1 Sam. xiii. 76-15a,
     thought by some to be of a later date), and of the breaking
     by Jonathan of the fast enjoined by Saul (1 Sam. xiv. 23-
     45), covers 1 Sam. xiii. 3-7a, 156-23, xiv. 1-22, 46. The
     details appear to be strictly historical; the number of the
     Philistines, however, seems to be exaggerated; "30,000
     chariots, and 6000 horsemen, and people as the sand which is
     on the sea-shore in multitude "(1 Sam. xiii. 5).

Gilead, the whole house of Joseph--Ephraim and Manasseh--and Benjamin
formed its nucleus, and were Saul's strongest supporters. We do not know
how far his influence extended northwards; it probably stopped short at
the neighbourhood of Mount Tabor, and the Galileans either refused to
submit to his authority, or acknowledged it merely in theory. In the
south the clans of Judah and Simeon were not long in rallying round
him, and their neighbours the Kenites, with Caleb and Jerahmeel, soon
followed their example. These southerners, however, appear to have been
somewhat half-hearted in their allegiance to the Benjamite king: it was
not enough to have gained their adhesion--a stronger tie was needed to
attach them to the rest of the nation. Saul endeavoured to get rid of
the line of Canaanite cities which isolated them from Ephraim, but
he failed in the effort, we know not from what cause, and his attempt
produced no other result than to arouse against him the hatred of the
Gibeonite inhabitants.* He did his best to watch over the security of
his new subjects, and protected them against the Amalekites, who were
constantly harassing them.

     * The fact is made known to us by an accidental mention of
     it in 2 Sam. xxi. 1-11. The motive which induced Saul to
     take arms against the Gibeonites is immediately apparent
     when we realise the position occupied by Gideon between
     Judah and the tribes of Central Canaan.

Their king, Agag, happening to fall into his hands, he killed him, and
destroyed several of their nomad bands, thus inspiring the remainder
with a salutary terror.* Subsequent tradition credited him with
victories gained over all the enemies of Israel--over Moab, Edom, and
even the Aramaeans of Zobah--it endowed him even with the projects
and conquests of David. At any rate, the constant incursions of the
Philistines could not have left him much time for fighting in the
north and east of his domains. Their defeat at Gibeah was by no means
a decisive one, and they quickly recovered from the blow; the conflict
with them lasted to the end of Saul's lifetime, and during the whole of
this period he never lost an opportunity of increasing his army.**

The monarchy was as yet in a very rudimentary state, without either
the pomp or accessories usually associated with royalty in the ancient
kingdoms of the East. Saul, as King of Israel, led much the same sort of
life as when he was merely a Benjamite chief. He preferred to reside at
Gibeah, in the house of his forefathers, with no further resources than
those yielded by the domain inherited from his ancestors, together with
the spoil taken in battle.***

     * The part taken by Samuel in the narrative of Saul's war
     against the Amalekites (1 Sam. xv.) is thought by some
     critics to have been introduced with a view of exalting the
     prophet's office at the expense of the king and the
     monarchy. They regard 1 Sam. xiv. 48 as being the sole
     historic ground of the narrative.

     ** 1 Sam. xiv. 47. We may admit his successful skirmishes
     with Moab, but some writers maintain that the defeat of the
     Edomites and Aramaeans is a mere anticipation, and consider
     that the passage is only a reflection of 2 Sam. viii. 8, and
     reproduces the list of the wars of David, with the exception
     of the expedition against Damascus.

     *** Gibeah is nowhere expressly mentioned as being the
     capital of Saul, but the name Gibeah of Saul which it bore
     shows that it must have been the royal residence; the names
     of the towns mentioned in the account of Saul's pursuit of
     David--Naioth, Eamah, and Nob--are all near to Gibeah. It
     was also at Gibeah that the Gibeonites slew seven of the
     sons and grandsons of Saul (2 Sam. xxi. 6-9), no doubt to
     bring ignominy on the family of the first king in the very
     place in which they had governed.

All that he had, in addition to his former surroundings, were a
priesthood attached to the court, and a small army entirely at his own
disposal. Ahijah, a descendant of Eli, sacrificed for the king when the
latter did not himself officiate; he fulfilled the office of chaplain
to him in time of war, and was the mouthpiece of the divine oracles
when these were consulted as to the propitious moment for attacking the

[Illustration: 319.jpg A PHOENICIAN SOLDIER]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the bronze original in the

The army consisted of a nucleus of Benjamites, recruited from the
king's clan, with the addition of any adventurers, whether Israelites or
strangers, who were attracted to enlist under a popular military chief.*
It comprised archers, slingers, and bands of heavily armed infantry,
after the fashion of the Phoenician, bearing pikes. We can gam some
idea of their appearance and equipment from the bronze statuettes of an
almost contemporary period, which show us the Phoenician foot-soldiers
or the barbarian mercenaries in the pay of the Phoenician cities: they
wear the horizontally striped loin-cloth of the Syrians, leaving the
arms and legs entirely bare, and the head is protected by a pointed or
conical helmet.

     * Ahijah (1 Sam. xiv. 3), son of Ahitub, great-grandson of
     Eli, appears to be the same as Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, who
     subsequently helped David (1 Sam. xxi. 1-10), and was
     massacred by order of Saul (1 Sam. xxii. 9-19). The scribe
     must have been shocked by the name Melech--that of the god
     Milik [Moloch]--and must have substituted Jah or Jahveh.

Saul possessed none of the iron-bound chariots which always accompanied
the Qanaanite infantry; these heavy vehicles would have been entirely
out of place in the mountain districts, which were the usual field of
operations for the Israelite force.* We are unable to ascertain whether
the king's soldiers received any regular pay, but we know that the spoil
was divided between the prince and his men, each according to his
rank and in proportion to the valour he had displayed.** In cases of
necessity, the whole of the tribes were assembled, and a selection was
made of all those capable of bearing arms. This militia, composed mainly
of a pastoral peasantry in the prime of life, capable of heroic efforts,
was nevertheless ill-disciplined, liable to sudden panics, and prone to
become disbanded on the slightest reverse.***

     * With regard to the use of the bow among Saul's soldiers,
     cf. 1 Sam. xx. 18-42, where we find the curious scene of the
     meeting of David and Jonathan, when the latter came out of
     Gibeah on the pretext of practising with bow and arrows. The
     accoutrement of the Hebrews is given in the passage where
     Saul lends his armour to David before meeting with Goliath
     (1 Sam. xvii. 38, 39).

     ** Cf. the quarrel which took place between the soldiers of
     David about the spoil taken from the Amalekites, and the
     manner in which the strife was decided by David (1 Sam. xxx.

     *** Saul, for instance, assembles the people and makes a
     selection to attack the Philistines (1 Sam. xiii. 2, 4, 7)
     against the Ammonites (1 Sam. xi. 7, 8) and against the
     Amalekites (1 Sam. xv. 4).

Saul had the supreme command of the whole; the members of his own family
served as lieutenants under him, including his son Jonathan, to whom
he owed some of his most brilliant victories, together with his cousin
Abner, the _sar-zaba_, who led the royal guard.* Among the men of
distinguished valour who had taken service under Saul, he soon singled
out David, son of Jesse, a native of Bethlehem of Judah.** David was
the first Judæan hero, the typical king who served as a model to all
subsequent monarchs. His elevation, like that of Saul, is traced to
Samuel. The old prophet had repaired to Bethlehem ostensibly to offer a
sacrifice, and after examining all the children of Jesse, he chose the
youngest, and "anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit
of the Lord came mightily upon David."***

     * 1 Sam. xiv. 50, 51. There is no record of the part played
     by Abner during Saul's lifetime: he begins to figure in the
     narrative after the battle at Gilboa under the double reign
     of Ish-bosheth and David.

     ** The name of David is a shortened form of Davdo, Dodo,
     "the favourite of Him," i.e. God.

     *** The intervention of the prophet occupies 1 Sam. xvi. 1-
     13. Some critics have imagined that this passage was
     interpolated at a later date, and reflects the events which
     are narrated in chap. x. They say it was to show that Saul
     was not alone in enjoying consecration by the prophet, and
     hence all doubt would be set at rest as to whether David was
     actually that "neighbour of thine, that is better than
     thou," mentioned in 1 Sam. xv. 28.

His introduction at the court of Saul is variously accounted for.
According to one narrative, Saul, being possessed by an evil spirit,
fell at times into a profound melancholy, from which he could be aroused
only by the playing of a harp. On learning that David was skilled in
this instrument, he begged Jesse to send him his son, and the lad soon
won the king's affection. As often as the illness came upon him, David
took his harp, and "Saul was refreshed, and the evil spirit departed
from him."* Another account relates that he entered on his soldierly
career by killing with his sling Goliath of Gath,** who had challenged
the bravest Israelites to combat; though elsewhere the death of Goliath
is attributed to Elhanan of Bethlehem,*** one of the "mighty men of
valour," who specially distinguished himself in the wars against the
Philistines. David had, however, no need to take to himself the brave
deeds of others; at Ephes-dammîm, in company with Eleazar, the son of
Dodai, and Shammah, the son of Agu, he had posted himself in a field
of lentils, and the three warriors had kept the Philistines at bay till
their discomfited Israelite comrades had had time to rally.****

     * 1 Sam. xvi. 14-23. This narrative is directly connected
     with 1 Sam. xiv. 52, where we are told that when "Saul saw
     any strong man, or any valiant man, he took him unto him."

     ** 1 Sam. xvii., xviii. 1-5. According to some writers, this
     second version, the best known of the two, is a development
     at a later period of the tradition preserved in 2 Sam. xxi.
     19, where the victory of Elhanan over Goliath is recorded.

     *** 2 Sam. xxi. 19, where the duel of Goliath and Elhanan is
     placed in the reign of David, during the combat at Gob. Some
     critics think that the writer of Chronicles, recognising the
     difficulty presented by this passage, changed the epithet
     Bethlehemite, which qualified the name of Elhanan, into
     Lahmi, the name of Goliath's brother (1 Citron, xx. 5). Say
     ce thought to get over the difficulty by supposing that
     Elhanan was David's first name; but Elhanan is the son of
     Jair, and not the son of Jesse.

     **** The combat of Paz-Dammîm or Ephes-Dammîm is mentioned
     in 1 Sam. xvii. 1; the exploit of David and his two
     comrades, 2 Sam: xxiii. 9-12 (cf. 1 Chron. xi, 12-14, which
     slightly varies from 2 Sam. xxiii. 9-12).

Saul entrusted him with several difficult undertakings, in all of which
he acquitted himself with honour. On his return from one of them, the
women of the villages came out to meet him, singing and dancing to the
sound of timbrels, the refrain of their song being: "Saul hath slain his
thousands, and David his ten thousands." The king concealed the jealousy
which this simple expression of joy excited within him, but it found
vent at the next outbreak of his illness, and he attempted to kill David
with a spear, though soon after he endeavoured to make amends for his
action by giving him his second daughter Michal in marriage.* This did
not prevent the king from again attempting David's life, either in
a real or simulated fit of madness; but not being successful, he
despatched a body of men to waylay him. According to one account it was
Michal who helped her husband to escape,** while another attributes the
saving of his life to Jonathan. This prince had already brought about
one reconciliation between his father and David, and had spared no pains
to reinstall him in the royal favour, but his efforts merely aroused
the king's suspicion against himself. Saul imagined that a conspiracy
existed for the purpose of dethroning him, and of replacing him by his
son; Jonathan, knowing that his life also was threatened, at length
renounced the attempt, and David and his followers withdrew from court.

     * The account of the first disagreement between Saul and
     David, and with regard to the marriage of David with Michal,
     is given in 1 Sam. xviii. 6-16, 20-29, and presents every
     appearance of authenticity. Verses 17-19, mentioning a
     project of union between David and Saul's eldest daughter,
     Merab, has at some time been interpolated; it is not given
     in the LXX., either because it was not in the Hebrew version
     they had before them, or because they suppressed it owing to
     the motive appearing to them insufficient.

     ** 1 Sam. xix. 11-17. Many critics regard this passage as an


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 430 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

He was hospitably received by a descendant of Eli,* Ahimelech the
priest, at Nob, and wandered about in the neighbourhood of Adullam,
hiding himself in the wooded valleys of Khereth, in the heart of Judah.
He retained the sympathies of many of the Benjamites, more than one
of whom doubted whether it would not be to their advantage to transfer
their allegiance from their aged king to this more youthful hero.

     * 1 Sam. xxi. 8, 9 adds that he took as a weapon the sword
     of Goliath which was laid up in the sanctuary at Nob.

Saul got news of their defection, and one day when he was sitting, spear
in hand, under the tamarisk at Gibeah, he indignantly upbraided his
servants, and pointed out to them the folly of their plans. "Hear, now,
ye Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and
vineyards? will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of
hundreds?" Ahimelech was selected as the victim of the king's anger:
denounced by Doeg, Saul's steward, he was put to death, and all his
family, with the exception of Abiathar, one of his sons, perished with
him.* As soon as it became known that David held the hill-country,
a crowd of adventurous spirits flocked to place themselves under his
leadership, anticipating, no doubt, that spoil would not be lacking with
so brave a chief, and he soon found himself at the head of a small
army, with Abiathar as priest, and the ephod, rescued from Nob, in his

     * 1 Sam. xix.-xxii., where, according to some critics, two
     contradictory versions have been blended together at a late
     period. The most probable version is given in 1 Sam, xix. 8-
     10 [11-18a], xxi. 1-7 [8-10], xxii., and is that which I
     have followed by preference; the other version, according to
     these writers, attributes too important a rôle to Jonathan,
     and relates at length the efforts he made to reconcile his
     father and his friend (1 Sam. xviii. 30, xix. 1-7, xx.). It
     is thought, from the confusion apparent in this part of the
     narrative, that a record of the real motives which provoked
     a rupture between the king and his son-in-law has not been

     ** 1 Sam. xxii. 20-23, xxiii. 6. For the use of the ephod by
     Abiathar for oracular purposes, cf. 1 Sam. xxiii. 9-12, xxx.
     7, 8; the inquiry in 1 Sam. xxiii. 2-4 probably belongs to
     the same series, although neither Abiathar nor the ephod is

The country was favourable for their operations; it was a perfect
labyrinth of deep ravines, communicating with each other by narrow
passes or by paths winding along the edges of precipices. Isolated
rocks, accessible only by rugged ascents, defied assault, while
extensive caves offered a safe hiding-place to those who were familiar
with their windings. One day the little band descended to the rescue of
Keilah, which they succeeded in wresting from the Philistines, but no
sooner did they learn that Saul was on his way to meet them than they
took refuge in the south of Judah, in the neighbourhood of Ziph and
Maôn, between the mountains and the Dead Sea.*

     * 1 Sam. xxiii. 1-13; an episode acknowledged to be
     historical by nearly-all modern critics.

[Illustration: 326.jpg THE DESERT OF JUDAH]

     Drawn by Boudior, from photograph No. 197 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._ The heights visible in the distance are
     the mountains of Moab, beyond the Dead Sea.

Saul already irritated by his rival's successes, was still more galled
by being always on the point of capturing him, and yet always seeing him
slip from his grasp. On one afternoon, when the king had retired into a
cave for his siesta, he found himself at the mercy of his adversary; the
latter, however, respected the sleep of his royal master, and contented
himself with cutting a piece off his mantle.* On another occasion David,
in company with Abishai and Ahimelech the Hittite, took a lance and
a pitcher of water from the king's bedside.** The inhabitants of the
country were not all equally loyal to David's cause; those of Ziph,
whose meagre resources were taxed to support his followers, plotted to
deliver him up to the king,*** while Nabal of Maôn roughly refused
him food. Abigail atoned for her husband's churlishness by a speedy
submission; she collected a supply of provisions, and brought it herself
to the wanderers. David was as much disarmed by her tact as by her
beauty, and when she was left a widow he married her. This union insured
the support of the Calebite clan, the most powerful in that part of
the country, and policy as well as gratitude no doubt suggested the

     * 1 Sam, xxiv. Thought by some writers to be of much later

     ** 1 Sam. xxvi. 4-25.

Skirmishes were not as frequent between the king's troops and the
outlaws as we might at first be inclined to believe, but if at times
there was a truce to hostilities, they never actually ceased, and
the position became intolerable. Encamped between his kinsman and the
Philistines, David found himself unable to resist either party except by
making friends with the other. An incursion of the Philistines near Maôn
saved David from the king, but when Saul had repulsed it, David had no
choice but to throw himself into the arms of Achish, King of Gath,
of whom he craved permission to settle as his vassal at Ziklag, on
condition of David's defending the frontier against the Bedawin.*

* 1 Sam. xxvii. The earlier part of this chapter (vers. 1-6) is strictly
historical. Some critics take vers. 8-12 to be of later date, and
pretend that they were inserted to show the cleverness of David, and to
deride the credulity of the King of Gath.

Saul did not deem it advisable to try and dislodge him from this
retreat. Peace having been re-established in Judah, the king turned
northward and occupied the heights which bound the plain of Jezreel to
the east; it is possible that he contemplated pushing further afield,
and rallying round him those northern tribes who had hitherto never
acknowledged his authority. He may, on the other hand, have desired
merely to lay hands on the Syrian highways, and divert to his own
profit the resources brought by the caravans which plied along them.
The Philistines, who had been nearly ruined by the loss of the right to
demand toll of these merchants, assembled the contingents of their five
principalities, among them being the Hebrews of David, who formed
the personal guard of Achish. The four other princes objected to the
presence of these strangers in their midst, and forced Achish to dismiss
them. David returned to Ziklag, to find ruin and desolation everywhere.
The Amalekites had taken advantage of the departure of the Hebrews to
revenge themselves once for all for David's former raids on them, and
they had burnt the town, carrying off the women and flocks. David at
once set out on their track, overtook them just beyond the torrent of
Besor, and rescued from them, not only his own belongings, but all the
booty they had collected by the way in the southern provinces of Caleb,
in Judah, and in the Cherethite plain.

He distributed part of this spoil among those cities of Judah which
had shown hospitality to himself and his men, for instance, to Jattir,
Aroer, Eshtemoa, Hormah, and Hebron.* While he thus kept up friendly
relations with those who might otherwise have been tempted to forget
him, Saul was making his last supreme effort against the Philistines,
but only ito meet with failure. He had been successful in repulsing them
as long as he kept to the mountain districts, where the courage of his
troops made up for their lack of numbers and the inferiority of their
arms; but he was imprudent enough to take up a position on the hillsides
of Gilboa, whose gentle slopes offered no hindrances to the operations
of the heavy Philistine battalions. They attacked the Israelites from
the Shunem side, and swept all before them. Jonathan perished in the
conflict, together with his two brothers, Malchi-shua and Abinadab;
Saul, who was wounded by an arrow, begged his armour-bearer to take his
life, but, on his persistently refusing, the king killed himself with
his own sword. The victorious Philistines cut off his head and those of
his sons, and placed their armour in the temple of Ashtoreth,**
while their bodies, thus despoiled, were hung up outside the walls of
Bethshan, whose Canaanite inhabitants had made common cause with the
Philistines against Israel.

     * 1 Sam. xxviii. 1, 2, xxix., xxx. The torrent of Besor is
     the present Wady Esh-Sheriah, which runs to the south of

     ** The text of 1 Sam. xxxi. 10 says, in a vague manner, "in
     the house of the Ashtaroth" (in the plural), which is
     corrected, somewhat arbitrarily, in 1 Chron. x. 10 iato "in
     the house of Dagon" (B.V.); it is possible that it was the
     temple at Gaza, Gaza being the chief of the Philistine

The people of Jabesh-Gilead, who had never forgotten how Saul had saved
them from the Ammonites, hearing the news, marched all night, rescued
the mutilated remains, and brought them back to their own town, where
they burned them, and buried the charred bones under a tamarisk, fasting
meanwhile seven days as a sign of mourning.*

     * 1 Sam. xxxi. It would seem that there were two narratives
     describing this war: in one, the Philistines encamped at
     Shunem, and Saul occupied Mount Gilboa (1 Sam. xxviii. 4);
     in the other, the Philistines encamped at Aphek, and the
     Israelites "by the fountain which is in Jezreel" (1 Sam.
     xxix. 1). The first of these accounts is connected with the
     episode of the witch of Endor, the second with the sending
     away of David by Achish. The final catastrophe is in both
     narratives placed on Mount Gilboa and Stade has endeavoured
     to reconcile the two accounts by admitting that the battle
     was fought between Aphek and "the fountain," but that the
     final scene took place on the slopes of Gilboa. There are
     even two versions of the battle, one in 1 Sam. xxxi. and the
     other in 2 Sam. i. 6-10, where Saul does not kill himself,
     but begs an Amalekite to slay him; many critics reject the
     second version.


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 79 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

David afterwards disinterred these relics, and laid them in the
burying-place of the family of Kish at Zela, in Benjamin. The tragic end
of their king made a profound impression on the people. We read that,
before entering on his last battle, Saul was given over to gloomy
forebodings: he had sought counsel of Jahveh, but God "answered him not,
neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets." The aged Samuel had
passed away at Ramah, and had apparently never seen the king after
the flight of David;* Saul now bethought himself of the prophet in his
despair, and sought to recall him from the tomb to obtain his counsel.

     * 1 Sam. xxv. 1, repeated 1 Sam. xxviii. 3, with a mention
     of the measures taken by Saul against the wizards and

The king had banished from the land all wizards and fortune-tellers, but
his servants brought him word that at Endor there still remained a woman
who could call up the dead. Saul disguised himself, and, accompanied by
two of his retainers, went to find her; he succeeded in overcoming her
fear of punishment, and persuaded her to make the evocation. "Whom
shall I bring up unto thee?"--"Bring up Samuel."--And when the woman saw
Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, saying, "Why hast thou deceived me,
for thou art Saul?" And the king said unto her, "Be not afraid, for what
sawest thou?"--"I saw gods ascending out of the earth."--"What form is
he of?"--"An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle." Saul
immediately recognised Samuel, and prostrated himself with his face to
the ground before him. The prophet, as inflexible after death as in
his lifetime, had no words of comfort for the God-forsaken man who had
troubled his repose. "The Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand,
and given it to thy neighbour, even to David, because thou obeyedst not
the voice of the Lord,... and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with
me. The Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hands of the

     * 1 Sam. xxviii. 5-25. There is no reason why this scene
     should not be historical; it was natural that Saul, like
     many an ancient general in similar circumstances, should
     seek to know the future by means of the occult sciences then
     in vogue. Some critics think that certain details of the
     evocation--as, for instance, the words attributed to Samuel
     --are of a later date.

We learn, also, how David, at Ziklag, on hearing the news of the
disaster, had broken into weeping, and had composed a lament, full
of beauty, known as the "Song of the Bow," which the people of Judah
committed to memory in their childhood. "Thy glory, O Israel, is slain
upon thy high places! How are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath,
publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon; lest the daughters of the
Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph!
Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, neither
fields of offerings: for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast
away, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil! From the blood of the
slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
the sword of Saul returned not empty. Saul and Jonathan were lovely and
pleasant in their lives, and in death they were not divided."*

     * 2 Sam. i. 17-27 (R.V.). This elegy is described as a
     quotation from Jasher, the "Book of the Upright." Many modern
     writers attribute its authorship to David himself; others
     reject this view; all agree in regarding it as extremely
     ancient. The title, "Song of the Bow," is based on the
     possibly corrupt text of ver. 18.

The Philistines occupied in force the plain of Jezreel and the pass
which leads from it into the lowlands of Bethshan: the Israelites
abandoned the villages which they had occupied in these districts, and
the gap between the Hebrews of the north and those of the centre grew
wider. The remnants of Saul's army sought shelter on the eastern bank
of the Jordan, but found no leader to reorganise them. The reverse
sustained by the Israelitish champion seemed, moreover, to prove the
futility of trying to make a stand against the invader, and even the
useless-ness of the monarchy itself: why, they might have asked, burthen
ourselves with a master, and patiently bear with his exactions, if, when
put to the test, he fails to discharge the duties for the performance
of which he was chosen? And yet the advantages of a stable form of
government had been so manifest during the reign of Saul, that it never
for a moment occurred to his former subjects to revert to patriarchal
institutions: the question which troubled them was not whether they were
to have a king, but rather who was to fill the post. Saul had left a
considerable number of descendants behind him.* From these, Abner, the
ablest of his captains, chose Ishbaal, and set him on the throne to
reign under his guidance.**

     * We know that he had three sons by his wife Ahinoam--
     Jonathan, Ishbaal, and Malchi-shua; and two daughters, Merab
     and Michal (1 Sam. xiv. 49, 50, where "Ishvi" should be read
     "Ishbaal"). Jonathan left at least one son, Meribbaal (1
     Chron. viii. 34, ix. 40, called Mephibosheth in 2 Sam. xxi.
     7), and Merab had five sons by Adriel (2 Sam. xxi. 8). One
     of Saul's concubines, Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, had borne
     him two sons, Armoni and Meribbaal (2 Sam. xxi. 8, where the
     name Meribbaal is changed into Mephibosheth); Abinadab, who
     fell with him in the fight at Mount Gilboa (1 Sam. xxxi. 2),
     whose mother's name is not mentioned, was another son.

     ** Ishbaal was still a child when his father died: had he
     been old enough to bear arms, he would have taken a part in
     the battle of Gilboa with his brothers.. The expressions
     used in the account of his elevation to the throne prove
     that he was a minor (2 Sam. ii. 8, 9); the statement that he
     was forty years old when he began to reign would seem,
     therefore, to be an error (ii. 10).

Gibeah was too close to the frontier to be a safe residence for a
sovereign whose position was still insecure; Abner therefore installed
Ishbaal at Mahanaim, in the heart of the country of Gilead. The house
of Jacob, including the tribe of Benjamin, acknowledged him as king, but
Judah held aloof. It had adopted the same policy at the beginning of
the previous reign, yet its earlier isolation had not prevented it from
afterwards throwing in its lot with the rest of the nation. But at that
time no leader had come forward from its own ranks who was worthy to be
reckoned among the mighty men of Israel; now, on the contrary, it had on
its frontier a bold and resolute leader of its own race. David lost no
time in stepping into the place of those whose loss he had bewailed.
Their sudden removal, while it left him without a peer among his own
people, exposed him to the suspicion and underground machinations of his
foreign protectors; he therefore quitted them and withdrew to Hebron,
where his fellow-countrymen hastened to proclaim him king.* From that
time onwards the tendency of the Hebrew race was to drift apart into two
distinct bodies; one of them, the house of Joseph, which called itself
by the name of Israel, took up its position in the north, on the banks
of the Jordan; the other, which is described as the house of Judah, in
the south, between the Dead Sea and the Shephelah. Abner endeavoured to
suppress the rival kingdom in its infancy: he brought Ishbaal to Gibeah
and proposed to Joab, who was in command of David's army, that the
conflict should be decided by the somewhat novel expedient of pitting
twelve of the house of Judah against an equal number of the house of
Benjamin. The champions of Judah are said to have won the day, but the
opposing forces did not abide by the result, and the struggle still

     * 2 Sam. ii. 1--11. Very probably Abner recognised the
     Philistine suzerainty as David had done, for the sake of
     peace; at any rate, we find no mention in Holy Writ of a war
     between Ishbaal and the Philistines.

     ** 2 Sam. ii. 12-32, iii. 1.

An intrigue in the harem furnished a solution of the difficulty. Saul
had raised one of his wives of the second rank, named Eizpah, to the
post of favourite. Abner became enamoured of her and took her. This was
an insult to the royal house, and amounted to an act of open usurpation:
the wives of a sovereign could not legally belong to any but his
successor, and for any one to treat them as Abner had treated Rizpah,
was equivalent to his declaring himself the equal, and in a sense the
rival, of his master. Ishbaal keenly resented his minister's conduct,
and openly insulted him. Abner made terms with David, won the northern
tribes, including that of Benjamin, over to his side, and when what
seemed a propitious moment had arrived, made his way to Hebron with
an escort of twenty men. He was favourably received, and all kinds of
promises were made him; but when he was about to depart again in
order to complete the negotiations with the disaffected elders, Joab,
returning from an expedition, led him aside into a gateway and slew him.
David gave him solemn burial, and composed a lament on the occasion, of
which four verses have come down to us: having thus paid tribute to
the virtues of the deceased general, he lost no time in taking further
precautions to secure his power. The unfortunate king Ishbaal, deserted
by every one, was assassinated by two of his officers as he slept in the
heat of the day, and his head was carried to Hebron: David again poured
forth lamentations, and ordered the traitors to be killed. There was now
no obstacle between him and the throne: the elders of the people met him
at Hebron, poured oil upon his head, and anointed him king over all
the provinces which had obeyed the rule of Saul in Gilead--Ephraim and
Benjamin as well as Judah.*

     * 2 Sam. v. 1-3; in 1 Ghron. xi. 1-3, xii. 23-40, we find
     further details beyond those given in the Book of Samuel; it
     seems probable, however, that the northern tribes may not
     have recognised David's sovereignty at this time.

As long as Ishbaal lived, and his dissensions with Judah assured their
supremacy, the Philistines were content to suspend hostilities: the news
of his death, and of the union effected between Israel and Judah, soon
roused them from this state of quiescence. As prince of the house of
Caleb and vassal of the lord of Grath, David had not been an object of
any serious apprehension to them; but in his new character, as master
of the dominions of Saul, David became at once a dangerous rival, whom
they must overthrow without delay, unless they were willing to risk
being ere long overthrown by him. They therefore made an attack on
Bethlehem with the choicest of their forces, and entrenched themselves
there, with the Canaanite city of Jebus as their base, so as to separate
Judah entirely from Benjamin, and cut off the little army quartered
round Hebron from the reinforcements which the central tribes would
otherwise have sent to its aid.* This move was carried out so quickly
that David found himself practically isolated from the rest of his
kingdom, and had no course left open but to shut himself up in Adullam,
with his ordinary guard and the Judsean levies.**

     * The history of this war is given in 2 Sam. v. 17-25, where
     the text shows signs of having been much condensed. It is
     preceded by the account of the capture of Jerusalem, which
     some critics would like to transfer to chap, vi., following
     ver. 1 which leads up to it. The events which followed are
     self-explanatory, if we assume, as I have done in the text,
     that the Philistines wished to detach Judah from Israel: at
     first (2 Sam. v. 17-21) David endeavours to release himself
     and effect a juncture with Israel, as is proved by the
     relative positions assigned to the two opposing armies, the
     Philistines at Bethlehem, David in the cave of Adullam;
     afterwards (2 Sam. v. 22-25) David has shaken himself free,
     has rejoined Israel, and is carrying on the struggle between
     Gibeah and Gezer. The incidents recounted in 2 Sam. xxi. 15-
     22, xxiii. 13-19, seem to refer almost exclusively to the
     earlier part of the war, at the time when the Hebrews were
     hemmed in in the neighbourhood of Adullam.

     ** The passage in 2 Sam. v. 17 simply states that David
     "went down to the hold," and gives no further details. This
     expression, following as it does the account of the taking
     of Jerusalem, would seem to refer to this town itself, and
     Renan has thus interpreted it. It really refers to Adullam,
     as is shown by the passage in 2 Sam. xxiii. 13-17. 1 2 Sam.
     xxi. 15-17.

The whole district round about is intersected by a network of winding
streams, and abounds in rocky gorges, where a few determined men could
successfully hold their ground against the onset of a much more numerous
body of troops. The caves afford, as we know, almost impregnable
refuges: David had often hidden himself in them in the days when he fled
before Saul, and now his soldiers profited by the knowledge he possessed
of them to elude the attacks of the Philistines. He began a sort of
guerilla warfare, in the conduct of which he seems to have been without
a rival, and harassed in endless skirmishes his more heavily equipped
adversaries. He did not spare himself, and freely risked his own life;
but he was of small stature and not very powerful, so that his spirit
often outran his strength. On one occasion, when he had advanced too far
into the fray and was weary with striking, he ran great peril of being
killed by a gigantic Philistine: with difficulty Abishai succeeded in
rescuing him unharmed from the dangerous position into which he had
ventured, and for the future he was not allowed to run such risks on the
field of battle. On another occasion, when lying in the cave of Adullam,
he began to feel a longing for the cool waters of Bethlehem, and asked
who would go down and fetch him a draught from the well by the gates
of the town. Three of his mighty men, Joshebbasshebeth, Eleazar, and
Shammah, broke through the host of the Philistines and succeeded in
bringing it; but he refused to drink the few drops they had brought,
and poured them out as a libation to Jehovah, saying, "Shall I drink the
blood of men that went in jeopardy of their lives?"* Duels between
the bravest and stoutest champions of the two hosts were of frequent
occurrence. It was in an encounter of this kind that Elhanan the
Bethlehemite [or David] slew the giant Goliath at Gob. At length David
succeeded in breaking his way through the enemies' lines in the valley of
Kephaîm, thus forcing open the road to the north. Here he probably fell
in with the Israelitish contingent, and, thus reinforced, was at last
in a position to give battle in the open: he was again successful,
and, routing his foes, pursued them from Gibeon to Gezer.** None of his
victories, however, was of a sufficiently decisive character to bring
the struggle to an end: it dragged on year after year, and when at last
it did terminate, there was no question on either side of submission or
of tribute:*** the Hebrews completely regained their independence, but
the Philistines do not seem to have lost any portion of their domain,
and apparently retained possession of all that they had previously held.

     * 2 Sam. xxiii. 13-17; cf. 1 Ghron. xi. 15-19. Popular
     tradition furnishes many incidents of a similar type; cf.
     Alexander in the desert of Gedrosia, Godfrey de Bouillon in
     Asia Minor, etc.

     ** The Hebrew text gives "from Geba [or Gibeah] to Gezer"
     (2 Sam. v. 25); the Septuagint, "from Gibeon to Gezer." This
     latter reading [which is that of 1 Chron. xiv. 16.--Tr.] is
     more in accordance with the geographical facts, and I have
     therefore adopted it. Jahveh had shown by a continual
     rustling in the leaves of the mulberry trees that He was on
     David's side.

     *** In 2 Sam. viii. 1 we are told that David humiliated the
     Philistines, and took "the bridle of the mother city" out of
     their hands, or, in other words, destroyed the supremacy
     which they had exercised over Israel; he probably did no
     more than this, and failed to secure any part of their
     territory. The passage in 1 Chron. xviii. 1, which
     attributes to him the conquest of Gath and its dependencies,
     is probably an amplification of the somewhat obscure wording
     employed in 2 Sam. viii. 1.

But though they suffered no loss of territory, their position was in
reality much inferior to what it was before. Their control of the plain
of Jezreel was lost to them for ever, and with it the revenue which they
had levied from passing caravans: the Hebrews transferred to themselves
this right of their former masters, and were so much the richer at their
expense. To the five cities this was a more damaging blow than twenty
reverses would have been to Benjamin or Judah. The military spirit had
not died out among the Philistines, and they were still capable of any
action which did not require sustained effort; but lack of resources
prevented them from entering on a campaign of any length, and any chance
they may at one time have had of exercising a dominant influence in the
affairs of Southern Syria had passed away. Under the restraining hand
of Egypt they returned to the rank of a second-rate power, just strong
enough to inspire its neighbours with respect, but too weak to extend
its territory by annexing that of others. Though they might still, at
times, give David trouble by contesting at intervals the possession of
some outlying citadel, or by making an occasional raid on one of
the districts which lay close to the frontier, they were no longer a
permanent menace to the continued existence of his kingdom.

But was Judah strong enough to take their place, and set up in Southern
Syria a sovereign state, around which the whole fighting material of the
country might range itself with confidence? The incidents of the last
war had clearly shown the disadvantages of its isolated position in
regard to the bulk of the nation. The gap between Ekron and the Jordan,
which separated it from Ephraim and Manasseh, had, at all costs, to be
filled up, if a repetition of the manouvre which so nearly cost David
his throne at Adullam were to be avoided. It is true that the Gibeonites
and their allies acknowledged the sovereignty of Ephraim, and formed
a sort of connecting link between the tribes, but it was impossible to
rely on their fidelity so long as they were exposed to the attacks of
the Jebusites in their rear: as soon therefore as David found he had
nothing more to fear from the Philistines, he turned his attention
to Jerusalem.* This city stood on a dry and sterile limestone spur,
separated on three sides from the surrounding hills by two valleys of
unequal length. That of the Kedron, on the east, begins as a simple
depression, but gradually becomes deeper and narrower as it extends
towards the south. About a mile and a half from its commencement it is
nothing more than a deep gorge, shut in by precipitous rocks, which for
some days after the winter rains is turned into the bed of a torrent.**

     * The name Jerusalem occurs under the form Ursalîmmu, or
     Urusalîm, in the Tel el-Amarna tablets. Sion was the name of
     the citadel preserved by the Israelites after the capture of
     the place, and applied by them to the part of the city which
     contained the royal palace, and subsequently to the town

     ** The Kedron is called a nalial (2 Sam. xv. 23; 1 Kings ii.
     37; Jer. xxxi. 40), i.e. a torrent which runs dry during the
     summer; in winter it was termed a brook. Excavations show
     that the fall diminishes at the foot of the ancient walls,
     and that the bottom of the valley has risen nearly twelve

During the remainder of the year a number of springs, which well up at
the bottom of the valley, furnish an unfailing supply of water to the
inhabitants of Gibon,* Siloam,** and Eôgel.*** The valley widens out
again near En-Kôgel, and affords a channel to the Wady of the Children
of Hinnôm, which bounds the plateau on the west. The intermediate space
has for a long time been nothing more than an undulating plain, at
present covered by the houses of modern Jerusalem. In ancient times it
was traversed by a depression in the ground, since filled up, which
ran almost parallel with the Kedron, and joined it near the Pool of
Siloam.**** The ancient city of the Jebusites stood on the summit of the
headland which rises between these two valleys, the town of Jebus itself
being at the extremity, while the Millo lay farther to the north on the
hill of Sion, behind a ravine which ran down at right angles into the
valley of the Hedron.

     * Now, possibly, the "Fountain of the Virgin," but its
     identity is not certain.

     ** These are the springs which feed the group of reservoirs
     now known as the Pool of Siloam. The name "Siloam" occurs
     only in Neh. iii. 15, but is undoubtedly more ancient.

     *** En-Rôgel, the "Traveller's Well," is now called the
     "Well of Job."

     **** This valley, which is not mentioned by name in the Old
     Testament, was called, in the time of Josephus, the
     Tyropoon, or Cheesemakers'Quarter. Its true position, which
     had been only suspected up to the middle of the present
     century, was determined with certainty by means of the
     excavations carried out by the English and Germans. The
     bottom of the valley was found at a depth of from forty to
     sixty feet below the present surface.

An unfortified suburb had gradually grown up on the lower ground to the
west, and was connected by a stairway cut in the rock* with the upper
city. This latter was surrounded by ramparts with turrets, like those
of the Canaanitish citadels which we constantly find depicted on the
Egyptian monuments. Its natural advantages and efficient garrison had so
far enabled it to repel all the attacks of its enemies.

     * This is the Ophel of the Hebrew text.

When David appeared with his troops, the inhabitants ridiculed his
presumption, and were good enough to warn him of the hopelessness of his
enterprise: a garrison composed of the halt and the blind, without an
able-bodied man amongst them, would, they declared, be able successfully
to resist him. The king, stung by their mockery, made a promise to his
"mighty men" that the first of them to scale the walls should be made
chief and captain of his host. We often find that impregnable cities
owe their downfall to negligence on the part of their defenders: these
concentrate their whole attention on the few vulnerable points, and give
but scanty care to those which are regarded as inaccessible.* Jerusalem
proved to be no exception to this rule; Joab carried it by a sudden
assault, and received as his reward the best part of the territory which
he had won by his valour.**

     * Cf. the capture of Sardis by Cyrus (Herodotus) and by
     Antiochus III. (Polybius), as also the taking of the Capitol
     by the Gauls.

     ** The account of the capture of Jerusalem is given in 2
     Sam. v. 6-9, where the text is possibly corrupt, with
     interpolated glosses, especially in ver. 8; David's reply to
     the mockery of the Jebusites is difficult to understand. 1
     Citron, xi. 4-8 gives a more correct text, but one less
     complete in so far as the portions parallel with 2 Sam. v.
     6-9 are concerned; the details in regard to Joab are
     undoubtedly historical, but we do not find them in the Book
     of Samuel.

In attacking Jerusalem, David's first idea was probably to rid himself
of one of the more troublesome obstacles which served to separate
one-half of his people from the other; but once he had set foot in the
place, he was not slow to perceive its advantages, and determined to
make it his residence. Hebron had sufficed so long as his power extended
over Caleb and Judah only. Situated as it was in the heart of the
mountains, and in the wealthiest part of the province in which it stood,
it seemed the natural centre to which the Kenites and men of Judah must
gravitate, and the point at which they might most readily be moulded
into a nation; it was, however, too far to the south to offer a
convenient rallying-point for a ruler who wished to bring the Hebrew
communities scattered about on both banks of the Jordan under the sway
of a common sceptre. Jerusalem, on the other hand, was close to the
crossing point of the roads which lead from the Sinaitic desert into
Syria, and from the Shephelah to the land of Gilead; it commanded
nearly the whole domain of Israel and the ring of hostile races by which
it was encircled. From this lofty eyrie, David, with Judah behind him,
could either swoop down upon Moab, whose mountains shut him out from a
view of the Dead Sea, or make a sudden descent on the seaboard, by way
of Bethhoron, at the least sign of disturbance among the Philistines,
or could push straight on across Mount Ephraim into Galilee. Issachar,
Naphtali, Asher, Dan, and Zebulun were, perhaps, a little too far from
the seat of government; but they were secondary tribes, incapable of
any independent action, who obeyed without repugnance, but also without
enthusiasm, the soldier-king able to protect them from external foes.
The future master of Israel would be he who maintained his hold on the
posterity of Judah and of Joseph, and David could not hope to find a
more suitable place than Jerusalem from which to watch over the two
ruling houses at one and the same time.

The lower part of the town he gave up to the original inhabitants,* the
upper he filled with Benjamites and men of Judah;** he built or restored
a royal palace on Mount Sion, in which he lived surrounded by his
warriors and his family.*** One thing only was lacking--a temple for his
God. Jerubbaal had had a sanctuary at Ophrah, and Saul had secured the
services of Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh: David was no longer satisfied
with the ephod which had been the channel of many wise counsels during
his years of adversity and his struggles against the Philistines. He
longed for some still more sacred object with which to identify the
fortunes of his people, and by which he might raise the newly gained
prestige of his capital. It so happened that the ark of the Lord,
the ancient safeguard of Ephraim, had been lying since the battle
of Eben-ezer not far away, without a fixed abode or regular

     * Judges i. 21; cf. Zech. xi. 7, where Ekron in its
     decadence is likened to the Jebusite vassal of Judah.

     ** Jerusalem is sometimes assigned to Benjamin (Judges i.
     21), sometimes to Judah (Josh. xv. 63). Judah alone is

     *** 2 Sam. v. 9, and the parallel passage in 1 Chron. xi. 7,

     **** The account of the events which followed the battle of
     Eben-ezer up to its arrival in the house of Abinadab, is
     taken from the history of the ark, referred to on pp. 306,
     307, supra. It is given in 1 Sam. v., vi., vii. 1, where it
     forms an exceedingly characteristic whole, composed, it may
     be, of two separate versions thrown into one; the passage in
     1 Sam. vi. 15, where the Lévites receive the ark, is
     supposed by some to be interpolated.

The reason why it had not brought victory on that occasion, was that
God's anger had been stirred at the misdeeds committed in His name by
the sons of Eli, and desired to punish His people; true, it had been
preserved from profanation, and the miracles which took place in its
neighbourhood proved that it was still the seat of a supernatural power.

[Illustration: 340.jpg MOUSE OF METAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch published by Schick
     and Oldfield Thomas.

At first the Philistines had, according to their custom, shut it up in
the temple of Dagon at Ashdod. On the morrow when the priests entered
the sanctuary, they found the statue of their god prostrate in front of
it, his fish-like body overthrown, and his head and hands scattered on
the floor;* at the same time a plague of malignant tumours broke out
among the people, and thousands of mice overran their houses. The
inhabitants of Ashdod made haste to transfer it on to Ekron: it thus
went the round of the five cities, its arrival being in each case
accompanied by the same disasters. The soothsayers, being consulted
at the end of seven months, ordered that solemn sacrifices should
be offered up, and the ark restored to its rightful worshippers,
accompanied by expiatory offerings of five golden mice and five golden
tumours, one for each of the five repentant cities.**

     * The statue here referred to is evidently similar to those
     of the Chaldæan gods and genii, in which Dagon is
     represented as a man with his back and head enveloped in a
     fish as in a cloak.

     ** In the Oustinoff collection at Jaffa, there is a roughly
     shaped image of a mouse, cut out of a piece of white metal,
     and perhaps obtained from the ruins of Gaza; it would seem
     to be an ex-voto of the same kind as that referred to in the
     Hebrew text, but it is of doubtful authenticity.

The ark was placed on a new cart, and two milch cows with their calves
drew it, lowing all the way, without guidance from any man, to the field
of a certain Joshua at Bethshemesh. The inhabitants welcomed it with
great joy, but their curiosity overcame their reverence, and they looked
within the shrine. Jehovah, being angered thereat, smote seventy men of
them, and the warriors made haste to bring the ark to Kirjath-jearim,
where it remained for a long time, in the house of Abinadab on the
hill, under charge of his son Eleazar.* Kirjath-jearim is only about two
leagues from Jerusalem. David himself went thither, and setting "the ark
of God upon a new cart," brought it away.* Two attendants, called Uzzah
and Ahio, drove the new cart, "and David and all Israel played before
God with all their might: even with songs, and with harps, and with
psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets."
An accident leading to serious consequences brought the procession to
a standstill; the oxen stumbled, and their sacred burden threatened to
fall: Uzzah, putting forth his hand to hold the ark, was smitten by the
Lord, "and there he died before the Lord." David was disturbed at this,
feeling some insecurity in dealing with a Deity who had thus seemed to
punish one of His worshippers for a well-meant and respectful act.**

     * The text of 1 Sam. vi. 21, vii. 1, gives the reading
     Kirjath-jearim, whereas the text of 2 Sam. vi. 2 has Baale-
     Judah, which should be corrected to Baal-Judah. Baal-Judah,
     or, in its abbreviated form, Baala, is another name for
     Kirjath-jearim (Josh. xv. 9-11; cf. 1 Ghron. xiii. 6).
     Similarly, we find the name Kirjath-Baal (Josh. xv. 60).
     Kirjath-jearim is now Kharbet-el-Enab.

     ** The transport of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem
     is related in 2 Sam. vi. and in 1 Ghron. xiii., xv., xvi.

He "was afraid of the Lord that day," and "would not remove the ark" to
Jerusalem, but left it for three months in the house of a Philistine,
Obed-Edom of Gath; but finding that its host, instead of experiencing
any evil, was blessed by the Lord, he carried out his original
intention, and brought the ark to Jerusalem. "David, girded with a linen
ephod, danced with all his might before the Lord," and "all the house of
Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound
of the trumpet." When the ark had been placed in the tent that David had
prepared for it, he offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and
at the end of the festival there were dealt out to the people gifts of
bread, cakes, and wine (or flesh). There is inserted in the narrative*
an account of the conduct of Michal his wife, who looking out of the
window and seeing the king dancing and playing, despised him in
her heart, and when David returned to his house, congratulated him
ironically--"How glorious was the King of Israel to-day, who uncovered
himself in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants!"

     * Renan would consider this to have been inserted in the
     time of Hezekiah. It appeared to him to answer "to the
     antipathy of Hamutal and the ladies of the court to the
     worship of Jahveh, and to that form of human respect which
     restrained the people of the world from giving themselves up
     to it."

David said in reply that he would rather be held in honour by the
handmaids of whom she had spoken than avoid the acts which covered him
with ridicule in her eyes; and the chronicler adds that "Michal the
daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death."*

     * [David's reply shows (2 Sam. vi. 21, 22) that it was in
     gratitude to Jehovah who had exalted him that he thus
     humbled himself.--Tr.]

The tent and the ark were assigned at this time to the care of two
priests--Zadok, son of Ahitub, and Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who was
a descendant of Eli, and had never quitted David throughout his
adventurous career.* It is probable, too, that the ephod had not
disappeared, and that it had its place in the sanctuary; but it may have
gradually fallen into neglect, and may have ceased to be the vehicle
of oracular responses as in earlier years. The king was accustomed on
important occasions to take part in the sacred ceremonies, after the
example of contemporary monarchs, and he had beside him at this time a
priest of standing to guide him in the religious rites, and to fulfil
for him duties similar to those which the chief reader rendered to
Pharaoh. The only one of these priests of David whose name has come down
to us was Ira the Jethrite, who accompanied his master in his
campaigns, and would seem to have been a soldier also, and one of "the
thirty." These priestly officials seem, however, to have played but a
subordinate part, as history is almost silent about their acts.** While
David owed everything to the sword and trusted in it, he recognised at
the same time that he had obtained his crown from Jahveh; just as the
sovereigns of Thebes and Nineveh saw in Amon and Assur the source of
their own royal authority.

     * 2 Sam. viii. 17, xx. 25; cf. 1 Sam. xxi. 1, xxii. 20; 1
     Chron. xv. 11.

     ** 2 Sam. xx. 26, where he is called the Jairite, and not
     the Ithrite, owing to an easily understood confusion of the
     Hebrew letters. He figures in the list of the _Gibborim_,
     "mighty men," 2 Sam. xxiii. 38.

He consulted the Lord directly when he wished for counsel, and accepted
the issue as a test whether his interpretation of the Divine will was
correct or erroneous. When once he had realised, at the time of the
capture of Jerusalem, that God had chosen him to be the champion of
Israel, he spared no labour to accomplish the task which the Divine
favour had assigned to him. He attacked one after the other the peoples
who had encroached upon his domain, Moab being the first to feel the
force of his arm. He extended his possessions at the expense of Gilead,
and the fertile provinces opposite Jericho fell to his sword. These
territories were in dangerous proximity to Jerusalem, and David
doubtless realised the peril of their independence. The struggle for
their possession must have continued for some time, but the details are
not given, and we have only the record of a few incidental exploits: we
know, for instance, that the captain of David's guard, Benaiah, slew two
Moabite notables in a battle.* Moabite captives were treated with all
the severity sanctioned by the laws of war. They were laid on the ground
in a line, and two-thirds of the length of the row being measured off,
all within it were pitilessly massacred, the rest having their lives
spared. Moab acknowledged its defeat, and agreed to pay tribute: it had
suffered so much that it required several generations to recover.**

     * 2 Sam. xxiii. 20-23: cf. 1 Chron. xi. 22-25. "Ariel," who
     is made the father of the two slain by Benaiah, may possibly
     be the term in 11. 12, 17, 18 of the Inscription of Mesha
     (Moabite Stone); but its meaning is obscure, and has
     hitherto baffled all attempts to explain it.

     ** 2 Sam. viii. 2.

Gilead had become detached from David's domain on the south, while
the Ammonites were pressing it on the east, and the Ararnæans making
encroachments upon its pasture-lands on the north. Nahash, King of the
Ammonites, being dead, David, who had received help from him in his
struggle with Saul, sent messengers to offer congratulations to his son
Hanun on his accession. Hanun, supposing the messengers to be spies
sent to examine the defences of the city, "shaved off one-half of
their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to
their buttocks, and sent them away." This was the signal for war. The
Ammonites, foreseeing that David would endeavour to take a terrible
vengeance for this insult to his people, came to an understanding with
their neighbours. The overthrow of the Amorite chiefs had favoured the
expansion of the Aramæans towards the south. They had invaded all that
region hitherto unconquered by Israel in the valley of the Litany to
the east of Jordan, and some half-dozen of their petty states had
appropriated among them the greater part of the territories which were
described in the sacred record as having belonged previously to Jabin
of Hazor and the kings of Bashan. The strongest of these
principalities--that which occupied the position of Qodshû in the
Bekâa, and had Zoba as its capital--was at this time under the rule of
Hadadezer, son of Behob. This warrior had conquered Damascus, Maacah,
and Geshur, was threatening the Canaanite town of Hamath, and was
preparing to set out to the Euphrates when the Ammonites sought his help
and protection. He came immediately to their succour. Joab, who was in
command of David's army, left a portion of his troops at Babbath under
his brother Abishaî, and with the rest set out against the Syrians.
He overthrew them, and returned immediately afterwards. The Ammonites,
hearing of his victory, disbanded their army; but Joab had suffered such
serious losses, that he judged it wise to defer his attack upon them
until Zoba should be captured. David then took the field himself,
crossed the Jordan with all his reserves, attacked the Syrians at
Helam, put them to flight, killing Shobach, their general, and captured
Damascus. Hadadezer [Hadarezer] "made peace with Israel," and Tou or
Toi, the King of Hamath, whom this victory had delivered, sent presents
to David. This was the work of a single campaign. The next year Joab
invested Kabbath, and when it was about to surrender he called the king
to his camp, and conceded to him the honour of receiving the submission
of the city in person. The Ammonites were treated with as much severity
as their kinsmen of Moab. David "put them under saws and harrows
of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the

     * The war with the Aramaeans, described in 2 Sam. viii. 3-
     12, is similar to the account of the conflict with the
     Ammonites in 2 Sam. x.-xii., but with more details. Both
     documents are reproduced in 1 Chron. xviii. 3-11, and xix.,
     xx. 1-3.

[Illustration: 353.jpg THE HEBREW KINGDOM]

This success brought others in its train. The Idumæans had taken
advantage of the employment of the Israelite army against the Aramæans
to make raids into Judah. Joab and Abishaî, despatched in haste to check
them, met them in the Valley of Salt to the south of the Dead Sea, and
gave them battle: their king perished in the fight, and his son Hadad
with some of his followers took flight into Egypt. Joab put to the sword
all the able-bodied combatants, and established garrisons at Petra,
Elath, and Eziongeber* on the Red Sea. David dedicated the spoils to the
Lord, "who gave victory to David wherever he went."

     Neither Elath nor Eziongeber are here mentioned, but 1 Kings
     ix. 25-28 and 2 Chron. viii. 17, 18 prove that these places
     had been occupied by David. For all that concerns Hadad, see
     1 Kings xi. 15-20.

Southern Syria had found its master: were the Hebrews going to pursue
their success, and undertake in the central and northern regions a
work of conquest which had baffled the efforts of all their
predecessors--Canaanites, Amorites, and Hittites? The Assyrians, thrown
back on the Tigris, were at this time leading a sort of vegetative
existence in obscurity; and, as for Egypt, it would seem to have
forgotten that it ever had possessions in Asia. There was, therefore,
nothing to be feared from foreign intervention should the Hebrew be
inclined to weld into a single state the nations lying between the
Euphrates and the Red Sea.


     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 377 of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

Unfortunately, the Israelites had not the necessary characteristics of
a conquering people. Their history from the time of their entry into
Canaan showed, it is true, that they were by no means incapable of
enthusiasm and solidarity: a leader with the needful energy and good
fortune to inspire them with confidence could rouse them from their
self-satisfied indolence, and band them together for a great effort.
But such concentration of purpose was ephemeral in its nature, and
disappeared with the chief who had brought it about. In his absence,
or when the danger he had pointed out was no longer imminent, they fell
back instinctively into their usual state of apathy and disorganisation.
Their nomadic temperament, which two centuries of a sedentary existence
had not seriously modified, disposed them to give way to tribal
quarrels, to keep up hereditary vendettas, to break out into sudden
tumults, or to make pillaging expeditions into their neighbours'
territories. Long wars, requiring the maintenance of a permanent army,
the continual levying of troops and taxes, and a prolonged effort to
keep what they had acquired, were repugnant to them. The kingdom
which David had founded owed its permanence to the strong will of its
originator, and its increase or even its maintenance depended upon the
absence of any internal disturbance or court intrigue, to counteract
which might make too serious a drain upon his energy. David had survived
his last victory sufficiently long to witness around him the evolution
of plots, and the multiplication of the usual miseries which sadden, in
the East, the last years of a long reign. It was a matter of custom as
well as policy that an exaltation in the position of a ruler should be
accompanied by a proportional increase in the number of his retinue
and his wives. David was no exception to this custom: to the two wives,
Abigail and Ahinoam, which he had while he was in exile at Ziklag, he
now added Maacah the Aramaean, daughter of the King of Geshur, Haggith,
Abital, Bglah, and several others.* During the siege of Babbath-Ammon he
also committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite,
and, placing her husband in the forefront of the battle, brought about
his death. Rebuked by the prophet Nathan for this crime, he expressed
his penitence, but he continued at the same time to keep Bathsheba, by
whom he had several children.** There was considerable rivalry among
the progeny of these different unions, as the right of succession would
appear not to have been definitely settled. Of the family of Saul,
moreover, there were still several members in existence--the son which
he had by Eizpah, the children of his daughter Merab, Merib-baal, the
lame offspring of Jonathan,*** and Shimei****--all of whom had partisans
among the tribes, and whose pretensions might be pressed unexpectedly at
a critical moment.

     * Ahinoam is mentioned in the following passages: 1 Sam.
     xxv. 43, xxvii. 3, xxx. 5; 2 Sam. ii. 2, iii. 2; cf. also 1
     Chron. iii. 1; Maacah in 2 Sam. iii. 3; 1 Chron. iii. 2;
     Haggith in 2 Sam. iii. 4; 1 Kings i. 5, 11, ii. 13; 1 Chron.
     iii. 2; Abital in 2 Sam. iii. 4; 1 Chron. iii. 3; Eglah in 2
     Sam. iii. 5; 1 Chron. iii. 3. For the concubines, see 2 Sam.
     v. 13, xv. 15, xvi. 21, 22; 1 Chron. iii. 9, xiv. 3.

     ** 2 Sam. xi., xii. 7-25.

     *** 2 Sam. ix., xvi. 1-4, xix. 25-30, where the name is
     changed into Mephibosheth; the original name is given in 1
     Chron. viii. 34.

     **** Sam. xvi. 5-14, xix. 16-23; 1 Kings ii. 8, 9, 36-46.

The eldest son of Ahinoam, Amnon, whose priority in age seemed likely
to secure for him the crown, had fallen in love with one of his
half-sisters named Tamar, the daughter of Maacah, and, instead of
demanding her in marriage, procured her attendance on him by a feigned
illness, and forced her to accede to his desires. His love was thereupon
converted immediately into hate, and, instead of marrying her, he had
her expelled from his house by his servants. With rent garments and
ashes on her head, she fled to her full-brother Absalom. David was
very wroth, but he loved his firstborn, and could not permit himself to
punish him. Absalom kept his anger to himself, but when two years had
elapsed he invited Amnon to a banquet, killed him, and fled to his
grandfather Talmai, King of Geshur.*

     * It is to be noted that Tamar asked Amnon to marry her, and
     that the sole reproach directed against the king's eldest
     son was that, after forcing her, he was unwilling to make
     her his wife. Unions of brother and sister were probably as
     legitimate among the Hebrews at this time as among the

His anger was now turned against the king for not having taken up the
cause of his sister, and he began to meditate his dethronement. Having
been recalled to Jerusalem at the instigation of Joab, "Absalom
prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him,"
thus affecting the outward forms of royalty. Judah, dissatisfied at
the favour shown by David to the other tribes, soon came to recognise
Absalom as their chief, and some of the most intimate counsellors of the
aged king began secretly to take his part. When Absalom deemed things
safe for action, he betook himself to Hebron, under the pretence of a
vow which he had made daring his sojourn at Geshur. All Judah rallied
around him, and the excitement at Jerusalem was so great that David
judged it prudent to retire, with his Philistine and Cherethite guards,
to the other side of the Jordan. Absalom, in the mean while, took up his
abode in Jerusalem, where, having received the tacit adherence of the
family of Saul and of a number of the notables, he made himself king. To
show that the rupture between him and David was complete, he had tents
erected on the top of the house, and there, in view of the people, took
possession of his father's harem. Success would have been assured to
him if he had promptly sent troops after the fugitives, but while he was
spending his time in inactivity and feasting, David collected together
those who were faithful to him, and put them under the command of
Joab and Abishai. The king's veterans were more than a match for
the undisciplined rabble which opposed them, and in the action which
followed at Mahanaim Absalom was defeated: in his flight through
the forest of Ephraim he was caught in a tree, and before he could
disentangle himself was pierced through the heart by Joab.

David, we read, wished his people to have mercy on his son, and he wept
bitterly. He spared on this occasion the family of Saul, pardoned the
tribe of Judah, and went back triumphantly into Jerusalem, which a few
days before had taken part in his humiliation. The tribes of the house
of Joseph had taken no side in the quarrel. They were ignorant alike of
the motives which set the tribe of Judah against their own hero, and of
their reasons for the zeal with which they again established him on the
throne. They sent delegates to inquire about this, who reproached Judah
for acting without their cognisance: "We have ten parts in the king, and
we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us,
that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?"
Judah answered with yet fiercer words; then Sheba, a chief of the
Benjamites, losing patience, blew a trumpet, and went off crying: "We
have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of
Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel." If these words had produced
an echo among the central and northern tribes, a schism would have been
inevitable: some approved of them, while others took no action, and
since Judah showed no disposition to put its military forces into
movement, the king had once again to trust to Joab and the Philistine
guards to repress the sedition. Their appearance on the scene
disconcerted the rebels, and Sheba retreated to the northern frontier
without offering battle. Perhaps he reckoned on the support of the
Aramæans. He took shelter in the small stronghold of Abel of Bethmaacah,
where he defended himself for some time; but just when the place was on
the point of yielding, the inhabitants cut off Sheba's head, and threw
it to Joab from the wall. His death brought the crisis to an end,
and peace reigned in Israel. Intrigues, however, began again more
persistently than ever over the inheritance which the two slain princes
had failed to obtain. The eldest son of the king was now Adonijah, son
of Haggith, but Bathsheba exercised an undisputed sway over her husband,
and had prepared him to recognise in Solomon her son the heir to the
throne. She had secured, too, as his adherents several persons of
influence, including Zadok, the prophet Nathan, and Benaiah, the captain
of the foreign guard.

Adonijah had on his side Abiathar the priest, Joab, and the people of
Jerusalem, who had been captivated by his beauty and his regal display.
In the midst of these rivalries the king was daily becoming weaker: he
was now very old, and although he was covered with wrappings he could
not maintain his animal heat. A young girl was sought out for him to
give him the needful warmth. Abishag, a Shunammite, was secured for the
purpose, but her beauty inspired Adonijah with such a violent passion
that he decided to bring matters to a crisis. He invited his brethren,
with the exception of Solomon, to a banquet in the gardens which
belonged to him in the south of Jerusalem, near the well of Eôgel. All
his partisans were present, and, inspired by the good cheer, began to
cry, "God save King Adonijah!" When Nathan informed Bathsheba of what
was going on, she went in unto the king, who was being attended on by
Abishag, complained to him of the weakness he was showing in regard to
his eldest son, and besought him to designate his heir officially. He
collected together the soldiers, and charged them to take the young
man Solomon with royal pomp from the hill of Sion to the source of the
Gibôn: Nathan anointed his forehead with the sacred oil, and in the
sight of all the people brought him to the palace, mounted on his
father's mule. The blare of the coronation trumpets resounded in the
ears of the conspirators, quickly followed by the tidings that Solomon
had been hailed king over the whole of Israel: they fled on all sides,
Adonijah taking refuge at the horns of the altar. David did not long
survive this event: shortly before his death he advised Solomon to
rid himself of all those who had opposed his accession to the throne.
Solomon did not hesitate to follow this counsel, and the beginning of
his reign was marked by a series of bloodthirsty executions. Adonijah
was the first to suffer. He had been unwise enough to ask the hand of
Abishag in marriage: this request was regarded as indicative of a hidden
intention to rebel, and furnished an excuse for his assassination.
Abiathar, at whose instigation Adonijah had acted, owed his escape
from a similar fate to his priestly character and past services: he was
banished to his estate at Anathoth, and Zadok became high priest in his
stead. Joab, on learning the fate of his accomplice, felt that he was
a lost man, and vainly sought sanctuary near the ark of the Lord; but
Benaiah slew him there, and soon after, Shimei, the last survivor of the
race of Saul, was put to death on some transparent pretext. This was the
last act of the tragedy: henceforward Solomon, freed from all those who
bore him malice, was able to devote his whole attention to the cares of

     * 1 Kings i., ii. This is the close of the history of David,
     and follows on from 2 Sam. xxiv. It would seem that Adonijah
     was heir-apparent (1 Kings i. 5, 6), and that Solomon's
     accession was brought about by an intrigue, which owed its
     success to the old king's weakness (1 Kings i. 12, 13, 17,
     18, 30, 31).

The change of rulers had led, as usual, to insurrections among the
tributary races: Damascus had revolted before the death of David, and
had not been recovered. Hadad returned from Egypt, and having gained
adherents in certain parts of Edom, resisted all attempts made to
dislodge him.*

     * It seems clear from the context that the revolt of
     Damascus took place during David's lifetime. It cannot, in
     any case, have occurred at a later date than the beginning
     of the reign of Solomon, for we are told that Rezôn, after
     capturing the town, "was an adversary of Israel all the days
     of Solomon" (1 Kings xi. 23-25). Hadad returned from Egypt
     when "he had heard that David slept with his fathers, and
     that Joab the captain of the host was dead" (1 Kings xi. 21,
     22, 25).

As a soldier, Solomon was neither skilful nor fortunate: he even failed
to retain what his father had won for him. Though he continued to
increase his army, it was more with a view to consolidating his power
over the Bnê-Israel than for any aggressive action outside his borders.
On the other hand, he showed himself an excellent administrator, and
did his best, by various measures of general utility, to draw closer the
ties which bound the tribes to him and to each other. He repaired the
citadels with such means as he had at his disposal. He rebuilt the
fortifications of Megiddo, thus securing the control of the network of
roads which traversed Southern Syria. He remodelled the fortifications
of Tamar, the two Bethhorons, Baâlath, Hazor, and of many other
towns which defended his frontiers. Some of them he garrisoned with
foot-soldiers, others with horsemen and chariots. By thus distributing
his military forces over the whole country, he achieved a twofold
object;* he provided, on the one hand, additional security from foreign
invasion, and on the other diminished the risk of internal revolt.

     * 1 Kings ix. 15, 17-19; cf. 2 Chron. viii. 4-6. The
     parallel passage in 2 Chron. viii. 4, and the marginal
     variant in the _Book of Kings_, give the reading Tadmor
     Palmyra for Tamar, thus giving rise to the legends which
     state that Solomon's frontier extended to the Euphrates. The
     Tamar here referred to is that mentioned in Ezeh. xlvii. 19,
     xlviii. 28, as the southern boundary of Judah; it is perhaps
     identical with the modern Kharbêt-Kurnub.

The remnants of the old aboriginal clans, which had hitherto managed to
preserve their independence, mainly owing to the dissensions among the
Israelites, were at last absorbed into the tribes in whose territory
they had settled. A few still held out, and only gave way after long
and stubborn resistance: before he could triumph over Gezer, Solomon was
forced to humble himself before the Egyptian Pharaoh. He paid homage to
him, asked the hand of his daughter in marriage, and having obtained it,
persuaded him to come to his assistance: the Egyptian engineers placed
their skill at the service of the besiegers and soon brought the
recalcitrant city to reason, handing it over to Solomon in payment for
his submission.* The Canaanites were obliged to submit to the poll-tax
and the _corvée_: the men of the league of Gibeon were made hewers
of wood and drawers of water for the house of the Lord.** The Hebrews
themselves bore their share in the expenses of the State, and though
less heavily taxed than the Canaanites, were, nevertheless, compelled to
contribute considerable sums; Judah alone was exempt, probably because,
being the private domain of the sovereign, its revenues were already
included in the royal exchequer.***

     * 1 Kings ix. 16. The Pharaoh in question was probably one
     of the Psiûkhânnît, the Psûsennos II. of Manetho.

     ** 1 Kings ix. 20, 21. The annexation of the Gibeonites and
     their allies is placed at the time of the conquest in Josh.
     ix. 3-27; it should be rather fixed at the date of the loss
     of independence of the league, probably in the time of

     *** Stade thinks that Judah was not exempt, and that the
     original document must have given thirteen districts.

In order to facilitate the collection of the taxes, Solomon divided the
kingdom into twelve districts, each of which was placed in charge of
a collector; these regions did not coincide with the existing tribal
boundaries, but the extent of each was determined by the wealth of the
lands contained within it. While one district included the whole of
Mount Ephraim, another was limited to the stronghold of Mahanaim and its
suburbs. Mahanaim was at one time the capital of Israel, and had played
an important part in the life of David: it held the key to the regions
beyond Jordan, and its ruler was a person of such influence that it was
not considered prudent to leave him too well provided with funds. By
thus obliterating the old tribal boundaries, Solomon doubtless hoped
to destroy, or at any rate greatly weaken, that clannish spirit which
showed itself with such alarming violence at the time of the revolt of
Sheba, and to weld into a single homogeneous mass the various Hebrew and
Canaanitish elements of which the people of Israel were composed.*

     * 1 Kings iv. 7-19, where a list of the districts is given;
     the fact that two of Solomon's sons-in-law appear in it,
     show that the document from which it is taken gave the staff
     of collectors in office at the close of his reign.

Each of these provinces was obliged, during one month in each year,
to provide for the wants of "the king and his household," or, in other
words, the requirements of the central government. A large part of these
contributions went to supply the king's table; the daily consumption at
the court was--thirty measures of fine flour, sixty measures of meal,
ten fat oxen, twenty oxen out of the pastures, a hundred sheep, besides
all kinds of game and fatted fowl: nor need we be surprised at these
figures, for in a country where, and at a time when money was unknown,
the king was obliged to supply food to all his dependents, the greater
part of their emoluments consisting of these payments in kind. The
tax-collectors had also to provide fodder for the horses reserved
for military purposes: there were forty thousand of these, and twelve
thousand charioteers, and barley and straw had to be forthcoming either
in Jerusalem itself or in one or other of the garrison towns amongst
which they were distributed.* The levying of tolls on caravans passing
through the country completed the king's fiscal operations which were
based on the systems prevailing in neighbouring States, especially that
of Egypt.**

     * 1 Kings iv. 26-28; the complementary passages in 1 Kings
     x. 26 and 2 Chron. i. 14 give the number of chariots as 1400
     and of charioteers at 12,000. The numbers do not seem
     excessive for a kingdom which embraced the whole south of
     Palestine, when we reflect that, at the battle of Qodshû,
     Northern Syria was able to put between 2500 and 3000
     chariots into the field against Ramses II. The Hebrew
     chariots probably carried at least three men, like those of
     the Hittites and Assyrians.

     ** 1 Kings x. 15, where mention is made of the amount which
     the chapmen brought, and the traffic of the merchants
     contains an allusion to these tolls.

Solomon, like other Oriental sovereigns, reserved to himself the
monopoly of certain imported articles, such as yarn, chariots, and
horses. Egyptian yarn, perhaps the finest produced in ancient times, was
in great request among the dyers and embroiderers of Asia. Chariots,
at once strong and light, were important articles of commerce at a time
when their use in warfare was universal. As for horses, the cities of
the Delta and Middle Egypt possessed a celebrated strain of stallions,
from which the Syrian princes were accustomed to obtain their
war-steeds.* Solomon decreed that for the future he was to be the sole
intermediary between the Asiatics and the foreign countries supplying
their requirements. His agents went down at regular intervals to the
banks of the Nile to lay in stock; the horses and chariots, by the
time they reached Jerusalem, cost him at the rate of six hundred silver
shekels for each chariot, and one hundred and fifty shekels for each
horse, but he sold them again at a profit to the Aramæan and Hittite
princes. In return he purchased from them Cilician stallions, probably
to sell again to the Egyptians, whose relaxing climate necessitated a
frequent introduction of new blood into their stables.** By these and
other methods of which we know nothing the yearly revenue of the kingdom
was largely increased: and though it only reached a total which may seem
insignificant in comparison with the enormous quantities of the precious
metals which passed through the hands of the Pharaohs of that time, yet
it must have seemed boundless wealth in the eyes of the shepherds and
husbandmen who formed the bulk of the Hebrew nation.

     * The terms in which the text, 1 Kings x. 27-29 (cf. 2
     Citron, i. 16, 17), speaks of the trade in horses, show that
     the traffic was already in existence when Solomon decided to
     embark in it.

     ** 1 Kings x. 27-29; 2 Chron. i. 16, 17. Kuê, the name of
     Lower Cilicia, was discovered in the Hebrew text by Pr.
     Lenormant. Winckler, with mistaken reliance on the authority
     of Erman, has denied that Egypt produced stud-horses at this
     time, and wishes to identify the Mizraim of the Hebrew text
     with Musri, a place near Mount Taurus, mentioned in the
     Assyrian texts.

In thus developing his resources and turning them to good account,
Solomon derived great assistance from the Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon,
a race whose services were always at the disposal of the masters of
Southern Syria. The continued success of the Hellenic colonists on the
eastern shores of the Mediterranean had compelled the Phoenicians to
seek with redoubled boldness and activity in the Western Mediterranean
some sort of compensation for the injury which their trade had thus
suffered. They increased and consolidated their dealings with Sicily,
Africa, and Spain, and established themselves throughout the whole of
that misty region which extended beyond the straits of Gibraltar on the
European side, from the mouth of the Guadalete to that of the Guadiana.
This was the famous Tarshish--the Oriental El Dorado. Here they had
founded a number of new towns, the most flourishing of which, Gadîr,*
rose not far from the mouths of the Betis, on a small islet separated
from the mainland by a narrow arm of the sea. In this city they
constructed a temple to Melkarth, arsenals, warehouses, and shipbuilding
yards: it was the Tyre of the west, and its merchant-vessels sailed to
the south and to the north to trade with the savage races of the African
and European seaboard. On the coast of Morocco they built Lixos, a town
almost as large as Gadîr, and beyond Lixos, thirty days' sail southwards,
a whole host of depots, reckoned later on at three hundred.

     * I do not propose to discuss here the question of the
     identity of the country of Tartessos with the Tarshish or
     Tarsis mentioned in the Bible (1 Kings x. 22).

By exploiting the materials to be obtained from these lands, such as
gold, silver, tin, lead, and copper, Tyre and Sidon were soon able to
make good the losses they had suffered from Greek privateersmen and
marauding Philistines. Towards the close of the reign of Saul over
Israel, a certain king Abîbaal had arisen in Tyre, and was succeeded by
his son Hiram, at the very moment when David was engaged in bringing
the whole of Israel into subjection. Hiram, guided by instinct or by
tradition, at once adopted a policy towards the rising dynasty which his
ancestors had always found successful in similar cases. He made friendly
overtures to the Hebrews, and constituted himself their broker and
general provider: when David was in want of wood for the house he was
building at Jerusalem, Hiram let him have the necessary quantity, and
hired out to him workmen and artists at a reasonable wage, to help him
in turning his materials to good account.*

     * 2 Sam. v. 11; cf. the reference to the same incident in
     1 Kings v 1-3.

The accession of Solomon was a piece of good luck for him. The new king,
born in the purple, did not share the simple and somewhat rustic tastes
of his father. He wanted palaces and gardens and a temple, which might
rival, even if only in a small way, the palaces and temples of Egypt and
Chaldæa, of which he had heard such glowing accounts: Hiram undertook
to procure these things for him at a moderate cost, and it was doubtless
his influence which led to those voyages to the countries which produced
precious metals, perfumes, rare animals, costly woods, and all those
foreign knicknacks with which Eastern monarchs of all ages loved to
surround themselves. The Phoenician sailors were well acquainted with
the bearings of Puanît, most of them having heard of this country when
in Egypt, a few perhaps having gone thither under the direction and by
the orders of Pharaoh: and Hiram took advantage of the access which the
Hebrews had gained to the shores of the Red Sea by the annexation of
Edom, to establish relations with these outlying districts without
having to pass the Egyptian customs. He lent to Solomon shipwrights and
sailors, who helped him to fit out a fleet at Eziôn-geber, and undertook
a voyage of discovery in company with a number of Hebrews, who were no
doubt despatched in the same capacity as the royal messengers sent
with the galleys of Hâtshopsîtû. It was a venture similar to those so
frequently undertaken by the Egyptian admirals in the palmy days of the
Theban navy, and of which we find so many curious pictures among the
bas-reliefs at Deîr el-Baharî. On their return, after a three years'
absence, they reported that they had sailed to a country named Ophir,
and produced in support of their statement a freight well calculated to
convince the most sceptical, consisting as it did of four hundred and
twenty talents of gold. The success of this first venture encouraged
Solomon to persevere in such expeditions: he sent his fleet on several
voyages to Ophir, and procured from thence a rich harvest of gold and
silver, wood and ivory, apes and peacocks.*

* 1 Kings ix. 26-28, x. 11, 12; cf. 2 Citron, viii. 17, 18, ix. 10, 11,
21. A whole library might be stocked with the various treatises which
have appeared on the situation of the country of Ophir: Arabia, Persia,
India, Java, and America have all been suggested. The mention of almug
wood and of peacocks, which may be of Indian origin, for a long time
inclined the scale in favour of India, but the discoveries of Mauch and
Bent on the Zimbabaye have drawn attention to the basin of the Zambesi
and the ruins found there. Dr. Peters, one of the best-known German
explorers, is inclined to agree with Mauch and Bent, in their theory
as to the position of the Ophir of the Bible. I am rather inclined to
identify it with the Egyptian Pûanît, on the Somali or Yemen seaboard.

Was the profit from these distant cruises so very considerable after
all? After they had ceased, memory may have thrown a fanciful glamour
over them, and magnified the treasures they had yielded to fabulous
proportions: we are told that Solomon would have no drinking vessels or
other utensils save those of pure gold, and that in his days "silver was
as stone," so common had it become.*

     * 1 Kings x. 21, 27. In Chronicles the statement in the
     _Book of Kings_ is repeated in a still more emphatic manner,
     since it is there stated that gold itself was "in Jerusalem
     as stones" (2 Chron. i. 15).

[Illustration: 370.jpg MAP OF TYRE SUBSEQUENT TO HIRAM]

Doubtless Hiram took good care to obtain his fall share of the gains.
The Phoenician king began to find Tyre too restricted for him, the
various islets over which it was scattered affording too small a space
to support the multitudes which flocked thither. He therefore filled up
the channels which separated them; by means of embankments and fortified
quays he managed to reclaim from the sea a certain amount of land on the
south; after which he constructed two harbours--one on the north, called
the Sidonian; the other on the south, named the Egyptian. He was perhaps
also the originator of the long causeway, the lower courses of which
still serve as a breakwater, by which he transformed the projecting
headland between the island and the mainland into a well-sheltered
harbour. Finally, he set to work on a task like that which he had
already helped Solomon to accomplish: he built for himself a palace
of cedar-wood, and restored and beautified the temples of the gods,
including the ancient sanctuary of Melkarth, and that of Astarté. In his
reign the greatness of Phoenicia reached its zenith, just as that of the
Hebrews culminated under David.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph published by the Duc de

The most celebrated of Solomon's works were to be seen at Jerusalem. As
David left it, the city was somewhat insignificant. The water from its
fountains had been amply sufficient for the wants of the little
Jebusite town; it was wholly inadequate to meet the requirements of
the growing-population of the capital of Judah. Solomon made better
provision for its distribution than there had been in the past, and then
tapped a new source of supply some distance away, in the direction of
Bethlehem; it is even said that he made the reservoirs for its storage
which still bear his name.*

     * A somewhat ancient tradition attributes these works to
     Solomon; no single fact confirms it, but the balance of
     probability seems to indicate that he must have taken steps
     to provide a water-supply for the new city. The channels and
     reservoirs, of which traces are found at the present day,
     probably occupy the same positions as those which preceded

[Illustration: 372.jpg one of Solomon's reservoirs near Jerusalem]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. C. Alluaud of

Meanwhile, Hiram had drawn up for him plans for a fortified residence,
on a scale commensurate with the thriving fortunes of his dynasty. The
main body was constructed of stone from the Judæan quarries, cut by
masons from Byblos, but it was inlaid with cedar to such an extent that
one wing was called "the house of the forest-of-Lebanon." It contained
everything that was required for the comfort of an Eastern potentate--a
harem, with separate apartments for the favourites (one of which was
probably decorated in the Egyptian manner for the benefit of Pharaoh's
daughter);* then there were reception-halls, to which the great men
of the kingdom were admitted; storehouses, and an arsenal. The king's
bodyguard possessed five hundred shields "of beaten gold," which were
handed over by each detachment, when the guard was relieved, to the
one which took its place. But this gorgeous edifice would not have been
complete if the temple of Jahveh had not arisen side by side with the
abode of the temporal ruler of the nation. No monarch in those days
could regard his position as unassailable until he had a sanctuary and a
priesthood attached to his religion, either in his own palace or not far
away from it. David had scarcely entered Jerusalem before he fixed upon
the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite as a site for the temple,
and built an altar there to the Lord during a plague which threatened to
decimate his people; but as he did not carry the project any farther,**
Solomon set himself to complete the task which his father had merely
sketched out.

     * 1 Kings vii. 8, ix. 24; 2 Ghron. viii. 11.

     ** 2 Sam xxiv. 18-25, The threshing-floor of Araunah the
     Jebusite is mentioned elsewhere as the site on which Solomon
     built his temple (2 Ghron. iii. 1).

The site was irregular in shape, and the surface did not
naturally lend itself to the purpose for which it was destined. His
engineers, however, put this right by constructing enormous piers for
the foundations, which they built up from the slopes of the mountain
or from the bottom of the valley as circumstances required: the space
between this artificial casing and the solid rock was filled up, and
the whole mass formed a nearly square platform, from which the temple
buildings were to rise. Hiram undertook to supply materials for the
work. Solomon had written to him that he should command "that they
hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy
servants; and I will give thee hire for thy servants according to all
that thou shalt say: for thou knowest that there is not among us
any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Zidonians." Hiram was
delighted to carry out the wishes of his royal friend with regard to the
cedar and cypress woods.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

"My servants," he answered, "shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the
sea: and I will make them into rafts to go by sea unto the place that
thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and
thou shalt receive them; and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving
food for my household." The payment agreed on, which was in kind,
consisted of twenty thousand _kôr_ of wheat, and twenty _kôr_ of pure
oil per annum, for which Hiram was to send to Jerusalem not only the
timber, but architects, masons, and Gebalite carpenters (i.e. from
Byblos), smelters, sculptors, and overseers.* Solomon undertook to
supply the necessary labour, and for this purpose made a levy of men
from all the tribes. The number of these labourers was reckoned at
thirty thousand, and they were relieved regularly every three months;
seventy thousand were occupied in the transport of the materials, while
eighty thousand cut the stones from the quarry.**

     * 1 Kings v. 7--11 * cf. 2 Chron. ii. 3--16, where the
     writer adds 20,000 _kôr_ of barley, 20,000 "baths" of wine,
     and the same quantity of oil.

     ** 1 Kings v. 13-18; of. 2 Chron. ii. 1, 2, 17, 18.

It is possible that the numbers may have been somewhat exaggerated in
popular estimation, since the greatest Egyptian monuments never required
such formidable levies of workmen for their construction; we must
remember, however, that such an undertaking demanded a considerable
effort, as the Hebrews were quite unaccustomed to that kind of labour.
The front of the temple faced eastward; it was twenty cubits wide, sixty
long, and thirty high. The walls were of enormous squared stones, and
the ceilings and frames of the doors of carved cedar, plated with gold;
it was entered by a porch, between two columns of wrought bronze, which
were called Jachin and Boaz.*

* 1 Kings vii. 15-22; cf. 2 Chron. iv. 11-13. The names were probably
engraved each upon its respective column, and taken together formed an
inscription which could be interpreted in various ways. The most simple
interpretation is to recognise in them a kind of talismanic formula to
ensure the strength of the building, affirming "that it exists by the
strength" of God.

The interior contained only two chambers; the _hekal,_ or holy place,
where were kept the altar of incense, the seven-branched candlestick,
and the table of shewbread; and the Holy of Holies--_debîr_--where the
ark of God rested beneath the wings of two cherubim of gilded wood.
Against the outer wall of the temple, and rising to half its height,
were rows of small apartments, three stories high, in which were kept
the treasures and vessels of the sanctuary. While the high priest was
allowed to enter the Holy of Holies only once a year, the holy place was
accessible at all times to the priests engaged in the services, and it
was there that the daily ceremonies of the temple-worship took place;
there stood also the altar of incense and the table of shewbread. The
altar of sacrifice stood on the platform in front of the entrance; it
was a cube of masonry with a parapet, and was approached by stone steps;
it resembled, probably, in general outline the monumental altars which
stood in the forecourts of the Egyptian temples and palaces. There stood
by it, as was also customary in Chaldæa, a "molten sea," and some ten
smaller lavers, in which the Lévites washed the portions of the victims
to be offered, together with the basins, knives, flesh-hooks, spoons,
shovels, and other utensils required for the bloody sacrifice. A low
wall surmounted by a balustrade of cedar-wood separated this sacred
enclosure from a court to which the people were permitted to have
free access. Both palace and temple were probably designed in that
pseudo-Egyptian style which the Phoenicians were known to affect. The
few Hebrew edifices of which remains have come down to us, reveal
a method of construction and decoration common in Egypt; we have an
example of this in the uprights of the doors at Lachish, which terminate
in an Egyptian gorge like that employed in the naos of the Phonician

[Illustration: 377.jpg AN UPRIGHT OF A DOOR AT LACHISH]

     Drawn by Paucher-Gudin, from the drawing by Petrie.

The completion of the whole plan occupied thirteen years; at length both
palace and temple were finished in the XVIIth year of the king's
reign. Solomon, however, did not wait for the completion of the work
to dedicate the sanctuary to God. As soon as the inner court was ready,
which was in his XIth year, he proceeded to transfer the ark to its new
resting-place; it was raised upon a cubical base, and the long staves by
which it had been carried were left in their rings, as was usual in the
case of the sacred barks of the Egyptian deities.* The God of Israel
thus took up His abode in the place in which He was henceforth to
be honoured. The sacrifices on the occasion of the dedication were
innumerable, and continued for fourteen days, in the presence of the
representatives of all Israel. The ornate ceremonial and worship which
had long been lavished on the deities of rival nations were now, for
the first time, offered to the God of Israel. The devout Hebrews who
had come together from far and near returned to their respective tribes
filled with admiration,** and their limited knowledge of art doubtless
led them to consider their temple as unique in the world; in fact, it
presented nothing remarkable either in proportion, arrangement, or in
the variety and richness of its ornamentation and furniture. Compared
with the magnificent monuments of Egypt and Chaldæa, the work of Solomon
was what the Hebrew kingdom appears to us among the empires of the
ancient world--a little temple suited to a little people.

     * 1 Kings viii. 6-8, and 2 Ghron. v. 7-9.

     ** 1 Kings vi. 37, 38 states that the foundations were laid
     in the IVth year of Solomon's reign, in the month of Ziv,
     and that the temple was completed in the month of Bui in the
     XIth year; the work occupied seven years. 1 Kings vii. 1
     adds that the construction of the palace lasted thirteen
     years; it went on for six years after the completion of the
     temple. The account of the dedication (1 Kings viii.)
     contains a long prayer by Solomon, part of which (vers. 14-
     66) is thought by certain critics to be of later date. They
     contend that the original words of Solomon are confined to
     vers. 12 and 13.

The priests to whose care it was entrusted did not differ much from
those whom David had gathered about him at the outset of the monarchy.
They in no way formed an hereditary caste confined to the limits of
a rigid hierarchy; they admitted into their number--at least up to a
certain point--men of varied extraction, who were either drawn by their
own inclinations to the service of the altar, or had been dedicated to
it by their parents from childhood. He indeed was truly a priest "who
said of his father and mother, 'I have not seen him;' neither did he
acknowledge his brethren, nor knew he his own children." He was content,
after renouncing these, to observe the law of God and keep His covenant,
and to teach Jacob His judgments and Israel His law; he put incense
before the Lord, and whole burnt offerings upon His altar.*

     * Those are the expressions used in the Blessing of Moses
     (Deut. xxxiii. 8-12); though this text is by some writers
     placed as late as the VIIIth century B.C., yet the state of
     things there represented would apply also to an earlier
     date. The Hebrew priest, in short, had the same duties as a
     large proportion of the priesthood in Chaldæ and Egypt.

As in Egypt, the correct offering of the Jewish sacrifices was beset
with considerable difficulties, and the risk of marring their efficacy
by the slightest inadvertence necessitated the employment of men who
were thoroughly instructed in the divinely appointed practices and
formulæ. The victims had to be certified as perfect, while the offerers
themselves had to be ceremonially pure; and, indeed, those only who had
been specially trained were able to master the difficulties connected
with the minutiae of legal purity. The means by which the future was
made known necessitated the intervention of skilful interpreters of the
Divine will. We know that in Egypt the statues of the gods were supposed
to answer the questions put to them by movements of the head or arms,
sometimes even by the living voice; but the Hebrews do not appear to
have been influenced by any such recollections in the use of their
sacred oracles. We are ignorant, however, of the manner in which the
ephod was consulted, and we know merely that the art of interrogating
the Divine will by it demanded a long noviciate.* The benefits derived
by those initiated into these mysteries were such as to cause them to
desire the privileges to be perpetuated to their children. Gathered
round the ancient sanctuaries were certain families who, from father
to son, were devoted to the performance of the sacred rites, as, for
instance, that of Eli at Shiloh, and that of Jonathan-ben-Gershom at
Dan, near the sources of the Jordan; but in addition to these, the text
mentions functionaries analogous to those found among the Canaanites,
diviners, seers--_roê_--who had means of discovering that which was
hidden from the vulgar, even to the finding of lost objects, but
whose powers sometimes rose to a higher level when they were suddenly
possessed by the prophetic spirit and enabled to reveal coming events.
Besides these, again, were the prophets--_nabî_**--who lived either
alone or in communities, and attained, by means of a strict training, to
a vision of the future.

     * An example of the consulting of the ephod will be found in
     1 Sam. xxx. 7, 8, where David desires to know if he shall
     pursue the Amalekites.

     ** 1 Sam. ix. 9 is a gloss which identifies the _seer_ of
     former times with the prophet of the times of the monarchy.

Their prophetic utterances were accompanied by music and singing, and
the exaltation of spirit which followed their exercises would at
times spread to the bystanders,--as is the case in the "zikr" of the
Mahomedans of to-day.*

     * 1 Sam. x. 5-13, where we see Saul seized with the
     prophetic spirit on meeting with a band of prophets
     descending from the high place; cf. 2 Sam. vi. 13-16, 20-23,
     for David dancing before the ark.

The early kings, Saul and David, used to have recourse to individuals
belonging to all these three classes, but the prophets, owing to the
intermittent character of their inspiration and their ministry, could
not fill a regular office attached to the court. One of this class was
raised up by God from time to time to warn or guide His servants, and
then sank again into obscurity; the priests, on the contrary, were
always at hand, and their duties brought them into contact with the
sovereign all the year round. The god who was worshipped in the capital
of the country and his priesthood promptly acquired a predominant
position in all Oriental monarchies, and most of the other temples,
together with the sacerdotal bodies attached to them, usually fell into
disrepute, leaving them supreme. If Amon of Thebes became almost the
sole god, and his priests the possessors of all Egypt, it was because
the accession of the XVIIIth dynasty had made his pontiffs the almoners
of the Pharaoh. Something of the same sort took place in Israel; the
priesthood at Jerusalem attached to the temple built by the sovereign,
being constantly about his person, soon surpassed their brethren in
other parts of the country both in influence and possessions. Under
David's reign their head had been Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, a
descendant of Eli, but on Solomon's accession the primacy had been
transferred to the line of Zadok. In this alliance of the throne and
the altar, it was natural at first that the throne should reap the
advantage. The king appears to have continued to be a sort of high
priest, and to have officiated at certain times and occasions.* The
priests kept the temple in order, and watched over the cleanliness of
its chambers and its vessels; they interrogated the Divine will for the
king according to the prescribed ceremonies, and offered sacrifices on
behalf of the monarch and his subjects; in short, they were at first
little more than chaplains to the king and his family.

     * Solomon officiated and preached at the consecration of the
     temple (1 Kings viii.). The actual words appear to be of a
     later date; but even if that be the case, it proves that, at
     the time they were written, the king still possessed his
     full sacerdotal powers.

Solomon's allegiance to the God of Israel did not lead him to proscribe
the worship of other gods; he allowed his foreign wives the exercise of
their various religions, and he raised an altar to Chemosh on the Mount
of Olives for one of them who was a Moabite. The political supremacy and
material advantages which all these establishments acquired for Judah
could not fail to rouse the jealousy of the other tribes. Ephraim
particularly looked on with ill-concealed anger at the prospect of the
hegemony becoming established in the hands of a tribe which could be
barely said to have existed before the time of David, and was to a
considerable extent of barbarous origin. Taxes, homage, the keeping up
and recruiting of garrisons, were all equally odious to this, as well
as to the other clans descended from Joseph; meanwhile their burdens did
not decrease. A new fortress had to be built at Jerusalem by order of
the aged king. One of the overseers appointed for this work--Jeroboam,
the son of Nebat--appears to have stirred up the popular discontent,
and to have hatched a revolutionary plot. Solomon, hearing of the
conspiracy, attempted to suppress it; Jeroboam was forewarned, and fled
to Egypt, where Pharaoh Sheshonq received him with honour, and gave him
his wife's sister in marriage.* The peace of the nation had not been
ostensibly troubled, but the very fact that a pretender should have
risen up in opposition to the legitimate king augured ill for the future
of the dynasty. In reality, the edifice which David had raised with
such difficulty tottered on its foundations before the death of his
successor; the foreign vassals were either in a restless state or ready
to throw off their allegiance; money was scarce, and twenty Galilæan
towns had been perforce ceded to Hiram to pay the debts due to him for
the building of the temple;** murmurings were heard among the people,
who desired an easier life.

     * 1 Kings xi. 23-40, where the LXX. is fuller than the A. V.

     ** 1 Kings ix. 10-13; cf. 2 Cliron. viii. 1, 2, where the
     fact seems to have been reversed, and Hiram is made the
     donor of the twenty towns.

In a future age, when priestly and prophetic influences had gained the
ascendant, amid the perils which assailed Jerusalem, and the miseries of
the exile, the Israelites, contrasting their humiliation with the glory
of the past, forgot the reproaches which their forefathers had addressed
to the house of David, and surrounded its memory with a halo of romance.
David again became the hero, and Solomon the saint and sage of his race;
the latter "spake three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand
and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even
unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts,
and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes." We are told that
God favoured him with a special predilection, and appeared to him on
three separate occasions: once immediately after the death of David,
to encourage him by the promise of a prosperous reign, and the gift
of wisdom in governing; again after the dedication of the temple, to
confirm him in his pious intentions; and lastly to upbraid him for his
idolatry, and to predict the downfall of his house. Solomon is supposed
to have had continuous dealings with all the sovereigns of the Oriental
world,* and a Queen of Sheba is recorded as having come to bring him
gifts from the furthest corner of Arabia.

     * 1 Kings iv. 34; on this passage are founded all the
     legends dealing with the contests of wit and wisdom in which
     Solomon was supposed to have entered with the kings of
     neighbouring countries; traces of these are found in Dius,
     in Menander, and in Eupolemus.

His contemporaries, however, seem to have regarded him as a tyrant who
oppressed them with taxes, and whose death was unregretted.*

     * I am inclined to place the date of Solomon's death between
     935 and 930 B.C.

[Illustration: 384.jpg King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba]

His son Rehoboam experienced no opposition in Jerusalem and Judah on
succeeding to the throne of his father; when, however, he repaired to
Shechem to receive the oath of allegiance from the northern and central
tribes, he found them unwilling to tender it except under certain
conditions; they would consent to obey him only on the promise of his
delivering them from the forced labour which had been imposed upon them
by his predecessors. Jeroboam, who had returned from his Egyptian exile
on the news of Solomon's death, undertook to represent their grievances
to the new king. "Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make
thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put
upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee." Rehoboam demanded three
days for the consideration of his reply; he took counsel with the old
advisers of the late king, who exhorted him to comply with the petition,
but the young men who were his habitual companions urged him, on the
contrary, to meet the remonstrances of his subjects with threats of
still harsher exactions. Their advice was taken, and when Jeroboam again
presented himself, Rehoboam greeted him with raillery and threats. "My
little finger is thicker than my father's loins. And now whereas my
father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke:
my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with
scorpions." This unwise answer did not produce the intimidating effect
which was desired; the cry of revolt, which had already been raised in
the earlier days of the monarchy, was once more heard. "What portion
have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse:
to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David." Rehoboam
attempted to carry his threats into execution, and sent the collectors
of taxes among the rebels to enforce payment; but one of them was stoned
almost before his eyes, and the king himself had barely time to regain
his chariot and flee to Jerusalem to escape an outburst of popular
fury. The northern and central tribes immediately offered the crown to
Jeroboam, and the partisans of the son of Solomon were reduced to those
of his own tribe; Judah, Caleb, the few remaining Simeonites, and some
of the towns of Dan and Benjamin, which were too near to Jerusalem to
escape the influence of a great city, were all who threw in their lot
with him.*

     * 1 Kings xii. 1--24; cf. 2 Chron. x., xi. 1-4. The text of
     1 Kings xii. 20 expressly says, "there was none that
     followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only;"
     whereas the following verse, which some think to have been
     added by another hand, adds that Rehoboam assembled 180,000
     men "which were warriors" from "the house of Judah and the
     tribe of Benjamin."

Thus was accomplished the downfall of the House of David, and with it
the Hebrew kingdom which it had been at such pains to build up. When we
consider the character of the two kings who formed its sole dynasty, we
cannot refrain from thinking that it deserved a better fate. David
and Solomon exhibited that curious mixture of virtues and vices which
distinguished most of the great Semite princes. The former, a soldier
of fortune and an adventurous hero, represents the regular type of the
founder of a dynasty; crafty, cruel, ungrateful, and dissolute, but
at the same time brave, prudent, cautious, generous, and capable of
enthusiasm, clemency, and repentance; at once so lovable and so gentle
that he was able to inspire those about him with the firmest friendship
and the most absolute devotion. The latter was a religious though
sensual monarch, fond of display--the type of sovereign who usually
succeeds to the head of the family and enjoys the wealth which his
predecessor had acquired, displaying before all men the results of an
accomplished work, and often thereby endangering its stability. The real
reason of their failure to establish a durable monarchy was the fact
that neither of them understood the temperament of the people they were
called upon to govern. The few representations we possess of the Hebrews
of this period depict them as closely resembling the nations which
inhabited Southern Syria at the time of the Egyptian occupation. They
belong to the type with which the monuments have made us familiar; they
are distinguished by an aquiline nose, projecting cheek-bones, and curly
hair and beard. They were vigorous, hardy, and inured to fatigue, but
though they lacked those qualities of discipline and obedience which are
the characteristics of true warrior races, David had not hesitated to
employ them in war; they were neither sailors, builders, nor given to
commerce and industries, and yet Solomon built fleets, raised palaces
and a temple, and undertook maritime expeditions, and financial
circumstances seemed for the moment to be favourable.

[Illustration: 387.jpg A JEWISH CAPTIVE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie.

The onward progress of Assyria towards the Mediterranean had been
arrested by the Hittites, Egypt was in a condition of lethargy, the
Aramæan populations were fretting away their energies in internal
dissensions; David, having encountered no serious opposition after his
victory over the Philistines, had extended his conquests and increased
the area of his kingdom, and the interested assistance which Tyre
afterwards gave to Solomon enabled the latter to realise his dreams of
luxury and royal magnificence. But the kingdom which had been created
by David and Solomom rested solely on their individual efforts, and its
continuance could be ensured only by bequeathing it to descendants who
had sufficient energy and prudence to consolidate its weaker elements,
and build up the tottering materials which were constantly threatening
to fall asunder. As soon as the government had passed into the hands
of the weakling Rehoboam, who had at the outset departed from his
predecessors' policy, the component parts of the kingdom, which had
for a few years been, held together, now became disintegrated without
a shock, and as if by mutual consent. The old order of things which
existed in the time of the Judges had passed away with the death of
Saul. The advantages which ensued from a monarchical regime were too
apparent to permit of its being set aside, and the tribes who had been
bound together by nearly half a century of obedience to a common master
now resolved themselves, according to their geographical positions, into
two masses of unequal numbers and extent--Judah in the south, together
with the few clans who remained loyal to the kingly house, and Israel in
the north and the regions beyond Jordan, occupying three-fourths of the
territory which had belonged to David and Solomon.

Israel, in spite of its extent and population, did not enjoy the
predominant position which we might have expected at the beginning of
its independent existence. It had no political unity, no capital
in which to concentrate its resources, no temple, and no army; it
represented the material out of which a state could be formed rather
than one already constituted. It was subdivided into three groups,
formerly independent of, and almost strangers to each other, and between
whom neither David nor Solomon had been able to establish any bond which
would enable them to forget their former isolation. The centre group was
composed of the House of Joseph--Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh--and
comprised the old fortresses of Perea, Mahanaim, Penuel, Succoth,
and Eamoth, ranged in a line running parallel with the Jordan. In the
eastern group were the semi-nomad tribes of Reuben and Gad, who still
persisted in the pastoral habits of their ancestors, and remained
indifferent to the various revolutions which had agitated their race
for several generations. Finally, in the northern group lay the smaller
tribes of Asher, Naphtali, Issachar, Zebulon, and Dan, hemmed in between
the Phoenicians and the Aramaeans of Zoba and Damascus. Each group had
its own traditions, its own interests often opposed to those of its
neighbours, and its own peculiar mode of life, which it had no intention
of renouncing for any one else's benefit. The difficulty of keeping
these groups together became at once apparent. Shechem had been the
first to revolt against Rehoboam; it was a large and populous town,
situated almost in the centre of the newly formed state, and the seat of
an ancient oracle, both of which advantages seemed to single it out as
the future capital. But its very importance, and the memories of its
former greatness under Jeruhhaal and Abimelech, were against it. Built
in the western territory belonging to Manasseh, the eastern and northern
clans would at once object to its being chosen, on the ground that it
would humiliate them before the House of Joseph, in the same manner as
the selection of Jerusalem had tended to make them subservient to Judah.
Jeroboam would have endangered his cause by fixing on it as his capital,
and he therefore soon quitted it to establish himself at Tirzah. It is
true that the latter town was also situated in the mountains of Ephraim,
but it was so obscure and insignificant a place that it disarmed all
jealousy; the new king therefore took up his residence in it, since he
was forced to fix on some royal abode, but it never became for him what
Jerusalem was to his rival, a capital at once religious and military. He
had his own sanctuary and priests at Tirzah, as was but natural, but
had he attempted to found a temple which would have attracted the whole
population to a common worship, he would have excited jealousies which
would have been fatal to his authority. On the other hand, Solomon's
temple had in its short period of existence not yet acquired such a
prestige as to prevent Jeroboam's drawing his people away from it:
which he determined to do from a fear that contact with Jerusalem would
endanger the allegiance of his subjects to his person and family. Such
concourses of worshippers, assembling at periodic intervals from all
parts of the country, soon degenerated into a kind of fair, in which
commercial as well as religious motives had their part.

[Illustration: 391.jpg THE MOUND AND PLAIN OF BETHEL.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph published by the Duc
     de Luynes.

These gatherings formed a source of revenue to the prince in
whose capital they were held, and financial as well as political
considerations required that periodical assemblies should be established
in Israel similar to those which attracted Judah to Jerusalem. Jeroboam
adopted a plan which while safeguarding the interests of his treasury,
prevented his becoming unpopular with his own subjects; as he was
unable to have a temple for himself alone, he chose two out of the most
venerated ancient sanctuaries, that of Dan for the northern tribes, and
that of Bethel, on the Judæan frontier, for the tribes of the east and
centre. He made two calves of gold, one for each place, and said to the
people, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods,
O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." He granted
the sanctuaries certain appanages, and established a priesthood
answering to that which officiated in the rival kingdom: "whosoever
would he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high
places."* While Jeroboam thus endeavoured to strengthen himself on the
throne by adapting the monarchy to the temperament of the tribes over
which he ruled, Rehoboam took measures to regain his lost ground and
restore the unity which he himself had destroyed. He recruited the army
which had been somewhat neglected in the latter years of his father,
restored the walls of the cities which had remained faithful to him, and
fortified the places which constituted his frontier defences against the
Israelites.** His ambition was not as foolish as we might be tempted to
imagine. He had soldiers, charioteers, generals, skilled in the art of
war, well-filled storehouses, the remnant of the wealth of Solomon, and,
as a last resource, the gold of the temple at Jerusalem. He ruled over
the same extent of territory as that possessed by David after the death
of Saul, but the means at his disposal were incontestably greater than
those of his grandfather, and it is possible that he might in the
end have overcome Jeroboam, as David overcame Ishbosheth, had not the
intervention of Egypt disconcerted his plans, and, by exhausting his
material forces, struck a death-blow to all his hopes.

     * 1 Kings xii. 25-32; chaps, xii. 33, xiii., xiv. 1-18
     contain, side by side with the narrative of facts, such as
     the death of Jeroboam's son, comments on the religious
     conduct of the sovereign, which some regard as being of
     later date.

     ** 1 Kings xii. 21-24; cf. 2 Ghron. xi. 1-17, where the list
     of strongholds, wanting in the Boole of Kings, is given from
     an ancient source. The writer affirms, in harmony with the
     ideas of his time, "that the Lévites left their suburbs and
     their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem; for
     Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not
     execute the Priest's office unto the Lord."

The century and a half which had elapsed since the death of the last of
the Ramessides had, as far as we can ascertain, been troubled by civil
wars and revolutions.*

* I have mentioned above the uncertainty which still shrouds the XXth
dynasty. The following is the order in which I propose that its kings
should be placed:--

[Illustration: 393.jpg TABLE OF KINGS]

The imperious Egypt of the Theban dynasties had passed away, but a new
Egypt had arisen, not without storm and struggle, in its place. As long
as the campaigns of the Pharaohs had been confined to the Nile valley
and the Oases, Thebes had been the natural centre of the kingdom; placed
almost exactly between the Mediterranean and the southern frontier, it
had been both the national arsenal and the treasure-house to which all
foreign wealth had found its way from the Persian Gulf to the Sahara,
and from the coasts of Asia Minor to the equatorial swamps. The cities
of the Delta, lying on the frontier of those peoples with whom Egypt
now held but little intercourse, possessed neither the authority nor the
resources of Thebes; even Memphis, to which the prestige of her ancient
dynasties still clung, occupied but a secondary place beside her rival.
The invasion of the shepherds, by making the Thebaid the refuge and
last bulwark of the Egyptian nation, increased its importance: in the
critical times of the struggle, Thebes was not merely the foremost city
in the country, it represented the country itself, and the heart of
Egypt may be said to have throbbed within its walls. The victories of
Ahmosis, the expeditions of Thûtmosis I. and Thûtmosis III., enlarged
her horizon; her Pharaohs crossed the isthmus of Suez, they conquered
Syria, subdued the valleys of the Euphrates and the Balîkh, and by so
doing increased her wealth and her splendour. Her streets witnessed
during two centuries processions of barbarian prisoners laden with the
spoils of conquest. But with the advent of the XIXth and XXth dynasties
came anxious times; the peoples of Syria and Libya, long kept in
servitude, at length rebelled, and the long distance between Karnak and
Gaza soon began to be irksome to princes who had to be constantly on
the alert on the Canaanite frontier, and who found it impossible to have
their head-quarters six hundred miles from the scene of hostilities.
Hence it came about that Ramses II., Mînephtah, and Ramses III. all
took up their abode in the Delta during the greater part of their active
life; they restored its ancient towns and founded new ones, which
soon acquired considerable wealth by foreign commerce. The centre
of government of the empire, which, after the dissolution of the old
Memphite state, had been removed southwards to Thebes on account of the
conquest of Ethiopia and the encroachment of Theban civilization upon
Nubia and the Sudan, now gradually returned northwards, and passing over
Heracleo-polis, which had exercised a transitory supremacy, at length
established itself in the Delta. Tanis, Bubastis, Sais, Mondes, and
Sebennytos all disputed the honour of forming the royal residence, and
all in turn during the course of ages enjoyed the privilege without ever
rising to the rank of Thebes, or producing any sovereigns to be compared
with those of her triumphant dynasties. Tanis was, as we have seen, the
first of these to rule the whole of the Nile valley. Its prosperity had
continued to increase from the time that Ramses II. began to rebuild it;
the remaining inhabitants of Avaris, mingled with the natives of pure
race and the prisoners of war settled there, had furnished it with an
active and industrious population, which had considerably increased
during the peaceful reigns of the XXth dynasty. The surrounding country,
drained and cultivated by unremitting efforts, became one of the most
fruitful parts of the Delta; there was a large exportation of fish
and corn, to which were soon added the various products of its
manufactories, such as linen and woollen stuffs, ornaments, and objects
in glass and in precious metals.*

     * The immense number of designs taken from aquatic plants,
     as, for instance, the papyrus and the lotus, single or in
     groups, as well as from fish and aquatic birds, which we
     observe on objects of Phoenician goldsmiths' work, leads me
     to believe that the Tyrian and Sidonian artists borrowed
     most of their models from the Delta, and doubtless from
     Tanis, the most flourishing town of the Delta during the
     centuries following the downfall of Thebes.

These were embarked on Egyptian or Phoenician galleys, and were
exchanged in the ports of the Mediterranean for Syrian, Asiatic, or
Ægean commodities, which were then transmitted by the Egyptian merchants
to the countries of the East and to Northern Africa.* The port of Tanis
was one of the most secure and convenient which existed at that period.
It was at sufficient distance from the coast to be safe from the sudden
attacks of pirates,** and yet near enough to permit of its being reached
from the open by merchantmen in a few hours of easy navigation; the arms
of the Nile, and the canals which here flowed into the sea, were broad
and deep, and, so long as they were kept well dredged, would allow the
heaviest-laden vessel of large draught to make its way up them with

     * It was from Tanis that the Egyptian vessel set out
     carrying the messengers of Hrihor to Byblos.

     ** We may judge of the security afforded by such a position
     by the account in Homer which Ulysses gives to Eumaios of
     his pretended voyage to Egypt; the Greeks having
     disembarked, and being scattered over the country, were
     attacked by the Egyptians before they could capture a town
     or carry their booty to the ships.

The site of the town was not less advantageous for overland traffic.
Tanis was the first important station encountered by caravans after
crossing the frontier at Zalû, and it offered them a safe and convenient
emporium for the disposal of their goods in exchange for the riches of
Egypt and the Delta. The combination of so many advantageous features
on one site tended to the rapid development of both civic and individual
wealth; in less than three centuries after its rebuilding by Ramses II.,
Tanis had risen to a position which enabled its sovereigns to claim even
the obedience of Thebes itself.

We know very little of the history of this Tanite dynasty; the monuments
have not revealed the names of all its kings, and much difficulty is
experienced in establishing the sequence of those already brought to

* The classification of the Tanite line has been complicated in the
minds of most Egyptologists by the tendency to ignore the existence
of the sacerdotal dynasty of high priests, to confuse with the Tanite
Pharaohs those of the high priests who bore the crown, and to identify
in the lists of Manetho (more or less corrected) the names they are
in search of. A fresh examination of the subject has led me to adopt
provisionally the following order for the series of Tanite kings:--

[Illustration: 397.jpg TABLE OF KINGS]

Their actual domain barely extended as far as Siut, but their suzerainty
was acknowledged by the Said as well as by all or part of Ethiopia, and
the Tanite Pharaohs maintained their authority with such vigour, that
they had it in their power on several occasions to expel the high
priests of Amon, and to restore, at least for a time, the unity of the
empire. To accomplish this, it would have been sufficient for them to
have assumed the priestly dignity at Thebes, and this was what no doubt
took place at times when a vacancy in the high priesthood occurred;
but it was merely in an interim, and the Tanite sovereigns always
relinquished the office, after a brief lapse of time, in favour of some
member of the family of Hrihor whose right of primogeniture entitled him
to succeed to it.* It indeed seemed as if custom and religious etiquette
had made the two offices of the pontificate and the royal dignity
incompatible for one individual to hold simultaneously. The priestly
duties had become marvellously complicated during the Theban hegemony,
and the minute observances which they entailed absorbed the whole life
of those who dedicated themselves to their performance.**

     * This is only true if the personage who entitles himself
     once within a cartouche, "the Master of the two lands, First
     Prophet of Amon, Psiûkhân-nît," is really the Tanite king,
     and not the high priest Psiûkhânnît.

     ** The first book of Diodorus contains a picture of the life
     of the kings of Egypt, which, in common with much
     information contained in the work, is taken from a lost book
     of Hecataeus. The historical romance written by the latter
     appears to have been composed from information taken from
     Theban sources. The comparison of it with the inscribed
     monuments and the ritual of the cultus of Amon proves that
     the ideal description given in this work of the life of the
     kings, merely reproduces the chief characteristics of the
     lives of the Theban and Ethiopian high priests; hence the
     greater part of the minute observances which we remark
     therein apply to the latter only, and not to the Pharaohs
     properly so called.

They had daily to fulfil a multitude of rites, distributed over the
various hours in such a manner that it seemed impossible to find leisure
for any fresh occupation without encroaching on the time allotted to
absolute bodily needs. The high priest rose each morning at an appointed
hour; he had certain times for taking food, for recreation, for giving
audience, for dispensing justice, for attending to worldly affairs, and
for relaxation with his wives and children; at night he kept watch, or
rose at intervals to prepare for the various ceremonies which could only
be celebrated at sunrise. He was responsible for the superintendence of
the priests of Amon in the numberless festivals held in honour of the
gods, from which he could not absent himself except for some legitimate
reason. From all this it will be seen how impossible it was for a lay
king, like the sovereign ruling at Tanis, to submit to such restraints
beyond a certain point; his patience would soon have become exhausted,
want of practice would have led him to make slips or omissions,
rendering the rites null and void; and the temporal affairs of his
kingdom--internal administration, justice, finance, commerce, and
war--made such demands upon his time, that he was obliged as soon as
possible to find a substitute to fulfil his religious duties. The force
of circumstances therefore maintained the line of Theban high priests
side by side with their sovereigns, the Tanite kings. They were, it is
true, dangerous rivals, both on account of the wealth of their fief and
of the immense prestige which they enjoyed in Egypt, Ethiopia, and in
all the nomes devoted to the worship of Amon. They were allied to the
elder branch of the ramessides, and had thus inherited such near rights
to the crown that Smendes had not hesitated to concede to Hrihor the
cartouches, the preamble, and insignia of the Pharaoh, including the
pschent and the iron helmet inlaid with gold. This concession, however,
had been made as a personal favour, and extended only to the lifetime of
Hrihor, without holding good, as a matter of course, for his successors;
his son Piônkhi had to confine himself to the priestly titles,* and his
grandson Paînotmû enjoyed the kingly privileges only during part of his
life, doubtless in consequence of his marriage with a certain Mâkerî,
probably daughter of Psiûkhânnît L, the Tanite king. Mâkerî apparently
died soon after, and the discovery of her coffin in the hiding-place at
Deîr el-Baharî reveals the fact of her death in giving birth to a little
daughter who did not survive her, and who rests in the same
coffin beside the mummy of her mother. None of the successors
of Paînotmû--Masahirti, Manakhpirrî, Paînotmû II., Psiûkhânnît,
Nsbindîdi--enjoyed a similar distinction, and if one of them happened to
surround his name with a cartouche, it was done surreptitiously, without
the authority of the sovereign.**

     * The only monument of this prince as yet known gives him
     merely the usual titles of the high priest, and the
     inscriptions of his son Paînotmû I. style him "First Prophet
     of Amon." His name should probably be read Paîônûkhi or
     Piônûkhi, rather than Pionkhi or Piânkhi. It is not unlikely
     that some of the papyri published by Spiegelberg date from
     his pontificate.

     ** Manakhpirrî often places his name in a square cartouche
     which tends at times to become an oval, but this is the case
     only on some pieces of stuff rolled round a mummy and on
     some bricks concealed in the walls of el-Hibeh, Thebes, and
     Gebeleîn. If the "Psiûkhânnît, High Priest of Amon," who
     once (to our knowledge) enclosed his name in a cartouche, is
     really a high priest, and not a king, his case would be
     analogous to that of Manakhpirrî.

Paînotmû II. contented himself with drawing attention to his
connection with the reigning house, and styled himself "Royal Son of
Psiûkhânnît-Mîamon," on account of his ancestress Mâkerî having been the
daughter of the Pharaoh Psiûkhânnît.*

     * The example of the "royal sons of Ramses" explains the
     variant which makes "Paînotmû, son of Manakhpirrî," into
     "Paînotmû, royal son of Psiûkhânnît-Mîamon."

The relationship of which he boasted was a distant one, but many of his
contemporaries who claimed to be of the line of Sesostris, and called
themselves "royal sons of Ramses," traced their descent from a far more
remote ancestor.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

The death of one high priest, or the appointment of his successor, was
often the occasion of disturbances; the jealousies between his children
by the same or by different wives were as bitter as those which existed
in the palace of the Pharaohs, and the suzerain himself was obliged
at times to interfere in order to restore peace. It was owing to an
intervention of this kind that Manakhpirrî was called on to replace his
brother Masahirti. A section of the Theban population had revolted,
but the rising had been put down by the Tanite Siamon, and its leaders
banished to the Oasis; Manakhpirrî had thereupon been summoned to court
and officially invested with the pontificate in the XXVth year of the
king's reign. But on his return to Karnak, the new high priest desired
to heal old feuds, and at once recalled the exiles.* Troubles and
disorders appeared to beset the Thebans, and, like the last of the
Ramessides, they were engaged in a perpetual struggle against robbers.**

     * This appears in the _Maunier Stele_ preserved for some
     time in the "Maison Française" at Luxor, and now removed to
     the Louvre.

     ** The series of high priests side by side with the
     sovereigns of the XXIst dynasty may be provisionally
     arranged as follows:--

[Illustration: 402.jpg TABLE]

The town, deprived of its former influx of foreign spoil, became more
and more impoverished, and its population gradually dwindled. The
necropolis suffered increasingly from pillagers, and the burying-places
of the kings were felt to be in such danger, that the authorities,
despairing of being able to protect them, withdrew the mummies from
their resting-places. The bodies of Seti I., Ramses II., and Ramses III.
were once more carried down the valley, and, after various removals,
were at length huddled together for safety in the tomb of Amenôthes I.
at Drah-abu'l-Neggah.

The Tanite Pharaohs seemed to have lacked neither courage nor good will.
The few monuments which they have left show that to some extent they
carried on the works begun by their predecessors. An unusually high
inundation had injured the temple at Karnak, the foundations had been
denuded by the water, and serious damage would have been done, had not
the work of reparation been immediately undertaken. Nsbindîdi reopened
the sandstone quarries between Erment and Grebeleîn, from which Seti I.
had obtained the building materials for the temple, and drew from thence
what was required for the repair of the edifice. Two of the descendants
of Nsbindîdi, Psiûkhânnît I. and Amenemôpît, remodelled the little
temple built by Kheops in honour of his daughter Honît-sonû, at the
south-east angle of his pyramid. Both Siamonmîamon and Psiûkhânnît I.
have left traces of their work at Memphis, and the latter inserted his
cartouches on two of the obelisks raised by Ramses at Heliopolis. But
these were only minor undertakings, and it is at Tanis that we must seek
the most characteristic examples of their activity. Here it was that
Psiûkhânnît rebuilt the brick ramparts which defended the city, and
decorated several of the halls of the great temple. The pylons of this
sanctuary had been merely begun by Sesostris: Siamon completed them,
and added the sphinxes; and the metal plaques and small objects which he
concealed under the base of one of the latter have been brought to light
in the course of excavations. The appropriation of the monuments of
other kings, which we have remarked under former dynasties, was also
practised by the Tanites. Siamon placed his inscriptions over those of
the Kamessides, and Psiûkhânnît engraved his name on the sphinxes and
statues of Ame-nemhâît III. as unscrupulously as Apôphis and the Hyksôs
had done before him. The Tanite sovereigns, however, were not at a loss
for artists, and they had revived, after the lapse of centuries, the
traditions of the local school which had flourished during the XIIth

[Illustration: 404.jpg THE TWO NILES OF TANIS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-

One of the groups, executed by order of Psiûkhânnît, has escaped
destruction, and is now in the Gîzeh Museum. It represents two figures
of the Nile, marching gravely shoulder to shoulder, and carrying in
front of them tables of offerings, ornamented with fish and
garnished with flowers. The stone in which they are executed is of an
extraordinary hardness, but the sculptor has, notwithstanding, succeeded
in carving and polishing it with a skill which does credit to his
proficiency in his craft. The general effect of the figures is a
little heavy, but the detail is excellent, and the correctness of pose,
precision in modelling, and harmony of proportion are beyond criticism.
The heads present a certain element of strangeness. The artist evidently
took as his model, as far as type and style of head-dress are concerned,
the monuments of Amenemhâît III. which he saw around him; indeed, he
probably copied one of them feature for feature. He has reproduced the
severity of expression, the firm mouth, the projecting cheek-bones, the
long hair and fan-shaped beard of his model, but he has not been able
to imitate the broad and powerful treatment of the older artists; his
method of execution has a certain hardness and conventionality which we
never see to the same extent in the statues of the XIIth dynasty. The
work is, however, an extremely interesting one, and we are tempted to
wish that many more such monuments had been saved from the ruins of the

     * Mariette attributes this group to the Hyksôs; I have
     already expressed the opinion that it dates from the XXIst

The Pharaoh who dedicated it was a great builder, and, like most of
his predecessors with similar tastes, somewhat of a conqueror. The
sovereigns of the XXIst dynasty, though they never undertook any distant
campaigns, did not neglect to keep up a kind of suzerainty over the
Philistine Shephelah to which they still laid claim. The expedition
which one of them, probably Psiûkhânnît II., led against Gezer, the
alliance with the Hebrews and the marriage of a royal princess with
Solomon, must all have been regarded at the court of Tanis as a partial
revival of the former Egyptian rule in Syria. The kings were, however,
obliged to rest content with small results, for though their battalions
were sufficiently numerous and well disciplined to overcome the
Canaanite chiefs, or even the Israelite kingdom, it is to be doubted
whether they were strong enough to attack the troops of the Aramæan or
Hittite princes, who had a highly organised military system, modelled
on that of Assyria. Egyptian arms and tactics had not made much progress
since the great campaigns of the Theban conquerors; the military
authorities still complacently trusted to their chariots and their light
troops of archers at a period when the whole success of a campaign was
decided by heavily armed infantry, and when cavalry had already begun
to change the issue of battles. The decadence of the military spirit
in Egypt had been particularly marked in all classes under the later
Ramessides, and the native militia, without exception, was reduced to a
mere rabble--courageous, it is true, and able to sell their lives dearly
when occasion demanded, rather than give way before the enemy, but
entirely lacking that enthusiasm and resolution which sweep all
obstacles before them. The chariotry had not degenerated in the same
way, thanks to the care with which the Pharaoh and his vassals kept up
the breeding of suitable horses in the training stables of the principal
towns. Egypt provided Solomon with draught-horses, and with strong yet
light chariots, which he sold with advantage to the sovereigns of the
Orontes and the Euphrates. But it was the mercenaries who constituted
the most active and effective section of the Pharaonic armies. These
troops formed the backbone on which all the other elements--chariots,
spearmen, and native archers--were dependent. Their spirited attack
carried the other troops with them, and by a tremendous onslaught on the
enemy at a decisive moment gave the commanding general some chance of
success against the better-equipped and better-organised battalions that
he would be sure to meet with on the plains of Asia. The Tanite kings
enrolled these mercenaries in large numbers: they entrusted them with
the garrisoning of the principal towns, and confirmed the privileges
which their chiefs had received from the Ramessides, but the results of
such a policy were not long in manifesting themselves, and this state
of affairs had been barely a century in existence before Egypt became a
prey to the barbarians.

It would perhaps be more correct to say that it had fallen a prey to the
Libyans only. The Asiatics and Europeans whom the Theban Pharaohs had
called in to fight for them had become merged in the bulk of the nation,
or had died out for lack of renewal. Semites abounded, it is true, in
the eastern nomes of the Delta, but their presence had no effect on
the military strength of the country. Some had settled in the towns
and villages, and were engaged in commerce or industry; these included
Phoenician, Canaanite, Edomite, and even Hebrew merchants and artisans,
who had been forced to flee from their own countries owing to political

     * Jeroboam (1 Kings xi. 40, xii. 2, 3) and Hadad (1 Kings
     xi. 17-22) took refuge in this way at the court of Pharaoh.

A certain proportion were descendants of the Hidjsôs, who had been
reinforced from time to time by settlements of prisoners captured in
battle; they had taken refuge in the marshes as in the times of Abmosis,
and there lived in a kind of semi-civilized independence, refusing to
pay taxes, boasting of having kept themselves from any alliances with
the inhabitants of the Nile valley, while their kinsmen of the older
stock betrayed the knowledge of their origin by such disparaging
nicknames as Pa-shmûrî, "the stranger," or Pi-âtnû, "the Asiatic." The
Shardana, who had constituted the body-guard of Ramses II., and whose
commanders had, under Ramses III., ranked with the great officers of the
crown, had all but disappeared. It had been found difficult to recruit
them since the dislodgment of the People of the Sea from the Delta and
the Syrian littoral, and their settlement in Italy and the fabulous
islands of the Mediterranean; the adventurers from Crete and the Ægean
coasts now preferred to serve under the Philistines, where they found
those who were akin to their own race, and from thence they passed on to
the Hebrews, where, under David and Solomon, they were gladly hired as

     * Carians or Cretans (Chercthites) formed part of David's
     body-guard (2 Sam viii. 18, xv. 18, xx. 23); one again meets
     with these Carian or Cretan troops in Judah in the reign of
     Athaliah (2 Kings xi. 4, 19).

The Libyans had replaced the Shardana in all the offices they had filled
and in all the garrison towns they had occupied. The kingdom of Mâraîû
and Kapur had not survived the defeats which it had suffered from
Mînephtah and Ramses III., but the Mashaûasha who had founded it still
kept an active hegemony over their former subjects; hence it was that
the Egyptians became accustomed to look on all the Libyan tribes as
branches of the dominant race, and confounded all the immigrants from
Libya under the common name of Mashaûasha.* Egypt was thus slowly
flooded by Libyans; it was a gradual invasion, which succeeded by
pacific means where brute force had failed. A Berber population
gradually took possession of the country, occupying the eastern
provinces of the Delta, filling its towns--Sais, Damanhur, and
Marea--making its way into the Fayum, the suburbs of Heracleopolis, and
penetrating as far south as Abydos; at the latter place they were not
found in such great numbers, but still considerable enough to leave
distinct traces.** The high priests of Amon seem to have been the
only personages who neglected to employ this ubiquitous race; but they
preferred to use the Nubian tribe of the Mâzaîû,*** who probably from
the XIIth dynasty onwards had constituted the police force of Thebes.

     * Ramses III. still distinguished between the Qahaka, the
     Tihonû, and the Mashaûasha; the monuments of the XXIInd
     dynasty only recognise the Mashaiiasha, whose name they
     curtail to Ma.

     ** The presence in those regions of persons bearing Asiatic
     names has been remarked, without drawing thence any proof
     for the existence of Asiatic colonies in those regions. The
     presence of Libyans at Abydos seems to be proved by the
     discovery in that town of the little monument reproduced on
     the next page, and of many objects in the same style, many
     of which are in the Louvre or the British Museum.

     *** I have not discovered among the personal attendants of
     the descendants of Hrihor any functionary bearing the title
     of _Chief of the Mashaiuasha _; even those who bore it later
     on, under the XXIInd dynasty, were always officers from
     the north of Egypt. It seems almost certain that Thebes
     always avoided having Libyan troops, and never received a
     Mashaûasha settlement.

These Libyan immigrants had adopted the arts of Egypt and the externals
of her civilization; they sculptured rude figures on the rocks and
engraved scenes on their stone vessels, in which they are represented
fully armed,* and taking part in some skirmish or attack, or even a
chase in the desert. The hunters are divided into two groups, each of
which is preceded by a different ensign--that of the West for the right
wing of the troop, and that of the East for the left wing. They carry
the spear the boomerang, the club, the double-curved bow, and the
dart; a fox's skin depends from their belts over their thighs, and an
ostrich's feather waves above their curly hair.

     * I attribute to the Libyans, whether mercenaries or tribes
     hovering on the Egyptian frontier, the figures cut
     everywhere on the rocks, which no one up till now has
     reproduced or studied. To them I attribute also the tombs
     which Mr. Petrie has so successfully explored, and in which
     he finds the remains of a New Race which seems to have
     conquered Egypt after the VIth dynasty: they appear to be of
     different periods, but all belong to the Berber horsemen of
     the desert and the outskirts of the Nile valley.

[Illustration: 410.jpg A TROOP OF LIBYANS HUNTING]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the original in the Louvre.

They never abandoned this special head-dress and manner of arming
themselves, and they can always be recognised on the monuments by the
plumes surmounting their forehead.*

     * This design is generally thought to represent a piece of
     cloth folded in two, and laid flat on the head; examination
     of the monuments proves that it is the ostrich plume fixed
     at the back of the head, and laid flat on the hair or wig.

Their settlement on the banks of the Nile and intermarriage with the
Egyptians had no deteriorating effect on them, as had been the case
with the Shardana, and they preserved nearly all their national
characteristics. If here and there some of them became assimilated with
the natives, there was always a constant influx of new comers, full
of energy and vigour, who kept the race from becoming enfeebled. The
attractions of high pay and the prospect of a free-and-easy life drew
them to the service of the feudal lords. The Pharaoh entrusted their
chiefs with confidential offices about his person, and placed the
royal princes at their head. The position at length attained by these
Mashaûasha was analogous to that of the Oossasans at Babylon, and,
indeed, was merely the usual sequel of permitting a foreign militia
to surround an Oriental monarch; they became the masters of their
sovereigns. Some of their generals went so far as to attempt to use the
soldiery to overturn the native dynasty, and place themselves upon the
throne; others sought to make and unmake kings to suit their own taste.
The earlier Tanite sovereigns had hoped to strengthen their authority
by trusting entirely to the fidelity and gratitude of their guard; the
later kings became mere puppets in the hands of mercenaries. At length
a Libyan family arose who, while leaving the externals of power in
the hands of the native sovereigns, reserved to themselves the actual
administration, and reduced the kings to the condition of luxurious
dependence enjoyed by the elder branch of the Ramessides under the rule
of the high priests of Amon.

There was at Bubastis, towards the middle or end of the XXth dynasty,
a Tihonû named Buîuwa-buîuwa. He was undoubtedly a soldier of fortune,
without either office or rank, but his descendants prospered and rose to
important positions among the Mashadasha chiefs: the fourth among these,
Sheshonq by name, married Mîhtinuôskhît, a princess of the royal line.
His son, Namarôti, managed to combine with his function of chief of
the Mashauasha several religious offices, and his grandson, also called
Sheshonq, had a still more brilliant career. We learn from the monuments
of the latter that, even before he had ascended the throne, he was
recognised as king and prince of princes, and had conferred on him the
command of all the Libyan troops. Officially he was the chief person in
the state after the sovereign, and had the privilege of holding personal
intercourse with the gods, Amonrâ included--a right which belonged
exclusively to the Pharaoh and the Theban high priest. The honours which
he bestowed upon his dead ancestors were of a remarkable character, and
included the institution of a liturgical office in connection with his
father Namarôti, a work which resembles in its sentiments the devotions
of Bamses II. to the memory of Seti. He succeeded in arranging a
marriage between his son Osorkon and a princess of the royal line, the
daughter of Psiûkhânnît II., by which alliance he secured the Tanite
succession; he obtained as a wife for his second son Aûpûti, the
priestess of Amon, and thus obtained an indirect influence over the Said
and Nubia.*

     * The date of the death of Paînotmû II. is fixed at the
     XVIth year of his reign, according to the inscriptions in
     the pit at Deîr el-Baharî. This would be the date of the
     accession of Aûpûti', if Aûpûti succeeded him directly, as I
     am inclined to believe; but if Psiûkhânnît was his immediate
     successor, and if Nsbindîdî succeeded Manakhpirri, we must
     place the accession of Aûpûti some years later.

[Illustration: 413.jpg NSITANIBASHIRU]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by E. Brugsch-Bey.

This priestess was probably a daughter or niece of Paînotmû II., but
we are unacquainted with her name. The princesses continued to play a
preponderating part in the transmission of power, and we may assume
that the lady in question was one of those whose names have come down to
us--Nsikhonsû, Nsitanî-bashîrû, or Isimkhobîû II., who brought with her
as a dowry the Bubastite fief. We are at a loss whether to place Aûpûti
immediately after Paînotmû, or between the ephemeral pontificates of
a certain Psiûkhannît and a certain Nsbindîdi. His succession imposed
a very onerous duty upon him. Thebes was going through the agonies of
famine and misery, and no police supervision in the world could secure
the treasures stored up in the tombs of a more prosperous age from the
attacks of a famished people. Arrests, trials, and punishments were
ineffectual against the violation of the sepulchres, and even the
royal mummies--including those placed in the chapel of Amenôthes I. by
previous high priests--were not exempt from outrage. The remains of the
most glorious of the Pharaohs were reclining in this chapel, forming a
sort of solemn parliament: here was Saqnunrî Tiuâqni, the last member
of the XVIIth dynasty; here also were the first of the XVIIIth--Ahmosis,
Amenôthes I., and the three of the name Thûtmosis, together with the
favourites of their respective harems--Nofritari, Ahhotpû II., Anhâpû,
Honittimihû, and Sitkamosis; and, in addition, Ramses I., Seti I.,
Ramses II. of the XIXth dynasty, Ramses III. and Ramses X. of the XXth
dynasty. The "Servants of the True Place" were accustomed to celebrate
at the appointed periods the necessary rites established in their
honour. Inspectors, appointed for the purpose by the government,
determined from time to time the identity of the royal mummies, and
examined into the condition of their wrappings and coffins: after each
inspection a report, giving the date and the name of the functionary
responsible for the examination, was inscribed on the linen or the lid
covering the bodies. The most of the mummies had suffered considerably
before they reached the refuge in which they were found. The bodies of
Sitamon and of the Princess Honittimihû had been completely destroyed,
and bundles of rags had been substituted for them, so arranged with
pieces of wood as to resemble human figures. Ramses I., Ramses II., and
Thûtmosis had been deprived of their original shells, and were found in
extemporised cases. Hrihor's successors, who regarded these sovereigns
as their legitimate ancestors, had guarded them with watchful care, but
Aûpûti, who did not feel himself so closely related to these old-world
Pharaohs, considered, doubtless, this vigilance irksome, and determined
to locate the mummies in a spot where they would henceforward be secure
from all attack. A princess of the family of Manakhpirrî--Isimkhobiû, it
would appear--had prepared a tomb for herself in the rocky cliff which
bounds the amphitheatre of Deîr el-Baharî on the south. The position
lent itself readily to concealment. It consisted of a well some 130 feet
deep, with a passage running out of it at right angles for a distance of
some 200 feet and ending in a low, oblong, roughly cut chamber, lacking
both ornament and paintings. Paînotmû II. had been placed within this
chamber in the XVIth year of the reign of Psiûkhannît II., and several
members of his family had been placed beside him not long afterwards.
Aûpûti soon transferred thither the batch of mummies which, in the
chapel of Amenôthes I., had been awaiting a more definite sepulture; the
coffins, with what remained of their funerary furniture, were huddled
together in disorder. The chamber having been filled up to the roof, the
remaining materials, consisting of coffers, boxes of _Ushabti,_ Canopic
jars, garlands, together with the belongings of priestly mummies, were
arranged along the passage; when the place was full, the entrance was
walled up, the well filled, and its opening so dexterously covered that
it remained concealed until-our own time. The accidental "sounding" of
some pillaging Arabs revealed the place as far back as 1872, but it was
not until ten years later (1881) that the Pharaohs once more saw the
light. They are now enthroned--who can say for how many years longer?
--in the chambers of the Gîzeh Museum. Egypt is truly a land of marvels!
It has not only, like Assyria and Chaldæa, Greece and Italy, preserved
for us monuments by which its historic past may be reconstructed, but it
has handed on to us the men themselves who set up the monuments and made
the history. Her great monarchs are not any longer mere names deprived
of appropriate forms, and floating colourless and shapeless in the
imagination of posterity: they may be weighed, touched, and measured;
the capacity of their brains may be gauged; the curve of their noses and
the cut of their mouths may be determined; we know if they were bald, or
if they suffered from some secret infirmity; and, as we are able to do
in the case of our contemporaries, we may publish their portraits taken
first hand in the photographic camera. Sheshonq, by assuming the control
of the Theban priesthood, did not on this account extend his sovereignty
over Egypt beyond its southern portion, and that part of Nubia
which still depended on it. Ethiopia remained probably outside his
jurisdiction, and constituted from this time forward an independent
kingdom, under the rule of dynasties which were, or claimed to be,
descendants of Hrihor. The oasis, on the other hand, and the Libyan
provinces in the neighbourhood of the Delta and the sea, rendered
obedience to his officers, and furnished him with troops which were
recognised as among his best. Sheshonq found himself at the death of
Psiûkhânnît II., which took place about 940 B.C., sole master of Egypt,
with an effective army and well-replenished treasury at his disposal.
What better use could he make of his resources than devote them to
reasserting the traditional authority of his country over Syria? The
intestine quarrels of the only state of any importance in that region
furnished him with an opportunity of which he found it easy to take
advantage. Solomon in his eyes was merely a crowned vassal of Egypt, and
his appeal for aid to subdue Gezer, his marriage with a daughter of
the Egyptian royal house, the position he had assigned her over all his
other wives, and all that we know of the relations between Jerusalem
and Tanis at the time, seem to indicate that the Hebrews themselves
acknowledged some sort of dependency upon Egypt. They were not, however,
on this account free from suspicion in their suzerain's eyes, who seized
upon every pretext that offered itself to cause them embarrassment.
Hadad, and Jeroboam afterwards, had been well received at the court of
the Pharaoh, and it was with Egyptian subsidies that these two rebels
returned to their country, the former in the lifetime of Solomon, and
the latter after his death. When Jeroboam saw that he was threatened by
Rehoboam, he naturally turned to his old protectors. Sheshonq had two
problems before him. Should he confirm by his intervention the division
of the kingdom, which had flourished in Kharû for now half a century,
into two rival states, or should he himself give way to the vulgar
appetite for booty, and step in for his own exclusive interest? He
invaded Judæa four years after the schism, and Jerusalem offered no
resistance to him; Rehoboam ransomed his capital by emptying the royal
treasuries and temple, rendering up even the golden shields which
Solomon was accustomed to assign to his guards when on duty about his

     * 1 Kings xiv. 25-28; cf. 2 Chron. xii. 1-10, where an
     episode, not in the _Book of Kings_, is introduced. The
     prophet Shemaiah played an important part in the

This expedition of the Pharaoh was neither dangerous nor protracted, but
it was more than two hundred years since so much riches from countries
beyond the isthmus had been brought into Egypt, and the king was
consequently regarded by the whole people of the Nile valley as a great
hero. Aûpûti took upon himself the task of recording the exploit on the
south wall of the temple of Amon at Karnak, not far from the spot where
Ramses II. had had engraved the incidents of his Syrian campaigns. His
architect was sent to Silsilis to procure the necessary sandstone to
repair the monument. He depicted upon it his father receiving at the
hands of Amon processions of Jewish prisoners, each one representing a
captured city. The list makes a brave show, and is remarkable for the
number of the names composing it: in comparison with those of Thûtmosis
III., it is disappointing, and one sees at a glance how inferior, even
in its triumph, the Egypt of the XXIInd dynasty was to that of the


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.

It is no longer a question of Carchemish, or Qodshû, or Mitanni,
or Naharaim: Megiddo is the most northern point mentioned, and the
localities enumerated bring us more and more to the south--Eabbat,
Taânach, Hapharaîm, Mahanaîm,* Gibeon, Beth-horon, Ajalon, Jud-hammelek,
Migdol, Jerza, Shoko, and the villages of the Negeb. Each locality,
in consequence of the cataloguing of obscure towns, furnished enough
material to cover two, or even three of the crenellated cartouches in
which the names of the conquered peoples are enclosed, and Sheshonq
had thus the puerile satisfaction of parading before the eyes of
his subjects a longer _cortege_ of defeated chiefs than that of his
predecessor. His victorious career did not last long: he died shortly
after, and his son Osorkon was content to assume at a distance authority
over the Kharu.**

     * The existence of the names of certain Israelite towns on
     the list of. Sheshonq has somewhat astonished the majority
     of the historians of Israel. Renan declared that the list
     must "put aside the conjecture that Jeroboam had been the
     instigator of the expedition, which would certainly have
     been readily admissible, especially if any force were
     attached to the Greek text of 1 Kings xii. 24, which makes
     Jeroboam to have been a son-in-law of the King of Egypt;"
     the same view had been already expressed by Stade; others
     have thought that Sheshonq had conquered the country for his
     ally Jeroboam. Sheshonq, in fact, was following the Egyptian
     custom by which all countries and towns which paid tribute
     to the Pharaoh, or who recognised his suzerainty, were made
     to, or might, figure on his triumphal lists whether they had
     been conquered or not: the presence of Megiddo or Mahanaim
     on the lists does not prove that they were _conquered_ by
     Sheshonq, but that the prince to whom they owed allegiance
     was a tributary to the King of Egypt. The name of Jud-ham-
     melek, which occupies the twenty-ninth place on the list,
     was for a long time translated as king or kingdom of Judah,
     and passed for being a portrait of Rehoboam, which is
     impossible. The Hebrew name was read by W. Max Millier Jad-
     ham-meleh, the hand, the fort of the king. It appears to me
     to be more easy to see in it Jud-liam-meleh and to associate
     it with Jehudah, a town of the tribe of Dan, as Brugsch did
     long ago.

     ** Champollion identified Osorkon I. with the Zerah, who,
     according to 2 Chron. xiv. 9-15, xvi. 8, invaded Judah and
     was defeated by Asa, but this has no historic value, for it
     is clear that Osorkon never crossed the isthmus.

It does not appear, however, that either the Philistines, or Judah,
or Israel, or any of the petty tribes which had momentarily gravitated
around David and Solomon, were disposed to dispute Osorkon's claim,
theoretic rather than real as it was. The sword of the stranger had
finished the work which the intestine quarrel of the tribes had
begun. If Rehoboam had ever formed the project of welding together the
disintegrated elements of Israel, the taking of Jerusalem must have been
a death-blow to his hopes. His arsenals were empty, his treasury at low
ebb, and the prestige purchased by David's victories was effaced by
the humiliation of his own defeat. The ease with which the edifice so
laboriously constructed by the heroes of Benjamin and Judah had been
overturned at the first shock, was a proof that the new possessors of
Canaan were as little capable of barring the way to Egypt in her old
age, as their predecessors had been when she was in her youth and
vigour. The Philistines had had their day; it seemed by no means
improbable at one time that they were about to sweep everything before
them, from the Negeb to the Orontes, but their peculiar position in the
furthest angle of the country, and their numerical weakness, prevented
them from continuing their efforts for a prolonged period, and they were
at length obliged to renounce in favour of the Hebrews their ambitious
pretensions. The latter, who had been making steady progress for some
half a century, had been successful where the Philistines had signally
failed, and Southern Syria recognised their supremacy for the space of
two generations. We can only conjecture what they might have done if a
second David had led them into the valleys of the Orontes and Euphrates.
They were stronger in numbers than their possible opponents, and their
troops, strengthened by mercenary guards, would have perhaps triumphed
over the more skilled but fewer warriors which the Amorite and Aramaean
cities could throw into the field against them. The pacific reign
of Solomon, the schism among the tribes, and the Egyptian invasion
furnished evidence enough that they also were not destined to realise
that solidarity which alone could secure them against the great Oriental
empires when the day of attack came.

The two kingdoms were then enjoying an independent existence. Judah, in
spite of its smaller numbers and its recent disaster, was not far
behind the more extensive Israel in its resources. David, and afterwards
Solomon, had so kneaded together the various elements of which it was
composed--Caleb, Cain, Jerahmeel and the Judsean clans--that they had
become a homogeneous mass, grouped around the capital and its splendid
sanctuary, and actuated with feelings of profound admiration and strong
fidelity for the family which had made them what they were. Misfortune
had not chilled their zeal: they rallied round Rehoboam and his race
with such a persistency that they were enabled to maintain their ground
when their richer rivals had squandered their energies and fallen
away before their eyes. Jeroboam, indeed, and his successors had never
obtained from their people more than a precarious support and a lukewarm
devotion: their authority was continually coming into conflict with
a tendency to disintegration among the tribes, and they could only
maintain their rule by the constant employment of force. Jeroboam had
collected together from the garrisons scattered throughout the country
the nucleus of an army, and had stationed the strongest of these
troops in his residence at Tirzah when he did not require them for some
expedition against Judah or the Philistines. His successors followed
his example in this respect, but this military resource was only an
ineffectual protection against the dangers which beset them. The kings
were literally at the mercy of their guard, and their reign was entirely
dependent on its loyalty or caprice: any unscrupulous upstart might
succeed in suborning his comrades, and the stroke of a dagger might
at any moment send the sovereign to join his ancestors, while the
successful rebel reigned in his stead.* The Egyptian troops had no
sooner set out on their homeward march, than the two kingdoms began to
display their respective characteristics. An implacable and truceless
war broke out between them. The frontier garrisons of the two nations
fought with each other from one year's end to another--carrying off each
other's cattle, massacring one another, burning each other's villages
and leading their inhabitants into slavery.**

     * Among nineteen kings of Israel, eight were assassinated
     and were replaced by the captains of their guards--Nadab,
     Elah, Zimri, Joram, Zachariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, and Pekah.

     ** This is what is meant by the Hebrew historians when they
     say "there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the
     days of his life" (1 Kings xv. 6; cf. 2 Ohron. xii. 15), and
     "between Abijam and Jeroboam" (1 Kings xv. 7; 2 Ohron. xiii.
     2), and "between Asa and Baasha" (1 Kings xv. 16, 32) "all
     their days."

From time to time, when the situation became intolerable, one of the
kings took the field in person, and began operations by attacking such
of his enemy's strongholds as gave him the most trouble at the time.
Ramah acquired an unenviable reputation in the course of these early
conflicts: its position gave it command of the roads terminating in
Jerusalem, and when it fell into the hands of Israel, the Judæan capital
was blockaded on this side. The strife for its possession was always
of a terrible character, and the party which succeeded in establishing
itself firmly within it was deemed to have obtained a great success.*

     * The campaign of Abijah at Mount Zemaraim (2 Chron. xiii.
     3-19), in which the foundation of the narrative and the
     geographical details seem fully historical. See also the
     campaign of Baasha against Ramah (1 Kings xv. 17-22; cf. 2
     Chron. xvi. 1-6).

The encounter of the armies did not, however, seem to produce much more
serious results than those which followed the continual guerilla warfare
along the frontier: the conqueror had no sooner defeated his enemy
than he set to work to pillage the country in the vicinity, and, having
accomplished this, returned promptly to his headquarters with the booty.
Rehoboam, who had seen something of the magnificence of Solomon, tried
to perpetuate the tradition of it in his court, as far as his slender
revenues would permit him. He had eighteen women in his harem, among
whom figured some of his aunts and cousins. The titular queen was
Maacah, who was represented as a daughter of Absalom. She was devoted to
the _asheras_, and the king was not behind his father in his tolerance
of strange gods; the high places continued to be tolerated by him as
sites of worship, and even Jerusalem was not free from manifestations
of such idolatry as was associated with the old Canaanite religion. He
reigned seventeen years, and was interred in the city of David;* Abijam,
the eldest son of Maacah, succeeded him, and followed in his evil ways.
Three years later Asa came to the throne,** no opposition being raised
to his accession. In Israel matters did not go so smoothly. When
Jeroboam, after a reign of twenty-two years, was succeeded by his son
Nadab, about the year 905 B.C., it was soon evident that the instinct
of loyalty to a particular dynasty had not yet laid any firm hold on the
ten tribes. The peace between the Philistines and Israel was quite as
unstable as that between Israel and Judah: an endless guerilla warfare
was waged on the frontier, Gibbethon being made to play much the same
part in this region as Ramah had done in regard to Jerusalem. For the
moment it was in the hands of the Philistines, and in the second year
of his reign Nadab had gone to lay siege to it in force, when he was
assassinated in his tent by one of his captains, a certain Baasha,
son of Ahijah, of the tribe of Issachar: the soldiers proclaimed the
assassin king, and the people found themselves powerless to reject the
nominee of the army.***

     * 1 Kings xiv. 22-24; cf. 2 Chron. xi. 18-23, where the
     details given in addition to those in the Booh of Kings seem
     to be of undoubted authenticity.

     ** 1 Kings xv. 1-8; cf. 2 Chron. xiii. The Booh of Kings
     describes his mother as Maacah, the daughter of Absalom (xv.
     10), which would seem to indicate that he was the brother
     and not the son of Abijam. The uncertainty on this point is
     of long standing, for the author of Chronicles makes
     Abijam's mother out in one place to be Micaiah, daughter of
     Uriel of Gibcah (xiii. 2), and in another (xi. 20) Maacah,
     daughter of Absalom.

     *** 1 Kings xv. 27-34.

Baasha pressed forward resolutely his campaign against Judah. He seized
Eamah and fortified it;* and Asa, feeling his incapacity to dislodge him
unaided, sought to secure an ally. Egypt was too much occupied with its
own internal dissensions to be able to render any effectual help, but a
new power, which would profit quite as much as Judah by the overthrow
of Israel, was beginning to assert itself in the north. Damascus had,
so far, led an obscure and peaceful existence; it had given way before
Egypt and Chaldæa whenever the Egyptians or Chaldseans had appeared
within striking distance, but had refrained from taking any part in the
disturbances by which Syria was torn asunder. Having been occupied
by the Amorites, it threw its lot in with theirs, keeping, however,
sedulously in the background: while the princes of Qodshû waged war
against the Pharaohs, undismayed by frequent reverses, Damascus did
not scruple to pay tribute to Thûtmosis III. and his descendants, or to
enter into friendly relations with them. Meanwhile the Amorites had
been overthrown, and Qodshû, ruined by the Asiatic invasion, soon
became little more than an obscure third-rate town;** the Aramaeans made
themselves masters of Damascus about the XIIth century, and in their
hands it continued to be, just as in the preceding epochs, a town
without ambitions and of no great renown.

     * 1 Kings xv. 17; cf. 2 Ghron. xvi. 1.

     ** Qodshû is only once mentioned in the Bible (2 Sam. xxiv.
     6), in which passage its name, misunderstood by the
     Massoretic scribe, has been restored from the Septuagint

We have seen how the Aramæans, alarmed at the sudden rise of the Hebrew
dynasty, entered into a coalition against David with the Ammonite
leaders: Zoba aspired to the chief place among the nations of Central
Syria, but met with reverses, and its defeat delivered over to the
Israelites its revolted dependencies in the Haurân and its vicinity,
such as Maacah, Geshur, and even Damascus itself.* The supremacy was,
however, shortlived; immediately after the death of David, a chief named
Rezôn undertook to free them from the yoke of the stranger. He had
begun his military career under Hada-dezer, King of Zoba: when disaster
overtook this leader and released him from his allegiance, he collected
an armed force and fought for his own hand. A lucky stroke made him
master of Damascus: he proclaimed himself king there, harassed the
Israelites with impunity during the reign of Solomon, and took over the
possessions of the kings of Zoba in the valleys of the Litany and the
Orontes.** The rupture between the houses of Israel and Judah removed
the only dangerous rival from his path, and Damascus became the
paramount power in Southern and Central Palestine. While Judah and
Israel wasted their strength in fratricidal struggles, Tabrimmon,
and after him Benhadad I., gradually extended their territory in
Coele-Syria;*** they conquered Hamath, and the desert valleys which
extend north-eastward in the direction of the Euphrates, and forced a
number of the Hittite kings to render them homage.

     * Cf. what is said in regard to these events on pp. 351,
     352, supra.

     ** 1 Kings xi. 23-25. The reading "Esron" in the Septuagint
     (1 Kings xi. 23) indicates a form "Khezrôn," by which it was
     sought to replace the traditional reading "Rezôn."

     *** Hezion, whom the Jewish writer intercalates before
     Tabrimmon (1 Kings xv. 18), is probably a corruption of
     Rezôn; Winckler, relying on the Septuagint variants Azin or
     Azael (1 Kings xv. 18), proposes to alter Hezion into
     Hazael, and inserts a certain Hazael I. in this place.
     Tabrimmon is only mentioned in 1 Kings xv. 18, where he is
     said to have been the father of Benhadad.

They had concluded an alliance with Jeroboam as soon as he established
his separate kingdom, and maintained the treaty with his successors,
Nadab and Baasha. Asa collected all the gold and silver which was
left in the temple of Jerusalem and in his own palace, and sent it to
Benhadad, saying, "There is a league between me and thee, between thy
father and my father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver
and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha, King of Israel, that he may
depart from me." It would seem that Baasha, in his eagerness to complete
the fortifications of Ramah, had left his northern frontier undefended.
Benhadad accepted the proposal and presents of the King of Judah,
invaded Galilee, seized the cities of Ijôn, Dan, and Abel-beth-Maacah,
which defended the upper reaches of the Jordan and the Litany, the
lowlands of Genesareth, and all the land of Naphtali. Baasha hastily
withdrew from Judah, made terms with Benhadad, and settled down in
Tirzah for the remainder of his reign;* Asa demolished Eamah, and built
the strongholds of Gebah and Mizpah from its ruins.** Benhadad retained
the territory he had acquired, and exercised a nominal sovereignty
over the two Hebrew kingdoms. Baasha, like Jeroboam, failed to found
a lasting dynasty; his son Blah met with the same fate at the hands
of Zimri which he himself had meted out to Nadab. As on the former
occasion, the army was encamped before Gibbethon, in the country of the
Philistines, when the tragedy took place.

     * 1 Kings xv. 21, xvi. 6.

     ** 1 Kings xv. 18-22; of. 2 Ghron. xvi. 2-6.

Elah was at Tirzah, "drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, which
was over the household;" Zimri, who was "captain of half his chariots,"
left his post at the front, and assassinated him as he lay intoxicated.
The whole family of Baasha perished in the subsequent confusion, but
the assassin only survived by seven days the date of his crime. When the
troops which he had left behind him in camp heard of what had occurred,
they refused to accept him as king, and, choosing Omri in his place,
marched against Tirzah. Zimri, finding it was impossible either to
win them over to his side or defeat them, set fire to the palace, and
perished in the flames. His death did not, however, restore peace to
Israel; while one-half of the tribes approved the choice of the army,
the other flocked to the standard of Tibni, son of Ginath. War raged
between the two factions for four years, and was only ended by the
death--whether natural or violent we do not know--of Tibni and his
brother Joram.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 8-22; Joram is not mentioned in the
     Massoretic text, but his name appears in the Septuagint.

Two dynasties had thus arisen in Israel, and had been swept away by
revolutionary outbursts, while at Jerusalem the descendants of David
followed one another in unbroken succession. Asa outlived Nadab by
eleven years, and we hear nothing of his relations with the neighbouring
states during the latter part of his reign. We are merely told that his
zeal in the service of the Lord was greater than had been shown by any
of his predecessors. He threw down the idols, expelled their priests,
and persecuted all those who practised the ancient religions. His
grandmother Maacah "had made an abominable image for an asherah;" he cut
it down, and burnt it in the valley of the Kedron, and deposed her
from the supremacy in the royal household which she had held for
three generations. He is, therefore, the first of the kings to receive
favourable mention from the orthodox chroniclers of later times, and it
is stated that he "did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as
did David his father."* Omri proved a warlike monarch, and his reign,
though not a long one, was signalised by a decisive crisis in the
fortunes of Israel.** The northern tribes had, so far, possessed no
settled capital, Shechem, Penuel, and Tirzah having served in turn as
residences for the successors of Jeroboam and Baasha. Latterly Tirzah
had been accorded a preference over its rivals; but Zimri had burnt the
castle there, and the ease with which it had been taken and retaken was
not calculated to reassure the head of the new dynasty. Omri turned
his attention to a site lying a little to the north-west of Shechem and
Mount Ebal, and at that time partly covered by the hamlet of Shomerôn or
Shimrôn--our modern Samaria.***

     * 1 Kings xv. 11; cf. 2 Ohron. xiv. 2. It is admitted,
     however, though without any blame being attached to him,
     that "the high places were not taken away" (1 Kings xv. 14;
     cf. 2 Chron. xv. 17).

     ** The Hebrew writer gives the length of his reign as twelve
     years (1 Kings xvi. 23). Several historians consider this
     period too brief, and wish to extend it to twenty-four
     years; I cannot, however, see that there is, so far, any
     good reason for doubting the approximate accuracy of the
     Bible figures.

     *** According to the tradition preserved in 1 Kings xvi. 24,
     the name of the city comes from Shomer, the man from whom
     Ahab bought the site.

His choice was a wise and judicious one, as the rapid development of the
city soon proved. It lay on the brow of a rounded hill, which rose in
the centre of a wide and deep depression, and was connected by a narrow
ridge with the surrounding mountains. The valley round it is fertile
and well watered, and the mountains are cultivated up to their summits;
throughout the whole of Ephraim it would have been difficult to find
a site which could compare with it in strength or attractiveness. Omri
surrounded his city with substantial ramparts; he built a palace for
himself, and a temple in which was enthroned a golden calf similar to
those at Dan and Bethel.* A population drawn from other nations besides
the Israelites flocked into this well-defended stronghold, and Samaria
soon came to be for Israel what Jerusalem already was for Judah, an
almost impregnable fortress, in which the sovereign entrenched
himself, and round which the nation could rally in times of danger.
His contemporaries fully realised the importance of this move on Omri's
part; his name became inseparably connected in their minds with that of
Israel. Samaria and the house of Joseph were for them, henceforth, the
house of Omri, Bît-Omri, and the name still clung to them long after
Omri had died and his family had become extinct.**

     * Amos viii. 14, where the sin of Samaria, coupled as it is
     with the life of the god of Dan and the way of Beersheba,
     can, as Wellhausen points out, only refer to the image of
     the calf worshipped at Samaria.

     ** Shalmaneser II. even goes so far as to describe Jehu, who
     exterminated the family of Omri, as _Jaua ahal Khumri_,
     "Jehu, son of Omri."

He gained the supremacy over Judah, and forced several of the
south-western provinces, which had been in a state of independence since
the days of Solomon, to acknowledge his rule; he conquered the country
of Medeba, vanquished Kamoshgad, King of Moab, and imposed on him a
heavy tribute in sheep and wool.* Against Benhadad in the north-west
he was less fortunate. He was forced to surrender to him several of the
cities of Gilead--among others Bamoth-gilead, which commanded the fords
over the Jabbok and Jordan.**

     * Inscription of Meslia, 11. 5-7; cf. 2 Kings iii. 4.

     ** 1 Kings xx. 34. No names are given in the text, but
     external evidence proves that they were cities of Persea,
     and that Ramoth-gilead was one of them.

[Illustration: 432.jpg THE HILL OF SAMARIA]

     Drawn by Boudier, from photograph No. 2G of the _Palestine
     Exploration Fund._

He even set apart a special quarter in Samaria for the natives of
Damascus, where they could ply their trades and worship their gods
without interference. It was a kind of semi-vassalage, from which he was
powerless to free himself unaided: he realised this, and looked for help
from without; he asked and obtained the hand of Jezebel, daughter of
Bthbaal, King of the Sidonians, for Ahab, his heir. Hiram I., the friend
of David, had carried the greatness of Tyre to its highest point; after
his death, the same spirit of discord which divided the Hebrews made its
appearance in Phoenicia. The royal power was not easily maintained over
this race of artisans and sailors: Baalbazer, son of Hiram, reigned for
six years, and his successor, Abdastart, was killed in a riot after a
still briefer enjoyment of power. We know how strong was the influence
exercised by foster-mothers in the great families of the Bast; the four
sons of Abda-start's nurse assassinated their foster-brother, and the
eldest of them usurped his crown. Supported by the motley crowd of
slaves and adventurers which filled the harbours of Phoenicia, they
managed to cling to power for twelve years. Their stupid and brutal
methods of government produced most disastrous results. A section of the
aristocracy emigrated to the colonies across the sea and incited them
to rebellion; had this state of things lasted for any time, the Tyrian
empire would have been doomed. A revolution led to the removal of the
usurper and the restoration of the former dynasty, but did not bring
back to the unfortunate city the tranquillity which it sorely needed.
The three surviving sons of Baalbezer, Methuastarfc, Astarym, and
Phelles followed one another on the throne in rapid succession, the
last-named perishing by the hand of his cousin Ethbaal, after a reign of
eight months. So far, the Israelites had not attempted to take advantage
of these dissensions, but there was always the danger lest one of their
kings, less absorbed than his predecessors in the struggle with Judah,
might be tempted by the wealth of Phoenicia to lay hands on it. Ethbaal,
therefore, eagerly accepted the means of averting this danger by an
alliance with the new dynasty offered to him by Omri.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 31, where the historian has Hebraicised the
     Phonician name Ittobaal into "Ethbaal," "Baal is with
     him." Izebel or Jezebel seems to be an abbreviated form of
     some name like Baalezbel.

The presence of a Phonician princess at Samaria seems to have had
a favourable effect on the city and its inhabitants. The tribes of
Northern and Central Palestine had, so far, resisted the march of
material civilization which, since the days of Solomon, had carried
Judah along with it; they adhered, as a matter of principle, to the rude
and simple customs of their ancestors. Jezebel, who from her cradle had
been accustomed to all the luxuries and refinements of the Phoenician
court, was by no means prepared to dispense with them in her adopted
country. By their contact with her, the Israelites--at any rate, the
upper and middle classes of them--acquired a certain degree of polish;
the royal office assumed a more dignified exterior, and approached more
nearly the splendours of the other Syrian monarchies, such as those of
Damascus, Hamath, Sidon, Tyre, and even Judah.

Unfortunately, the effect of this material progress was marred by a
religious difficulty. Jezebel had been brought up by her father, the
high priest of the Sidonian Astarte, as a rigid believer in his faith,
and she begged Ahab to permit her to celebrate openly the worship of her
national deities. Ere long the Tyrian Baal was installed at Samaria with
his asherah, and his votaries had their temples and sacred groves to
worship in: their priests and prophets sat at the king's table. Ahab did
not reject the God of his ancestors in order to embrace the religion of
his wife--a reproach which was afterwards laid to his door; he remained
faithful to Him, and gave the children whom he had by Jezebel names
compounded with that of Jahveh, such as Ahaziah, Joram, and Athaliah.*

     * 1 Kings xvi. 31-33. Ahaziah and Joram mean respectively
     "whom Jahveh sustaineth," and "Jahveh is exalted." Athaliah
     may possibly be derived from a Phoenician form, _Ailialith
     or Athlifh,_ into which the name of Jahveh does not enter.

This was not the first instance of such tolerance in the history of the
Israelites: Solomon had granted a similar liberty of conscience to all
his foreign wives, and neither Rehoboam nor Abijam had opposed Maacah in
her devotion to the Canaanitish idols. But the times were changing, and
the altar of Baal could no longer be placed side by side with that of
Jahveh without arousing fierce anger and inexorable hatred. Scarce a
hundred years had elapsed since the rupture between the tribes, and
already one-half of the people were unable to understand how place could
be found in the breast of a true Israelite for any other god but Jahveh:
Jahveh alone was Lord, for none of the deities worshipped by foreign
races under human or animal shapes could compare with Him in might and
holiness. From this to the repudiation of all those practices associated
with exotic deities, such as the use of idols of wood or metal, the
anointing of isolated boulders or circles of rocks, the offering up of
prisoners or of the firstborn, was but a step: Asa had already furnished
an example of rigid devotion in Judah, and there were many in Israel who
shared his views and desired to imitate him. The opposition to what
was regarded as apostasy on the part of the king did not come from the
official priesthood; the sanctuaries at Dan, at Bethel, at Shiloh, and
at Gilgal were prosperous in spite of Jezebel, and this was enough for
them. But the influence of the prophets had increased marvellously since
the rupture between the kingdoms, and at the very beginning of his reign
Ahab was unwise enough to outrage their sense of justice by one of his
violent acts: in a transport of rage he had slain a certain Naboth, who
had refused to let him have his vineyard in order that he might enlarge
the grounds of the palace he was building for himself at Jezreel.* The
prophets, as in former times, were divided into schools, the head of
each being called its father, the members bearing the title of "the sons
of the prophets;" they dwelt in a sort of monastery, each having his own
cell, where they ate together, performed their devotional exercises or
assembled to listen to the exhortations of their chief prophets:** nor
did their sacred office prevent them from marrying.***

     * 1 Kings xxi., where the later tradition throws nearly all
     the blame on Jezebel; whereas in the shorter account, in 2
     Kings ix. 25, 26, it is laid entirely on Ahab.

     ** In 1 Sam. xix. 20, a passage which seems to some to be a
     later interpolation, mentions a "company of the prophets,
     prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them." Cf. 2
     Kings vi. 1-7, where the narrative introduces a congregation
     of prophets grouped round Elisha.

     *** 2 Kings iv. 1-7, where an account is given of the
     miracle worked by Elisha on behalf of "a woman of the wives
     of the sons of the prophets."

As a rule, they settled near one of the temples, and lived there on
excellent terms with the members of the regular priesthood. Accompanied
by musical instruments, they chanted the songs in which the poets of
other days extolled the mighty deeds of Jahveh, and obtained from this
source the incidents of the semi-religious accounts which they narrated
concerning the early history of the people; or, when the spirit moved
them, they went about through the land prophesying, either singly, or
accompanied by a disciple, or in bands.* The people thronged round them
to listen to their hymns or their stories of the heroic age: the great
ones of the land, even kings themselves, received visits from them, and
endured their reproaches or exhortations with mingled feelings of awe
and terror. A few of the prophets took the part of Ahab and Jezebel,**
but the majority declared against them, and of these, the most
conspicuous, by his forcibleness of speech and action, was Elijah. We
do not know of what race or family he came, nor even what he was:*** the
incidents of his life which have come down to us seem to be wrapped in a
vague legendary grandeur. He appears before Ahab, and tells him that
for years to come no rain or dew shall fall on the earth save by his
command, and then takes flight into the desert in order to escape the
king's anger.

     * 1 Sam. x. 5, where a band of prophets is mentioned "coming
     down from the high place with a psaltery, and a timbrel, and
     a pipe, and a harp, before them, prophesying;" cf. ver. 10.
     In 2 Kings ii. 3-5, bands of the "children of the prophets"
     come out from Bethel and Jericho to ask Elisha if he knows
     the fate which awaits Elijah on that very day.

     ** Cf. the anonymous prophet who encourages Ahab, in the
     name of Jahveh, to surprise the camp of Benhadad before
     Samaria (1 Kings xx. 13-15, 22-25, 28); and the prophet
     Zedekiah, who gives advice contrary to that of his fellow-
     prophet Micaiah in the council of war held by Ahab with
     Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, before the attack on Ramobh-
     gilead (1 Kings xxii. 11, 12, 24).

     *** The ethnical inscription, "Tishbite," which we find
     after his name (1 Kings xvii. 1, xxi. 17), is due to an
     error on the part of the copyist.

He is there ministered unto by ravens, which bring him bread and meat
every night and morning. When the spring from which he drinks dries up,
he goes to the house of a widow at Zarephath in the country of Sidon,
and there he lives with his hostess for twelve months on a barrel of
meal and a cruse of oil which never fail. The widow's son dies suddenly:
he prays to Jahveh and restores him to life; then, still guided by an
inspiration from above, he again presents himself before the king. Ahab
receives him without resentment, assembles the prophets of Baal, brings
them face to face with Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel, and orders
them to put an end to the drought by which his kingdom is wasted. The
Phoenicians erect an altar and call upon their Baâlîm with loud cries,
and gash their arms and bodies with knives, yet cannot bring about
the miracle expected of them. Elijah, after mocking at their cries and
contortions, at last addresses a prayer to Jahveh, and fire comes
down from heaven and consumes the sacrifice in a moment; the people,
convinced by the miracle, fall upon the idolaters and massacre them, and
the rain shortly afterwards falls in torrents. After this triumph he is
said to have fled once more for safety to the desert, and there on Horeb
to have had a divine vision. "And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a
great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks
before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind
an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the
earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the
fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that He
wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering
in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said,
'What doest thou here, Elijah?'" God then commanded him to anoint Hazael
as King of Syria, and Jehu, son of Nimshi, as King over Israel, and
Elisha, son of Shaphat, as prophet in his stead, "and him that escapeth
from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the
sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay." The sacred writings go on to tell us
that the prophet who had held such close converse with the Deity was
exempt from the ordinary laws of humanity, and was carried to heaven
in a chariot of fire. The account that has come down to us shows the
impression of awe left by Elijah on the spirit of his age.*

Ahab was one of the most warlike among the warrior-kings of Israel. He
ruled Moab with a strong hand,** kept Judah in subjection,*** and in his
conflict with Damascus experienced alternately victory and honourable
defeat. Hadadidri [Hadadezer], of whom the Hebrew historians make a
second Benhadad,**** had succeeded the conqueror of Baasha.^

     * The story of Elijah is found in 1 Kings xvii.-xix., xxi.
     17-29, and 2 Kings i., ii. 1-14.

     ** Inscription of Mesha, 11. 7, 8.

     *** The subordination of Judah is nowhere explicitly
     mentioned: it is inferred from the attitude adopted by
     Jehoshaphat in presence of Ahab (1 Kings xxii. 1, et seq.).

     **** The Assyrian texts call this Dadidri, Adadidri, which
     exactly corresponds to the Plebrew form Hadadezer.

     ^ The information in the Booh of Kings does not tell us at
     what time during the reign of Ahab his first wars with
     Hadadezer (Benhadad II.) and the siege of Samaria occurred.
     The rapid success of Shalmaneser's campaigns against
     Damascus, between 854 and 839 B.C., does not allow us to
     place these events after the invasion of Assyria. Ahab
     appears, in 854, at the battle of Karkar, as the ally of
     Benhadad, as I shall show later.

The account of his campaigns in the Hebrew records has only reached us
in a seemingly condensed and distorted condition. Israel, strengthened
by the exploits of Omri, must have offered him a strenuous resistance,
but we know nothing of the causes, nor of the opening scenes of the
drama. When the curtain is lifted, the preliminary conflict is over, and
the Israelites, closely besieged in Samaria, have no alternative before
them but unconditional surrender. This was the first serious attack
the city had sustained, and its resistance spoke well for the military
foresight of its founder. In Benhadad's train were thirty-two kings, and
horses and chariots innumerable, while his adversary could only
oppose to them seven thousand men. Ahab was willing to treat, but
the conditions proposed were so outrageous that he broke off the
negotiations. We do not know how long the blockade had lasted, when
one day the garrison made a sortie in full daylight, and fell upon the
Syrian camp; the enemy were panic-stricken, and Benhadad with difficulty
escaped on horseback with a handful of men. He resumed hostilities
in the following year, but instead of engaging the enemy in the
hill-country of Ephraim, where his superior numbers brought him no
advantage, he deployed his lines on the plain of Jezreel, near the town
of Aphek. His servants had counselled him to change his tactics: "The
God of the Hebrews is a God of the hills, therefore they were stronger
than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we
shall be stronger than they." The advice, however, proved futile, for he
sustained on the open plain a still more severe defeat than he had met
with in the mountains, and the Hebrew historians affirm that he was
taken prisoner during the pursuit. The power of Damascus was still
formidable, and the captivity of its king had done little to bring
the war to an end; Ahab, therefore, did not press his advantage, but
received the Syrian monarch "as a brother," and set him at liberty after
concluding with him an offensive and defensive alliance. Israel at this
time recovered possession of some of the cities which had been lost
under Baasha and Omri, and the Israelites once more enjoyed the right
to occupy a particular quarter of Damascus. According to the Hebrew
account, this was the retaliation they took for their previous
humiliations. It is further stated, in relation to this event, that a
certain man of the sons of the prophets, speaking by the word of the
Lord, bade one of his companions smite him. Having received a wound, he
disguised himself with a bandage over his eyes, and placed himself in
the king's path, "and as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and
he said, Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold,
a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, Keep this man:
if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or
else thou shalt pay a talent of silver. And as thy servant was busy here
and there, he was gone. And the King of Israel said unto him, So shall
thy judgment be; thyself has decided it. Then he hasted, and took the
headband away from his eyes, and the King of Israel discerned him that
he was one of the prophets. And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord,
Because thou hast let go out of thy hand the man whom I had devoted to
destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people
for his people. And the King of Israel went to his house heavy and
displeased, and came to Samaria." This story was in accordance with the
popular feeling, and Ahab certainly ought not to have paused till he had
exterminated his enemy, could he have done so; but was this actually in
his power?

We have no reason to contest the leading facts in this account, or to
doubt that Benhadad suffered some reverses before Samaria; but we may
perhaps ask whether the check was as serious as we are led to believe,
and whether imagination and national vanity did not exaggerate its
extent and results. The fortresses of Persea which, according to the
treaty, ought to have been restored to Israel, remained in the hands of
the people of Damascus, and the loss of Ramoth-gilead continued to be a
source of vexation to such of the tribes of Gad and Reuben as followed
the fortunes of the house of Omri:* yet these places formed the most
important part of Benhadad's ransom.

     * "And the King of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye
     that Ramoth-gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not
     out of the hand of the King of Syria?"

The sole effect of Ahab's success was to procure for him more lenient
treatment; he lost no territory, and perhaps gained a few towns, but he
had to sign conditions of peace which made him an acknowledged vassal to
the King of Syria.*

     * No document as yet proves directly that Ahab was vassal to
     Benhadad II. The fact seems to follow clearly enough from
     the account of the battle of Karkar against Shalmaneser II.,
     where the contingent of Ahab of Israel figures among those
     of the kings who fought for Benhadad II. against the

Damascus still remained the foremost state of Syria, and, if we rightly
interpret the scanty information we possess, seemed in a fair way to
bring about that unification of the country which neither Hittites,
Philistines, nor Hebrews had been able to effect. Situated nearly
equidistant from Raphia and Carchemish, on the outskirts of the
cultivated region, the city was protected in the rear by the desert,
which secured it from invasion on the east and north-east; the dusty
plains of the Haurân protected it on the south, and the wooded cliffs of
Anti-Lebanon on the west and north-west. It was entrenched within these
natural barriers as in a fortress, whence the garrison was able to
sally forth at will to attack in force one or other of the surrounding
nations: if the city were victorious, its central position made it easy
for its rulers to keep watch over and preserve what they had won; if it
suffered defeat, the surrounding mountains and deserts formed natural
lines of fortification easy to defend against the pursuing foe, but
very difficult for the latter to force, and the delay presented by this
obstacle gave the inhabitants time to organise their reserves and bring
fresh troops into the field. The kings of Damascus at the outset brought
under their suzerainty the Aramaean principalities--Argob, Maacah, and
Geshur, by which they controlled the Haurân, and Zobah, which secured
to them Coele-Syria from Lake Huleh to the Bahr el-Kades. They had taken
Upper Galilee from the Hebrews, and subsequently Perasa, as far as the
Jabbok, and held in check Israel and the smaller states, Amnion and
Moab, which followed in its wake. They exacted tribute from Hamath, the
Phoenician Arvad, the lower valley of the Orontes, and from a portion
of the Hittites, and demanded contingents from their princes in time
of war. Their power was still in its infancy, and its elements were not
firmly welded together, but the surrounding peoples were in such a
state of weakness and disunion that they might be left out of account as
formidable enemies. The only danger that menaced the rising kingdom was
the possibility that the two ancient warlike nations, Egypt and Assyria,
might shake off their torpor, and reappearing on the scene of their
former prowess might attack her before she had consolidated her power by
the annexation of Naharaim.


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