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Title: History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 8 (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 8 (of 12)" ***

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[Illustration: Spines]

[Illustration: Cover]

HISTORY OF EGYPT CHALDEA, SYRIA, BABYLONIA, AND ASSYRIA

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
France

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

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


CONTAINING OVER TWELVE HUNDRED COLORED PLATES AND ILLUSTRATIONS

Volume VIII.


LONDON

THE GROLIER SOCIETY

PUBLISHERS

[Illustration: 001.jpg Frontispiece]

     Arab Family at Dinner

[Illustration: Titlepage]


[Illustration: 001.jpg PAGE IMAGE]


_SENNACHERIB (705-681 B.C.)_

_THE STRUGGLE OF SENNACHERIB WITH JUDÆA AND EGYPT--DESTRUCTION OF
BABYLON_

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

_Renewed revolt of Babylon and the Tabal (699 B.C.); flight of the
people of Bît-Yakîn into Elamite territory; Sennacherib's fleet and
descent on Nagitu (697-696 B.C.)--Khalludush invades Karduniash
(695 B.C.); Nirgal-ushezib and Mushesîb-marduk at Babylon (693-689
B.C.)--Sennacherib invades Elam (693 B.C.): battle of Khalulê (692
B.C.), siege and destruction of Babylon (689 B.C.)--Buildings of
Sennacherib at Nineveh: his palace at Kouyunjik; its decoration with
battle, hunting, and building scenes._

[Illustration: 003.jpg PAGE IMAGE]



CHAPTER I--SENNACHERIB (705-681 B.C.)

_The struggle of Sennacherib with Judæa and Egypt--Destruction of
Babylon._


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 011.jpg clay seal with cartouche of sabaco]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 017.jpg A PHOENICIAN GALLEY WITH TWO BANKS OF OARS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard. Sennacherib affirms
     that vessels of this type had been constructed by Syrian
     shipwrights, and were manned by Tyrian, Sidonian, and Ionian
     sailors.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 018.jpg MAP OF KINGDOM OF TYRE, THE CAMPAIGN OF
SENNACHERIB]

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

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

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

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

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

     ** Isa. ii. 8.

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 023.jpg MAP OF THE CAMPAIGN OF SENNACHERIB IN JUDEA]

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

     * The name of the city, written Amgarruna, is really
     Akkaron-Ekron.

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

     * 2 Kings xx. 16-19.

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

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

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

     ** Isa. xxxi. 3-6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


[Illustration: 028.jpg THE PASS OF LEGNIA, IN LEBANON]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph given in Lortet.

[Illustration: 028b.jpg Esneh--Principal Abyssinian Trading Village]

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

     * Isa. xxii. 8-11.

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 029.jpg SENNACHERIB RECEIVING THE SUBMISSIONS OF THE
JEWS]

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

     * Isa. xxii. 1-14.

     ** Isa. xxii. 15-19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ** Nagîtu was bounded by the Nar-Marratum and the Ulaî,
     which allows us to identify it with the territory south of
     Edrisieh.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 042.jpg A RAID AMONG THE WOODS AND MOUNTAINS.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layahd, Monuments of Nineveh,
     vol. i. pi. 70.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 048.jpg MAP THE NAR-MARRATUM IN THE TIME OF SENNACHERIB]

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

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

[Illustration: 049.jpg THE FLEET OF SENNACHERIB ON THE NAR-MARRATUM]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 052.jpg A SKIRMISH IN THE MARSHES]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

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

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

[Illustration: 054.jpg THE HORSE OF NERGAL-USHEZÎB FALLING IN THE
BATTLE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

     * Khaîdalu is very probably the present Dis Malkân.

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

     * The Assyrian documents merely mention the death of Kutur-
     nakhunta less than three months after the return of
     Sennacherib to Nineveh. Pinches' _Babylonian Chronicle_ only
     mentions the revolution in which he perished, and informs us
     that he had reigned ten months. It contracts Ummân-minânu,
     the name of the Elamite king, to Minânu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 063.jpg THE MOUNDS OF NINEVEH SEEN FROM THE TERRACE OF A
HOUSE IN MOSUL]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a lithograph in Layard.

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

[Illustration: 065.jpg KING SENNACHERIB WATCHING THE TRANSPORT OF A
COLOSSAL STATUE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

[Illustration: 066.jpg ASSYRIAN BAS-RELIEFS AT BAVIAN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Layard.

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

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

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

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

[ Illustration: 068.jpg UNKNOWN SUBJECTS FROM THE FIFTH TOMB]

[Illustration: 069.jpg GREAT ASSYRIAN STELE AT BAVIAÎT.]

     Drawn by Boudior, from Layard.

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

[Illustration: 073.jpg AN ASSYRIAN CAVALRY RAID THROUGH THE WOODS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

[Illustration: 074.jpg (and 75) TRANSPORT OF A WINGED BULL ON A SLEDGE.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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

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

[Illustration: 079.jpg SENNACHERIB]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard.

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



CHAPTER II--THE POWER OF ASSYRIA AT ITS ZENITH; ESARHADDON AND
ASSUR-BANI-PAL


_THE MEDES AND CIMMERIANS: LYDIA--THE CONQUEST OF EGYPT, OP ARABIA, AND
OF ELAM._

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 083.jpg PAGE IMAGE]



CHAPTER II--THE POWER OF ASSYRIA AT ITS ZENITH; ESARHADDON AND
ASSUR-BANI-PAL

_The Medes and Cimmerians: Lydia--The conquest of Egypt, of Arabia, and
of Elam._


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 087.jpg STONE LION AT HAMADÂN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Plandin and Coste.

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

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

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

     * The form Deïokes, in place of Daïokes, is due to the Ionic
     dialect employed by Herodotus. Justi regards the name as an
     abbreviated form of the ancient Persian _Dahyaupati_--"the
     master of a province," with the suffix _-ha_.

[Illustration: 088.jpg VIEW OF HAMADÂN AND MOUNT ELVEND IN WINTER]

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

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

[Illustration: 090.jpg ASIA MINOR IN THE 7TH CENTURY]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 095.jpg MONUMENT COMMEMORATIVE OF MIDAS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a plate in Perrot and Chipiez.

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

[Illustration: 096.jpg A PHRYGIAN GOD]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 097.jpg THE MOTHER-GODDESS BETWEEN LIONS]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 098.jpg THE MOTHER-GODDESS AND ATYS]

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

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

     * In this capacity he bore the surname Papas.

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

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

[Illustration: 099.jpg THE GOD MEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUN AND OTHER
DEITIES]

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

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

[Illustration: 101.jpg MIDAS OF PHRYGIA]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a specimen in the _Cabinet des
     Médailles_. It is a bronze coin from Prymnessos in Phrygia,
     belonging to the imperial epoch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 104.jpg THE STEEP BANKS OF THE HALYS FAILED TO ARREST
THEM]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by A. Boissier.
     The road leading from Angora to Yuzgat crosses the river not
     far from the site shown here, near the spot where the
     ancient road crossed.

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

[Illustration: 105.jpg VIEW OVEK THE PLAIN OF SARDES]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

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

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

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

[Illustration: 106.jpg THE AXE BORNE BY ZEUS LABRAUNDOS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a coin in the Cabinet des
     Médailles.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 110.jpg A CONFLICT WITH TWO GRIFFINS.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the reliefs on the crown
     of the Great Blinitza.

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

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

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

[Illustration: 111.jpg SCYTHIANS ARMED FOR WAR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the reliefs on the silver vase
     of Kul-Oba.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 115.jpg INHABITED CAVES ON THE BANKS OF THE HALYS]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph sent by Alfred Boissier.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 131.jpg THE TOWN OF KHARKHAR WITH ITS TRIPLE RAMPART]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Flandin, in Botta.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 137.jpg SHABITOKU, KING OF EGYPT]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 139.jpg TAHARQA AND HIS QUEEN DIKAHÎTAMANU]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the coloured plate in Lepsius.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 142.jpg THE COLUMN OF TAHARQA, AT KARNAK]

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

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

[Illustration: 143.jpg THE HEMISPEOS OP HÂTHOR AND BÎSÛ, AT
GEBEL-BARKAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.

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

[Illustration: 144.jpg ENTRANCE TO THE HEMISPEOS OF BÎSÛ (BES), AT
GEBEL-BARKAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a lithograph in Caillaud.

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

[Illustration: 145.jpg TAHARQA]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a cast of the fragment
     preserved at Gizeh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 156.jpg SOUTHERN PROMONTORY AT THE MOUTH OF THE
NAHR-EL-KELB]

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

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

[Illustration: 157.jpg STELE OF ESARHADDON AT THE NAHR-EL-KELB]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lortet.

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

[Illustration: 158.jpg STELE OF Zinjirli]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 161.jpg ASSYRIAN SPHINX IN EGYPTIAN STYLE SUPPORTING THE
BASE OF A COLUMN]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the alabaster sculpture reproduced by
     Layard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 168.jpg ASSUR-BANIPAL AS A BEARER OF OFFERINGS]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lehmann.

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

[Illustration: 169.jpg SIHAMASH-SHUMUKIN AS A BEARER OF OFFERINGS]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph in Lehmann.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 174.jpg MONTUMIHÂÎT, PRINCE OF THEBES]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 175.jpg PSAMMETICHUS]

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

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

     * It is called _nagu sha nibirti tâmtim_, "the country of
     the crossing of the sea," or more concisely, "the country
     this side the sea."

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

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

     ** The connection between Arselis and Gyges is mentioned by
     Plutarch.

     *** It is not certain whether the name is Toudô or Trydô.

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 181.jpg LYDIAN HORSEMEN]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 187.jpg ASSUR-BANI-PAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the bas-reliefs from
     Kouyunjik in the British Museum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 190.jpg MURAL DECORATIONS FROM THE GROTTOES]

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

[Illustration: 191.jpg KING TANUATAMANU IN ADORATION BEFORE THE GODS OF
THEBES]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Legrain, taken in the
     small temple at Thebes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 195.jpg ASSYRIAN HELMET FOUND AT THEBES]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph by Pétrie.

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

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

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

[Illustration: 198.jpg A LION ISSUING FROM ITS CAGE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken from the
     original in the British Museum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 206.jpg ITUNI BREAKS HIS BOW WITH A BLOW OF HIS SWORD,
AND GIVES HIMSELF UP TO THE EXECUTIONER]

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

[Illustration: 206b.jpg THE BATTLE OF TULLIZ]

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

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

[Illustration: 209.jpg URTAKU COUSIN OF TIUMMÂN, SURRENDERING TO AN
ASSYRIAN]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum.

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

[Illustration: 210.jpg THE LAST ARROW OF TIUMMÂN AND HIS SON]

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

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

[Illustration: 211.jpg DEATH OF TIUMMÂN AND HIS SON]

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

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

[Illustration: 212.jpg Khumbân-igash Proclaimed King]

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

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

[Illustration: 215.jpg THE HEAD OF THUMMAN SENT TO NINEVEH]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 216.jpg ASSUR-BANI-PAL BANQUETING WITH HIS QUEEN]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum The head of Tiummân hangs on the second tree
     on the left-hand side.

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

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

[Illustration: 217.jpg TWO ELAMITE CHIEFS FLAYED ALIVE AFTER THE BATTLE
OF TULLÎZ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 228.jpg THE EASTERN WORLD IN THE REIGN OF ASSUR-BANI-PAL]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 235.jpg PSAMMETICHUS I.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 240.jpg BATTLE OF THE CIMMERIANS AGAINST THE GREEKS
ACCOMPANIED BY THEIR DOGS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sarcophagus of Clazomenæ.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

[Illustration: 251.jpg STATUES OF THE GODS CARRIED OFF BY ASSYRIAN
SOLDIERY]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Layard, _The Monuments of
     Nineveh_.

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

[Illustration: 252.jpg THE TUMULUS OF SUZA]

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

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

[Illustration: 256.jpg Prayer in the Desert After Painting by Gerome]

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

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



CHAPTER III--THE MEDES AND THE SECOND CHALDÆAN EMPIRE


_THE FALL OF NINEVEH AND THE RISE OF THE CHALDÆAN AND MEDIAN
EMPIRES--THE XXVIth EGYPTIAN DYNASTY: CYAXARES, ALYATTES, AND
NEBUCHADREZZAR._

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 263.jpg PAGE IMAGE]



CHAPTER III--THE MEDES AND THE SECOND CHALDÆAN EMPIRE


_The fall of Nineveh and the rise of the Chaldæan and Median
empires--The XXVIth Egyptian dynasty: Cyaxares, Alyattes, and
Nebuchadrezzar._

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 268.jpg and 269.jpg TABLE OF MEDIAN DYNASTY]

     We see that, while rejecting the names given by Herodotus,
     Ctesias repeats twice over the number of years assigned by
     the latter to the reigns of his kings, at least for the four
     last generations--

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 274.jpg MAP OF THE LANDS CREATED BY AHURA-MAZDA]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 269.jpg NISÆAN HOUSES HARNESSED TO A ROYAL CHARIOT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the bas-relief from
     Persepolis now in the British Museum.

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

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

[Illustration: 280.jpg THE PERSIAN REALM]

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 282.jpg SCENE IN THE MOUNTAINS OF PERSIA.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from Costs and Flandin, _Voyage en Perse_,
     vol. i. pl. xcvi.

[Illustration: 285.jpg HEAD OF A PERSIAN ARCHER]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the Naksh-i-Rustem
     bas-relief taken by Dieulafoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 287.jpg A PERSIAN]

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 290.jpg A HERD OF WILD GOATS--A BAS-RELIEF OF THE TIME OF
ASSUR-BANI-PAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the sketch by Place.

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

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

[Illustration: 290b ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT IN HEIROGLYPHICS]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 294.jpg REMAINS OF ASSUR-BANI-PAL's WALL AT NIPPUR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph published by
     Peters.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 297.jpg MEDIC AND PERSIAN FOOT-SOLDIERS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Coste and Flandin. The first
     and third figures are Medes, the second and fourth Persians.

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 298.jpg A MEDIC HORSEMAN]

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

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

[Illustration: 300.jpg THE ASSYRIAN TRIANGLE]

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

[Illustration: 301.jpg MAP OF NINEVEH]

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

[Illustration: 302.jpg PART OF THE FOSSE AT NINEVEH]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a sketch in Layard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 308.jpg SCYTHIANS TENDING THEIR WOUNDED]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the reliefs on a silver vase
     from Kul-Oba.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 311.jpg IRANIAN SOLDIER FIGHTING AGAINST THE SCYTHIANS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast of a cylinder given by
     Cunningham. The cylinder is usually described as Persian,
     but the dress is that of the Medes as well as of the
     Persians.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 330. MAP OF THE EASTERN WORLD IN THE TIME OF
NEBUCHADNEZZAR]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 335.jpg THREE HOPLITES IN ACTION]

     Drawn by faucher-Gudin, from an archaic vase-painting in the
     collection of Salzmann.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 338.jpg STATUE OF A THEBAN QUEEN]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by M. de Bissing. The
     statue, whose feet are missing, represents either Amenertas
     I. or Mutertas; it was never completely finished, and
     several of the parts have never received their final polish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 347.jpg THE SAITE FORTRESS OF DAPHNE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a restoration by Fl. Petrie.

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

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

[Illustration: 348a.jpg EGYPTIAN GREEK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from PI, Pétrie. The original
     statuette in alabaster is now in the Gizeh Museum; the
     Cyprian style of the figure is easily recognised.

[Illustration: 348b.jpg EGYPTIAN GREEK]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from PI. Pétrie. The original
     limestone statuette is in the Gizeh Museum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 355.jpg CHAMBER AND SARCOPHAGUS OF AN APIS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an engraving published in
     Mariette.

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

[Illustration: 356.jpg THE GREAT GALLERY OF THE SERAPEUM]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an engraving of Devéria.

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

[358.jpg Chieck Beled--Gizeh Museum]

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

[Illustration: 359.jpg MEMPHITE BAS-RELIEF OF THE SAITE EPOCH]

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

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

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

[Illustration: 361.jpg THE RUINS OF SAIS]

     Drawn by Boudior, from a photograph by Golenischeff.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 364.jpg DECORATIONS ON THE WRAPPINGS OF A MUMMY.]

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

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

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

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

     ** Deut. xii. 2, 3.

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

     * Deut. xiii. 1-10.

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

     *** Deut. xii. 5, 6.

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ^ Deut. xv. 12-18.

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

     * Deut. xvi. 1-17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 378.jpg Victorious Necho]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph published in
     Mariette. This scarab, now in the Gizeh Museum, is the only
     Egyptian monument which alludes to the victories of Necho.
     Above, the king stands between Nît and Isis; below, the
     vanquished are stretched on the ground.

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ** The passage in the _Cylinder of Nabonidus_ shows that the
     barbarians remained in possession of the town.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     ** Jer. i. 13.

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

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

[Illustration: 390.jpgA VIEW IN THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MESSOGIS]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the heliogravure of Rayet and Thomas.

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

[Illustration: 391.jpg THE SITE OF PRIÊNÊ.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the heliogravure of Rayet and Thomas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustation: 396.jpg THE RUINS OF PTERIA]

     Drawn by Boudier, from Charles Texier.

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

[Illustration: 396b.jpg THE ENTRANCE TO THE SANCTUARY OF PTERIA]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Chantre.

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

[Illustration: 398.jpg ONE OF THE PROCESSIONS IN THE RAVINE OF PTERIA]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 404.jpg AN EGYPTIAN VESSEL OF THE SAITE PERIOD]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph sent by G. Benédite.

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

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

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

[Illustration: 405.jpg THE ANCIENT HEAD OF THE RED SEA, NOW THE NORTHERN
EXTREMITY OF THE BITTER LAKES]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the railway
     between Ismaïlia and Suez, on the eastern shore of the lake.

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

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

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

     * 2 Kings xxiii. 25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: 417.jpg THE FAÇADE OF THE GREAT TEMPLE OF ABU-SIMBEL]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Daniel Héron.

Those of them who still remained in Jerusalem repeated at every turn,
"Ye shall not serve the King of Babylon... the vessels of the Lord's
house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon." Jeremiah
endeavoured to counteract the effect of their words, but in vain; the
people, instead of listening to the prophet, waxed wroth with him,
and gave themselves more and more recklessly up to their former sins.
Incense was burnt every morning on the roofs of the houses and at the
corners of the streets in honour of Baal, lamentations for Tammuz again
rent the air at the season of his festival; the temple was invaded
by uncircumcised priests and their idols, and the king permitted the
priests of Moloch to raise their pyres in the valley of Hinnom. The
exiled Jews, surrounded on all sides by heathen peoples, presented a no
less grievous spectacle than their brethren at Jerusalem; some openly
renounced the God of their fathers, others worshipped their chosen idols
in secret, while those who did not actually become traitors to their
faith, would only listen to such prophets as promised them a speedy
revenge--Ahab, Zedekiah, son of Maaseiah, and Shemaiah. There was one
man, however, who appeared in their midst, a priest, brought up from his
youth in the temple and imbued with the ideas of reform--Ezekiel, son of
Buzi, whose words might have brought them to a more just appreciation of
their position, had they not drowned his voice by their clamour; alarmed
at their threats, he refrained from speech in public, but gathered round
him a few faithful adherents at his house in Tel-AMb, where the spirit
of the Lord first came upon him in their presence about the year 592.*

     * Ezelc. i. 1, 2. We see him receiving the elders in his
     house in chaps, viii. 1, xiv. 1, xx. 1, et. seq.

This little band of exiles was in constant communication with the
mother-country, and the echo of the religious quarrels and of the
controversies provoked between the various factions by the events of
the political world, was promptly borne to them by merchants, travelling
scribes, or the king's legates who were sent regularly to Babylon with
the tribute.* They learnt, about the year 590, that grave events were at
hand, and that the moment had come when Judah, recovering at length from
her trials, should once more occupy, in the sight of the sun, that place
for which Jahveh had destined her. The kings of Moab, Ammon, Edom,
Tyre, and Sidon had sent envoys to Jerusalem, and there, probably at the
dictation of Egypt, they had agreed on what measures to take to stir
up a general insurrection against Chaldæa.** The report of their
resolutions had revived the courage of the national party, and of its
prophets; Hananiah, son of Azzur, had gone through the city announcing
the good news to all.***

     * Jer. xxix. 3 gives the names of two of these transmitters
     of the tribute--Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the
     son of Hilkiah, to whom Jeremiah had entrusted a message for
     those of the captivity.

     ** Jer. xxvii. 1-3. The statement at the beginning of this
     chapter: _In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim_,
     contains a copyist's error; the reading should be: _In the
     beginning of the reign of Zedekiah_ (see ver. 12).

     *** Jer. xxvii., xxviii.

"Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have
broken the yoke of the King of Babylon. Within two full years will I
bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord's house .. . and
Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, with all the captives of
Judah that went to Babylon!" But Jeremiah had made wooden yokes and
had sent them to the confederate princes, threatening them with divine
punishment if they did not bow their necks to Nebuchadrezzar; the
prophet himself bore one on his own neck, and showed himself in the
streets on all occasions thus accoutred, as a living emblem of the
slavery in which Jahveh permitted His people to remain for their
spiritual good. Hananiah, meeting the prophet by chance, wrested the
yoke from him and broke it, exclaiming, "Thus saith the Lord: Even so
will I break the yoke of Nebuchadrezzar, King of Babylon, within two
full years from off the neck of all the nations." The mirth of the
bystanders was roused, but on the morrow Jeremiah appeared with a yoke
of iron, which Jahveh had put "upon the neck of all the nations, that
they may serve Nebuchadrezzar, King of Babylon." Moreover, to destroy in
the minds of the exiled Jews any hope of speedy deliverance, he wrote
to them: "Let not your prophets that be in the midst of you, and your
diviners, deceive you, neither hearken ye to your dreams which ye cause
to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in My name: I have
not sent them, saith the Lord." The prophet exhorted them to resign
themselves to their fate, at all events for the time, that the unity
of their nation might be preserved until the time when it might indeed
please Jahveh to restore it: "Build ye houses and dwell in them, and
plant gardens and eat the fruit of them: take ye wives and beget sons
and daughters, and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to
husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply ye there
and be not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have
caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the Lord for it:
for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace." Psammetichus II. died
in 589,* and his reign, though short, was distinguished by the activity
shown in rebuilding and embellishing the temples.

     * Herodotus reckoned the length of the reign of Psammetichus
     II. at six years, in which he agrees with the Syncellus,
     while the abbreviators of Manetho fix it at seventeen years.
     The results given by the reading of a stele of the Louvre
     enable us to settle that the figure 6 is to be preferred to
     the other, and to reckon the length of the reign at five
     years and a half.

His name is met with everywhere on the banks of the Nile--at Karnak,
where he completed the decoration of the great columns of Taharqa, at
Abydos, at Heliopolis, and on the monuments that have come from that
town, such as the obelisk set up in the Campus Martius at Borne. The
personal influence of the young sovereign did not count for much in the
zeal thus displayed; but the impulse that had been growing during three
or four generations, since the time of the expulsion of the Assyrians,
now began to have its full effect. Egypt, well armed, well governed
by able ministers, and more and more closely bound to Greece by both
mercantile and friendly ties, had risen to a very high position in the
estimation of its contemporaries; the inhabitants of Elis had deferred
to her decision in the question whether they should take part in the
Olympic games in which they were the judges, and following the advice
she had given on the matter, they had excluded their own citizens from
the sports so as to avoid the least suspicion of partiality in the
distribution of the prizes.* The new king, probably the brother of
the late Pharaoh, had his prenomen of Uahibn from his grandfather
Psammetichus I., and it was this sovereign that the Greeks called
indifferently Uaphres and Apries.**

     * Diodorus Siculus has transferred the anecdote to Amasis,
     and the decision given is elsewhere attributed to one of the
     seven sages. The story is a popular romance, of which
     Herodotus gives the version current among the Greeks in
     Egypt.

     ** According to Herodotus, Apries was the son of Psammis.
     The size of the sarcophagus of Psammetichus II., suitable
     only for a youth, makes this filiation improbable.
     Psammetichus, who came to the throne when he was hardly more
     than a child, could have left behind him only children of
     tender age, and Apries appears from the outset as a prince
     of full mental and physical development.

[Illustration: 422.jpg APRIES, FROM A SPHINX IN THE LOUVRE]

     Drawn by Boudier, from the bronze statuette in the Louvre
     Museum.

He was young, ambitious, greedy of fame and military glory, and longed
to use the weapon that his predecessors had for some fifteen years past
been carefully whetting; his emissaries, arriving at Jerusalem at
the moment when the popular excitement was at its height, had little
difficulty in overcoming Zede-kiah's scruples. Edoni, Moab, and the
Philistines, who had all taken their share in the conferences of the
rebel party, hesitated at the last moment, and refused to sever their
relations with Babylon. Tyre and the Ammonites alone persisted in their
determination, and allied themselves with Egypt on the same terms as
Judah.

[Illustration: 423.jpg STELE OF NEBUCHADREZZAR]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Pognon. The figures
     have been carefully defaced with the hammer, but the outline
     of the king can still be discerned on the left; he seizes
     the rampant lion by the right paw, and while it raises its
     left paw against him, he plunges his dagger into the body of
     the beast.

Nebuchadrezzar, thus defied by three enemies, was at a loss to decide
upon which to make his first attack. Ezekiel, whose place of exile put
him in a favourable position for learning what was passing, shows him to
us as he "stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways,
to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the
teraphim, he looked in the liver." Judah formed as it were the bridge
by which the Egyptians could safely enter Syria, and if Nebuchadrezzar
could succeed in occupying it before their arrival, he could at once
break up the coalition into three separate parts incapable of rejoining
one another--Ammon in the desert to the east, Tyre and Sidon on the
seaboard, and Pharaoh beyond his isthmus to the south-west. He therefore
established himself in a central position at Eiblah on the Orontes, from
whence he could observe the progress of the operations, and hasten
with his reserve force to a threatened point in the case of unforeseen
difficulties; having done this, he despatched the two divisions of
his army against his two principal adversaries. One of these divisions
crossed the Lebanon, seized its fortresses, and, leaving a record of its
victories on the rocks of the Wady Brissa, made its way southwards along
the coast to blockade Tyre.*

     * The account of this Phoenician campaign is contained in
     one of the inscriptions discovered and commented on by
     Pognon. Winckler, the only one to my knowledge who has tried
     to give a precise chronological position to the events
     recorded in the inscription, places them at the very
     beginning of the reign, after the victory of Carchemish,
     about the time when Nebuchadrezzar heard that his father had
     just died. I think that this date is not justified by the
     study of the inscription, for the king speaks therein of the
     great works that he had accomplished, the restoration of the
     temples, the rebuilding of the walls of Babylon, and the
     digging of canals, all of which take us to the middle or the
     end of his reign. We are therefore left to choose between
     one of two dates, namely, that of 590-587, during the Jewish
     war, and that from the King's thirty-seventh year to 568
     B.C., during the war against Amasis which will be treated
     below. I have chosen the first, because of Nebuchadrezzar's
     long sojourn at Riblah, which gave him sufficient time for
     the engraving of the stelse on Lebanon: the bas-reliefs of
     Wady. Brissa could have been cut before the taking of
     Jerusalem, for no allusion to the war against the Jews is
     found in them. The enemy mentioned in the opening lines is
     perhaps Apries, whose fleet was scouring the Phoenician
     coasts.

The other force bore down upon Zedekiah, and made war upon him
ruthlessly. It burnt the villages and unwalled towns, gave the rural
districts over as a prey to the Philistines and the Edomites, surrounded
the two fortresses of Lachish and Azekah, and only after completely
exhausting the provinces, appeared before the walls of the capital.
Jerusalem was closely beset when the news reached the Chaldæans that
Apries was approaching Gaza; Zedekiah, in his distress, appealed to him
for help, and the promised succour at length came upon the scene. The
Chaldæans at once raised the siege with the object of arresting the
advancing enemy, and the popular party, reckoning already on a Chaldean
defeat, gave way to insolent rejoicing over the prophets of evil.
Jeremiah, however, had no hope of final success. "Deceive not
yourselves, saying, The Chaldæans shall surely depart from us; for
they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the
Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men
among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this
city with fire." What actually took place is not known; according to one
account, Apries accepted battle and was defeated; according to another,
he refused to be drawn into an engagement, and returned haughtily to
Egypt.*

     * That, at least, is what Jeremiah seems to say (xxxvii. 7):
     "Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you,
     shall return to Egypt into their own land." There is no hint
     here of defeat or even of a battle.

His fleet probably made some effective raiding on the Phoenician coast.
It is easy to believe that the sight of the Chaldoan camp inspired him
with prudence, and that he thought twice before compromising the effects
of his naval campaign and risking the loss of his fine army--the only
one which Egypt possessed--in a conflict in which his own safety was
not directly concerned. Nebuchadrezzar, on his side, was not anxious to
pursue so strongly equipped an adversary too hotly, and deeming himself
fortunate in having escaped the ordeal of a trial of strength with him,
he returned to his position before the walls of Jerusalem.

The city receiving no further succour, its fall was merely a question of
time, and resistance served merely to irritate the besiegers. The Jews
nevertheless continued to defend it with the heroic obstinacy and, at
the same time, with the frenzied discord of which they have so often
shown themselves capable. During the respite which the diversion caused
by Apries afforded them, Jeremiah had attempted to flee from Jerusalem
and seek refuge in Benjamin, to which tribe he belonged. Arrested at the
city gate on the pretext of treason, he was unmercifully beaten, thrown
into prison, and the king, who had begun to believe in him, did not
venture to deliver him. He was confined in the court of the palace,
which served as a gaol, and allowed a ration of a loaf of bread for his
daily food.1 The courtyard was a public place, to which all comers had
access who desired to speak to the prisoners, and even here the prophet
did not cease to preach and exhort the people to repentance: "He that
abideth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the
pestilence; but he that goeth forth to the Chaldæans shall live, and
his life shall be unto him for a prey, and he shall live. Thus saith the
Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the
King of Babylon, and he shall take it."

[Illustration: 427.jpg PRISONERS UNDER TORTURE HAVING THEIR TONGUES TORN
OUT]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original in the
     British Museum.

The princes and officers of the king, however, complained to Zedekiah
of him: "Let this man, we pray thee, be put to death; forasmuch as he
weakeneth the hands of the men of war, and the hands of all the people
in speaking such words." Given up to his accusers and plunged in a
muddy cistern, he escaped by the connivance of a eunuch of the royal
household, only to renew his denunciations with greater force than ever.

[Illustration: 428.jpg A KING PUTTING OUT THE EYES OF A PRISONER]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from several engravings in Botta.
     The mutilated remains of several bas-reliefs have been
     combined so as to form a tolerably correct scene; the
     prisoners have a ring passed through their lips, and the
     king holds them by a cord attached to it.

The king sent for him secretly and asked his advice, but could draw
from him nothing but threats: "If thou wilt go forth unto the King of
Babylon's princes, then thy soul shall live, and this city shall not be
burned with fire, and thou shalt live and thine house: but if thou wilt
not go forth to the King of Babylon's princes, then shall this city
be given into the hand of the Chal-dseans, and they shall burn it with
fire, and thou shalt not escape out of their hand." Zedekiah would have
asked no better than to follow his advice, but he had gone too far to
draw back now. To the miseries of war and sickness the horrors of famine
were added, but the determination of the besieged was unshaken; bread
was failing, and yet they would not hear of surrender. At length, after
a year and a half of sufferings heroically borne, in the eleventh year
of Zedekiah, the eleventh month, and the fourth day of the month, a
portion of the city wall fell before the attacks of the battering-rams,
and the Chaldæan army entered by the breach. Zedekiah assembled his
remaining soldiers, and took counsel as to the possibility of cutting
his way through the enemy to beyond the Jordan; escaping by night
through the gateway opposite the Pool of Siloam, he was taken prisoner
near Jericho, and carried off to Eiblah, where Nebuchadrezzar was
awaiting with impatience the result of the operations. The Chaldæans
were accustomed to torture their prisoners in the fashion we frequently
see represented on the monuments of Nineveh, and whenever an unexpected
stroke of good fortune brings to light any decorative bas-relief from
their palaces, we shall see represented on it the impaling stake,
rebels being flayed alive, and chiefs having their tongues torn out.
Nebuchadrezzar, whose patience was exhausted, caused the sons of
Zedekiah to be slain in the presence of their father, together with all
the prisoners of noble birth, and then, having put out his eyes, sent
the king of Babylon loaded with chains. As for the city which had so
long defied his wrath, he gave it over to Nebuzaradan, one of the
great officers of the crown, with orders to demolish it and give it up
systematically to the flames. The temple was despoiled of its precious
wall-coverings, the pillars and brazen ornaments of the time of Solomon
which still remained were broken up, and the pieces carried off to
Chaldoa in sacks, the masonry was overthrown and the blocks of stone
rolled down the hill into the ravine of the Kedron. The survivors among
the garrison, the priests, scribes, and members of the upper classes,
were sent off into exile, but the mortality during the siege had been
so great that the convoy barely numbered eight hundred and thirty-two
persons.

[Illustration: 430b.jpg A PEOPLE CARRIED AWAY INTO CAPTIVITY]

Some of the poorer population were allowed to remain in the environs,
and the fields and vineyards of the exiles were divided among them.1
Having accomplished the work of destruction, the Chal-dseans retired,
leaving the government in the hands of Gedaliah, son of Ahikam,* a
friend of Jeremiah. Gedaliah established himself at Mizpah, where
he endeavoured to gather around him the remnant of the nation, and
fugitives poured in from Moab, Ammon, and Edom.

     *Chron. xxxvi. 17-20. The following is the table of the
     kings of Judah from the death of Solomon to the destruction
     of Jerusalem:--

[Illustration: 430.jpg TABLE OF THE KINGS OF JUDAH]

It seemed that a Jewish principality was about to rise again from the
ruins of the kingdom. Jeremiah was its accredited counsellor, but his
influence could not establish harmony among these turbulent spirits,
still smarting from their recent misfortunes.* The captains of the bands
which had been roaming over the country after the fall of Jerusalem
refused, moreover, to act in concert with Gedaliah, and one of them,
Ishmael by name, who was of the royal blood, assassinated him, but,
being attacked in Gibeon by Johanan, the son of Kareah, was forced to
escape almost alone and take refuge with the Ammonites.** These acts
of violence aroused the vigilance of the Chaldasans; Johanan feared
reprisals, and retired into Egypt, taking with him Jeremiah, Baruch,
and the bulk of the people.*** Apries gave the refugees a welcome, and
assigned them certain villages near to his military colony at Daphnae,
whence they soon spread into the neighbouring nomes as far as Migdol,
Memphis, and even as far as the Thebaid.****

     * For the manner in which Jeremiah was separated from the
     rest of the captives, set at liberty and sent back to
     Gedaliah, see Jer. xxxix. 11-18, xl. 1-6.

     ** 2 Kings xxv. 23-25, and Jer. xl. 7-16, xli. 1-15, where
     these events are recorded at length.

     *** 2 Kings xxv. 26; Jer. xli. 16-18, xlii., xliii. 1-7.

     **** Jer. xliv. 1, where the word of the Lord is spoken to
     "all the Jews... which dwelt at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes
     (Daphno), and at Moph (corr. Moph, Memphis), and in the
     country of Pathros."

Even after all these catastrophes Judah's woes were not yet at an end.
In 581, the few remaining Jews in Palestine allied themselves with the
Moabites and made a last wild effort for independence; a final defeat,
followed by a final exile, brought them to irretrievable ruin.* The
earlier captives had entertained no hope of advantage from these
despairing efforts, and Ezekiel from afar condemned them without pity:
"They that inherit those waste places in the land of Israel speak,
saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many;
the land is given us for inheritance.... Ye lift up your eyes unto your
idols and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your
sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's
wife: and shall ye possess the land?... Thus saith the Lord God: As I
live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword,
and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be
devoured, and they that be in the strongholds and in the caves shall die
of the pestilence."**

     * Josephus, following Berosus, speaks of a war against the
     Moabites and the Ammonites, followed by the conquest of
     Egypt in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar. To this
     must be added a Jewish revolt if we are to connect with
     these events the mention of the third captivity, carried out
     in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadrezzar by Nebuzaradan.

     ** Ezek. xxxiii. 23-27.

The first act of the revolution foreseen by the prophets was over; the
day of the Lord, so persistently announced by them, had at length come,
and it had seen not only the sack of Jerusalem, but the destruction of
the earthly kingdom of Judah. Many of the survivors, refusing still to
acknowledge the justice of the chastisement, persisted in throwing the
blame of the disaster on the reformers of the old worship, and saw no
hope of salvation except in their idolatrous practices. "As for the
word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not
hearken unto thee. But we will certainly perform every word that is gone
forth out of our mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to
pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we and our fathers,
our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of
Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well and saw no
evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven and
to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and
have been consumed by the sword and by the famine."

There still remained to these misguided Jews one consolation which
they shared in common with the prophets--the certainty of seeing the
hereditary foes of Israel involved in the common overthrow: Ammon had
been already severely chastised; Tyre, cut off from the neighbouring
mainland, seemed on the point of succumbing, and the turn of Egypt
must surely soon arrive in which she would have to expiate in bitter
sufferings the wrongs her evil counsels had brought upon Jerusalem.
Their anticipated joy, however, of witnessing such chastisements was not
realised. Tyre defied for thirteen years the blockade of Nebuchadrezzar,
and when the city at length decided to capitulate, it was on condition
that its king, Ethbaal III., should continue to reign under the almost
nominal suzerainty of the Chaldeans (574 B.C.).*

     * The majority of Christian writers have imagined, contrary
     to the testimony of the Phoenician annals, that the island
     of Tyre was taken by Nebuchadrezzar; they say that the
     Chaldæans united the island to the mainland by a causeway
     similar to that constructed subsequently by Alexander. It is
     worthy of notice that a local tradition, still existing in
     the eleventh century of our era, asserted that the besiegers
     were not successful in their enterprise.

Egypt continued not only to preserve her independence, but seemed to
increase in prosperity in proportion to the intensity of the hatred
which she had stirred up against her.

[Illustration: 436.jpg BRONZE LION OF BOHBAIT]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an engraving in Mariette.

Apries set about repairing the monuments and embellishing the temples:
he erected throughout the country stelæ, tables of offerings, statues
and obelisks, some of which, though of small size, like that which
adorns the Piazza della Minerva at Borne,* erected so incongruously on
the back of a modern elephant, are unequalled for purity of form and
delicacy of cutting. The high pitch of artistic excellence to which the
schools of the reign of Psam-metichus II. had attained was maintained
at the same exalted level. If the granite sphinxes** and bronze lions of
this period lack somewhat in grace of form, it must be acknowledged that
they display greater refinement and elegance in the technique of carving
or moulding than had yet been attained.

     * [One of the two obelisks of the Campus Martius, on which
     site the Church of S. Maria Sopra Minerva was built.--Tr.]

     ** Above the summary of the contents of the present chapter,
     will be found one of these sphinxes which was discovered in
     Rome.

[Illustration: 437.jpg THE SMALL OBELISK IN THE PIAZZA DELLA MINERVA AT
HOME]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph.

While engaged in these works at home, Apries was not unobservant of
the revolutions occurring in Asia, upon which he maintained a constant
watch, and in the years which followed the capitulation of Tyre, he found
the opportunity, so long looked for, of entering once more upon the
scene. The Phoenician navy had suffered much during the lengthy blockade
of their country, and had become inferior to the Egyptian, now well
organised by Thelonians: Apries therefore took the offensive by sea, and
made a direct descent on the Phoenician coasts. Nebuchadrezzar opposed
him with the forces of the recently subjugated Tyrians, and the latter,
having cooled in their attachment to Egypt owing to the special favour
shown by the Pharaoh to their rivals the Hellenes, summoned their
Cypriote vassals to assist them in repelling the attack. The Egyptians
dispersed the combined fleets, and taking possession of Sidon, gave
it up to pillage. The other maritime cities surrendered of their own
accord,* including Gebal, which received an Egyptian garrison, and
where the officers of Pharaoh founded a temple to the goddess whom they
identified with the Egyptian Hâthor.

     * The war of Apries against the Phoenicians cannot have
     taken place before the capitulation of Tyre in 574 B.C.,
     because the Tyrians took part in it by order of
     Nebuchadrezzar, and on the other hand it cannot be put later
     than 569 B.C., the date of the revolt of Amasis; it must
     therefore be assigned to about 571 B.C.

The object at which Necho and Psammetichus II. had aimed for fifteen
years was thus attained by Apries at one fortunate blow, and he could
legitimately entitle himself "more fortunate than all the kings his
predecessors," and imagine, in his pride, that "the gods themselves
were unable to injure him." The gods, however, did not allow him long
to enjoy the fruits of his victory. Greeks had often visited Libya since
the time when Egypt had been thrown open to the trade of the iEgean.
Their sailors had discovered that the most convenient course thither
was to sail straight to Crete, and then to traverse the sea between this
island and the headlands of the Libyan plateau; here they fell in with a
strong current setting towards the east, which carried them quickly and
easily as far as Eakotis and Canopus, along the Marmarican shore. In
these voyages they learned to appreciate the value of the country; and
about 631 B.C. some Dorians of Thera, who had set out to seek for a new
home at the bidding of the Delphic oracle, landed in the small desert
island of Platsea, where they built a strongly fortified settlement.
Their leader, Battos,* soon crossed over to the mainland, where, having
reached the high plateau, he built the city of Cyrene on the borders of
an extremely fertile region, watered by abundant springs. The tribes of
the Labu, who had fought so valiantly against the Pharaohs of old, still
formed a kind of loose confederation, and their territory stretched
across the deserts from the Egyptian frontier to the shores of the
Syrtes. The chief of this confederation assumed the title of king, as in
the days of Mînephtah or of Ramses III.**

     * Herodotus seems to have been ignorant of the real name of
     the founder of Cyrene, which has been preserved for us by
     Pindar, by Callimachus, by the spurious Heraclides of
     Pontus, and by the chronologists of the Christian epoch.
     Herodotus says that _Battos_ signifies _king_ in the
     language of Libya.

     ** The description given by Herodotus of these Libyan tribes
     agrees with the slight amount of information furnished by
     the Egyptian monuments for the thirteenth century B.C.

The most civilised of these tribes were those which now dwelt nearest
to the coast: first the Adyrmakhides, who were settled beyond Marea, and
had been semi-Egyptianised by constant intercourse with the inhabitants
of the Delta; then the Giligammes, who dwelt between the port of Plynus
and the island of Aphrodisias; and beyond these, again, the Asbystes,
famed for their skill in chariot-driving, the Cabales, and the
Auschises. The oases of the hinterland were in the hands of the
Nasamones and of the Mashauasha, whom the Greeks called Maxyes.

One of the revolutions so frequent among the desert tribes had compelled
the latter to remove from their home near the Nile valley, to a district
far to the west, on the banks of the river Triton.

[Illustration: 440.jpg THE OASIS OF AMOK AND THE SPRING OF THE SUN]

     Drawn by Boudier, from Minutoli.

There they had settled down in a permanent fashion, dwelling in houses
of stone, and giving themselves up to the cultivation of the soil. They
continued, however, to preserve in their new life some of their ancient
customs, such as that of painting their bodies with vermilion, and of
shaving off the hair from their heads, with the exception of one lock
which hung over the right ear. The Theban Pharaohs had formerly placed
garrisons in the most important oases, and had consecrated temples there
to their god Amon.

[Illustration: 440b.jpg PORTION OF THE RUINS OF CYRENE]

One of these sanctuaries, built close to an intermittent spring, which
gave forth alternately hot and cold water, had risen to great eminence,
and the oracle of these Ammonians was a centre of pilgrimage from far
and near. The first Libyans who came into contact with the Greeks, the
Asbystes and the Giligammes, received the new-comers kindly, giving
them their daughters in marriage; from the fusion of the two races
thus brought about sprang, first under Battos and then under his son
Arkesilas I., an industrious and valiant race.

[Illustration: 443.jpg MAP OF LYBIA IN THE VITH CENTURY B.C.]

The main part of their revenues was derived from commerce in silphium
and woollen goods, and even the kings themselves did not deem it beneath
their dignity to preside in person at the weighing of the crop, and the
storing of the trusses in their magazines. The rapid increase in the
wealth of the city having shortly brought about a breach in the friendly
relations hitherto maintained between it and its neighbours, Battos
the Fortunate, the son of Arkesilas I., sent for colonists from
Greece: numbers answered to his call, on the faith of a second oracular
prediction, and in order to provide them with the necessary land, Battos
did not hesitate to dispossess his native allies. The latter appealed to
Adikrân, king of the confederacy, and this prince, persuaded that this
irregular militia would not be able to withstand the charge of the
hoplites, thereupon applied in his turn to Apries for assistance.

[Illustration: 443b.jpg the Silphium ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the cast of a coin of Cyrene.

There was much tempting spoil to be had in Cyrene, and Apries was fully
aware of the fact, from the accounts of the Libyans and the Greeks. His
covetousness must have been aroused at the prospect of such rich booty,
and perhaps he would have thought of appropriating it sooner, had he not
been deterred from the attempt by his knowledge of the superiority of
the Greek fleets, and of the dangers attendant on a long and painful
march over an almost desert country through disaffected tribes.

[Illustration: 444.jpg WEIGHING SILPHIUM IN PRESENCE OF KING ARKESILAS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of the original in
     the Coin Room in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. The
     king here represented is Arkesilas II. the Bad.

Now that he could rely on the support of the Libyans, he hesitated no
longer to run these risks. Deeming it imprudent, with good reason,
to employ his mercenary troops against their own compatriots, Apries
mobilised for his encounter with Battos an army exclusively recruited
from among his native reserves. The troops set out full of confidence
in themselves and of disdain for the enemy, delighted moreover at an
opportunity for at length convincing their kings of their error in
preferring barbarian to native forces. But the engagement brought to
nought all their boastings. The Egyptians were defeated in the first
encounter near Irasa, hard by the fountain of Thestê, near the spot
where the high plateaus of Cyrene proper terminate in the low cliffs
of Marmarica: and the troops suffered so severely during the subsequent
retreat that only a small remnant of the army regained in safety the
frontier of the Delta.*

     * The interpretation I have given to the sentiments of the
     Egyptian army follows clearly enough from the observation of
     Herodotus, that "the Egyptians, having never experienced
     themselves the power of the Greeks, had felt for them
     nothing but contempt." The site of Irasa and the fountain of
     Thestê has been fixed with much probability in the fertile
     district watered still by the fountain of Ersen, Erazem, or
     Erasân.

This unexpected reverse was the occasion of the outbreak of a revolution
which had been in preparation for years. The emigration to Ethiopia
of some contingents of the military class had temporarily weakened
the factions hostile to foreign influence; these factions had felt
themselves powerless under the rule of Psammetichus I., and had bowed to
his will, prepared all the while to reassert themselves when they felt
strong enough to do so successfully. The reorganisation of the native
army furnished them at once with the means of insurrection, of which
they had temporarily been deprived. Although Pharaoh had lavished
privileges on the Hermotybies and Calasiries, she had not removed the
causes for discontent which had little by little alienated the good will
of the Mashauasha: to do so would have rendered necessary the disbanding
of the Ionian guard, the object of their jealousy, and to take this step
neither he nor his successors could submit themselves. The hatred
of these mercenaries, and the irritation against the sovereigns who
employed them, grew fiercer from reign to reign, and now wanted nothing
but a pretext to break forth openly: such a pretext was furnished by the
defeat at Irasa. When the fugitives arrived at the entrenched camp of
Marea, exasperated by their defeat, and alleging doubtless that it was
due to treachery, they found others who affected to share their belief
that Pharaoh had despatched his Egyptian troops against Cyrene with
the view of consigning to certain death those whose loyalty to him was
suspected, and it was not difficult to stir up the disaffected soldiers
to open revolt. It was not the first time that a military tumult had
threatened the sovereignty of Apries. Some time previous to this, in
an opposite quarter of the Nile valley, the troops stationed at
Elephantine, composed partly of Egyptians, partly of Asiatic and Greek
mercenaries--possibly the same who had fought in the Ethiopian campaign
under Psammetichus II.--had risen in rebellion owing to some neglect
in the payment of their wages: having devastated the Thebaid, they had
marched straight across the desert to the port of Shashirît, in the hope
of there seizing ships to enable them to reach the havens of Idumæa
or Nabatoa. The governor of Elephantine, Nsihor, had at first held them
back with specious promises; but on learning that Apries was approaching
with reinforcements, he attacked them boldly, and driving them before
him, hemmed them in between his own force and that of the king and
massacred them all. Apries thought that the revolt at Marea would have a
similar issue, and that he might succeed in baffling the rebels by
fair words; he sent to them as his representative Amasis, one of his
generals, distantly connected probably with the royal house. What took
place in the camp is not clearly known, for the actual events have been
transformed in the course of popular transmission into romantic legends.
The story soon took shape that Amasis was born of humble parentage in
the village of Siuph, not far from Sais; he was fond, it was narrated,
of wine, the pleasures of the table, and women, and replenished
his empty purse by stealing what he could lay his hands on from his
neighbours or comrades--a gay boon-companion all the while, with an
easy disposition and sarcastic tongue. According to some accounts, he
conciliated the favour of Apries by his invariable affability and good
humour; according to others, he won the king's confidence by presenting
him with a crown of flowers on his birthday.*

     * The king to whom Amasis made this offering is called
     Patarmis, and the similarity of this name with the
     Patarbemis of Herodotus seems to indicate a variant of the
     legend, in which Patarmis or Patarbemis took the place of
     Apries.

The story goes on to say that while he was haranguing the rebels, one
of them, slipping behind him, suddenly placed on his head the rounded
helmet of the Pharaohs: the bystanders immediately proclaimed him king,
and after a slight show of resistance he accepted the dignity. As
soon as the rumour of these events had reached Sais, Apries despatched
Patarbemis, one of his chief officers, with orders to bring back the
rebel chief alive. The latter was seated on his horse, on the point of
breaking up his camp and marching against his former patron, when the
envoy arrived. On learning the nature of his mission, Amasis charged
him to carry back a reply to the effect that he had already been making
preparation to submit, and besought the sovereign to grant him patiently
a few days longer, so that he might bring with him the Egyptian subjects
of Pharaoh. Tradition adds that, on receiving this insolent defiance,
Apries fell into a violent passion, and without listening to
remonstrance, ordered the nose and ears of Patarbemis to be cut off,
whereupon the indignant people, it is alleged, deserted his cause and
ranged themselves on the side of Amasis. The mercenaries, however,
did not betray the confidence reposed in them by their Egyptian lords.
Although only thirty thousand against a whole people, they unflinchingly
awaited the attack at Momemphis (569 B.C.); but, being overwhelmed by
the numbers of their assailants, disbanded and fled, after a conflict
lasting one day. Apries, taken prisoner in the rout, was at first well
treated by the conqueror, and seems even to have retained for a time
the external pomp of royalty; but the populace of Sais demanding his
execution with vehemence, Amasis was at length constrained to deliver
him up to their vengeance, and Apries was strangled by the mob. He was
honourably interred between the royal palace and the temple of Nit, not
far from the spot where his predecessors reposed in their glory,* and
the usurper made himself sole master of the country. It was equivalent
to a change of dynasty, and Amasis had recourse to the methods usual in
such cases to consolidate his power. He entered into a marriage alliance
with princesses of the Saite line, and thus legitimatised his usurpation
as far as the north was concerned.**

     * It was probably from this necropolis that the coffin of
     Psammetichus II. came.

     ** The wife of Amasis, who was mother of Psammetichus III.,
     the queen Tintkhiti, daughter of Petenit, prophet of Phtah,
     was probably connected with the royal family of Sais.

In the south, the "divine worshippers" had continued to administer the
extensive heritage of Amon, and Nitocris, heiress of Shapenuapît, had
adopted in her old age a daughter of her great-nephew, Psammetichus IL,
named Ankhnasnofiribrî: this princess was at this time in possession of
Thebes, and Amasis appears to have entered into a fictitious marriage
with her in order to assume to himself her rights to the crown. He had
hardly succeeded in establishing his authority on a firm basis when he
was called upon to repel the Chaldaean invasion. The Hebrew prophets had
been threatening Egypt with this invasion for a long time, and Ezekiel,
discounting the future, had already described the entrance of Pharaoh
into Hades, to dwell among the chiefs of the nations--Assur, Elam,
Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and Philistia--who, having incurred the vengeance
of Jahveh, had descended into the grave one after the other: "Pharaoh
and all his army shall be slain by the sword, saith the Lord God! For I
have put this terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in
the midst of the uncircumcised, with them that are slain by the sword,
even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God!" Nebuchadrezzar
had some hesitation in hazarding his fortune in a campaign on the banks
of the Nile: he realised tolerably clearly that Babylon was not in
command of such resources as had been at the disposal of Nineveh under
Esarhaddon or Assur-bani-pal, and that Egypt in the hands of a Saite
dynasty was a more formidable foe than when ruled by the Ethiopians. The
report of the revolution of which Apries had become a victim at length
determined him to act; the annihilation of the Hellenic troops, and the
dismay which the defeat at Irasa had occasioned in the hearts of
the Egyptians, seemed to offer an opportunity too favourable to be
neglected. The campaign was opened by Nebuchadrezzar about 568, in the
thirty-seventh year of his reign,* but we have no certain information as
to the issue of his enterprise.

     * A fragment of his Annals, discovered by Pinches, mentions
     in the thirty-seventh year of his reign a campaign against
     [Ah]masu, King of Egypt; and Wiedemann, from the evidence of
     this document combined with the information derived from one
     of the monuments in the Louvre, thought that the fact of a
     conquest of Egypt as far as Syenô might be admitted; at that
     point the Egyptian general Nsihor would have defeated the
     Chaldæans and repelled the invasion, and this event would
     have taken place during the joint reign of Apries and
     Amasis. A more attentive examination of the Egyptian
     monument shows that it refers not to a Chaldæan war, but to
     a rebellion of the garrisons in the south of Egypt,
     including the Greek and Semitic auxiliaries.

According to Chaldæan tradition, Nebuchadrezzar actually invaded the
valley of the Nile and converted Egypt into a Babylonian province,
with Amasis as its satrap.* We may well believe that Amasis lost the
conquests won by his predecessor in Phoenicia, if, indeed, they still
belonged to Egypt at his accession: but there is nothing to indicate
that the Chaldæans ever entered Egypt itself and repeated the Assyrian
exploit of a century before.

     * These events would have taken place in the twenty-third
     year of Nebuchadrezzar; the reigning king (Apries) being
     killed and his place taken by one of his generals (Amasis),
     who remained a satrap of the Babylonian empire.

This was Nebuchadrezzar's last war, the last at least of which history
makes any mention. As a fact, the kings of the second Babylonian empire
do not seem to have been the impetuous conquerors which we have fancied
them to be. We see them as they are depicted to us in the visions of the
Hebrew prophets, who, regarding them and their nation as a scourge in
the hands of God, had no colours vivid enough or images sufficiently
terrible to portray them. They had blotted out Nineveh from the list of
cities, humiliated Pharaoh, and subjugated Syria, and they had done
all this almost at their first appearance in the field--such a feat as
Assyria and Egypt in the plenitude of their strength had been unable to
accomplish: they had, moreover, destroyed Jerusalem and carried Judah
into captivity. There is nothing astonishing in the fact that this
Nebuchadrezzar, whose history is known to us almost entirely from Jewish
sources, should appear as a fated force let loose upon the world. "O
thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up
thyself into the scabbard; rest and be still! How canst thou be quiet,
seeing the Lord hath given thee a charge?" But his campaigns in
Syria and Africa, of which the echoes transmitted to us still seem so
formidable, were not nearly so terrible in reality as those in which
Blam had perished a century previously; they were, moreover, the only
conflicts which troubled the peace of his reign. The Arabian chroniclers
affirm, indeed, that the fabulous wealth of Yemen had incited him to
invade that region. Nebuchadrezzar, they relate, routed, not far from
the town of Dhât-îrk, the Joctanides of Jorhom, who had barred his
road to the Kaabah, and after seizing Mecca, reached the borders of
the children of Himyrâ: the exhausted condition of his soldiers having
prevented him from pressing further forward in his career of conquest,
he retraced his steps and returned to Babylon with a great number of
prisoners, including two entire tribes, those of Hadhurâ and Uabar,
whom he established as colonists in Chaldæa.* He never passed in this
direction beyond the limits reached by Assur-bani-pal, and his exploits
were restricted to some successful raids against the tribes of Kedar and
Nabatsea.**

* Most of the Arabic legends relating to these conquests of
Nebuchadrezzar are indirectly derived from the biblical story; but it is
possible that the history of the expeditions against Central Arabia is
founded on fact.

** This seems to follow from Jeremiah's imprecations upon Kedar

The same reasons which at the commencement of his reign had restrained
his ambition to extend his dominions towards the east and north, were
operative up to the end of his life. Astyages had not inherited the
martial spirit of his father Cyaxares, and only one warlike expedition,
that against the Cadusians, is ascribed to him.*

     * Moses of Chorene attributes to him long wars against an
     Armenian king named Tigranes; but this is a fiction of a
     later age.

Naturally indolent, lacking in decision, superstitious and cruel, he
passed a life of idleness amid the luxury of a corrupt court, surrounded
by pages, women, and eunuchs, with no more serious pastime than the
chase, pursued within the limits of his own parks or on the confines
of the desert. But if the king was weak, his empire was vigorous, and
Nebuchadrezzar, brought up from his youth to dread the armies of Media,
retained his respect for them up to the end of his life, even when there
was no longer any occasion to do so. Nebuchadrezzar was, after all, not
so much a warrior as a man of peace, whether so constituted by nature
or rendered so by political necessity in its proper sense, and he
took advantage of the long intervals of quiet between his campaigns to
complete the extensive works which more than anything else have won
for him his renown. During the century which had preceded the fall of
Nineveh, Babylonia had had several bitter experiences; it had suffered
almost entire destruction at the hands of Sennacherib; it had been given
up to pillage by Assur-bani-pal, not to mention the sieges and ravages
it had sustained in the course of continual revolts. The other cities
of Babylonia, Sippara, Borsippa, Kutha, Nipur, Uruk, and Uru, had been
subjected to capture and recapture, while the surrounding districts,
abandoned in turn to Elamites, Assyrians, and the Kaldâ, had lain
uncultivated for many years. The canals at the same time had become
choked with mud, the banks had fallen in, and the waters, no longer
kept under control, had overflowed the land, and the plains long since
reclaimed for cultivation had returned to their original condition of
morasses and reed-beds; at Babylon itself the Arakhtu, still encumbered
with the _debris_ cast into it by Sennacherib, was no longer navigable,
and was productive of more injury than profit to the city: in some parts
the aspect of the country must have been desolate and neglected as at
the present day, and the work accomplished by twenty generations had to
be begun entirely afresh. Nabopolassar had already applied himself to
the task in spite of the anxieties of his Assyrian campaigns, and had
raised many earthworks in both the capital and the provinces. But a
great deal more still remained to be done, and Nebuchadrezzar pushed
forward the work planned by his father, and carried it to completion
undeterred and undismayed by any difficulties.* The combined system
of irrigation and navigation introduced by the kings of the first
Babylonian empire twenty centuries previously, was ingeniously repaired;
the beds of the principal canals, the Royal river and the Arakhtu,
were straightened and deepened; the drainage of the country between the
Tigris and the Euphrates was regulated by means of subsidiary canals and
a network of dykes; the canals surrounding Babylon or intersecting in
the middle of the city were cleaned out, and a waterway was secured
for navigation from one river to the other, and from the plateau of
Mesopotamia to the Nar-Marratum.**

     * The only long inscriptions of Nebuchadrezzar which we
     possess, are those commemorating the great works he designed
     and executed.

     ** The irrigation works of Nebuchadrezzar are described at
     length, and perhaps exaggerated, by Abydenus, who merely
     quotes Berosus more or less inaccurately. The completion of
     the quays along the Arakhtu, begun by Nabopolassar, is
     noticed in the _East India Company's Inscription_. A special
     inscription, publ. by H. Rawlinson, gives an account of the
     repairing of the canal Libil-khigallu, which crossed
     Babylon.

We may well believe that all Nebuchadrezzar's undertakings were carried
out in accordance with a carefully prepared scheme for perfecting
the defences of the kingdom while completing the system of internal
communication. The riches of Karduniash, now restored to vigour by
continued peace, and become the centre of a considerable empire, could
not fail to excite the jealousy of its neighbours, and particularly that
of the most powerful among them, the Medes of Ecbatana. It is true
that the relations between Nebuchadrezzar and Astyages continued to be
cordial, and as yet there were no indications of a rupture; but it
was always possible that under their successors the good understanding
between the two courts might come to an end, and it was needful to
provide against the possibility of the barbarous tribes of Iran being
let loose upon Babylon, and attempting to inflict on her the fate they
had brought upon Nineveh. Nebuchadrezzar, therefore, was anxious to
interpose, between himself and these possible foes, such a series of
fortifications that the most persevering enemy would be worn out by the
prolonged task of forcing them one after another, provided that they
were efficiently garrisoned. He erected across the northern side of the
isthmus between the two rivers a great embankment, faced with bricks
cemented together with bitumen, called the _Wall of Media_; this wall,
starting from Sippara, stretched from the confluence of the Saklauiyeh
with the Euphrates to the site of the modern village of Jibbara on the
Tigris; on both sides of it four or five deep trenches were excavated,
which were passable on raised causeways or by bridges of boats, so
arranged as to be easily broken up in case of invasion.

[Illustration: 456.jpg CITY DEFENDED BY A TRIPLE WALL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief of the time of
     Sargon, in the Museum of the Louvre.

The eastern frontier was furnished with a rampart protected by a wide
moat, following, between Jibbara and Nipur, the contours of a low-lying
district which could be readily flooded. The western boundary was
already protected by the Pallakottas, and the lakes or marshes of
Bahr-î-Nejîf: Nebuchadrezzar multiplied the number of the dikes, and so
arranged them that the whole country between the suburbs of Borsippa and
Babylon could be inundated at will. Babylon itself formed as it were the
citadel in the midst of these enormous outlying fortifications, and
the engineers both of Nabopo-lassar and of his son expended all the
resources of their art on rendering it impregnable. A triple rampart
surrounded it and united it to Borsippa, built on the model of those
whose outline is so frequently found on the lowest tier of an Assyrian
bas-relief.

[Illustration: 457.jpg PROBABLE SECTION OF THE TRIPLE WALL OF BABYLON]

     Reproduced by Faucher-Gudin, from the restoration by
     Dieulafoy.

A moat of great width, with banks of masonry, communicating with
the Euphrates, washed the foot of the outer wall, which retained the
traditional name of Imgur-bel: behind this wall rose Nimitti-bel, the
true city wall, to a height of more than ninety feet above the level of
the plain, appearing from a distance, with its battlements and towers,
more like a mountain chain than a rampart built by the hand of man;
finally, behind Nimitti-bel ran a platform on the same level as the
curtain of Imgur-bel, forming a last barrier behind which the garrison
could rally before finally owning itself defeated and surrendering the
city. Large square towers rose at intervals along the face of the walls,
to the height of some eighteen feet above the battlements: a hundred
gates fitted with bronze-plated doors, which could be securely shut at
need, gave access to the city.*

     * The description of the fortifications of the city is
     furnished by Herodotus, who himself saw them still partially
     standing; the account of their construction has been given
     by Nebuchadrezzar himself, in the _East India Company's
     Inscription_.

The space within the walls was by no means completely covered by houses,
but contained gardens, farms, fields, and, here and there, the ruins of
deserted buildings. As in older Babylon, the city proper clustered round
the temple of Merodach, with its narrow winding streets, its crowded
bazaars, its noisy and dirty squares, its hostelries and warehouses of
foreign merchandise.

[Illustration: 458.jpg FRAGMENT OF A BABYLONIAN BAS-RELIEF]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Layard.

The pyramid of Esarhad-don and Assur-bani-pal, too hastily built, had
fallen into ruins: Nebuchadrezzar reconstructed its seven stages, and
erected on the topmost platform a shrine furnished with a table of
massive gold, and a couch on which the priestess chosen to be the spouse
of the god might sleep at night. Other small temples were erected here
and there on both banks of the river, and the royal palace, built in the
marvellously short space of fifteen days, was celebrated for its hanging
gardens, where the ladies of the harem might walk unveiled, secure from
vulgar observation. No trace of all these extensive works remains at the
present day.

[Illustration: 459.jpg RUINS OF THE ZIGGURÂT OF THE TEMPLE OF BEL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Layard.

Some scattered fragments of crumbling walls alone betray the site of
the great ziggurât, a few bas-reliefs are strewn over the surface of the
ground, and a lion of timeworn stone, lying on its back in a depression
of the soil, is perhaps the last survivor of those which kept watch,
according to custom, at the gates of the palace. But the whole of this
vast work of reconstruction and ornamentation must not be attributed to
Nebuchadrezzar alone. The plans had been designed by Nabopolassar under
the influence of one of his wives, who by a strange chance bears in
classic tradition the very Egyptian name of Nitocris; but his work was
insignificant compared with that accomplished by his son, and the name
of Nebuchadrezzar was justly connected with the marvels of Babylon by
all ancient writers. But even his reign of fifty-five years did not
suffice for the completion of all his undertakings, and many details
still remained imperfect at his death in the beginning of 562 B.C.
Though of Kaldu origin, and consequently exposed to the suspicions
and secret enmity of the native Babylonians, as all of his race, even
Mero-dach-Baladan himself, had been before him, he had yet succeeded
throughout the whole of his reign in making himself respected by the
turbulent inhabitants of his capital, and in curbing the ambitious
pretensions of the priests of Merodach. As soon as his master-hand
was withdrawn, the passions so long repressed broke forth, and
proved utterly beyond the control of his less able or less fortunate
successors.*

     * The sequel of this history is known from the narrative of
     Berosus. Its authenticity is proved by passages on the
     _Cylinder of Nabonidus_. Messer-schmidt considers that Amil-
     marduk and Labashi-marduk were overthrown by the priestly
     faction, but a passage on the _Cylinder_, in which Nabonidus
     represents himself as inheriting the political views of
     Nebuchadrezzar and Nergal-sharuzur, leads me to take the
     opposite view. We know what hatred Nabonidus roused in the
     minds of the priests of Merodach because his principles of
     government were opposed to theirs: the severe judgment he
     passed on the rule of Amil-marduk and Labashi-marduk seems
     to prove that he considered them as belonging to the rival
     party in the state, that is, to the priestly faction. The
     forms of the names and the lengths of the several reigns
     have been confirmed by contemporary monuments, especially by
     the numerous contract tablets. The principal inscriptions
     belonging to the reign of Nergal-sharuzur deal only with
     public works and the restoration of monuments.

[Illustration: 460.jpg THE STONE LION OF BABYLON]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph furnished by
     Father Scheil.

As far as we are able to judge by the documents which have come down to
us, two factions had arisen in the city since the fall of Nineveh, both
of which aspired to power and strove to gain a controlling influence
with the sovereign. The one comprised the descendants of the Kaldâ who
had delivered the city from the Assyrian yoke, together with those
of the ancient military nobility. The other was composed of the great
priestly families and their adherents, who claimed for the gods or their
representatives the right to control the affairs of the state, and
to impose the will of heaven on the rulers of the kingdom. The latter
faction seems to have prevailed at first at the court of Amil-marduk,
the sole surviving son and successor of Nebuchadrezzar. This prince on
his accession embraced a policy contrary to that pursued by his father:
and one of his first acts was to release Jehoiachin, King of Judah, who
had been languishing in chains for twenty-seven years, and to ameliorate
the condition of the other expatriated Jews. The official history of a
later date represented him as having been an unjust sovereign, but we
have no information as to his misdeeds, and know only that after two
years a conspiracy broke out against him, led by his own brother-in-law,
Nergal-sharuzur, who assassinated him and seized the vacant throne
(560 B.C.). Nergal-sharuzur endeavoured to revive the policy of
Nebuchadrezzar, and was probably supported by the military party, but
his reign was a short one; he died in 556 B.C., leaving as sole heir
a youth of dissipated character named Labashi-marduk, whose name is
stigmatised by the chroniclers as that of a prince who knew not how to
rule. He was murdered at the end of nine months, and his place taken
by a native Babylonian, a certain Nabonâîd (Nabonidus), son of
Nabo-balatsu-ikbi, who was not connected by birth with his immediate
predecessors on the throne (556-555 B.C.).

No Oriental empire could escape from the effects of frequent and
abrupt changes in its rulers: like so many previous dynasties, that of
Nabopolassar became enfeebled as if from exhaustion immediately after
the death of its most illustrious scion, and foundered in imbecility and
decrepitude. Popular imagination, awe-struck by such a sudden downfall
from exalted prosperity, recognised the hand of God in the events which
brought about the catastrophe. A Chaldæan legend, current not long
after, related how Nebuchadrezzar, being seized towards the end of his
life with the spirit of prophecy, mounted to the roof of his palace,
and was constrained, as a punishment for his pride, to predict to his
people, with his own lips, the approaching ruin of their city; thereupon
the glory of its monarch suffered an eclipse from which there was no
emerging. The Jews, nourishing undying hatred for conqueror who had
overthrown Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of Solomon, were
not satisfied with a punishment so inadequate. According to them,
Nebuchadrezzar, after his victorious career, was so intoxicated with
his own glory that he proclaimed himself the equal of God. "Is not
this great Babylon," he cried, "which I have built for the royal
dwelling-place, by the might of my power, and for the glory of my
majesty!" and while he thus spake, there came a voice from heaven,
decreeing his metamorphosis into the form of a beast. "He was driven
from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew
of heaven, till his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails
like birds' claws." For seven years the king remained in this state,
to resume his former shape at the end of this period, and recover his
kingdom after having magnified the God of Israel.*

     * Dan. iv.

The founder of the dynasty which replaced that of Nebuchadrezzar,
Nabonidus, was certainly ill fitted to brave the storms already
threatening to break over his kingdom. It has not been ascertained
whether he had any natural right to the throne, or by what means he
attained supreme power, but the way in which he dwells on the names
of Nebuchadrezzar and Nergal-sharuzur renders it probable that he was
raised to the throne by the military faction. He did not prove, as
events turned turned out, a good general, nor even a soldier of moderate
ability, and it is even possible that he also lacked that fierce courage
of which none of his predecessors was ever destitute. He allowed his
army to dwindle away and his fortresses to fall into ruins; the foreign
alliances existing at his accession, together with those which he
himself had concluded, were not turned to the best advantage;
his provinces were badly administered, and his subjects rendered
discontented: his most salient characteristic was an insatiable
curiosity concerning historical and religious antiquities, which
stimulated him to undertake excavations in all the temples, in order
to bring to light monuments of ages long gone by. He was a monarch
of peaceful disposition, who might have reigned with some measure of
success in a century of unbroken peace, or one troubled only by petty
wars with surrounding inferior states; but, unfortunately, the times
were ill suited to such mild sovereignty. The ancient Eastern world,
worn out by an existence reckoned by thousands of years, as well as by
its incessant conflicts, would have desired, indeed, no better fate than
to enjoy some years of repose in the condition in which recent events
had left it; but other nations, the Greeks and the Persians, by no means
anxious for tranquillity, were entering the lists. For the moment
the efforts of the Greeks were concentrated on Egypt, where Pharaoh
manifested for them inexhaustible good will, and on Cyprus, two-thirds
of which belonged to them; the danger for Chaldæa lay in the Persians,
kinsfolk and vassals of the Medes, whose semi-barbarous chieftains had
issued from their mountain homes some eighty years previously to occupy
the eastern districts of Elam.

END OF VOL. VIII.





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