A Manual of Ancient History: Particularly with Regard to the Constitutions, the Commerce, and the Colonies, of the States of Antiquity










Translated from the German.




[Pg iii]



It is to the patient industry of the historians of Germany, that we are indebted for the first production of Manuals of history, and for those synchronistic tables which have so much facilitated the systematic study of ancient history; and among the various and profound treatises of this class which enrich and adorn their literature, the works of Heeren are distinguished by their extended range of enquiry, as well as by the minute accuracy of their details.

The work before us embodies the result of his laborious researches during the long period in which he has been engaged as public lecturer and professor of history in the university of Goettingen; and if it be any recommendation of a work to know that its writer has had ample time, ability, and opportunity to collect and elaborate his materials, it may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that the author of the present work possessed all these advantages in an eminent degree. He has spent the greater portion of his life in lecturing upon the subjects of which it treats, and has in every case gone for his information immediately to the fountain head. It forms, too, an important feature of his work, that a list of the original sources, whence his own know[Pg iv]ledge has been drawn, is placed at the head of each section; another is added of the principal writers who have touched upon or illustrated the particular portion of history under notice; both being generally accompanied with a few words of judicious criticism, in which the value of the writer's authority is estimated, and his sources, circumstances, and prejudices, briefly, but fairly set forth. Besides this advantage, the work possesses the merit of combining the convenience of the Manuals with the synchronistic method of instruction; as the geography, chronology, and biography of the countries and states of the ancient world are brought at once under the eye of the reader; and so lucid is the arrangement, that the darkest and most entangled portions of history are seen in a clear and perspicuous light. Professor Heeren seems, moreover, to possess in a more eminent degree than any other writer, the power of forcing, by a very few words, the attention of the reader upon the most important facts of history; and of conjuring up in his thoughts a train of reflections calculated at once to instruct and enlarge the mind. His work is not only admirably adapted to become a text-book in the study of history, but will be found equally serviceable as a book of reference—it will guide the student in his untried and intricate course, and enable the more advanced scholar to methodize his collected stores. Perhaps in no work has so much important information been condensed into so small a compass.

The estimation in which this Manual is held on the continent, may be gathered from the[Pg v] fact of its having passed through six large editions in German, and two in French, and from its having been translated into almost every language of Europe.

The rapidity with which the first edition, as well as the other writings of professor Heeren, have sold in this country, is a proof that they only required to be known here in order to be appreciated. The favour with which these translations have been received, both by the venerable author himself and by the British public, has been a source of the highest gratification to the publisher. The encouragement, so kindly bestowed, has urged him to new exertions, the fruits of which, he trusts, will be observable in the present volume. The Manual has not only been revised and corrected throughout, but has also been diligently compared with the German, and has received such ameliorations as the original text or the English style seemed to demand. When it is added to this that a very numerous body of corrections and improvements have been sent to the publisher by professor Heeren himself, who has patiently examined the translation expressly for this edition, he trusts that the public will be satisfied that it is as faithful a copy of the original work as the nature of things will allow.

In the preface to the last edition of this Manual the publisher announced his intention, should it be favourably received, of following it up by the publication of another elaborate work of the same author, viz. A Manual of the History of the States of Modern Europe and their Colonies, as forming one political System. This work will[Pg vi] now very shortly appear. As an apology for the delay which has taken place, he begs to call to their notice another equally important work by the same author, which he has published in the mean time; the Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians, with a general introduction; the remainder of this work, containing the Historical Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the Ancient Asiatic Nations—the Persians, Phœnicians, Babylonians, Scythians, and Hindoos, will appear in a few weeks.

To add to the usefulness of the work, an analysis of the contents, with dates, has been given in the margin. The † prefixed to some of the books denote that they are written in German.

    March, 1833.

[Pg vii]


The following catalogue of the historical works of Professor Heeren, has been sent to the Publisher by the Professor himself. They are uniformly printed in German, in 15 vols. 8vo. and may always be had together or separate of the publisher of this volume.


VOL. I. II. III. Vermischte historische Schriften. (Miscellaneous Historical Pieces).

VOL. I. Einleitung. Biographische Nachrichten über den Verfasser. (Biographical Sketch of Heeren's Life, by himself.)
    1. Entwickelung der politischen Folgen der Reformation für Europa. (Development of the Consequences of the Reformation to the Politics of Europe).
    2. * Versuch einer Entwickelung des Ursprungs und Fortganges der britischen Continental-interesse. (Essay on the Rise and Progress of the British Continental interests). A translation of this Essay will be appended to the Manual of the History of Modern Europe, see vol. viii. ix. below.
    3. Ueber den Einfluss der politischen Theorien auf Europa. (Of the Influence of Political Theories on Europe).

VOL. II. 1. Ueber die Erhaltung der Nationalität besiegter Völker. (On the Method of Preserving the Nationality of Conquered States.) Written in 1810, and suppressed by the French.
    2. Entwickelung der Folgen der Kreuzzüge für Europa. (Development of the Effects of the Crusades upon Europe: An essay which obtained the prize of the French Institute in 1808.
    3. Ueber den Einfluss der Normannen auf die französische Sprache und Poësie. (On the Influence of the Normans on the French Language and Poetry).
    4. Ueber die Colonisation von Ægypten, und ihre Folgen für Europa. (On the Colonisation of Egypt, and its Probable Consequences to Europe).
    5. Der deutsche Bund in seinen Verhaltnisse zu Europa. (The Influence of the German Federation upon Europe).

VOL. III. 1. Ueber den historischen Werth der Biographien Plutarch's. (On the Historical Value of Plutarch's Lives).
    2. Geschichte der bürgerlichen Unruhen der Gracchen. (History of the Civil Commotions under the Gracchi).
    3. Fünf archæologische und antiquarische Aufsätze. (Five Archæological and Antiquarian Tracts).

[Pg viii]

VOL. IV. V. Geschichte der classischen Litteratur im Mittelalter. (History of Classical Literature During the Middle Ages).

VOL. VI. Biographische und litterarische Denkschriften. (Biographical and Literary Memoirs).
    1. Christian Gottlob. Hëyne, biographisch dargestellt. (Biographical Memoir of Heyne), the father-in-law of Heeren.
    2. Andenken an deutsche Historiker. (Memoirs of German Historians.)

VOL. VII. * Handbuch der Geschichte der Staaten des Alterthums. (Manual of Ancient History, of which this volume is the second edition of the English translation).

VOL. VIII. IX. * Handbuch der Geschichte der europäische Staaten-systems und seiner Colonien. (Manual of the History of the European States-system and their Colonies).

VOL. X. * Ideen ueber die Politik, den Verkehr und den Handel des vornehmsten Staaten der alten Welt. (Researches into the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the Principal States of Antiquity,—Asiatic Nations). 1. General Introduction; 2. Persians.

VOL. XI. * Ideen, etc. (Asiatic Nations). 1. Phœnicians; 2. Babylonians; 3. Scythians.

VOL. XII. * Ideen, etc. (Asiatic Nations). Indians.

VOL. XIII. * Ideen, etc. (African Nations). 1. Carthaginians; 2. Ethiopians.

VOL. XIV. * Ideen, etc. (African Nations). Egyptians.

VOL. XV. * Ideen, etc. (European Nations). Greeks.


Those with a * prefixed are translated into English, and are either now published or will very shortly be so.

[Pg ix]



In adding to the number of Manuals on Ancient History already published, I feel myself bound to give an account of the plan on which the present has been executed.

It was at first designed to be used in my public lectures, and from them it has grown up to what it now is. In them I did not consider it necessary to state all we know or think we know of ancient history. Many facts highly interesting to the learned historian are not adapted for public lectures. It was therefore my great object to make choice of such incidents as ought to be known by my pupils in order to the effectual prosecution of their historical studies. Consequently I have not extended my labours so far as to give an historical account of every nation, but have limited myself to those most remarkable for their general civilization and political eminence.

The subjects to which I have particularly directed my attention are, the formation of states, the changes in their constitution, the routes by which commerce was carried on, the share which the different nations respectively took in its pursuit, and, as immediately connected with that[Pg x] department, their extension severally by means of colonies.

The favourable reception which my larger work, executed after a different plan, has met with, would lead me to hope for a like indulgence in this new attempt, even if the spirit of the age did not so loudly call upon every historian to direct his chief attention to these subjects. And for this reason I could not rest satisfied with a mere detail of isolated facts, but have made it my study to follow the course of events, linking them into one connected chain; so as to represent them in a condensed form by continually and carefully forcing together the main circumstances which contributed to the development of the whole.

Without this, history in general would be but a lifeless study, more especially that of republics, which were so numerous in ancient times, and which, from their constitution being made up of political parties, everywhere present the most difficult problems for the historian's solution. Of all the larger divisions of my work, the arrangement of the Greek history I have found most troublesome, on account of the number of little states into which it is sub-divided. Historians, indeed, lighten this labour by confining themselves merely to Athens and Sparta; but by so doing they give us a very imperfect knowledge of the subject. I have endeavoured to surmount the difficulty by throwing the account of the smaller states and their colonies into the second period; by which means I have been able in the third and most important portion, the interest of which depends entirely upon the principal states, to carry on my[Pg xi] history, as a whole without interruption. But in case others, who wish to make this Manual the groundwork of their lectures, should dislike this arrangement, they may very easily attach these notices to the introductory geographical survey; a plan I very often adopt in my own lectures. Upon the arrangement of the other parts, I am not aware of the necessity of making any observations. The sources from which I have drawn my materials are specified in every section. Particular references do not come within my plan; and if I have referred several times in the first two sections to my larger work, it is only on particular points, explanations of which may be sought for in vain elsewhere.

Some knowledge of ancient geography and the use of maps[a], if it has not been previously acquired by the student, should, I am convinced, always be connected with lectures on ancient history. That this need not extend to detailed explanations of ancient geography, but that it should be restricted to what is merely useful in the study of history, I have observed in the body of my work. The geographical chapters which are interspersed having been written with this intent, will, I hope, be judged of accordingly. I have taken care to arrange them so as to include the whole of the ancient world; it depends, therefore, only upon the teacher to form a more or less extensive course upon them.

With regard to chronology, I have followed throughout the same uniform plan of computing[Pg xii] time, viz. to and from the birth of Christ. By preferring this method, so convenient and certain, to the inconvenient and uncertain one of reckoning from the year of the world, I hope I have deserved the thanks of my readers. I relinquish, on the other hand, all claim to merit on the score of having more accurately defined the chronology of events which occur before the time of Cyrus. I have, on the contrary, in this part of my labour, often stated round numbers, where, in many modern publications, precise dates may be found. Exact determinations of time are only necessary, in my opinion, where a continuous development of circumstances takes place; not where unconnected facts are recorded.

The transactions of our own times have thrown a light upon ancient history, and given it an interest which it could not formerly possess. A knowledge of history, if not the only, is at least the most certain means of obtaining a clear and unprejudiced view of the great drama now performing around us. All direct comparisons, notwithstanding the many opportunities which have tempted me, I considered as foreign to my plan; but if, notwithstanding in some chapters of my work, particularly in the history of the Roman republic, I may be thought to make a reference to the transactions of the ten years during which this work has been published, I do not consider it necessary to offer any excuse for so doing. Of what use is the study of history if it do not make us wiser and better? unless the knowledge of the past teach us to judge more correctly of the present? Should I have contributed in any measure[Pg xiii] to promote this object, and should I be so fortunate as to lead the minds of my young friends to a deeper study of a science which can only in this way reward its admirers, I shall esteem it the most delightful recompense my labour can receive.

GOETTINGEN, Sept. 23, 1799.

[a] I have made use of D'Anville.



The call for a second edition of my Manual imposes upon me an obligation to supply the deficiencies of my former work. Corrections have been carefully made, and many parts completely re-written. A select list of books which treat of the respective departments of my subject is now first added; the former edition containing only references to the sources from which my facts were derived. This, I trust, will be considered an essential service to the friends of historical science, more especially the young, for whom and not for the learned these additions have been made. Their use in this place is particularly obvious, where it is in every one's power to procure the books referred to[b]. The short criticisms subjoined, where it seemed necessary, will serve as guides for their use. In the author's depart[Pg xiv]ment of the work but little has been changed, while its form and appearance have been improved by the use of different types, by more accurate running titles, and by ranging the dates in the margin. By the adoption of the latter method the increase in the number of pages is rendered inconsiderable, notwithstanding the numerous additions which have been made to the matter. In its arrangement, this work is the same as my Manual of the History of the European States and their Colonies. Beyond this, however, these works have no relation to each other, but have been executed upon quite different principles; the present as a history of the separate states of the ancient world, and the other as a general history of modern states and their colonies, as forming altogether one political system. Each, however, forms a complete work in itself, and it is by no means my intention to fill up the gulf which time has placed between them.

I regret that the acute researches of M. Volney[c], upon the chronology of Herodotus before the time of Cyrus, came too late into my hands to be made use of in its proper place in my second edition. In the third this has been done. I lay claim, at the same time, to the thanks of the reader for giving, in an Appendix, the results of these researches, together with references to the passages by which they are supported; leaving out, however, all extraneous matter, and everything that cannot be proved by the positive assertions of the father of history.

[Pg xv]

I cannot close this preface without again recurring to the advantage of the mode now becoming more and more general, of computing time in ancient history according to the number of years before Christ. The fact of its being certain and convenient has often been remarked; but besides this it possesses the great advantage of giving us at once a clear and precise notion of the interval that separates us from the incidents recorded; which it is impossible to obtain by the use of any other era, whether the year of the world, the olympiads, or the year of Rome, etc. And yet this peculiar advantage, so great in the eyes of the teacher, has not, to the best of my knowledge, been hitherto made the subject of remark. Even for the science of history itself, this circumstance is of greater moment than might be at first supposed. Should an enquirer arise who would closely examine all ancient history according to this era—setting out from the generally received year of the birth of Christ as from a fixed point, to which the labours of M. Volney are a good beginning—the whole science would thereby acquire a firmer consistency. For by this method all dates would not appear equally certain and equally uncertain, as they do in the eras which are computed from the year of the world; but it would be shown what is chronologically certain, what only probable, and what completely uncertain, according as we should recede from the clearer into the more obscure regions of history. The old manner of reckoning from the year of the world, in which congruity was impossible, because there was no agreement upon the point to[Pg xvi] start from, would certainly be thrown aside; but where is the harm if something better and more certain be substituted in its place?

In the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth editions, though the increase in the number of pages is small, yet all those additions and corrections which I deemed necessary, and which the progress of knowledge and discovery, as in the case of Egypt and other countries, enabled me to effect, have been most carefully and fully made. The importance of these will be best seen by comparison.

Goettingen, 1828.

[b] [The author alludes to the public library at Goettingen. Tr.]

[c] Chronologie d'Herodote, conforme à son Texte par C. F. Volney. Paris, 1809, 3 vols. See the Gött. Gel. Anz. for 1810 and 1816.

[Pg xvii]


Book I. Asiatic and African states previous to Cyrus15
General geographical outline of Asiaib.
Preliminary and General Observations upon the History and Constitution of the great Asiatic Empires22
History of the ancient Asiatic kingdoms before the reign of Cyrus25
    I. Assyrian monarchyib.
    II. Median monarchy26
    III. Babylonian monarchy27
    IV. States in Asia Minor29
        1. Trojan empireib.
        2. Phrygian empireib.
        3. Lydian empireib.
    V. Phœnicia30
    VI. Syrians33
    VII. Jews34
        1. Period of the Nomad state from Abraham till the conquest of Palestine35
        2. Period of the federative republic36
        3. Period of the monarchy from B. C. 1100—60038
            The Jewish state as one single kingdomib.
            The Jewish state as a divided kingdom40
African Nations45
General geographical outline of Ancient Africaib.
    I. Egyptians47
        1st Period. From the earliest times down to the Sesostridæ, about B. C. 150051
        2nd Period. From the Sesostridæ till the sole dominion of Psammetichus, B. C. 1500—65062
        3rd Period. From the reign of Psammetichus to the Persian conquest of Egypt by Cambyses, B. C. 650—52569
    II. Carthaginians73[Pg xviii]
        1st Period. From the foundation of Carthage to the wars with Syracuse, B. C. 880—48074
        2nd Period. From the breaking out of the wars with Syracuse to the commencement of those with Rome, B. C. 480—26480
        3rd Period. From the beginning of the wars with Rome to the downfal of Carthage, B. C. 264—14682
Book II. History of the Persian empire from B. C. 560—33090
Book III. History of the Grecian states112
Geographical outline of Greeceib.
    1st Period. Traditional history down to the Trojan war, about B. C. 1200118
    2nd Period. From the Trojan war to the breaking out of the Persian war, B. C. 1200—500127
History of the Hellenic states within Greeceib.
    General historyib.
Principal data for the history of the smaller states:
I. Within the Peloponnesus:
    a. Arcadia142
    b. Argosib.
    c. Corinth143
    d. Sicyon144
    e. Achaiaib.
    f. Elis145
II. Central Greece, or Hellas:
    a. Megaris146
    b. Bœotia147
    c. Phocis148
    d. Locrisib.
    e. Ætoliaib.
    f. Acarnania149
III. Northern Greece:
    a. Thessaly149
    b. Epirus150
IV. Grecian Islands:
    a. Corcyra151
    b. Æginaib.
    c. Eubœa152[Pg xix]
    d. The Cycladesib.
    e. Creteib.
    f. Cyprus154
History of the Grecian colonies155
General observationsib.
Colonies on the Western coast of Asia Minor:157
    1. Æolian colonies158
    2. Ionian colonies159
    3. Dorian colonies161
Colonies on the coast of the Propontis and the Black sea162
Colonies on the coasts of Thrace and Macedonia163
Colonies on the western coast of Greece164
Grecian settlements in Lower Italy:
    a. Tarentum165
    b. Croton166
    c. Sybarisib.
    d. Thurii167
    e. Locri Epizephyriiib.
    f. Rhegium168
    g. Cumæib.
Grecian settlements in Sicily:
    a. Syracuse169
    b. Agrigentum174
    c. The smaller Sicilian cities175
Colonies in Sardinia and Corsicaib.
Colonies in Gaul;—Massilia176
Colonies in Spain;—Saguntumib.
Colonies in Africa;—Cyreneib.
Period III. From the breaking out of the Persian wars to Alexander the Great, B. C. 500—336178
Book IV. History of the Macedonian Monarchy:
Period I. From its origin to the death of Alexander the Great, B. C. 800—323206
Period II. History of the Macedonian monarchy, from the death of Alexander the Great to the battle of Ipsus, B. C. 323—301222
Period III. History of the separate kingdoms and states which arose out of the dismemberment of the Macedonian monarchy, after the battle of Ipsus232[Pg xx]
    I. History of the Syrian empire under the Seleucidæ B. C. 312—64232
    II. History of the Egyptian kingdom under the Ptolemies, B. C. 323—30247
    III. History of Macedonia itself and of Greece, from the death of Alexander to the Roman conquest, B. C. 323—146268
        Achæan league280
        Ætolian league279
    IV. History of some smaller or more distant kingdoms and states formed out of the Macedonian monarchy290
        The kingdom of Pergamus291
        The kingdom of Parthia299
        The kingdom of Bactria305
        The restored kingdom of the Jews306
            1. Under the Persians307
            2. Under the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ308
            3. Under the Maccabees309
            4. Under the family of Herod311
Book V. History of the Roman state:
Introductory remarks on the Geography of Ancient Italy314
    Period I. From the foundation of Rome to the conquest of Italy, and the commencement of the wars with Carthage, B. C. 754—264, or A. U. C. 1—490321
    Period II. From the commencement of the war with Carthage to the rise of the civil broils under the Gracchi, B. C. 264—134, or A. U. C. 490—620339
    Period III. From the beginning of the civil broils under the Gracchi to the fall of the republic, B. C. 134—30, or A. U. C. 620—724362
    Period IV. History of the Roman state as a monarchy till the overthrow of the western empire, B. C. 30—A. C. 476402
[Pg xxi]Geographical outline. View of the Roman empire and provinces, and other countries connected with it by war or commerceib.
    1st Section. From Augustus Cæsar to the death of Commodus, B. C. 30—A. C. 193411
    2nd Section. From the death of Commodus to Diocletian, A. C. 193—284437
    3rd Section. From Diocletian to the overthrow of the Roman empire in the west, A. C. 284—476454
Appendix. Chronology of Herodotus from the time of Cyrus, according to Volney475
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of Macedon481
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of the Seleucidæ482
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of the Ptolemies483
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of the Jews484
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of the Cæsars485
Genealogical Table of the reigning houses of Constantine486

[Pg xxii]





[Pg 1]


I. The sources of ancient history may be ranged under two heads; the ancient writers, and the monuments still extant. The various writers will be mentioned in their proper places, at the different divisions of this work. A general view of the ancient monuments, so far as they are sources of history, will be found in:

Oberlin, Orbis antiqui monumentis suis illustrati primæ lineæ. Argentorati, 1790. Extremely defective, as many discoveries have been made since it was published.

II. General Treatises on Ancient History.

1. The more voluminous works on the subject. These may be divided in two classes: a. The part appropriated to ancient history, in the general treatises on universal history; b. Works exclusively devoted to ancient history.

a. To the first class belong:

The Universal History, ancient and modern; with maps and additions. Lond. 1736, 26 vols. folio. Reprinted in 8vo. in 67 vols. and again in 60 vols. with omissions and additions.

This work, compiled by a society of British scholars, has been translated into German, and illustrated with remarks, by Siegm. Jac. Baumgarten. Halle, 1746, 4to. The Germans frequently designate it by the name of the Halle Universal History of the World: the first eighteen vols. comprise the ancient part.

Will. Guthrie, John Gray, etc. General History of the World, from the creation to the present time. London, 1764—1767, 12 vols. 8vo. This work, of no estimation in the original, is rendered valuable and useful by the labours of the German translator, C. G. Heyne, (Leip. 1766, 8vo.) who has corrected the errors, inserted the dates, and added his own observations.

b. To the second class belong:

Rollin, Histoire ancienne des Egyptiens, des Carthaginois, des Assyriens, des Mèdes el des Perses, des Macédoniens, des[Pg 2] Grecs. Paris, 1824, 12 vols. 8vo.; revue par Letronne: the last and best edition. This work, which greatly promoted the study of ancient history in France, still maintains its well-earned reputation. [It was translated into English, 1768: best edition, 7 vols. 8vo.: frequently reprinted.] The above is generally accompanied by the Histoire Romaine of the same author. See below, book v. first period, Sources.

Jac. Ben. Bossuet, Discours sur l'Histoire Universelle. Paris, 1680, 3 vols. Frequently reprinted, being considered by the French one of their classics.

[English translation, by Rich. Spencer. London, 1730, 8vo.]

Millot, Elémens de l'Histoire Générale. Paris, 1772, sq. [Translated into English, 1778, 2 vols. 8vo.: and again, an improved edition, with additions.] Edinb. 1823, 6 vols. 8vo. The ancient history is contained in the first two volumes.

Joh. Matth. Schroeckh, General History of the World, for the use of children. Leipzic, 1779, sq. 6 vols.

J. G. Eichhorn, History of the Ancient World, 1799, third edition, 1817. (First part of the History of the World.)

Dan. G. J. Huebler, Sketch of the General History of the Nations of Antiquity, from the birth of states to the end of the Roman commonwealth. Freyberg, 1798—1802. Five parts; and a continuation: History of the Romans under the Emperors, and of the contemporary Nations, until the great migration, 1803; three parts. A work rendered extremely useful, by the judicious advantage taken by the author of the labours of other writers.

H. Luden, General History of Nations. 1814; three parts.

L. Von Dresch, General Political History. 1815; three parts. In each of the above works the first part contains the ancient history, and exhibits the more modern views of the subject.

[The following is added, as well deserving the attention of the English student: Ralegh (Sir Walter) History of the World, Part I. extending to the end of the Macedonian Empire; with his Life and Trial, by Mr. Oldys. Lond. 1736, 2 vols. folio. Formerly the best edition; but a new and improved one has been printed at the Clarendon press. Oxford, 1829, 8 vols. 8vo.]

F. Von Raumer, Lectures on Ancient History, parts 1, 2. Berlin, 1821.

Works furnishing illustrations of the progressive civilization, government, and commerce of early nations, although, strictly speaking, not treatises on ancient history, are nevertheless very[Pg 3] closely connected with the subject. Among these may be mentioned:

Goguet, De l'Origine des Lois, des Arts, et des Sciences, et de leurs progrès chèz les anciens peuples; nouv. édit. Paris, 1778. [Translated by Dr. Dunn and Mr. Speerman. Edinb. 1761—1775, 3 vols. 8vo.]

A. H. L. Heeren, Reflections on the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the most eminent Nations in the Ancient World. Third edition, with many additions. Gottingen, 1815, 8vo.; the third part, 1821. Fourth edition. Gottingen, 1824. [This edition, the last, contains many improvements and additions, suggested by the great discoveries of modern travellers. Part I, Asiatic Nations, in 3 vols. Persians, Phœnicians, Babylonians, Scythians, Indians. An English translation of which is at this moment in the press. Part II, African Nations, 2 vols. Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Egyptians. Part III, European Nations; of which only 1 volume, Greeks, has been published.]

2. Manuals, or epitomes.

The Germans are entitled to the merit of having first produced manuals of ancient history, all of them useful, some excellent, in their kind: they are a result of the progress made in this science at the universities.

J. Chr. Gatterer, Attempt at an Universal History of the World to the discovery of America. Gottingen, 1792. He who possesses this, the last and ripest fruit of Gatterer's studies, may dispense with the earlier manuals published by that author.

Chr. Dan. Beck, A Short Introduction to the Knowledge of the Universal History of the World and of Nature. Leipzic, 1798. The first part connected with our subject extends to A. D. 843. This volume is enriched with such a copious and critical account of books relating to ancient history, that it may supply the place of a particular work on the subject.

J. A. Remer, Manual of the more Ancient History, from the creation of the world to the great migration. Fourth edition. Brunswick, 1832.

J. M. Schroeckh, Manual of Universal History. 1774: latest edition, 1795.

G. S. Bredow, Manual of Ancient History, with a sketch of the chronology of the ancients. Altona, 1799, 8vo. [Translated into English. Lond. 1828, 12mo. In English we have:

The Outlines of History, in 1 vol. (forming part of Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia) by Mr. Keightly, author of a learned and[Pg 4] highly useful work on Grecian Mythology, is a convenient abridgement. Tytler's Elements of General History, improved and continued by Dr. Nares. Lond. 1825, best edition; owes its reputation and success to the want of a better work on the subject.]

3. Helps.

Among the works subservient to the study of ancient history, the first rank is justly due to the synchronistic tables.

D. G. J. Huebler, Synchronistic Tables of the History of Nations; arranged principally according to Gatterer's History of the World. In two numbers. Second edit. 1799 and 1804.

Object of history.

1. The object of Political History is to recount the destinies of nations, both in respect to their foreign relations and internal affairs. In regard to domestic concerns, one of its most important objects is the history of governments: in respect to external affairs, it comprises not only an account of the wars, but likewise of the friendly relations and intercourse with other states.

Observe here the difference between universal history, or general history of the human race, and the history of nations; the latter forms part of the former. Observe also the difference between political history and that of civilization, or of man as a human being: the latter is merely the history of man, as man, without regard to political circumstances.

Divided into three parts:
first, to A. D. 500,
second, to A. D. 1500,
third, to our own times.

2. Universal political history is usually divided into three parts: ancient history, that of the middle ages, and modern history. The first extends to the fall of the Roman empire in the west, which took place towards the close of the fifth century of the christian era; the second extends to the discovery of America, and of a passage by sea to the East Indies, about the end of the fifteenth century; the third extends from the commencement of the sixteenth century to the present time.

The propriety of the above division is evinced by the nature of the events which form these epochs. The student will easily[Pg 5] perceive that the division of history, into that before and after the birth of Christ, is not judicious.

Commencement of political history.

3. From the definition just given, it follows, that political history does not commence till after the first formation of states. Whatever is known, therefore, of the period previous to this, or may be gathered from traditions, respecting individuals or tribes, or their migrations, affinities, or discoveries, forms no part of political history, but must be referred to the general history of man.

It is well known that a great deal of information has been preserved in the sacred writings concerning the early fortunes of the human race. From these materials have been compiled what has been called an Historia Antediluviana, sometimes considered as forming a separate division of history. What has been said above will satisfactorily account for the omission of this portion of history in the present work; although none can deny the high importance of such traditions in the investigation of the origin, dispersion, and civilization of the human race.

Sources of history:

4. The sources of history may be ranged under sources of two general heads; oral traditions, and written documents of various kinds. The history of every nation usually commences with oral tradition, which remains the only source, until the art of writing becomes known, and in some degree adopted by the people.


5. Under the name of traditional history or mythology, is comprehended all the general collection of oral traditions preserved by a nation; and some such traditional history or mythology is to be found among every people in the first stage of their existence as a community. This mythology, however, is by no means confined to events strictly historical, but embraces every branch of information which may appear to a nation in its infancy,[Pg 6] of sufficient importance to be preserved and handed down to posterity.

Hence the mythology of a people is invariably composed of very heterogeneous materials; it not only preserves the remembrance of various kinds of historical facts, but likewise the pervading ideas of the people with respect to the nature and worship of their deities; as well as the notions they had formed from observations and experience respecting astronomy, morals, the arts, etc. All these are handed down in the form of historical narrative; because man, as yet unpractised in abstract thinking, necessarily represents every thing to his mind under the figure of some physical object. It is just as useless, therefore, to attempt to mould the mythology of any people into a consistent and connected whole, or indeed into any scientific system whatsoever, as it is difficult to draw a strict line between what belongs to mythology, and what to pure history. It follows, therefore, that mythology should be employed by the historian with great caution; and not without judicious criticism, and an accurate knowledge of antiquity.

These correct views of mythology,—the key to the whole of earlier antiquity,—were first set forth and illustrated by Heyne, in his commentaries upon Virgil and other poets, in his edition of Apollodorus, and in various essays published in the Transactions of the Gottingen Scientific Society. It is principally to the aid of these that the Germans owe their superiority over other nations in the science of antiquity.


6. The place of writing among such nations, is generally supplied, in a great measure, by poetry; which being in its origin nothing more than imagery expressed in figurative language, must spontaneously arise among men, as yet wont to represent every thing to their minds under the form of images. Hence the subject matter of the poetry of every nation, while in a state of rudeness, is and can be nothing else but its mythology; and the great variety in the materials of which this is composed very naturally gave rise, at the same early period, to various kinds of poetry; as the[Pg 7] lyric, the didactic, the epic. The last of these, inasmuch as it contains the historic songs and the epopee, claims in a more especial manner the attention of the historian.

The mythi (or fables of which this mythology was composed) were in later times frequently collected from the works of the poets, and committed to writing by grammarians; such as Apollodorus and others. This, however, can have had no effect on their original character.

written documents,

7. The second source of history, much more copious and important than the former, are the various kinds of written monuments. These may be arranged according to the order of time at which they were brought into use, into three classes; 1st. Inscriptions on public monuments, under which head are included the coins of later date; 2nd. Chronological records of events, under the form of annals and chronicles; 3rd. Real philosophical works on history.


8. Inscriptions on public monuments erected to preserve the remembrance of certain events, though perhaps no more than a stone set upright, or even a bare rock, was used for that purpose, were undoubtedly the most ancient written memorials. These rude monuments became fashioned by art into columns, obelisks, and pyramids, as the taste of the nation became formed; and assumed that definite character which local circumstances and the natural features of the country led it to adopt, as architecture arose and attained to perfection among them. The very object, indeed, for which they were erected—the commemoration of remarkable events,—must have suggested the practice of inscribing upon them some particulars of the facts they were intended to per[Pg 8]petuate. Of this nature, no doubt, were the oldest monuments, and more particularly those of Egypt. Their use was much more general among nations of a later period, especially Greece and Rome, than among the moderns; yet of the great mass of inscriptions still extant, but few comparatively are of any importance as regards history.

The characters engraved on these monuments were either symbolical (hieroglyphics; see below under Egypt,) or alphabetical. The invention and transmission of alphabetical writing are commonly ascribed to the Phœnicians; although, if we may judge by the shape of the arrow-headed character, it was made, without communication with them, in the interior of Asia.

The general collections of inscriptions are:

Lud. Ant. Muratori, Novus Thesaurus veterum Inscriptionum. Mediolani, 1739, sq. 4 vols. fol. Together with Seb. Donati, Supplementa. Luccæ, 1764. Jan. Gruteri, Inscriptiones antiquæ totius orbis Romani, cura J. G. Grævii. Amstel. 1707, 2 vols. fol.

C. A. Boekhius, Corpus Inscriptionum Græcarum, auctoritate et impensis Academiæ literarum Borussicæ, vol. 1. 1827, folio.

Among the separate monuments, the most important for ancient history is the Parian or Oxford Inscription, Marmora Oxoniensia, Arundeliana, edited by Selden, 1629; by Prideaux, 1677. The best edition is by Rich. Chandler, Oxf. 1763, fol. A useful and portable edition has been published by Fr. Ch. Wagner, containing the Greek text, with a German translation and notes. Gottingen, 1790, 8vo.


9. Coins may likewise be regarded as a source of ancient history, as by the light they throw upon genealogy and chronology, the events known from other authorities may be better arranged and understood. The importance of coins, therefore, becomes most sensible in those portions of history where our information, in consequence of [Pg 9] the loss of the works of the original historians, is reduced to a few insulated facts and fragments.

Ez. Spanhemii, Dissertatio de Usu et Præstantia Numismatum. Londini, 1707 et 1709, 2 vols. fol. The capital work, however, on this subject, and which embraces the whole numismatic science of antiquity is:

Eckhel, De Doctrina Nummorum Veterum. Viennæ, 1792—1798, 8 vols. 4to. And the epitome:

Eckhel, Brief Elements of Ancient Numismatics. Vienna, 1707, 8vo. Another very useful work is:

J. C. Rasche, Lexicon Universæ Rei Nummariæ Veterum. 1785, sq. 5 vols. 8vo.


10. Chronicles or annals form the second great division of written historical monuments. These presuppose the invention of letters, and the use of materials for writing upon; consequently they are of a later date than mere inscriptions. They occur, nevertheless, in the earlier periods of nations; and from such annals, indited by public authority (state chronicles,) subsequent historians have generally drawn materials for their works. In many nations, and in nearly all the eastern ones, history has not even yet advanced beyond the composition of such chronicles.

regular histories.

11. The third great division of historical writings is formed of works composed on philosophical principles, which differ from mere annals by their containing not only a chronological narration of events, but also a development of their connection with one another, their causes and effects.

But few nations among the moderns, and we know of none among the ancients, except the Greeks and Romans, that had any acquaintance with this sort of history. A fact which may be attributed,—1st. To the government; for the more completely the affairs of a nation are under the control of arbitrary power and caprice, whether of one or more individuals, so much the less apparent is a rational internal connection of events. Hence[Pg 10] philosophical history flourishes most under free governments; and has not even a shadow of existence under pure despotic constitutions. 2nd. To the degree of civilization to which the nation may have attained: for the observing and unravelling of the political connection of events presupposes a considerable progress in philosophical culture.

Chronology and Geography.

12. Since all events are considered in reference to the time and place in which they occur, it follows that geography and chronology are indispensable as auxiliary sciences in the study of history, especially the ancient. These sciences, however, need not, for this purpose, be considered in their full extent and detail, but only so far as they are of use in determining and arranging events according to time and place. A fixed mode of computing time is therefore necessary in ancient history, as well as a continuous geographical description of the countries which were the theatres of the principal events.


13. No method of computing time was adopted generally in antiquity. Each nation, each state, had its own era: yet, in the explication of ancient history, there is an evident necessity that some common era should be fixed upon, by which a synchronistic view of the various events may be obtained. For this purpose, the years may be computed either from the creation of the world, or before and after Christ. The latter method has the advantage not only of greater certainty, but also of greater convenience.

Of the various modes of computing time, the best known are those of the Greeks and the Romans; the former by olympiads, the latter by years from the foundation of Rome. The era of the olympiads commences at B. C. 776; that of the foundation of Rome commences at B. C. 753, according to Varro; at B. C. 752, according to Cato.—The era of the Seleucidæ, in the Syrian[Pg 11] empire, commences with B. C. 312.—Various other eras, such as that of Nabonnassar, commencing with B. C. 747, are founded on observations preserved by Ptolemy, and made known by Scaliger, in his Doctrina Temporum.

Chronology constitutes a distinct science: the best introduction to which will be found in:

J. C. Gatterer, Epitome of Chronology. Gottingen, 1777. A most excellent criticism on the ancient eras has lately been communicated to the public by:

L. Ideler, Historic Researches into the Astronomical Observations of the Ancients. Berlin, 1806.

D. H. Hegewisch, Introduction to Historical Chronology; 1811. A very useful and portable work.

[In English we have the laborious work of Dr. Hales:

Hales (Willm.) New Analysis of Chronology, explaining the History and Antiquities of the primitive Nations of the World, etc. Lond. 1809-12, 4 vols. 4to. New edition, corrected and improved, 1830, 4 vols. 8vo.

Blair's Chronology and History of the World, from the Creation to the present Time. Lond. 1803, folio.

And for the brilliant period of Greece and Rome the satisfactory volumes:

H. F. Clynton's Fasti Hellenici. The civil and literary Chronology of Greece, from the fifty-fifth to the hundred and twenty-fourth Olympiad. Second edition, with additions. Oxford, 1827, 4to. And the continuation of the same work to the death of Augustus, Oxford, 1830, 4to. In this valuable work, much light is also thrown upon the chronology of the times anterior to the period with which the first volume is principally occupied.]

Geography, mythological and true.

14. In ancient geography there is much care required to distinguish the fabulous from the true. With regard to true geography, as an auxiliary science to history, all that can be expected is some general information respecting the nature and peculiarities of the countries, respecting their political divisions, and finally, respecting the principal cities:—Long lists of the names of places would be quite superfluous.

[Pg 12]

Fabulous geography constitutes a part of the mythology of every nation, and differs in each, because the ideas formed by every early nation respecting the form and nature of the earth are peculiar to itself. True geography gradually comes to light as civilization increases, and discovery widens its horizon.—Necessity of treating it historically, on account of the manifold changes to which the division and the face of the countries of the ancient world have been at various periods subjected.

Christoph. Cellarii Notitia Orbis Antiqui. Lips. 1701—1706, 2 vols. 4to. cum observat. J. C. Schwarzii. Lips. 1771, et iterum 1773. This work was for a long time the only, and is still an indispensable, treatise on ancient geography.

H. Mannert, Geography of the Greeks and Romans. Nuremberg, 1788—1802. This work, now completed in 15 volumes, may be justly designated classical, from the historical and critical learning which the author has everywhere displayed. Vol. I, contains Spain; II, Gallia et Britain; III, Germania, Rhætia, Noricum; IV, The Northern parts of the World, from the Wessel to China; V, India and the Persian Empire to the Euphrates, 2 parts; VI, Asia Minor, 3 parts; VII, Thrace, Illyria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus; VIII, Northern Greece, Peloponnesus, and the Archipelago; IX, Italy and Sicily, Sardinia, etc. 2 parts; X, Africa, 2 parts.

F. A. Ukert, Geography of the Greeks and Romans, from the earliest periods to the time of Ptolemy: first part, first division, contains the historical, the second contains the mathematical sections. Weimar, 1816; with maps.

Gosselin, Géographie des Grecs analysée. Paris, 1790, 4to. A development of the system of mathematical geography among the Greeks. Partly continued in

Gosselin, Recherches sur la Géographie des Anciens. Paris, an. vi. vol. 1—4.

J. Rennel, Geographical System of Herodotus. Lond. 1800, 4to.

[Reprinted in 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1830, revised. Here, too, for the benefit of the English reader may be mentioned:

Rennel's Treatise on the Comparative Geography of Western Asia, with an atlas. London, 1831, 2 vols. 8vo.; published since the author's death. And the learned and valuable volumes of Dr. Cramer, principal of New Inn Hall, and public orator of the University of Oxford; they are,

[Pg 13]

Geographical and Historical Description of Ancient Greece, with a map, and plan of Athens. Oxford, 1826, 3 vols. 8vo.

Geographical and Historical Description of Ancient Italy, with a map. Oxford, 1826, 2 vols. 8vo.

Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor, with a map. Oxford, 1832, 2 vols. 8vo.

The maps which accompany these works approach very nearly to perfection.

As useful compendiums, there are:

An Introduction to Ancient Geography, with copious indexes of Ancient and Modern Names, by Peter Ed. Laurent, teacher in the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth. Oxford, 1813, 8vo.

A Compendium of Ancient and Modern Geography, for the use of Eton School; illustrating the most interesting points in History, Poetry, and Fable; preceded by an Introduction to the study of Astronomy, and containing plans of Athens, Rome, Syracuse, and numerous diagrams explanatory of the motions of the heavenly bodies, by Aaron Arrowsmith, Hydrographer to the King, 1 vol. 8vo., with or without a copious index. London, 1830.

Butler's (Dr. Sam.) Sketch of Ancient and Modern Geography. Seventh edition, 8vo. Also his Atlas of Ancient Geography, consisting of twenty-one coloured maps, with a complete accentuated index. 8vo.]

We are indebted to d'Anville for the best charts of ancient geography: Atlas Orbis antiqui, twelve leaves, fol.

[The Eton Comparative Atlas of Ancient and Modern Geography, with the index, published in several sizes; and the Maps published by the Society for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge, are very useful and correct.]

Divisions of this Manual.

15. Ancient history may be treated either ethnographically, that is, according to separate nations and states; or synchronistically, that is, according to certain general epochs. Each of these methods has its advantages and its disadvantages. The two, however, may be combined, and formed into one system; and as this seems the most convenient, it has been adopted in the[Pg 14] present work, which is accordingly divided as follows:

First Book.—History of the ancient Asiatic and African states and kingdoms anterior to Cyrus, or to the rise of the Persian monarchy, about the year B. C. 560: comprising little more than insulated fragments.

Second Book.—History of the Persian monarchy, from B. C. 560 to 330.

Third Book.—History of the Grecian states, both in Greece and other parts, to the time of Alexander, B. C. 336.

Fourth Book.—History of the Macedonian monarchy, and of the kingdoms which arose out of its division, until they merged into the Roman empire.

Fifth Book.—History of the Roman state, both as a commonwealth and a monarchy, until the fall of the western empire, A. D. 476.




[Pg 15]


General Preliminary Remarks on the Geography of Asia.

See the Introduction to Heeren's Researches into the Politics and Commerce of the Nations of Antiquity, prefixed to vol. 1 of the African Nations. Oxford, 1831.

Extent and situation.

1. Asia is the largest and the most favourably situated of the great divisions of the globe. Its superficial contents are 11,200,000 square geogr. miles; while those of Africa do not exceed 4,780,000; and those of Europe are not more than 2,560,000. As to situation, it comprises the greatest portion of the northern temperate zone.

Compare it, in this point of view, with the other quarters of the globe, especially Africa.—Advantages over the latter, in con[Pg 16]sequence of the convenience of its indented shores—of its surrounding fruitful islands—of its deep gulfs and large streams—the few sandy deserts in its interior.

Natural features.

2. Natural features, and consequent division of the land, according to the course of the larger mountain chains and of the principal rivers.

Two great mountain chains run from west to east; in the north, the Altai, (nameless in antiquity): in the south, Taurus.—Branches of both: the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian seas: Imaus extending along the golden desert (desert of Cobi): the Paropamisus, on the north of India: the Ural (nameless in antiquity).—Of the rivers remarkable in ancient history, there are four flowing from north to south, namely, the Euphrates and Tigris, which fall into the Persian gulf; the Indus and Ganges, which fall into the Indian sea: two which run from east to west, and discharged their waters into the Caspian sea, (but now into the sea of Aral,) namely, the Oxus (or Jihon) and the Jaxartes (or Sirr).


3. This quarter of the globe is accordingly divided into Northern Asia, comprising the regions north of Altai; Central Asia, or the countries between the Altai and Taurus; and Southern Asia, or the lands south of Taurus.

Northern Asia.

4. Northern Asia, between the 76th and 50th parallels of north latitude, (Asiatic Russia and Siberia,) was almost, though not entirely, unknown in antiquity.—Some obscure hints, though partly true, respecting it, are found in Herodotus, the father of history.

Central Asia.

5. Central Asia, the regions extending between the 50th and 40th degrees of north latitude, Scythia and Sarmatia Asiatica, (Great Tartary and Mongol;) for the most part a boundless, barren table land, devoid of arable fields or forests; and consequently a mere country of[Pg 17] pasture.—The inhabitants pastors, (nomads,) without cities or fixed abodes; recognizing no other political association than patriarchal government.

Peculiar mode of life and character of nomad nations; powerful influence which they have exercised, as conquerors, on political history.—Whether we have a right to expect that the civilization of the human race will for ever continue to advance, when we consider that perhaps one half of it has from time immemorial remained, and from its physical situation must for ever remain, in a nomad state.

Southern Asia.

6. Southern Asia, or the regions from the 40th degree of N. lat. to about the equator.—Its natural features altogether different from those of central Asia. The great advantages of these regions compared with all other parts of the earth, in possessing a soil and climate highly favourable for agriculture; and an abundance of various costly productions. To these circumstances may be attributed, 1st. The adoption of fixed habitations and political associations in these countries, from the earliest times. 2ndly. Their becoming the principal seat of trade, from the infancy of civilization to the discovery of America.

Reflections upon the rise of political associations.—Whether, according to the general opinion, they were produced solely by agriculture and the possession of land; or, whether religion, by which I mean the common worship of one divinity as the national god, (communia sacra,) was not the main bond which united the earliest states of antiquity?—How shall we account for the very remarkable fact, that in the earliest civil societies in the world, the priesthood is generally found to be a ruling caste.—Reflections on early trade, particularly that of the east, before it was changed, by the discovery of America and the new passage to India, from a land trade to a sea trade.—Observations upon ancient commercial routes across Asia.—The banks of the large rivers destined by nature to become the seats of commerce for the interior; on the Oxus, Bactra and Maracanda, (Samarcand;) on[Pg 18] the Euphrates and Tigris, Babylon.—The sea shores on the western coast of Asia Minor and Phœnicia, pointed out also by nature as places of commerce;—line of Grecian and Phœnician factories.

7. Division of southern Asia. 1st. South-western Asia, from the Mediterranean to the Indus; 2nd. South-eastern Asia, from the Indus to the eastern ocean.

A. South-western Asia is again subdivided into the countries—1st. on this side the Euphrates—2ndly. between the Euphrates and Tigris—3rdly. between the Tigris and the Indus.

1. Countries on this side the Euphrates.

Asia Minor.

(a) The peninsula of Asia Minor (Natolia). Principal rivers: the Halys and Sangarius. Countries: three towards the west, Mysia, Lydia, Caria. Along the shore, the Greek seaports of Phocæa, Ephesus, Miletus, Smyrna, Halicarnassus, etc. Inland, the cities of Sardes in Lydia, of Pergamus in Mysia.

Three towards the south, Lycia, Pamphylia, and Cilicia, with its capital Tarsus.

Three towards the north, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, Pontus; with the Greek ports of Heraclea, Amisus, and Sinope. Two inland, Phrygia, together with Galatia and the capital cities of Gordium and Celænæ; Cappadocia, with the city of Mazaca.


(b) Islands along the coast of Asia Minor: Lesbos, with the city of Mitylene; Chios, Samos, Cos, Rhodes, with cities of the same name.


(c) Syria, together with Phœnicia and Palestine. 1st. Syria, properly so called. Cities: Damascus, Emessa, Heliopolis, (Baalbec). In the desert, Palmyra. 2nd. Phœnicia, a mountainous [Pg 19] tract, extending along the shore. Mountains: Libanus and Antilibanus. Cities: Tyre, on an island opposite the ancient Tyre, which was situate upon the mainland; Sidon, Byblus, Berytus, Tripolis, Aradus. 3rd. Palestine. Mountains: Carmel, Tabor. River: Jordan, which discharges its waters into the Dead sea. Division of Palestine; first, according to the twelve tribes; afterwards into the provinces, of Judæa, capital Jerusalem: of Samaria; cities, Samaria, Sichem: and of Galilee.


(d) Peninsula of Arabia, abounding in vast sandy deserts, and almost entirely occupied by nomad tribes. Its southern and eastern coasts render it, nevertheless, a most important seat of trade. In the north, Arabia Petræa, so called from the town of Petra. Inland, Arabia Deserta. In the south, Arabia Felix; rich, both in natural productions, being the native land of almost every kind of perfume, particularly frankincense; and also as being the ancient staple for the merchandise of India. Cities: Mariaba, Aden, etc. In the east, the trading town of Gerra, and the islands near the shore, Tylos and Aradus, (Bahrein,) both likewise marts for Arabian and Indian wares, particularly cinnamon from Taprobane (Ceylon).

2. Countries between the Euphrates and Tigris.


(a) Mesopotamia; in the interior a sterile table land, entirely occupied by nomad hordes. Cities on the Euphrates: Thapsacus, Circesium, Cunaxa; in the north, Zoba or Nisibis.


(b) Armenia, north of the foregoing. Very mountainous; for a long time without cities, but at last it had Tigranocerta. Rivers: the Cyrus[Pg 20] and Araxes, falling into the Caspian; and the Phasis, falling into the Black sea.


(c) Babylonia, the southern part of Mesopotamia, from which it was separated by the Median wall. A level plain, remarkable for the richness of its soil; formerly, by its high cultivation, its canals and lakes, and the erection of dams, the most fruitful, and, from its situation, the most opulent staple of inner Asia. Cities: Babylon on the Euphrates, Borsippa.

Whether the account given by Herodotus, as an eyewitness, of the size and splendour of Babylon is not exaggerated?—Manner in which the great Asiatic cities arose out of the royal encampments of the nomad conquerors.

3. Countries between the Tigris and the Indus.


(a) Assyria, or the province of Adiabene; a table land. Cities: Nineveh, (Ninus,) Arbela.

The name of Assyria is also frequently taken by the Greeks in a wider acceptation, as comprising both Mesopotamia and Babylonia; it is sometimes even confounded with Syria.


(b) Susiana, a fruitful district, with the city Susa on the river Choaspes, or Eulæus (Ulai), one of the residences of the Persian monarchs.


(c) Persis, rugged and mountainous towards the north; level and fruitful in the centre; sandy towards the south. Rivers: the Cyrus and Araxes. Cities: Persepolis or Pasargada, the national palace and cemetery of the kings of Persia.

The name of Persis was, in ancient as well as in modern geography, taken in a more extensive sense, as comprising all the countries between the Tigris and Indus, with the exception of Assyria. In this sense, it contains three countries towards the south—Persis, properly so called; Carmania, Gedrosia: three[Pg 21] central countries—Media, Aria, Arachosia: and three countries towards the north—Parthia and Hyrcania, Bactria, Sogdiana.


(d) Carmania, an extensive country, for the most part desert, ranging along the Persian gulf and Indian sea. Cities: Carmana, Harmozia.


(e) Gedrosia, tract of land running along the coast between Carmania and India, and washed by the Indian sea. A mere sandy desert; towards the north, mountainous. Town, Pura.


(f) Media, above Persis; an extensive and very fruitful country; mountainous towards the north. Rivers: Araxes, Cyrus, and Mardus. Cities: Ecbatana, Rages. The northern district was likewise known by the name of Atropatene (Azerbeijan), or Lesser Media.


(g) Aria, a smooth table land, with a lake and river, Arius: and one city, Aria or Artacoana.


(h) Arachosia; a rich and fertile country on the frontiers of India; bounded towards the north by the Paropamisus chain. Cities: Arachotus and Prophthasia. The neighbouring highlands, occupied by a numerous population, (now Cabul and Kandahar,) are often regarded, in consequence of their being subject to the Persian dominion, as forming part of Persia. They are known by the name of Paropamisus.


(i) Parthia and Hyrcania, rugged mountainous districts to the north of Media; but abounding in magnificent and fertile vales. Before and during the predominance of Persia, but little known and little valued; and without cities. It was at a considerably later period that the inhabitants of Parthia became a dominant nation.


(k) Bactria, the country on the south bank of [Pg 22] the Oxus; rich in natural productions, and one of the most ancient marts of Asia. River: Oxus. Cities: Bactra and Zariaspa.

Bactria lies on the frontier of India, Little Thibet, Bukharia, (the north India of Herodotus and Ctesias,) and the desert of Cobi, (Herodotus's golden desert): the road to China runs through this country. Nature, by the geographical situation in which she has placed Bactria, seems to have destined it to be the great emporium for the wares of south-eastern Asia; and in proportion as we penetrate into early history, we become convinced that Bactria, like Babylon, must have been one of the earliest seats of international commerce, and consequently, if not the birthplace, one of the cradles of infant civilization.


(l) Sogdiana, the territory between the upper Oxus and upper Jaxartes, the latter dividing it from central Asia. (A part of Great Bukharia.) Its peculiarities and advantages similar to those of the neighbouring Bactria. Capital: Maracanda (Samarcand).

B. South-eastern Asia, or Asia beyond the Indus, offers nothing remarkable for history till a later period. See Book v, Period iv.

General Preliminary Observations upon the History and Constitution of the great Asiatic Empires.

Magnitude of the empires in Asia.

1. Asia contained in ancient times, as it does at present, empires of immense extent, differing materially both in this respect and in their constitution from the civilized nations of Europe. Changes were frequent; but the form of government continued nearly always the same. Some deeply rooted and active principles therefore must[Pg 23] have been in constant operation, to have given so repeatedly, in these various revolutions, the same organization to the kingdoms of Asia.

Nature of their revolutions.

2. The great revolutions of Asia, with the exception of that caused by Alexander, were effected by the numerous and powerful nomad races which inhabited a large portion of that continent. Pressed by necessity or circumstances, they forsook their own seats, founded new kingdoms, and carried war and conquest into the fruitful and cultivated lands of southern Asia, until, enervated by luxury, the consequence of the change in their mode of life, they were in their turn, and in a similar manner, subjugated.

Their short existence.

3. This origin, common to all Asiatic kingdoms, accounts for their immense extent, their rapid establishment, and their generally brief duration.

Similarity in their constitutions.

4. The internal organization must, for the same reasons, have been nearly alike in all; and the constant reappearance of despotism is accounted for, partly by the rights of conquest, partly by the vast extent of the subdued countries, which obliged the rulers to have recourse to satrap-government.

Effects of polygamy.

5. To this, it must moreover be added, that among all the considerable nations of inner Asia, the paternal government of every household was corrupted by polygamy: where that custom exists, a good political constitution is impossible; fathers being converted into domestic despots, are ready to pay the same abject obedience to their sovereign that they exact from their family and dependants in their domestic economy.

[Pg 24]

To avoid confusion, it will be necessary to define the terms despotism and despotic government. In theory, we must admit THREE essentially different kinds of government. 1st. The despotic, in which the members of the state are not secured in the possession of their rights as men, (personal freedom and security of property,) nor of their rights as citizens, (active participation in the legislative power). Such a constitution exists only by force, and can never be lawful. 2nd. The autocratic, in which the members of the state are in full possession of their rights as men, but not of their rights as citizens. This government, therefore, arises from the union of the legislative and executive powers in the person of the ruler. In form, it is either monarchical or aristocratical (a pure monarchy, or a pure aristocracy). This kind of government is most likely to be established by usurpation; it may, nevertheless, be acquired by succession, or even adopted by common consent: it may therefore be lawful. 3rd. The republican, in which the members of the state are in possession of their rights, both as men and as citizens. This government necessarily presupposes a separation of the legislative and executive powers; and with regard to its form, may be either monarchical or aristocratical, (a moderate monarchy, or a moderate aristocracy).—How far can a pure democracy be called a government, and comprised under any of the foregoing heads?—Explanation of the despotism in the Asiatic kingdoms, and the attempts made to limit it by religion and religious institutions.

Rise, progress, and fall of nomad empires.

6. General features in the gradual internal development of all empires formed by nomad conquerors. (a) At first the mere occupation of rich territories, and levying of tribute. (b) Hence the constitutions already established among the conquered or tributary nations generally suffered to remain. (c) Gradual progress towards the adoption of a fixed abode and the building of cities, together with the assumption of the customs and civilization of the conquered. (d) Division into provinces, and, as a necessary consequence, the establishment of satrap-government. (e) Insurrections of the satraps, and the internal ruin of the state prepared thereby. (f) The influence[Pg 25] of the seraglio on the government has the same effect, for its unavoidable consequences are—effeminacy and indolence in the rulers. (g) Hence the dissolution of the empire, or its total annihilation by some violent attack from without.

Fragments of the History of the ancient Asiatic Kingdoms previous to Cyrus.

Sources, and their critical examination: 1. Jewish writings, particularly the books of Kings, Chroniclers, and the Prophets; together with the Mosaic records. 2. Greek writers, Herodotus, Ctesias, and Diodorus: later chroniclers, Syncellus, Eusebius, Ptolemy. 3. Native writer, Berosus. Futility of all endeavours to arrange into one work the accounts of authors so entirely different by birth and the times in which they flourished: a task attempted by the French writers, Sevin, Freret, and Debrosse, in their papers contained in the Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscript.

Volney, Recherches nouvelles sur l'Histoire ancienne. 1808—1814: very important and authentic, so far as regards the system of Herodotus's chronology.

I. Assyrian monarchy.

Assyrians of the Greeks different from those of the Hebrews.

1. With the Greeks, Assyrian is generally a common name applied to the ruling nations about the Euphrates and Tigris before the time of Cyrus. With the Jews, on the contrary, it signifies a distinct nation of conquerors, and the founders of an empire. Hence a necessary discrepancy between the Grecian and Hebrew statements.

Grecian account.

2. Assyrian history, according to Grecian authorities, particularly Ctesias and Diodorus, is nothing more than mere traditions of ancient heroes and heroines, who at some early period founded a large kingdom in the countries about the Eu[Pg 26]phrates and Tigris; traditions without any chronological data, and in the style of the east. Ninus—Semiramis—Ninyas—Sardanapalus.

According to Herodotus, an Assyrian empire of 520 years' duration, 1237—717. Lists of Assyrian kings in the chronicles of Syncellus and Eusebius.

Jewish account.

3. Assyrian history, according to Jewish authorities. Chronological history of an Assyrian empire between B. C. 800 and 700.—Seat of the nation in Assyria, properly so called.—Capital: Nineveh on the Tigris.—Extension of their dominion as far as Syria and Phœnicia.

Line of Assyrian kings: 1. Pul, about 773. Invasion of Syria. 2. Tiglath-Pileser, about 740. He overthrows the kingdom of Damascus. 3. Shalmaneser, about 720. He destroys the kingdom of Samaria. Transplantation of the inhabitants into inner Asia. 4. Sennacherib, about 714. Mighty expedition against Egypt, frustrated by a pestilence. 5. Esarhaddon.

Contemporary: Jews, the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.—Greeks, decennial archons at Athens.—Romans, rise of the state and the two first kings.

II. Median monarchy.

Different acceptations of the word Medes.

1. The name of Medes is undoubtedly often used by the Greeks to designate one nation; it is, however, frequently made use of as a common appellation of the ruling nations in eastern Asia, from the Tigris to the Indus, (or Persia, in the more extensive sense of that word,) before Cyrus.—With the Jews: nothing more than general hints of the Medes as a conquering nation.

Great nations known to have existed east of the Tigris.

2. Although the statements of the Grecian writers, as well as of the Zendavesta, sufficiently prove that long before the rise of the Persian power mighty kingdoms existed in these regions; and particularly in the eastern part, or Bactria;[Pg 27] yet we have no consistent or chronological history of these states: nothing but a few fragments, probably of dynasties which ruled in Media, properly so called, immediately previous to the Persians.

a. Herodotus's History of the Medes. Herodotus's Medes are unquestionably the inhabitants of Media, properly so called. Division into six tribes: among these, that of the Magi.—Ruling nation after the overthrow of the Assyrians.—Capital of their empire, Ecbatana.—Boundaries: west, the Tigris and Halys; east, unknown.—Internal organization: graduated subjection of the various nations to one another, according to their distance from the seat of empire; rigid despotism; and imposition of tribute. Line of kings between B. C. 717—560. Deioces, 53 y. the founder of Ecbatana, d. 657.—Phraortes, 22 y. down to 635. He conquers Persia. Cyaxares I. 40 y. down to 595. He establishes military discipline among the Medes. Wages war with the Lydians, the Assyrians.—Irruption of the Scythians and Cimmerians, 625.—He takes Nineveh, 597. Astyages, 38 y. down to 560, when he was dethroned by Cyrus. According to Xenophon, Astyages was followed by another Median prince, Cyaxares II. b. Ctesias's History of the Medes, deduced from Persian archives, and contained in Diodorus. Probably a different dynasty in eastern Asia. Line of kings, between B. C. 800 and 560. Arbaces, conqueror of the Assyrians, 18 y. Mandaucus, 50 y. Sosarmes, 30 y. Artias, 50 y. Arbanes, 22 y. Artæus, 40 y. and Artynes, 22 y. Sanguinary wars with the nomad races of the east, the Sacæ, and Cadusii. Artibarnas, 14 y. Astyages, the last king.

Contemporary: Jews, kingdom of Judah alone.—Greeks, yearly archons, Draco, Solon.—Romans, kings from Tullus Hostilius to Servius Tullius.

III. Babylonian monarchy.


Periods: 1st. Previous to the Chaldæan conquest, which occurred about 630. 2nd. From the Chaldæan conquest to the Persian, 630—538.

1st period, to B. C. 630.

1. Babylon was not only spoken of in the most remote antiquity, but is mentioned in the Jewish[Pg 28] traditions as the earliest scene of political treaties, and as the most ancient seat of intercourse for the nations of Asia. Traditions concerning Nimrod—and the erection of the tower of Babel.—Comparison of those traditions with the Babylonian mythology in Berosus.—Scanty historical notices of this period in the later Jewish writers; and probable subjection of Babylon to the Assyrian empire.

2nd period, to 538.

2. In the second period, 630—538, the Babylonians were the ruling nation of western Asia.—The Chaldæans take possession of Babylon, there establish themselves, and ultimately extend their empire, by conquest, to the Mediterranean.

Origin of the Chaldæans: whether that name was applied to a distinct nation, or to the northern nomads in general?—Line of Chaldæan kings. In the enumeration of these rulers, as given by Ptolemy, this line begins with Nabonassar, and the era bearing the name of that sovereign, which commences in the year B. C. 747: (probably because, under the reign of that prince, the adoption of the Egyptian solar year first introduced among the Chaldæans an exact method of reckoning time). Neither Nabonassar himself, nor his twelve immediate successors, are remarkable in history: the six last alone deserve notice. 1. Nabopolassar, 627—604. Settlement in Babylon; and complete establishment of the Chaldæo-Babylonian dominion, by his victory over Pharaoh-Nechoh, near Circesium, in 604. 2. Nebuchadnezzar, 604—561. Brilliant period of the Chaldæo-Babylonian empire. He conquers Phœnicia and Old Tyre about 586: Jerusalem in 587; probable irruptions into Egypt. Construction of immense buildings and canals in and about Babylon. Rapid decline of the empire after his death, under—3. Evil-Merodach, 561—559. 4. Neriglissar, (probably the contemporary of Herodotus's Nitocris;)—555. Labosoarchad murdered, after a few months' reign. Nabonadius, (Herodotus's Labynetus; and probably the Chaldæan Belshazzar;) 555—538. attacked and conquered by Cyrus. Sack of Babylon by the Persians, 538.

[Pg 29]

See the section concerning the Babylonians in A. H. L. Heeren's Historical Researches, vol. i, part. 2.

Contemporary: Jews, last sovereigns of the kingdom of Judah.—Greeks, Solon, Pisistratus.—Romans, Tarquinius Priscus and Servius Tullius.

IV. States and kingdoms in Asia Minor.

No lasting empire formed in Asia Minor.

The number and variety of the inhabitants of this peninsula, was probably the reason why they never became united into one empire. The most important nations among them, were the Carians in the west; the Phrygians in the centre, reaching as far as the Halys; the Syro-Cappadocians beyond the Halys; and the Thracians in Bithynia. Nevertheless we find here but three kingdoms deserving notice—the Trojan, the Phrygian, and the Lydian.


1. The Trojan empire comprised western Mysia: its history consists of mere traditions contained in poets, with very uncertain chronological data.

Kings: Teucer, about 1400.—Dardanus—Erichthonius—Tros (Troja)—Ilus (Ilium)—Laomedon—Priam. The destruction of Troy, after a ten years' war, occurred, it is probable, B. C. 1190.

Contemporary: Jews, time of the Judges: before the foundation of Rome, 450 years.


2. The Phrygian empire.—Almost all the kings were named Midas and Gordius; their succession cannot be accurately determined. After the death of the last, called Midas V., Phrygia became a province of the Lydian empire, about 560.

three dynasties there.

3. The Lydian empire.—The Lydians (Mæonians) were a branch of the Carian tribe. According to Herodotus, three dynasties ruled in Lydia; the Atyadæ down to 1232; the Heraclidæ down to 727; and the Mermnadæ down to 557: the[Pg 30] two first are almost wholly fabulous, and the proper history of Lydia may be said to commence with the last dynasty.

Kings: Gyges, down to 689. From this period followed almost uninterrupted wars with the Greek settlements on the seacoast. Gyges takes Colophon. Ardys down to 640. He takes Priene. Under his reign, an irruption of the Cimmerians. Sadyattes down to 628. Alyattes down to 571. Expulsion of the Cimmerians. Capture of Smyrna. Crœsus down to 557. He takes Ephesus, and subjugates Asia Minor as far as the Halys. Under his reign, the first rise of a Lydian empire, which however is overthrown by Cyrus. Asia Minor becomes a province of the Persian empire.

Contemporary with which, in Asia, were the Medic and Babylonian empires.—Among the Jews, the last period of the kingdom of Judah.—Among the Greeks, the yearly archons at Athens.—With the Romans, the kings.

V. Phœnicia.

Fragments of Phœnician history.

The Phœnicians may be regarded as one of the most remarkable nations of Asia during this period; yet we have no complete, or even connected history of this people. But though a few scattered fragments are all we possess, we may from these trace out a general outline.

The peculiar sources of Phœnician history.—How far Sanchoniathon deserves to be mentioned here?—Hebrew writers, particularly Ezekiel; Greek writers; Josephus—Eusebius, etc. and the fragments which he has preserved of Menander of Ephesus, and Dius, historians of Tyre.

Mignot, Mémoires sur les Phéniciens; inserted in Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscript. t. xxxiv—xlii. A series of twenty-four papers.

The section concerning the Phœnicians in A. H. L. Heeren's Researches on the Politics, etc.

Phœnician federation of cities.

1. Observations on the internal state of Phœnicia. It did not constitute one state, or, at least, one single empire; but consisted of several, and[Pg 31] their territories. Alliances, however, were naturally formed between them, and hence a kind of supremacy of the more powerful, particularly of Tyre.

Each city independent, but Tyre the first.

2. But though Tyre stood at the head, and claimed a certain degree of superiority, each separate state still possessed its own particular government. In all of them we meet with kings, who appear to have possessed but a limited authority, as we always find magistrates associated with them in power. Among a mercantile and colonizing people, it was impossible that absolute despotism should endure for any length of time. Of the separate states, Tyre is the only one of which we possess a series of kings; Tyrian kings. and even that series is not complete.

This line of kings, which we derive from Menander through Josephus, commences with Abical, the contemporary of David, about B. C. 1050. The most remarkable among them are: Hiram, the successor of Abical;—Ethbaal I. about 920;—Pygmalion, Dido's brother, about 900;—Ethbaal II. in whose reign Tyre was sacked by Nebuchadnezzar, 586.—Foundation of New Tyre—republican constitution under suffetes: tributary kings under the Persian rule;—conquest of New Tyre by Alexander, 332. The flourishing period of Phœnicia in general, and of Tyre in particular, falls therefore between 1000—332.

Contemporary in inner Asia: monarchies of the Assyrians, Medes, and the Babylonians. Jews: period of the kings after David. Greeks: from Homer to Solon. Romans: period of their kings in the last two centuries.

Phœnician colonies:

3. During this period the Phœnicians spread themselves by the establishment of colonies; some of which, particularly Carthage, became as powerful as the mother states.

General ideas concerning colonization.—1. Colonies are absolutely necessary to every seafaring and commercial people,[Pg 32] whenever their trade extends to distant countries. 2. They have likewise been established for the purpose of providing for the excessive increase of the poor. 3. And they have sometimes arisen from political commotion, when the malcontents, either from free will, or force, have forsaken their country, and sought new settlements in distant regions.

in the islands;
probably in the Persian gulf.

4. Geographical sketch of the Phœnician colonies. They possessed, at a very early period, most of the islands of the Archipelago; from which, however, they were subsequently expelled by the Greeks. The principal countries in which they had settlements were the south of Spain (Tartessus, Gades, Carteia); the north coast of Africa, west of the Lesser Syrtis (Utica, Carthage, Adrumetum); and the north-western coast of Sicily (Panormus, Lilybæum). It is likewise highly probable that they formed settlements towards the east in the Persian gulf, on the islands of Tylos and Aradus (Bahrein).

Sea trade of the Phœnicians:

5. This sketch of the Phœnician colonies will give us some idea of the extent of their sea trade and navigation; which, however, extended much farther than their colonies. Among them, as among other nations, commerce took its rise in piracy; even as late as the time of Homer, the Phœnicians appear to have been freebooters. The principal objects of their commerce were (a) the settlements in north Africa and Spain; the latter more particularly, on account of its rich silver mines. (b) Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the west-coast of Africa; Britain and the Scilly islands, for the purpose of procuring tin, and, very probably, amber. (c) From Elath and Ezion-Gebar, ports situate at the northern extremity of the Arabian gulph, they undertook, in connection with [Pg 33] the Jews, voyages to Ophir, that is to say, to the rich lands of the south, particularly Arabia Felix and Ethiopia. (d) From the Persian gulf, they extended their commerce to the western peninsula of India and the island of Ceylon. Finally, (e) they double the cape of Good Hope. they made several extensive voyages of discovery, among which, the most remarkable was the circumnavigation of Africa.

Their land trade:

6. Of no less importance was the land trade, mostly carried on by caravans. The principal branches of it were: (a) The Arabian caravan trade for spices and incense, imported from Arabia Felix, Gerra, and the Persian gulf. (b) The trade through Palmyra with Babylon, which opened them an indirect communication by way of Persia, with lesser Bukharia and little Thibet, probably even with China itself. (c) The trade with Armenia and the neighbouring countries in slaves, horses, copper utensils, etc.

their manufactures.

7. To all this must be added their own manufactures, particularly their stuffs and dyes; (the purple, made of the juice of a marine shellfish;) their manufactures of glass and toys, which, in their commerce with uncivilized nations, generally carried on by barter, were turned to good account. Many other important discoveries, among which the invention of letters holds the first rank, are attributed to the Phœnicians.

VI. Syrians.

Syria, an early state;

1. The inhabitants of Syria dwelt in cities as early as B. C. 2000, when Abraham wandered over their country. This country did not form one single state, but consisted of several cities, each of which had its separate territory, and its[Pg 34] chief or king; of these cities, Damascus, Hamath, etc. are mentioned in the most remote antiquity.

a frequent object of conquest:
about 1040.

2. The Syrians were, however, often subjected by foreign conquerors; and their country was certainly, at least in the time of David, a Jewish province. It shook off the yoke, however, in the time of Solomon; when Rezon, who had formerly been a slave, obtained possession of Damascus.

Kingdom of Damascus.

3. After this, there arose the kingdom of Damascus, which comprised the greatest portion of Syria, the kings in the other cities becoming tributary to Damascus. The boundaries of the empire, too, were extended, and particularly at the expense of the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

The kings, whose names are taken from the books of Chronicles, were: Rezon, about 980. Benhadad I. about 900. Hazael, about 850. Benhadad II. about 830. Rezin. Under this last, the kingdom of Damascus was overthrown by the Assyrian conqueror Tiglath-Pileser, about 740.

Contemporary in Inner Asia: Assyrian kingdom. Jews: kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Greeks: settlement of the Asiatic colonies.—Lycurgus.

VII. Jews.

Periods of Jewish history.

The history of the Jewish people, begins with Abraham the father of their race; that of the Jewish state does not commence till after the conquest of Palestine. It is divided into three periods. I. History of the Jews, as a nomad horde, from Abraham till their settlement in Palestine, B. C. 2000—1500. II. History of the Jewish state as a federative republic under the high priests and judges, from B. C. 1500—1100. III. History of the Jewish state under a monarchical government, from B. C. 1100—600, first in one[Pg 35] kingdom,—975; afterwards as two separate kingdoms, Israel and Judah, until the downfall of the latter, 588.

Sources of the Jewish history.—Their annals:—Books of Judges, Samuel, Chronicles, Kings. How those books were composed, and whether their authors may be considered as contemporary with the events they relate? How far the Hebrew poets, the prophets in particular, may be considered as historical authority?—Josephus, as an antiquarian in his Archæologia, and as a contemporary historian in his Historia Belli Romani.

Unfortunately there is not at present any satisfactory treatise on the Jewish history previous to the Babylonian captivity; nor one written in an impartial spirit, without credulity or scepticism. The work of Berruyer, Histoire du Peuple de Dieu, depuis son origine jusqu'à la Naissance de J. C. Paris, 1742, 10 vols. 8vo.; and the continuation, depuis la Naissance de J. C. 10 vols.; and others of the same kind do not answer this description. Relandi Antiquit. Sacr. Heb. The writings of J. D. Michaelis, particularly his † Remarks on the Translation of the Old Testament, and his † Mosaic Law; together with † Herder, On the Spirit of Hebrew Poesy, furnish many excellent materials.

Jews as a nomad horde:
sojourn in Egypt 2000 to about 1500.

I. Period of the nomad state from Abraham to the conquest of Palestine.—Under Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, nothing more at first than a single nomad family; which, however, during its sojourn in Lower Egypt, where, during four hundred and thirty, or, according to others, two hundred and fifty years, it roved about in subjection to the Egyptian Pharaohs,—increased to a nomad nation, divided into twelve tribes. The nation, however, becoming formidable from the great increase of its numbers, the Pharaohs, following the usual policy of the Egyptians, wished to compel the Jews to build and inhabit cities. Unaccustomed to restraint, they fled from Egypt under the conduct of Moses; and conquered, under him [Pg 36] and his successor Joshua, Palestine, the land of promise.

Moses and his legislation.—What he borrowed and what he did not borrow from the Egyptians?—The worship of Jehovah in the national sanctuary, and by national festivals, celebrated with ceremonies rigidly prescribed, the point of union for the whole nation, and the political bond which held the tribes together.—The caste of Levites, compared with the Egyptian caste of priests.

J. D. Michaelis, Mosaic Law. Gottingen, 1778, etc. 6 vols. 8vo.; translated into English by Dr. Alexander Smith. Lond. 1814, 4 vols. 8vo. The commentator frequently sees more than the lawgiver.

Jews as a federate republic.

II. Period of the federative republic. From the occupation of Palestine to the establishment of monarchy, 1500—1100.

Heroic age.

1. General character of this period as the heroic age of the nation, which, after the gradual adoption of fixed dwellings and agriculture, was engaged in constant feuds with its neighbours, the vagrant Arabs, the Philistines, and the Edomites. Impossibility of exterminating entirely the ancient inhabitants according to the intention of Moses.—Hence the worship of Jehovah was never the only religion in the land.


2. Political organization. In consequence of the division of land, according to tribes, and their separation from one another, the government long remained patriarchal. Each tribe preserved its patriarch or elder, as in the nomad state. All, however, had, in the worship of Jehovah, one common bond, uniting them into one federate state. Magistrates were likewise appointed in the cities, to whom scribes are conjoined out of the Levite caste.[Pg 37]

Distribution of the Levites.

3. The permanent union of the nation, and preservation of the Mosaic law, were likewise promoted by the distribution of the Levite caste into forty-eight separate towns, situated in various parts of the country, and by making the high priesthood hereditary in Aaron's family.

Disturbed state of the Jews at the death of Joshua.

4. But when at the death of Joshua the people were left without a common ruler, the tie of religion became insufficient to hold them together; especially as the weaker tribes became jealous of the more powerful. At this time the high priests appear to have had but little political influence; and the national bond was only prevented from being dissolved by the dread of a foreign yoke.


5. The Jews were sometimes independent, at other times tributary. In seasons of oppression and distress heroes arose, jealous for the worship of Jehovah, to deliver them from bondage. They acted as chief magistrates and rulers of a part, or even the whole of the nation, and as champions of the worship of the true God. The judges, particularly Othniel, Deborah, and Sampson.—Concerning the marvellous in their history.

Kings, about 1150.

6. Reestablishment of the worship of Jehovah by Samuel. He becomes judge, and rules as Jehovah's minister.—His scheme of making the office of judge hereditary in his own family is defeated by the conduct of his sons. The nation demands a king, whom Samuel, as minister of Jehovah, is called upon to appoint. His crafty policy in the election, which he cannot impede. He chooses Saul, politically speaking, the most insignificant man of the nation; but the tallest and most stately. A formal constitutional act,[Pg 38] according to the Mosaic command, is drawn up and deposited in the national sanctuary.

Causes which led the nation to demand a king.—Earlier attempts made, particularly by Abimelech, to obtain regal power.

III. Period of the monarchy from 1100—600.

I. The Jewish state as one single kingdom from 1100 (1095)—975.


1. Saul, the new king, strengthened himself on the throne by a victory over the Ammonites; and a general assembly of the nation, in which Samuel laid down his office as judge, unanimously acknowledged his sovereignty. But Saul, no sooner became a conqueror than he threw off the tutelage of Samuel, and ventured himself to consult Jehovah. This was the occasion of a feud between them. Samuel, offended, privately anointed another young man, David the son of Jesse, as king. David acquires fame and popularity by his heroic conduct; but has much difficulty in escaping the jealousy of Saul.—Saul sustains himself amid constant wars with the neighbouring nations; slain about 1055. but at last defeated, he and all his sons, except one, lose their lives.

Jewish government and state under him.

2. State of the nation and constitution under Saul.—The king little more than a military leader under the direction of Jehovah; without either court or fixed residence.—The people still a mere agricultural and pastoral race, without wealth or luxury; but gradually assuming the character of a warlike nation.

David, 1055—1015.

3. Saul was succeeded by David; but not without opposition. Eleven tribes declare for[Pg 39] Ish-bosheth, the remaining son of Saul; and David is only acknowledged by his own tribe, Judah. It is not till seven years later, and the murder of Ish-bosheth by his own people, that David is recognized as king by the whole nation.

State of the nation and government in his reign.

4. Complete formation of the nation, and a change of constitution during the reign of David over the united kingdom, which lasted thirty-three years. Jerusalem is made the seat of government and of the national sanctuary. Rigid observance of the worship of Jehovah, the exclusive religion of the nation, considered in respect to its political consequence.


5. Vast aggrandizement of the Jewish state by conquest. A war with Hadadezer opens the way to the conquest of Syria and Idumæa. Extent of the kingdom from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean; from Phœnicia to the Red sea. Gradual decline towards despotism and seraglio government; the political consequences of which become apparent about the end of David's reign, in the rebellion of his sons.

Solomon, 1015—975.

6. Reign of Solomon. The brilliant government of a despot from the interior of his seraglio; unwarlike, but civilized, and fond of parade. New organization of the kingdom for the support of the court. Connections formed with the neighbouring states, particularly with Tyre; hence a participation in the southern trade carried on from the ports of the Red sea, conquered by David; but only as a monopoly of the court.

Declension of the state.

7. The capital enriched by the splendour of the court; but the country oppressed and impoverished, particularly the distant tribes. Gradual[Pg 40] internal decay hastened by the admixture of the worship of foreign gods with that of Jehovah; although Solomon, by the erection of the temple according to the plan of his father, seems to have wished to make the worship of the true God the only religion of the country. An unsuccessful attempt at rebellion made by Jeroboam; and by the Edomites, who remain tributary under their own kings: actual secession, even during the reign of Solomon, of the conquered province of Syria by the foundation of the kingdom of Damascus.


8. Solomon is succeeded by his son Rehoboam, who has scarcely ascended the throne, before the malcontents, increased in number by his imprudence, break into open rebellion. Jeroboam is recalled from Egypt, and ten tribes acknowledge him as their king. Only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, remain faithful to Rehoboam.

II. The Jewish state as a divided kingdom, 975—588.

Causes of the long wars between Judah and Israel.

1. Reciprocal relations between the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Although Israel was more extensive and populous than Judah, yet was Judah, in consequence of possessing the capital, richest of the two; thus their power was nearly balanced; and hence the struggle between them was the more obstinate.

Policy of the kings of Israel:

2. The kings of Israel seek to confirm the political division of the nation, by establishing a new form of worship within their dominions, in order to restrain their subjects from visiting the [Pg 41]ancient seat of the national worship at Jerusalem; hence they were considered as the enemies of Jehovah. Several kings, however, even of of those of Judah. Judah were so impolitic as to mingle the worship of other gods with that of Jehovah. But oppression itself serves to sustain the worship of Jehovah; the number and political influence of the prophets increase in proportion as men feel, amid the turbulence of the times, need of the counsels of the true God; the idea of some future happier period under a mighty king—the idea of the Messiah and of his kingdom—is more fully developed by the lively recollection of the splendid reign of David.—Schools of the prophets.

Termination of the wars.

3. The rivalry and wars between those two states not only continue with slight interruption, but become more and more fraught with danger, in consequence of the alliances entered into with foreign princes, particularly with the kings of Damascus and Egypt. An end is at length put to these feeble kingdoms by the rise of vast empires in Inner Asia.

Most important events in the history of the two kingdoms.

1. Kingdom of Israel, 975—722; under 19 kings, from different families, who succeeded to the throne amid violent revolutions. 1. Jeroboam, d. 954. Settlement of the royal residence at Shechem; of the sanctuaries at Bethel and Dan, and appointment of priests, not belonging to the tribe of Levi. Constant wars with the kings of Judah. 2. Nadab, Jeroboam's son, murdered in 953 by 3. Baasha, d. 930. This prince, by his alliance with the kings of Damascus, brought the kingdom of Judah into great danger. 4. Elah murdered in 929 by one of his generals. 5. Zimri, in whose place the army immediately elected 6. Omri: this prince, at the beginning of his reign, had a rival to the throne in Tibni, d. 925. Omri founded the new capital, Samaria, d. 918. He was succeeded by his son 7. Ahab: strong connections by marriage with the kings of Sidon; introduction of[Pg 42] the Phœnician worship of Baal. Wars with Damascus, in which Ahab at last perishes, 897. Under Ahab a league formed with the king of Judah. He is succeeded by his sons, 8. Ahaziah, d. 896, and 9. Jehoram. The league with Judah continues. Jehoram is murdered by Jehu, 883. 10. Jehu: this king destroys the house of Ahab, which had given 4 kings to Israel, and does away with the worship of Baal. The kings of Damascus wrest from the kingdom of Israel the lands beyond Jordan. Jehu, d. 856. He is succeeded by his son 11. Jehoahaz, d. 840. The wars with Damascus continue unsuccessful to Israel. 12. Jehoash, d. 825. He defeats the kings of Damascus and Judah. 13. Jeroboam II. d. 784. He restores the kingdom of Israel to its ancient extent. After a turbulent interregnum of 12 years, he is succeeded by his son 14. Zechariah, 773; who was assassinated the same year, being the last remnant of the house of Jehu, which had given 5 kings to Israel. His murderer, 15. Shallum, after a reign of one month, is, in his turn, assassinated by 16. Menahem, d. 761: under his reign the first expedition of the Assyrians, headed by Pul, whom he buys off by tribute. 17. His son Pekahiah murdered in 759 by 18. Pekah, under whose reign falls the expedition of Tiglath-Pileser the Assyrian, and destruction of Damascus. Pekah is assassinated in 740 by 19. Hoshea, who, after an anarchy of eight years, obtains possession of the throne. Hoshea endeavours, by an alliance with Egypt, to shake off the Assyrian yoke; but Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, wages war against him, conquers Samaria, and puts an end to the kingdom of Israel, whose inhabitants he transplants to Media in Inner Asia, 722.

2. Kingdom of Judah under 20 kings of the house of David, 975—598. The regular line of hereditary succession is generally followed without dispute, and is only twice interrupted by Athaliah's usurpation, and the intervention of foreign conquerors. 1. Rehoboam, d. 958. Jerusalem is still the seat of government; but even during this reign the worship of Jehovah begins to fall into neglect, in consequence of the introduction of foreign gods. Besides the war with Israel, Jerusalem is attacked and plundered by Shishak, king of Egypt. 2. Abijah, d. 955. 3. Asa. This prince was attacked by the combined kings of Israel and Damascus, and, no doubt, would have sunk in the conflict, had he not succeeded in breaking their alliance; d. 914. 4. Jehoshaphat, the restorer of the worship of Jehovah and framer of a league with the kingdom of Israel. His attempt to reestablish[Pg 43] the trade to Ophir, on the Red sea, is unsuccessful, d. 891. 5. Jehoram. The union with Israel is confirmed by the marriage of this prince with Ahab's daughter, Athaliah; but Idumæa, under his reign, secedes wholly from the kingdom of Judah, d. 884. 6. His son Ahaziah is, in the next year, 883, assassinated by Jehu, the murderer and successor of Jehoram king of Israel. 7. His mother, Athaliah, takes possession of the throne; murders the whole royal family; only one son of Ahaziah, 8, Joash, is, in consequence of his youth, rescued from the carnage, secretly educated in the temple, and after seven years forcibly placed upon the throne, by means of a revolution wrought by the high priest, Jehoiada; and Athaliah is slaughtered, 877. Joash rules under the tutelage of the priests, which leads to the reestablishment of Jehovah's worship. This prince is menaced by Hazael king of Damascus, and compelled to pay him tribute. Slain 838. 9. Amaziah: he defeats the Edomites, and is in his turn defeated by Jehoash king of Israel, by whom Jerusalem itself is sacked. He is slain in 811, and succeeded 10. by his son Azariah, (or Uzziah.) This prince was leprous, and d. 759. His son 11. Jotham, d. 743, became regent during the life of his father. The wars with Israel and Damascus recommence. 12. Ahaz, d. 728. The league between the kings of Damascus and Israel induces Ahaz to call to his assistance Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, who overthrows the kingdom of Damascus, and subjects Israel and Judah to tribute. 13. Hezekiah, d. 699. He shakes off the Assyrian yoke: under his reign Shalmaneser destroys Samaria, 722: and Shalmaneser's successor, Sennacherib, undertakes his expedition against Egypt, 714. Jerusalem is again besieged, but fortunately relieved by the total failure of the expedition. Isaiah prophecies during the reign of this prince. 14. Manasseh, d. 644. During his 55 years' reign, the worship of the Phœnician god, Baal, becomes general; that of Jehovah falls into contempt, and the Mosaic law into disuse. 15. Amon, murdered as early as 642. 16. Josiah restorer of the temple, and of the worship of Jehovah. The book of the Law, which had been cast aside and neglected, is once more found, and a complete reform instituted according to its principles. Palestine however is the first country attacked by Necos, king of Egypt; and Josiah falls in battle, 611. His son, 17. Jehoahaz, is, after a reign of three months, dethroned by Pharaoh-Nechoh, and his brother 18. Jehoiakim placed as a tributary prince on the throne. But in consequence of the rise of the Chaldæo-Babylo[Pg 44]nian empire, Pharaoh-Nechoh is deprived of his Asiatic conquests by the loss of the battle of Circesium, 606; and Jehoiakim becomes tributary to Nebuchadnezzar, d. 599. The prophet Jeremiah flourishes. 19. Jehoiachin, son of the former king, after three months' reign, is, together with the greater part of the nation, transplanted into Inner Asia by Nebuchadnezzar, after a second expedition, (commencement of the Babylonian captivity,) and, 20. Zedekiah, brother on the father's side to Jehoiachin, is seated on the throne as a tributary prince. Forming, however, a league with Egypt, in order to throw off the Babylonian yoke, Nebuchadnezzar marches a third time against Jerusalem, conquers it, 588, and delivers it up to pillage and destruction. Zedekiah, after being deprived of his eye-sight, and losing all his children by the hands of the executioner, is, together with the remaining portion of the nation, led in captivity to Babylon.

S. Bernhardi Commentatio de causis quibus affectum sit ut regnum Judæ diutius persisteret quam regnum Israel; cum tabula geographica, Lovanii, 1825, 4to. A prize essay, containing also several valuable enquiries into the monarchical period of the Jewish state.

Bauer, Manual of the History of the Hebrew Nation, vol. i—iii, 1800. The best introduction hitherto published, not only to the history, but also to the antiquities of the nation, from the rise to the fall of the state.

[Pg 45]


General Geographical Outline of Ancient Africa.

See A. H. L. Heeren's Historical Researches, etc. African Nations. 2 vols. 8vo. Oxford, 1831.

Acquaintance of the ancients with Africa.

1. Although the Phœnicians had circumnavigated Africa, the northern part only of that quarter of the globe was known to antiquity. With that part, however, the ancients were better acquainted than we are at the present day, the coast being then occupied by civilized and commercial nations, who pushed their excursions far inland. This was the case in early times with the Carthaginians and the Egyptians; still more so with the Macedonian Greeks, under the Ptolemies, and under the Romans. War, hunting, and commerce, were, generally speaking, the objects which gave rise to those excursions.

General view of Africa.

2. Considered as a whole, Africa is very different from Asia, both in situation and form. Asia lies almost entirely within the temperate, while Africa is almost wholly under the torrid zone. Asia abounds in deep gulfs and large rivers; Africa constitutes a regular triangle, and in its northern half possesses but two large rivers, the Nile and the Niger. No wonder, then, that this portion of our globe should form, as it were, a world in itself, distinguished by its productions and its inhabitants.

Physical geography of North Africa.

3. Physically considered, Northern Africa may be divided into three regions, distinguished in [Pg 46]early antiquity by separate names. The maritime country along the Mediterranean, with the exception of Tripolis, or the Regio-Syrtica, consists principally of very fertile districts, and was consequently, at all times, very thickly inhabited: hence in Herodotus it bears the name of the inhabited Africa; it is now called Barbary. Above this, and under the 30th parallel of N. lat., succeeds a mountainous tract, across which stretches the Atlas chain of mountains; abounding in wild beasts and dates: hence Herodotus calls it the wild beast Africa: among the Arabs it is called the land of dates, (Biledulgerid.) Beyond this, and between the 30th and 20th degrees of N. lat. the sandy region extends right across Africa and Arabia: this part of Africa is therefore known, both among the ancients and moderns, under the name of Africa Deserta, or the Sandy Desert, (Sahara). The fruitful lands beyond the desert, stretching along the banks of the Niger, were almost wholly unknown to the Greeks: by them these parts were comprehended under the common name of Ethiopia, although that name applied more peculiarly to the districts above Egypt. The Greeks were, however, acquainted with some of the fruitful spots in the desert, the Oases; such as Augila, Ammonium, and the Oases, properly so called, in Egypt.

Political state.

4. There exists no political division which comprises the whole of Africa. The north coast alone was inhabited by civilized nations: Egyptians, Cyrenæans, and Carthaginians; of which the first only were aboriginals. The rest of the inhabitants either roved about as nomad hordes, or[Pg 47] formed insignificant states, of whose existence we have heard some account, though we possess no history of them. Along the shore, reckoning from the Plinthinetic gulf, Egypt is succeeded by: 1st. Marmarica, a tract without cities, consisting principally of sandy deserts, occupied by nomad hordes: this country extends from the 40—47° E. long. from Ferro. 2nd. The fertile territory occupied by the Greek colonies, called Cyrenaïca, extended to the Greater Syrtis, 37—40° E. long. Cities: Cyrene, Barca. 3rd. The territory of Carthage, extending from the Greater Syrtis to the Fair Promontory, 25—40° E. long. This territory comprised (a) the country between the Greater and Lesser Syrtis, (Regio Syrtica,) which constitutes the modern kingdom of Tripoli; a sandy tract, almost wholly occupied by nomads. (b) the territory of Carthage, properly so called, (kingdom of Tunis). A very fruitful country; the southern part, called Byzacena, the northern part Zeugitana. Cities: Carthage, Utica, etc. 4th. Numidia and Mauritania; occupied during the Carthaginian age by nomad races. Along the shore some Carthaginian settlements.



Preliminary remarks. Egypt in its superficial contents is equal to about two-thirds of Germany, and may therefore justly be ranked among the more extensive countries of the globe; it greatly varies, however, in its physical properties. The[Pg 48] soil is only sufficiently fertile for tillage on the banks of the Nile, and as far as the floods of that river extend; beyond that, on the west, is a sandy desert, on the east a chain of rocky mountains. From its entrance into Egypt at Syene, Course of the Nile. the Nile flows in one undivided stream to the city of Cercasorus, 60 geogr. miles above its mouth, directing its source from south to north through a valley from 8 to 16 geogr. miles broad, bounded on the west by deserts of sand, and on the east by mountains of granite. At Cercasorus the stream first divides itself into two main branches, which formerly discharged their waters into the Mediterranean, the eastern near the city of Pelusium, the western near the city of Canopus (ostium Pelusiacum et Canopicum;) from these two diverged several intermediate branches; so that in the time of Herodotus there existed seven mouths of the Nile, but the number has not always remained the same. The tract between the two extreme arms of the Nile bears, in consequence of its triangular form, the name of the Delta; it was covered with cities, and highly cultivated. The fertile part of Egypt, inhabited by civilized men, was therefore confined to the Delta and the valley of the Nile, on the two banks of the stream from Syene to Cercasorus; to which must be added some well watered spots in the centre of the western desert, known under the name of the Oases. In consequence of the perpetual absence of rain, particularly in Upper Egypt, the fertility of the Delta and the valley of the Nile depends on the overflowing of the river, which happens at stated periods. This commences at the beginning of August and continues[Pg 49] to the end of October; so that during three whole months the above-mentioned parts of the country are under water.

Divisions of Egypt.

Egypt is divided into Upper, extending from Syene to the city of Chemmis, (capital, Thebes, or Diospolis); Central from Chemmis to Cercasorus, (capital, Memphis,) and Lower Egypt, which comprises the Delta, and the land on both sides: it was full of cities, among which the most remarkable was Sais.


Next above Egypt lies Ethiopia, (Æthiopia supra Ægyptum); which, from the earliest times, principally through commerce, appears to have been closely connected with the former country. The regions immediately above Egypt, usually called Nubia, are little more than deserts of sand, still inhabited by roving hordes of nomad robbers. The rocky mountain chain, which forms the eastern boundary of Egypt, stretches along the Red sea, and was formerly of great importance to Nubia, from its containing, just above the Egyptian frontier, productive gold mines. The Nile, in this country, makes a wide curve to the west, and becomes so full of shallows as to render navigation difficult. The lands adjoining the river, however, are fertile and well inhabited; and contain numerous ancient monuments. Still higher up, reckoning from 16° N. lat. the appearance of the country changes; the region of fertility commences, and its costly productions, its gold and its perfumes, gave rise to a profitable commerce. Among these countries, Meroe, with its capital of the same name, was celebrated in the days of Herodotus. By Meroe is understood a[Pg 50] tract of land bounded by two rivers, the Nile on the west, and the Astaboras, (Tacazze,) which falls into the Nile, on the east; for this reason it is frequently, although improperly, called an island. This country extended towards the sources of the Nile, or the modern province of Gojam, where, under the reign of Psammetichus, the Egyptian caste of warriors, having for the most part deserted, established themselves. Meroe itself, like the Egyptian states, was sacerdotal, with a king at its head.—The city of Axum, or Auxume, is not indeed mentioned at so early a period; but if we may judge by the ruins that still remain, it was of equally high antiquity with the old Egyptian towns and with Meroe. The same observations apply to Adule, the harbour on the Arabian gulf.

Divisions of Egyptian history.

The Egyptian history is divided into three periods of unequal duration; the first of which extends from the earliest time down to the Sesostridæ, that is to say, to about B. C. 1500: the second comprises the reigns of the Sesostridæ, or the brilliant period of Egypt, down to Psammetichus, 1500—650: the third brings us from Psammetichus down to the Persian conquest, 650—525.

[Pg 51]


From the earliest times down to the Sesostridæ, about B. C. 1500.

Sources: 1. Jewish writers. Moses. His records contain, no doubt, a faithful picture of the Egyptian state in his day; but no continuous history can be deduced from them.—From Moses down to Solomon (B. C. 1500—1000.) total silence, with respect to Egypt, of the Hebrew writers. From Solomon down to Cyrus, (B. C. 1000—550.) a few scanty fragments.—Importance and superiority of the Jewish accounts, so far as they are purely historical. 2. Greek writers. (a) Herodotus. The first who published a History of the Egyptians. About seventy years after the destruction of the throne of the Pharaohs by the Persian conquerors, this author collected, in Egypt itself, the earliest accounts of the history of the country; he received his information from the most capable persons, the priests; and wrote down faithfully that information, such as he heard it. If, therefore, we would estimate at their proper worth the accounts given by Herodotus, it is necessary to enquire, what did the priests themselves know of their earlier national history? And this question cannot be answered until we have ascertained in what manner the historical records of the earlier periods were preserved among the Egyptians.

The earliest history of the Egyptians, like that of all other nations, was traditional. They adopted, however, before any other nations, a sort of writing, hieroglyphics, or allegorical picture writing; in which the signs borrowed from natural objects served, as modern discoveries have proved, partly to represent sounds, (hiéroglyphes phonétiques,) and partly to express ideas; in the latter case they were either representative or allegorical. This mode of writing, by its nature, is not so complete as the purely alphabetical; since, 1. It can express only a narrow circle of ideas, and these separately, without connection or grammatical inflection, at least with very few exceptions. 2. As it is not so well adapted to writing as to painting or engraving, it is not so useful for books as for public monuments. 3. Being em[Pg 52]blematic, it is not intelligible without the help of a key, which could only be preserved in some tradition connected with the monument, and which was exclusively possessed by the priests; this key, therefore, could hardly be preserved many centuries without falsification. 4. The same image seems frequently to have been used to express very different objects.—It follows, that the Egyptian history, as deduced from the lips of the priests, can hardly have been any thing more than records connected with, and depending upon, public monuments: consisting, therefore, of mere fragments, and reducible to no consistent chronology, it ultimately admitted only of allegorical translation, and consequently was very liable to be misinterpreted. Besides their hieroglyphics, the Egyptians certainly had two other species of writing: the hieratic, confined to the priests, and the demotic, used in common life. Both, however, seem to have been nothing more than running hands derived from the hieroglyphic system; and we have no instance of the employment of either the one or the other in public monuments of the time of the Pharaohs. That the use of papyrus, a material on which all the above kinds of writing were employed, had its origin in the highest antiquity, or at least in the more brilliant period of the Pharaohs, we now know for certain, written documents belonging to those times having been obtained from the tombs.

Champollion le jeune, Précis du Système Hiéroglyphique des anciens Egyptiens. Paris, 1824. The main work on this subject, of which the Lettre à M. Dacier, 1822, is but the precursor, and the two Lettres à M. le duc de Blacas the continuation. The new method of deciphering has received its principal confirmation from the work of the British consul in Egypt, Salt, Essay on the Phonetic System of Hieroglyphics, 1825, on the authority of a comparison with the Egyptian monuments themselves. Hitherto, however, little more has been made out than the names and titles of the kings, distinguished by being always enclosed within a border.

These preliminary remarks on the earlier Egyptian history, will derive abundant support from a perusal of the account given by Herodotus (ii, 99—150), of the Egyptian kings previous to Psammetichus. The study of that author proves beyond all doubt, that: I. The whole history is throughout founded on public monuments, and on monuments too, either in or near Memphis. We may even restrict ourselves to one single monument at Memphis, to the temple of Vulcan, or Phtha, the chief temple[Pg 53] of that city. The history commences with Menes, the founder of that edifice, (c. 99.), and we are informed, respecting each of his successors, what was done towards the augmentation and embellishment of the building: those who made no addition to that temple, but left other monuments, (as the builders of the pyramids,) are denominated oppressors of the people, and contemners of the gods: of those princes who left no monuments at all, the priests could give no other information than a catalogue of names. II. Hence this line of kings, although the priests gave it to Herodotus as such, is not without interruptions, but, as is clearly proved by a comparison with Diodorus, contains many wide chasms: therefore no chronological system can be erected upon such a basis. III. The whole history is interwoven with narrations derived from hieroglyphic representations, and for that very reason allegorical, the meaning of which it is no longer possible to unravel, the priests themselves being either unable or unwilling to explain it, and even inclining, it appears, to introduce false interpretations. To this class of narrations belongs, for instance, that of the robbery of Rhampsinitus's treasury; that of his journey into hell, where he played at dice with Ceres, (c. 121, 122); that concerning the daughter of Cheops, (c. 127.); concerning the blindness of Pheron, and the manner in which he was cured, etc. (c. 111.) To prove that this charge is not without foundation, it will suffice to adduce two examples; one from c. 131, where Herodotus himself observes that such was the case; the other from c. 141, the true meaning of which we gather from other sources. Even in the time of Herodotus, it was customary with the priests to endeavour to conciliate the Greek and Egyptian authorities; a fact in proof of which there are many arguments which cannot escape the critic: such, for instance, as the completely Græcised history of king Proteus, c. 112—115.—The general result of the above observations on Herodotus's Egyptian history is, that it is nothing more than a narration connected with public monuments. To this inference but one objection can possibly be made, namely, that the Egyptian priests possessed, besides their hieroglyphics, an alphabetical mode of writing; consequently, that, over and above the public monuments, they might likewise refer to written annals; but this objection is overthrown by Herodotus himself. All the information the priests could give him beyond what has been above alluded to, consisted in the names of 330 kings subsequent to[Pg 54] Menes; these they read from a papyrus roll, but knew nothing more of the kings who bore them, because those sovereigns had left no monuments behind them, (c. 100.)

(b) Besides Herodotus, Diodorus (lib. i.) likewise furnishes us with the names of some Egyptian kings. This author, who wrote 400 years subsequently to Herodotus, visited Egypt, and collected his history, partly from the oral and written documents of the priests of Thebes, partly from the more ancient Greek writers, and particularly Hecatæus. If we consider Herodotus's line of kings as not continuous or uninterrupted, all appearance of contradiction between the two historians vanishes. Diodorus, like Herodotus, did not intend to give a complete enumeration of the Egyptian kings; but only of the most remarkable; indicating the interruptions by the number of generations which they contained.

(c) Finally, different from both the above is the Egyptian Manetho, high priest at Heliopolis, who flourished under the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about B. C. 260. He wrote the Ægyptiaca, of which, besides several fragments in Josephus, the enumeration of the kings has been preserved in the chronicles of Eusebius and Syncellus. This catalogue is divided into three sections, (tomos,) each of which contains several dynasties, in all 31, enumerated according to the different cities of Egypt. In each dynasty the number of kings belonging to it and the years of their reigns are marked. The authenticity of Manetho is now completely established; since the names of the Pharaohs mentioned by him have been deciphered on the Egyptian monuments. To this period belong the first seventeen dynasties; in the eighteenth begins the second and brilliant period, to which the yet remaining monuments of Upper Egypt, bearing the names of the founders, are to be ascribed. It is worthy of observation, that in Herodotus we have the documents of the priests of Memphis, in Diodorus those of the priests of Thebes, in Manetho those of the priests of Heliopolis—the three principal seats of sacerdotal learning:—perfect consistency cannot, therefore, be expected in the accounts of those historians.

The modern writers on Egyptian antiquities, from Kircher, Œdipus Ægyptiacus, 1670, to De Pauw, Recherches sur les Egyptiens et sur les Chinois, 1772, have too often substituted their own dreams and hypotheses for truth. The principal attempts at a chronological arrangement of the dynasties have been[Pg 55] made by Marsham, in his Canon Chronicus; and by Gatterer, in his † Synchronistic History of the World.—Among the principal works on this subject may be reckoned:

Jablonski Pantheon Mythicum Ægyptiacum, 1750, 8vo.

Gatterer, Commentationes de Theogonia Ægypt. in Commentat. Societ. Gotting. t. vii.

De Origine et Usu Obeliscorum, auctore G. Zoega; Romæ, 1797.

L'Egypte sous les Pharaons, ou Recherches sur la Géographie, la Religion, la Langue, les Ecritures, et l'Histoire de l'Egypte avant l'invasion de Cambyse, par Champollion le Jeune, t. i, ii. 1814. These two volumes, dedicated to the geography, contain the restoration of the ancient Egyptian names of provinces and cities deduced from Coptic authorities.

Commentationes Herodoteæ, scribebat Frid. Creuzer. Ægyptica et Hellenica, pars 1. Lips. 1819. A series of most acute and learned illustrations of different points in Egyptian antiquity, introduced by different passages of Herodotus.

The volume in Heeren's Historical Researches, etc. 1831, vol. ii, concerning the Egyptians; and particularly the introduction on hieroglyphic writing. For the best representations of the Egyptian monuments, we are indebted to the French expedition. Those of Denon in his Voyage en Egypte, are far superior to those of Pococke and Norden; but Denon's, in their turn, have been greatly surpassed in the magnificent work:

Description de l'Egypte, Antiquités, P. i, ii, iii. P. i, contains the monuments of Upper Egypt, from the frontiers of Nubia to Thebes; P. ii, iii, contain the monuments of Thebes alone.

Belzoni, Researches in Egypt, London, 1824, with an atlas.

Minutoli, Journey to the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, and Egypt, 1824.

L. Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, London, 1819.

F. C. Gau, Antiquités de la Nubie, Paris, 1824. A worthy continuation of the great French work on Egypt.

Fr. Caillaud, Voyage à Méroé et au Fleuve Blanc, Paris, 1825, contains the description of the monuments of Meroe.

Early civilization of Egypt:

1. Political civilization commenced in Egypt at a much earlier period than that to which history reaches; for even in the days of Abraham, and[Pg 56] still more so in those of Moses, the government seems to have been so well organized, that a long period must necessarily have elapsed in order to raise the nation to that degree of civilization which we see it had then attained. It may, therefore, be safely asserted, that Egypt ranks among the most ancient countries of our globe in which political associations existed; although we cannot determine with equal certainty whether they did not exist still earlier of India. in India.

Causes of its early civilization.
The Nile:

2. The causes which contributed to render Egypt thus early a civilized state, may be found in the natural features of the country, and its favourable situation, when compared with the rest of Africa. It is the only tract in all northern Africa situated on a large uninterrupted navigable stream: had it not been for this, it would, like the other parts of Africa under the same parallel, have been a mere desert. To this must be added two extraordinary circumstances: on the one hand, the overflowing of the river so perfectly prepares the soil, that to scatter the seed is almost the only labour of the husbandman; and yet, on the other hand, so many obstacles impede the progress of agriculture, (by the necessity of canals, dams, etc.) that the invention of man must necessarily have been awakened. commerce. When agriculture, and the kind of knowledge requisite for its ulterior development had introduced a certain degree of civilization into Egypt, the situation of that country, between Asia and Africa, and in the neighbourhood of the rich land of gold and spices, must have been highly favourable to the purposes of international commerce; hence Egypt appears[Pg 57] in all ages to have been one of the chief seats of the inland or caravan trade.

Egyptian civilization came from the south.

3. It is obvious, therefore, that in the fertile valley of the Nile, the course of things must have been very different from what it was in the desert of Libya. Several small states appear to have been formed in this valley long before the existence of any great Egyptian kingdom. Their origin, as might naturally be supposed, is enveloped in an obscurity, which history can no longer entirely penetrate. It may still, however, be gathered from monuments and records, that Upper Egypt was first the seat of civilization; which, originating in the south, spread by the settlement of colonies towards the north. It is probable that this took place in consequence of the migration of some tribe, differing from the negroes, as is proved by the representations, both in sculpture and in painting, found on the yet remaining monuments of Egypt.

4. The records of the high antiquity of political civilization, not only in India, but likewise in Arabia Felix and Ethiopia, particularly in Meroe, and the evident vestiges of Migrations from the south. ancient intercourse between the southern nations of our globe, prove with sufficient evidence the truth of such migrations, although they cannot be chronologically determined. It is certain, however, that religion had no small share in producing them. The national bond of union in Egypt not only continued in later times, entirely dependent upon religion, but was originally grounded upon it. Thus every step in political civilization must have depended,[Pg 58] if not solely, at least principally, on the caste of priests and on their extension.

General development of the idea of division into castes. Originating at first in the variety of tribes settled in one and the same country, and their different modes of life.—Its further progress in despotic and in theocratic kingdoms.—Application to Egypt and to the Egyptian caste of priests, as an original, civilized tribe.

A caste of priests introduce their religion and civilization in Egypt.

5. The peculiarity of this caste was the worship of certain deities, the principal of which were Ammon, Osiris, and Phtha, confounded by the Greeks with their Jupiter, Bacchus, and Vulcan. The spread of this worship, which was always connected with temples, affords, therefore, the most evident vestiges of the spread of the caste itself; and those vestiges combined with the records of the Egyptians, lead us to conclude that this caste was a tribe which migrated from the south, from beyond Meroe in Ethiopia, and by the establishment of inland colonies around the temples founded by them, gradually extended and made the worship of their gods the dominant religion in Egypt.

Proof of the accuracy of the above theory deduced from monuments and express testimonies concerning the origin of Thebes and Ammon from Meroe; it might have been inferred from the preservation of the worship of Ammon in the latter place. Memphis, again, and other cities in the valley of the Nile, are commonly supposed to have been founded by detachments from Thebes.


6. This conjecture, which agrees with the usual progress of population, is corroborated by the very ancient division of the country into districts, or nomes. This division was intimately connected[Pg 59] with the chief temples, each of which represented a separate colony of the caste of priests; so that the inhabitants of every home belonged to the chief temple, and joined in the religious worship there performed.

Separate states founded in Egypt:

7. To the gradual extension of this civilized tribe, which comprised, not only the caste of the priests, but certainly also that of the warriors, and perhaps some others, may be attributed the formation of several small states along the banks of the Nile; the central point of each being always such a colony as we have just now described; although each state consisted both of the aboriginal tribes of the neighbourhood, and of those that had migrated into the country. The bond which united every separate state was, therefore, as in most of those formed in the infancy of mankind, a common worship, in which all the members participated. But what, by reason of the peculiarities of soil and climate, could not take place in southern Africa, took place in Egypt: agriculture, and its progressive improvement, became the great support of civilization; and, as being the true foundation of states, formed the principal political object of the ruling caste.

Refutation of the idea, that the Egyptian priests were in possession of great speculative knowledge; since their knowledge rather had constant reference to practical life, and, therefore, was in their hands the instrumentum dominationis over the people, by which they rendered themselves indispensable, and kept the former in a state of dependence.—Explanation of the close reference which their gods, their astronomical and mathematical sciences bore to agriculture.

Manetho's account of them:

8. According to Manetho's catalogues, these separate Egyptian states existed first in Upper[Pg 60] and Middle Egypt; in the former were Thebes, Elephantine, This, and Heraclea; in the latter, Memphis. It is only in the last division of his work that we meet with states in Lower Egypt, such as Tanis, Mendes, Bubastis, and Sebennytus.

To these states, therefore, no doubt, belong the 330 kings after Menes, whose names the priests read to Herodotus; as also those whom Diodorus mentions as reigning previous to Sesostris, among whom are remarked Busiris II. founder of Thebes, and Uchoreus, the founder of Memphis. Eusebius and Syncellus have preserved from Manetho the names of several of those kings, which Marsham has endeavoured to compare and arrange.

obscurity of their chronology.

9. In the absence of a certain and continuous chronology, it is impossible to determine accurately which of these states were contemporary, and which succeeded the others. There can be no question that Thebes was one of the earliest, if not indeed the most ancient of them all; certainly prior to Memphis, which was founded by it. According to the natural order of things, some of these states became wealthy and mighty, and swallowed up the others. Even at this early period, Thebes and Memphis had obtained a superiority over the rest.

This and Elephantine appear to have been united to Thebes; as were the states of Lower Egypt to Memphis.

Memphis a powerful state in Joseph's time: about 1800, B. C.

10. The Mosaic records prove, that even in Joseph's time the state of Memphis (the real place, it appears, of his residence, not On, or Heliopolis,) comprised Middle and Lower Egypt. It possessed a numerous and brilliant court; castes of priests and warriors. Its agriculture flourished, and several of its institutions indicated a deeply-rooted civilization. But after the establishment of vassal[Pg 61]age in this state by Joseph, when the class of free proprietors was destroyed, by making the king the only landholder except the priests, the troubles which already threatened the kingdom must have assumed a more dangerous and alarming aspect.

Invasions by the nomad.

11. These troubles came from abroad. Egypt, surrounded on all sides by nomad tribes, had often suffered from their irruptions, which sometimes poured in from the south, sometimes from the east. But never were these invasions so frequent and durable as in the period which immediately followed the administration of Joseph. Lower Egypt was overrun by the Bedouin Arabs, whose chieftains, called by the Egyptians Hyksos, or Bedouins. Hyksos, settled in the country, fortified Avaris, or Pelusium, and extended their dominion to Memphis, which they made probably the seat of their government. They are depicted as the oppressors of religion, and of the caste of priests; but when we consider that Moses flourished in their time, we are led to infer that, like the Mongols in China, they must have gradually adopted Egyptian manners and civilization. They do not appear to have gained possession of Thebes in Upper Egypt; and it seems highly probable, that the long struggle against them was never, or at least but for a short time, suspended.

The dominion of the Arabian Hyksos falls between B. C. 1800—1600; and consequently was contemporary with Moses and the exodus of the Jews. Josephus gives 500 years to their dominion, in which he probably comprises the long periods of earlier wars.

Expulsion of the Hyksos:
and rising splendour of Egypt.

12. Defeat, and final expulsion of the Hyksos from Upper Egypt by Thutmosis king of Thebes. The consequence of this event was not only [Pg 62] the restoration of freedom and independence to Egypt, but also the union of the different states into one kingdom; as the rulers of Thebes now became monarchs over all Egypt. This expulsion of the Hyksos, which in itself cannot be considered otherwise than as a vast national effort, must have been the more deeply impressed on the memory of the people, as it laid the foundation of the splendid period which immediately followed.

The expulsion of the Hyksos appears to have been one of the chief subjects on which the Egyptian artists exercised their talents: it is supposed to have been represented upon one of the large temples in Thebes. Denon, plate cxxxiii.


From the Sesostridæ until the sole dominion of Psammetichus. B. C. 1500—650.

The sources for this period are the same as for the foregoing; and the history still preserves the character of records handed down by hieroglyphics. To this period belongs the line of kings subsequent to Sesostris, given both by Herodotus and Diodorus. Those two historians nearly agree, if we regard Herodotus's line of kings, not as uninterrupted, but as the fragments of a series deduced solely from public monuments: this will be demonstrated by the following table, in which the predecessors of Sesostris have likewise been indicated.

He was followed by three hundred and thirty kings belonging to the previous period, concerning which our information is very incomplete: among those sovereigns were eighteen Ethiopians, and one queen named Nitocris. Followed by fifty-two successors, ranging over a period of more than 1400 years.
Busiris I. and eight successors; the last of whom was
Busiris II. the founder of Thebes.[Pg 63]
Osymandyas and eight successors; the last of whom was
Uchoreus, founder of Memphis.
Ægyptus, grandson of the foregoing. After the lapse of twelve generations,
Seven generations.
Sesostris.Sesostris or Sesoosis.
Pheron, son of Sesostris. Sesostris II. son of the foregoing: he assumed his father's name.
Interval comprising several generations.
Amasis, and the Ethiopian,
Mendes or Manes, builder of the labyrinth.
Anarchy which lasted five generations.
Proteus, in the time of the Trojan war.Proteus or Cetes, in the time of the Trojan war.
Rhampsinitus. Remphis, son of the foregoing.
Seven generations, in the course of which flourished Nileus, from whom the Nile derives its name.
Cheops, builder of the great pyramid.Chemmis or Chembes, from Memphis, builder of the great pyramid.
Chephres, brother to the foregoing, builder of a pyramid.Cephren, brother to the foregoing, builder of a pyramid.
Mycerinus, son of Cheops, builder of a pyramid.Mycerinus, son of Chemmis, builder of a pyramid.
Asychis the legislator.Bochoris the legislator.
Anysis, who was blind.Interval of several generations.[Pg 64]
Sabaco, the Ethiopian.Sabaco, the Ethiopian
Anysis, king for the second time.
Sethos, a priest of Vulcan.
Psammetichus of Sais, sole ruler.Psammetichus of Sais, sole ruler.

This comparative table demonstrates evidently, not only that Herodotus's line is often interrupted, but likewise that it is impossible to establish any continuous chronology, since Diodorus, more than once leaves the number of generations undetermined. Great importance, nevertheless, attaches to the date fixed by Herodotus, ii, 13, where he declares that king Mœris flourished 900 years before his own visit to Egypt: consequently between B. C. 1500 and 1450. And if, as seems highly probable, the age of Sesostris was the 15th century B. C. (see Zoega, de Obeliscis), it cannot be denied but that we have some general epochs; and with these we must remain content until more satisfactory information can be discovered on the monuments. It should likewise be observed, that the discrepancy between the names of the kings mentioned by Herodotus and Diodorus, and those furnished by Manetho, may be accounted for by the fact, that the sovereigns were distinguished by different names on the monuments and in common life.

Of the dynasties of Manetho, the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 22nd, belong to this period; more especially the two first, which contain the most important of the Pharaohs.

Brilliant period of the Pharaohs.

1. The following period, nearly to its termination, was the brilliant age of Egypt, during which it formed but one empire; the kings being represented as sovereign lords of the whole country. And, indeed, it was natural that the expulsion of the invaders should be followed by a period in which the military force and ardour of the nation would be developed, and directed to ex[Pg 65]ternal conquest. The capital of the empire was, no doubt, Thebes, the great monuments of which were erected in this period; that honour, however, seems to have alternately belonged to Memphis, Herodotus's line of kings being deduced from the monuments of that city, and more especially from the temple of Phtha.

The more powerful of the Pharaohs of this period, and the founders of the most important monuments of Upper Egypt, on which their names are found, are the following: belonging to the 18th dynasty, somewhere about 1600—1500.

Amenophis I. His name is likewise found beyond Egypt on the temple of Amada, in Nubia.

Thutmosis I. Commencement of the expulsion of the Hyksos.

Amenophis II. The Memnon of the Greeks. Complete expulsion of the Hyksos, and commencement of several of the great edifices. His name is also found on the monuments of Thebes, Elephantine, and even in Nubia, on the distant temple of Soleb. Builder of the palace of Luxor.

Thutmosis II. His name found in Carnac, and on the obelisk at the Lateran.

Ramesses I. Supposed to be the Danaus of the Greeks. Expelled by his brother:

Ramesses II. Miamun. Builder of the palace of Medinet-Abu in Thebes. One of the royal graves that have been opened belongs to this king.

Amenophis III. Renewed invasion of the Hyksos; he flees before them into Ethiopia; but returns victorious with his son Ramesses.

Belonging to the 19th dynasty, between 1500 and 1400.

Ramesses III., called the Great, and sometimes Sesostris; founder of the dynasty, liberator of Egypt, and a great conqueror. His name and titles, his wars and triumphs, are found on the temples and palaces of Luxor and Carnac, in Thebes and Nubia. His son and follower:

Ramesses IV. Pheron, rules long in peace. His name is found in the great pillared hall of the palace of Carnac, and on many other buildings.

Among his successors but few names have been preserved until we come to Scheschonk or Sisac, of the 22nd dynasty, be[Pg 66]tween 970 and 950; he took Jerusalem under the reign of Rehoboam, and therefore furnishes a fixed date.

† R. V. L. (Ruehle Von Lilienstern), Graphic Illustrations of the most ancient History and Geography of Egypt and Ethiopia, with an atlas, 1827. A work containing every thing necessary for understanding the discoveries hitherto made in this department of history.

Splendid reign of Sesostris.

2. For this splendour, the empire was principally indebted to Sesostris, son of Amenophis. This prince is justly entitled to the surname of Great, which was given him by the Egyptians. No one will, to the letter, credit the narrative of his deeds, exaggerated as they were by the traditions of the priests, or represented, as they still appear, on the buildings of Thebes; but who can doubt the existence of a monarch of whom so many and such various monuments within and without Egypt bear witness?

Critical examination of the accounts of the nine years' campaign, and conquests of Sesostris. His arms were principally directed against wealthy commercial countries; probably by land against Ethiopia, Asia Minor, and part of Thrace; by sea against Arabia Felix, perhaps even the Indian peninsula. Can the performance of these exploits be deemed improbable, in an age when western Asia did not contain a single great empire? The vast undertakings attributed to Sesostris in the interior of his dominions; extensive buildings, canals, division of the land, and imposition of taxes, according to a regular survey, prove that he must have been the sovereign of all Egypt.

State of the constitution.

3. Notwithstanding the great changes that were made, the constitution still bore the same general character, that of a sacerdotal aristocracy combined with a monarchy. Although the Egyptian kings, like the Indian princes, were distinct from the priests, yet their power was limited in various ways by that caste. The high priest shared the royal authority; the king was shackled by reli[Pg 67]gious ceremonies, both in public and private life; he was obliged to evince his veneration for the established worship by the erection of public monuments; and all the high offices of state were in the hands of the priests. It cannot be denied that on the personal character of the king depended much of his power; but how strong must have been this aristocracy, when even successful conquerors were obliged to conciliate its approbation!

Division into castes.

4. It was probably about this time that the domestic relations of the people, the division into castes, was completed. The sacerdotal caste being in exclusive possession of all scientific knowledge, remained for that reason in possession of the offices of state. The caste of warriors could hardly have assumed its complete form before the country was united into one empire: in like manner that of the navigators could not have been completely established before the canals were excavated; although the origin of all may have been of a much earlier date.

Comparison of the accounts given by Herodotus and Diodorus of the division into castes. Not only precedence in time, but likewise the discrepancies between the two, declare in favour of Herodotus.

Prosperous period of Egypt,
B. C. 1500—900.

5. It appears, therefore, that the most prosperous period of the kingdom of the Pharaohs must be placed somewhere between B. C. 1500—900: although, according to Diodorus, even this period was interrupted by a long anarchy. The splendour of the empire was obscured towards the end. Sabaco, a foreign conqueror from Ethiopia, (probably from Meroe,) subjugated Egypt; after his [Pg 68] departure from the country, Sethos, a priest of Phtha, contrary to all precedent, seated himself upon the throne. He was, consequently, considered an usurper; he offended the caste of warriors, and could not have escaped the dangers of an irruption threatened by the Assyrian, Sennacherib, had not a pestilence compelled the invader and his host to retreat.

The dynasty of Sabaco, Seuechus, and Tarhaco in Meroe, who as conquerors subjected Upper Egypt, is comprised between B. C. 800—700. Their names likewise have been already discovered on monuments; some at Abydos in Egypt, others in Nubia.


6. The Egyptian monarchy, however, at length fell, and was replaced by an oligarchy; (or perhaps a return was only made to the division of the earlier kingdoms;) twelve princes sharing among themselves the sovereign power. A certain degree of unity seems to have existed at first in this government; but quarrels soon sprung up among the princes, and they compelled one of their number, Psammetichus of Sais, to take flight. About B. C. 650. The exiled prince, supported by Greek and Carian mercenaries, contrived to avenge his wrongs; he drove away his rivals, and became the sole ruler.

[Pg 69]


From the reign of Psammetichus as sole monarch to the Persian conquest of Egypt by Cambyses.
B. C. 650—525.

Herodotus, (l. ii, c. 125, etc.) is still the principal authority for this portion of history. His statements, however, are no longer derived from hieroglyphics: they are purely historical. During the reign of Psammetichus, the Greeks who had migrated into Egypt gave rise to the caste of interpreters, ἑρμηνεῖς, who acted both as ciceroni for strangers, and as brokers between the Egyptians and Greeks: these people were enabled to give information respecting the history of the country. It is not, therefore, surprising that Herodotus should assure us, that from this time the history was authentic.—The names of the succeeding Pharaohs are likewise found on the monuments; in the erection of which they rivaled their predecessors.

Contemporary: Asia: rise and fall of the Chaldæo-Babylonian empire; rise of the Persian monarchy.—Rome: kings from Numa Pompilius to Servius Tullius.—Athens: Draco; Solon; Pisistratus.—Jews: the last period and fall of the kingdom of Judah; Babylonish captivity.

Revolutions in Egypt.

1. From this epoch Egypt remained uninterruptedly one kingdom, the capital of which was Memphis, although Sais, in Lower Egypt, was the general residence of the royal family. Strangers, and more particularly Greeks, admitted into Egypt; partly as mercenaries, partly as merchants. Influence of this innovation upon the national character, and upon the political system in particular. A spirit of conquest gradually inherited by the Egyptian kings, is directed principally against Asia: hence the formation of a navy,[Pg 70] and wars with the great rising monarchies of Asia. Continued, but declining influence of the sacerdotal caste, and proofs of the veneration of the kings for the priesthood deduced from the erection and embellishment of temples, particularly of that consecrated to Phtha in Memphis.

Psammetichus d. B. C. 610.

2. Psammetichus. He obtains sole power through the assistance of Greek and Carian mercenaries, who are continued as a standing army in the country. The caste of Egyptian warriors, taking umbrage in consequence, emigrate for the most part to Ethiopia, where they settle. The southern portico of the temple of Phtha is erected, and projects of conquest are formed against Asia.

Neco d. 594.

3. Neco, son and successor of Psammetichus. His extensive plans of conquest. First formation of a naval power; and unsuccessful attempt to unite by a canal the Mediterranean with the Red sea. Conquests in Asia as far as the Euphrates; but quick secession of the conquered, in consequence of the loss of the battle of Circesium. 606. Circumnavigation of Africa undertaken at his command by the Phœnicians, and successfully performed.

Psammis d. 458.

4. Psammis his son and successor. Expedition against Ethiopia, and conquests in the interior of Africa.

Apries d. 563.

5. Reign of Apries, (the Pharaoh-hophra of the Hebrews). Plans of conquest against Asia;—siege of Sidon, and naval battle with the Tyrians;—expedition against Cyrene in Africa; its fatal result. A revolution caused thereby in Egypt, the inhabitants of which were averse to foreign wars, carried on mostly by mercenary aliens: the[Pg 71] revolution headed by Amasis. In the civil war which Apries now wages with his mercenaries against the Egyptians commanded by Amasis, he loses both his throne and life; and with him ends the family of Psammetichus, which had reigned to this time.

Amasis d. 525.

6. The usurper Amasis took possession of the sovereign power; and although he had to contend with a strong party, who despised him on account of his low origin, he contrived by popular measures, and by the respect he showed to the sacerdotal caste, to establish himself upon the throne.—His monuments, both at Sais and Memphis.—The Egyptians and Greeks become better acquainted and more closely connected with each other, partly in consequence of the marriage of the king with a Greek woman; but principally owing to the mouths of the Nile being opened to the Greek merchants, and the cession of Naucratis as a factory for their merchandise. Great and beneficial consequences to Egypt, which, under the long reign of Amasis, reaches its highest pitch of prosperity. This prince had already been engaged in disputes with the Persian conqueror, Cyrus, whose son and successor, Cambyses, led an expedition against Egypt, which Amasis, however, luckily for himself, escaped by a seasonable death.


7. His son Psammenitus, the last of the Egyptian Pharaohs, is attacked by Cambyses in the very first year of his reign. After a single battle, fought at Pelusium, and a short siege of Memphis, the empire of the Pharaohs is overthrown, and Egypt merges into a Persian province. The[Pg 72] powerful caste of the priests suffered most from the hatred of the conqueror; but the persecution to which they were subjected must be attributed rather to policy than fanaticism.

Egypt a province of Persia.

8. Condition and fate of Egypt as a Persian province. After the death of Cambyses, the country received a Persian governor, and consequently became a satrapy. Immediately after the first tempest of war had blown over, Egypt was treated with mildness by the Persians. The country paid a moderate tribute, together with some royal gifts, among others the produce of the Revolts fisheries in lake Mœris; nevertheless, repeated revolts occurred, which may be principally attributed to the hatred and influence of the sacerdotal caste. The first took place under Darius Hystaspes, 488 to 484. and was quelled by Xerxes. An increase of tribute was the consequence. The second, under king Inarus, fomented and supported by the Athenians, happened during the reign of Artaxerxes I.; 463 to 456. it was quelled by Megabyzus. The third occurred under Darius II. and in consequence of the support which the Egyptians received from the Greeks, was of longer duration than either of the former, the throne of the Pharaoh's 414. being in some measure restored.

This third secession of the Egyptians lasted till 354. During this period various kings were appointed; Amyrtæus, d. 408; Psammetichus, about 400; Nephreus, about 397; Pausiris, d. 375; Nectanebus I. d. 365; Tachos, d. 363; Nectanebus II. conquered by Artaxerxes III. 354.

[Pg 73]


Sources. The first great republic which ancient records mention as applying both to trade and war, is undoubtedly a phenomenon well deserving the attention of the historical enquirer. Our knowledge, however, of Carthaginian history is unfortunately very deficient, as we possess no author who has made it the principal object of his attention. The immediate subject of the Greek and Roman writers was the history of their own country, and they only allude to that of Carthage in so far as it is connected with their main topic. This observation applies as well to Polybius and Diodorus, as to Livy and Appian. Even the information given by Justin, the only author who says any thing concerning the early state of Carthage, is miserably defective, although taken from Theopompus. (Cf. Comment. de fontibus Justini in Commentat. Soc. Gotting. vol. xv.) Moreover, as Herodotus here fails us, we have not the writings of any author whatever who witnessed Carthage in the days of her prosperity: Polybius did not see that country till after the decline of its power; the other historians, wrote long afterwards. But although an uninterrupted history of Carthage does not exist, we are yet able to trace the main outlines of the picture of that state.—The modern writers on Carthage are:

Hendrich, de Republica Carthaginiensium, 1664. A useful compilation.

History of the Republic of Carthage, 2 vols. Franckfort, 1781. A mere history of the wars.

Dampmartin, Histoire de la Rivalité de Carthage et de Rome, tom. i, ii. Very superficial.

W. Boetticher, History of Carthage, part i. Berlin, 1827. The best work on the subject; in which use has been made of modern researches.

Concerning the Carthaginians, see Heeren's African Nations, 2 vols. 8vo. Oxford, 1831.

Periods of Carthaginian history.

The history of Carthage is most conveniently divided into three periods: I. From the foundation of the city to the commencement of the wars with Syracuse, B. C. 880—480. II. From the[Pg 74] commencement of the wars with Syracuse to those with Rome, 480—264. III. From the commencement of the wars with Rome to the destruction of Carthage, 264—146.


From the foundation of Carthage to the wars with Syracuse, B. C. 880—480.

Contemporary: Inner Asia: kingdoms of the Assyrians, Babylonians, and first half of the Persian monarchy. Greeks: period from Lycurgus to Themistocles. Romans: period of the kings, and of the commonwealth until the establishment of the tribunes of the people.

Early history of Carthage

1. The foundation and primitive history of Carthage, like all very early and important events in national history, have, by long tradition, been wrapt in the veil of romance. The account given of Dido, the supposed founder of the city, cannot be reduced to the standard of pure historical truth, though it appears to justify the inference that some political commotions in the mother city, Tyre, induced a party of emigrants to proceed to the northern shores of Africa; where other Phœnician establishments had already taken place: here, by engaging to pay a yearly tribute, they purchased from the natives permission to found a city, the site of which was so happily chosen, that it only depended upon the inhabitants to raise it to that greatness which it afterwards attained.

Vast extent of the Carthaginian dominions.

2. It is probable that Carthage advanced at [Pg 75]first by slow steps; yet even at the end of this first period she had reached to such a height of power, that she was mistress of a large territory in Africa, and of foreign possessions still more extensive. Establishment of the Carthaginian dominion in Africa by the subjection of the neighbouring aboriginal tribes, and the foundation of Carthaginian settlements within their territories; the natives, Liby-Phœnicians, gradually mingled with the inhabitants of those colonies, and imbibed from them a love of agriculture and fixed abodes. The inhabitants of the fertile territory extending southward as far as the lake Triton, were, without exception, Carthaginian subjects.

Relation of Carthage with the other Tyrian colonies of Africa:

3. Her connection, however, with the ancient Phœnician towns along the coast, particularly Utica, was of a different nature. For although possessed a certain authority over them, she did not claim absolute dominion, but rather stood at the head of a federation; thus affording a protection which must frequently have degenerated into oppression.

with the Greek colony of Cyrene.

4. In consequence of a treaty with the neighbouring republic of Cyrene, the whole territory extending between the two Syrtes was also ceded to the Carthaginians. The Lotophagi and Nasamones, inhabitants of this district, preserved their nomad mode of life; they must, however, from their trade with the interior parts of Africa, have been of the highest importance to Carthage.

Carthaginian colonies:
part of Sicily:

5. System of colonization, and, as a necessary result, that of conquest without Africa. It was evidently the aim of the Carthaginians to settle on islands, and to subject them to their dominion. [Pg 76]Those lying in the western part of the Mediterranean occupied the first place in their plan of conquest, which was completely executed in Sardinia, the Baleares, and other small islands; perhaps in Corsica; in Sicily, however, they could never succeed to the full extent of their wishes. There is also every probability that the Canary islands and Madeira were entirely in their possession. On the other hand, the Carthaginians, previous to their wars with Rome, were in the practice of establishing separate settlements on the main land, partly in Spain, and partly on the western shore of Africa. In the latter, they adopted the policy of their ancestors, the Phœnicians, making the settlements so small, and confining them within such narrow bounds, that the mother country might always ensure their dependence.

Conquests of Mago and his family.
Carthage connected with Persia, B. C. 550—480.
Sea fight between the Carthaginians and Phocæans.
Colonies without the straits of Gibraltar.
First treaty with Rome, 509.

6. The glory of extending the territory of Carthage, by important conquests, belongs principally to the family of Mago, who, together with his two sons and six grandsons, established the dominion of the republic in Sicily, Sardinia, and Africa. This occurred about the same time that Cyrus, Cambyses, and Darius were laying the foundation of the Persian monarchy, with which Carthage even then entered into connection. The Carthaginians, therefore, made their first appearance, as extensive conquerors, in the fourth century from the foundation of their commonwealth; and it is at this period that mention is made of their first naval engagement, in which the Phocæans were their adversaries. In the same period may be dated the establishment of their colonies beyond [Pg 77] the Pillars of Hercules by Hanno and Himilco—both probably sons of Mago;—by the former on the coast of Africa, by the latter on that of Spain. To the same period likewise is referred the first commercial treaty between the Carthaginians and Romans, in which the former appear as already masters of Sardinia, Africa, and a portion of Sicily.

7. To complete these conquests, and to preserve them when completed, the formation and support of vast fleets and armies were indispensably necessary. According to the usual practice Arts military and naval of Carthage. of those nations who apply both to trade and to war, the Carthaginian armies were composed for the most part of mercenaries. No nation, however, followed this plan so extensively as the Carthaginians, for to them half Africa and Europe furnished warriors.—Description of a Carthaginian army; development of the advantages and disadvantages of its organization.—Organization of their navy. The state supported very numerous fleets of war-ships, with a multitude of slaves who laboured at the oar, and were it seems public property.

Constitution of Carthage:
state council;
Military and civil functions generally divided.

8. The political constitution of Carthage, like that of all wealthy trading states, was an aristocracy composed of the noble and the opulent, though at all times combined with a certain admixture of democracy. The affairs of the state were confided to the hands of the two suffetes or kings,—who, in all probability, held their office for life—and to those of the senate (βουλὴ) which contained within itself a more select council (the γερουσία). The privilege of electing the magistrates [Pg 78]resided with the people at large, who also shared the legislative power with the suffetes. Civil and military power was usually divided: the offices of general and magistrate not being always, as at Rome, united in the same individual,—although such an instance might not be of impossible occurrence:—to each military chief, on the contrary, was appointed a committee from the senate, on which he was more or less dependent.

Supreme court of the hundred:
its object;

9. The high state tribunal of the HUNDRED was instituted as a barrier to the constitution against the attempts of the more powerful aristocrats, particularly the military leaders; indeed the brilliancy of Mago's conquests seemed to threaten the republic with a military government; and immediately previous to his time one of the generals, Malchus, had actually made an attempt to enslave Carthage. The object of the institution was no doubt attained; but in later times the council assumed to itself a power which increased its evils. to absolute despotism. It is not improbable that this court likewise constituted the select committee (the γερουσία) of the senate.

Finances of Carthage.
Tributes from the African federates:
Sardinia, etc.
the Syrtic hordes:
dues and customs:

10. Our information respecting the financial system of the Carthaginians is extremely meagre. The following seem to have been the principal sources of the public revenue. 1. The tribute drawn from the federate cities, and their African subjects. The former paid in money, the latter for the most part in kind; this tribute was imposed at the will of the government, so that in pressing cases the taxed nations were obliged to give one half of their income. 2. The case was the same with their external provinces, parti[Pg 79]cularly with Sardinia. 3. The tribute furnished by the nomad hordes, partly by those in the Regio-Syrtica, and occasionally also by those on the western side. 4. The customs, which were levied with extreme rigour, not only in Carthage, but likewise in all the colonies. 5. The products of their rich mines, particularly those of Spain. In considering the financial system of the Carthaginians, it should not be forgotten that many of the nations with whom they traded, or who served in their armies, were unacquainted with the use of money.

Trade of Carthage:

11. System and extent of their commerce. Their object was to secure a monopoly of the western trade; hence the practice of restricting the growth of their colonies, and of removing as much as possible all strangers from their commercial marts. Their trade was carried on partly by sea to Britain and the Guinea coast; by sea, and partly by land. Their sea trade, arising from the colonies, extended beyond the Mediterranean, certainly as far as the coasts of Britain and Guinea. Their land trade was carried on by caravans, consisting principally of the nomad tribes resident between the Syrtes: the by land to the interior of Africa. caravans travelled eastward to Ammonium and Upper Egypt, southward to the land of the Garamantes, (Fezzan,) and even still further into the interior of Africa.

[Pg 80]


From the breaking out of the wars with Syracuse, to the commencement of those with Rome, B. C. 480—264.

Views of Carthage upon Sicily.

1. The great object of Carthaginian policy during the whole of the above period, was to subdue Sicily; this object the nation pursued with extraordinary pertinacity, often approximating to, but never obtaining, complete success. The growing power of Syracuse, which likewise aimed at the sole possession of the island, laid the foundation of that national hatred which now arose between the Sicilian Greeks and the Carthaginians.

rout at Himera by Gelon, B. C. 480.

2. First attempt, arising out of the league formed with Xerxes I. upon his irruption into Greece. Gelon of Syracuse, in a victory more decisive even than that gained by Themistocles over the Persians at Salamis, routs the Carthaginians near Himera, and compels them to accede to a disgraceful peace.

General extension of the Carthaginian empire in Africa, 480—410.

3. This defeat was followed by a period of tranquillity lasting seventy years, during which we know little about Carthage. All that we can say with any probability is, that in the mean time the struggle for territory between Cyrene and Carthage commenced and terminated to the advantage of the latter state, whose dominion was generally extended and confirmed in Africa by wars with the aboriginal tribes.[Pg 81]

War in Sicily renewed, 410.

4. But the accession of Dionysius I. to the throne of Syracuse, and the ambitious project formed by him and his successors, of subjecting to their rule all Sicily and Magna-Grecia, rekindled once more the embers of war, which had only smouldered for a short time, to burst forth with additional violence.

Repeated and bloody wars with Dionysius I. between the years 410—368. Neither party able to expel the other: terms of the last peace; that each party should remain in possession of what he then occupied. Second commercial treaty with Rome.

Crafty advantage taken by the Carthaginians of the internal commotions at Syracuse during and subsequent to the reign of Dionysius II: they endeavour to obtain their end; but are thwarted by the heroism of Timoleon, 345—340.

A new and frightful war with Agathocles, the seat of which is transferred from Sicily into Africa itself; it at last terminates in favour of Carthage, 311—307.

The war with Pyrrhus, 277—275, whose ambition gave rise to an alliance between Carthage and Rome, contributed likewise to increase the preponderance of the Carthaginians in Sicily; and probably the perseverance of that people, and their skill in profiting by circumstances, would at last have enabled them to attain their object, had not the seeds of war been thereby scattered between Carthage and Rome.

Two attempts at revolution. 340; 308.
Excellent state of the Carthaginian finances at the beginning of the first Punic war.

5. What effect these Sicilian wars had upon the state we are not informed. They were probably regarded in Carthage as a beneficial channel for carrying off the popular fermentation;—nevertheless, two attempts, both unsuccessful, were made by some of the aristocratical party, to overthrow the constitution; first by Hanno, 340, and afterwards by Bomilcar, 308.—At the breaking out, however, of the war with Rome, the commonwealth was so formidable and mighty, that even the finances of the state do not appear [Pg 82]to have been at all affected; a circumstance of the highest importance. What consequence was it to Carthage whether 100,000 barbarians more or less existed in the world, so long as there remained plenty of men willing to suffer themselves to be sold, and she possessed money to purchase them?


From the beginning of the wars with Rome, to the downfal of Carthage, B. C. 264—146.

Causes of the Punic wars.

1. The wars between Carthage and Rome were the necessary consequences of a desire of aggrandizement in two conquering nations; any one might have foreseen the struggle between the two rivals as soon as their conquests should once begin to clash. It is, therefore, a question of little importance, to enquire which was the aggressor; and although Rome may not be entirely cleared of that charge, we cannot help observing that, according to the principles of sound policy, the security of Italy was hardly compatible with the sole dominion of the Carthaginians over the island of Sicily.

First war with Rome, 264—241, (twenty-three years,) waged for the possession of Sicily, and decided almost at its commencement by Hiero's passing over to the Roman side. (For the history of it, see below, in the Roman history, Book V. Period ii, parag. 2 sq.)

[Pg 83]

Fatal consequences of the first Punic war to Carthage.

2. This war cost the republic, Sicily and the sovereignty of the Mediterranean, by which the fate of its other external possessions was already predetermined. But that which appeared at the first view to threaten the greatest danger, was the total exhaustion of its finances; a circumstance which will no longer surprise us, when we consider how many fleets had been destroyed and replaced, how many armies had been annihilated and renewed. Carthage had never before been engaged in such an obstinate struggle as this; and the immediate consequences were more terrific even than the war itself.

Dreadful civil war, B. C. 240—237.

3. The impossibility of paying the mercenaries produced a mutiny among the troops, which rapidly grew into a rebellion of the subject nations, who had been most cruelly oppressed during the war. The consequence was a civil war of three years and a half, which probably would have spared the Romans the trouble of destroying Carthage, had not the state been snatched from ruin by the heroism of Hamilcar.

This war, which lasted from 240 to 237, produced lasting consequences to the state; it gave rise to the feud between Hamilcar and Hanno the Great, which compelled Hamilcar to seek for support against the senate by becoming the leader of a democratic faction.

Sardinia is lost, 237.

4. The revolt spread abroad; it reached Sardinia and caused the loss of that most important island, of which the Romans, flushed with power, took possession, in spite of the terms of the peace.

Rise of the house of the Barcas:

5. The influence of the family of the Barcas, supported in their disputes with the senate by the [Pg 84]popular party, now got the upper hand in Carthage; and the first fruit of their power was the new and gigantic project of repairing the loss of Sicily and Sardinia by the conquest of Spain; a vast projects upon Spain, country where the Carthaginians already had some possessions and commercial connections. The immediate object of the Barcas was the support of their family and party; but the Spanish silver mines soon furnished the republic with the means of renewing the contest with Rome also.

executed by Hamilcar and Hasdrubal, 237—221.
By treaty with the Romans the Ebro is fixed as the boundary of their possessions in Spain, 226.
Carthagena founded.
Hannibal succeeds to the command of the army, 221;
and begins the second Punic war, 218.

6. During the nine years in which Hamilcar commanded, and in the following eight in which Hasdrubal, his son-in-law and successor, was at the head of the army, the whole of the south of Spain, as far as the Iberus, was brought under subjection to Carthage, either by negotiation or force of arms. The further progress of the Carthaginians was only arrested by a treaty with the Romans, in which the Iberus was fixed upon as a frontier line, and the freedom of Saguntum acknowledged by both powers. Hasdrubal crowned his victories as a general and as a statesman by the foundation of New Carthage, (Carthagena,) which was to be the future seat of Carthaginian power in the newly-conquered country. Hasdrubal having fallen by the hand of an assassin in the year 221, the party of the Barcas succeeded in appointing Hamilcar's son, Hannibal, a young man of one-and-twenty, for his successor. Hannibal found every thing already prepared in Spain for the furtherance of the hereditary project of his family, which was a renewal of the contest with Rome; and the vigour with which this project was pursued, clearly proves how great must have[Pg 85] been the preponderance of the Barcine influence, at that time, in Carthage. Had the commonwealth attended to the marine with the same ardour as their great general did to the land service, the fate of Rome would perhaps have been very different.

Second war with Rome, 218—201, (seventeen years,) first in Italy and Spain, afterwards, from 203, in Africa itself. (See the history of this war below, in the Roman history, Book V, Period ii, parag. 6 sqq.)

Internal state of Carthage during the second Punic war.

7. Until Africa became the scene of action, the second war cost the republic much less than the first; the expenses being principally defrayed by Spain and Italy. Hanno, however, was at the head of a powerful party at home, who were clamorous for peace, and who can say they were wrong? As might be expected, the family of the Barcas were for war, and their influence carried the day. That general who, with hardly any support from Carthage, was yet able to maintain a footing in the country of his powerful foes for no less than fifteen years, and that, too, as much by policy as by force of arms, must extort our admiration. It cannot, however, be denied, that during the struggle one favourable opportunity, at least, was let slip of making peace; a fatal omission, for which the hero of Cannæ paid dearly enough, by the failure of his darling project.

A disgraceful peace the result of the war.

8. By the second peace with Rome, Carthage was deprived of all her possessions out of Africa, and her fleet was delivered into the hands of the Romans. She was now to be a mere trading city under the tutelage of Rome. But Carthage found [Pg 86]by this peace her most formidable enemy on the soil of Africa itself. Massinissa had been elevated to the dignity of king of Numidia; and his endeavours to form his nomads into an agricultural Massinissa of Numidia a new instrument of Roman policy. people, and to collect them into cities, must have changed the military system that Carthage had hitherto followed. Roman policy, moreover, had taken care that the article inserted in his favour in the last treaty of peace, should be so ambiguously worded, as to leave abundant openings for dispute.

Hannibal at the head of affairs;
attempts to check the oligarchy.

9. Even after this disgraceful peace, the family of the Barcas still preserved their influence, and Hannibal was placed as supreme magistrate at the head of the republic. He attempts to reform the constitution and the finances, by destroying the oligarchy of the hundred, by whom the finances had been thrown into confusion. Complete as was the success of the first blow, it soon became apparent that aristocratic factions are not so readily annihilated as armies.

The democratic faction to which even the Barcas owed their first elevation, was the cause of the degeneracy of the Carthaginian constitution. By that faction the legislative authority of the senate and magistrates was withdrawn and transferred to the ordo judicum—probably the same as the high state tribunal of the hundred—which now assumed the character of an omnipotent national inquisition; and the members being chosen for life exercised oppressive despotism. This tribunal was formed of those who had served the office of ministers of finance, with whom it shared unblushingly the revenues of the state. Hannibal destroyed this oligarchy by a law, enacting that the members should hold their office but for one year; whereas before they held it for life. In the reform wrought by this law in the finances it was seen, that after all wars and losses, the revenues of the republic were still sufficient, not only for the usual expenditure[Pg 87] and the payment of tribute to Rome, but also for leaving a surplus in the public treasury. Ten years had hardly elapsed before Carthage was enabled to pay down at once the whole of the tribute which she had engaged to furnish by instalments.

Hannibal compelled to fly to Syria.

10. The defeated party, whose interests were now the same with those of Rome, joined the Romans, to whom they discovered Hannibal's plan of renewing the war in conjunction with Antiochus the Great, king of Syria. A Roman embassy was sent over to Africa, under some other pretext, to demand that Hannibal should be given up. The Carthaginian general secretly fled to 195. king Antiochus, at whose court he became the chief fomenter of the war against Rome; although unsuccessful in his endeavour to implicate the Carthaginian republic in the struggle.

See hereafter the history of Syria, Book IV, Period iii, separate kingdoms. I. Seleucidæ, parag. 18; and Book V, Period ii, parag. 10 sq.

Roman influence completely established in Carthage.

11. In consequence of the absence of Hannibal, Carthage fell once more under the dominion of the Romans, who contrived, by taking a crafty advantage of the state of parties, to give a show of generosity to the exercise of their power. Even the patriotic faction, if we may judge by the violent steps which they took more than once against Massinissa and his partisans, seem to have been but a tool in the hands of Rome.

The Carthaginian territory gradually dismembered.

12. Disputes with Massinissa, which led to the gradual partition of the Carthaginian territory in Africa. The manner in which this territory had been acquired, facilitated the discovery of claims upon each of the component parts; and the interference of Rome, sometimes disinterested, but of[Pg 88]tener swayed by party feeling, ensured the possession of the territory to the Numidian.

Even in 199, a disadvantageous treaty framed with Massinissa for fifty years: nevertheless the rich province of Emporia is lost in 193.—Loss of another province unnamed, to which Massinissa inherited some claims from his father.—Seizure of the province of Tysca, with fifty cities, about 174. Probable date of Cato's embassy, who returned in disgust, because his decision had been rejected, and became the fomenter of a project to destroy Carthage.—New disputes about 152.—Massinissa's party is expelled Carthage.—War breaks out in consequence, during which the king in his ninetieth year personally defeats the Carthaginians; and what with famine and the sword, Hasdrubal's army, which had been surrounded by the enemy, was nearly exterminated; in the mean while the Roman ambassadors, who had come to act as mediators, obeying their private instructions, looked on with quiet indifference.

Destruction of Carthage; third Punic war;

13. Though it is evident that the party spirit raging between Cato and Scipio Nasica had a considerable influence in hastening the destruction of Carthage; and though it is equally clear that Massinissa's late victory paved the way for the immediate execution of that project; yet it is difficult to unravel the web, by which, long before the declaration of war now about to follow, treachery prepared the final scene of this great tragedy. Was the account that Cato at his return gave of the resuscitated power of Carthage consonant brought about probably by Roman duplicity. to truth? Was not the sudden secession of Ariobarzanes, the grandson of Syphax, who was to have led a Numidian army to defend Carthage against Massinissa, previously arranged with Rome? Was not the turbulent Gisgo, who first incited the populace to insult the Roman ambassadors, and then opportunely rescued them from the fury of the mob, in the pay of Rome? These[Pg 89] questions give rise to suspicions, although they cannot satisfactorily be answered. At any rate, it may be said, that the conduct of Rome, after war had broken out, corroborates the suspicion. The whole history of the last period sufficiently proves, that it was not so much the debased character of the nation, as party spirit, and the avarice of the great, which produced the fall of Carthage. Advantage was taken of that party spirit and avarice by Roman policy, which, although acting according to the dictates of blind passion, knew how to profit by dark and base intrigue.

Third war with Rome and destruction of Carthage, 150—146. See hereafter the Roman history, Book V, Period ii, parag. 19 sq.

[Pg 90]


History of the Persian Empire, from B. C. 560—330.

Sources. Preservation of historic records among the Persians themselves under the form of royal annals; origin and nature of those annals. As these have been destroyed, we are obliged to deduce the history from foreign writers, some of whom, however, availed themselves of the Persian annals. 1. Greeks: their authority as writers, contemporary, but not always sufficiently acquainted with the east. (a) Ctesias. His court history compiled from Persian annals, would be the principal work did we possess the whole; we have, however, only an extract from it preserved by Photius. (b) Herodotus: who probably availed himself of similar sources in some portion of his work. (c) Xenophon. To this period of history belong, not only his Anabasis and Hellenica, but also his Cyropædia, or portraiture of a happy empire and an accomplished ruler, according to eastern ideas, exhibited in the example of Cyrus: of use so far as pure historic records are interwoven with the narrative. (d) Diodorus, etc. 2. Jewish writers. The books of Esdras and Nehemiah; and more particularly that of Esther, as containing a faithful representation of the Persian court and its manners. 3. The accounts of the later Persian chroniclers, Mirkhond in particular, who flourished in the thirteenth century of the christian era, can have no weight in the scale of criticism; they are nevertheless interesting, inasmuch as they make us acquainted with the ideas that the inhabitants of the east form of their early history.

The modern authors on Persian history are principally those who have written on ancient history in general: see p. 2. A treatise on Persian history, deduced from eastern sources, will be found in the Ancient Universal History, vol. iv.

Brissonius, de Regno Persarum, 1591, 8vo. A very laborious compilation.

The section concerning the Persians in † Heeren, Ideas, etc. vol. i, part 1.

[Malcolm, Sir John, History of Persia, from the earliest ages to the present times. Lond. 1816, 4to. 2 vols. "A valuable work."]

[Pg 91]

Original condition of the Persians.

1. State of the Persian nation previous to Cyrus; a highland people, subject to the Medes, dwelling in the mountainous parts of the province of Persis, and leading wholly, or for the most part, a nomad life. Division into ten clans, among which that of the Pasargadæ, the noblest The horde of the Pasargadæ, and ruling horde, is particularly remarkable on account of the figure it makes in subsequent history.—The result of this division was a patriarchal government, the vestiges of which remain visible in the whole of the following history of the Persians. Permanent distinction between the tribes in reference to their mode of life, observable even during the most flourishing period of the Persian state: three of the nobles or warriors, three of the husbandmen, and four of the shepherds. Argument thence deduced, that the history of the has the ascendant. Persians as a dominant nation, is that of the nobler clans alone, and of the Pasargadæ more especially.

Cyrus, similar to Gengis-khan and other Asiatic conquerors;

2. The personal history of Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy, was, even in the time of Herodotus, so obscured under the veil of romance, that it was no longer possible to detect the real truth. It is, however, evident, that the course of the revolution wrought by him was, on the whole, the same as was followed in all similar empires founded in Asia. Gengis-khan, in a later age, was placed at the head of all the Mogol hordes; in the same manner was Cyrus elected chief of all the Persian tribes, by whose assistance he founds the Persian empire about B. C. 561. became a mighty conqueror, at the time that the Babylonian and Median kingdoms of Inner Asia were on the decline, and before the Lydian[Pg 92] empire, under Crœsus, had been firmly established.

Descent of Cyrus from the family of Achæmenes, (Jamshid?). That family belonged to the Pasargadæ tribe, and therefore remained the ruling house.

Of the Medo-Bactrian empire, destroyed 561.
of the Lydian empire:
Asiatic Greeks subjected, about 557
of Babylon, 538.
Cyrus is slain in battle with the Massagetæ, 529.

3. Rise of the Persian dominion, in consequence of the overthrow of the Medo-Bactrian empire, after the defeat of Astyages at Pasargada. Rapid extension by further conquest. Subjection of Asia Minor after the victory won by Cyrus in person over Crœsus, and capture of the Greek colonies by the generals of the Persian monarch. Conquest of Babylon and all the Babylonian provinces. The Phœnician cities submit themselves of their own accord. Even in Cyrus's time, therefore, the frontiers of the Persian empire had been extended in southern Asia to the Mediterranean, to the Oxus, and to the Indus; but the campaign against the nomad races, inhabiting the steppes of Central Asia, was unsuccessful; and Cyrus himself fell in the contest.

It cannot be denied but that in the narration of the separate wars waged by Cyrus, discrepancies are found in Herodotus and Ctesias; those two authors, however, agree in the main facts: and, indeed, the differences which exist between them cannot be considered always as direct contradictions.

The Persians adopt the religion, laws, and civility of the conquered Medes.

4. Immediate consequences of this great revolution in respect both of the conquerors and the conquered. Among the former, even in the time of Cyrus, the civilization and luxury of the Medes, their legislation and national religion, and the sacerdotal caste of the magi, who were guardians of that religion, had been introduced, and the whole system of the Persian court had been remodelled upon that of the Medes.[Pg 93]

Description of Zoroaster's legislation, and of the magian national religion, according to the Zend-avesta. How far the dogmas of Zoroaster can be considered as dominant among the Persians?—Proof that they were adopted only by the nobler tribes, more particularly the Pasargadæ. Their great and beneficial influence on agriculture.

Anquetil Du Perron, Zend-avesta, ouvrage de Zoroastre, traduit en François sur l'original Zend. Paris, 1771. 4to. This work has been much improved by the critical discussions added to the German translation by J. L. Kleuker. Compare the dissertations on Zoroaster by Meiners and Tychsen, in Comment. Soc. Gotting. and Heeren, Ideas, etc. vol. i.

Hyde, De Religione veterum Persarum; Oxon. 1700, 4to. Replete with learned research, and the first work that excited enquiry on the subject.

J. S. Rhode, Sacred Traditions of the East; Breslau, 1821. An excellent work for the study of the Zend-avesta, the magian religion, and the antiquities of the Medes and Persians.

Expedients adopted to keep possession of the conquered territories.
Standing armies.
Transfer of whole nations.

5. First political constitution of the Persian empire under Cyrus. No general new organization; but for the most part the original institutions are preserved among the conquered, who are compelled to pay tribute. Royal officers, appointed to collect the tribute, are associated with the generals, who with numerous armies keep in subjection the inhabitants of the conquered countries. For the support of the empire large standing armies are kept in pay, besides which, recourse is frequently had to the transplanting of whole nations; while, as was the case with the Jews, some who had been formerly transplanted are restored to their country. With the same view injunctions are issued, as in the case of the Lydians, to effect the enervation of warlike races by a luxurious and effeminate system of education.

6. Cyrus leaves two sons, the elder of whom,[Pg 94] Cambyses, succeeds as king; the younger, Smerdis, (the Tanyoxarces of Ctesias,) becomes independent lord of Bactria and the eastern territories; but is soon after murdered by the command of his elder brother.

Cambyses 529—522.
conquers Egypt, etc.

7. Under Cambyses the conquering arms of the Persians are directed against Africa. Egypt becomes a Persian province, and the neighbouring Libya, together with Cyrene, assume the yoke of their own accord. But the twofold expedition against the opulent commercial establishments, Ammonium in the west, and Meroe in the south, is wholly unsuccessful; that against Carthage is arrested in its commencement by the refusal of the Tyrians to join the naval armament. A colony of six thousand Egyptians is transplanted into Susiana.

His policy in persecuting the Egyptian priesthood:
his vices probably much exaggerated.

8. The cruelty with which Cambyses is accused of treating the Egyptians was directed rather against the powerful caste of the priests, than against the whole nation; and originated more in political than in religious motives. It must be observed, however, that we ought to be particularly on our guard against all the evil that is related of Cambyses, inasmuch as our information respecting that prince is derived entirely from his enemies, the Egyptian priests.

Usurpation of the magi:
death of Cambyses, 522.

9. The usurpation of the Pseudo-Smerdis, (or Tanyoxarces,) was an attempt of the magi to replace a Median dynasty on the throne, by means of a plot hatched within the seraglio. It was the occasion of an accident which cost Cambyses his life, after a reign of seven years and a half: (or, according to Ctesias, of eighteen.)

[Pg 95]

The false Smerdis, after a reign of eight months, is slain by the seven grandees.

10. The Pseudo-Smerdis kept his seat on the throne eight months, during which he attempted to bring over the conquered nations to his interest by a remission of all tribute for three years; but the discovery of his cheat gave rise to a conspiracy of seven of the chief Persians, who could not brook the rule of a Mede, and the usurper lost his life.

No progress made towards an established government under Cambyses and Smerdis.
The Persians having forsaken the nomad life,
Persepolis is built.

11. It could not be expected that the political organization of the kingdom should advance to completion during the reign of Cambyses, who was almost always absent in the prosecution of war; or during the brief rule of the Pseudo-Smerdis. It remained, therefore, in the same state as under Cyrus. But the introduction of the Median court-ceremonial among the ruling tribe of the Persians, and the adoption of fixed dwellings by that tribe, rendered it necessary that royal residences should be erected for the reception of the king's court; among these Persepolis, (see above, p. 20,) probably commenced by Cyrus, was completed under Darius and Xerxes.

The best drawings of the monuments of Persepolis, remarkable alike for their architecture, their sculpture, and their inscriptions in the arrow-headed character, are to be found in the Travels of Chardin and Niebuhr. Illustrations:

Herder's Persepolis, in the collection of his works, vol. i.

Heeren, Ideas, etc. Part I. vol. i. Great assistance in studying the inscriptions, is furnished by

De Sacy, Mémoires sur diverses Antiquités de la Perse; Paris, 1793, 4to. It must be observed, however, that this work is confined to the illustration of the later monuments, belonging to the Sassanidæ. The most successful attempt at deciphering the arrow-headed inscriptions of the old Persic, since Tychsen, Muenter, and Lichtenstein, will be found in

[Pg 96]

Grotefend, On the Interpretation of the Arrow-headed Characters, particularly of the Inscriptions at Persepolis, contained in the appendix to Heeren, Ideas, etc. vol. ii. with an accompanying Zend alphabet.

The seven grandees hold council on the future form of government.

12. After a very remarkable debate held by the seven conspirators, concerning the form of of government which should be established, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, one of the family of the Achæmenides, was raised to the throne by an oracle; this king endeavoured to strengthen his right to the sceptre by marrying two of Cyrus's daughters.

Darius (522—486.) a great statesman and conqueror:

13. The reign of Darius I. which lasted thirty-six years, (according to Ctesias 31,) is remarkable for the improvements made both in the external and internal administration of the Persian empire. In the former, by the great expeditions and conquests, which extended the Persian realm to its utmost limits; in the latter, by several important institutions, established for the internal organization of the state.

the first Persian that carries his arms into Europe:
and is embroiled with the European Greeks.

14. The expeditions of the Persians under Cyrus were directed against the countries of Asia; those of Cambyses against Africa. But those undertaken by Darius I. were directed against Europe, though the Persian territory was at the same time extended in the two other quarters of the world. In the reign of this king likewise commenced those wars with the Greeks, so fatal to the Persians; constantly fomented and supported by emigrant or exile Greeks, who found an asylum in the Persian court, and there contrived to raise a party.—First example of the kind exhibited shortly after the accession of Darius, in[Pg 97] the case of Syloson, brother to Polycrates, who had been tyrant of Samos: at his request the island was taken possession of by the Persians, and delivered up to him after the almost total destruction of the male population.

Babylon secedes, and is reduced: 516.

15. Great revolt in Babylon, which would not submit tamely to a foreign yoke. After a siege of twenty-one months, Darius by stratagem regains possession of the city. The power of Babylon and the importance of its situation increased the jealousy with which it was guarded by the Persian kings; so much so, that they were wont to reside there a certain portion of the year.

Campaign against the Scythians: 513.
The Persians, though unsuccessful, establish themselves in Europe.

16. First great expedition of Darius undertaken against the Scythians inhabiting the lands north of the Black sea: the former irruption of the Scythians into Asia afforded a pretext for the war, which, therefore, was considered as a general national undertaking. Unsuccessful as the Persian arms were in this vast expedition against the Scythians, and disgraceful as was the retreat from the barren steppes of the Ukrain, yet the power of Darius was established in Thrace and Macedonia, and the Persians obtained firm footing in Europe.

Concerning the peculiar character of the Persian national wars, or great campaigns, in which all the conquered nations were obliged to participate, contrasted with the other wars waged by Persian troops alone.

Campaign against western India, 509:

17. The next expedition made by Darius was more successful. It was carried on along the banks of the Indus, down which river Scylax, a Greek, had previously sailed on a voyage of discovery. The highlands north of the Indus [Pg 98]were then subjected to the Persian dominion, and the Indus became the boundary of the kingdom. About the same time that Darius was engaged on the Danube and the Indus, Aryandes, his viceroy in Egypt, led an expedition against against Barca in Africa. Barca, to avenge the murder of king Arcesilaus; a war which terminated in the destruction of the city, and the transplantation of its inhabitants into Asia.

Secession of the Asiatic Greeks, 502—496;
who, assisted by Athens, fire Sardes, 500,
but are completely routed off Miletus, 496.

18. However trifling the first occurrence which gave rise to the revolt of the Asiatic Greeks, it was much more important in its consequences. It was set on foot by Aristagoras, lieutenant-governor of Miletus, who was secretly supported by his relation, the offended Histiæus, then resident at the Persian court. The share taken by the Athenians in this rebellion, which led to the burning of Sardes, was the origin of the national hatred between Persia and European Greece, and of the long series of wars that ensued. The confederates were this time defeated; but the naval battle off the island of Lada, could hardly have had such a fatal result, had not the league been previously corrupted by the craft and gold of Persia. Be that as it may, this war ended in the reduction of the Ionians, and the destruction of Miletus, their flourishing capital; a city which in those days, together with Tyre and Carthage, engrossed the trade of the world.

First campaign against Greece.
under Mardonius, frustrated by a tempest off Athos, 492.
Second campaign.
Battle of Marathon, Sept. 29, 490.

19. First attack upon Greece, particularly Athens. Darius, already enraged against the Athenians by the firing of Sardes, is still further instigated by the suggestions of the banished tyrant of Athens, Hippias, the son of Pisistratus. [Pg 99] This prince, who had fled to the Persian court, was evidently the animating spirit of the whole undertaking. Although the first attempt, made under the command of Mardonius, was thwarted by a tempest, yet the mighty expedition which afterwards followed, was undertaken with so much more prudence, and conducted with so much knowledge of the country, that no one can fail to recognize the guiding hand of Hippias. Even the battle of Marathon, which seems to have been but a diversion on the side of the Persians, would not have decided the war, had not the activity of Miltiades defeated the principal design of the enemy upon Athens.

Progress of the Persians towards a regular constitution.

20. It may be said that Darius, by these foreign wars, debilitated the kingdom which he endeavoured to extend; this circumstance, however, it cannot be denied, increases the merit which he has of perfecting the internal organization of the empire. His reign constitutes precisely that period which must enter into the history of every nomad race that has attained to power, and is advancing towards political civilization; a period at which it becomes visible that the nation is endeavouring to obtain a constitution, however gradual the progress towards it.

Division of the empire into satrapies.

21. Division of the empire into twenty satrapies, and the imposition of a regular tribute on each. This division at first depended solely on that of the various tributary races, but from it gradually arose a geographic division, in which the ancient distinction of countries was for the most part preserved.

[Pg 100]

Proofs that the division into satrapies was originally a mere arrangement for the civil government and collection of taxes, distinct from military power. Duties of the satraps. The attention they were to pay to the cultivation and improvement of the land; to the collection of the imposts; to the execution of the royal commands relating to provincial affairs. An abuse of this institution, at a later period, placed in the hands of these satraps the command also of the troops.—Various means of keeping the satraps in a state of dependence: royal secretaries appointed for each, who were to be the first to receive the king's commands.—Periodical visits paid to the provinces by commissioners under the direct appointment of the king, or by the king himself accompanied with an army.—Establishment of couriers in every part of the empire, for the purpose of securing a safe and rapid communication with the provinces, as was the case also in the Mongol countries; (not a regular post, however, the institution here alluded to being intended only for the court.)

Persian finances: the conquered to support the conquerors.

22. The Persian finance continues to preserve those peculiarities which naturally result from the formation of an empire by a nomad race of conquerors, desirous of living at the expense of the conquered, and under a despotic form of government.

Collection of tribute, mostly in kind, for the support of the court and the armies; and in precious metals, not coined, but in their raw state. Application of the treasure thus collected towards constituting a private chest for the king. Various other royal imposts.—Mode of providing for the public expenditure by assignments on the revenues of one or several places.

Art military.

23. Organization of the military system, conformably to the primitive state of the nation, and the necessity now felt of keeping the conquered countries in subjection by means of standing armies.

Military organization of the Persian nations, by means of a decimal division pervading the whole.—Royal troops cantoned in the open field, according to a certain division of the empire, or stationed as garrisons in the cities, and distinct from the encampments.—Manner in which the troops were supported at the cost and by the taxes of the provinces.—Introduction of mercenaries[Pg 101] and Greeks, more particularly among the Persians, and fatal consequences of that measure. Military household of the satraps and grandees.—Institution of a general conscription in national wars. Formation of the Persian navy, consisting of the Phœnician, and not unfrequently of the Asiatic Greek fleets.

The Persian court both a seraglio and the head quarters of the army.

24. From the time of Darius, the court of the kings of Persia attained its complete form, and the government soon after was wholly concentrated in the seraglio. Yet the mode of life which the kings led, surrounded by a court, taken principally if not wholly from the tribe of the Pasargadæ, and changing their residence according to the revolutions of the seasons, still preserved the traces of nomad origin.

Babylon, Susa, and Ecbatana, the usual residences; Persepolis now used as a royal cemetery. The court supported by the most costly productions of each province; hence arose the rigid ceremonial observed at the royal table.—Internal organization of the seraglio.—Influence of the eunuchs and queen-mothers on the government.

Revolt of Egypt, 488:
death of Darius, 486.

25. Already had Darius commenced preparations to wreak his vengeance on Athens, when a revolution broke out in Egypt, and hindered him from prosecuting his design. He died after nominating for his successor Xerxes I. grandson of Cyrus, and his eldest son by a second wife, Atossa, whose influence over her husband was boundless.

Xerxes I. 486—465:
recovers Egypt, 484:

26. Xerxes I. A prince educated in the seraglio, who knew nothing beyond the art of representing the pomp of royalty. Subjection of Egypt, and severe treatment of that country under the satrap Achæmenes, brother to Xerxes.

leads a mighty army against Greece.

27. Xerxes' famous expedition against Greece was again the result of the cabals and intrigues of the Greek exiles, the Pisistratidæ, the soothsayer [Pg 102]Onomacritus, the Thessalian princes or Aleuadæ, who contrived to exert their influence on the king's mind, and to raise a party in their favour among the grandees. But the progress of the campaign showed that no Hippias was at the head of the invading army, although the Persian king did certainly succeed in his avowed object, the capture and destruction of Athens.

Critique on the detailed account given by Herodotus of this expedition, as a national undertaking in which all the subjugated nations were obliged to take a share.—Preparations which last for three years in the Persian empire; league framed with Carthage for the subjection of the Sicilian Greeks, 483—481. The expedition itself in 480; over Asia Minor and the Hellespont, through Thrace and Macedonia.—Muster of the army and division of the troops according to nations at Doriscus; the detailed description of which found in Herodotus, was most probably borrowed from some Persian document.—The pass of Thermopylæ taken by treachery; on the same day a naval engagement off Artemisium.—Athens captured and burnt. Battle of Salamis, Sept. 23, 480. Retreat of Xerxes; an army of picked men left behind, under the command of Mardonius.—Fruitless negotiations with the Athenians.—Second campaign of Mardonius: he is routed at Platææ, Sept. 25, 479; and that event puts an end for ever to the Persian irruptions into Greece: on the same day the Persian army is defeated, and their fleet burnt at Mycale in Asia Minor.

Persia now obliged to concentrate her forces in Asia Minor.

28. The consequences of these repeated and unsuccessful expeditions, in which almost the whole population was engaged, must be self-evident. The empire was weakened and depopulated. The defensive war which the Persians for thirty years were obliged to maintain against the Greeks, who aimed at establishing the independence of their Asiatic countrymen, completely destroyed the balance of their power, by compelling them to transfer their forces to Asia[Pg 103] Minor, the most distant western province of the empire.

Policy of the Persians in bribing the Greeks.
Cimon wrests from Persia the sovereignty of the sea:
battle of the Eurymedon, 469.

29. Little as the Greeks had to fear from the Persian arms, the danger with which they were now threatened was much more formidable, when the enemy began to adopt the system of bribing the chieftains of Greece; a system which succeeded beyond expectation in the first trial made of it with Pausanias, and perhaps was not wholly unsuccessful with Themistocles himself.—But the Persians soon found in Cimon an adversary who deprived them of the sovereignty of the sea; who in one day destroyed both their fleet and their army on the Eurymedon; and by the conquest of the Thracian Chersonese, wrested from them the key of Europe.

Bloody deeds in the Persian seraglio:
Xerxes murdered.

30. What little we know further concerning the reign of Xerxes, consists in the intrigues of the seraglio, which now, through the machinations of queen Amestris, became the theatre of all those horrors which are wont to be exhibited in such places, and to which Xerxes himself at last fell a victim, in consequence of the conspiracy of Artabanes and the eunuch Spamitres.

Was Xerxes the Ahasuerus of the Jews?—On the difference between the names of the Persian kings in Persian and Chaldee; not to be wondered at when we consider that they were mere titles or surnames, assumed by the sovereigns after their accession.

Artaxerxes, 465—424.
during his reign Persia is on the decline.

31. Artaxerxes I. surnamed Longimanus. In consequence of the murder of his father and his elder brother, in the conspiracy of Artabanes, this prince ascended the throne, but was unable to keep possession of the sceptre without assassi[Pg 104]nating, in his turn, Artabanes. His reign, which lasted forty years, exhibits the first symptoms of the decline of the empire, which this king, although possessed of many good qualities, had not the talent or spirit to arrest.

Rebellions in the provinces.

32. At the very commencement of his reign rebellions are excited in the provinces; in the mean while the war with Athens continues. Two battles are required to repress the insurrection of his brother Hystaspes in Bactria.

Second secession of Egypt, 463:

33. Second revolt of Egypt, excited by the Libyan king, Inarus of Marea, in conjunction with the Egyptian, Amyrtæus, and supported by an Athenian fleet. Although the confederates did not make themselves masters of Memphis, they defeated the Persian army, commanded by the king's brother, Achæmenes, who lost his life in the battle; they were at last overpowered by Megabyzus, satrap of Syria, and shut up together with Inarus in the town of Byblus. Inarus and partly quelled, 456. his party were admitted to capitulation; but Amyrtæus, having taken refuge in the morasses, continued to make head against the Persians.

Persian fleet and army defeated by Cimon, 449.
Disgraceful peace with Athens, 449.

34. The Grecian war takes, once more, an unfavourable turn for the Persians: Cimon defeats the enemy's fleet and army near Cyprus. The fear of losing the whole of the island accordingly compels Artaxerxes I. to sign a treaty of peace with Athens, in which he recognizes the independence of the Asiatic Greeks, and agrees that his fleet shall not navigate the Ægæan sea, nor his troops approach within three days' march of the coast.

Megabyzus, the first example of a rebellious satrap, 447.

35. But the haughty and powerful Megabyzus, [Pg 105]enraged at the execution of Inarus, in violation of the promise made by him to that prince, excites a rebellion in Syria; repeatedly defeats the royal armies, and prescribes himself the conditions upon which he will be reconciled to his sovereign. This was the first great example of a successful insurrection excited by one of the Persian satraps; and chequered as were the subsequent fortunes of Megabyzus, his party continued to subsist after his death in the persons of his sons. He possessed in the centre of the court a support in the dowager queen Amestris, and the reigning Death of Artaxerxes, 424. queen Amytis; (both notorious for their excesses;) who kept Artaxerxes I. in a constant state of tutelage to the hour of his death.

Xerxes II. 424.

36. Revolutions in the government now succeed each other with rapidity and violence. Xerxes II. the only legitimate son and successor of Artaxerxes, is slain, after forty-five days' reign, by his bastard brother Sogdianus. Sogdianus; the latter, in his turn, after a reign of six months, is deposed by another bastard brother, Ochus, who ascends the throne, and assumes the name of Darius II.

Darius II. 423—404.
Rapid decline of the state.

37. Darius II. surnamed the Bastard, or Nothus. He reigns nineteen years under the tutelage of his wife, Parysatis, and of three eunuchs, one of whom, Artoxares, even attempts to open a way to the throne, but is put to death. In this period the decline of the state advances with hurried steps; partly by reason of the extinction of the legitimate royal line, partly by the increased practice of placing more than one province, together with the military command, in the hands of the same satrap. Although the repeated insur[Pg 106]rections of the satraps are repressed, the court, by the breach of faith to which it is obliged to have recourse, in order to succeed in its measures, 422. exhibits to the world a convincing proof of its infirmity. The revolt of Arsites, one of the king's brothers, who was supported by a son of Megabyzus, and that of Pisuthnes, satrap of Lydia, are quelled only by obtaining treacherous possession of their 414. persons.

38. In consequence of the weak state of the empire, the fire, which had hitherto been smouldering under the ashes, burst forth in Egypt. Amyrtæus, who had remained till now in the morasses, issued forth, supported by the Egyptians; Third revolt of Egypt, 414. and the Persians were again expelled the land. Obscure as the subsequent history may be, we see that the Persians were obliged to acknowledge, not only Amyrtæus, but his successors. [See page 72].

Peloponnesian war favorable to the Persian interests.

39. The Persians must have regarded it as a happy event, that the Peloponnesian war, kindled in Greece during the reign of Artaxerxes, and protracted through the whole of that of Darius II. had prevented the Greeks from unitedly falling upon Persia. It now became, and henceforward continued to be, the chief policy of the Persians to foment quarrels and wars between the Grecian republics, by siding at various times with various parties; and the mutual hatred of the Greeks rendered this game so easy, that Greece could hardly have escaped total destruction, had the Persian plans been always as wisely laid as they were by Tissaphernes; and had not the caprice and jealousy of the satraps in Asia Minor gene[Pg 107]rally had more effect than the commands of the court.

Alliance of the Persians with Sparta, framed by Tissaphernes, 441; but in consequence of the policy of Alcibiades, and the artful principles of Tissaphernes, followed by no important results, until the younger Cyrus, satrap of all Asia Minor, was by Lysander, 407, brought over to the Spartan interest. (See below, the Grecian history, III. Period, parag. 23.)

Artaxerxes II. 405—362.

40. Artaxerxes II. surnamed Mnemon. Although this prince was the eldest son of Darius, his right to the throne might, according to the Persian ideas of succession, have appeared dubious, since his younger brother, Cyrus, had the advantage over him of being the first born subsequent to the accession of his father. Anabasis of Cyrus. Relying on the support of his mother Parysatis, Cyrus, even without this claim to the throne, would, no doubt, have asserted his pretence to the sovereign power. It would have been, in all probability, a fortunate event for the Persian empire, had the fate of battle, in the ensuing war between the two brothers, assigned the throne to him whom nature seems to have pointed out as the fittest person.

History of this war according to Xenophon. Battle of Cunaxa, in which Cyrus falls, 401. Retreat of the ten thousand Greek mercenaries in the service of Cyrus, under the guidance of Xenophon.

Weak reign of Artaxerxes II.

41. During the whole of this reign, Artaxerxes, now firmly seated on the throne, remained under the tutelage of his mother, Parysatis, whose inveterate hatred against his wife, Statira, and against all who had any share in the death of her darling son, Cyrus, converted the seraglio into a theatre of bloody deeds, such as can be conceived and committed only in similar places.

[Pg 108]

War with Sparta, 400.
Agesilaus in Asia, 396—394.
Peace of Antalcidas, 387.
Policy of Persia in keeping on good terms with Thebes.
War with Evagoras of Cyprus, 385.

42. The insurrection and rout of Cyrus produced a corresponding change in the political relations between the Persian court and Sparta: which, however, were now determined, not so much by the will of the monarch himself, as by the satraps of Asia Minor, Tissaphernes and Pharnabazus, of whose jealousy Sparta knew how to take advantage. The former, by his severity towards the Asiatic Greeks, who had supported the cause of Cyrus, excited a war with Sparta, in which he himself fell a victim. The death of the satrap is not, however, succeeded by tranquillity; for Agesilaus commands in Asia, and threatens to overthrow the Persian throne itself. The policy of the Persians is shown by the war which they foment in Greece against Sparta: Conon is placed at the head of their fleet, and extricates Persia from her difficulties better than could have been done by her own generals; in the peace of Antalcidas she herself dictates the terms, by which the Grecian colonies of Asia Minor, together with Cyprus and Clazomenæ, are again delivered into her possession. The rising power of Thebes under Epaminondas and Pelopidas, with whom Persia keeps up a friendly connection, ensures her from any future blow at the hands of the Spartans.—War for the possession of Cyprus with Evagoras, who, however, by the subsequent peace retains the sovereignty of Salamis.

War with the Cadusii, 384.
Attempt to recover Egypt, 374.

43. The war against the Cadusii in the mountains of Caucasus, proves that Artaxerxes II. was not fitted for military command; and his attempt to recover Egypt from king Nectanebus I. which was defeated by the feud between Iphicrates[Pg 109] and Artabazus, evinces that the most numerous Persian host could achieve nothing without the assistance of Grecian troops and Grecian generals.—It could hardly be expected that an empire should endure much longer, when in the court all was ruled by the desire of revenge in the women; when the political organization was already so corrupt, that the satraps waged war against each other; and when those generals who gave any proof of talent received no better reward than that of Datames.

The succession to the throne of Persia is disputed and almost produces the downfal of the empire before the death of Artaxerxes.
Rebellion in the west dispelled by treachery, 362.

44. In fact, it seemed not unlikely that the Persian empire would fall asunder a little before the death of Artaxerxes Mnemon. A quarrel about the succession arose in the court between the three legitimate sons of the king, the eldest of whom, Darius, was put to death: the standard of rebellion was erected in the western half of the empire, and joined by all the governors of Asia Minor and Syria, supported by Tachos, king of Egypt, to whose assistance the Spartans had sent Agesilaus. The insurrection, however, was quelled in consequence of the treachery of the chief leader, Orontes, who was bribed over to the court.

Artaxerxes III. about 362—338.
contemporary with Philip, the father of Alexander the Great.

45. In the midst of these commotions died Artaxerxes II.: his youngest son, Ochus, took possession of the throne, and assumed the name of Artaxerxes III. This king conceived that he could not establish his power but by the total destruction of the royal family, numerous as it was. He was contemporary with Philip of Macedon, in whom he soon found a more formidable rival than any he could have met with in his own family.

[Pg 110]

Insurrection in Asia Minor, 358.

46. The new insurrection fomented by Artabazus in Asia Minor, was accompanied with success so long as it was backed by the Thebans; but the reception which Artabazus met with at the hands of Philip soon betrayed the secret intentions of the Macedonian king.

Rebellion of the Phœnicians and Cyprians, 356.

47. But the extensive rebellion of the Phœnicians and Cyprians, in conjunction with Egypt, compelled the king to undertake another expedition, which succeeded almost beyond expectation; although in this case the object was again attained principally by treachery and by Grecian auxiliaries.

Treachery of Mentor, the leader of the confederates: the consequent capture and destruction of Sidon, followed by the subjection of Phœnicia, 356. Capture of Cyprus by Grecian troops, under the command of Phocion and the younger Evagoras, 354. Expedition of the king in person against Egypt: victory of Pelusium, won over king Nectanebus II. with the help of Grecian mercenaries. Egypt becomes, once more, a Persian province.

The Persian empire once more restored to its ancient bounds.
The king poisoned by the eunuch Bagoas,

48. This restoration of the empire to its former limits was followed by a period of tranquillity, the result of force, as Mentor and the eunuch Bagoas, holding the king in complete dependence, divided the kingdom, as it were, between themselves; until Bagoas was pleased, by poison, to remove Artaxerxes out of his way.

Bagoas places Arces on the throne, but soon after makes away with him. 336.

49. After the assassination of the royal family, Bagoas placed on the throne the king's youngest and only surviving son, Arces. Bagoas was desirous of reigning in the name of that prince; but after the lapse of two years, he found it necessary to depose him, and to substitute in his place a distant relation of the reigning family, Darius[Pg 111] Codomannus, who commenced his reign by putting to death the wretch himself.

Darius III. 336.
His kingdom invaded by Alexander the Great, 334.

50. Darius III. Codomannus, not having been educated, like his predecessors, in the seraglio, gave proof of virtues which entitled him to a better fate. Attacked in the second year of his reign by Macedon, against which Persia had hitherto made no preparation for resistance,—unless, perhaps, the dagger which pierced Philip was pointed by Persian hands,—Darius was unable at once to reestablish a kingdom which of itself was mouldering away. And yet, had not death defeated the invasion of Macedonia by his general, Memnon, it might have been matter of doubt, whether Alexander would ever have shone as the conqueror of Alexander's dominion established in Asia, 330. Asia.—After the loss of two battles, in which he fought in person, Darius III. fell a victim to the treachery of Bessus, and the burning of Persepolis made known to Asia that the realm of Persia was destroyed, and that the east must acknowledge a new lord and master.

For the history of the war, see below: the history of Macedon.

[Pg 112]



Geographical Outline.

Boundaries of Greece:

Greece is bounded on the north by the Cambunian mountains, which separate it from Macedonia; on the south and east by the Ægæan, on the west by the Ionian sea. its dimensions: Greatest length from south to north = 220 geog. miles, greatest breadth from west to east, = 140 geog. miles. Superficial contents, = 29,600 square miles.—Principal rivers: rivers: the Peneus, which discharges its waters into the Ægæan, and the Achelous, which flows into the Ionian sea. Advantages in respect to fertility, resulting from the mildness of the climate, physical advantages. between 37—40° N. lat.; from the number of small streams; from the qualities and variety of the soil, in which this country has been so much more blessed by nature than any other of similar extent, that every branch of cultivation may be prosecuted equally and in conjunction.—Advantages in reference to navigation and commerce: situated in the vicinity of the three quarters of the world, on three sides washed by the sea, and by reason of its irregular, indented coast, abounding with commodious ports and havens.


It may be divided into Northern Greece, from the north boundary to the chain of Œta and Pindus, between the Ambracian gulf west, and[Pg 113] the Maliac east. Central Greece, or Hellas, down to the isthmus of Corinth: and the southern peninsula, or Peloponnesus.

Northern Greece.

Northern Greece comprises two countries; Thessaly east, Epirus west.


1. Thessaly, the largest and one of the most fruitful of the Grecian countries. Length from north to south 60 geog. miles; breadth from west to east 64 geog. miles. Rivers: the Peneus, Apidanus, and several smaller streams. Mountains: Olympus, residence of the fabulous gods, and Ossa in the north; the chain of Œta, Othrys, and Pindus in the south. Division into five provinces: 1. Estiæotis; cities: Gomphi, Azorus: 2. Pelasgiotis; cities: Larissa, Gonni, the vale of Tempe: 3. Thessaliotis; cities: Pharsalus, etc. 4. Phthiotis; cities: Pheræ, etc. 5. The foreland of Magnesia, with a city of the same name. Other territories, such as Perrhæbia, etc. for instance, derived their names from the non-Greek races who inhabited them.


2. Epirus. Next to Thessaly, the largest, although one of the least cultivated countries of Greece: 48—60 geog. miles long, and the same in breadth. Divisions: Molossis; city, Ambracia: Thesprotia; city, Buthrotum; in the interior, Dodona.

Central Greece.

Central Greece, or Hellas, comprises nine countries.


1. Attica, a foreland, extending towards the south-east, and gradually diminishing. Length, 60 geog. miles; greatest breadth, 24 geog. miles. Rivers: Ilissus, Cephissus. Mountains: Hymettus, Pentelicus, and the headland of Sunium.[Pg 114] City: Athens, with the harbours Piræus, Phalereus, and Munychius; in the other parts no towns, but hamlets, δήμοι, such as Marathon, Eleusis, Decelea, etc.


2. Megaris, close to the isthmus of Corinth. The smallest of the Grecian countries; 16 geog. miles long, and from 4—8 broad. City, Megara.


3. Bœotia, a mountainous and marshy country, 52 geog. miles long, and from 28—32 broad. Rivers: Asopus, Ismenus, and several smaller streams. Mountains: Helicon, Cythæron, etc. Lake: Copais.—Bœotia was, of all the Grecian countries, that which contained the greatest number of cities, each having its own separate territory. Among these, the first in importance, and frequently mistress of the rest, was Thebes on the Ismenus. The others, Platææ, Tanagra, Thespiæ, Chæronea, Lebadea, Leuctra, and Orchomenus, are all celebrated in Grecian history.


4. Phocis, smaller than Attica; 48 geog. miles long, from 4—20 broad. River: Cephissus. Mountain: Parnassus. Cities: Delphi, on Parnassus, with the celebrated oracle of Apollo. Crissa, with the harbour of Cirrha, and up the country Elatea. The other cities are insignificant.

Locris 1st and 2nd.

5, 6. The two countries called Locris. The eastern on the Euripus, territory of the Locri Opuntii and Epicnemidii is the lesser of the two; being but little larger than Megaris. City: Opus; pass, Thermopylæ. The western Locris on the Corinthian gulf, station of the Locri Ozolæ, is from 20—24 geog. miles long, and from 16—20 broad. Cities: Naupactus on the sea, Amphissa up the country.

[Pg 115]


7. The small country of Doris, or the Tetrapolis Dorica, on the south side of mount Œta, from 8—12 geog. miles long, and the same in breadth.


8. Ætolia, somewhat larger than Bœotia; from 40—52 geog. miles long, and from 28—32 broad; but the least cultivated country of all. Rivers: Achelous, which skirts Acarnania, and the Evenus. Cities: Calydon, Thermus.


9. Acarnania, the most western country of Hellas, 32 geog. miles long, from 16—24 broad. River: Achelous. Cities: Argos Amphilochicum, and Stratus.


The peninsula of Peloponnesus contains eight countries.


1. Arcadia, a mountainous country, abounding in pastures, and situate in the centre of the peninsula; greatest length, 48 geog. miles; greatest breadth, 36 geog. miles. Mountains: Cyllene, Erymanthus, etc. Rivers: Alpheus, Erymanthus, and several smaller streams. Lake: Styx. Cities: Mantinea, Tegea, Orchomenus, Heræa, Psophis; subsequently Megalopolis, as a common capital.


2. Laconia, likewise mountainous. Greatest length, 66 geog. miles; greatest breadth, 36 geog. miles. River: Eurotas. Mountains: Taygetus, and the headlands Malea and Tenarium. Cities: Sparta on the Eurotas; other places: Amyclæ, Sellasia, and others of little importance.


3. Messenia, west of Laconia; a more level and extremely fertile country, subject to the Spartans from B. C. 668. Greatest length, 28 geog. miles: greatest breadth, 36 geog. miles.[Pg 116] City: Messene. Frontier places, Ithome and Ira: of the other places, Pylus (Navarino) and Methone are the most celebrated.


4. Elis, with the small territory of Triphylia, on the west of the Peloponnesus. Length, 60 geog. miles: greatest breadth, 28 geog. miles. Rivers: Alpheus, Peneus, Sellis, and several smaller streams. Cities: in the north, Elis, Cyllene, and Pylus. On the Alpheus, Pisa and the neighbouring town of Olympia. In Triphylia, a third Pylus.


5. Argolis, on the east side of the peninsula; a foreland opposite to Attica, with which it forms the Sinus Saronicus. Length, 64 geog. miles: breadth, from 8—28 geog. miles. Cities: Argos, Mycenæ, Epidaurus. Smaller but remarkable places; Nemea, Cynuria, Trœzen.


6. Achaia, originally Ionia, called likewise Ægialus, comprises the north coast. Length, 56 geog. miles: breadth, from 12—24. It contains twelve cities, of which Dyme, Patræ, and Pellene are the most important.


7. The little country of Sicyonia, 16 geog. miles long, 8 broad, with the cities of Sicyon and Phlius.


8. The small territory of Corinth, of the same extent as the foregoing, adjoining the isthmus which connects Peloponnesus with the main land. City: Corinth, originally Ephyra, with the ports of Lechæum and Cenchreæ; the former on the Corinthian, the latter on the Saronic gulf.


The Greek islands may be divided into three classes; those which lie immediately off the coasts, those which are collected in groups, and those which lie separate in the open sea.

[Pg 117]

Off the coasts.
Corcyra; Leucadia; Cephalonia and Ithaca; Zacynthus; Cythera; Ægina and Salamis;

1. Islands off the coasts. Off the west coast in the Ionian sea: Corcyra, opposite Epirus, 32 geog. miles long, from 8—16 broad. City: Corcyra. A Corinthian colony. Opposite Acarnania; Leucadia, with the city and headland of Leucas.—Cephalonia or Same, originally Scheria, with the cities of Same and Cephalonia. In the neighbourhood lies the small island of Ithaca.—Opposite Elis: Zacynthus. Off the south coast: Cythera, with a town of the same name. Off the east coast, in the Saronic gulf: Ægina and Salamis. Opposite Bœotia, from which it is separated by the strait named Euripus, Eubœa, the most extensive of all; 76 geog. miles long, from 12—16 geog. miles broad. Cities: Oreus, with the headland of Artemisium on the north, in the centre Chalcis, Eretria. Off Thessaly, Scyathus, Thasus, Imbrus, Samothrace, Lemnos, etc. Scyathus and Halonesus. Farther north, Thasus, Imbrus, Samothrace, and Lemnos.

Cyclades and Sporades;

2. Clusters of islands in the Ægæan sea: the Cyclades and Sporades; the former of which comprise the western, the latter the eastern islands of the Archipelago. The most important among them are, Andros, Delos, Paros, Naxos, Melos, all with cities of the same names.


3. The more extensive separate islands: 1. Crete, 140 geog. miles long, from 24—40 broad. Mountain: Ida. Cities: Cydonia, Gortyna, Cnossus. 2. Cyprus, 120 geog. miles long, from 20—80 broad. Cities: Salamis, Paphos, Citium, and several smaller places.

Concerning the principal Greek islands off the coast of Asia Minor, see above, p. 18.

Fr. Carl. Herm. Kruse, Geographico-Antiquarian delineation of ancient Greece and its colonies, with reference to mo[Pg 118]dern discoveries. Illustrated with maps and plates: first part, 1825. General Geography: second part, first division, 1826. Second division, 1827. Special Geography of Central Greece. A most minute and careful description of Greece, founded on modern discoveries.


The most ancient traditional history, down to the Trojan war, about B. C. 1200.

Sources: On the formation and progress of history among the Greeks. Preliminary enquiry into the peculiarities of Grecian mythology in a historical point of view, as comprising the most ancient history of the national tribes and heroes. A history rich in itself, on account of the number of tribes and their leaders; but embellished and altered in various ways by the poets, particularly the great early epic writers, and afterwards by the tragedians.—First advance of history from tradition, wrought by the logographi, especially those of the Ionian cities, Hecatæus, Pherecydes, etc. until Herodotus, so justly called the Father of History, raised it at once to such a lofty pitch of eminence. (Compare † The historical Art of the Greeks considered in its Rise and Progress, by G. F. Creuzer; 1803.) Nevertheless, in Herodotus, and even later writers, history continued to savour of its origin; and so far as the realm of tradition extended, even Theopompus and Ephorus felt no disinclination to borrow their materials from mythologists or poets. It need scarcely be observed, that in this first period the history is merely traditional.

Among the moderns, the English have most successfully treated the subject of Grecian history: the principal works are:

John Gillies, The History of Ancient Greece, its colonies and conquests, from the earliest accounts till the division of the Macedonian empire in the east, including the history of literature, philosophy, and the fine arts. London, 1786, 2 vols. 4to. and

William Mitford, The History of Greece. London, 1784,[Pg 119] 4 vols. 4to. Several new editions have since appeared. Translated into German, Jena, 1800, sqq. by H. L. Eichstädt. Mitford is perhaps superior in learning, copiousness, and solidity, but he certainly is greatly surpassed by Gillies in genius and taste, and more especially in a proper conception of the spirit of antiquity. [Few English critics will here coincide with our author.]

De Pauw, Recherches sur les Grecs, 1701, 2 vols. 8vo. Replete with partial views and hypotheses.

Heeren, Researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the most celebrated nations of antiquity: 3 vols. 1st part, 4th edit. 1826. [Translated into English, Oxford, 1830, 8vo.]

Many important enquiries on various portions of Grecian history and antiquities will be found in the great collection:

Gronovii, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Græcarum, 12 vols. folio.

Others are contained in the transactions of different learned societies; particularly in

Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles Lettres, Paris, 1709, sqq. 49 vols. 4to.

Commentarii, (4 vols.) Commentarii novi, (8 vols.) Commentationes, (16 vols.) and Commentationes recentiores Societatis Scientiarum Gotting. (5 vols.)

Early inhabitants of Greece.

1. Although Greece was originally inhabited by several insignificant races, two principal tribes claim our attention, the Pelasgi and the Hellenes. Both probably were of Asiatic origin; but the difference of their language characterized them as different tribes. Pelasgi. The Pelasgi were the first that extended their dominion in Greece.

First seat of the Pelasgians in the Peloponnesus, under Inachus, about B. C. 1800. According to their own traditions, they made their first appearance in this quarter as uncultivated savages; they must, however, at an early period, have made some progress towards civilization, since the most ancient states, Argos and Sicyon, owed their origin to them; and to them, perhaps, with great probability, are attributed the remains of those most ancient monuments generally termed cyclopian.—Extension of this tribe towards the north, particularly over Attica; settlement in Thessaly under their leaders Achæus, Phthius, and Pelasgus; here they learned to apply themselves to agriculture, and re[Pg 120]mained for a hundred and fifty successive years; about 1700—1500.


2. The Hellenes,—subsequently so called from Hellen, one of their chieftains,—originally the weaker of the two tribes, make their first appearance in Phocis, near Parnassus, under king Deucalion; from whence they are driven by a flood. descend southward, about B. C. 1550. They migrate into Thessaly, and drive out the Pelasgi from that territory.—The Hellenes soon after this become the most powerful race; and spreading over Greece, expel the Pelasgi from almost every part. The latter tribe maintain their and obtain the ascendant ground only in Arcadia, and the land of Dodona; some of them migrate to Italy, others to Crete, and various islands.

Hellenic tribes.

3. The Hellenic tribe is subdivided into four principal branches, the Æolians, Ionians, Dorians, and Achæans, which continue afterwards to be distinguished and separated by many peculiarities of speech, customs, and political government. These four tribes, although they must not be considered as comprising all the slender ramifications of the nation, are derived by tradition from Deucalion's immediate posterity; with whose personal history, therefore, the history of the tribes themselves and their migrations is interwoven.

This derivation of the tribes will be better understood by an inspection of the following genealogical table:


[Pg 121]

4. The gradual spread of the various branches of the Hellenic tribe over Greece was effected by several migrations, between B. C. 1500—1300; after which they preserved the settlements they had already obtained until the later migration of the Dorians and Heraclidæ, about 1100.

Principal data for the history of the separate tribes in this period.

1. Æolus follows his father Hellen into Phthiotis, which consequently remains the seat of the Æolians; they spread from thence over western Greece, Acarnania, Ætolia, Phocis, Locris, Elis in the Peloponnesus, and likewise over the western islands.

2. Dorus follows his father into Estiæotis, the most ancient seat of the Dorians. They are driven from thence after the death of Dorus by the Perrhæbi; spread over Macedonia and Crete; part of the tribe return, cross mount Œta, and settle in the Tetrapolis Dorica, afterwards called Doris, where they remain until they migrate into Peloponnesus, under the guidance of the Heraclidæ; about 1100. (See below, p. 127).

3. Xuthus, expelled by his brothers, migrates to Athens, where he marries Creusa, daughter of Erectheus, by whom he has sons, Ion and Achæus. Ion and his tribe, driven out of Athens, settle in that part of Peloponnesus called Ægialus, a name which by them was converted into Ionia, and in later times exchanged for Achaia. The Achæans preserve their footing in Laconia and Argos, until the time of the Dorian migration.

L. D. Huellman, Early Grecian History, 1814. Rich in original views and conjectures, beyond which the early history of nations seldom extends.

D. C. Otfried Mueller, History of the Hellenic Tribes and Cities, 1820, vol. 1. containing, Orchomenus and the Minyæ; vols. 2, 3, containing the Dorians, 1825.

Colonies settle in Greece.

5. Besides these original inhabitants, colonies at the same early period came into Greece from civilized countries, from Egypt, Phœnicia, and[Pg 122] Mysia. The settlements of these strangers occurred probably between B. C. 1600—1400.

Establishment in Attica of the colony of Cecrops, from Sais in Egypt, about 1550; in Argos, of the colony of Danaus, likewise from Egypt, about 1500.—The colony of Cadmus, from Phœnicia, settles in Bœotia about 1550.—The colony of Pelops, from Mysia, settles in Argos about 1400.

Progress of civilization among the Hellenes.

6. The mythology of the Hellenes proves beyond a doubt, that they were at first savages, like the Pelasgi since they had to learn even the use of fire from Prometheus; yet it is equally clear that they must, even in the earliest period, particularly from 1300—1200, when they had ceased to migrate, have made the first important steps towards the attainment of a certain degree of civilization. About the time of the Trojan war they appear to have been still barbarians, though no longer savages.

Was the Hellenic civilization of native or foreign growth?

7. The origin and progress of this national organization, and the influence wrought upon it by settlers from foreign countries, are difficult subjects to determine. If we allow that Cecrops was the first who introduced marriage in Attica, and that agriculture and the cultivation of the olive were discovered in that country, it unquestionably follows, that the Hellenes were indebted to strangers for the foundation of domestic civilization. And when we consider that the families which subsequently held sway were descended directly from the most powerful of these strangers, their lasting influence can hardly be a matter of doubt. It must, however, be observed, that what the Greeks borrowed from foreigners they previously stamped with their own peculiar charac[Pg 123]ter, so that it became, as it were, the original property of the nation. The question, therefore, is deprived of much of the importance which it assumes at the first glance.

Hellenic religion derived from foreigners.

8. The case was the same with regard to all branches of intellectual civilization, particularly religion. That many deities and religious rites were introduced into Greece from Egypt, Asia, and Thrace, and generally through Crete, hardly admits of a doubt; but they did not therefore remain Egyptian, Asiatic, or Thracian; they became Grecian gods. Hence it appears that the investigation of those relations can hardly lead to any important conclusion. It is a fact, however, of the highest importance, that whatever gods the No sacerdotal caste in Greece. Greeks adopted, no separate order of priesthood was established among them, still less any caste laying claim to the exclusive possession of knowledge. Several traces, nevertheless, make it probable, that many of the most ancient sanctuaries were settlements of Egyptian, Phœnician, or Cretan priests, who imported with them their own peculiar forms of worship. And notwithstanding this worship consisted merely of outward ceremonies, many ideas and institutions which were attached to it, became, in this manner, the common property of the nation.

Influence of the bards:

9. It was principally, therefore, by religion, that the rude mind became in some degree polished. But it was the ancient minstrels, (ἀοιδοὶ,) Orpheus, Linus, etc., who, by disseminating religious principles, contributed so much towards abolishing revenge, and with it the perpetual state of warfare which had hitherto distracted the[Pg 124] country. These it was who in their mysteries contrived in some measure to impress the narrow circle of the initiated with the advantages resulting from a civilized life.

Sainte-Croix, Recherches sur les Mystères du Paganisme, Paris, 1765. Translated into German, with valuable observations, by C. G. Lenz; Gotha, 1790.

of the oracles:

10. The influence of religion, through the medium of oracles, especially those of Dodona and Delphi, was not less powerful. The two latter, with that of Olympia, were perhaps, originally ancient settlements of priests, such as have been already alluded to. The necessity of consulting these sanctuaries naturally led men to regard the oracles as the common property of the nation, to which every one should have access; it followed therefore as an inevitable consequence, that the direction of affairs in which all were engaged, depended principally on those oracles.

A. Van Dalen, De Oraculis veterum Ethnicorum Dissertationes6. Amstel. 1700. A very valuable work. A comprehensive dissertation on the subject, however, is still wanting: a portion of it is treated of in

J. Groddek, De Oraculorum veterum, quæ in Herodoti libris continentur, natura, commentatio; Gotting. 1786.

of the religious festivals:

11. It happened with Greece as with other countries; the tender plant of civilization grew up under the shelter of the sanctuary. There the festivals were celebrated, and there the people assembled; and there various tribes, who had hitherto been strangers to one another, met in peace, and conversed on their common interests. Hence arose spontaneously the first idea of a law of nations, and those connections which led to its[Pg 125] development. Among these connections, that of the Amphictyons at Delphi was the most important, and continued the longest: it is probable that it did not assume its complete form till a later period; yet it appears in early times to have adopted the principle, that none of the cities belonging to the league should be destroyed by the others.

Fr. Wilh. Tittmann, Upon the Amphictyonic League; 1812. A dissertation which gained the prize of the Academy of Sciences at Berlin.

of navigation:

12. To religion must likewise be added navigation, and the consequent intercourse which brought the nation into contact with strangers, and prepared it to receive civilization. It cannot be denied that the navigators continued long to be mere pirates; but as Minos of Crete cleared the about 1400 sea of freebooters, the want of another state of things must have been felt long before.

Age of chivalry.

13. In the mean time the chivalrous spirit of the nation was gradually aroused; and developed the first bloom of its youthful vigour in the heroic ages. An affection for extraordinary undertakings was excited; and conducted the chieftains, not only individually, but also in confederate bodies, beyond the limits of their father-land. These undertakings were not only important in themselves, but their advantages were increased by their being preserved in the songs of their bards by means of a national poesy, such as no other people possessed, and such as contributed to the further development of the national genius.

Expedition of the Argonauts to Colchis, somewhere about B. C. 1250; war of the seven confederate princes against Thebes[Pg 126] about 1225; the town, however, was not taken until the second attempt made by the sons of the chiefs (Epigoni) in 1215.

Effects of the Trojan war.

14. Thus every thing was now ripe for some great national undertaking of all the combined Hellenic nations; and that object was attained in the war against Troy. The most important result of that expedition was the kindling of one common national spirit,—a spirit which in spite of dissensions and feuds, was never wholly extinguished, and which must almost necessarily have arisen 1194—1184 from an expedition carried on in so distant a field, which lasted ten years, in which all were joined, and which was crowned with such signal success. From the time of the Trojan war downwards the Hellenes always looked upon themselves as but one people.

General view of the political state of Greece about the time of the Trojan war.—Division into several small states, the most powerful of which were Argos and Mycenæ.—All those states were governed by hereditary chieftains or princes from a certain family (kings, βασιλεῖς,) who combined the offices of leaders in war and judges in peace. Their authority being more or less extended in proportion to the qualities they possessed, and particularly to their valour in battle.—Manner of life among the people: a nation dwelling in cities, but at the same time cultivating the land and tending cattle; applying also to war, and already somewhat advanced in the art of navigation.

A. W. Schlegel, De Geographia Homeri Commentatio. Hannov. 1788. A review of the political geography of Greece at this period.—On the topography of Troy:

Lechevalier, Description de la Plaine de Troie. Translated and accompanied with notes by Heyne, Leipzig, 1794. Compare Clarke, Travels, vol. i, c. 4—6, who has thrown doubts on the system of Lechevalier, which has, however, been again confirmed by Leake, Travels in Asia Minor.

[Pg 127]


From the Trojan war to the breaking out of the Persian war, B. C. 1200—500.

Sources. On no portion of the Grecian history is our information so scanty as upon this long period, in which we can be hardly said to have more than a general knowledge of many of the most important events. As in the foregoing period, its commencement is but a traditional and poetical history. It was not till towards the end of it that the use of writing became common among the Greeks; add to which the period itself was not rife in great national undertakings, such as might afford appropriate materials for the poet or historian. Besides the scattered information which may be gathered from Herodotus, Plutarch, Strabo, and above all from the introduction to Thucydides's history, Pausanias must not be forgotten; who, in his description of Greece, has preserved an abundance of most valuable documents relating to the separate histories of the minor states. The Books of Diodorus belonging to this period are lost.

Fr. Wilhelm Tittmann, Delineation of the Grecian Forms of Government, 1822. An industrious collection of all the information we possess respecting this subject.

W. Wachsmuth, Grecian Antiquities with regard to Politics, 4 vols. An excellent work.

1. History of the Hellenic states within Greece.

Return of the Heraclidæ:
about B. C. 1100.

1. The Trojan war was followed by a very stormy period, in consequence of the many disorders prevalent in the ruling families, especially in that of Pelops. But more violent commotions soon arose, caused by the attempts of the rude tribes of the north, particularly of the Dorians combined with the Ætolians, who, under the guidance of the descendants of Hercules,[Pg 128] exiled from Argos, strove to obtain possession of Peloponnesus. Those commotions shook Greece during a whole century, and as the seats of most of the Hellenic tribes were then changed, the consequences were lasting and important.

First unsuccessful attempt under Hyllus, son of Hercules, about 1180.—Repeated attempts, until at last the claims of the Heraclidæ are made good by the grandsons of Hyllus, viz. Telephus and Cresphontes, together with Eurysthenes and Procles, sons of their brother Aristodemus, 1100.

Consequences of that great revolution.

2. Consequences resulting to the Peloponnesus from this migration. The territories of Argos, Sparta, Messene, and Corinth, wrested from the Achæans who had hitherto inhabited them, become the property of the Dorians; Elis falls to the share of the Ætolians, who had accompanied the former. The Achæans expelled, in their turn expel the Ionians and settle in the country since called Achaia; the fugitive Ionians are received by their ancient kinsmen the Athenians.—But among the consequences of this migration of the Hellenic races must be reckoned likewise the Colonies sent to Asia. establishment of Greek colonies in Asia Minor; an occurrence of the highest importance to the ulterior development of the nation. This colonization was commenced by the Æolian Hellenes, whose example was soon after followed by the Ionians, and even by the Dorians.

For the history of these colonies, see the following section.

Monarchies succeeded by republics.

3. Although the effect of these migrations and wars, in which the ruder tribes oppressed the more civilized, must inevitably have been, not only to interrupt the progress of civilization, but even almost entirely to annihilate it, yet in this[Pg 129] universal movement the foundation was laid of that constitution of things which afterwards existed in Greece. The tribes which had migrated, as well as those which had been expelled, remained at first under the dominion of their hereditary princes, some for a longer, others for a shorter time. In the two centuries, however, immediately subsequent to the migrations, B. C. 1100—900, republican constitutions took the place of hereditary clanship in all the Grecian countries, the distant Epirus excepted. These republics continued to exist amid the various revolutions which happened; and the love of political freedom, deeply impressed on the minds of the people, constituted from this time the principal feature in the national character.

Origin of the small republics.

4. The sequel proves, that the principal cause of this change so important for Greece,—this change, by which her future internal policy was for ever determined, originated in the progress made by the newly come tribes towards civic life, and consequently at the same time towards national civilization. In this newly constituted order of things, each city, with the territory around it, formed a separate state, and framed its own constitution; hence there arose as many free states as cities.

The notion that Greece contained the same number of states as countries is completely false, although it cannot be denied that the mode of expression in most writings upon Greek history seems to authorize the assertion. It is true that some of those countries, such as Attica, Megaris, Laconia, may be each regarded as a separate state, because each constituted the territory of one city. The others, however, such as Arcadia, Bœotia, etc. did not each form one state, but comprised as many separate states as there were free and independent cities, each of which,[Pg 130] with its territory, formed one. Still, however, it must be observed, (a) that the natural ties of kindred subsisted; Arcadians, Bœotians, etc. spoke of one another as countrymen. (b) Voluntary connections were entered into between different cities, and sometimes all the cities of a country, as, for instance, in Achaia, so that the whole formed one confederation; each individual city nevertheless still preserved its own system of laws and government. Again, (c) in consequence of a greater share of power, one city assumed a sort of dominion over the other; as, for instance, that of Thebes over the Bœotian cities. This dominion, however, was always precarious, and depended upon the state of affairs. (d) It must likewise be observed, that the constitution of each separate city underwent many changes, wrought generally by influential citizens, (tyrants,) who not only possessed themselves of the supreme power, but also contrived frequently to make it for some time hereditary in their families. Every one will easily discern that the above are the fundamental principles of Greek history, which cannot be too clearly conceived, or too correctly defined; since it is self-evident what a wide field was by such a constitution of things thrown open to practical politics. The more improbable the attainment of fixed constitutions in the separate cities was, the more frequent must have been the political attempts; (attempts facilitated by the narrow extent of the state;) and the more frequently those attempts failed, the more extensive in this intellectual people became the mass of political ideas; the results of which in later times were the legislative codes of Solon and others.

Unity of the small Grecian states.

5. Although Greece was thus parcelled out into a number of small states, united by no common political bond, yet there existed a certain unity of the Hellenic race, a certain national spirit: this was produced in part by national festivals and games, occurring at stated periods, among which those in honour of Jupiter at Olympia were the chief. The nation at these appeared in all its splendour; and all Hellenes, but no others, were allowed to join in them. This union, too, was promoted by the extension of the Am[Pg 131]phictyonic council: and the reason why this last institution was not followed by all the consequences which might have been expected from it, may perhaps be found in what naturally takes place in every great confederation whenever any of the component states become too powerful.

The Amphictyonic council was certainly not a states-general, in which all national affairs were discussed. Its immediate office was to attend to the temples and the oracles of Delphi. But then it must be observed, 1st, that from this council originated the Grecian ideas of the law of nations; over the preservation of which the Amphictyons watched. 2. In consequence of its political influence on the oracle, this council, in certain cases, was enabled to take a share in the affairs of different states. 3. The Amphictyons always formed a national institution, since none but Hellenes were admitted.

St. Croix, Des anciens gouvernemens fédératifs, et de la législation de Crète, Paris, 1796. One of the most invaluable inquiries, not only into the institutions of the Amphictyons, but also into other matters of Grecian history connected with them.

Sparta and Athens.

6. Among the different states of Greece, Sparta and Athens, even at this period, became celebrated, not only for their greater power, but also for their superior constitutions and their laws: and though it may not perhaps be strictly true, that the history of the rest of Greece is connected with that of these two cities, yet they certainly possess the highest claim to our attention.

Revolutions in the government of Sparta.

7. History of Sparta. The Achæans at first were governed by princes of the house of Perseus, but after Menelaus's accession to the throne in virtue of his wife, by princes of the house of Pelops. When the latter had been expelled by the Dorians, Laconia fell by lot to the sons of Aristodemus, Procles and Eurysthenes, between whose families the royal power was divided, so that two[Pg 132] kings constantly reigned in common, one from each family.

Families of the Proclidæ and Ægidæ; the latter so called from Agis, the son and successor of Eurysthenes.

J. C. F. Manso, An Essay on the History and Constitution of Sparta, Leipzig, 1800 sqq. 3 vols. The most important work upon this subject, and which likewise contains much information upon various points of Grecian history connected with it.

Cragius, De Republica Lacedæmoniorum, 1642.

Meursius, De regno Laconico; and Miscellanea Laconica. Both laborious compilations.

Conquests of the Dorians.

8. The Dorians now gradually conquered, and established themselves in many cities of the peninsula; forming, if not the whole population, at least the only part of it that enjoyed any power, as the Achæans that remained were reduced to slavery. No long time, however, elapsed ere the city of Sparta usurped an authority over the whole country, which it ever afterwards preserved; the other towns, formerly considerable, becoming unfortified, defenceless, and insignificant.

Relation between the Spartan citizens of the capital as a ruling body, and the Lacedæmonians, or περίοικοι, inhabitants of the country, as subjects who paid tribute and military service. Even in the time of Agis, the successor of Eurysthenes, this subjection was effected by force; the inhabitants of Helos were made slaves, as a punishment for their opposition; while the others, by the sacrifice of their political freedom, preserved their personal liberty, however confined it might be.

Repeated wars of the Spartans.

9. The history of the two following centuries, to the time of Lycurgus, exhibits nothing but the repeated wars of the Spartans with their neighbours the Argives; their domestic broils, occasioned by the too unequal division of property, by the feuds, and the diminished power of the [Pg 133]kings, and which lasted until Lycurgus, the uncle and guardian of the minor king, Charilaus, about the year 880, gave to Sparta that constitution to which she was principally indebted for her subsequent splendour.

Illustration of the principal features in the Spartan constitution. Some preliminary observations are necessary. (a) As the legislation of Lycurgus occurred at so early a period, and as his laws were not written, but conveyed in apophthegms, (ῥήτραι,) which were confirmed by the oracle of Delphi, many things of later origin have been attributed to Lycurgus. (b) Much that is rightly attributed to him was not original, but deduced from ancient Dorian institutions, which being now upon the decline, were reestablished by force of law. Hence it follows, that the legislation of Lycurgus must naturally have had many points of resemblance with that of the Cretans, likewise of Dorian origin, although much, as we are told, was directly borrowed from them. (c) The principal object of the laws of Lycurgus was to ensure the existence of Sparta by creating and supporting a vigorous and uncorrupted race of men. Hence those laws had a more peculiar reference to private life and physical education, than to the constitution of the state, in which the legislator appears to have introduced but few alterations.

In reference to the constitution: 1. The relation which had hitherto existed between the Spartans as a dominant people, and the Lacedæmonians as subjects, was preserved. 2. The two kings, from the two ruling families, were likewise continued, as leaders in war and first magistrates in peace. On the other hand, 3. to Lycurgus is attributed the institution of a senate, (γερούσια,) consisting of twenty-eight members, none of whom could be less than sixty years old, who were to be chosen by the people for life, and were to constitute the king's council in public affairs. 4. Whether the college of the five Ephori annually chosen, was originally instituted by Lycurgus, or at some later period, is a question impossible to decide, but of little importance, since the great power of this college, to which every thing was finally referred as the highest tribunal of the state, was certainly assumed after the time of Lycurgus. 5. Besides the above, there were likewise the popular assemblies, convened according to the division into φύλας and ὤβας, at which none but Spartans could assist:[Pg 134] their privileges extended no further than to approve or reject the measures proposed to them by the kings and the senate.

In the laws relating to private life, Lycurgus aimed at making the Spartans a society of citizens, equal as far as possible with respect to their property and mode of life, and each deeply impressed with the conviction that he was the property of his country, to which he was bound to yield an unconditional obedience. Hence, 1. The new division of land, 9000 portions to the Spartans, and 30,000 to the Lacedæmonians; permission being given to dispose of those portions by entail or gift, but not by sale. 2. The removal as far as possible of every species of luxury, particularly by means of the daily public tables (συσσίτια) of all the citizens, according to their divisions, in which the commons were settled by law. 3. The complete organization of domestic society in relation both to husband and wife, parents and children, which was so framed as to further, even at the cost of morality, the grand political object, the production of vigorous and healthy citizens. 4. Hence, finally, the condition of the slaves, comprehended under the general name of helots, who, although they may be regarded nearly as serfs, were likewise the property of the state, which had the right of claiming their services in war.—Easy, however, as it is to enumerate thus generally the principal heads of the Spartan constitution, the want of sufficient documents renders it difficult and oftentimes impossible to answer a crowd of questions, which present themselves on our penetrating more deeply into the subject. Still, however, its long duration, (nearly four hundred years,) without any observable change, is more remarkable even than the constitution itself. More remarkable, inasmuch as the Spartans soon after this time appear as conquerors. Indeed, it could no longer be expected that any durable peace should exist in Greece, while the centre of the country was occupied by a military commonwealth, whose citizens must have been, by the restlessness common to man, impelled to war, since all the occupations of household life and of agriculture were left to the care of slaves.

Besides the works mentioned above, p. 119.

Heyne, De Spartanorum republica Judicium; inserted in Commentat. Soc. Gotting. vol. ix. Intended to correct the partial opinions of De Pauw.

Wars of the Spartans in Peloponnesus.

10. Soon after the time of Lycurgus com[Pg 135]menced the war of the Spartans with their neighbours, the Argives, the Arcadians, but more particularly the Messenians. The wars with these last appear to have originated in an old grudge on the part of the Dorian tribe, proceeding from the unequal division of lands at the occupation of Peloponnesus: it is nevertheless evident, that the quarrel between the two nations was mainly fostered by the ambition of the Spartan kings, who wrought upon a superstitious multitude by oracular responses and interpretations.

Unimportant wars with Tegea and Argos; and disputes with Messene, 783—745.

First Messenian war, 742—722, terminated by the capture of the frontier fortress Ithome, after the voluntary death of the Messenian king, Aristodemus.—The Messenians become tributary to the Spartans, and are obliged to give up one half of the revenues of their lands.—Occurrences during this war: 1. Institution, according to some authorities, of the college of Ephori as vicegerents of the kings in their absence, and arbitrators in the quarrels which might arise between the kings and the senate. 2. The power of the people so far limited as to restrain the popular assemblies from making alterations in the resolutions proposed to them by the senate or the kings, and confining them merely to a vote of approval or rejection. 3. Insurrection of the Parthenii and Helots becomes the motive for sending out colonies; a measure to which Sparta had more than once resorted for the purpose of maintaining domestic tranquillity.

Second Messenian war, 682—668, waged by the Messenians under the command of their hero Aristomenes, by the Spartans under that of Tyrtæus, who fanned the flame of war until the contest was terminated by the capture of the strong town Ira. The Messenian territory is divided among the conquerors, and the conquered inhabitants become, like the helots, agricultural slaves.

Sparta takes the lead among the Dorian states

11. Although the territory of the Spartans was greatly increased by these Messenian wars, the nation seems to have been a long time before it[Pg 136] recovered from the struggle, and to have raised itself by slow steps to the first rank among the Dorian states, extending its boundaries at the expense of the Argives and Arcadians.

Wars with Tegea for the most part unsuccessful; and with Argos, for the possession of Thyrea and the island of Cythera; by the accession of which the Spartan territory received an important augmentation, about 550.

First interference of Sparta in affairs without the peninsula.

12. These wars within Peloponnesus were not of such a nature as to give rise to any remarkable changes in the Spartan constitution, and for a long time the nation refused to take any share in foreign affairs. But no sooner did king Cleomenes, who in the end procured the deposition of his colleague, Demaratus, interfere in the affairs of the Athenians, than the seeds of strife were sown between these two republics. The Persian war next ensued, in which Sparta was obliged to bear a part, although Cleomenes had refused to participate in the insurrection of Aristagoras: that struggle, together with the idea of supremacy in Greece which now took its rise, introduced a series of political relations before unknown.

History of Athens.

13. The history of Athens during this period is rendered important rather by domestic revolutions, which gradually tended to convert the state into a republic, than by external aggrandizement. The situation and peculiarities of Attica, which rendered it less exposed than other parts of Greece to the attacks and forays of wandering hordes, favoured the gradual and tranquil growth of national prosperity; the traces of which are incontestable, though it would be difficult for the[Pg 137] most profound research to point out the whole course of its progress so perspicuously as the historian might wish.

The history of Athens, of course, constitutes a main part of the works mentioned above, p. 119. Besides which:

W. Young, The history of Athens politically and philosophically considered. London, 1796. 4to. Argumentation rather than history.

Corsini, Fasti Attici. Florent. 1747. 4 vols. 4to. A most careful chronological essay.

1. Period of kingly government down to 1068. The history of Athens as a state begins properly with Theseus, who succeeded his father Ægeus, about B. C. 1300. Although certain institutions, such as that of the areopagus, the division of the people into nobles, (εὐπατρίδαι,) husbandmen, (γεώργοι,) and mechanics: (δημιούργοι·) a division which recals to our memory the Egyptian institution of castes, are perhaps of an earlier date, and may be ascribed to the colony of Cecrops. Theseus was, however, in some measure the founder of the state, since, instead of the four districts, (δήμοι,) hitherto independent of one another, he constituted the city of Athens as the only seat of government. Among his successors the attention of the student is directed to Mnestheus, who fell before Troy; and the last king, Codrus, who by a voluntary sacrifice of his life rescued Attica from the inroads of the Dorians, 1068.

2. Period of archons for life, taken from the family of Codrus, thirteen of whom ruled; 1068—752. The first was Medon, the last, Alcmæon. These archons succeeded, like the kings, by inheritance, but were accountable for their administration, (ὑπεύθυνοι.)—At the commencement of this period occur the migrations of the Ionians from Attica to Asia Minor, 1044. See below.

3. Period of the decennial archons, seven of whom succeeded between 752—682. These likewise were taken from the family of Codrus. This period is devoid of any remarkable occurrences.

4. Period extending to Solon, 682—594. that of nine archons yearly chosen, but so arranged that the prerogatives of the former kings, and the preceding archons, were divided among the three first of the nine. With respect to this, as well as to the other changes above mentioned, we know little of the causes which produced them, or of the manner in which they were brought [Pg 138]about. Rise of an oppressive aristocracy, (like that of the patricians at Rome, immediately after the expulsion of the kings,) both the archons and the members of the areopagus being elected only from noble families. First attempt at legislation by Draco, 622, which appears only to have consisted in a criminal code, rendered unavailing by its severity.—The insurrection of Cylon, 598, in consequence of the manner in which it was quelled, turned out most injurious to the aristocratical party, inasmuch as the nobles drew upon themselves the pollution of blood, which, even after the purification of Epimenides, 593, was long used as a pretext for commotion. The political factions of the Pediæi, of the Diacrii, and of the Parhali, produced an anarchy at Athens, during which the neighbouring Megarians took possession of the island of Salamis; a conquest which, however, was subsequently wrested from them by Solon.

Solon's legislation,

14. From this state of anarchy Athens was rescued by Solon; a man to whom not only Athens, but the whole human race, are deeply indebted. He was chosen archon, and at the same time commissioned to remodel the constitution of Athens: and the successful manner in which he executed this task, laid the foundation of the happiness of his native country.

Review of the prominent features in Solon's legislation. Its main object was to abolish the oppressive aristocracy, without however introducing a pure democracy. 1. Provisional laws: abolition of the statutes of Draco, those against murder excepted: law enacted for the relief of debtors, (σεισαχθεία, novæ tabulæ,) not so much by cancelling the debts as by diminishing their amount by a rise in the value of money; and likewise by ensuring the personal liberty of the debtor. 2. Fundamental laws, both in reference to the constitution and in reference to private life and private rights.—Constitution of the state. (a) Organization of the people by means of divisions: according to property into four classes; the Pentacosimedimni, or those who had a yearly income of 500 medimni; the Equites, (ἱππεῖς,) who had 400; the Zeugitæ, who had 300; and the Thetes, (capite censi,) whose yearly revenue did not amount to so much.—The ancient divisions according to heads, into wards, (φύλαι,) of which there [Pg 139]were four, and according to residence into demi, (hundreds,) of which a hundred and seventy are enumerated, were preserved. (b) None but citizens of the three first classes could fill all the offices of state; but all were admitted to the popular assemblies, and had a right of voting in the courts of judicature. (c) The nine archons annually chosen, who acted as supreme magistrates, although not permitted to assume military office at the same time, remained at the head of the state; the first bearing the name of ἐπώνυμος, the second of βασιλεὺς, the third of πολέμαρχος, the remaining six that of θεσμοθὲται. Combined with the archons was (d) The council, (βουλὴ,) which consisted of a body of four hundred persons annually taken from the three first classes of citizens; (a hundred from each ward;) these were chosen by lot, but were obliged to submit to a rigid examination (δοκιμασία) before they entered upon office. The archons were obliged to consult the four hundred on every occurrence; and nothing could be carried down to the commons until it had been previously debated in this council. (e) To the people, consisting of the whole four classes, was reserved the right in its assemblies (ἐκκλησίαι) of confirming the laws, of electing the magistrates, of debating all public affairs referred to them by the council, and likewise the public distribution of justice. (f) The areopagus was, according to Solon's plan, to be the main buttress of the constitution; that tribunal had hitherto been a mere tool in the hands of the aristocracy. It was composed of retired archons, and remained not only the supreme tribunal in capital cases, but likewise was charged with the superintendence of morals, with the censorship upon the conduct of the archons who went out of office, and had the prerogative of amending or rescinding the measures that had been approved of by the commons. The power of this court, which might easily have become equal to the college of Ephori at Sparta, might at first have been supposed too extensive, had not experience shown the fatal consequences of the reduction of that power by Pericles. This alloy of aristocracy and democracy certainly gives proof of a deep insight into the nature of republican constitutions; but Solon is not less entitled to praise for his endeavours to place the helm of government in the hands only of the most enlightened and prudent citizens. It must likewise be observed, that the code for private life given by Solon exhibits the genius of a man who regarded polity as subordinate to morals, and not, like Lycurgus, morals as subordinate to polity.

[Pg 140]

Sam. Petitus, De Legibus Atticis, 1635. fol. The best compilation and illustration of the fragments remaining of the Attic law.

Chr. Bunsen, De jure Atheniensium hereditario, ex Isæo cæterisque oratoribus Græcis ducto, Goett. 1812. The law of inheritance was a principal feature in Solon's legislation; the explanation of it requires a profound acquaintance with the constitution, so far as it was connected with government by clans or families.

An explanation of the Athenian constitution will be likewise found in the above-mentioned works of Tittmann, Kruse, and Wachsmuth.

Tyranny established in Athens by Pisistratus.

15. The legislation of Solon, like all other state reforms, was not followed by the total extinction of party spirit. It was natural that the commons, now free, should wish to try their strength with the aristocratical party, and that, after the defeat of the latter, Pisistratus, who headed the commons, should grasp the rudder of the state without, therefore, necessarily abrogating the constitution of Solon. Modern history has proved with sufficient evidence, that the frame-work of a republic may easily subsist under the rule of an usurper. And would that no republics might fall into the hands of a worse tyrant than Pisistratus!

First exaltation of Pisistratus, 561, procured by his obtaining a body guard; flight of the Alcmæonidæ under Megacles. Pisistratus expelled, 560. Second exaltation of Pisistratus procured by his matrimonial connection with the family of Megacles, 556—552.—His second expulsion by Megacles, 552—538.—His third exaltation; obtains the power by force of arms, and preserves it to the day of his death, 538—528. Flight of the Alcmæonidæ into Macedonia, where they attach the malcontents to their party. Pisistratus is succeeded by his sons Hipparchus and Hippias, who rule conjointly until 514, when the elder is murdered by Harmodius and Aristogiton. The exiled Alcmæonidæ, having bribed the Delphian oracle, gain over the Spartans[Pg 141] to their interest: backed by a Spartan army, they take possession of Athens in 510; Hippias is deposed, and flies over to the Persians.

Changes in Solon's constitution.

16. This return of the Alcmæonidæ was followed by a change in the constitution of Solon. Clisthenes, the son of Megacles, with a view of quenching party spirit by a new combination of the citizens, increased the number of wards to ten, and that of the members of the council to five hundred.—But the Athenians had to purchase the continuance of their freedom by a struggle with Sparta, who, united with the Bœotians and Chalcidians, and aided by Ægina, sought to 527—504. reestablish monarchy in Attica; first in the person of Isagoras, the rival of Clisthenes, and afterwards in that of the exiled Hippias. But the glorious success of the republic in this first struggle in the cause of liberty, gave an additional impulse to the national spirit. Impelled by that spirit, Athens suffered herself to be induced to share in the war of freedom carried on by the Asiatic Greeks under Aristagoras; and the audacity 500. which led to the firing of Sardis, drew upon Attica the vengeance of the Persians, without which, doubtless, neither Athens or Greece would ever have risen to that degree of eminence which they ultimately attained.

History of the other Grecian states.

17. Of the history of the other states of Greece we have at best but few data, and even these in most instances are very scanty. Towards the end of this period Sparta and Athens had, undoubtedly, exalted themselves above the rest, and were recognized, one as the first among the Dorian, the latter as the first among the Ionian[Pg 142] states; yet did Sparta more than once meet with rivals in Messene, Argos, and Tegea: while Athens had to contend with Megara and Ægina. Sparta and Athens had, nevertheless, not only the best constitutions, but possessed also a more extended territory than any other of the great cities.

Principal data for the history of the smaller states.

I. Within the Peloponnesus.

a. Arcadia. The Arcadian traditions enumerate a line of kings or hereditary princes, said to have ruled over the whole of Arcadia; the line commences with Arcas and his son Lycaon, whose successors kept possession of the supreme power, and shared more or less in the ancient feuds of the Hellenic princes. Upon the conquest of Peloponnesus by the Dorians, Arcadia was the only land that did not suffer by the irruption: an advantage for which it was probably indebted more to its mountains, than to the skill of Cypselus its king. The successors of that prince took a part in the wars between the Messenians and Spartans, siding with the former: but in the second Messenian war, the last Arcadian king, Aristocrates II. having betrayed his allies, was in consequence stoned to death by his subjects, and the regal dignity was abolished in 668. Arcadia now became divided into as many small states as it contained cities with their respective districts; among these Tegea and Mantinea were the chief, and probably held the others in a certain state of control, without, however, depriving them wholly of their independence. As might have been expected in a pastoral nation, the constitution was democratical. In Mantinea there were wardens of the people, (δημιούργοι,) and a senate, (βουλή.) The wars of separate cities are frequently mentioned, but no general confederation united them.

† See A. von Breitenbauch, History of Arcadia, 1791.

b. Argos. Even previously to the Dorian migration, the country of Argolis was parcelled out into several small kingdoms, such as those of Argos, Mycenæ, and Tiryns. In Argos, the[Pg 143] oldest Grecian state next to Sicyon, ruled the forefathers of Perseus, who exchanged the kingdom of his ancestors for Tiryns: here his successors continued to reign till the time of Hercules, whose sons, expelled by Eurystheus, sought an asylum among the Dorians.—In Mycenæ, said to have been built by Perseus, the throne was occupied by the family of Pelops: and at the period of the Trojan war, this little state, to which Corinth and Sicyon then belonged, was the most powerful in Greece, and governed by Agamemnon. The migration into this country by Pelops from Asia Minor, must have been attended with important consequences, since it has given a name to the whole peninsula: the object of Pelops, as we may infer from the riches he brought with him, was probably to establish a trading settlement.—At the Dorian conquest Argos fell to the share of Temenus, the Achæans were expelled, and the country was peopled by Dorians. As early as the reign of Cisus, son of Temenus, the royal power was so limited, that the successors of that prince hardly preserved any thing but the mere name: about 984 the regal dignity was wholly abrogated, and its place supplied by a republican constitution, concerning the domestic organization of which we know nothing more than that at Argos the government was in the hands of a senate, (βουλὴ,) of a college of eighty citizens, (οἱ ὀγδοήκοντα,) and of magistrates, who bore the name of ἀρτύνοι: in Epidaurus, however, there was a body of one hundred and eighty citizens who chose from among themselves the senate, the members of which were called ἀρτύνοι. As in the other states of Greece so in Argolis, there were as many independent states as there were cities; in the north Argos, Mycenæ, and Tiryns; in the south Epidaurus and Trœzen. The two last preserved their independence; but Mycenæ was destroyed by the Argives in 425, and the inhabitants of Tiryns were forcibly transplanted to Argos. The district of Argos, therefore, comprised the northern portion of the country called Argolis; but not the southern portion, which belonged to the towns situated therein.

c. Corinth. In this place, previous to the time of the Dorian migration, the house of Sisyphus held the royal power; and even at that early period Corinth is extolled by Homer for its wealth. The Dorians drove out the original inhabitants; and Aletes, belonging to the race of Hercules, became king about 1089; the posterity of that prince held the sceptre down to the fifth generation. After the death of the last king, Telessus, 777,[Pg 144] the family of the Bacchiadæ, likewise a branch of the family of Hercules, took possession of the government and introduced an oligarchy, electing annually from among themselves a Prytane. At last, in 657, Cypselus got the upper hand; he was succeeded, 627, by his son Periander; both father and son were equally conspicuous for their avarice and cruelty. Periander (d. 587) was succeeded by his nephew Psammetichus, who reigned till 584, when the Corinthians asserted their freedom. With regard to the internal organization of the republic, little more is known than that there were at Corinth assemblies of the commons and a senate, (γερουσία): the government appears to have been the aristocracy of a trading state; for even the Bacchiadæ, at least some of them, were merchants.—The Corinthian commerce consisted chiefly in the exchange of Asiatic and Italian goods, and therefore was mostly carried on by sea: for such a trade the city of Corinth offered many advantages, particularly if we consider the state of navigation in those times; but the sea trade of Corinth, however profitable to the citizens, and even to the state, in consequence of the customs, cannot be considered as very extensive.—The colonies of Corinth in the west were principally Corcyra, Epidamnus, Leucas, Syracuse; in the east Potidæa: these colonies would fain have asserted a sort of independence, but never succeeded for any length of time in so doing.

From the possession of these colonies, and from the necessity of protecting the trader from pirates, Corinth grew to be a naval power; she invented triremes, and at the early date of 664 gave battle to the Corcyræans at sea. On the other hand, her wars by land were generally waged with the assistance of foreign subsidiaries; and from the facility with which she was enabled to pay her mercenary troops, she was the more ready to interfere in the domestic wars of Greece.

d. Sicyon. Tradition represents this state, together with Argos, as the most ancient in Greece; the catalogues of early kings and princes, who are said to have reigned at this place, make it probable that in early antiquity some settlements of priests were made in this quarter. In the times previous to the migration of the Dorians, Sicyon was first inhabited by the Ionians; at the Trojan war, however, it made part of Agamemnon's kingdom. At the Dorian irruption, Phalces, son of Temenus, took possession of Sicyon, which then became a Dorian city. After the abrogation of the kingship, the date of which is not precisely[Pg 145] known, the constitution assumed the form of an uncurbed democracy, which, as usual, paved the way for the usurpation of one individual. Orthagoras and his posterity, the last and most celebrated of whom was Clisthenes, ruled over Sicyon during a whole century; 700—600. After the restoration of her freedom, Sicyon frequently suffered from revolutions; and the period of her highest splendour was during the latter days of Greece, when she became a member of the Achæan league.

e. Achaia. During the spread of the Hellenes, this country, which till then had borne the name of Ægialus, was taken possession of by Ion, who had been expelled from Athens, and his tribe, who from their leader took the name of Ionians: the country remained in the hands of the Ionians until the Dorian migration, when the Achæans, driven out of Argos and Laconia, pressed into the northern parts of Peloponnesus under Tisamenus, son of Orestes: they settled in the land of the Ionians, and the power of the chieftain descended to his posterity, until the tyranny of the last sovereign of that race, Gyges, (of date undetermined,) produced the abolition of monarchy. Achaia thereupon was parcelled into twelve small republics, or so many cities with their respective districts, each of which comprised seven or eight cantons. All these republics had democratic constitutions, and were mutually united by a league, founded on the most perfect equality, and which nothing but the policy of the Macedonian kings could dissolve; and even this dissolution gave rise to the Achæan league, of such high importance in subsequent times. The Achæans lived in peace and happiness, inasmuch as they had not the vanity, before the Peloponnesian war, to interfere in the affairs of foreign states: their constitutions were so renowned, that they were adopted by several other Grecian cities.

f. Elis. The inhabitants in earlier times bore the name of Epeans, which, like that of Eleans, was traced to one of their ancient kings. The names of their most ancient hereditary princes, Endymion, Epeus, Eleus, Augias, are celebrated by the poets. It appears that this country was divided into several small kingdoms, since, at the period of the Trojan war it contained four, to which however must be added Pylus in Triphylia, a territory usually reckoned as belonging to Elis. At the epoch of the Dorian migration the Ætolians, who had accompanied the Dorians, headed by their chieftain Oxylus, settled in Elis; but permitted the ancient inhabitants to remain in the country.[Pg 146] Among the successors of Oxylus was Iphitus the contemporary of Lycurgus, and celebrated as the restorer of the Olympian games, to the celebration of which Elis was indebted for the tranquil splendour that distinguished her from this time: her territory being regarded as sacred, although she had occasional disputes with her neighbours, the Arcadians, for precedence at the games. After the abolition of the royal power supreme magistrates were chosen, to whose office was added the charge of superintending the games: (Hellanodicæ). These magistrates were at first two; they were afterwards increased to ten, one from each tribe, although their number frequently changed with that of the tribes themselves. There must likewise have been a senate, consisting of ninety persons, who held their places for life, since Aristotle makes mention of that branch of the Elean constitution. The city of Elis was first built in 477, before which time the Eleans resided in several small hamlets.

II. Central Greece, or Hellas.

a. Megaris. Until the epoch of the Dorian migration, this state generally formed part of the domain of the Attic kings; or at least was governed by princes of that house. Immediately previous to that event, the Megarians, after the assassination of their last sovereign, Hyperion, placed the government in the hands of magistrates elected for stated periods. At the time of the Dorian irruption, under the reign of Codrus, Megara was occupied by Dorians, more especially those of Corinth, who consequently reckoned the city among their colonies, and during the sway of the Bacchiadæ endeavoured to keep it in a state of dependency; a circumstance which gave rise to several wars. Nevertheless Megara supported her rank as a separate state, both in those and many subsequent wars among the Greeks, in which she took a share both by sea and land. About the year 600, Theagenes, step-father of the Athenian Cylon, had possessed himself of the supreme power: after the expulsion of that tyrant, the republican constitution was once more restored, but soon after merged into the lowest species of democracy. Megara, however, even at the period of the Persian war, in which it took a glorious share, appears to have recovered the character of a well-ordered state, although we have no information respecting its internal organization.

[Pg 147]

b. Bœotia. History mentions several very early races in Bœotia, such as the Aones, Hyantes, etc.; with these were mingled Phœnician emigrants, who had come into the country under the guidance of Cadmus. The stock of Cadmus became the ruling family, and remained so for a long time: the history of his descendants, who were kings of Thebes, and comprised under their dominion the greatest part of Bœotia, constitutes a main branch of Grecian mythology: among them were Œdipus, Laïus, Eteocles, and Polynices. After the capture of Thebes by the Epigoni, 1215, the Bœotians were expelled by Thracian hordes, and settled at Arne in Thessaly; at the time of the Dorian migration they returned to the land of their forefathers, and mingled with the Æolians of those quarters. Not long after, upon the death of Xuthus, royalty was abolished, 1126. Bœotia was now divided into as many small states as it contained cities; of these, next to Thebes, the most eminent were the towns of Platææ, Thespiæ, Tanagra, and Chæronea, each of which had its own separate district and peculiar form of government; but all those constitutions appear to have been commuted into oligarchies about the time of the Persian war. Such had been the case even with Thebes, although she had received as a legislator, Philolaus from Corinth; but the code given by this individual cannot have been attended with the desired effect, as the government was continually fluctuating between a licentious democracy and an overbearing oligarchy. The Bœotian cities were, however, mutually united by a league, at the head of which stood Thebes, who gradually converted her right of precedence into a right of power, although her ambitious attempts were resisted to the last extremity by the separate cities, and by Platææ in particular: hence sprung many wars. The general affairs were decided upon in four assemblies, (βουλαὶ,) held in the four districts into which Bœotia was divided; these assemblies in conjunction elected eleven Bœotarchs, who stood at the head of the federation as supreme magistrates and field marshals. The great extent and population of their territory might have enabled the Bœotians to act the first part on the theatre of Greece, had they not been impeded by their pernicious form of government, by the envy felt against Thebes, and by the want of union which naturally ensued. Yet in subsequent times the example of Epaminondas and Pelopidas gave proof that the genius of two men was sufficient to surmount all these obstacles.

[Pg 148]

c. Phocis was originally ruled by kings descended, it is said, from Phocus, the leader of a colony from Corinth. The sovereign power was abolished about the time of the Dorian migration; but the form of the republican constitution which succeeded remains undetermined; and of the undertakings of the Phocians previous to the Persian invasion, we know nothing more than that they waged war with the Thessalians, and were successful. As history never mentions the Phocians but in the aggregate, the whole territory must have formed but one independent state. To that state, however, the city of Delphi, which had its own constitution, did not belong: the city of Crissa with its fertile district, and the harbour of Cirrha, constituted a separate state, which became opulent by practising extortions upon the pilgrims to Delphi: this state lasted till 600, when, in consequence of the insults of the Crissæans to the Delphian oracle, a war was proclaimed against them by the Amphictyons, which ended in 590 with the rasing of Crissa; the land of which was thenceforward added to the sacred glebe of Delphi.

d. Locris. Although we learn from early history that the Locrians also had their kings,—among whom Ajax, the son of Oileus, is renowned in the Trojan war,—and that they likewise in subsequent times adopted a republican form of government; yet the date of that revolution, and the manner in which it was brought about, are not known. The three tribes of Locrians remained politically distinct. The Locri Ozolæ, west of Phocis, possessed the most extensive territory; each city of which stood independent, though Amphissa is mentioned as the capital. The country of the Locri Opuntii, eastward, consisted of the district appertaining to the city of Opus; of their domestic organization, as well as that of their neighbours, the Locri Epicnemidii, we know nothing.

e. Ætolia. The Ætolians remained the most rude and uncivilized of all the Hellenic races; they were little more than a band of freebooters, and carried on their predatory excursions both by sea and land. Renowned as are the names of their earliest heroes, Ætolus, Peneus, Meleager, Diomede, the nation has no place in the history of the flourishing times of Greece. Nor did they acquire any celebrity until the Macedo-Roman period, when the various insignificant tribes of which they were composed gathered themselves together and chose one common leader, for the purpose of carrying on a war with the[Pg 149] Achæans. The earlier period of their history seems, however, to afford no previous example of such an union; their political constitution in those times is wholly unknown.

f. Acarnania. This country derived its name from Acarnan, son of Alcmæon, both of whom are adduced as its earliest kings. In the Trojan age it appears beyond a doubt, that some part at least of this country was subject to the governors of the island of Ithaca. When and how a republican government was introduced among the Acarnanians, and what were the peculiarities of that government we know not. All that can be distinguished through the veil of time is, that here likewise the different cities, the most important of which was Stratus, had each its own form of government. Those cities upon particular emergencies were wont to combine; and out of that practice in later times, during the Macedonian period, grew up a permanent confederation. The city and district of Argos Amphilochicum constituted a separate state, which endured a long time, and flourished greatly; it derived its name from Amphilochus, the founder. The inhabitants, however, being driven out by the Ambracians, whom they had themselves called in, sought assistance at the hands of the Acarnanians, who with the help of Athens, replaced the exiles in possession of their city, which thenceforward was inhabited in common by Amphilochians and Acarnanians, and was almost constantly engaged in war with Ambracia.

III. Northern Greece.

a. The importance of Thessaly in the earliest history of Greece, may be gathered from the principal data enumerated above for the history of the Pelasgi and the Hellenes. From this country it was that the Hellenes proceeded and spread over Greece; and here likewise they maintained their original seat. In the Trojan age Thessaly contained ten small kingdoms, governed by hereditary princes, several of whom, such as Achilles and Philoctetes, were among the most renowned heroes of the time. In the period subsequent to the Trojan war and the Dorian migration, Thessaly must have experienced political revolutions similar to those of the other Grecian countries; but neither the time nor the manner in which those revolutions occurred can be ascertained. All that can be deduced from the subsequent history is,[Pg 150] that if the Thessalian cities ever did recover their political freedom, they were unable to maintain it; for in the two most eminent cities, Pheræ and Larissa, with whose history that of the whole country is closely connected, the supreme power had fallen into the hands of arbitrary individuals, who appear to have kept possession of it almost without interruption. Even before the breaking out of the Persian war, Larissa was under the rule of the Aleuadæ; a family who claimed descent from Hercules, and are specially denominated by Herodotus kings of the Thessalians. They preserved their power until the Macedonian period.—In Pheræ there arose about the year 380, a tyrant, by the name of Jason, who extended his dominion not only over Thessaly, but likewise over several of the neighbouring barbarous tribes. The sceptre of Jason passed rapidly and successively into the hands of his three brothers, Polydorus, Polyphron, and Alexander. The last was first driven out of Larissa by the Aleuadæ, assisted by the Macedonians; was afterwards worsted in war by Pelopidas; and finally, at the instigation of his wife Thebe, was murdered, 356, by her brothers, Lycophron and Tisiphonus. The two murderers then assumed the supreme power, but were, in compliance with the request of the Aleuadæ, deposed by Philip of Macedon.—Some other such tyrants are met with at intervals in the rest of the Thessalian cities, such as Pharsalus, etc.

b. Epirus. This country was occupied by several tribes, partly Greek and partly barbarian. The most powerful of these was that of the Molossi, who were governed by kings of the house of the Æacidæ, descendants of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles. This Greek family was the only one that held the kingly power for a permanency; it must be observed, however, that previous to the Macedonian period, those sovereigns were by no means lords of the whole of Epirus; for the other non-Hellenic races, such as the Thesprotii, Orestii, etc. had their own separate kings. Moreover the Corinthian colony of Ambracia constituted a distinct state, generally governed as a republic, although sometimes subject to the rule of tyrants. But, in consequence of an alliance framed with the Macedonian kings, the whole of Epirus, and even Ambracia itself, was placed under the sceptre of the Molossian kings; and some of those princes, Pyrrhus II. more especially, rose to be mighty conquerors. See below.

[Pg 151]

IV. Grecian Islands.

Both the islands off the coast of Greece, and those of the Archipelago, all underwent the same political revolutions as occurred in the states on the main land. But those events did not take place till after the more ancient non-Hellenic inhabitants, such as the Phœnicians, Carians, etc. had been driven out, and the land had been taken possession of by the Hellenes. In the more extensive islands, which contained several cities, there generally arose as many small republics as there were towns, and those little states were wont to enter into mutual alliances. The smaller islands, containing but one city, formed each one small independent state, the territory of which comprised the whole island. The respective independence of these islands ceased to exist at the period of the Trojan war; for after the Athenians had by their success placed themselves at the head of confederate Greece, and possessed themselves of the sovereignty of the sea, these smaller states, although called confederates, were treated little better than subjects, except that their political constitutions were not changed.—Among the islands of the Grecian coast, the most remarkable in history are the following:

a. Corcyra, a colony of Corinth, important for its naval power and trade, in which it rivalled the mother state itself: a rivalry which occasioned many feuds and wars, and was even one of the principal motives that led to the Peloponnesian war. About the time this struggle began Corcyra had attained the height of her power, being able, without foreign aid, to man a fleet of 120 galleys. The constitution appears, as at Corinth, to have been aristocratic, or oligarchical: but after the Persian war a democratic faction arose, which produced the most violent internal commotions, and ended in the total ruin of Corcyra.

b. Ægina. This small island was, after the Dorian migration, occupied by colonists from Epidaurus; it however soon shook off the yoke of the mother city, and rapidly grew by commerce and navigation, to be one of the first Grecian states. Ægina was for a long time the rival of Athens; over whom her naval power enabled her to maintain a superiority until the time of the Persian war. Humbled, however, by Themistocles, 485, she could no longer support herself against the preponderating influence of [Pg 152]Athens; and although subsequently she made another stand for independence, 458, the consequences were but an increase of oppression. Neither must it be forgotten, that Ægina suffered much, even before the Persian war, from internal broils, caused by the bitterness of party spirit engendered between the aristocratic and democratic factions.

C. O. Mueller, Ægineticorum liber, 1817. This treatise contains not only the political history, but likewise that of trade and arts.

c. Eubœa. The different cities of this island, Chalcis and Eretria in particular, had each its separate domestic constitution: in the two towns above mentioned the constitution was aristocratic, since the government was in the hands of the opulent, (Hippobatæ;) nevertheless we hear of tyrants in Chalcis. After the Persian war Eubœa became dependent upon Athens, which drew from that island a portion of her supplies and provisions. The oppression of the Athenians stirred up the minds of the Eubœans to rebellion, and the islanders were in the sequel ever ready to throw up their allegiance when a suitable opportunity presented itself; such an opportunity was seized in 446, when the island was recovered by Pericles; and the attempt was renewed in the Peloponnesian war.

d. The Cyclades were first colonized by Crete, during the reign of Minos. The Carian race had in earlier times spread over these islands, but were gradually driven out by Hellenic invaders, belonging principally to the Ionian and Dorian families. The most important was Delos, chief seat of the Ionians. Sheltered under the protection of Apollo, this place became the centre of an extensive trade, and during the Persian war, 479, was selected for the treasury of Greece. Next was Paros, famed for its marble, and for the stand it made against Miltiades, 489, although it afterwards shared the fate of the other islands, and passed under the dominion of the Athenians. We know little of the constitution of the other smaller islands; each of them contained one city of the same name as the island which constituted its territory.

e. Crete. The inhabitants of Crete were not pure Hellenes, but of alloyed origin, such as Curetes, Pelasgi, etc. mingled with whom were Hellenes, of the Dorian and Æolían stock. In the earlier periods, Crete had her kings, the most celebrated of whom were Minos, about 1300, probably first sovereign of the whole[Pg 153] island; his brother Rhadamanthus, Idomeneus, Meriones, who followed Idomeneus to the Trojan war, and succeeded him upon the throne: the last king Etearchus, about 800, after whose death a republican form of government was introduced. Under these kings Crete was powerful on sea: to Minos is ascribed the honour of having by his fleets purged the Ægæan of pirates, occupied the islands, and ensured security to the mariner. To him likewise is attributed the Cretan legislation, the model, it is said, of that given to Sparta by Lycurgus. But the uncertainty as to what does and what does not belong to Minos, is in this case even greater than in that of Lycurgus; many of the laws referred to Minos are probably nothing more than ancient Dorian institutions. The insular situation which in some measure ensured Crete from foreign inroads, and the proximity of Egypt and Phœnicia must indubitably have contributed to expand the germ of political civilization. The abolition of the kingly office seems to have been the effect of internal commotions, to which Crete continued to be frequently exposed, even under a republican form of government. Those commotions originated in the jealousy between the two largest cities, Gortina and Cnossus, which, when united, ruled the rest; but when at war, shook the whole island, until the city of Cydonia, passing over to one of the sides, gave a turn to the balance. The laws instituted by Minos respecting private life were enforced in all the cities of the island; but declined at an earlier period than in the country. Each city had its own constitution; each possessed it senate, (γερούσια,) at the head of which were ten censors, (κόσμοι,) chosen from certain families: these cosmi were not only prime magistrates, but likewise invested with the command in war, not often, it is true, waged by the Cretans against other nations, but, for that reason, more frequently with one another; a circumstance which must have necessarily contributed to corrupt, not only their constitution, but likewise their national character.

Meursii Creta, Rhodus, Cyprus, 1675, 4to. Very laborious compilations. New light, however, has been thrown upon the subject by the inscriptions published in

Chishull's Antiq. Asiaticæ; 1728, folio. A work which has been made use of by

St. Croix, Des anciens gouvernemens, etc. (See above, p. 131.) The principal work upon Crete.

[Pg 154]

C. Hoeck, Crete. An attempt to explain the mythology, history, etc. of this island, 1823.

f. Cyprus. This island, like Crete, was inhabited by a race of mixed origin, who, even in the time of Herodotus, traced their descent from Phœnicians, Africans, (Ethiopians,) from Greeks out of Arcadia, Attica, and the island of Salamis; of which last the city of Salamis, founded by Teucer about 1160, was a colony. There can be no doubt, that in earlier times the Phœnicians were for a long period the dominant race in the island; since in the flourishing days of Tyre the Cyprians rebelled against their oppressors, at the same time that Psalmanezer led an expedition against the former city, about 720: moreover, even in the present day, Phœnician monuments are still found in the island. From that time to the Persian period, there appears to have been a close connection between this island and the Phœnicians, although the Cyprians preserved their independence. Several smaller kingdoms afterwards arose in various cities of the island; the number of which in subsequent times amounted to nine, and under Amasis, about 550, were tributary to the Egyptians; and under Cambyses, 525, to the Persians: notwithstanding this species of subjection, the various states preserved their own kings. During the Persian dominion, the Cyprians more than once joined in the insurrections against the Persians; more particularly the kings of Salamis, now become the most powerful. So early as the year 500, Onesilus joined the Ionian rebels, but was defeated. In the wars which afterwards ensued between the Persians and Greeks, Cyprus was frequently attacked by the combined Grecian fleets; as in 470 by Pausanias, and during the reign of Evagoras I. 449, by Cimon, who died at the siege of Citium; yet the Persians were not driven out, but appear to have kept their footing even after the peace of 449. Among the subsequent kings of Salamis was Evagoras II. (400—390,) who was master of the greatest portion of the island; but as in the peace of Antalcidas Cyprus was ceded to the Persians, he was obliged to wage a hot war against them, in which he lost every thing but Salamis. Finally, the Cyprians, in 356, took a part in the insurrection of the Phœnicians and Egyptians: thereupon the Persians sent an army against them, under the command of a younger Evagoras, (who had been banished by his uncle Protagoras,) and under that of the Athenian Phocion Salamis was besieged, but matters were made up by a negotiation. The nine small kingdoms of the[Pg 155] island continued to exist till the time of Alexander, whom they voluntarily joined during the siege of Tyre, 332, and thenceforward Cyprus constituted a part of the Macedonian monarchy.

2. History of the Grecian Colonies.

To assist the student in obtaining a general view of the events connected with the Greek colonies, the history of them will be here carried on through the subsequent period.

Raoul Rochette, Histoire critique de l'établissement des Colonies Grecques, Paris, 1815, 4 vols. The most comprehensive treatise on the subject: it comprises the earlier Pelasgian and the later Macedonian colonies, as well as those of the Hellenes. There is much erudition displayed in this work, but sufficient attention is not paid to the value of the authorities made use of.

D. H. Hegewisch, Geographic and Historic Documents relative to the Colonies of the Greeks, Altona, 1808, 8vo. A brief review of the subject.

St. Croix, De l'état et du sort des Colonies des anciens peuples, Paris, 1786. A series of valuable and important enquiries.

Historic importance of the Greek colonies.

1. No nation of antiquity ever founded so many colonies as the Greeks: these colonies became so important in various respects, that an acquaintance with them is indispensably requisite towards understanding the more early history of the world. Not only is the history of the civilization of the mother country and that of early trade intimately connected with these settlements, but some of them grew to such power as to have the greatest influence on political history.

2. The Grecian colonies, to which the following observations apply, are those founded by the Hellenes in the time which elapsed between the Dorian migration and the Macedonian period. It[Pg 156] appears certain that before the date of that migration some Pelasgian, and perhaps even some Hellenic settlers passed over into Italy. The history of these colonies however is not only involved in obscurity, but it is besides known that they ceased after a time to be Greek. The later settlements of the Macedonians were of a quite different nature from those of the Hellenes, to which we now allude.

Hellenic colonies.

3. The Hellenic race spread alike to the east and to the west of Greece, their settlements, however, were confined to the shores of the Mediterranean and Black sea. The countries in which their principal colonies were established, were Asia Minor and Thrace in the east; the coasts of Lower Italy and Sicily in the west. Nevertheless particular settlements were to be found scattered here and there on the shores of most other countries.

Origin of these colonies.

4. The Grecian colonies had their origin either in political motives, being generally made in accordance with the express command or advice of an oracle, (for the propagation of the religion of the parent state was always connected therewith,) or, in commercial speculations; the former was the case, almost without exception, with the settlements made by the mother country herself; the latter, with those which had branched out of such colonies as had already exalted themselves by their commerce. In fact, almost all the Grecian colonies applied more or less to trade, even when that was not the sole object of their foundation.

Relations between colony and metropolis.

5. The connection existing between the colo[Pg 157]nies and the mother cities was generally determined by the same causes that led to their foundation. In those cases where a city had been founded by malcontent or banished emigrants, all dependence on the mother country was naturally out of the question; and even in the colonies established for the purposes of trade, that dependence was but feeble and brief; the mother cities failing in power, if not in will, to enforce it. The very independence of so many colonies, made (almost without exception) in countries preeminently favoured by nature in productions and climate, and so situated as to oblige the inhabitants to navigation and commerce, must have given a great impulse to the civilization of the Hellenic race, and may be regarded as the main cause of its rapid progress and wide extension; wider indeed than that of any other nation of the ancient world. What a variety of political ideas must have been formed among a people whose settlements, more than a hundred in number, had each its own peculiar form of government.

Importance of the Asiatic Greek settlements.

6. Of the Greek colonies, the most ancient, and in many respects the most important, were those along the western coast of Asia Minor, extending from the Hellespont to the boundary of Cilicia. Here, ever since the Trojan war, which first made these countries generally known, Hellenes of the three great families, Æolians, Ionians, and Dorians had planted settlements. These were the most important for trade; and here likewise in the native country of Homer, the father of Grecian civilization, of Alcæus, and of Sappho, poesy, both epic and lyric, expanded her first and fairest[Pg 158] blossoms; and hence too, the mother country herself received the first impulse of moral and cultivated taste.

1. The Æolian colonies. Their original foundation dates about 1124: they appear to have been a consequence of the Dorian migration, having been established during that great movement in Greece. The Pelopidæ, who had been driven out of Peloponnesus, Orestes, his son Penthilus, his grandson Archelaus, and his great grandson Grais, successively headed the emigrants, who proceeded slowly by land, divided, it appears, into several companies, with which some Bœotians and others gradually coalesced. In Asia they occupied the coasts of Mysia and Caria; a strip of land which from thence derived the appellation of Æolis. They moreover possessed the islands of Lesbos, Tenedos, and the Hecatonnesi. On the main land, in the quarter named from them Æolis, they erected twelve cities, the most eminent of which were Cyme and Smyrna; the latter, however, afterwards fell into the hands of the Ionians. But their chief settlements were on the island of Lesbos; here they inhabited five cities, at the head of which, and likewise of all their other colonies, stood Mitylene. They had likewise spread inland as far as mount Ida. All these towns were independent of one another, and possessed their own peculiar forms of government: our information, however, respecting these constitutions extends no further than to enable us to ascertain that they were subject to many disorders, which it was often attempted to quell by nominating rulers of unlimited power, under the title of Æsymnetæ. These were elected sometimes for a stipulated period, at others for life; the most celebrated of the number was Pittacus of Mitylene, who flourished about 600, and was the contemporary of Sappho and Alcæus. The Æolians maintained their independence till the time of Cyrus, with the exception of Smyrna, which as early as 600, was captured and destroyed by the Lydians, and not rebuilt till four hundred years afterwards, when it was restored by Antigonus, and entered upon its flourishing period. The cities of the main land were compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of the Persian conqueror; but not the islands. The Æolian cities were not leagued together by any permanent bond; it was only in peculiar cases that they debated in common. Mitylene, which they all regarded as[Pg 159] their capital, was the only one of their colonies that became rich by trade, and formidable by its naval power. Yet in 470 it was tributary to Athens; having seceded in 428, at the time of the Peloponnesian war, it was recaptured and almost levelled to the earth by the Athenians.

2. The Ionian colonies. These were, no doubt, founded at a later period than those of the Æolians; like them, however, they were a consequence of the Dorian migration. The Ionians, driven out of Peloponnesus by the Achæans, had withdrawn to Athens, from whence, sixty years afterwards, that is to say about 1044, they proceeded by sea to Asia, headed by Neleus and others of the sons of Codrus. They were joined, however, by some Thebans, Phocians, Eubœan Abantes, and various other Greeks. In Asia they settled on the southern coast of Lydia and the northern shore of Caria; which, together with the islands of Samos and Chios, took from them the name of Ionia. Here they built twelve cities on the main land; namely, reckoning from north to south, Phocæa, Erythræ, Clazomene, Teos, Lebedus, Colophon, Ephesus, Priene, Myus, Miletus, and in the islands, Samos and Chios. They possessed in common one sanctuary, the Panionium temple of Neptune, built on the headland of Mycale. Here they celebrated their festivals, and assembled to deliberate upon matters affecting the general interest, although it must still be remembered that each city was in itself independent. This independence was maintained until the time of the Lydian dynasty of the Mermnadæ, and that of Cyrus, under whose reign they were compelled to submit to the Persian yoke. Still, under the Persian rule, they for the most part preserved their own form of government, and were subject only so much as they had to pay tribute. Nevertheless they seized every opportunity of delivering themselves from this species of thraldom; and hence their history in the following period is closely interwoven with that of Greece. The political constitution was, no doubt, at an early period republican in all; but these colonies likewise were oppressed by continual factions, and frequently by tyrants. Among the towns situate on the continent, the most remarkable were Miletus, Ephesus, and Phocæa. Miletus was the principal seat of trade. It had been founded by the Carians before the arrival of the Ionians; but was by the latter raised to opulence and power. The most flourishing period of its existence was between 700—500: in the latter year it was [Pg 160]implicated in the insurrection of Aristagoras against the Persians, in consequence of which it was destroyed in 496. From that time Miletus never recovered its ancient splendour. Nevertheless, in the days of her prosperity Miletus was, next to Tyre and Carthage, the first emporium of the world. Her sea trade was chiefly carried on in the Euxine, and the Palus Mæotis, whose shores, on all sides, were occupied by her colonies, amounting, according to some authorities, to more than a hundred. By means of these settlements she monopolized the whole of the northern trade in pulse, dry fish, slaves, and furs. Her land trade was carried on by the great military road, constructed by the Persians, far into the interior of Asia. Four harbours admitted her vessels; and her naval power was so great, that she had been known, more than once, to fit out, unaided, fleets of from eighty to a hundred sail.—Phocæa. The flourishing period of this establishment was contemporary with that of Miletus; but ended at the rise of the Persian dominion, 540, when the Phocæans, rather than submit to the Persian yoke, chose to forsake the city of their fathers and migrate to Corsica, although one half of the inhabitants repented of their resolution and returned. Phocæa had the most extensive trade by sea of all the Grecian cities; they were to the west what the Milesians were to the north. Their navigation extended as far as Gades; and they not only visited the coasts of Italy, Gaul, and Corsica, but even founded colonies in these countries; as for instance, Aleria in Corsica, Elea in Italy, and, above all, Massilea, (Marseilles,) on the coast of Gaul.—Ephesus. This city was likewise originally founded by the Carians, but subsequently occupied by the Ionians. Its independence was maintained until the time of Crœsus, who annexed it to his other conquests about 560. The constitution was aristocratic; the government being in the hands of a senate, (γερούσια,) combined with the magistrates, (ἐπίκλητοι): and the family which had once possessed the throne preserved certain prerogatives. Ephesus was not so important in a commercial point of view as Phocæa and Miletus; but was much celebrated for its temple of Diana, which in 355 was fired by Erostratus, and afterwards rebuilt with more sumptuous splendour. The flourishing period of Ephesus appears to have commenced at this time, long after that of Miletus and Phocæa had terminated; for both in the Macedonian and Roman ages Ephesus was regarded as the first city of Asia Minor.—Of the cities [Pg 161]on the islands, Samos was the most important, for its trade, and for its naval power. The period of its splendour was under the reign of the tyrant Polycrates, 540—523, whose sway extended over the sea and islets of the neighbourhood. Syloson, brother to the tyrant, having by the assistance of the Persians, 517, obtained possession of Samos, the island was almost depopulated. Soon afterwards Samos became dependent upon the Athenians, who in 440 introduced a democratic form of government, and made it the rendezvous for her troops and fleets during the war with Sparta.—Chios was scarcely inferior to Samos, either in power or wealth. It submitted to the Persian yoke with the rest of the Ionian colonies; but was so powerful, that in 500, at the insurrection of Aristagoras, ninety-eight sail of the combined fleet belonged to Chios. After the defeat of Xerxes, 469, it entered into the Athenian league, from which it endeavoured to secede in the Peloponnesian war, 412. The naval power of the Chians was still considerable; and those islanders had the high honour of not suffering prosperity to inflate them with overweening ambition.

F. G. Rambach, De Mileto ejusque coloniis, 1790, 4to.

3. The Dorian colonies. These were situated in Asia Minor, upon the southern coast of Caria, and in the islands of Cos and Rhodes, but were all planted at a later period than the Ionian colonies, and, no doubt, were the result of successive migrations. The Dorians appear to have gradually spread beyond Peloponnesus, over the islands of the Archipelago to the Asiatic coast: in Rhodes they erected the cities of Ialyssus, Camirus, and Lindus; in Cos a city of the same name; on the main land two cities, Halicarnassus and Cnidus. These six ancient colonies had, like the Ionians, one common sanctuary, the temple of Apollo Triopius, where they celebrated their festivals and held their deliberative assemblies. Halicarnassus, however, was afterwards excluded from the confederation. They remained independent until the Persian period, although the constitutions of the separate cities were subject to violent revolutions; thus at Cnidus the oligarchy was converted into a democracy; Halicarnassus was likewise generally subject to the Carian sovereigns, among whom Mausolus and Artemisia are names familiar to all.—The three cities in Rhodes appear never to have grown to any importance; that of Rhodes, not built till after the irruption of Xerxes into Greece, 480, soon eclipsed the others: its flourish[Pg 162]ing period began after the death of Alexander. At no period of early history could the Dorian colonies, or those of the Æolians, compete in wealth and commerce with the Ionians.

7. The shores of the Propontis, the Black sea, and the Palus Mæotis, were likewise covered with Grecian settlements. Nearly all these were colonies of the city of Miletus alone, and were, without exception, all of them the marts of a prosperous trade. Although the date of each cannot be precisely defined, they must have arisen between the eighth and sixth centuries before the Christian era. They were not only sovereigns of the Black sea, but likewise extended their trade over the whole of southern Russia, and eastward to the regions beyond the Caspian sea; that is, to great Bukharia.

On the Propontis stood Lampsacus (adjoining the Hellespont) and Cyzicus, on an island connected with the continent by means of bridges. The latter town certainly was one of the most beautiful and flourishing cities of Asia; but this did not occur until the Roman age, and was in consequence of the fostering protection of the Romans.—Opposite to Cyzicus, on the Thracian coast, was Perinthus, subsequently called Heraclea; at the mouth of the Thracian Bosporus stood Byzantium, over against which was Chalcedon. The prosperity of all these towns affords sufficient proof of the skill with which sites were chosen for the establishment of colonies.

Heyne, Antiquities Byzantina: Commentationes duæ, 1809. The first of which contains the fragments of the earlier history of Byzantium.

The colonies of the Black sea were: on the southern coast of Bithynia, Heraclea, in the territory of the Maryandini. This place preserved its republican constitution amid frequent broils and revolutions, brought about by the oligarchic and democratic factions, until about B. C. 370, when the democrats having gained the upper hand, a path was opened to Clearchus, who became tyrant, and abrogated the senate, (βουλὴ;) the family of the tyrant continued for a long time in possession of power, after he himself[Pg 163] had been murdered by two disciples of Plato.—In Paphlagonia was Sinope, the most powerful of all the Grecian settlements on the Black sea, of which it long held the sovereignty. The freedom and independence of this place lasted to about 100, when it fell under the dominion of the kings of Pontus, and afterwards under that of the Romans. The principal source from which it derived its wealth were the shoals of migratory fish (πηλάμυδες,) which, issuing from the Palus Mæotis, spread along the shore of the Black sea down to the Thracian Bosporus.—In Pontus was Amisus, the mother city of Trapezus, and which shared the fate of Sinope.—On the eastern coast stood the cities of Phasis, Dioscurias, and Phanagoria: this last was the principal mart of the slave trade, and, during the Macedonian period, the staple for Indian commodities imported across the Oxus and the Caspian sea.—In the Chersonesus Taurica stood Panticapæum, capital city of the little Grecian kingdom of Bosporus, whose kings (among whom Spartacus, about 439, and more especially Leucon, about 350, are celebrated) remained in alliance with Athens till Mithridates the Great laid there the foundation of his dominion.—On the northern coast was the city of Tanais, on the mouth of a river of the same name at the bottom of the Palus Mæotis. Olbia was situated at the mouth of the Borysthenes. These two places, and Olbia in particular, were of the highest importance for the inland trade, which issuing from thence in a northern and easterly direction, was extended to the very centre of Asia.—The colonies of the western coast, such as Apollonia, Tomi, and Salmidessus, were of less notoriety.

8. The coast of Thrace and Macedonia, washed by the Ægæan sea, was likewise covered with Grecian colonies, from various cities, and especially from Corinth and Athens. The Athenians having obtained in the Persian war the sovereignty of the sea, endeavoured to establish their dominion in this part of the world; hence the cities in that quarter were closely implicated in the quarrels and wars excited, first by the jealousy between Sparta and Athens, and afterwards by that which sprang up between Athens and Macedonia, in the reign of Philip.

[Pg 164]

On the Thracian coast of the Chersonesus, regarded as the key of Europe, and ranging along the Hellespont, were the towns of Sestos, Cardia, and Ægospotamos; farther to the west stood Maronea and Abdera, the latter a colony of Teos. Of far greater importance, however, were the towns on the Macedonian coast, Amphipolis, Chalcis, Olynthus, Potidæa. The first of these towns, founded about B. C. 464, was a colony from Athens, which endeavoured to keep it in a state of dependence. Chalcis was a colony from a city of the same name in Eubœa. In 470 it was dependent on Athens; but in 432, the inhabitants having raised the standard of rebellion, forsook their houses and voluntarily withdrew to Olynthus.—Olynthus derived its name from the founder, one of the sons of Hercules: in the course of time it ranked among the most powerful cities of Thrace, although it was tributary to the Athenians. It took a share in the war between Athens and Sparta, and continued to be a flourishing city until 348, when it was taken by Philip of Macedon, and destroyed.—Potidæa was a colony of Corinth, from which it received annual magistrates, (ἐπιδημιούργοι,) having become tributary to Athens after the Persian war, it revolted in 431: obliged to yield to the Athenian arms, its inhabitants were expelled, and their place supplied by an Athenian colony. It now became a possession of Athens, and remained so till it was taken by Philip in 358.

9. The Grecian settlements westward of the mother country were, almost without exception, made at a later period than those in the Ægean and Black seas: they reached nevertheless to an equal degree of splendour; and though their trade was not so extensive, it was equally profitable: these colonies not only rivalled those we have above described, in wealth, but surpassed them in power, being generally characterized by the wisdom and prudence displayed in their respective constitutions. The foundation of most of them may be dated between B. C. 750 and 650; consequently at a period when all the cities in the mother country had already been republicanized: and at a time when there could be no lack[Pg 165] of domestic troubles, which would furnish sufficient motives for emigration.

1. Grecian settlements in Lower Italy. The most numerous and important of these were scattered around the bay of Tarentum; they extended likewise along the western coast of Italy up to Naples. These colonies were variously traced to the Dorian, Achæan, and Ionian families: they were likewise distinguished by political characteristics, the government in the Dorian settlements being generally more aristocratic, in the rest more democratic: it must be observed, however, that, with respect to the various revolutions which the respective constitutions underwent, it is hardly possible to give any general information, excepting so far as regards the earliest times. Of Dorian origin were Tarentum, and its colonies Heraclea and Brundusium. Of Achæan origin were Sybaris and Croton, together with the colonies of the latter, Laus, Metapontum, Posidonia; which last founded in its turn, Terina, Caulonia, and Pandosia. Of Ionian origin were Thurii, (built on the site where Sybaris had formerly stood,) Rhegium, Elea, Cumæ, and its branch settlement of Neapolis. Locri Epizephyrii, a colony of the Locri Ozolæ, may be regarded as an Æolian city. The most remarkable of these cities in respect of general history are:

a. Tarentum, founded by the Parthenii, from Sparta, about 707. It waged several wars with the aboriginal tribes in the vicinity, the Messapians, Lucanians, etc. and grew to be one of the richest and most powerful of the maritime towns. The brilliant period of Tarentum appears to have fallen between 500 and 400. Excess of wealth subsequently introduced luxury, which extinguished the national spirit. Nevertheless Tarentum preserved its independence until 273, when, after the war with Pyrrhus, it fell under the Roman dominion. The constitution was originally a moderate aristocracy; but was commuted soon after the Persian war into a democracy, which was, however, curbed by prudent restrictions. Tarentum had its senate, (βουλὴ,) without whose consent war could not be undertaken; its magistrates elected half by lot, half by majority of votes given in the assemblies of the commons. Among its most celebrated citizens is reckoned the Pythagoræan Archytas, who, after the year B. C. 390, was frequently at the head of the state, filling the offices of general and supreme magistrate. The constitution appears to have preserved its form until the Roman period, although the[Pg 166] national spirit was greatly corrupted by a luxury almost exceeding the limits of credibility.

b. Croton, founded 710 by the Achæans, under the guidance of Myscellus from Rhype in Achaia. This city must have attained to very great power during the very first century of its existence; since in the battle of Sagra against the Locrians, which may with probability be dated about 600, the Crotoniates were able to set on foot an army of 120,000 men. Neither does the defeat which they there suffered appear to have debilitated the settlement for any length of time; for in 510, with nearly the same number of forces, they attacked the Sybarites, and destroyed their city. The original constitution was, no doubt, a moderate democracy; but we are unacquainted with the details of its organization. Pythagoras was the reformer of customs, moral and political, not only at Croton, but in several other of the Italico-Greek cities. This philosopher arrived at Croton about 540, and there laid the foundation of the league or secret association named after him; the object of which was, not to change the form of government in the Italian cities, but to create men capable of managing the helm of state. This reform and influence of the Pythagoræans lasted about thirty years, when their order underwent the same fate as generally befalls a secret association founded with a political view. Probably about 510 the Pythagoræean league was broken asunder by the democratic faction under Cylon. The consequence was universal anarchy, not only in Croton, where, about 494, a certain Clinias usurped the supreme power, but likewise in the other cities: these disorders, however, were quelled by the intervention of the Achæans; and the Achæan colonies not only adopted the laws of their mother cities, but likewise soon afterwards signed a league in the temple of Jupiter Homorius, about 460: it appears that Croton, having already recovered from the blow it had received, was at the head of this league. In this happy posture affairs remained till about 400. After the kings of Syracuse had commenced their attacks on Magna Græcia, Croton was repeatedly captured; as in B. C. 389 by Dionysius I. and about 321; and again, in 299, by Agathocles. Finally, after the war with Pyrrhus, 277, it became dependent on Rome.

c. Sybaris was founded about 720, like the foregoing, by the Achæans, who were mingled with Trœzenians: this settlement existed till 510, when it was destroyed by Croton. Soon after its foundation it became one of the most extensive, populous, and[Pg 167] luxurious cities, so much so, that the effeminacy of the Sybarites became proverbial. Sybaris appears to have been at the height of her prosperity from about 600—550; she then possessed a respectable territory, comprising four of the neighbouring tribes, and twenty-five cities or places. The extraordinary fertility of the soil, and the admission of all strangers to the rights of citizenship, tended to increase the population so much, that Sybaris, in the war against Croton, is said to have brought into the field 300,000 men. The vast wealth possessed, not only by Sybaris, but by the other cities in this quarter, was probably derived from the great trade in oil and wine carried on with Africa and Gaul: that such was the case at Agrigentum we know with certainty. The constitution of Sybaris was likewise, it appears, a moderate democracy: towards the year 510 one Telys took possession of the supreme power, and drove out five hundred of the optimates, who fled to Croton. The Crotoniates received the exiles, and the Sybarites having put to death their ambassadors, a war was kindled between the two cities, and ended in 510 by the defeat of the Sybarites and the destruction of their city.

d. Thurii, founded near the site of ancient Sybaris in 446 by Athens, although the inhabitants were of mixed origin; a circumstance which gave rise at first to many domestic broils, the citizens disputing as to who was the real founder; at last, 433, the Delphian oracle declared the city to be a colony of Apollo. The constitution was at first a moderate democracy; but this was soon converted into an oligarchy, all the power and the best lands having been taken possession of by the Sybarite families who had joined the settlement. The Sybarites were, however, again expelled, and Thurii grew into importance by the confluence of several new colonies out of Greece; its constitution was meliorated by the adoption of the laws of Charondas of Catana. The principal enemies of the Thurians were the Lucanians, by whom they were beaten, 390. The desultory attacks of that tribe obliged them, 286, to crave the assistance of the Romans, which soon after afforded the Tarentines an excuse for attacking them. Thurii now formed a part of the Roman dependencies, and after suffering much in the Carthaginian wars, was at last, B. C. 190, occupied by a Roman colony.

e. Locri Epizephyrii. The question of their origin is subject to dispute: the causes of this uncertainty are, that here, as in most other of the cities, various bands of colonists arrived at various times, and those bands themselves were composed of a mix[Pg 168]ture of several Grecian stocks. The chief colony was sent out, B. C. 683, by the Locri Ozolæ. After suffering much from violent internal commotions, Locri found, about 660, a lawgiver in Zaleucus, whose institutions remained more than two centuries inviolate. The constitution was aristocratic, the administration being in the hands of a hundred families. The supreme magistrate was called cosmopolis. The senate consisted of a thousand members, probably elected from the commons, with whom resided, either wholly or partially, the legislative power. The maintenance of the laws was, as in other Grecian cities, committed to the nomophylaces. Locri was certainly neither so wealthy nor so luxurious as the cities above mentioned; but she was honourably distinguished by the good manners and quiet conduct of her citizens, who were contented with their government. The flourishing period of this city lasted till the time of Dionysius II. who having been driven out of Syracuse, fled with his dependents to Locri, the native country of his mother: by his insolence and licentiousness of manners the city was brought to the verge of ruin; after his return to Syracuse, 347, the Locrians avenged their wrongs upon his family. Locri afterward maintained its recovered independence until the time of Pyrrhus, who, 277, placed a garrison in the town; the Locrians, however, put the troops to the sword, and passed over to the Roman side: the city was in consequence sacked by Pyrrhus in 275. From that time Locri remained a confederate town dependent on Rome, and suffered much in the second Punic war.

f. Rhegium, a colony from Chalcis in Eubœa, 668: here also the government was aristocratic, the supreme power being in the hands of a council of a thousand men, selected only from Messenian families, which had joined the original settlers. Hence arose an oligarchy, of which Anaxilaus took advantage to assume the sole dominion, 494, in which he was succeeded by his sons. These having been driven out, 464, commotions ensued, which, after a time, were quelled by adopting the laws of Charondas. Rhegium now enjoyed a period of happiness, which lasted till B. C. 392, when it was captured and destroyed by Dionysius I. Dionysius II. restored it in some measure; but in 281 the city was taken possession of by a Roman legion, who being sent for the purpose of garrisoning the place, murdered the inhabitants. The soldiers were punished with death, 271; but Rhegium thenceforth remained in a state of dependence upon Rome.

g. Cumæ, founded as early as 1030, from Chalcis in Eubœa.[Pg 169] This city attained at an early period to a high degree of power and prosperity; its territory being of considerable extent, its navy respectable, and Neapolis and Zancle (or Messana) among its colonies. The government was a moderate aristocracy: this constitution was subverted about 544, by the tyrant Aristodemus; but restored after his assassination. Cumæ was subject to repeated annoyances from the petty Italian nations; and in 564 she was invaded and defeated by the Etruscans and Daunians combined; in 474 she beat the Etruscans at sea: but in 420 was captured by the Campanians; together with whom she became a dependent of Rome in 345. Cumæ, nevertheless, in consequence of its harbour of Puteoli, preserved a share of importance, even under the Roman dominion.

Heyne, Prolusiones 16 de civitatum Græcarum per magnam Græciam et Siciliam institutis et legibus. Collected in his Opuscula, vol. vii.

2. Grecian settlements in Sicily. These occupied the eastern and southern shores of the island: they were founded in the same period as those of Magna Græcia, and belonged partly to the Dorian, partly to the Ionian stocks. Of Dorian origin were Messana and Tyndaris, from Messene; Syracuse, who in her turn founded Acræ, Casmenæ, and Camarina, from Corinth; Hybla and Thapsus from Megara; Segesta from Thessaly; Heraclea Minoa from Crete; Gela, which founded Agrigentum, from Rhodes; and Lipara, on the small island of that name, from Cnidus. Of Ionian origin were Naxus, the founder of Leontini; Catana and Tauromenium, from Chalcis; Zancle, (after its occupation by Messenian colonists, called Messana,) founded by Cumæ, and in its turn founder of Himera and Mylæ. The most remarkable of these towns in ancient history are:

a. Syracuse, the most powerful of all the Greek colonies, and consequently that concerning which our information is the most copious. The history of Syracuse, on which, as that town was for a long time mistress of the greatest part of the island, depends nearly the whole history of Sicily, comprises four periods. 1. From the foundation, B. C. 735, to Gelon, 484; a space of two hundred and fifty-one years. During this period Syracuse was a republic, but does not appear to have risen to any very great height of power: yet she founded the colonies of Acræ, 665, Casmenæ, 645, and Camarina, 600. The assistance of her parent city, Corinth, and Corcyra, alone prevented her falling a prey to Hippocrates, sovereign of Gela; and even then she was[Pg 170] obliged to cede Camarina, 497. The constitution was aristocratic; but not free from domestic troubles. The administration was in the hands of the opulent, (γαμόροι;) but these were, about 485, expelled by the democratic faction and their own mutinous slaves. They fled to Casmenæ, and by the help of Gelon, sovereign of Gela, were restored to their homes; Gelon retaining the power in his own hands. 2. From Gelon to the expulsion of Thrasybulus, 484—466. The three brothers, Gelon, Hiero, and Thrasybulus, successively ruled over Syracuse. Gelon, 484—477. He was at once the founder of the greatness of Syracuse, and of his own power: this he effected partly by increasing the population, bringing in new inhabitants from other Greek cities, and partly by the great victory he won over the Carthaginians, in alliance with the Persians, 480. At this early period Syracuse was so powerful, both by sea and by land, as to justify Gelon in claiming the office of generalissimo of Greece, when Sparta and Athens came to solicit his aid. His beneficent reign not only gained him the love of the Syracusans during his life, but likewise procured him heroic honours after death at the hands of a grateful people. He died in 477, and was succeeded by his brother Hiero I. who had till then ruled over Gela. The reign of this prince was splendid, his court was brilliant, and a fostering protection was extended to arts and sciences. Hiero's power strengthened by the establishment of new citizens, both in Syracuse and its subordinate towns of Catana and Naxus, whose original inhabitants are translated to Leontini.—Wars waged against Thero, 476, and his son Thrasidæus, tyrants of Agrigentum: after the expulsion of Thrasidæus, that town forms an alliance with Syracuse; the Syracusan fleet sent to the assistance of Cumæ, wins a victory over the Etruscans. Hiero, dying in 467, was succeeded by his brother Thrasybulus, who, after a short reign of eight months, was expelled for his cruelty by the Syracusans and the confederate cities. 3. From the expulsion of Thrasybulus to the elevation of Dionysius I.; Syracuse a free democratic state: from 466—405. Reestablishment of republican forms of government in Syracuse and the other Grecian cities; accompanied, however, with many commotions and civil wars, proceeding from the expulsion of the new citizens and the restoration of the ancient inhabitants to their property.—Increasing power and prosperity of Syracuse, who is now at the head of the confederate Grecian cities in the island, and soon endeavours to convert her precedence into supremacy. The new democratic[Pg 171] constitution quickly suffers from the diseases incident to that form of government; a vain attempt is made to apply a remedy by the introduction of the petalismus, B. C. 454; in the mean time the Siculi, aboriginal inhabitants of Sicily, unite in closer league under their leader Ducetius; attempting to expel the Greeks, 451, they engage the Syracusans in reiterated wars; the arms of Syracuse are successful, her authority is confirmed by the subjection of the ambitious Agrigentum, 446, and by her naval victory over the Etruscans. First but unsuccessful attempt of the Athenians to interpose in the domestic affairs of Sicily, by siding with Leontini against Syracuse, 427; eleven years afterward occurs the great expedition against Syracuse, 415—413, caused by the disputes between Segesta and Selinus; the expedition ends in the total rout of the Athenian fleet and army, (see below,) and the power of Syracuse reaches its zenith. A constitutional reform takes place, 412, brought about by Diocles, whose laws were subsequently adopted by several other of the Sicilian cities. The magistrates were chosen by lot. The rest of the laws, which appear to have had reference to the criminal code, were the production of a committee over which Diocles presided; these enactments were so beneficial to Syracuse, that the author of them was honoured with a temple after his death. Yet as early as 410, a renewal of the differences between Segesta and Selinus afforded a pretext for war with Carthage, from whom the Segestani had besought assistance; by this war the whole state of affairs in Sicily was subverted. The rapid strides made by the Carthaginians, who, under the command of Hannibal the son of Gisgo, took, 409, Selinus and Himera, and even Agrigentum, 406, engendered domestic factions and commotions within Syracuse; and amid those disorders the crafty Dionysius succeeded first in obtaining the office of general, and then, after supplanting his colleagues, the sovereign power of Syracuse, 405. 4. From Dionysius I. to the Roman occupation, 405—212. Dionysius I. 405—368. Ominous commencement of his reign, by a defeat at Gela and the mutiny of his troops.—A plague wasting the Carthaginian army, he is enabled to patch up a peace, B. C. 405, by which it is agreed, that Carthage, besides her territory in the island, shall retain all the conquests made during the war, together with Gela and Camarina. But the project of expelling the Carthaginians out of Sicily, in order to subject the whole island, and to fall upon Magna Grecia, kindles a long series of wars both with Carthage and the cities of Magna Grecia. Second [Pg 172]war with Carthage against Hannibal and Himilco, 398—392. Dionysius loses all that he before had conquered, and is himself besieged in Syracuse; but a plague once more attacking the Carthaginians, rescues him from his predicament, 396; deeds of hostility continued notwithstanding till 392, when a peace was signed, by which Carthage ceded the town of Tauromenium.—From 394, desultory attacks on the confederate Grecian cities in Lower Italy, particularly on Rhegium, the chief seat of the Syracusan emigrants, which, after repeated invasions, is at last compelled to yield, 387. Third war with Carthage, 383, against Mago; Dionysius wins a victory, which is however followed by a greater defeat; and the war ends the same year by the adoption of a peace, according to which each party is to retain what he then had; the Halycus is fixed as the boundary line; so that Selinus and a portion of the territory of Agrigentum remain in the hands of the Carthaginians. Fourth war: inroad upon the Carthaginian states; it ends, however, in the signing of a treaty. The decision of these wars generally depended on the side taken by the Siculi, the most powerful aboriginal race in Sicily. Dionysius I. having died by poison, 368, was succeeded by Dionysius II. his eldest son by one of his two wives, Doris of Locri, but under the guardianship of his step-uncle Dio, the brother of Dionysius's other wife Aristomache. Neither Dio or his friend Plato, who was three times invited to Syracuse, were able to improve the character of a prince whose mind had been corrupted by bad education.—Dio is banished, 360. He returns, 357, and, in the absence of Dionysius, takes possession of Syracuse, all but the citadel. Dionysius now has recourse to stratagem; he excites in the city distrust of Dio, and foments dissension between him and his general Heraclidas; meanwhile he himself withdraws to Italy, taking with him his treasures. Dio is compelled to retire from the city, which is sacked by the troops garrisoned in the citadel; hereupon the Syracusans themselves fetch back Dio; he possesses himself of the citadel and wishes to restore the republican government, but soon falls a victim to party spirit, being murdered by Callipus, B. C. 354, who usurped the government till 353, when he is driven out by Hipparinus, a brother of Dionysius, who keeps possession till 350. After ten years' absence, Dionysius II. by a sudden attack, becomes once more master of the city, 346. The tyranny of this prince, and the treachery of Icetas of Gela, whom the Syracusans called in to their assistance, but who leagues himself with the Carthaginians, and the for[Pg 173]midable attempts of the latter, compel the citizens to apply to the mother city Corinth: Corinth sends to their assistance Timoleon with a small force, 345. Rapid change of affairs wrought by Timoleon: he beats Icetas and the Carthaginians: in 343 Dionysius is forced to deliver up the citadel and evacuate the country; he retires to Corinth, where he leads a private life. Restoration of the republican government, not only in Syracuse, where the laws of Diocles are reinstituted, but also in the rest of the Grecian cities: the revolution confirmed by a great victory over the Carthaginians, 340. In the midst of the execution of his plans Timoleon dies, 337, the most splendid example of a republican that history affords! From 337—317; almost a chasm in the history of Syracuse. Wars with Agrigentum; the usurpation of Sosistratus, disturbs the peace, both external and internal. The character of the Syracusans was already too foully corrupted for one to expect that liberty could again be established among them, without the personal superintendence of a Timoleon. They deserved the fate that befell them, when, in 317, that daring adventurer Agathocles assumed the sovereign power, which he maintained till 289. Renewal of the plan for expelling the Carthaginians from the island, and subjecting Magna Græcia. Hence arises a new war with Carthage, in which Agathocles is defeated, 311, and besieged in Syracuse: by a bold stroke he passes over into Africa, accompanied by part of his fleet and army, and there with general success prosecutes the war until 307: the insurrection of most of the Grecian cities in Sicily recalls him from the theatre of war; his views in Africa are consequently defeated. In the peace of 306 both parties retain what they had at the beginning of the war. The wars in Italy are confined to the sacking of Croton, and a victory won over the Bruttii; and are rather predatory expeditions than regular wars. In the year 289, Agathocles died by poison, and his murderer, Mænon, seized the power; he is expelled by the general Icetas, and flies over to the Carthaginians. Icetas rules as pretor till 278, when, in his absence, the government is usurped by Thynion, who meets with a rival in the person of Sosistratus; in the mean while the mercenaries of Agathocles (the Mamertini) possess themselves of Messana, and the Carthaginians press forward to the very gates of Syracuse. The Syracusans invite Pyrrhus of Epirus over from Italy; that prince takes possession of the whole of Sicily as far as Lilybæum; but having by his haughtiness incurred general hatred and disgust, he is obliged to eva[Pg 174]cuate the island, B. C. 275. The Syracusans now appoint Hiero, a descendant of the ancient royal family, to the office of general: after defeating the Mamertini he is called to the throne, 269. At the breaking out of the war between Carthage and Rome, the new king forsakes his alliance with Carthage, and, passing over to the Roman side, thereby purchases a long and tranquil reign until 215, when he dies of old age. Under this wise prince Syracuse enjoyed a degree of happiness and prosperity which none of her demagogues had been able to effect. After his death the Carthaginian party became predominant; Hieronymus the grandson of Hiero is murdered, 214, and Hannibal's intrigues enable the Carthaginian party to keep the upper hand, by contriving to place at the head of affairs his friends Hippocrates and Epicydes, who entangle Syracuse in a war with Rome; and the city, after a long siege, celebrated by the inventions of Archimedes, is brought to ruin, 212.—The history of Syracuse is a practical compendium of politics: what other state ever underwent so many and such various revolutions?

The history of Syracuse was at an early period disfigured by partiality. For the topography, see † Bartel's Letters from Calabria and Sicily, vol. iii. with a plan.

A. Arnold, History of Syracuse, from its foundation to the overthrow of liberty by Dionysius. Gotha, 1816.

Mitford, History of Greece: the fourth volume contains the history of Syracuse, and a defence of the elder Dionysius. It would seem that even now it is difficult to write this history in an impartial spirit.

b. Agrigentum, a colony of Gela, founded 582. The first city of Sicily next to Syracuse, of which it was frequently the rival. Its first constitution was that of the mother city; that is to say, Dorian or aristocratic. It fell, however, soon after its foundation, under the dominion of tyrants; the first of whom noticed in history is Phalaris, who flourished probably 566—534. He was succeeded by Alcmanes, 534—488, who was followed by Alcander, an indulgent ruler, in whose reign the wealth of Agrigentum seems to have already been considerable. More renowned than the foregoing was Theron, the contemporary and stepfather of Gelon; he ruled from B. C. 488—472: in conjunction with Gelon he routed the Carthaginian army, 480, and subjected Himera. His son and successor, Thrasydæus, was beaten by Hiero and expelled, 470; whereupon the Agrigentines, as allies of Syracuse, introduced a democracy. The period following, 470[Pg 175]—405, is that in which Agrigentum, blessed with political freedom, attained the highest degree of public prosperity. She was one of the most opulent and luxurious cities in the world, and in the display of public monuments one of the most magnificent. For her wealth she was indebted to the vast trade in oil and wine that she carried on with Africa and Gaul, in neither of which were those productions hitherto naturalized. In the year 446 the Agrigentines, excited by envy, fell upon the Syracusans, but were defeated. In the war with Athens they took no share; but in the Carthaginian invasion of Sicily, 405, Agrigentum was taken and destroyed; from this blow she recovered but slowly, and never effectually. By Timoleon she was, in some measure, restored, 340; and under Agathocles, 307, was able to head the cities combined against him, but was beaten. After the death of Agathocles, a tyrant, by the name of Phintias, took possession of the sovereign power; and was attacked, 278, by Icetas of Syracuse. At the breaking out of the first Punic war, Agrigentum was used by the Carthaginians as a military depôt; but was taken by the Romans as early as 262.

c. The fate of the other Sicilian cities was more or less dependent on that of Agrigentum and Syracuse: they all had originally republican forms of government; but though the Ionian colonies had a celebrated legislator in the person of Charondas, (probably about 660,) they had the same fortune with the rest, of being frequently oppressed by tyrants, either from among their own citizens, or by those of Syracuse, who often used to drive out the old inhabitants, and introduce a new population more devoted to their interest: hence must have sprung manifold wars. The foregoing history shows how grievously they likewise suffered in the wars between Syracuse and Carthage. Following the dates of their respective foundations, they may be thus arranged: Zancle, (after 664, known by the name of Messana,) the earliest, though of uncertain date; Naxus, 736; Syracuse, Hybla, 735; Leontini, Catana, 730; Gela, 690; Acræ, B. C. 665; Casmenæ, 645; Himera, 639; Selinus, 630; Agrigentum, 582. The dates of the rest cannot be ascertained with any degree of accuracy.

3. On the other islands and coasts of the Mediterranean we meet with various insulated Grecian settlements; in Sardinia, the cities Garalis and Olbia: the date of their foundation unknown; in Corsica, Alaria, (or Alalia,) a colony of Phocæans founded, 561; hither the inhabitants of the mother city betook [Pg 176]themselves in 541; and subsequently, after the naval engagement with the Etruscans and Carthaginians, withdrew, some to Rhegium, others to Massilia, 536.

4. On the coast of Gaul stood Massilia, founded by the Phocæans, who had been driven out of Corsica after the above mentioned naval engagement, 536; or rather, there was on the same site an old settlement which was now increased. Massilia rapidly grew in wealth and power. Our information respecting the wars she waged on the sea against Carthage and the Etruscans is but of a general kind. Her territory on the main land, although rich in wine and oil, was limited in extent; she established, nevertheless, several colonies along the shores of Spain and Gaul, among which Antipolis, Nicæa, and Olbia are the best known. The trade of Massilia was carried on partly by sea, and partly by land, through the interior of Gaul. The constitution was a moderate aristocracy. The chief power was in the hands of six hundred individuals; the members of this council were called timuchi, they held their places for life, were obliged to be married men with families, and descended at least to the third generation from citizens. At the head of this council stood fifteen men, three of whom were chief magistrates. As early as 218 Massilia was in alliance with Rome, under whose fostering protection she grew in prosperity; her freedom was preserved to her until the war between Pompey and Cæsar; having sided with the former, she was stormed, 49, by Cæsar's army. She soon retrieved herself, and, under the reign of Augustus, Massilia was the seat of literature and philosophy, in which public lectures were there given as at Athens.

Aug. Bruekner, Historia Reipublicæ Massiliensium. Gotting. 1826. A prize essay.

5. On the Spanish coast stood Saguntum, (Ζακυνθὸς,) a colony from the island of Zacynthus; the date of its foundation is undetermined. It became opulent by its commerce; but at the opening of the second Punic war, B. C. 219, was destroyed by Hannibal, as being an ally of Rome.

6. On the coast of Africa lay Cyrene, founded at the suggestion of the Delphic oracle in 631, by the island of Thera. The constitution was at first monarchical. Kings: Battus I. the founder, 631—591. In whose family the sceptre remained. Arcesilaus I. d. 575. Under the reign of his successor, Battus II. surnamed the happy, (d. 554,) the colony was much strengthened by new comers from Greece. The Libyans, bereaved of [Pg 177]their lands, seek for help at the hands of Apries, who is defeated by the Cyrenæans, 570, and in consequence loses his crown.—Arcesilaus II. d. 550. Rebellion of his brothers, and foundation of Barca, an independent town ruled by its own separate kings. Secession of the Libyan subjects. He is put to death by his brother or friend Learchus, who in his turn is poisoned by Eryxo the widow of Arcesilaus. Her son, Battus III. surnamed the lame, (d. about 529,) succeeds to the throne. The royal power confined within narrow limits by the laws of Demonax of Mantinea: the king retains nothing more than the revenue and priestly office. His son Arcesilaus III. becomes of his own accord tributary to the Persians; in conjunction with his mother, Pheretime, he seeks to reestablish the regal supremacy, but is expelled; nevertheless he regains possession of Cyrene. In consequence of his cruelty he is assassinated in Barca, about 516. Pheretime seeks for help from the Persian satrap of Egypt, Aryandes, who by craft gets possession of Barca; the inhabitants are carried away and translated into Bactria, 512. Soon after Pheretime dies. It seems probable that another Battus IV. and Arcesilaus IV. must have reigned at Cyrene, to whom Pindar's fourth and fifth Pythian Odes are addressed: their history, however, is veiled in obscurity. Cyrene then received a republican constitution, probably somewhere about 450; but we are unacquainted with the internal details of the government. Yet though Plato was invited by the Cyrenæans to give them laws, and though they had for their legislator Democles of Arcadia, they appear never to have been blessed with a good and stable constitution. Not only is mention often made of domestic troubles, as in 400, when amid the uproar excited by Ariston most of the aristocratic party were cut off; but we likewise frequently meet with tyrants. Concerning the external affairs of this state we know nothing but a few general facts relative to the border wars with Carthage. Subsequently to Alexander, Cyrene became a part of the Egyptian kingdom; so early as the reign of Ptolemy I. it was added to that realm by his general Ophellas, about B. C. 331. It now continued to receive various rulers from the family of the Ptolemies (see below) until the reign of Ptolemy Physcon, when it became a separate state, the bastard son of that prince, Apion by name, having made it over to the Romans, 97. Cyrene possessed a considerable share of trade, consisting partly in the exportation of country produce, more especially the Silphium, (Laser,) partly in a varied intercourse [Pg 178]with Carthage, Ammonium, and thence with the interior of Africa. The former splendour and importance of this city and the neighbouring country are testified by an abundance of most noble ruins; a more accurate research into which every friend of antiquity must desire.

Hardion, Histoire de Cyrène, in Mém. de l'Académie des Inscriptions, t. iii.

J. P. Thrige, Historia Cyrenes, inde a tempore quo condita urbs est, usque ad ætatem, qua in provinciæ formam a Romanis redacta est: particula prior, de initiis coloniæ Cyrenen deductæ, et Cyrenes Battiadis regnantibus historia. Havniæ, 1819. The best work on Cyrene. It is hoped that the author will not disapppoint our expectations of the second part, which is to contain the period of republican government. [The whole was completed in 1828. The learned and ingenious author has neglected no authority whether ancient or modern, and is particularly cautious and judicious in his researches.]

A ray of light has lately, for the first time, been thrown on the remains still found in Cyrenaica by Della Cella, Viaggio di Tripoli; translated by Spieker, in the † Journal of the latest travels by sea and by land, Sept. 1820.

W. Beechey, Proceedings to explore the northern coast of Africa from Tripoli eastward, 1827.

F. R. Pacho, Relation d'un voyage à Marmarique et Cyrenaique, 1828. A most accurate description.

T. Ehrenberg, Travels through North Africa, in the years 1820—1825, by Dr. W. F. Hemprich and Dr. C. G. Ehrenberg. Berlin, 1828.


From the commencement of the Persian wars to the time of Alexander the Great, B. C. 500—336.

Sources. The chief writers in this period are: For the history of the Persian wars to the battle of Platææ, 479, Herodotus. For the period between 479 and the breaking out of the Peloponnesian war, we must, in the absence of contemporary authors,[Pg 179] consider Diodorus Siculus as the principal authority.—The beginning of the 11th book, which commences with the year 480, (the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th books being lost,) to the middle of the 12th; the chronology of this author, however, must in several cases be rectified after Thucydides's summary in lib. i. For the period of the Peloponnesian war, 431—410, the history of Thucydides is the capital work; but it must be accompanied by Diodorus, from the middle of the 12th book to the middle of the 13th.—From the year 410 to the battle of Mantinea, 362, the principal sources are the Hellenics of Xenophon, and occasionally his Anabasis and Agesilaus; together with Diodorus, from the middle of the 13th book to the end of the 15th. For the years intervening from 362—336, no contemporary historian has been preserved; Diodorus's 16th book must therefore here be considered as the chief source: for the times of Philip, however, recourse may likewise be had to the speeches of Demosthenes and Æschines. The Lives of Plutarch and Nepos often touch upon this period, but cannot be regarded as authentic sources; of still less authority are the abridged documents given by Justin and some others.

The modern authors on this, the brilliant period of Greece, are, of course, the same as have been enumerated above: (see p. 118.) To whom must here be added:

Potter, Archæologia Græca; or the Antiquities of Greece: 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1722. Translated into German by J. J. Rambach, 3 vols. 1775.

Barthelemy, Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis en Grèce. (Between the years B. C. 362 and 338.) Paris, 1788, 5 vols. Accompanied with charts and plans, illustrating the topography of Athens, etc. This work is conspicuous for a rare union of good taste and erudition; unattended, however, with an equal share of critical acumen and a correct appreciation of antiquity.

History of the Origin, Progress, and Fall of Science in Greece and Rome, by C. Meiners. Gottingen, 1781. It contains also a delineation of the political state of affairs; but does not extend beyond the age of Philip.

The principal works on the monuments of ancient Greece are:

Le Roy, Les Ruines des plus beaux Monumens de la Grèce. Paris, 1758, 2nd edit. 1770, fol. The first in point of time; but far surpassed by:

J. Stuart, The Antiquities of Athens measured and deli[Pg 180]neated; 3 vols. Lond. 1762: the 4th vol. published in 1816. In beauty and accuracy of execution superior to all.

R. Dalton, Antiquities and Views of Greece and Egypt, 1691, fol. The Egyptian monuments are confined to those of Lower Egypt.

R. Chandler, Ionian Antiquities. London, 1796, 1797, 2 vols. fol. A worthy companion to Stuart.

Choiseul Gouffier, Voyage pittoresque dans la Grèce, vol. i, 1779: vol. ii, 1809. Confined principally to the islands and Asia Minor.

Beneficial effects of the Persian invasion.

1. From a multitude of small states, never united but continually distracted by civil broils—and such at the beginning of this period were the states of Greece—any thing important could hardly be expected without the occurrence of some external event, which, by rallying the divided forces round one point, and directing them toward one object, should hinder them from mutually exhausting one another. It was the hostile attempt of Persia that first laid the foundation of the future splendour of Greece; certain states then grew so rapidly in power, that upon their particular history hinges the general history of all the rest.

Causes which led to the Persian war. Share taken by Athens in the Ionian insurrection and firing of Sardes, B. C. 500. (see above, p. 98.) Intrigues of Hippias, first with the satraps, and afterwards at the Persian court itself.—First expedition, that of Mardonius, thwarted by a storm, 493.

Athens and Sparta alone reject the demands of Persia:
B. C. 491.

2. Not even the summons to acknowledge the Persian authority was sufficient to rouse the national energy of the Greeks. All the islands, and most of the states on the main land, submitted to the yoke; Sparta and Athens alone boldly rejected it. The Athenians, unassisted, under their leader Miltiades, acquainted from his youth with[Pg 181] the Persians and their mode of warfare, and with the superiority of the arms of his countrymen, became the saviours of Greece.

Quarrel of Athens and Sparta with Ægina, which sides with the Persians, 491; and consequent deposition of Demaratus, king of Sparta, by his colleague Cleomenes.

Persian expedition of Datis and Artaphernes under the guidance of Hippias: frustrated by the battle of Marathon, B. C. Sept. 29, 490, and the failure of an attempt upon Athens.

Expedition against Paros by Miltiades.

3. The immediate consequence of this victory was a naval expedition against the islands, more particularly Paros, to which Miltiades, out of a private grudge, persuaded the Athenians. It was undertaken for the purpose of levying contributions; and seems to have given the Athenians the first idea of their subsequent dominion of the sea. The Athenians punished Miltiades for the failure of this expedition, although the effect of their own folly; yet was this act of injustice a source of happiness to Athens; as the fall of Miltiades made room for the men who laid the solid foundation of her glory and greatness.

Internal state of Athens.

4. As usual in every democratic state rising to power, the history of Athens now becomes that of eminent individuals, standing at the head of affairs, as generals or demagogues. Themistocles, who united to an astonishing degree in his own person the most splendid talents of statesman and general, with a spirit of intrigue, and even of egotism; and Aristides, whose disinterestedness, even in those days, was singular at Athens, were the real founders of the power of this commonwealth. Athens, however, was more indebted to the first than to the latter.[Pg 182]

Rivalry of these two men, 490—486. While Themistocles at the head of the Athenian fleet prosecutes the design of Miltiades against the islands, the management of state affairs is confided to Aristides. On the return, however, of Themistocles as conqueror, Aristides is by ostracism banished Athens, 486. Themistocles alone, at the head of affairs, pursues his plan for making Athens a maritime power. In consequence of a war against the object of popular hatred, Ægina, B. C. 484, he prevails on the Athenians to devote the income from the mines to the formation of a navy. While Athens is thus rising to power, Sparta suffers from the insanity of one of her kings, Cleomenes, (succeeded in 482 by his half brother Leonidas,) and the arrogance of the other, Leotychides.

Second expedition of the Persians defeated by Themistocles: 480.

5. The glory of frustrating the second mighty Persian invasion of Greece under Xerxes I. belongs to Themistocles alone. Not only his great naval victory off Salamis, but still more the manner in which he contrived to work upon his countrymen, proves him to have been the greatest man of the age, and the deliverer of Greece, now united by one common bond of interest.—All national leagues are weak in themselves: yet how strong may even the weakest be made when held together by one great man, who knows how to animate it with his own spirit!

Themistocles' plan for the conduct of the war; first, a common union of all the Hellenic states; a measure which succeeds to a certain degree, the honour of the command being left to the Spartans; secondly, the sea made the theatre of war.—Gallant death of Leonidas with his three hundred Spartans and seven hundred Thespians, July 6, 480. An example of heroism which contributes as much to the greatness of Greece as the victory of Salamis. About the same time naval engagements off Artemisium in Eubœa, with two hundred and seventy-one sail. The leaders of the Greeks are kept to their posts merely by bribery; the means of purchasing their services being for the most part furnished by Themistocles himself.—Athens, deserted by its inhabitants, is taken and burnt by Xerxes, July 20. Retreat[Pg 183] of the Grecian fleet into the bay of Salamis: revocation of all exiles, Aristides among the rest.—Politic measures adopted by Themistocles to hinder the dispirited Greeks from taking flight, and at the same time to secure to himself, in case of need, an asylum with the Persian monarch.—Naval engagement and victory off Salamis, Sept. 23, 480, with three hundred and eighty sail, (one hundred and eighty of which were Athenian,) against the Persian fleet, already much weakened: retreat of Xerxes.—Poets and historians have disfigured these events by fanciful exaggerations: still, however, they may show us how commonly human weakness is attended with human greatness!

Battles of Platææ and Mycale, Sept. 25, 479.

6. The victory of Salamis did not conclude the war; but the negotiations entered into during the winter months with the Persian general, Mardonius, left in Thessaly, and with the Asiatic Greeks, to excite them to throw off the yoke, show how far the confidence of the nation in its own strength had increased. But by the battle fought on land at Platææ, under the command of the Spartan, Pausanias, (guardian to Plistarchus, son of Leonidas,) and the Athenian, Aristides; together with the naval battle at Mycale on the same day, and the destruction of the Persian fleet, the Persians are for ever driven from the territory of Greece, though the war continues for some time longer.

Sparta has the ascendancy to 470.

7. The expulsion of the Persians wrought an entire change in the internal and external relations of Greece. From being the aggressed the Greeks became the aggressors; to free their Asiatic countrymen is now the chief object or pretext for the continuation of a war so profitable; the chief command of which abides with Sparta until B. C. 470.

Athens rebuilt and fortified by Themistocles despite of Spartan jealousy, 478: formation of the Piræus, an event of still[Pg 184] greater importance, 477.—Naval expedition under Pausanias, accompanied by Aristides and Cimon, undertaken against Cyprus and Byzantium, for the purpose of expelling the Persians, 470. Treachery and fall of Pausanias, 469. In consequence of the Spartans' haughtiness, the supreme command devolves upon the Athenians.

Athens assumes the chief command:

8. This transfer of the command to Athens had a decided effect on all the subsequent relations of Greece, not only because it augmented the jealousy between Sparta and Athens, but because Athens exercised her predominance for a purpose entirely different from that of Sparta.—Establishment of a permanent confederacy, comprising most of the Grecian states without Peloponnesus, especially the islands, and an adjustment of the contributions to be annually furnished by each, with the view of prosecuting the Persian war, and liberating the Asiatic Greeks from the Persian yoke. Although the common treasury was first established at Delos, the superintendence of it was confided to Athens; and such a manager as Aristides was not always to be found.—Natural consequence of this new establishment: 1. What had hitherto been mere military precedence, becomes in the hands of Athens a right of political prescription, and that, as usual, is soon converted into a sovereignty. Hence her idea of the supremacy of Greece, (ἀρχὴ τῆς Ἑλλάδος,) as connected with that of the sea, (θαλασσοκρατία.) 2. The oppression of the Athenians, sometimes real, at other times presumed, after a short time, rouses the spirit of discontent and contumacy among several of the confederates: hence, 3. The gradual formation of a counter league, headed by[Pg 185] Sparta, who maintains her supremacy over the greatest part of the Peloponnesus.

consequences of that change.

9. The changes introduced into the internal organization are not to be determined solely by the palpable alterations made in any of Lycurgus's or Solon's institutions. In Sparta, the general frame-work of Lycurgus's constitution subsisted; nevertheless the power was virtually in the hands of the ephori, whose dictatorial sway placed Sparta in the formidable posture she now assumed.—At Athens, in proportion as the importance of foreign relations increased, and amid the protracted struggles between the heads of the democratic and aristocratic parties, the real power, under the outward appearance of a democracy, gradually centered in the hands of the ten annually elected generals, (στρατηγοὶ,) who with more or less effect played the parts of demagogues.

Abrogation of the law that excluded the poorer citizens from official situations, B. C. 478.

Expulsion of Themistocles, implicated in the fall of Pausanias, principally through the intrigues of Sparta: he is first banished by ostracism, 469, but in consequence of further persecution he flies over to the Persians, 466.

Brilliant period of Athens.

10. The following forty years, from 470—430, constitute the flourishing period of Athens. A concurrence of fortunate circumstances happening among a people of the highest abilities and promoted by great men, produced here phenomena, such as have never since been witnessed. Political greatness was the fundamental principle of the commonwealth; Athens had been the guardian, and the champion of Greece, and she wished to appear worthy of herself. Hence in Athens alone were men acquainted with public splendour, exhi[Pg 186]bited in buildings, in spectacles, and festivals, the acquisition of which was facilitated by private frugality. This public spirit animating every citizen, expanded the blossoms of genius; no broad line of distinction was anxiously drawn between private and public life; whatever great, whatever noble was produced by Athens, sprung up verdant and robust out of this harmony, this buxom vigour of the state. Far different was the case with Sparta; there rude customs and laws arrested the development of genius: there men were taught to die for the land of their forefathers: while at Athens they learnt to live for it.

Athenian civilization.

11. Agriculture continued the principal occupation of the citizens of Attica; other employments were left to the care of slaves. Commerce and navigation were mainly directed towards the Thracian coast and the Black sea; the spirit of trade, however, was never the prevailing one. As affairs of state became more attractive, and men desired to participate in them, the want of intellectual education began to be felt, and sophists and rhetoricians soon offered their instruction. Mental expertness was more coveted than mental knowledge; men wished to learn how to think and to speak. A poetical education had long preceded the rise of this national desire; poesy now lost nothing of its value: as heretofore Homer remained the cornerstone of intellectual improvement. Could it be that such blossoms would produce other fruits than those which ripened in the school of Socrates, in the masterpieces of the tragedians and orators, and in the immortal works of Plato?[Pg 187]

Changes in the persons at the head of affairs.

12. These flowers of national genius burst forth in spite of many evils, inseparable from such a constitution established among such a people. Great men were pushed aside; others took their places. The loss of Themistocles was supplied by Miltiades's son Cimon; who to purer politics united equal talents. He protracted the war against the Persians in order to maintain the union of the Greeks; and favoured the aristocratic party at the same time that he affected popularity. Even his enemies learnt by experience, that the state could not dispense with a leader who seemed to have entered into a compact for life with victory.

Another expedition under Cimon; and victory by sea and land near the Eurymedon, B. C. 469. He takes possession of the Hellespontine Chersonesus, 468. Some of the Athenian confederates already endeavour to secede. Hence, 467, the conquest of Caristus in Eubœa; subjection of Naxos, 466, and from 465—463, siege and capture of Thasos, under Cimon. The Athenians endeavour to obtain a firmer footing on the shore of Macedonia; and for that purpose send out a colony to Amphipolis, 465.

Great earthquake at Sparta; gives rise to a ten years' war, viz. the third Messenian war or revolt of the Helots, who fortify themselves in Ithome, 465—455: in this war the Athenians, at the instigation of Cimon, send assistance to the Spartans, 461, who refuse the proffered aid. The democratic party seize the opportunity of casting on Cimon the suspicion of being in the interest of Sparta; he is banished by ostracism, 461.

Aristides dies, 467.

13. The death of Aristides, and the banishment of Cimon, concur in elevating Pericles to the head of affairs; a statesman whose influence had begun to operate as early as 469. Less a general than a demagogue, he supported himself in authority during forty years, until the day of his [Pg 188]death, and swayed Athens without being either archon or member of the areopagus. That under him the constitution must have assumed a more democratic character, is demonstrated by the fact Pericles dies, 429. of his exaltation as leader of the democratic party. The aristocrats, however, contrive until 444 to set up rivals against him in the persons of the military leaders, Myronides, Tolmidas, and more particularly the elder Thucydides.

Change in the spirit of administration under Pericles, both in reference to internal and external relations. A brilliant management succeeds to the parsimonious economy of Aristides; and yet, after the lapse of thirty years, the state treasury was full.—Limitation of the power of the areopagus by Ephialtes, B. C. 461. The withdrawal of various causes which formerly came under the jurisdiction of that tribunal must have diminished its right of moral censorship.—Introduction of the practice of paying persons who attended the courts of justice.

With regard to external relations, the precedence of the Athenians gradually advanced toward supremacy; although their relations with all the confederates were not precisely the same. Some were mere confederates; others were subjects.—Augmentation in the imposts on the confederates, and transfer of the treasury from Delos to Athens, 461. The jealousy of Sparta and the discontent of the confederates keep pace with the greatness of Athens.

Unsuccessful attempt to support by the help of an Athenian fleet and troops, Inarus of Egypt in his insurrection against the Persians, 462—458.

Wars in Greece: the Spartans instigate Corinth and Epidaurus against Athens. The Athenians, at first defeated near Haliæ, in their turn rout the enemy, 458, and then carry the war against Ægina, which is subdued, 457. In the new quarrel between Corinth and Megara respecting their boundaries, the Athenians side with Megara; Myronides conquers at Cimolia, 457. Expedition of the Spartans to the support of the Dorians against Phocis; and hence arises the first rupture between Athens, Sparta, and Bœotia. First battle of Tanagra, in which the Spartans are victorious in the same year, 457. The Bœotians,[Pg 189] incited by the Spartans, are in the second battle of Tanagra worsted by Myronides, 456. The recall of Cimon, at the suggestion of Pericles himself, in consequence of the first defeat.

Cimon restored.

14. Cimon recalled from exile, endeavours to reestablish the domestic tranquillity of Greece, and at the same time to renew the war against the Persians. He succeeds in his attempt after the lapse of five years; and the consequence is a victorious expedition against the Persians. He defeats their fleet off Cyprus, and routs their army on the Asiatic coast. The fruit of this victory is the celebrated peace with Artaxerxes I. (see above, p. 104.) Ere that peace is concluded Cimon dies, too soon for his country, while occupied with the siege of Citium.

Termination of the third Messenian war in favour of Sparta, by the cession of Ithome, B. C. 455. Meantime Athens continues the war with Peloponnesus; Tolmidas and Pericles making an incursion by sea on the enemy's territory, 455—454. At the same time Pericles, by sending out colonies to the Hellespont, endeavours to secure more firmly the Athenian power in that quarter: a colony is likewise sent out to Naxos, 453.—Cimon negotiates a truce, which is adopted first (451) tacitly, afterwards formally, (450,) for five years. The result of this truce is his victorious expedition against the Persians, and the consequent peace with that nation. Although the conditions of the peace prescribed by Cimon were sometimes infringed, they appear to have been ratified by all parties.

State of Greece after the peace with Persia.

15. The conclusion of peace with Persia, glorious as it was, and the death of the man whose grand political object was to preserve union among the Greeks, again aroused the spirit of internal strife. For notwithstanding nearly twenty years intervened before the tempest burst with all its fury, this period was so turbulent during its course, that Greece seldom enjoyed universal peace.[Pg 190] While Athens by her naval strength was maintaining her ascendancy over the confederates, and while some of those confederates were raising the standard of rebellion and passing over to Sparta, every thing was gradually combining towards the formation of a counter league, the necessary consequence of which must have been a war, such as the Peloponnesian. Up to this time Athens was at the height of her power; she was governed by Pericles, who, in every thing but the name, was sole ruler during this period, and for that reason she experienced few of the evils resulting from a democratic constitution. Who, indeed, could overthrow a demagogue whose presence of mind, even in the greatest good fortune, never once deserted him; who knew how to keep alive among his fellow-citizens the conviction that, however exalted they might be, it was to him alone they were indebted for it?

During the five years' truce the sacred war for the possession of the Delphian oracle took place, and it is given by the Spartans to the city of Delphi; but after their return is given back again by the Athenians to the Phocians, B. C. 448. The Athenians commanded by Tolmidas, are defeated by the Bœotians, 447. This expedition, undertaken in opposition to the advice of Pericles, contributes to increase his influence; particularly as he reduces to obedience the revolted Eubœa and Megara, 446. End of the five years' truce with Sparta; and renewal of hostilities, 445; further warlike proceedings are repressed by a new thirty years' peace, which lasts, however, only fourteen years.—Complete suppression of the aristocratic party, by the banishment of the elder Thucydides, 444; the whole administration of the state consequently centres in the hands of Pericles.—Democracy in the confederate states favoured; forcibly introduced in Samos, which, after a nine months' siege, is obliged to submit to Pericles, 440.—Commencement of the war between Corinth and Corcyra, on the subject of Epidamnus, 436, which the Corcyræans take[Pg 191] possession of after winning a naval victory, 435. The Athenians take part in the quarrel, and side with the Corcyræans, 432. The rupture with Corinth, and the policy of Perdiccas II. king of Macedonia, lead to the secession of the Corinthian colony of Potidæa, which previously belonged to the Athenian confederacy: the war thereby is extended to the Macedonian coast. Engagement near Potidæa, and siege of that town, 432. The Corinthians direct their steps to Sparta, and excite the Spartans to war; which is further accelerated by the attack of the Thebans upon Platææ, the confederate of Athens, 431.

Peloponnesian war,

16. The history of the twenty-seven years' war, known by the name of the Peloponnesian, or great Grecian war, which swept away the fairest flowers of Greece, is the more deserving attention from its being not merely a struggle between nations, but likewise against certain forms of government. The policy of Athens, which to establish or preserve her influence in foreign states, excited the multitude against the higher orders, had on all sides given rise to two factions, the democrat or Athenian, and the aristocrat or Spartan; and the mutual bitterness of party spirit produced the most violent disorders.

Power and influence of Athens and Sparta.

17. The respective relations of the two head states of Greece to their confederates, were at this time of a very opposite nature. Athens, as a naval power, was mistress of most of the islands and maritime cities, which, as tributary confederates, rendered for the most part a forced obedience. Sparta, as a land power, was allied with most of the states on the continent, which had joined her side of their own accord, and were not subject to tribute. Sparta therefore presented herself as the deliverer of Greece from the Athenian yoke.[Pg 192]

Confederates of the Athenians: the islands Chios, Samos, Lesbos, all those of the Archipelago, (Thera and Melos excepted, which stood neutral,) Corcyra, Zacynthus; the Grecian colonies in Asia Minor, and on the coast of Thrace and Macedonia; in Greece itself, the cities of Naupactus, Platææ, and those of Acarnania.—Confederates of the Spartans: all the Peloponnesians, (Argos and Achaia excepted, which stood neutral,) Megara, Locris, Phocis, Bœotia, the cities of Ambracia and Anactorium, and the island of Leucas.

Internal state of Athens and Sparta.

18. Sketch of the internal state of Athens and Sparta at this period. The power of Athens depended mainly on the state of her finances; without which she could not support a fleet, and without a fleet her ascendancy over the confederates would of course fall to ground. And although Pericles, notwithstanding his lavish public expenditure, was able to enter upon the war with 6,000 talents in the treasury, experience could not fail to show that, in such a democratic state as Athens was now become under Pericles, the squandering of the public money was an unavoidable evil. This evil was produced, however, at Athens much less by the peculations of individual state officers than by the demands of the multitude, who for the most part lived at the expense of the state treasury. On the other hand, Sparta as yet had no finance; and only began to feel the want of it as she began to acquire a naval power, and entered upon undertakings more vast than mere incursions.

Financial system of the Athenians. Revenue: 1. The tribute paid by the confederates (φόροι) increased by Pericles from four hundred and sixty to six hundred talents. 2. Income from the customs, (which were farmed,) and from the mines at Laurium. 3. The caution money of the non-citizens: (μέτοικοι.) 4. The taxes on the citizens, (εἰσφοραὶ,) which fell almost entirely on the[Pg 193] rich, more particularly on the first class, the members of which were not only to bear the burthen of fitting out the fleet, (τριεραρχίαι,) but were likewise to furnish means for the public festivals and spectacles, (χορηγίαι.) The whole income of the republic at this time was estimated at 2,000 talents. But the disbursements made to the numerous assistants at the courts of justice (the principal means of existence with the poorer citizens, and which, more than any thing else, contributed to the licentiousness of the democracy and the oppression of the confederates, whose causes were all brought to Athens for adjudication,) together with the expenditure for festivals and spectacles, even at this time, absorbed the greatest part of the revenue.

F. Boekh, Public Economy of the Athenians, 2 parts, Berlin, 1816. The chief work on the subject. [Ably translated by J. C. Lewis, esq. of Christ Church in this university.]

Athenian Letters, or the Epistolary Correspondence of an Agent of the King of Persia, residing at Athens during the Peloponnesian war. London, 1798, 2 vols. 4to. The production of several young authors; first printed, but not published, in 1741. This sketch comprises, not only Greece, but likewise Persia and Egypt.

First period of the war,

19. First period of the war until the fifty years' peace. Beginning of the war unsuccessful to Athens during the first three years, under the conduct of Pericles, in whose defensive plan we may perhaps discern the infirmities of age. The Athenians, however, suffered less from the annual inroads of the Spartans than from the plague, to which Pericles himself at last fell a victim. The alliance of the Athenians with the kings of Thrace and Macedonia extended the theatre of war; on the other hand, Sparta had already conceived the idea of an alliance with Persia.

Consequence of the death of Pericles.

20. The death of Pericles was, for the next seven years, during which the place of that great man was supplied by Cleon a currier, followed by all the evils of an uncurbed democracy. The atrocious decrees with respect to Mitylene, which [Pg 194]after seceding, had been recaptured, and the insurrection of the Corcyræan populace against the rich, characterized the party spirit then dominant in Greece better than the few insignificant events of a war conducted without any plan. Sparta, however, found in young Brasidas a general, such as are wont to arise in revolutionary times. His prosecution of the war on the Macedonian coast might have brought great danger to Athens, had he so early not fallen a victim to his own gallantry.

Capture of Amphipolis by Brasidas, and exile of Thucydides, 424. Engagement near Amphipolis between Brasidas and Cleon; and death of those two generals, 422.

Peace not lasting. 422.
Alcibiades at the head of affairs, 420.

21. The peace now concluded for fifty years could not be of long duration, as many of the confederates on either side were discontented with its terms. All hope of tranquillity must have been at an end when the management of Athenian affairs fell into the hands of a youth like Alcibiades, in whom vanity and artifice held the place of patriotism and talent, and who thought war the only field in which he could gain credit. Against him what availed the prudence of Nicias?—Happy was it for Athens that during the whole of this period Sparta never produced one man who could match even with Alcibiades!

Attempt of some states, Corinth especially, to set Argos at the head of a new confederacy; this measure Athens likewise favours, 421.—Violation of the peace, 419; the war indirect until 415, and limited to assisting the confederates on either side.—Alcibiades's plan of giving Athens the preponderance in Peloponnesus, by an alliance with Argos, is defeated by the battle of Mantinea, 417.—Exterminating war of the Athenians waged against the Melians, who wish to preserve their neutrality,[Pg 195] whereas neutrality in the weaker party now becomes a crime, 416.

Project upon Sicily.

22. Alcibiades's party brings forward at Athens the project of conquering Sicily, under the pretence of succouring the Segestani against the Syracusans. This rash expedition, in which the hopes both of the Athenians and of its instigator Alcibiades were blighted, gave to Athens the first great blow, from which she never after, even with the utmost exertion of her strength, recovered; especially as Sparta also was now become a naval power.

Early interference of the Athenians with the concerns of the Sicilian Greeks.—A fleet and army under the command of Nicias, Lamachus, and Alcibiades, sent against Sicily, 415.—Accusation, recall, and flight of Alcibiades to Sparta: formal rupture of the peace by an inroad of the Spartans into Attica, where they fortify Decelea, 414. Unsuccessful siege of Syracuse, 414; and total annihilation of the Athenian fleet and army by the assistance of the Spartans under Gylippus, 413.

Athens after the war in Sicily.

23. Fatal as in the present circumstances the blow struck in Sicily must appear to have been to Athens, yet the calamity was surmounted by Athenian enthusiasm, never greater than in times of misfortune. They maintained their supremacy over the confederates; but the part which Alcibiades, in consequence of the new posture his own personal interest had assumed at Sparta, took in their affairs, brought about a twofold domestic revolution, which checked the licentious democracy.

Alliance of the Spartans with the Persians, and indecisive engagement off Miletus—Flight of Alcibiades from Sparta to Tissaphernes; his negotiations to gain the satrap over to the interests of Athens, 411.—Equivocal policy of Tissaphernes.—Negotiations of Alcibiades with the chiefs of the Athenian army[Pg 196] at Samos, and the consequent revolution at Athens, and overthrow of the democracy by the appointment of the supreme council of four hundred in place of the βουλὴ, and of a committee of five thousand citizens in place of the popular assembly, 411.—The army assumes the right of debate; names Alcibiades to be its leader; but declares again for democracy.—Great commotions at Athens in consequence of the discomfiture of the fleet at Eretria, and the secession of Eubœa. Deposition of the college of four hundred, after a despotic rule of four months;—Reformation of the government;—Transfer of the highest power to the hands of the five thousand;—Recall of Alcibiades, and reconciliation with the army.

Brilliant period of Alcibiades,

24. Brilliant period of Alcibiades's command. The reiterated naval victories won by the Athenians over the Spartans under Mindarus, who, mistrusting Tissaphernes, now forms an alliance with Pharnabazus, satrap of the north of Asia Minor, oblige the Spartans to propose peace, which haughty Athens, unluckily for herself, rejects.

Two naval engagements on the Hellespont, 411.—Great victory by sea and land won near Cyzicus, 410.—Confirmation of the Athenian dominion over Ionia and Thrace by the capture of Byzantium, 480. Alcibiades returns covered with glory; but in the same year is deposed, and submits to a voluntary exile, 407.

Anabasis of Cyrus, 407.

25. Arrival of the younger Cyrus in Asia Minor; the shrewdness of Lysander wins him over to the Spartan interest. The republican haughtiness of Lysander's successor, Callicratidas, shown to Cyrus, was a serious error in policy; for, unassisted by Persian money, Sparta was not in a condition to pay her mariners, nor consequently to support her naval establishment. After the defeat and death of Callicratidas, the command is restored to Lysander, who terminates the twenty seven years' war triumphantly for Sparta.[Pg 197]

Naval victory of Lysander over the Athenians at Notium, 407; in consequence of which Alcibiades is deprived of the command.—Appointment of ten new leaders at Athens; Conon among the number.—Naval victory of Callicratidas at Mitylene; Conon is shut up in the harbour of that place, 406.—Great naval victory of the Athenians; defeat and death of Callicratidas at the Æginussæ islands, near Lesbos, 406.—Unjust condemnation of the Athenian generals.—Second command of Lysander, and last decisive victory by sea over the Athenians at Ægospotamos on the Hellespont, Dec. 406.—The loss of the sovereignty of the sea is accompanied by the defection of the confederates, who are successively subjected by Lysander, 406.—Athens is besieged by Lysander in the same year, 405; the city surrenders in May, 404.—Athens is deprived of her walls; her navy is reduced to twelve sail; and, in obedience to Lysander's commands, the constitution is commuted into an oligarchy, under thirty rulers, (tyrants.)

End of the Peloponnesian war.

26. Thus ended a war destructive in its moral, still more than in its political, consequences. Party spirit had usurped the place of patriotic feeling; as national prejudice had that of national energy. Athens being subdued, Sparta stood at the head of confederate Greece; but Greece very soon experienced the yoke of her deliverers to be infinitely more galling than that of the people hitherto called her oppressors. What evils must not have ensued from the revolutions Lysander now found it necessary to effect in most of the Grecian states, in order to place the helm of government in the hands of his own party under the superintendence of a Spartan harmost?—How oppressive must not have been the military rule of the numerous Spartan garrisons?—Nor could any alleviation of tribute be hoped for, now that in Sparta it was acknowledged that the "state must possess an exchequer."—The arrogance and rapacity of the new masters were rendered more[Pg 198] grievous by their being more uncivilized and destitute.

History of the reign of terror at Athens under the thirty tyrants, 403.—What happened here must likewise have happened more or less in the other Grecian cities, which Lysander found it necessary to revolutionize. In all quarters his party consisted of men similar to Critias and his colleagues, who appear to have been long before united in clubs (ἑταιρείαι) intimately connected with each other; from which were now taken the most daring revolutionists, in order to place them everywhere at the head of affairs.

Expulsion of the thirty tyrants.

27. Happy revolution in Athens, and expulsion of the thirty tyrants by Thrasybulus, favoured by the party at Sparta opposed to Lysander, and headed by king Pausanias. Restoration and reform of Solon's constitution; general amnesty. It was easy to reestablish forms;—to recall the departed spirit of the nation was impossible!

Ed. Ph. Hinrichs, De Theramenis, Critiæ et Thrasybuli, virorum tempore belli Peloponnesiaci inter Græcos illustrium, rebus et ingenio, Commentatio, Hamburgi, 1820. An inquiry which exhibits much research and impartiality.

War of the Spartans with Persia, 400.

28. The defeat of the younger Cyrus entangles the Spartans in a war with the Persians, the same year that, after the death of king Agis, Agesilaus takes possession of the regal dignity. We willingly forget his usurpation as we follow him in his heroic career. None but a man of genius could have instructed Sparta how to support for so long a time the extravagant character which she had now undertaken to play.

Opening of the war with Persia by Tissaphernes's attack on the Æolian cities of Asia Minor, 400.—Command of Thimbron, who, 398, is succeeded by the more successful and fortunate Dercyllidas.—Availing himself of the jealousy between Tissaphernes and Artabazus, he persuades the latter to a separate truce, 397.—Command of Agesilaus; his expedition into Asia, from the[Pg 199] spring of 396 until 394. The conviction which he obtained of the domestic weakness of the Persian empire in the successful invasion of Phrygia, 395, seems to have matured in the mind of Agesilaus the idea of overturning the Persian throne: this design he would have accomplished had not the Persians been politic enough to kindle a war against Sparta in Greece itself.

Corinthian war, 394.

29. The Corinthian war, waged against Sparta by Corinth, Thebes, and Argos, to which Athens and the Thessalians unite, terminated by the peace of Antalcidas. The tyranny of Sparta, and more particularly the recent devastation of Elis, a sacred territory, were the alleged pretexts; but the bribes of Timocrates, the Persian envoy, were the real causes of this war.

Irruption of the Spartans into Bœotia; they engage and are routed at Haliartus, 394. Lysander falls on the field of battle; and Agesilaus is recalled out of Asia.—His victory at Coronea ensures to the Spartans the preponderance by land; but the discomfiture of their navy near Cnidus at the same time, gives to their enemies the sovereignty of the sea: Conon, who commanded the combined Persian and Athenian fleets, avails himself, with consummate skill, of this success to reestablish the independence of Athens, 393.—Sparta endeavours by apparently great sacrifices to bring over the Persians to her interests: the peace at last concluded by the efforts of the skilful Antalcidas, (see above, book ii, parag. 42), was readily agreed to by the Spartans, as they gave up only what otherwise they could not have retained. The preponderance of Sparta on the continent of Greece was established by the article which invested them with the power of seeing the conditions of the treaty fulfilled: the stipulated freedom of the Grecian cities was but an apparent disadvantage; and now that the Asiatic colonies were given up, the contest for power in Greece itself must be decided by land, and not by sea.


30. The quarrels which, after the peace of Antalcidas, Sparta began to have with Mantinea and Phlius, and still more so her participation in those between the Macedo-Greek cities and the [Pg 200]over-powerful Olynthus, prove too plainly the arrogance with which Sparta behaved to the weaker states. But the arbitrary appropriation of the citadel of Thebes by Phœbidas,—an act not indeed commanded, yet approved by Sparta,—was attended with more serious consequences than were at first expected. Would that all authors of similar breaches of good faith and the law of nations were visited with the same vengeance!

Rivalry of Sparta and Thebes.

31. Period of the rivalry of Sparta and Thebes, Thebes, from the year 378. The greatness of Thebes was the work of two men, who knew how to inspire their fellow-citizens and confederates with their own heroic spirit: with them Thebes rose, with them she fell. Rarely does history exhibit such a duumvirate as that of Epaminondas and Pelopidas. How high must our estimation of Pythagoras be, even had his philosophy formed but one such man as Epaminondas!

Liberation of Thebes from Spartan rule by the successful attempt of Pelopidas and his fellow-conspirators, 378. Vain attempts against Thebes, by the Spartans under Cleombrotus, 378, and Agesilaus, 377 and 376. The defensive war conducted by Pelopidas, during which he established the Theban supremacy in Bœotia, and brought over the Athenians, (whose fleet, 376, beat that of the Spartans,) deserves our admiration more than the winning of a battle.—The vast plans of Thebes were not unfolded, however, till Epaminondas was at the head of affairs.

Seran de la Tour, Histoire d'Epaminondas. Paris, 1752.

Meissner, Life of Epaminondas. Prague, 1801, 2 parts. In which the authorities are duly considered.

J. G. Scheibel, Essays towards a better understanding of the Ancient World, 1809. The second part contains an essay upon the history of Thebes, as the first does on that of Corinth.

General peace in Greece mediated by Persia: 374.

32. A general peace is concluded in Greece through the mediation of the Persians, (who wish [Pg 201]to obtain auxiliaries against the Egyptians,) under the condition that all the Grecian cities shall be free: it is acceded to by Sparta and Athens, but rejected by Thebes, because she cannot admit the condition without again falling under the Spartan yoke. In fact, the lofty language used by Epaminondas, as envoy to Sparta, shows that it was problematic whether Sparta or Thebes should now be at the head of Greece. Could the idea, therefore, of a perfect equality between the states of Greece be other than chimerical?

Epaminondas: 371—362.

33. The long struggle maintained so gloriously by Epaminondas against Sparta is remarkable both in a political and military point of view. The power of Sparta was abased; Epaminondas invented a new system of tactics, (out of which soon after sprang the Macedonian art of war;) and as soon as he found confederates in Peloponnesus itself, he made his way to the very gates of Sparta.

Victory won by the Thebans at Leuctra, July 8, 371, and annihilation of what hitherto had been called the supremacy of Sparta.—First irruption into Peloponnesus preceded by alliances with Arcadia, Elis, and Argos.—The attack upon Sparta itself is unsuccessful; but the freedom of Messene is restored, 369.

Sparta in alliance with Athens.

34. Sparta in distress forms an alliance with Athens, under the stipulation that the command shall alternately be in the hands of the two confederates; conditions, no doubt, humiliating to Spartan pride! It however affords them the means of frustrating Epaminondas's new attempt on Corinth and the Peloponnesus. Even Dionysius I. of Syracuse, thinks himself bound to assist the Spartans as being Dorians.[Pg 202]

35. Thebes played a no less brilliant part in the north than she did in the south. And had the attempts to liberate Thessaly from the rule of the tyrant, Alexander of Pheræ, been attended with success, Thebes would have received a vast increase of power. Even in Macedonia she acted as arbitress.

First and successful expedition of Pelopidas into Thessaly, 368.—After the decision of the disputed succession to the Macedonian throne, young Philip is brought as hostage to Thebes, and educated in the house of Epaminondas.—Pelopidas is sent as ambassador, and taken prisoner by Alexander; hence the second expedition of the Thebans, in which Epaminondas rescues the army and delivers his friend, 367.

Alliance of Thebes and Persia.

36. Alliance of Thebes with Persia successfully brought about by Pelopidas. In the intrigues of the opponents at the Persian court, the object of each was to bring that court over to his own interest. Yet the domineering tone in which the Persians wished to dictate peace, had not the consequences that might have been expected; and although Sparta consented to her confederates remaining neutral, she would not forego her claims on Messene. The establishment of a navy would have been of more important consequences to Thebes than this alliance, had not all these plans, together with the greatness of Thebes, been 365. swept away by the premature death of her two leading men.

Last expedition of Pelopidas against Alexander of Pheræ, in which he himself falls, 364.—New irruption into Peloponnesus caused by the commotions in Arcadia.—Battle of Mantinea, and death of Epaminondas, June 27, 362.—General peace in Greece mediated by the Persians; Sparta does not assent to it on account[Pg 203] of Messene, but sends Agesilaus to Egypt, there to support the insurrection of Tachos.

State of Greece after the war between Thebes and Sparta.

37. The result of this bloody struggle for the supremacy of Greece was, that neither Sparta nor Thebes obtained it; the former of these states being weakened by the loss of Messene, the latter by the loss of its leaders, and both strained by their violent exertions. The situation of Greece after this war seems to have been thus far changed, that no state had the predominance; an independence proceeding from enervation. Even Athens, who by means of her naval power still preserved her influence over the cities on the coast and in the islands, lost the greater part in the war of the allies, together with three of her most celebrated leaders, Chabrias, Timotheus, and Iphicrates, whose places were ill supplied by Chares.

Confederacy of the islands Cos, Rhodes, and Chios, and the city of Byzantium; their secession from Athens, 358.—Unsuccessful siege of Chios, before which Chabrias falls, 358; of Byzantium, 357. Athens suffers a still greater injury from the cabals of Chares against his colleagues Timotheus and Iphicrates, and from her imprudent participation in the insurrection of Artabazus, 356. The threats of Artaxerxes III. force Athens to make a peace, in which she is obliged to acknowledge the freedom of her confederates.

Sacred war.

38. At the very time when the growing power of Macedonia under Philip ought to have united all the Grecian states, had such an union been within the range of possibility, Greece plunged into another civil war of ten years' duration, which is known by the name of the sacred or Phocian war. The Amphictyonic assembly, whose duty it was to maintain peace, and whose influence had[Pg 204] been in the present circumstances reinstated, abused its authority by kindling discord. The hatred of the Thebans, who sought for new opportunities of quarrel with Sparta, and the ambition of the Phocian Philomelus, were the real causes which led to the war, which the policy of Philip knew how to prolong till the precise moment favourable to his own particular views arrived. The treasures of Delphi circulating in Greece, were as injurious to the country as the ravages which it underwent. A war springing out of private passions, fostered by bribes and subsidiary troops, and terminated by the interference of foreign powers, was exactly what was requisite for annihilating the scanty remains of morality and patriotism still existing in Greece.

Sentence of the Amphictyons against Sparta on account of the former surprise of the citadel of Thebes by Phœbidas; and against Phocis on account of the tillage of the sacred lands of Delphi, 357.—Philomelus is elected general of the Phocians; the rifling of the treasury of Delphi enables him to take into his pay Athenian and other auxiliaries, and to carry war against the Thebans and their confederates, the Locrians, etc. under pretence of their being the executors of the Amphictyonic decrees. Philomelus having fallen, 353, is succeeded by his brother Onomarchus, more skilful than himself in intrigue and war: but Onomarchus having fallen, 352, in the battle with Philip in Thessaly, is followed by Phayllus. Philip even thus early endeavours to push through Thermopylæ into Greece, but is repelled by the Athenians. He executes this plan after his peace with Athens, 347, and having procured the expulsion of the Phocians from the Amphictyonic council, gets their place and right of vote to be transferred to himself.

Philip's advance into Greece.

39. From the very first advance of Philip, the fate of Greece could scarcely afford matter for doubt; although the eloquence of Demosthenes [Pg 205]warded it off until the second invasion, caused by the Amphictyonic sentence passed on the Locrians. (See below, book iv. parag. 15.) The battle of Chæronea laid the foundation of Macedonia's complete ascendancy over the Grecian republics: by the appointment of Philip to be generalissimo of Greece in the Persian war, that ascendancy was, as it were, formally acknowledged; nor did it end with the assassination of that prince.



[Pg 206]


From its origin to the death of Alexander the Great. B. C. 800—323.

Sources. We have no historian who wrote, particularly, on Macedonia, before the time of Alexander. The facts relative to the earlier history previous to Philip are collected from Diodorus, Justin, Thucydides, and Arrian; from Diodorus more especially. In consequence of the loss of the other historians, Diodorus is the chief authority for the history of Philip; the speeches of Demosthenes and Æschines must likewise be consulted, but not made use of without caution and judicious historical criticism. With respect to Alexander the Great, as so many writers on his reign have been destroyed by time, Arrian must now be considered as the chief authority, on account of the care he has shown in the selection of his authorities, conjointly with the seventeenth book of Diodorus. Plutarch's biography contains several valuable additional facts; and even the superficial Curtius might furnish us with abundance of information, did his accounts offer higher claims to our credit.

Origin of the kingdom: about
B. C. 813.

1. An Hellenic colony from Argos, headed by the Temenidæ, a branch of the Heraclidæ, settled in Emathia, and laid the feeble foundation of the Macedonian empire, which was in time to rise to such power. Not only did the settlers keep their footing in the country, in spite of the aboriginal inhabitants; but their princes gradually extended their territory, by subjecting or expelling several of the neighbouring tribes. Their earlier history,[Pg 207] not excepting even the names of their kings, is buried in obscurity till the time of the Persian invasions.

The three first Macedonian kings, Caranus said to have ruled twenty-eight years, Cœnus twenty-three, Tyrmas forty-five, were unknown to Herodotus, who names as founder of the Macedonian monarchy, Perdiccas, 729—678. Of this prince and his successors Argæus, d. 640, Philip I. d. 602, Æropus, d. 576, and Alcetas, d. 547, nothing more is known than that they waged war, with various success against the neighbouring Pierians and Illyrians, who had their own kings.

Situation at the time of the Persian invasion.

2. When the Persians commenced their incursions into Europe, Macedonia, by its situation, must have been one of the first countries they ravaged. Accordingly, as early as the reign of Darius Hystaspis, the Macedonian kings were tributary to the Persians; and were indebted for their deliverance from that yoke, not to their own valour, but to the victories of the Greeks. The battle of Platææ restored independence to the Macedonian kingdom, although that independence was not formally acknowledged by the Persians.

Immediately after the Scythian campaign, 513, Amyntas (d. 498,) became tributary to the Persians; his son and successor, Alexander, (d. 454,) was in the same state of subjection, and was even compelled to join the expedition of Xerxes.

Situation after the retreat of the Persians.
d. 424.

3. But the expulsion of the Persians still left Macedonia exposed to the attacks of other formidable neighbours; on one side there was the Thracians, among whom, under Sitalces, and his successor, Seuthes, arose the powerful kingdom of the Odrysæ; on the other, the Athenians, who, availing themselves of their extensive navy, reduced to subjection the Grecian settlements[Pg 208] on the Macedonian shores. Harassing as these neighbours were to the Macedonian kings, they proved to be the very instruments by which Macedonia became so early and so deeply involved in the affairs of Greece.

Commencement of the differences with Athens, under the reign of Perdiccas II, 454—413; Athens having supported his brother Philip against him.—Defection of Potidæa, and fortification of Olynthus, into which the Greeks from Chalcis and other cities are transplanted, 432. Potidæa being forced to surrender to Athens, 431, Perdiccas contrives to play so skilful a part in the Peloponnesian war just now commencing, that he outwits the Athenians, parrying the attack of Sitalces by a marriage of his sister with Seuthes, the heir to that prince, 429. His alliance with Sparta, 424, is very detrimental to the Athenians, Brasidas wresting Amphipolis from their hands; nevertheless Perdiccas chooses rather to conclude a peace with Athens, 423, than to throw himself entirely into the arms of his new allies.

Archelaus lays the foundation of Macedonia, 413—400.

4. Archelaus, the successor of Perdiccas, introduced agriculture and civilization among the Macedonians, who were never, however, recognized by the Hellenes as their legitimate brethren: highways and military roads were constructed; forts were erected; and the court became the seat of literature. In these days the Macedonian kingdom seems to have comprised Emathia, Mygdonia, and Pelagonia, to which may be added some of the neighbouring tribes, who, although governed by their own kings, were tributary. The power of the kings was insignificant when unaided by the nobles, among whom, as was the case with all the hereditary princes of Greece, they merely held the right of precedence. How difficult was it, even in Alexander's time, to erase from the minds of the Macedonian nobility the recollection of their former importance![Pg 209]

5. The murder of Archelaus was followed by a stormy period, wrapped in obscurity: the unsettled state of the succession raised up many pretenders to the throne, each of whom easily found the means of supporting his claims, either in some of the neighbouring tribes, or in one of the Grecian republics.

Æropus, as guardian to the young king Orestes, usurps the supreme power, B. C. 400—394. After his death, and the murder of his son Pausanias, 393, the throne was seized by Amyntas II. son of Philip, and brother to Perdiccas II. who was nevertheless unable to maintain his power until he had gained a victory over Argæus, the brother of Pausanias, who was backed by the Illyrians, 390—369. The war with Olynthus, 383—380, could not be brought to a successful conclusion until he had formed an alliance with Sparta.

6. The three sons of Amyntas II, Alexander, Perdiccas, and Philip, successively ascended the throne after the death of their father; but so violent were the commotions during the reigns of the two former, that the future existence of Macedonia as a kingdom might have been regarded as problematical: it is certain that they were obliged to submit to the payment of tribute to the Illyrians.

Alexander, in opposition to his rival, Ptolemy of Alorus, placed on the throne by Pelopidas, sends his youngest brother Philip as hostage to Thebes: in the same year he is deposed by Ptolemy, 368. Reign of Ptolemy, 388—365, with the stipulation imposed, 367, by Pelopidas, that he shall only hold the sceptre in reserve for the two younger brothers. Murder of Ptolemy, 365, by Perdiccas III. who is nearly overwhelmed by Pausanias, another and earlier pretender to the crown; he is at last firmly seated on the throne by the Athenians, under Iphicrates, 364. But as early as 360 he falls in the war against the Illyrians, leaving behind him a son, Amyntas, still a minor, and a younger brother Philip, who escapes from Thebes in order to gain possession of the throne.

[Pg 210]

Philip, 360—336.

7. The reign of Philip, which lasted twenty-four years, is one of the most instructive and interesting in the whole range of history, as well on account of the prudence he displayed, as for the manner in which his plans were arranged and executed. Though it may be difficult to trace in his morals the pupil of Epaminondas, yet it is impossible to view without feelings of astonishment the brilliant career of a man, who, under the almost hopeless circumstances in which he commenced his course, never lost his firmness of mind, and who in the highest prosperity preserved his coolness of reflection.

The history of Philip, even in his own days, was distorted to his disadvantage by orators and historians. Demosthenes could not, Theopompus would not, be impartial; and the information contained in Diodorus and Justin is mostly derived from the work of the latter.

Olivier, Histoire de Philippe, roi de Macédoine. Paris, 1740, 2 vols. 8vo. A defence of Philip.

De Bury, Histoire de Philippe, et d'Alexandre le grand. Paris, 1760, 4to. A very mean performance.

Th. Leland, The History of the Life and Reign of Philip king of Macedon. London, 1761, 4to. Dry, but exhibiting much reading and strict impartiality.

In Mitford, History of Greece, vol. iv, Philip has found his most zealous panegyrist and defender. It would seem that, even in the present day, it is impossible to write an impartial history of this monarch.

8. Melancholy posture of the Macedonian affairs at the beginning of Philip's reign. Besides victorious foes abroad, there were at home two pretenders to the throne, Argæus, backed by Athens, Pausanias, supported by Thrace; and Philip himself, at first, was merely regent, and not king. In the two first years, however, every[Pg 211] thing was changed, and Macedonia recovered her independence. The newly-created phalanx ensured victory over the barbarians; recourse was had to other means than force for success against the suspiciousness of Athens and the neighbouring Greek settlements, particularly against the powerful Olynthus. It is in the conduct of these affairs that the peculiar sagacity of Philip is displayed.

After the defeat of Argæus, peace is purchased from Athens by a momentary recognition of the freedom of Amphipolis, 360.—Removal of Pausanias by means of an accommodation with Thrace.—By the conquest of the Pæonians and Illyrians, 359, the boundaries of Macedonia are extended to Thrace, and westward to the lake Lychnitis.—As early as 360 Philip was proclaimed king.

Policy of Philip:

9. Development of Philip's further plans of aggrandizement.—By the gradual subjection of the Macedo-Greek cities, he proposed, not only to make himself sole master in Macedonia, but also to remove the Athenians from his domain.—The first object of his policy against Greece was to get himself acknowledged as a Hellen, and Macedonia as a member of the Hellenic league. Hence the subsequent tutelage in which Macedonia held Greece was not converted into a formal subjection, a proceeding which would have savoured too much of barbarian origin.—The execution of all these plans was facilitated by the possession of the Thracian gold mines, which enabled Philip to create finances as well as the phalanx.

Capture of Amphipolis, 358; in the mean while Athens is amused with promises, and Olynthus with the momentary cession of Potidæa, which had likewise been captured: this event is followed by the conquest of the mountainous districts, abounding in[Pg 212] gold, which extend from the Nestus to the Strymon, and furnished an annual income of nearly 1,000 talents.

possesses himself of Thessaly:

10. The interference of Philip in the affairs of Thessaly dates from the year 357; the possession of that country was an object equally important for the furtherance of his views upon Greece, as for the improvement of his finances. He first stepped forth as the deliverer of Thessaly, and ended in making it a province of Macedonia.

Expulsion of the tyrants from Pheræ, at the request of the Aleuadæ, 356; the tyrants, however, receive support in the sacred war from the Phocians under Onomarchus. The final defeat of Onomarchus, 352, makes Philip master of Thessaly; he places Macedonian garrisons in the three chief places, and thus supports his authority in the country until he is pleased to make it entirely a Macedonian province, 344.

takes advantage of the sacred war:

11. The protraction of the sacred war in Greece furnished Philip with an excellent opportunity of promoting his views upon that country; although his first attempt at an irruption, too precipitately undertaken, was frustrated by the Athenians. The capture of Olynthus, notwithstanding the assistance afforded it by the Athenians, after a season of apparent inaction, insured the safety of the frontiers in his rear; and by a master stroke of policy, almost at the very moment in which he was driving the Athenians out of Eubœa, he found means to enter with them into negotiations, which, after repeated embassies, were closed by a peace, opening to him the way through Thermopylæ, and enabling him to raise a party favourable to himself within the very walls of Athens.

invades Greece:

12. First descent of Philip into Greece, and termination of the sacred war by reducing the [Pg 213] Phocians. The place which he now obtained in the Amphictyonic council, had been the height of his wishes; and the humility of Sparta proved how firmly his ascendancy over Greece was already established.

fosters a party in Greece;

13. Brief view of the state of Greece, and more particularly of Athens, after the sacred war; description of the means by which Philip succeeded in creating and supporting parties favourable to his own interests in the Grecian states. Bribery was not his only instrument; what he gave he borrowed from others; the main feature of his policy was, that he seldom or ever recurred to the same means. Scheming and consistent even in his drunken revels, he hardly ever appears under the same form.

Dreadful consequences to the morals of the Greeks, resulting from the spirit of party, the decline of religion, and the vast increase in the circulating medium, produced by the treasures of Delphi and Macedonia.—Estimate of the power of Athens during the period of Demosthenes and Phocion. It seems that, unfortunately, the eloquence and political acuteness of the former was not accompanied with sufficient talents for negotiation; the latter, perhaps, did not place confidence enough in his country, while Demosthenes placed too much. In spite of public indolence and effeminacy, Athens was still enabled to support her rank as a maritime power, the navy of Philip not being equal to hers.

A. G. Becker, Demosthenes as a Statesman and an Orator. An historico-critical introduction to his works: 1815. A very useful work, both as a history and as an introduction to the political orations of Demosthenes.

is thwarted by Phocion;

14. New conquests of Philip in Illyria and Thrace. The Adriatic sea and the Danube appear to have been the boundaries of his empire on this side. But the views of the Macedonian[Pg 214] king were directed less against the Thracians, than against the Grecian settlements on the Hellespont; and the attack of the Athenian Diopithes furnished him a pretext for making war against them. The siege, however, of Perinthus and Byzantium, was frustrated by Phocion, to the great vexation of Philip; an event which aroused the Athenians, and even the Persians, from their lethargy.

but obtains the command in the second sacred war;

15. Policy of Philip after this check.—At the very time that, engaged in a war against the barbarians on the Danube, he appears to have wholly lost sight of the affairs of Greece, his agents redouble their activity. Æschines, richly paid for his services, proposes in the Amphictyonic council, that, to punish the sacrilegious insults of the Locrians to the Delphian oracle, he should be elected leader of the Greeks in this new sacred war. Following his usual maxim, Philip suffers himself to be entreated.

and falls upon Greece.

16. Second expedition of Philip into Greece. His appropriation of the important frontier town of Elatea soon showed that, for this time at least, he was not contending merely for the honour of Apollo.—Alliance between Athens and Thebes brought about by Demosthenes.—But the defeat of Chæronea in the same year decided the dependence of Greece. Philip now found it easy to play the magnanimous character towards Athens.

Philip's designs against Persia.

17. Preparations for the execution of his plan against Persia, not as his own undertaking, but as a national war of the Hellenes against the barbarians. Thus, while Philip, by obtaining from the Amphictyons the appointment of generalissimo[Pg 215] of Greece against the Persians, secured in an honourable manner the dependence of the country, the splendour of the expedition flattered the nation at whose expense it was to be conducted. It is a question, indeed, whether Philip's own private views extended much further!

Internal state of Macedonia under Philip.

18. The internal government of Macedonia, under so skilful and successful a conqueror, must necessarily have been absolute. No pretender would dare to rise up against such a ruler, and the body guard (δορυφόροι) established by him at the beginning of his reign, and taken from the Macedonian nobility, contributed much to keep up a proper understanding between the prince and the nobles. The court became a military staff, while the people, from a nation of herdsmen, was converted into a nation of warriors.—Philip was unfortunate only in his own family; but the blame is not to be attributed to him if he could not agree with Olympias.

Philip murdered, 336.

19. Philip murdered by Pausanias at Ægæ, probably at the instigation of the Persians, while celebrating the marriage of his daughter.

Alexander: 336—323.

20. The reign of Alexander the Great, in the eyes of the historical inquirer, derives its great interest, not only from the extent, but from the permanence, of the revolution which he effected in the world. To appreciate properly the character of this prince, who died just as he was about to carry his mighty projects into execution, is no easy task; but it is totally repugnant to common sense to suppose that the pupil of Aristotle was nothing more than a wild and reckless conqueror, unguided by any plan.[Pg 216]

St. Croix, Examen critique des anciens historiens d'Alexandre-le-grand, 2nd. edition, considérablement augmentée. Paris, 1804, 4to. The new edition of this, which is the principal work on the history of Alexander, and important in more respects than one, contains more than the title implies, though by no means a strictly impartial estimate of that prince's character.

Disturbances of the Macedonian court.

21. Violent commotions at court, in the conquered countries, and in Greece, after the death of Philip. Great as his power appeared to be, the preservation of it depended entirely on the first display of character in his successor. Alexander showed himself worthy to inherit the sceptre by his victorious expedition against the Thracians; (to whom, and more especially to his alliance with the Agrians, he was afterwards indebted for his light horse;) and by the example which he exhibited to Greece in his treatment of Thebes.

Alexander, generalissimo of Greece.

22. Appointment of Alexander in the assembly at Corinth to be generalissimo of the Greeks. Yet what his father would probably have turned to a very different account, he allowed to remain a mere nominal office.—Development of his plan of attack upon Persia.—The want of a navy, soon experienced by Alexander, would probably have frustrated his whole project, had not Memnon's counterplan of an inroad into Macedonia been thwarted by the celerity of the Macedonian king.

Battle of the Granicus.

23. Passage over the Hellespont, and commencement of the war. The tranquillity of his kingdom and of Greece appeared to be secured, Antipater being left at the head of affairs.—The victory on the Granicus opens to Alexander a path into Asia Minor; but the death of Memnon, which soon after followed, was perhaps a greater advantage than a victory.[Pg 217]

Battle of Issus.

24. The victory of Issus, gained over Darius in person, appears to have given Alexander the first idea of completely overturning the Persian throne, as was proved by the rejection of Darius's offers of peace. When indeed have not the plans of conquerors been dependent on the course of events? Yet Alexander must have been pretty certain of his future victory, since he permitted Darius to escape, while he sat down seven months before Tyre, in order to make himself master of the sea; and, after the conquest of Egypt without a battle, to which the possession of Tyre opened the way, to build Alexandria, and erect to himself a monument more lasting than all his victories.

Although Alexandria perhaps in the end may have surpassed the expectations of the founder, yet the selection of the site, favourable only for navigation and commerce, shows that an eye was originally had to those objects.

Decisive battle of Arbela.
Oct. 1, 331.

25. Invasion of Inner Asia, facilitated by the tacit submission of the ruling tribes, and by the state of cultivation in which the country was found. On the plains of Arbela the Macedonian tactics were completely triumphant. It might now be said that the throne of Persia was overturned; and the unexpectedly easy capture of Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis, was surely of more importance for the moment than the pursuit of a flying king.

Insurrection of the Greeks quelled by Antipater; Alexander himself falls in with the malcontent envoys to Darius in the interior of Asia.

Persia wholly subjected.

26. The subjection of the north-eastern provinces of the Persian empire would perhaps have been attended with the greatest difficulties, had [Pg 218]not the astonishing activity of the conqueror crushed in their birth the schemes of the treacherous 330. Bessus, who, after the assassination of Darius, wished to erect a separate kingdom in Bactria. The Jaxartes was now the northern boundary of the Macedonian monarchy, as it had hitherto 329. been that of the Persian. Besides, the possession of the rich trading countries, Bactria and Sogdiana, was in itself an object of vast importance.

During this expedition, the execution of Philotas and his father Parmenio took place, though both were, probably, guiltless of the conspiracy laid to their charge, 330. After the death of Darius, Alexander met with almost constant opposition in his own army: the majority of the troops fancying that that event precluded the necessity of any further exertions. Cautious as Alexander was in his treatment of the Macedonian nobles, we may discern, not however by the mere example of Clitus, how difficult they found it to banish from their memory the relations in which they had formerly stood to their kings.

Alexander marches against India.

27. Alexander's expedition against India had, no doubt, its origin in that propensity to romantic enterprise which constituted a main feature in his character. Yet what could be more natural than that a close view of Persian splendour, the conquest of such wealthy countries, and the desire of prosecuting his vast commercial designs, should gradually mature in the mind of the Macedonian king the plan of subjecting a country which was represented as the golden land of Asia. To this likewise the scantiness of geographic information must have greatly contributed; if he pressed forward to the eastern seas, the circle of his dominion would, it was supposed, be complete.—It appears very certain that Alexander was destitute[Pg 219] of a sufficient knowledge of the country when he entered upon this expedition.

Alexander's invasion was directed against Northern India, or the Panjab; in those days a populous and highly cultivated country; now the seat of the Seiks and Mahrattas; and then, as now, inhabited by warlike races. He crossed the Indus at Taxila (Attock,) passed the Hydaspes (Behut or Chelum,) and, availing himself of the quarrels between the Indian princes, defeated the king, Porus. He then proceeded across the Acesines (Jenaub) and Hydraotes (Rauvee). The eastern verge reached in this expedition was the river Hyphasis (Beyah;) here, having already proceeded half way to the Ganges, the conqueror was, by a mutiny in his army, compelled to retreat. His return was through the country of the Malli (Multan) as far as the Hydaspes, when the majority of his troops took ship, and were floated along that stream into the Acesines, and from thence into the Indus, which they followed down to its mouth.

Rennel, Memoir of a Map of Hindostan. London, 1793, (3d. edit.) and

St. Croix, Examen, etc. (see p. 216.) furnish all the necessary historical and geographical explanations relative to the Persian and Indian campaigns of Alexander.

Consequences of this expedition.

28. Although Alexander was obliged to give up the project of conquering India, yet the connection between Europe and the east, which has continued from that time, was the work of his hands. While the communication on land was secured by the establishment of various settlements, the communication by sea was opened by the voyage of his admiral, Nearchus, from the Indus to the Euphrates. In the mean time Alexander himself proceeded to Persis and Babylon, across the desert, and the unexplored provinces of Gedrosia and Carmania.

Nearchus's voyage (our knowledge of which is derived from his own journal, preserved in Arrian's Indica) lasted from the be[Pg 220]ginning of October, 326, to the end of February, 325: nearly the same time was occupied in the almost incredible land march of the king.

Vincent, The Voyage of Nearchus from the Indus to the Euphrates. London, 1797, 4to. Exhibiting the most learned researches, and illustrated with excellent charts.

Alexander's policy in the conquered countries:

29. After the abandonment of India, the whole circuit of Alexander's conquests was precisely that of the former Persian empire; his later projects were probably directed against Arabia alone. However easy it had been to make these conquests, it was a more difficult task to retain them; for Macedonia, exhausted by continual levies of men, could not furnish efficient garrisons. Alexander removed this difficulty, by protecting the conquered from oppression; by showing proper respect to their religion; by leaving the civil government in the hands of the native rulers who had hitherto possessed it; and by confiding to Macedonians the command only of the garrisons left in the chief places, and in the newly established colonies. To alter as little as possible in the internal organization of countries was his fundamental principle.

his views.

30. Simple as Alexander's plans were in the outset, their simplicity was more than compensated by the magnitude and importance of their results. Babylon was to be the capital of his empire, and consequently of the world. The union of the east and the west was to be brought about by the amalgamation of the dominant races by intermarriage, by education, and, more than all, by the ties of commerce, the importance of which much ruder conquerors, in Asia itself, soon learnt[Pg 221] to appreciate. In nothing probably is the superiority of his genius more brilliantly displayed, than in his exemption from all national prejudice, particularly when we consider that none of his countrymen were in this respect to be compared with him. To refuse him this merit is impossible, whatever judgment we may form of his general character.

Death of Alexander,
April 21, 323.

31. Sudden death of Alexander at Babylon by fever; under the peculiar circumstances of the time, the greatest loss mankind could experience. From the Indus to the Nile the world lay in ruins; and where was now the architect to be found, that could gather up the scattered fragments and restore the edifice?

Alexander's disorder may be easily accounted for by the hardships he had undergone, and the impure air to which he exposed himself in cleaning out the canals about Babylon. He certainly was not poisoned; and in the charge of immoderate drunkenness brought against him, we must take into account the manners of the Macedonian and Persian courts. Was it not the same with Peter the Great? In estimating his moral character we must bear in mind the natural vehemence of his passions, ever inclined to the most rapid transitions; nor should we forget the unavoidable influence of constant success upon mankind.

[Pg 222]


History of the Macedonian monarchy, from the death of Alexander the Great to the battle of Ipsus, B. C. 323—301.

To enable the reader to take a general view, the history of the European events is resumed below, under the head of the history of Macedonia Proper.

Sources. Diodorus, lib. xviii—xx. is the great authority for this portion of history. He compiled mostly, for this period, from a contemporary historian, Hieronymus of Cardia. He is followed by Plutarch in the Lives of Eumenes, Demetrius, and Phocion; and by Justin, lib. xiii, etc. Of Arrian's history of Alexander's successors, nothing unfortunately remains but a few fragments in Photius.

Mannert, History of Alexander's successors. Nuremberg, 1787. Composed with the usual judgment and learning of that author.

Measures adopted at the death of Alexander.

1. The very first measure adopted after the death of Alexander contained within itself the seeds of all the dire revolutions that afterwards ensued. Not only were the jealousy and ambition of the nobles aroused, but even the interference of the army was exhibited in the most terrific manner. Although the idea of the supremacy of the royal family was cast off only by degrees, yet the dreadfully disturbed state in which that family stood, rendered its fall unavoidable.

State of the royal family at the death of Alexander. He left his wife Roxana pregnant, who at the end of three months brought into the world the rightful heir to the sceptre, Alexander; he left likewise an illegitimate son, Hercules; a bastard[Pg 223] half-brother, Arrhidæus; his mother, the haughty and cruel Olympias, and a sister, Cleopatra, both widows; the artful Eurydice, (daughter to Cyane, one of Philip's sisters,) subsequently married to the king, Arrhidæus; and Thessalonica, Philip's daughter, afterwards united to Cassander of Macedonia.

Arrhidæus and Alexander joint kings:
Perdiccas regent.
Antipater in Europe.

2. The weak Arrhidæus, under the name of Philip, and the infant Alexander were at last proclaimed kings, the regency being placed in the hands of Perdiccas, Leonnatus, and Meleager; the last of whom was quickly cut off at the instigation of Perdiccas. Meanwhile Antipater, with whom Craterus had been joined as civil ruler, had the management of affairs in Europe.

Violent revolutions.

3. The sequel of the history becomes naturally that of satraps, who fell out among themselves, all being ambitious to rule, and none willing to obey. Twenty-two years elapsed ere any massy edifice arose out of the ruins of the Macedonian monarchy. In few periods of history are the revolutions of affairs so violent, in few periods, therefore, is it so difficult to unravel the maze of events. For this purpose the most convenient division of the history is into three periods: the first extending to the death of Perdiccas, 321: the second to the death of Eumenes, 315: the third to the defeat and death of Antigonus at the battle of Ipsus, 301.

Division of the empire.
B. C. 323.

4. First grant of the provinces made by Perdiccas. The vanity of this man seems to have induced him to select the office of regent, in order that no separate province might fall to his share; he placed his whole reliance on having the command of the royal army, although it had already given so many proofs of its determination to command rather than to obey.[Pg 224]

In this division Ptolemy son of Lagus received Egypt; Leonnatus, Mysia; Antigonus, Phrygia, Lycia, and Pamphylia; Lysymachus, Macedonian Thrace; Antipater and Craterus remained in possession of Macedonia.—The foreigner, Eumenes, would hardly have received Cappadocia, although yet to be conquered, had Perdiccas been able to dispense with his services. The remaining provinces either did not come under the new division, or else their governors are unworthy of notice.

First acts of Perdiccas.

5. The first acts of Perdiccas's government showed how little dependence he could place on the obedience of men who hitherto had been his colleagues. The general insurrection among the mercenaries who had been settled by Alexander Insurrection in Upper Asia. in Upper Asia, and now wished to return to their homes, was, no doubt, quelled by Python's destruction of the rebels; but it was not Python's fault that he did not make himself independent master of the scene of mutiny.

Disobedience of Antigonus and Leonnatus.

6. Still more refractory was the behaviour of Leonnatus and Antigonus, when they received orders to put Eumenes in possession of his province. Antigonus was too haughty to obey; and Leonnatus preferred going over into Europe to marry Cleopatra; there, however, he almost immediately met with his death in the Lamian war. (See below, book iv. period iii. parag. 2.) Perdiccas, therefore, was himself obliged to undertake the expedition with the royal army; he succeeded 322. by the defeat of Ariarathes.

Perdiccas wishes to marry Cleopatra, but is frustrated;

7. Ambitious views of Perdiccas, who, in order to ascend the throne by a marriage with Cleopatra, repudiates Nicæa, the daughter of Antipater. Cleopatra actually came over to Asia; but Perdiccas, being obliged, at the request of the army, to marry Eurydice, Philip's niece, after[Pg 225] the murder of her mother Cyane, to the king Arrhidæus, found her a troublesome rival and opponent in the government.

seeks to ruin Antigonus and Ptolemy.

8. Attempts of Perdiccas to overthrow Antigonus and Ptolemy, by accusing them before the army. Antigonus passes over to Antipater in Macedonia; and gives rise to the league between Antipater, Craterus, and Ptolemy, against Perdiccas and Eumenes.

War between the two parties, 321.

9. Commencement and termination of the first war. Perdiccas himself marches against Egypt, leaving his friend Eumenes to command in Asia Minor: meanwhile Antipater and Craterus fall upon Asia; the former advances towards Syria against Perdiccas; the latter is defeated and slain by Eumenes. Before the arrival, however, of Antipater, Perdiccas, after repeated and vain attempts to cross the Nile, falls a victim to the insurrection 320. of his own troops.—Thus three of the principal personages, Perdiccas, Craterus, Leonnatus, were already removed from the theatre of action; and the victorious Eumenes, now master of Asia Minor, had to maintain, unaided, the struggle against the confederates.

Antipater regent.

10. Second period, from the death of Perdiccas to that of Eumenes.—Python and Arrhidæus quickly resigning the regency, it is assumed by Antipater.—New division of the provinces at Trisparadisus in Syria. Seleucus receives Babylon; Antigonus is promised, besides his former possessions, all those of the outlawed Eumenes.

11. War of Antigonus with Eumenes. The latter, defeated by treachery, shuts himself up in the mountain fastness of Nora, there to await more[Pg 226] favourable times; and Antigonus remains master of all Asia Minor: in the mean time Ptolemy ventures to take possession of Syria and Phœnicia.

Antipater dies. 320.
Polysperchon regent.

12. Death of the regent Antipater, in the same year, (320;) he bequeaths the regency to his friend, the aged Polysperchon, to the exclusion of his own son Cassander. Antigonus now begins to unfold his ambitious plans; he endeavours vainly to win over Eumenes, who deceives him in the negotiations, and seizes the opportunity of leaving his mountain fastness.

13. Eumenes's plan to strengthen himself in Upper Asia; as he is on the way he receives tidings of his being appointed generalissimo of the royal troops. What better man could Polysperchon have selected for the office than he who in his conduct towards Antigonus exhibited so striking an example of attachment to the royal house?


14. Exertions of Eumenes to maintain himself in Lower Asia, ineffectual, the naval victory won by Antigonus over the royal fleet, commanded by Clitus, depriving him of the empire of the sea. He bursts into Upper Asia; where, in the spring, he unites with the satraps, who had 317. taken arms against the powerful Seleucus of Babylon.

15. Antigonus following up the royal general, Upper Asia becomes the theatre of war. Victorious as was at first the stand made by Eumenes, neither valour nor talent were of any avail against the insubordination of the royal troops, and the jealousy of the other commanders. Attacked in winter quarters by Antigonus, he was, after the battle, delivered into the hands of his enemy by [Pg 227]the mutinous Argyraspidæ, who had lost their 315. baggage: he was put to death, and in him the king's family lost its only loyal supporter.


16. Great changes had also taken place in the royal family. Her enemy Antipater having deceased, Olympias, invited by Polysperchon, who wished to strengthen himself against Cassander, had returned from Epirus, and put to death Arrhidæus together with his wife, Eurydice: in the year following she was besieged in Pydna by Cassander, and being obliged to surrender, was in her turn executed; meanwhile Cassander held Roxana and the young king in his own power.

Predominance of Antigonus.

17. Third period, from the death of Eumenes to that of Antigonus.—The rout of Eumenes seemed to have established for ever the power of Antigonus in Asia; still animated with the fire of youth, though full of years, he saw himself revived in his son Demetrius, fond of boisterous revelry, but gallant and talented.—Even Seleucus 315. thought it time to consult his safety by flying from Babylon into Egypt.

18. Changes introduced by Antigonus into the upper provinces; return to Asia Minor, where his presence seemed indispensable, by reason of the aggrandizement of Ptolemy in Syria and Phœnicia, of the Macedonian Cassander in Europe, of Lysimachus in Mysia, and the Carian Cassander in Asia Minor.—He repossesses himself of Phœnicia, a country of the first importance for the construction of a fleet.

Siege of Tyre, 314—313: it lasts fourteen months; a proof that the city was certainly not razed by Alexander.

19. The fugitive Seleucus forms a league[Pg 228] against Antigonus and Demetrius, between Ptolemy, the two Cassanders, and Lysimachus. But Antigonus frustrates their combination, himself driving out the Carian Cassander, and his son marching against Ptolemy.

Victory won by Ptolemy over Demetrius at Gaza, 312; after which Seleucus marches back to Babylon, and, although subsequently followed up by Demetrius, permanently maintains his footing in Upper Asia.—On the other hand, Ptolemy, at the first approach of Antigonus with the main body, surrenders back Syria and Phœnicia, 312.

Peace concluded, 311.

20. A general peace concluded between Antigonus and his enemies, Seleucus only excepted, from whom Upper Asia is to be again wrested. The first article, that each should retain what he had, demonstrates pretty evidently that the treaty was dictated solely by Antigonus; the second, that the Greek cities should be free, was pregnant with the seeds of a new war, ready to burst forth at every favourable opportunity; the third, that the young Alexander should be raised to the throne upon attaining his majority, was probably the death warrant of the hapless prince, who, that same year, together with his mother, was murdered by Cassander.—Shortly after, at the instigation of Antigonus, Cleopatra was put to death, in order that Ptolemy might be thwarted in his object, which depended on a matrimonial connection with that princess.

Disputes on the liberation of Greece.

21. Even the execution of the articles must have given rise to hostilities; Ptolemy wishing to force Antigonus, and he, on his side, to compel Cassander, to withdraw the garrisons from the Grecian towns; a condition which neither party felt inclined to fulfil. Grecian freedom was now[Pg 229] but a name; this, however, is not the only example history furnishes of political ideas making the greatest stir long after they have survived their own existence; for then they become excellent tools in the hands of artful designers.

Expedition of Demetrius to liberate Athens, 308. The day when he announced freedom to the Athenians, must have been the happiest of his life! Few portions of history present such a scope for the contemplation of human nature as the twofold sojourn of Demetrius at Athens.

22. The growing power of Ptolemy on the sea, and the capture of Cyprus, determines Antigonus to an open rupture: he commands his son to drive Ptolemy out of the island.

Naval victory of Demetrius off Cyprus, 307, perhaps the greatest and most bloody in history; nevertheless, as little decisive to the general question as are most naval battles. The assumption of the royal title, first by the conqueror, afterwards by the conquered, and ultimately by all the rest, was but a mere form now that the royal family was extirpated.

Rhodes besieged.

23. The conquerors having failed in their project of subduing Egypt, made the wealthy republic of the Rhodians, as an ally of that country, the victim of their fury. But though in the renowned siege of their capital, Demetrius earned 305. his title of Poliorcetes, the noble defence of the Rhodians afforded an illustrious example of the power of discipline in conjunction with well-guided patriotism. The invitation of the Athenians came seasonably to Demetrius; he raised the blockade and proceeded to complete the 304. liberation of Greece, the necessity of which became every day more pressing.

Demetrius again visits Greece.

24. Second sojourn of Demetrius in Greece. The expulsion of Cassander's garrisons from the[Pg 230] Grecian cities, and more particularly from those in Peloponnesus; the appointment of Demetrius as generalissimo of Greece, for the conquest of Macedonia and Thrace; proved not only to Cassander, but also to the other princes, that their common interest loudly called upon them to resist the over-powerful Antigonus.

League against Antigonus, 302.

25. Third grand league of Cassander, Ptolemy, and Seleucus, against Antigonus and his son; brought about by Cassander. How easily, even after the violent irruption of Lysimachus into Asia Minor, might Antigonus have dispersed the gathering storms, had not his presumption led him to place an overweening reliance on his own good fortune!

Junction of Seleucus and Lysimachus, 301.

26. Junction of Seleucus of Babylon and Lysimachus, in Phrygia. Antigonus, to concentrate his forces, recalls his son, who had pushed on to the borders of Macedonia. The cautious Ptolemy, on the other hand, is afraid to invade Syria; and, in consequence of a false report, that Lysimachus had been defeated, retires full of alarm, into Egypt.

Battle of Ipsus, 301.

27. Great and decisive battle fought at Ipsus in Phrygia, in the spring of 301, which costs Antigonus his life, and annihilates his empire, as the two conquerors divide it between themselves, without taking any account of the absent confederates. Asia Minor, as far as mount Taurus, falls to the share of Lysimachus; and all the rest, with the exception of Cilicia, which is given to Plisthenes, Cassander's brother, is left to Seleucus.—Demetrius, by the help of his navy, escapes into Greece.[Pg 231]

Domestic organization of the monarchy.

28. The almost unbroken series of wars which had raged from the time of Alexander, must have precluded the possibility of much being effected with respect to domestic organization. It appears to have been nearly, if not wholly, military. Yet were the numerous devastations in some measure compensated by the erection of new cities, in which these princes vied with one another, impelled partly by vanity to immortalize their names, partly by policy to support their dominion, most of the new settlements being military colonies. Nevertheless this was but a sorry reparation for the manifold oppressions to which the natives were exposed by the practice of quartering the army upon them. The spread of the language and civilization of the Greeks deprived them of all national distinction; their own languages sinking into mere provincial dialects. Alexander's monarchy affords a striking example of the little that can be expected from a forced amalgamation of races, when the price of that amalgamation is the obliteration of national character in the individuals.

Heyne, Opum regni Macedonici auctarum, attritarum et eversarum, causæ probabiles; in Opusc. t. iv. This collection contains several other treatises on Grecian and Macedonian history, which cannot be all separately enumerated.

[Pg 232]


History of the kingdoms and states which arose upon the dismemberment of the Macedonian Monarchy after the battle of Ipsus.

I. History of the Syrian empire under the Seleucidæ, B. C. 312—64.

Sources. Neither for the history of the Syrian, nor for that of the Egyptian and Macedonian kingdoms, has any eminent writer been preserved. The fragments of the lost books of Diodorus, and, from the time that these kingdoms became allies of Rome, those of Polybius, several narratives of Livy, the Syriaca of Appian, and a few of Plutarch's Lives, are the principal authorities; too frequently we are obliged to rely upon the extracts of Justin. For the history of the Seleucidæ, in consequence of the political connection between these princes and the Jews, the Antiquities of Josephus and the book of Maccabees become of importance. Besides these authorities, the many coins that have been preserved of these kings, afford much information respecting their genealogy and chronology.

Of modern publications on the subject, the principal work is

Vaillant, Imperium Seleucidarum sive historia regum Syriæ, 1681, 4to. The enquiry is principally grounded on coins, as is the case with

Froelich, Annales rerum et regum Syriæ. Viennæ, 1754.

Seleucus Nicator,

1. The kingdom of the Seleucidæ was founded in Upper Asia by Seleucus Nicator. It was an extensive empire; but, being composed of various countries united only by conquest, it could possess but little internal stability except what it derived from the power of its rulers. That power fell with the founder; and the transfer of the seat of[Pg 233] empire from the banks of the Tigris to Syria, entangled the Seleucidæ in all the political disputes of the western world, and facilitated the insurrection of the upper provinces. The history of this kingdom divides itself into the periods before and after the war with Rome; although at the breaking out of this war the seeds of its decline and fall had already been sown.

Seleucus received, 321, Babylon as his province; but after the defeat of Eumenes was obliged to take to flight, 315, in order to avoid subjection to the conqueror Antigonus. But his moderate government had rendered him so popular, that after the victory won by Ptolemy over Demetrius at Gaza, 312, he could safely venture to return with only a few adherents to Babylon. In this year commences the kingdom of the Seleucidæ.

founds the kingdom of the Seleucidæ.
B. C. 313.

2. In the ten following years, and while Antigonus was busied in Asia Minor, Seleucus laid the foundation of his power over all Upper Asia, with a facility to which the detestation excited by the rigid government of Antigonus mainly contributed. After his victory over Nicanor of Media, all in that quarter declared spontaneously for him; and the unsuccessful expedition of Demetrius taught Antigonus himself, that it would no longer be prudent to assert his claims. As early as 307, Seleucus was in possession of all the countries between the Euphrates, Indus, and Oxus.

Campaign against India,

3. Great campaign in India undertaken by Seleucus against king Sandracottus. He penetrated as far as the Ganges, and the close alliance he formed with the Indian sovereign lasted a long time after, and was kept up by embassies. The great number of elephants which he brought back[Pg 234] with him was not the only advantage accruing from this expedition; the intercourse with the east seems to have been permanently reestablished.

Seat of government removed into Syria,

4. By the battle of Ipsus Seleucus added to his dominions the greater part of the territories of Antigonus;—Syria, Cappadocia, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. Unfortunately Syria now became the head province, notwithstanding Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia were left in the hands of Ptolemy. How widely different would have been the course of historic events, had the seat of empire remained at Seleucia on the Tigris, and the Euphrates continued to be the western boundary of the Seleucidæ!

5. Reciprocal relations between the several kings, who now combine in forming a kind of political system, in which continued exertions to maintain a balance of power by alliance and marriage are plainly discernible.

Connection between Seleucus and Demetrius Poliorcetes, by the marriage of the former with the beautiful Stratonice, daughter of the latter; made with the view of counterbalancing a similar connection between Ptolemy and Lysimachus; Lysimachus and his son Agathocles having united themselves with two daughters of Ptolemy.

Long peace in Asia,

6. The eighteen years of tranquillity enjoyed by Asia after the battle of Ipsus, prove that Seleucus was one of the few followers of Alexander who had any genius for the arts of peace. He either founded or embellished a vast number of cities, the most important of which were the capital, Antiochia in Syria, and the two Seleucias, one on the Tigris, the other on the Orontes: the[Pg 235] flourishing prosperity of several of these places was the result of the restoration of eastern trade; new channels for which appear to have been opened at this period on the main streams of Asia, and more particularly on the Oxus.

The empire divided into satrapies.

7. The home department of his empire was organized into satrapies, of which there were seventy-two. But Alexander's maxim, "to give the satrapies to natives," was wholly forgotten by his followers; and the Seleucidæ were not long before they experienced the evil consequences of swerving from that practice. Under such a prince as Seleucus scarce any kingdom could of itself fall to pieces; but the king himself paved the way for the dismemberment of his empire, by ceding 293. Upper Asia, together with his consort Stratonice, to his son Antiochus; not, however, without the previous approbation of the army.

Conquest of Asia Minor.

8. War with Lysimachus, kindled by ancient jealousy, and now fomented by family feuds. The battle of Curopedion cost Lysimachus his throne and his life; and Asia Minor became a part of the Syrian realm. But as Seleucus was crossing over to Europe, to add Macedonia to his dominions, he fell by the hand of an assassin, Ptolemy Ceraunus, and with him the splendour of his kingdom was extinguished.

Antiochus Soter,

9. The reign of his son, Antiochus I. surnamed Soter, seemed not unprosperous, inasmuch as the empire preserved its former extension; but in any state founded upon conquest, the failure of new attempts at an increase of territory is a sure token of approaching ruin; and this was the case here.—In such a state, the more immediately all[Pg 236] depends on the person of the ruler, the more rapid and sensible are the effects of degeneration in a family like that of the Seleucidæ.

The late conquests of his father in Asia Minor entangled Antiochus in new wars; although, by the marriage of his stepdaughter Phila with Antigonus Gonatas, he ceded his claims on Macedonia, 277.—Fruitless attempt at subjecting Bithynia, 279; the king of that country, Nicomedes, calls in the Gauls, who had invaded Macedonia, and gives them a settlement in Galatia, 277, where they keep their footing, even after the victory won over them by Antiochus, 275, and by their participation in the wars, as mercenaries, become of importance.—The newly risen state of Pergamus likewise thrives, at the expense of the Syrian empire, in spite of Antiochus's attack, 263; and the inroad into Egypt, for the purpose of supporting the rebel Magas, is anticipated by Ptolemy II. 264.

Antiochus Theus,
Rise of the Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms.

10. Antiochus II. surnamed Θεός. During his reign the sway was in the hands of women; and the diseased state of the interior of the empire became palpable by the secession of various eastern provinces, out of which arose the Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms. The boundless luxury of the court hurried on the decline of the ruling family; having once begun to sink, it could not without difficulty have retrieved its virtue independently of the matrimonial connections now constantly formed from within itself.

Ascendancy of his stepsister and wife Laodice, and of his sister Apame, relict of Magas; the latter involves him in war with Ptolemy II. to vindicate her claims upon Cyrene; it ends by Antiochus's marriage with Berenice, daughter of Ptolemy, and his repudiation of Laodice, 260—252. Having, after the death of Ptolemy, 247, put away Berenice and taken back Laodice; the latter, distrusting his motives, cuts him off by poison.—The secession of Parthia happened in consequence of the expulsion of the Macedonian governor by Arsaces, founder of the house of the[Pg 237] Arsacidæ: that of Bactria, on the other hand, was brought about by the Macedonian governor himself, Theodotus, who asserted his independence. (Concerning these two kingdoms, see below, book iv. period iii. Dist. Kingdoms iv. parag. 4, 5.) At first, the former of these kingdoms comprised but a part of Parthia; the latter only Bactria, and, perhaps, Sogdiana; both, however, were soon enlarged at the expense of the Seleucidæ.

Seleucus Callinicus,

11. Seleucus II. surnamed Callinicus. His reign, twenty years in duration, is one unbroken series of wars; in which the kingdom, already enfeebled, was subverted, partly by the struggle with Egypt, caused by the hatred between Laodice and Berenice; partly by the jealousy of his brother Antiochus Hierax; and partly by vain attempts at recovering the upper provinces.

Assassination of Berenice, and most unfortunate war thereby kindled with Ptolemy Evergetes of Egypt, 247—244. The assistance which Seleucus obtains from his junior brother, Antiochus, governor of Asia Minor, induces Ptolemy to a truce, 243; but another war ensues between the two brothers, in which Antiochus, at first conqueror, is himself soon afterwards conquered in his turn, 243—240; and during this contest, Eumenes of Pergamus greatly increases his territory at the expense of Syria, 242.—His first campaign against Arsaces, who had formed an alliance with the Bactrian king, ended in a defeat, 238, regarded by the Parthians as the real epoch of the foundation of their kingdom. In the second campaign, 236, he himself fell into the hands of the Parthians, and remained a prisoner till the day of his death, 227.

Seleucus Ceraunus, 227.

12. His elder son Seleucus III. surnamed Ceraunus, on the point of taking the field against Attalus king of Pergamus, was removed by poison. But the dominion of the Seleucidæ was reestablished in Asia Minor by his mother's fraternal nephew, Achæus; and the crown ensured to the younger brother Antiochus, governor of Babylon.[Pg 238]

Antiochus the Great,

13. The long reign of Antiochus III. surnamed the Great, is not only the most eventful in Syrian history, but likewise marks an epoch, by the relations now commencing between Syria and Rome.—To earn the title of great was a task of no extreme difficulty in such a line of princes.

Insurrection in Media and Persia.

14. Great power of Hermias the Carian, who soon became so formidable to the young monarch, that he was obliged to rid himself of him by murder. The great stand made by the brothers, Molo and Alexander, satraps of Media and Persia, who probably had an understanding with Hermias, threatened the king with the loss of all the upper provinces: it ended in the defeat of Molo, Hermias being at last no longer able to hinder the king from marching against him in person.

War with the Ptolemies: insurrection of Asia Minor, 220.

15. The intrigues of Hermias excited Achæus to rebellion in Asia Minor: but Antiochus held more important, first to execute the plan he had previously traced, of ejecting the Ptolemies from their possessions in Syria; great as the success which at first attended this expedition, it was completely traversed by the battle of Raphia.—Combining with Attalus of Pergamus, Antiochus then defeated Achæus, who, being shut up in the citadel of Sardes, was treacherously delivered into his hands.

Campaign in the upper provinces,

16. Great campaign of Antiochus in the upper provinces, in consequence of the seizure of Media by Arsaces III.—Hostilities ended in a compact, by which Antiochus agreed formerly to cede Parthia and Hyrcania; Arsaces, on his side, pledging himself to furnish assistance against Bactria.[Pg 239]—But the war with Bactria was also followed by a peace, leaving the king, Euthydemus, in possession of his crown and dominions.—The expedition now undertaken by Antiochus, in company with Demetrius of Bactriana, against India, extended, probably far up the country, and was attended with important consequences to Bactriana. (See below, history of Bactria, book iv. per. iii. Dist. Kingdoms iv. parag. 5.)

The result of these great expeditions was the establishment of the supremacy of the Seleucidæ in Upper Asia; those countries excepted which had been formally resigned.

On his return through Arachotus and Carmania, where he wintered, he likewise undertook a naval expedition on the Persian gulf: here Gerrha, in possession of its freedom, appears a flourishing place of trade.

War with Egypt,

17. Resumption of the plan against Egypt, after the death of Ptolemy Philopator; and alliance with Philip of Macedonia, then carrying on war in Asia. Antiochus, it is true, attained his end in the expulsion of the Ptolemies from their possessions in Syria, Cœle-Syria, and Phœnicia; but then, his success brought him in contact with 203—198. Rome, an event of decisive importance to himself and his successors.

War with Rome.

18. Growth of the disputes between the king and Rome, proceeding from the conquest of the major part of Asia Minor and the Thracian Chersonesus; meanwhile Hannibal had taken refuge at the Syrian court, and the probability daily increased of a great league being formed against Rome, although that power, after conquering Carthage, 201, and Macedonia, 197, had succeeded [Pg 240]in winning over Greece even, by the magic spell of freedom. But Antiochus ruined all: instead of following Hannibal's advice, and attacking the Romans on their own ground, he stood on the defensive, and suffered himself to be invaded by them in Asia. His defeat at Magnesia near Mount Sipylus compelled him to accede to such 190. conditions as Rome chose to dictate, and the power of the Syrian empire was for ever broken.

For the history of this war, see below in the Roman history. Book v. per. ii. parag. 10, 11.

Conditions of peace with Rome.

19. The conditions of the peace were: 1st. That Antiochus should evacuate Asia Minor; (Asia cis Taurum.) 2nd. That he should pay down 15,000 talents; and to Eumenes of Pergamus four hundred. 3rd. That Hannibal and some others should be delivered up, and the king's younger son Antiochus, be given as an hostage.—The loss of the surrendered countries was a consequence of this peace, less disadvantageous to the Syrian kings, than the use made of it by the conquerors. By adding the greatest part of the ceded territories to those of the kings of Pergamus, the Romans raised up alongside of their enemy a rival, whom they might at their own will use as a political engine against him.—Rome took care likewise that the stipulated sum should be paid by instalments in twelve years, to the end that Syria might be kept in a permanent state of dependence.

Seleucus Philopator,

20. Murder of the king, 187. The reign of his elder son, Seleucus IV. surnamed Philopator, was a period of tranquillity; peace arising from weakness.—Though once he unsheathed his sword in[Pg 241] defence of Pharnaces king of Pontus, against Eumenes, his fear of Rome soon compelled him to restore it to the scabbard. He exchanged his son for his brother at Rome; but fell a victim to the ambition of his minister Heliodorus.

Antiochus Epiphanes,

21. Antiochus IV. surnamed Epiphanes. Educated at Rome, he sought to combine the popular manners of a Roman with the ostentatious luxury of a Syrian; and thereby became an object of universal hatred and contempt. Our information respecting his history is too meagre to allow of our deciding whether most of the evil reported of him, in the Jewish accounts especially, may not be exaggerated. At any rate, among all his faults, we may still discern in him the germs of good qualities.

His war against Egypt,

22. War with Egypt, springing out of Ptolemy Philometor's claims upon Cœle-Syria and Palestine. Obscure as many parts are in the history of this war yet it is evident that success attended the arms of Antiochus, and that he would have become master of Egypt had not Rome interfered.

The pretext for war, on the Egyptian side, was, that those provinces had by Antiochus III. been promised as a dowry to Cleopatra, sister of Antiochus and the mother of Philometor: Antiochus Epiphanes, on his side, laid claim to the regency of Egypt, as uncle to the young king, who, however, was soon declared of age.—Opening of the war, and victory won by Antiochus at Pelusium, 171; in consequence of which Cyprus is betrayed into his hands.—Pelusium is fortified with a view of insuring the possession of Cœle-Syria, and of facilitating an irruption into Egypt.—Another victory, 170, and Egypt subdued as far as Alexandria. Philometor driven by a sedition out of Alexandria, where his brother Physcon is seated on the throne, falls into the hands of Antiochus, who concludes with him a most ad[Pg 242]vantageous peace, and takes his part against Physcon. Hence siege is laid to Alexandria, 169; attended with no success. Upon the retreat of Antiochus, Philometor, concluding a separate peace with his brother, according to which both are to rule in conjunction, is admitted into Alexandria. Antiochus, bitterly enraged, now declares war against both brothers, who crave assistance from Rome: he once more penetrates into Egypt, 168; where the Roman ambassador, Popillius, assumes so lofty a tone, that the Syrian king is glad to purchase peace by the surrender of Cyprus and Pelusium.

his intolerance:

23. The religious intolerance of Epiphanes, exhibited in his wish to introduce the Grecian worship everywhere among the subjects of his empire, is the more remarkable, as such instances were less frequent in those times. This intolerance seems to have taken its rise, not only in the love of pomp, but in the cupidity of the king, who by that means was enabled to appropriate to himself the treasures of the temples, no longer inviolate, since the defeat of his father by Rome. The 167. consequent sedition of the Jews, under the Maccabees, laid the foundation of the future independence of that people, and contributed not a little to weaken the Syrian kingdom.

See below; History of the Jews, book iv. per. iv; Small states Jews, parag. 6. The deep decay of the finances of the Seleucidæ, palpable from the latter days of Antiochus the Great, may be accounted for well enough, by the falling off of the revenue, accompanied with increased luxury in the kings, (an instance of which is furnished in the festivals celebrated by Antiochus Epiphanes at Daphne, 166,) and in the vast presents constantly sent to Rome, in addition to the tribute, for the purpose of keeping up a party there.

his death,

24. His expedition also into Upper Asia, Persis especially, where great disorders were likewise excited by the introduction of the Grecian reli[Pg 243]gion, had for its object not only the recovery of Armenia, but the rifling of the temples. He died, however, on his way to Babylon.

Antiochus Eupator.

25. The real heir to the throne, Demetrius, being detained at Rome as an hostage, Epiphanes was first succeeded by his son Antiochus V. surnamed Eupator, a child nine years old. During his short reign, the quarrels of his guardians, the despotism of the Romans, the protracted war with the Jews, and the commencing conquests of the Parthians, reduced the kingdom of the Seleucidæ to a powerless state.

Contest between Lysias, regent in the absence of Epiphanes, and Philip, appointed by the king, previously to his death, as guardian of the young prince, terminated by the defeat of Philip, 162.—Eupator's right acknowledged at Rome, in order that the guardianship might fall into the hands of the senate, who administer the government by means of a commission sent over into Syria, and completely deprive the king of all power of resistance. Octavius, head of the commission, put to death, probably at the instigation of Lysias.—While the Parthian king, Mithridates I. is prosecuting his conquests at the expense of the Syrian kingdom in Upper Asia, Demetrius secretly escapes out of Rome, takes possession of the throne, and causes Eupator and Lysias to be put to death, 161.

Demetrius Soter,

26. Demetrius I. surnamed Soter. He succeeded in getting himself acknowledged at Rome, on which all now depended. The attempts to extend his power, by supporting Orofernes, the pretender to the crown of Cappadocia, against the king Ariarathes, had their origin partly in family relations, but still more, as was the case with almost all political transactions of those times, in bribery. By this act he only drew upon himself the enmity of the kings of Egypt and Pergamus; as, moreover, he was hated by his sub[Pg 244]jects on account of his intemperance, the chances of success were greatly in favour of the shameful 154. usurpation of Alexander Balas, brought about by Heraclidas the expelled governor of Babylon, and backed by the yet more shameful conduct of the Roman senate, who acknowledged his title to the throne. The Syrian kingdom was now fallen so low, that both king and usurper were obliged to court the favour of the Jews under Jonathan, hitherto regarded as rebels. In the second battle Demetrius lost his life.

Alexander Balas,

27. The usurper Alexander Balas endeavoured to confirm his power by a marriage with Cleopatra, daughter of Ptolemy Philometor: but he soon evinced himself more unworthy even than his predecessor of wielding the sceptre. While he abandoned the government to his favourite, the detested Ammonius, the eldest remaining son of Demetrius succeeds not only in raising a party against the usurper, but even in prevailing on Philometor to side with himself, and give him in marriage Cleopatra, whom he takes away from Balas. The consequence of this alliance with 145. Egypt was the defeat and downfal of Balas, although it cost Philometor his life.

The account, that Philometor wished to conquer Syria for himself, must probably be understood as meaning that he had formed the design of recovering the ancient Egyptian possessions, Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia. Otherwise, why should he have given his daughter to a second pretender to the throne?

Demetrius Nicator, 145—126.

28. Demetrius II. surnamed Nicator, 145—141, and for the second time, 130—126. The disbanding of his father's mercenaries having roused the indignation of the army, the cruelty of his [Pg 245]favourite Lasthenes kindled a sedition in the capital, which could not be quenched without the assistance of the Jews, under their high priest and military chieftain, Jonathan.—While affairs were in this posture, Diodotus, subsequently called Tryphon, a dependent of Balas, excited an insurrection, by bringing forward Antiochus, the latter's son, and even, with the help of Jonathan, seating him on the throne of Antioch: soon after, Tryphon, having by treachery got Jonathan into his power, removed Antiochus by murder, and assumed the diadem himself.—Notwithstanding Demetrius kept his footing only in a part of Syria, he was enabled to obey the call of the Grecian colonists in Upper Asia, and support them against the Parthians, who had overrun the country as far as the Euphrates.—Although victorious in the commencement of the contest, he was soon after taken by the Parthians, and remained ten years a prisoner, though treated meanwhile as a king.

Antiochus of Sida.

29. In order to maintain herself against Tryphon, Cleopatra marries the younger, and better brother, Antiochus of Sida, (Sidetes); he being at first in alliance with the Jews,—who, however, were soon after subdued—defeats and overthrows Tryphon. Being now lord and master of Syria, he undertakes a campaign against the Parthians; at the commencement, befriended by the subjects of the Parthians, he is successful, but soon afterwards is attacked in winter quarters by those very friends, and cut to pieces, together with all his army.

If the accounts of the wanton licentiousness of his army are not exaggerations, they furnish the clearest proof of the military[Pg 246] despotism of those times. By continued pillage and extortion, the wealth of the country had been collected in the hands of the soldiers; and the condition of Syria must have been pretty nearly the same as that of Egypt under the Mamluk sultans.

Demetrius Nicator restored,

30. Meanwhile Demetrius II. having escaped from prison, again seated himself on the throne. But being now still more overbearing than before, and meddling in the Egyptian affairs, Ptolemy Physcon set up against him a rival in the person of Alexander Zebinas a pretended son of Alexander Balas; by him he was defeated and slain.

The Parthian king Phraates II. had, at first, liberated Demetrius, to whom his sister Rhodogune was united by marriage, in order that, by appearing in Syria, he might oblige Antiochus to retreat. Antiochus having fallen, Phraates would fain have recaptured Demetrius, but he escaped.


31. The ensuing history of the Seleucidæ is a picture of civil wars, family feuds, and deeds of horror, such as are scarcely to be paralleled. The utmost verge of the empire was now the Euphrates; all Upper Asia acknowledging the dominion of the Parthians. The Jews, moreover, having completely vindicated their independence, the kingdom was consequently confined to Syria and Phœnicia. So thoroughly decayed was the state, that even the Romans—whether because there was no longer anything to plunder, or because they conceived it more prudent to suffer the Seleucidæ to wear themselves out in mutual quarrels—do not seem to have taken any account Syria becomes a Roman province, 64. of it, until, at the conclusion of the last war with Mithridates, they thought proper formally to annex it to their empire as a province.

[Pg 247]

War between Alexander Zebinas and the ambitious relict of Demetrius, Cleopatra, who with her own hand murders her eldest son Seleucus, B. C. 125, for pretending to the crown, which she now gives to her younger son, Antiochus Gryphus; the new king, however, soon saw himself compelled to secure his own life by the murder of his mother, 122; Alexander Zebinas having been the year before, 123, defeated and put to death. After a peaceful rule of eight years, 122—114, Antiochus Gryphus is involved in war with his half-brother Antiochus Cyzicenus, son of Cleopatra by Antiochus Sidetes: it ends, 111, in a partition of territory. But the war between the brothers soon burst out anew, and just as this hapless kingdom seemed about to crumble into pieces, Gryphus was murdered, 97.—Seleucus, the eldest of his five sons, having beaten and slain Cyzicenus, 96; the eldest son of the latter, Antiochus Eusebes, prosecuted the war against the sons of Gryphus; Eusebes being at last defeated, 90, the surviving sons of Gryphus fell to war among themselves, and the struggle continued until the Syrians, weary of bloodshed, did what they ought to have done long before, viz. made over the sovereign power to Tigranes the king of Armenia, 85. Yet Eusebes's widow, Selene, retained Ptolemais till 70; and her elder son Antiochus Asiaticus, at the time that Tigranes was beaten by Lucullus, in the Mithridatic war, took possession of some provinces in Syria, 68; these were wrested from him after the total defeat of Mithridates by Pompey, when Tigranes was obliged to give up his claim, and Syria became a province of the Roman empire, 64. Antiochus Asiaticus died 58; his brother Seleucus Cybiosactes, having married Berenice, was raised to the Egyptian throne, but murdered at her command, 57; and thus the family of the Seleucidæ was completely swept away.

II. History of the Egyptian kingdom under the Ptolemies, 323—30.

The sources of this history are for the most part the same as in the foregoing section; see above, p. 232; but unfortunately still more scanty; for in the first place, less information can here be derived from the Jewish writers; secondly, as on the coins struck under the Ptolemies no continuous series of time is marked, but only the year of the king's reign, they are by no means such safeguards to the chronology as those of the Seleu[Pg 248]cidæ. With respect to some few events, important illustrations are supplied by inscriptions.

By modern writers, the history of the Ptolemies has been composed under a form almost entirely chronological, and by no means treated of in the spirit which it deserves.

Vaillant, Historia Ptolemæorum, fol. Amstelodam. 1701. Illustration by the aid of coins.

Champolion Figeac, Annales des Lagides, ou Chronologie des Rois d'Egypte, successeurs d'Alexandre le Grand. Paris, 1819, 2 vols. This treatise, which was honoured with a prize by the Académie des Inscriptions, has by no means exhausted the whole of the subject. See

J. Saint-Martin, Examen Critique de l'ouvrage de M. Ch. F. intitulé Annales des Lagides. Paris, 1820.

Letronne, Recherches pour servir à l'histoire de l'Egypte pendant la domination des Grecs et des Romains, tirées des inscriptions Grecques et Latines, relatives à la chronologie, à l'etat des arts aux usages civils et religieux de ce pays. Paris, 1828. It cannot be denied that the author has thrown a much clearer light on the subjects mentioned in his title.

Flourishing state of Egypt under the Ptolemies.

1. Egypt, under the Ptolemies, fulfilled, and perhaps more than fulfilled, the designs projected by Alexander; it became not only a mighty kingdom, but likewise the centre of trade, and of science. The history of Egypt, however, confines itself, almost solely, to that of the new capital, Alexandria; the foundation of that city produced, imperceptibly, a change in the national character, which never could have been wrought by main force. In the enjoyment of civil welfare and religious freedom, the nation sunk into a state of political drowsiness, such as could scarce have been expected in a people who so often rose up against the Persians.

Alexandria, originally, was no doubt a military colony; it was not long, however, before it became a general place of resort for all nations, such as was scarcely to be met with in any other town of that day. The inhabitants were divided into three classes;[Pg 249] Alexandrines, (that is to say, foreigners of all nations, who had settled in the place; next to the Greeks, the Jews were, it appears, the most numerous,) Egyptians, and Mercenaries in the king's service. The Greeks and Macedonians divided into wards (φυλας), constituted the citizens; they were under municipal government; the others, such as the Jews, formed bodies corporate according to their respective nations. The more important, in so many respects, that Alexandria is for history, the more it is to be regretted that the accounts respecting it, which have reached us, are so far from satisfactory!—Concerning the topography of ancient Alexandria:

Bonamy, Description de la ville d'Alexandrie in the Mém. de l'Académie des Inscript. vol. ix. Compare:

J. L. F. Manso, Letters upon ancient Alexandria, in his Vermischte Schriften, vol. i.

Ptolemy Soter,
B. C. 323—284.

2. Ptolemy I. surnamed Soter, the son of Lagus, received Egypt for his share, at the first division after the death of Alexander. Aware of the value of his lot, he was the only one of Alexander's successors that had the moderation not to aim at grasping all. No doubt he was, by the ambition of the other princes, entangled in their quarrels, but his conduct was so cautious, that Egypt itself was never endangered. Twice attacked in that country, first by Perdiccas, afterwards by Antigonus and Demetrius, he availed himself successfully of his advantageous position, and moreover, in this period, added to his dominion several countries without Africa, such as Phœnicia, Judæa, Cœle-Syria, and Cyprus.

The possession of Phœnicia and Cœle-Syria, by reason of their forests, was of indispensable necessity to Egypt as a naval power. They frequently changed masters. The first occupation of those provinces by the Egyptian government, occurred in 320, soon after the rout of Perdiccas by Ptolemy's general Nicanor, who took the Syrian satrap Laomedon prisoner, established his footing in the whole of Syria, and placed garrisons in the Phœnician[Pg 250] cities. In 314 it was again lost to Antigonus, after his return out of Upper Asia, and the siege of Tyre. Ptolemy having defeated Demetrius at Gaza, 312, repossessed himself of those countries, but soon after evacuated them on the appearance of Antigonus, to whom they were ceded by the peace of 311. At the conclusion of the last grand league against Antigonus, 303, Ptolemy once more occupied them: but alarmed at a false report, that Antigonus had gained a victory, he retreated into Egypt, leaving nevertheless troops in the cities. After the battle of Ipsus, 301, those countries were made over to him, and continued in the hands of the Ptolemies until they were lost at the second invasion of Antiochus the Great, 203.

Cyprus, (see p. 154) like most other islands, acknowledged submission to those who possessed the sovereignty of the sea, and therefore could not escape the dominion of the Ptolemies. It was taken possession of by Ptolemy as early as 313. Still the separate cities of the islands preserved their kings, among whom Nicocles of Paphos, having entered into a secret league with Antigonus, was put to death, 310. After the great seafight, 307, Cyprus fell into the hands of Antigonus and Demetrius. Subsequently to the battle of Ipsus, 301, it remained indeed at first in the power of Demetrius; but that prince being gone over to Macedonia, Ptolemy, 294, seized an opportunity of recovering it, and the island from that time remained under the dominion of Egypt. Availing themselves of their naval strength, the Egyptian kings frequently exerted sovereign power over the coasts of Asia Minor, especially Cilicia, Caria, and Pamphylia, which appear to have absolutely formed a part of their territory under the second Ptolemy. It is, however, hardly possible to define with accuracy what were their real possessions in those quarters.

Cyrene and Libya annexed to Egypt.

3. Ptolemy likewise extends his territory within Africa, by the capture of Cyrene; in consequence of which Libya, or the neighbouring countries betwixt Cyrene and Egypt, fell under his dominion. It is probable, also, that even in his reign the frontier of the Egyptian empire was advanced into Æthiopia; but for this assertion we have no positive authority.[Pg 251]

The fall of Cyrene was brought about by domestic broils: at the time the place was besieged by Thimbron, a portion of the exiled nobles fled to Ptolemy; the Egyptian prince commanded that they should be reinstated by his general Ophellas, who took possession of the town itself, 321. An insurrection in 312 was quelled by Agis, Ptolemy's general: nevertheless it would appear that Ophellas had almost established his independence, when, by the treachery of Agathocles, with whom he had entered into a league against Carthage, he perished, about 308. Cyrene was now seized by Ptolemy, and given to his son Magas, who ruled over it fifty years.

Constitution of the government.

4. With respect to the internal government of Egypt, our information is far from complete. The division into districts or nomes was continued; subject perhaps, in some cases, to alterations. The power of the king appears to have been unlimited; the extreme provinces were administered by governors, appointed by the sovereign; similar officers were probably placed at the head of the various districts of Egypt itself; but hardly any document relative to the home department of that country has reached our time. High public situations, at least in the capital, appear exclusively reserved to Macedonians or Greeks; no Egyptian is ever mentioned as holding office.

There were four magistrates at Alexandria: the Exegetes, whose office was to provide for the wants of the city; the Chief Judge; the Hypomnematographus—(Registrar of the archives?)—and the Στρατηγὸς νυκτερινὸς, no doubt, the supervisor of the police, whose duty it was to watch over the peace of the city at night. We have the express testimony of Strabo, that these offices, which continued under the Romans, had already existed under the kings; whether their establishment can be dated as far back as the time of Ptolemy I. is a question that does not admit of a solution.—The number of the districts or nomes appears to have been augmented; probably with a political view, in order that no governor or monarch should be invested with too great a share of power.

[Pg 252]

The priest-caste and religion remain.

5. Be that as it may, it is an undoubted fact, that the ancient national constitution and administration were not entirely obliterated. The caste of priests, together with the national religion, continued to exist; and though the influence of the former was considerably diminished, it did not entirely cease. A certain sort of worship was, by appointed priests, paid to the kings, both in their lifetime and after their death. Memphis, though not the usual residence of the court, remained the capital of the kingdom; there the ceremony of coronation was performed; and its temple of Phtha was still the head sanctuary. What influence had not the religion of the Egyptians upon that of the Greeks! It were difficult to say which nation borrowed most from the other.

Character of the first of the Ptolemies.

6. The regeneration of Egypt from the state of general ruin into which she had been plunged, and the permanent tranquillity she enjoyed during nearly thirty years, the duration of the reign of Ptolemy I.—at a time when the rest of the world was harassed by continual wars,—must have heightened her prosperity under so mild and beneficent a ruler. But Ptolemy was certainly the only prince who could have taken advantage of these favourable circumstances. Though a soldier by profession he was highly accomplished, was himself a writer, and had a genius for all the arts of peace, which he fostered with the open-handed liberality of a king: while amidst all the brilliant splendour of his court, he led himself the life of a private individual.

[Pg 253]

Increase of Alexandria by the importation of vast numbers of colonists; especially Jews.—Erection of several superb buildings, more particularly the Serapeum.—Measures taken for the extension of trade and navigation.—The twofold harbour on the sea, and on the lake Mareotis.—The Pharus built.

Literature encouraged.

7. But what more than any thing else distinguished Ptolemy from his contemporaries was his regard for the interests of science. The idea of founding the Museum sprung out of the necessities of the age, and was suited to the monarchical form of government now prevalent. Where in those days of destruction and revolution could the sciences have found a shelter, if not under the protection of a prince? But under Ptolemy they found more than a shelter, they found a rallying point. Here accordingly the exact sciences were perfected: and although the critic's art which now grew up could not form a Homer or a Sophocles, should we, had it not been for the Alexandrines, be at present able to read either Homer or Sophocles?

Foundation of the Museum, (Society of the learned,) and of the first library in Bruchium, (afterwards removed to the Serapeum;) probably under the direction of Demetrius Phalereus. A proper estimation of the services rendered by the Museum is yet wanting: what academy in modern Europe, however, has done so much?

Heyne, De genio Sæculi Ptolemæorum. In Opuscul. t. i.

Matter, Essai historique sur l'école d'Alexandrie, 1820.

Ptolemy Philadelphus,

8. Ptolemy II. surnamed Philadelphus, son of Berenice, the second wife of his father, had ascended the throne in 286 as joint king. His reign, which lasted thirty-eight years, was more peaceful even than that of his predecessor, whose[Pg 254] spirit seemed to inspire him in every thing, save that he was not a warrior: but, by that very reason, the arts of peace, trade, and science were promoted with the greater energy. In his reign Egypt was the first power by sea, and one of the first by land, in the world; and even though the account given by Theocritus of its thirty-three thousand cities may be regarded as the exaggeration of a poet, it is very certain that Egypt was in those days the most flourishing country in existence.

The commerce of Alexandria was divided into three main branches: 1. The land-trade over Asia and Africa. 2. The sea-trade on the Mediterranean. 3. The sea-trade on the Arabian gulf, and Indian ocean.—With regard to the land-trade of Asia, especially that of India carried on by caravans, Alexandria was obliged to share it with various cities and countries: since one of its chief routes traversed the Oxus, and Caspian, to the Black sea; while the caravans, travelling through Syria and Mesopotamia, spread for the most part among the seaports of Phœnicia and Asia Minor.—The trade over Africa extended far west, and still farther south. Westward it was secured by the close connection between Cyrene and Alexandria; and no doubt followed the same roads as in earlier times: of far greater importance was that carried on with the southern countries, or Æthiopia, into the interior of which they now penetrated, principally for the purpose of procuring elephants. The navigation on the Arabian and Indian seas had likewise for its immediate object the Æthiopian trade, rather than the Indian.—The measures taken by Ptolemy with this view, consisted partly in the building of harbours (Berenice, Myos Hormos) on the Arabian gulf; partly in establishing a caravan from Berenice to Coptos on the Nile, down which latter the goods were further transmitted to their destination; for the canal connecting the Red sea with the Nile, although, perhaps, completed at this time, was nevertheless but little used. The grand deposit for these wares was the lesser harbour of Alexandria, united by a canal with the lake Mareotis, which in its turn communicated by another canal with the Nile; so that the account we receive of the lesser harbour being more[Pg 255] thronged and full of bustle than the larger one, need not excite our surprise. With regard to the trade on the Mediterranean, it was shared between Alexandria, Rhodes, Corinth, and Carthage. The chief manufactories appear to have been those of cotton stuffs, established in or near the temples.

The best inquiry into the trade of Alexandria will be found in J. C. D. De Schmidt, Opuscula, res maxime Aegyptiorum illustrantia, 1765, 8vo.

Revenue of Egypt.

9. It would be important to know what, in a state like Egypt, was the system of imposts, which under Philadelphus produced 14,800 silver talents, (four millions sterling,) without taking into account the toll paid in grain. In the extreme provinces, such as Palestine, the taxes were annually farmed to the highest bidder, a mode of levy attended with great oppression to the people. The case appears to have been very different with regard to Egypt itself; the customs, however, constituted the main branch of the revenue.

Events of the reign of Philadelphus.

10. The wars waged by Ptolemy II. were limited to those against Antiochus II. of Syria, and Magas of Cyrene, half-brother to the Egyptian king; the former sprung out of the latter. Luckily for Egypt, Ptolemy II. was of a weak constitution, and by his state of health was incapacitated from commanding his armies in person.—Under his reign the first foundation was laid, by means of reciprocal embassies, of that connection with Rome which afterwards decided the fate of Egypt.

Magas had, after the defeat of Ophellas, received Cyrene, 308. He had married Apame, daughter of Antiochus I., and in 266 had raised the standard of rebellion with the intention of invading Egypt itself, when an insurrection in Marmarica compelled him to retreat; he contrived, notwithstanding, to prevail upon his[Pg 256] father-in-law to undertake an expedition against Egypt, which, however, was frustrated by Philadelphus, 264. To terminate this contest, Magas was about to unite his daughter Berenice with the eldest son of Philadelphus; Apame, wishing to thwart the negotiation, fled over to her brother, Antiochus II. whom, after her husband's death, 258, she excited to a war against Egypt, which closed in 252.—The embassy to Rome originated in the victory won by the Romans over Pyrrhus, 273; it was answered by another from the Romans, 272.

Character of Ptolemy Philadelphus.

11. The son inherited from his father all but the simplicity of domestic life: under the reign of Philadelphus, the court was first thrown open to that effeminate luxury, which soon wrought the destruction of the Ptolemies as it had previously done that of the Seleucidæ; at the same time was introduced the pernicious practice of intermarriages in the same family, by which the royal blood was more foully contaminated here even than in Syria. Philadelphus set the first example, by repudiating Arsinoe the daughter of Lysimachus, and then marrying his own sister, likewise named Arsinoe; this princess preserved her influence over the king as long as she lived, although she did not bring him an heir, but adopted the children of her predecessor.

Ptolemy Evergetes,

12. Ptolemy III. surnamed Evergetes. Under him, Egypt, from being merely mercantile, assumed the character of a conquering state; notwithstanding his warlike spirit, he was not uninspired with that genius for the arts of peace peculiar to his family. His conquests were directed partly against Asia in the war with Seleucus II. and extended as far as the borders of Bactria; and partly, it is probable, against the interior of Ethiopia, and the western coast of Arabia. Countries[Pg 257] so wealthy, and with which commerce had made men so well acquainted, could hardly escape the arms of such a formidable power as Egypt; yet she seems to have made scarcely any other use of this extension of territory, than to insure the safety of her commercial routes.

The main source of the history of Ptolemy Evergetes, is the inscription on the monument erected by that prince at Adule in Ethiopia: it contains a chronological list of his conquests, a copy of which has been preserved to us by Cosmas Indicopleustes; modern researches, however, have shown the probability of its having consisted of two inscriptions, one referring to Evergetes, the other to a later king of Abyssinia.—According to this monument, Ptolemy inherited from his father, besides Egypt itself, Libya, that is to say, western Africa as far as Cyrene, Cœle-Syria, Phœnicia, Lycia, Caria, Cyprus, and the Cyclades.—War with Seleucus Callinicus caused by the murder of Berenice (see above, p. 237.); lasted until the ten years' truce, 246—240. During this war, he conquered the whole of Syria as far as the Euphrates, and most of the maritime countries in Asia Minor, from Cilicia to the Hellespont: an easy prey to a naval power. Whether the conquest of the countries beyond the Euphrates, Mesopotamia, Babylonia, Persis, Susiana, and Media as far as Bactria, was effected in these four years, or not till between 240 and 230, is a question which cannot be determined with certainty. If we may judge by the booty brought back, this campaign was rather a foray than a regular expedition for conquest, though Ptolemy, indeed, appointed governors in Cilicia and Babylonia; yet the peculiar situation of affairs in Asia at the time, Seleucus being at war with his brother Antiochus Hierax, and the Parthian and Bactrian kingdoms being also in a state of infant feebleness, afforded unusual opportunities for an expedition of this sort.

The southern conquests, so far as they may be referred to Evergetes, were effected during the last period of his reign, in a separate war. They comprised: 1st. The greatest part of modern Abyssinia,—for as the catalogue of nations commences with that of Abyssinia, it necessarily follows that Nubia had already been subjected to Egypt.—The mountain range along the Arabian gulf, the plain of Sennaar as far as modern Darfur, the lofty[Pg 258] chain of mountains to the south, beyond the fountains of the Nile. All these conquests were made by the king in person; and from those distant lands to Egypt, commercial roads were opened. 2nd. The western coast of Arabia, from Leuke Kome to the southern point of Arabia Felix, was conquered by his generals and admirals: here, likewise, the security of the commercial roads was established.

Monumentum Adulitanum, published in Fabricius, B. Græc. t. ii.

Montfaucon, Coll. Patr. t. i. and in Chishull, Antiquit. Asiaticæ.

The assertion that the monument bears two different inscriptions is made by Salt, in the narrative of his travels contained in the Travels of Lord Valentia.

13. Egypt was singularly blessed in having three great kings, whose reigns filled one whole century. A change now ensued; but that change was brought about by the natural course of events; in fact, it could scarcely be expected that the court should remain untainted by such luxury as must have prevailed in a city, which was the main seat of trade, and the deposit of the treasures of the richest countries.

Ptolemy Philopator,

14. Ptolemy IV. surnamed Philopator. A debauchee and a tyrant, who, during the greater portion of his reign, remained under the tutelage of the crafty Sosibius, and, after the decease of that individual, fell into the yet more infamous hands of Agathocles and his sister Agathoclea. Philopator being contemporary with Antiochus the Great, the dangers that threatened Egypt under such a reign seemed to be doubled; they were, however, averted by the ill-deserved victory of Raphia (see above, p. 238).

Ptolemy Epiphanes,

15. Agathocles and his sister would fain have taken into their own hands the guardianship of [Pg 259]his son Ptolemy V. surnamed Epiphanes, a child only five years old; but the people having risen up and made a terrible example of them, the office of guardian was confided to the younger Sosibius and to Tlepolemus. The reckless prodigality of the former soon gave rise to a feud between him and his colleague, who was at least cunning enough to keep up appearances. Meanwhile the critical posture in which the kingdom was placed, by the attack of the enleagued kings of Syria and Macedonia, compelled the nation to defer the regency to Rome and the senate, who had hitherto carefully cherished an amicable connection with Egypt.

The regency confided to M. Lepidus, 201, who hands over the administration to Aristomenes of Acarnania. The sequel will show how decidedly important this step was for the ulterior destinies of Egypt. By the war of the Romans against Philip, and their differences with Antiochus, Egypt was, no doubt, for the present extricated from her embarrassment; but nevertheless in 198 she lost her Syrian possessions, notwithstanding Antiochus III. had promised to give them as a dowry to Cleopatra, the affianced bride, and subsequently the consort of the young king of Egypt.

To this time, or about 197, belongs the celebrated inscription on the Rosetta stone, erected by the caste of priests as a tribute of gratitude for past benefits, after the consecration of the king at Memphis upon his coming of age: a monument important alike for palæography, and for the knowledge of Egyptian administration.

Ameilhon, Eclaircissemens sur l'inscription Grecque du monument trouvé à Rosette. Paris, 1803.

Heyne, Commentatio de inscriptione Græca ex Aegypto Londinum apportata, in the Commentat. Societ. Gotting. vol. xv.

Character of Epiphanes.

16. The hopes conceived of Epiphanes, were grievously disappointed as he grew up to manhood. His guardian Aristomenes fell a victim to [Pg 260]his tyranny; nay, his cruelty drove even the patient Egyptians to rebel, although the insurrections were stilled by his counsellor and general Polycrates. His reign happened during the period in which Rome crushed the power of Macedonia and Syria; and notwithstanding the close alliance between Epiphanes and Antiochus III. the Romans succeeded in holding the Egyptian king in dependence; he was, however, in the twenty-eighth year of his age, brought to an early grave by intemperance and debauchery.

Ptolemy Philometor,

17. Of his two sons, the elder, a child five years old, was his immediate successor; this prince, by the title of Ptolemy VI. surnamed Philometor, ascended the throne under the guardianship of his mother Cleopatra, who fulfilled the duties of her office to the satisfaction of all, until 173. But, after her death, the regency having fallen into the hands of Eulæus an eunuch, and Lenæus, these individuals, asserting their claims to Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia, engaged with Antiochus Epiphanes in a war exceedingly detrimental to Egypt, until Rome commanded peace to be made.

Antiochus, after the victory of Pelusium, B. C. 171, and the treacherous surrender of Cyprus, having possessed himself of Egypt as far as Alexandria, a faction arose in the city; Philometor was expelled, and his younger brother Physcon seated on the throne, 170.—The exile Philometor fell into the power of Antiochus, who compelled the fugitive to sign a separate peace, highly injurious to the interests of Egypt. The articles were not, however, ratified; Philometor secretly entering into an agreement with his brother that they should both rule in common, 169. Antiochus having in consequence again made an inroad into Egypt, the two kings addressed themselves for assistance to the Achæans and to the Romans: the latter forthwith despatched an embassy to Antiochus, commanding him to[Pg 261] evacuate the territory of their allies, which happened accordingly, 168.

Disputes between the sons of Epiphanes.

18. In the contest, which soon afterwards ensued between the two brothers, the younger was driven out and sought a refuge at Rome; when a partition of the kingdom between the princes was determined upon: the senate, however, after due consideration, refused to confirm the decision, so that the disputes between the two kings were rekindled and protracted, until the younger fell into the power of the elder.

In the first division, 164, Philometor received Egypt and Cyprus; and the infamous Physcon had for his share Cyrene and Libya. But, during his stay at Rome, Physcon, contrary to all justice, obtained the promise of Cyprus; Philometor refusing to give up that portion of his share, and Cyrene having risen up against its king, Physcon ran the risk of losing the whole of his dominions. In the war which, supported by Rome, he waged against his brother, Physcon fell, 159, into the hands of Philometor, who not only forgave him, but, leaving him in possession of Cyrene and Libya, added some cities in the place of Cyprus, and promised him his daughter in marriage.

Philometor interferes in the affairs of Syria.

19. During the last period of his reign, Philometor was almost exclusively busied with Syrian affairs. He supported Alexander Balas against Demetrius, and even gave him his daughter Cleopatra. Nevertheless, he afterwards passed over to the side of Demetrius, seated him on the throne, gave him in marriage this same Cleopatra, who had been taken away from Balas. But in the battle in which Balas was overthrown, the Egyptian king also received his death wound. 145. He may be regarded as one of the good princes of the Ptolemaic dynasty, especially if compared with his brother.[Pg 262]

Ptolemy Physcon,

20. His younger brother Ptolemy VIII. surnamed Physcon, and likewise Evergetes II. a monster both in a moral and a physical sense, who had hitherto been king of Cyrene, now possessed himself of the throne of Egypt by marrying his predecessor's widow and sister, Cleopatra, whom, however, after having murdered her son, he repudiated for her daughter of the same name. This prince accordingly, once more united the divided kingdom; but at the same time that he was purchasing the sanction of Rome by vile adulation, he maintained himself at Alexandria by means of military law, which soon converted the city into a desert, and obliged him to attract foreign colonists by large promises. Another 130. bloody massacre, however, produced an insurrection in the town, which compelled the king to flee to Cyprus, the Alexandrines, meanwhile, raising to the throne his repudiated wife Cleopatra. Physcon, nevertheless, with the assistance of his mercenaries, recovered the sceptre, and wielded it to the day of his death.

That a prince of such a character should nevertheless be a friend to science, and himself an author, must ever be regarded as a singular phenomenon; yet his exaction of manuscripts, and his treatment of the learned, whole crowds of whom he expelled, betray the despot.

Ptolemy Lathyrus, 116—81.

21. His widow, the younger Cleopatra, to gratify the Alexandrines, was obliged to place on the throne the elder of her two sons, Ptolemy IX. surnamed Lathyrus, who was living in a sort of banishment at Cyprus: to the younger, Ptolemy Alexander I. who was her favourite, she accordingly gave the island of Cyprus. But Lathyrus not choosing to [Pg 263]obey her in everything, she compelled him to exchange Egypt for Cyprus, and gave the former to her younger son. But neither was the new king able to brook the tyranny of his mother: as she threatened even his life, he saw no other means of escape than to anticipate her design; but failing in his project, he was obliged to take to flight, and, after a vain attempt to recover the throne, perished. The Alexandrines then reinstated in the government his elder brother Lathyrus, who ruled till the year 81, possessing both Egypt and Cyprus.

Revolt and three years' siege of Thebes in Upper Egypt, still one of the most wealthy cities even in those days, but after its capture almost levelled to the earth; about 86.—Complete separation of Cyrenaica from Egypt: this province had been bequeathed by Physcon as a separate branch-state to his illegitimate son, Apion, 117; that prince, after a tranquil reign, bequeathed it, in his turn, to the Romans, 96, who at first allowed it to retain its independence.

Obscure period of the history.

22. Lathyrus left one daughter born in wedlock, Berenice, and two illegitimate sons, Ptolemy of Cyprus and Ptolemy Auletes. Besides the above, there was a lawful son of Alexander I. of the same name as his father, and at that time residing at Rome with the dictator Sylla. The following history is obscured by clouds, which, amid the contradiction of accounts, cannot be entirely dispelled. Generally speaking, Egypt was now a tool in the hands of powerful individuals at Rome, who regarded it but as a financial speculation whether they actually supported a pretender to the Egyptian crown, or fed him with vain hopes. All now saw that Egypt presented[Pg 264] a ripe harvest; but they could not yet agree by whom that harvest should be reaped.

The first successor of Lathyrus in Egypt was his legitimate daughter Cleopatra Berenice, 81: at the end of six months, however, Sylla, then dictator at Rome, sent his client Alexander II. to Egypt, 80; that prince married Berenice, and with her ascended the throne. Nineteen days after Alexander murdered his consort, and, according to Appian, was himself about the same time cut off by the Alexandrines, on account of his tyranny. We afterwards hear, notwithstanding, of a king Alexander, who reigned until 73, or, according to others, until 66; when, being driven out of Egypt, he fled to Tyre, and called upon the Romans for that aid, which probably through Cæsar's intercession, would have been granted, had not the supplicant soon after died at the place of his refuge. He is said to have bequeathed by will his kingdom to Rome; and although the senate did not accept the legacy, it does not appear to have formally rejected the offer; in consequence of which, frequent attempts were made at Rome for effecting the occupation.—Either, therefore, Appian's account must be false, and this person was the same Alexander II. or he was some other person bearing that name, and belonging to the royal house.—Be this as it may, after the death of Lathyrus the kingdom was dismembered: and one of his illegitimate sons, Ptolemy, had received Cyprus, but that island was taken from him, 57, and converted into a Roman province: the other, Ptolemy Auletes, seems to have kept his footing either in a part of Egypt, or in Cyrene, and was probably the cause of Alexander's expulsion, at whose decease he ascended the throne; although the Syrian queen Selene, sister to Lathyrus, asserted her son's claims at Rome, as legitimate heir to the throne of Egypt. With Cæsar's assistance, Auletes, however, succeeded in obtaining the formal acknowledgment of his right at Rome, 59. But the measures taken by the Romans with regard to Cyprus, gave rise to a sedition at Alexandria, 57, in consequence of which Auletes, being compelled to flee, passed over into Italy: or, perhaps, he was ordered to take this step by the intrigues of some Roman grandees, anxious of an opportunity to reinstate him. Pompey's attempts, with this view, are thwarted by Cato, 56. Meanwhile the Alexandrines placed Berenice, the eldest daughter of Auletes, on the throne; she married first Seleucus Cybiosactes, as[Pg 265] being the lawful heir; and after putting that prince to death, united herself to Archelaus, 57.—Actual restoration of Auletes by the purchased assistance of Gabinius, the Roman governor of Syria; and execution of Berenice, whose husband had fallen in the war, 54. Not long after, this miserable prince, no less effeminate than tyrannical, died, 51.

J. R. Forster, Commentatio de successoribus Ptolemæi VII. Inserted in Comment. Soc. Gotting. vol. iii.


23. Auletes endeavoured by his last testament to insure the kingdom to his posterity, nominating as his successor, under the superintendence of the Roman nation, his two elder children. Ptolemy Dionysos, then thirteen years old, and Cleopatra, seventeen, who were to be united in wedlock: his two younger children, Ptolemy Neoteros and Arsinoe, he recommended to the Roman senate. Notwithstanding these measures, Egypt would not have escaped her fate upwards of twenty years longer, had not the impending calamities been diverted by the internal posture of affairs at Rome, and still more by the charms and policy of Cleopatra, who through her alliance with Cæsar and Antony not only preserved but even aggrandized her kingdom. From this time, however, the history of Egypt is most closely implicated with that of Rome.

Feuds between Cleopatra and her brother, excited and fomented by the eunuch Pothinus, in whose hands the administration was: they lead to open war: Cleopatra, driven out, flees to Syria, where she levies troops: Cæsar in pursuit of the conquered Pompey arrives at Alexandria, and in the name of Rome, assumes the part of arbitrator between the king and queen, but suffers himself to be guided by the artifices of Cleopatra, 48. Violent sedition in Alexandria, and Cæsar besieged in Bruchium, the malcontent Pothinus having brought Achillas, the commander of the royal troops into the city. The hard struggle in which Cæsar was now engaged, demonstrates not only the bit[Pg 266]terness of the long rankling grudge of the Alexandrines against Rome, but shows also how decisive, to the whole of Egypt, were the revolutions of the capital. Ptolemy Dionysos having fallen in the war, and Cæsar being victorious, the crown fell to Cleopatra, 47, upon condition of marrying her brother, when he should be of age: but as soon as the prince grew to manhood, and had been crowned at Memphis, she removed him by poison, 44.

Egypt becomes a Roman province.

24. During the life of Cæsar, Cleopatra remained under his protection, and consequently in a state of dependence. Not only was a Roman garrison stationed in the capital city, but the queen herself, together with her brother, were obliged to visit him at Rome. After the assassination of Cæsar, she took the side of the triumviri, not without endangering Egypt, threatened by Cassius who commanded in Syria; and after the death of her brother, succeeded in getting them to acknowledge as king, Ptolemy Cæsarion, a son whom she pretended to have had by Cæsar.—But the ardent passion conceived by Antony for her person, soon after the discomfiture of the republican party, now attached her inseparably to his fortunes; which, after vainly attempting to win over the victorious Octavius, she at last shared.

The chronology of the ten years in which Cleopatra lived, for the most part, with Antony, is not without difficulty, but, according to the most probable authorities, may be arranged in the following manner. Summoned before his tribunal, on account of the pretended support afforded by some of her generals to Cassius, she appears in his presence at Tarsus, in the attire, and with the parade, of Venus, 41; he follows her into Egypt. In the year 40, Antony, called back to Italy by the breaking out of the Perusine war, is there induced, by political motives, to espouse Octavia; meanwhile Cleopatra abides in Egypt. In the autumn of 37, she goes to meet him in Syria, where he was[Pg 267] making ready for the war against the Parthians, until then prosecuted by his lieutenants; here she obtained at his hands Phœnicia—Tyre and Sidon excepted,—together with Cyrene and Cyprus; and in 36 went back to Alexandria, where she remained during the campaign. The expedition ended, Antony returned into Egypt and resided at Alexandria. From thence it was his intention to attack Armenia in 35; this design, however, he did not effect until 34, when, after taking the king prisoner, he returned in triumph to Alexandria, and presented to Cleopatra, or to his three children by her, all the countries of Asia from the Mediterranean to the Indus, already conquered or to be conquered. Preparing then to renew, in conjunction with the king of Media, his attack on the Parthians, he is prevailed upon by Cleopatra to break with Octavia, who was to bring over troops to him, 38. A war between him and Octavius being now unavoidable, the Parthian campaign already opened is suspended, and Cleopatra accompanies Antony to Samos, 32, where he formally repudiated Octavia. From hence she followed him in his expedition against Octavius, which was decided by the battle of Actium, fought September 2, 31.—Octavius having pursued his enemy into Egypt, Alexandria was besieged, 30, and after Antony had laid violent hands on himself, the place surrendered; and Cleopatra, not brooking to be dragged a prisoner to Rome, followed the example of her lover, and procured her own death.

Flourishing state of Egypt.

25. Even in this last period, Egypt appears to have been the seat of unbounded wealth and effeminacy. The line of infamous princes who had succeeded to the third Ptolemy were unable to destroy her prosperity. Strange, however, as this seems, it may be easily accounted for when we consider that the political revolutions scarcely ever overstepped the walls of the capital, and that an almost perpetual peace ruled in the country: that Egypt was the only great theatre of trade; and that that trade must have increased in the same proportion as the spirit of luxury increased in Rome, and in the Roman empire. The power[Pg 268]ful effects wrought on Egypt by the growth of Roman luxury, are most convincingly demonstrated by the state of that country when it had become a Roman province; so far from the trade of Alexandria decreasing in that period,—though the city suffered in the first days after the conquest—it subsequently attained an extraordinary and gigantic bulk.

III. History of Macedonia and of Greece in general, from the death of Alexander to the Roman conquest, B. C. 323—146.

The sources for this history are the same as have been quoted above: see p. 232. Until the battle of Ipsus, 301, Diodorus is still our grand authority. But in the period extending from 301 to 224, we meet with some chasms: here almost our only sources are the fragments of Diodorus, a few of Plutarch's lives, and the inaccurate accounts of Justin. From the year 224, our main historian is Polybius; and even in those parts where we do not possess his work in its complete form, the fragments that have been preserved must always be the first authorities consulted. Livy, and other writers on Roman history, should accompany Polybius.

Among modern books, besides the general works mentioned above p. 1. we may here in particular quote:

John Gast, D. D. The History of Greece, from the accession of Alexander of Macedon, till the final subjection to the Roman power, in eight books. London, 1782, 4to. Although not a master-piece of composition, yet too important to be passed over in silence.

Extent of Macedonia.

1. Of the three main kingdoms that arose out of Alexander's monarchy, Macedonia was the most insignificant, not only in extent,—particularly as till B. C. 286 Thrace remained a separate and independent province,—but likewise in population and wealth. Yet, being, as it were, the head country of the monarchy, it was considered[Pg 269] to hold the first rank; and here at first resided the power which, nominally at least, extended over the whole. As early, however, as the year 311, upon the total extermination of Alexander's family, it became a completely separate kingdom. From that time its sphere of external operation was for the most part confined to Greece, the history of which, consequently, is closely interwoven with that of Macedonia.

Posture of affairs in Greece at Alexander's decease: Thebes in ruins: Corinth occupied by a Macedonian garrison: Sparta humiliated by the defeat she had suffered at the hands of Antipater in her attempt at a revolt against Macedonia, under Agis II. 333—331: Athens on the other hand flourishing, and although confined to her own boundaries, still by her fame, and her naval power, the first state in Greece.

Lamian war,
B. C. 323.

2. Although at the first division of the provinces, Craterus, as civil governor, was united with Antipater, the latter had the management of affairs. And the termination, as arduous as it was successful, of the Lamian war,—kindled immediately after the death of Alexander, by the Greeks, enthusiastic in the cause of freedom,—enabled him to rivet the chains of Greece more firmly than they had ever been before.

The Lamian war—the sparks of which had been kindled by Alexander's edict, granting leave to all the Grecian emigrants, twenty thousand in number, nearly the whole of whom were in the Macedonian interest, to return to their native countries,—was fanned to a flame by the democratic party at Athens. Urged by Demosthenes and Hyperides, almost all the states of central and northern Greece, Bœotia excepted, took up arms in the cause; and their example was quickly followed by most of those in Peloponnesus, with the exception of Sparta, Argos, Corinth, and the Achæans. Not even the Persian war produced such general unanimity! The gallant Leosthenes headed the league.—Defeat of Antipater, who is shut up in Lamia; Leosthenes, however,[Pg 270] falls in the siege of that place, B. C. 323, and although Leonatus—who with the view of ascending the throne by his marriage with Cleopatra, had come to the assistance of the Macedonians—was beaten and slain, 322, the Greeks were finally overwhelmed by the reinforcements, brought to Antipater out of Asia, by Craterus. And Antipater having fully succeeded in breaking the league, and negotiating with each separate nation, was enabled to dictate the terms. Most of the cities opened their gates to Macedonian troops; besides this, Athens was obliged to purchase peace through the mediation of Phocion and Demades, by an alteration in her constitution,—the poorer citizens being excluded from all share in the government, and for the most part translated into Thrace—and by a pledge to deliver up Demosthenes and Hyperides; whose place Phocion occupied at the head of the state.—The Ætolians, the last against whom the Macedonian wars were directed, obtained better terms than they had ventured to expect, Antipater and Craterus being obliged to hurry over to Asia in order to oppose Perdiccas.

Olympias retires to Epirus.
Antipater dies, and names Polysperchon his successor,

3. That hatred which, even in the lifetime of Alexander, had sprung up between Antipater and Olympias, in consequence of his not permitting the dowager queen to rule, induced her to withdraw to Epirus; her rankling envy being still more embittered by the influence of the young queen Eurydice. See above, p. 224. Antipater, dying shortly after his expedition against Perdiccas, in which his colleague Craterus had fallen, and he himself had been appointed regent, nominates his friend, the aged Polysperchon, to succeed him as regent and head guardian, to the exclusion of his own son Cassander. Hence arose a series of quarrels between the two, in which, unfortunately for themselves, the royal family were implicated and finally exterminated, Cassander obtaining the sovereignty of Macedonia.

Cassander having secured the interest of Antigonus and Ptolemy, makes his escape to the former, 319: he had previously en[Pg 271]deavoured also to raise a party in Macedonia and Greece, particularly by getting his friend Nicanor to be commander at Athens.—Measures taken by Polysperchon to oppose him; in the first place, he recalls Olympias out of Epirus, but the princess dares not come without an army; in the next place, he nominates Eumenes commander of the royal troops in Asia (see above, p. 225); he likewise endeavours to gain the Grecian cities, by recalling the Macedonian garrisons, and changing the governors set over them by Antipater. These latter, however, were in most of the cities too firmly established to suffer themselves thus to be deposed; and even the expedition into Peloponnesus, undertaken by Polysperchon to enforce his injunctions was attended but with partial success.—In the same year occurs a twofold revolution in Athens, whither Polysperchon had sent his son Alexander, nominally for the purpose of driving out Nicanor, but virtually to get possession of that important city. In the first place, Alexander and Nicanor appearing to unite both for the attainment of one and the same object, the democratic party rise up, and overthrow the rulers, hitherto taken from Antipater's party, and headed by Phocion, who is compelled to swallow poison: soon after, however, Cassander occupies the city, excludes from the administration all that possess less than ten mines, and places at the head of affairs Demetrius Phalereus, who, from 318 to 307, ruled with great prudence.—Not long after, Olympias returns with an army from Epirus; the Macedonian troops of Philip and Eurydice having passed over to her side, she wreaks her revenge on the royal couple, and on the brother of Cassander, all of whom she puts to death, 317. Cassander, nevertheless, having obtained reinforcements in Peloponnesus, takes the field against her; she is besieged in Pydna, where, disappointed in the hope of being relieved either by Polysperchon or by Æacidas of Epirus, both of whom were forsaken by their men, she is obliged to surrender, 316. Cassander, having caused her to be condemned by the Macedonian people, has her put to death.


4. Cassander being now master, and, from 302, king of Macedonia, confirmed his dominion by a marriage with Thessalonice, half-sister to Alexander, and at the same time endeavoured to corroborate as far as possible his authority in Greece. Polysperchon and his son Alexander, [Pg 272]it is true, still made head in Peloponnesus; but the states without the peninsula, Ætolia excepted, were all either allies of Cassander, or occupied by Macedonian troops. 314. After the defeat of the league against Antigonus, in which Cassander had borne a part, general peace was concluded, with the proviso, that the Grecian cities should be free, and that the young Alexander, when of age, should be raised to the throne of Macedonia: 311. this induced Cassander to rid himself both of the young prince and his mother Roxana by murder: but he thereby exposed himself to an attack from Polysperchon, who, availing himself of the discontent of the Macedonians, brought back Hercules, the only remaining illegitimate son of Alexander. Cassander diverted the storm by a new crime, instigating Polysperchon to murder the young Hercules, under promise of sharing the government: Polysperchon, however, unable to possess himself of the Peloponnesus which had been promised him, appears to have preserved but little influence. Cassander met likewise with formidable opponents in the persons of Antigonus and his son; and although delivered by the breaking 308. out of the war with Ptolemy from the danger of the first invasion of Greece by Demetrius, his situation was more embarrassing at the second irruption; from which, however, he was extricated by the circumstance of Antigonus being obliged 307. to recall his son, on account of the newly formed league (see above, p. 230).

Antigonus, on his return from Upper Asia, declares loudly against Cassander, B. C. 314; despatches his general Aristodemus to Peloponnesus, and frames a league with Polysperchon[Pg 273] and his son Alexander; the latter, however, Cassander succeeds in winning over by a promise of the command in Peloponnesus. Alexander was soon after murdered, but his wife Cratesipolis succeeded him, and commanded with the spirit of a man. Meanwhile, Cassander carried war against the Ætolians, who sided with Antigonus, 313; but Antigonus, 312, having sent his general Ptolemy into Greece with a fleet and army, Cassander lost his supremacy. In the peace of 311, the freedom of all the Grecian cities was stipulated; but this very condition became the pretext of various and permanent feuds; and Cassander having murdered the young king, together with his mother, drew upon himself the arms of Polysperchon, who wished to place Hercules on the throne, 310; but the pretender was removed in the manner above described, 309.—Cassander now endeavouring to reestablish his power over Greece, Demetrius Poliorcetes was by his father sent into that country in order to anticipate Ptolemy of Egypt, in the enforcement of the decree for the freedom of the Greeks, 308; the result at Athens was the restoration of democracy, and the expulsion of Demetrius Phalereus.—From any further attack of Demetrius, Cassander was delivered by the war which broke out between Antigonus and Ptolemy, (see above, p. 229.) and had the leisure, once more, to strengthen his power in Greece, until 302, when Demetrius arrived a second time, and, as generalissimo of liberated Greece, pressed forward to the borders of Macedonia; Demetrius was, however, recalled by his father into Asia, and at the battle of Ipsus, 301, lost all his dominions in that quarter of the world. Yet although Athens closed her harbours against him, he still maintained his possessions in Peloponnesus, and even endeavoured to extend them; from thence, in 297, he sallied forth, and once more took possession of his beloved Athens, and after driving out the usurper Lachares, forgave her ingratitude.

Cassander dies, and leaves the throne to his sons;

5. Cassander survived the establishment of his throne by the battle of Ipsus only three years: and bequeathed Macedonia as an inheritance to his three sons, the eldest of whom, Philip, shortly after followed his father to the grave.

Antipater and Alexander.

6. The two remaining sons, Antipater and Alexander, soon worked their own destruction. [Pg 274]Antipater having murdered his own mother Thessalonice, on account of the favour she showed his brother, was obliged to flee; he applied for help to his father-in-law Lysimachus of Thrace, where he soon after died. Meanwhile Alexander, fancying that he likewise stood in need of foreign assistance, addressed himself to Pyrrhus, king of Macedonia, and to Demetrius Poliorcetes, both of whom obeyed the call only with the expectation of being paid. After various snares reciprocally laid for each other, the king of Macedonia was murdered by Demetrius, and with him the race 295. of Antipater became extinct.

Demetrius, 294—287.

7. The army proclaimed Demetrius king; and in his person the house of Antigonus ascended the throne of Macedonia, and, after many vicissitudes, established their power. His seven years' reign, in which one project succeeded the other, was a constant series of wars; and as he never could learn how to bear with good fortune, his ambition was at last his ruin.

The kingdom of Demetrius comprised Macedonia, Thessaly, and the greatest part of the Peloponnesus; he was also master of Megara and Athens.—Twofold capture of Thebes, which had been rebuilt by Cassander, 293, and 291; unsuccessful attempt upon Thrace, 292. His war with Pyrrhus, 290, in whom men fancied they beheld another Alexander, had already alienated the affections of the Macedonians; but his grand project for the recovery of Asia induced his enemies to get the start of him; and the hatred of his subjects compelled him secretly to escape to Peloponnesus, to his son Antigonus, 287. Athens, taking advantage of his misfortunes, drove out the Macedonian garrison, and, by the election of archons, reestablished her ancient constitution; although Demetrius laid siege to the town, he allowed himself to be pacified by Crates. Having once more attempted to prosecute his plans against Asia, he was obliged, 286, to sur[Pg 275]render to Seleucus his father-in-law, who, out of charity, kept him till the day of his death, 284.

Pyrrhus of Epirus,
287, 286.

8. Two claimants to the vacant throne now arose, viz. Pyrrhus of Epirus and Lysimachus of Thrace; but although Pyrrhus was first proclaimed king, with the cession of half the dominions, he could not, being a foreigner, support his power any longer than the year 286, when he was deposed by Lysimachus.

The sovereigns of Epirus, belonging to the family of the Æacidæ, were properly kings of the Molossi. See above, p. 150. They did not become lords of all Epirus, nor consequently of any historical importance, until the time of the Peloponnesian war. After that period Epirus was governed by Alcetas I. about 384, who pretended to be the sixteenth descendant from Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles; Neoptolemus, father to Olympias, by whose marriage with Philip, 358, the kings of Epirus became intimately connected with Macedonia, d. 352; Arymbas, his brother, d. 342; Alexander I. son of Neoptolemus, and brother-in-law to Alexander the Great; he was ambitious to be as great a conqueror in the west as his kinsman was in the east, but he fell in Lucania, 332. Æacides, son of Arymbas, d. 312. Pyrrhus II. his son, the Ajax of his time, and, we might almost say, rather an adventurer than a king. After uninterrupted wars waged in Macedonia, Greece, Italy, and Sicily, he fell at last at the storming of Argos, 272. He was followed by his son Alexander II. in the person of whose successor, Pyrrhus III. 219, the male line became extinct. Although the daughter of this last prince, Deidamia, succeeded to the throne, the Epirots were not long before they established a democratic government, which endured till such time as they were, together with Macedonia and the rest of Greece, brought under the Roman yoke, 146.


9. In consequence of the accession of Lysimachus, Thrace, and for a short time even Asia Minor, were annexed to the Macedonian kingdom. But rankling hatred and family relations soon afterwards involved Lysimachus in a war with[Pg 276] Seleucus Nicator, in which, at battle of Curopedion, he lost both his throne and his life.

Execution of the gallant Agathocles, eldest son of Lysimachus, at the instigation of his step-mother Arsinoe: his widow Lysandra and her brother Ptolemy Ceraunus, who had already been driven out of Egypt by his step-mother Berenice, go over, followed by a large party, to Seleucus, whom they excite to war.


10. The victorious Seleucus, already lord of Asia, now causing himself to be proclaimed likewise king of Macedonia, it seemed as if that country was again about to become the head seat of the whole monarchy. But shortly after he had crossed over into Europe, Seleucus fell by the murderous hand of Ptolemy Ceraunus, who, 281. availing himself of the treasures of his victim, and of the yet remaining troops of Lysimachus, took possession of the throne; by another act of treachery he avenged himself of Arsinoe, his half-sister; but just as he conceived himself securely established, he lost both his crown and his life by the irruption of the Gauls into Macedonia.

The irruption of the Gauls, threatening desolation not only to Macedonia but to the whole of Greece, took place in three successive expeditions. The first under Cambaules, (probably 280,) advanced no further than Thrace, the invaders not being sufficiently numerous. The second in three bodies; against Thrace under Ceretrius; against Pæonia under Brennus and Acichorius; against Macedonia and Illyria under Belgius, 279. By the last-mentioned chieftain Ptolemy was defeated; he fell in the contest. In consequence, Meleager first, and Antipater subsequently, were appointed kings of Macedonia; but both, on account of incapacity, being soon afterwards deposed, a Macedonian noble, Sosthenes, assumed the command, and this time liberated his country. But the year 278 brought with it the main storm, which spent its fury principally on Greece: Sosthenes was defeated and slain: and although the Greeks brought all their[Pg 277] united forces into the field, Brennus and Acichorius burst into Greece on two different sides, and pushed on to Delphi, the object of their expedition; from hence, however, they were compelled to retreat; and most of them were cut off by hunger, cold, or the sword. Nevertheless a portion of those barbarians stood their ground in the interior of Thrace, which, consequently, was for the most part lost to Macedonia: another portion, consisting of various hordes, the Tectosagæ, Tolistobii, and Trocmi, crossed over to Asia Minor, where they established themselves in the country called after them Galatia (see above, p. 236). Although there can be no doubt that the Tectosagæ must have come from the innermost parts of Gaul, the mode of attack demonstrates that the main tide of invaders consisted of the neighbouring races; and, in fact, in those days the countries from the Danube to the Mediterranean and Adriatic were mostly occupied by Gauls.—Greece, though she strained every nerve, and with the exception of Peloponnesus, was united in one league, could scarcely bring forward more than 20,000 men to stem the torrent.

Antigonus Gonnatas.

11. Antigonus of Gonni, son to Demetrius, now seated himself on the vacant throne of desolated Macedon; he bought off his competitor, Antiochus I. named Soter, by treaty and marriage. Successfully as he opposed the new irruption of the Gauls, he was dethroned by Pyrrhus, who, 274. on his return from Italy, was a second time proclaimed king of Macedonia. That prince, however, having formed the design of conquering the Peloponnesus, and, after an ineffectual attack on Sparta, which was repelled with heroic gallantry, wishing to take possession of Argos, fell at the 272. storming of the latter place.

Extraordinary as these frequent revolutions appear, they may be easily accounted for by the mode of warfare in those days. Every thing depended on the armies; and these were composed of mercenaries, ever willing to fight against him they had defended the day before, if they fancied his rival to be a more valiant or fortunate leader. Since the death of Alexander, the[Pg 278] Macedonian phalanx was no longer dependent on its captains, but they on their men. The impoverishment of the countries, in consequence of war, was such, that the soldier's was almost the only profitable trade; and none prosecuted that trade more ardently than the Gauls, whose services were ever ready for any one who chose to pay for them.

12. After the death of Pyrrhus, Antigonus Gonnatas recovered the Macedonian throne, of which he and his descendants kept uninterrupted possession, yet not till after a violent contest with Alexander, the son and successor of Pyrrhus. But no sooner were they secure from foreign rivals, than the Macedonian policy was again directed against Greece, and the capture of Corinth seemed to insure the dependence of the whole country, when the formation of the Ætolian, and the yet more important Achæan, league, gave rise to relations entirely new, and of the highest interest, even for the universal history of the world. After so many storms, the sun of Greece was about to set in all his splendour!

The ancient confederacy of the twelve Achæan cities (see above, p. 145.) had subsisted until the death of Alexander, but was dissolved in the subsequent commotions; particularly when, after the battle of Ipsus, 301, Demetrius and his son made Peloponnesus the principal seat of their power. Some of these cities were now garrisoned by those princes, while in others arose tyrants, generally favourable to their interests. In 281, four asserted their freedom and renewed the ancient federation; which, five years afterwards, was gradually joined by the rest, Antigonus being busied elsewhere, in consequence of his occupation of the Macedonian throne. But the league did not become formidable till the accession of foreign states. This took place, in the first instance, with Sicyon, through the exertions of the liberator of that town, Aratus, who now became the animating spirit of the federation; and in 243 brought over Corinth, after the expulsion of the Macedonian garrison, and Megara. Afterwards [Pg 279] the league gradually acquired strength, by the junction of several Grecian cities, Athens among others, 229; and thereby excited the jealousy of the rest. And as Aratus, who was more of a statesman than a general, and possessed but little independence, had in the very outset joined the party of Ptolemy II. the league soon became involved in the disputes of the great powers, and was too often but a mere tool in their hands. The main principles on which it was founded were the following: 1. Complete political equality of all the federate cities; in this respect it essentially differed from all the earlier federations in Greece. 2. Unconditional preservation of the domestic government in every one of the cities. 3. The meeting twice a year of deputies from all the cities, at Ægium, and afterwards at Corinth; for transacting all business of common interest, particularly foreign affairs, and also for the purpose of electing the strategus, or military leader and head of the union, and the ten demiurgi, or supreme magistrates.—But what more than all contributed to exalt this league, founded on pure liberty, was the virtue of Aratus, 213, Philopœmen, 183, and Lycortas, 170; men who breathed into it the spirit of union, until, enfeebled by Roman policy, it was overthrown.

Breitenbauch, History of the Achæans and their league, 1782.

The Ætolian league was formed about 284, in consequence of the oppressions of the Macedonian kings. The Ætolians had likewise a yearly congress, panætolium, at Thermus; where they chose a strategus and the apocleti, who constituted the state council. They had, besides, their secretary, γραμματεύς; and supervisors, ἔφοροι, whose particular functions are, however, matter of doubt. This federation did not increase like the Achæan, none but Ætolians being admitted. The more unpolished this piratical nation remained, the more frequently it was used as the tool of foreign, and particularly of Roman, policy.

Demetrius II. 243—233.

13. Antigonus, in the latter part of his reign, had recourse to various means, and more especially to an alliance with the Ætolians, for the purpose of counterpoising the Achæans. He died in his eightieth year, and was succeeded by his son, Demetrius II. who waged war upon the[Pg 280] Ætolians, now, however, supported by the Achæans; and endeavoured to repress the growth of the latter, by favouring the tyrants of particular cities. The remainder of the reign of this prince is little more than a chasm in history.

The vulgar assertion that this prince conquered Cyrene and Libya, originates in a confusion of names; his uncle Demetrius, son of Poliorcetes of Ptolemais, being mentioned by Plutarch as king of Cyrene. The history of that town, from 258 to 142, is enveloped in almost total darkness: cf. Prolog. Trogi, l. xxvi. ad calcem Justini.

Antigonus Doson,

14. Demetrius's son Philip was passed over; his brother's son, Antigonus II. surnamed Doson, being raised to the throne. This king was occupied the most of his time by the events in Greece, where a very remarkable revolution at Sparta, as we learn from Plutarch, had raised up a formidable enemy against the Achæans; and so completely altered the relative position of affairs, that the Macedonians, from having been opponents, became allies of the Achæans.

Sketch of the situation of Spartan affairs at this period: the ancient constitution still continued to exist in form; but the plunder of foreign countries, and particularly the permission to transfer landed estates, obtained by Epitadeus, had produced great inequality of property. The restoration of Lycurgus's constitution had, therefore, a twofold object; to favour the poor by a new agrarian law and release from debts, and to increase the power of the kings by repressing that of the ephori.—First attempt at reform 244, by king Agis III; attended in the beginning with partial success, but eventually frustrated by the other king, Leonidas, and terminating in the extinction of Agis and his family, 241. Leonidas, however, was succeeded, 236, by his son Cleomenes, who victoriously defeated the plans of Aratus to force Sparta to accede to the Achæan league, 227; this king, by a forcible revolution, overthrew the ephori, and accomplished the project of Agis, at the same time increasing[Pg 281] the Spartans by the admission of a number of periæci; and enforcing the laws of Lycurgus referring to private life; but as in a small republic a revolution cannot be confirmed without some external war, he attacked the Achæans as early as 224; these being defeated, implored, through Aratus, the help of Antigonus; Cleomenes in consequence was, at the battle of Sellasia, 222, obliged to yield to superior force, and with difficulty escaped over to Egypt; while Sparta was compelled to acknowledge her independence as a gift at the hands of Antigonus. Such was the miserable success of this attempt made by a few great men on a nation already degenerate. The quarrels between the ephori and king Lycurgus and his successor Machanidas, placed Sparta in a state of anarchy, which ended, 207, in the usurpation of the sovereign power by one Nabis, who destroyed the ancient form of government. Let him who would study great revolutions commence with that just described; insignificant as it is, none perhaps furnishes more instructive lessons.

Plutarchi Agis et Cleomenes. The information in which is principally drawn from the Commentaries of Aratus.

Philip II. 221—179.

15. Philip II. son of Demetrius. He ascended the throne at the early age of sixteen, endowed with many qualities, such as might, under favourable circumstances, have formed a great prince. Macedonia had recruited her strength during a long peace; and her grand political aim, the supremacy of Greece, secured by the connection of Antigonus with the Achæans, and by the victory of Sellasia, seemed to be already within her grasp. But Philip lived in a time when Rome was pursuing her formidable plans of aggrandizement: the more vigorous and prompt his efforts were to withstand that power, the more deeply was he entangled in the new maze of events, which embittered the rest of his life, and at last brought him to the grave with a broken heart, converted by misfortune into a despot.

War of the two leagues,

16. The first five years of Philip were occupied [Pg 282]by his participation in the war between the Achæans and Ætolians, called the war of the two leagues; notwithstanding the treachery of his minister Apellas and his dependents, the prince was enabled to dictate the conditions of peace, according to which both parties were to remain in possession of what they then had. The conclusion of this peace was hastened by the news of Hannibal's victory at Thrasymenus, Philip being then instigated to form more extensive projects by Demetrius of Pharus, who had fled before the Romans, and soon acquired unlimited influence with the Macedonian king.

The war of the two leagues arose out of the piracies of the Ætolians on the Messenians, the latter of whom the Achæans undertook to protect, 221. The errors committed by Aratus compelled the Achæans to have recourse to Philip, 220; whose progress, however, was for a long time impeded by the artifices of Apellas's faction, who wished to overthrow Aratus. The Acarnanians, Epirots, Messenians, and Scerdilaidas of Illyria, (who, however, soon after declared against Macedonia,) combined with Philip and the Achæans; the Ætolians, on the other hand, commanded by their own general, Scopas, had for their allies the Spartans and Eleans.—The most important consequence of this war for Macedonia was, that she began again to be a naval power.—About the same time a war broke out between the two trading republics of Byzantium and Rhodes (the latter supported by Prusias I. of Bithynia) insignificant in itself, but which, as a commercial war, originating in the duties imposed by the Byzantines, was the only one of its kind in this age, 222. The Rhodians, so powerful in those days by sea, compelled their adversaries to submit.

Negotiations between Philip and Hannibal, 214.

17. The negotiations between Philip and Hannibal concluded with an alliance, in which reciprocal help was promised towards annihilating Rome. But Rome contrived to excite so many foes against Philip on the borders of his own[Pg 283] kingdom, and availed herself so skilfully of her naval power, that the execution of this plan was prevented until it became possible to attack the Macedonian king in Greece; where he had made himself many enemies, by the domineering tone he had assumed towards his allies at the time that, sensible of his power, he was about to enter upon a wider sphere of action.

Commencement of hostilities by Rome, against Philip: immediately that the alliance of Philip and Hannibal was known, a squadron with troops on board was stationed off the coast of Macedonia, by which the king himself was defeated at Apollonia, 214.—Alliance of Rome with the Ætolians, joined likewise by Sparta and Elis, Attalus king of Pergamus, and Scerdilaidas and Pleuratus, kings of Illyria, 211. On Philip's side were the Achæans, with whom Philopœmen more than supplied the loss of Aratus, occasioned, 213, by the Macedonian king; to them were joined the Acarnanians and Bæotians.—Attacked on every side, Philip successfully extricated himself from his difficulties; in the first place, he compelled the Ætolians, who had been abandoned by Attalus and Rome, to accept separate terms, which, shortly after, Rome, consulting her own convenience, converted into a general peace, inclusive of the allies on either side, 204.

War with Attalus, 203—200.

18. New war of Philip against Attalus and the Rhodians, carried on for the most part in Asia Minor; and his impolitic alliance with Antiochus III. to attack Egypt. But can Philip be blamed for his endeavours to disarm the military servants of the Romans? Rome, however, did not grant him time to effect his designs; the Macedonian king was taught at Chios, by woeful experience, 202. that his navy had not increased proportionably with that of the Rhodians.

War with Rome, 200—197.

19. The war with Rome suddenly hurled the Macedonian power from its lofty pitch; and by laying the foundation of Roman dominion in the [Pg 284]east, wrought a change in almost all the political relations of that quarter. The first two years of the war showed pretty evidently, that mere force 198. could scarcely overturn the Macedonian throne. But T. Quintius Flaminius stepped forward; with the magic spell of freedom he intoxicated the Greeks; Philip was stripped of his allies; and the battle of Cynoscephalæ decided everything. 197. The articles of the peace were: 1. That all Grecian cities in Europe and Asia should be independent, and Philip should withdraw his garrisons. 2. That he should surrender the whole of his navy, and never afterwards keep more than 500 armed men on foot. 3. That he should not, without previously informing Rome, undertake any war out of Macedonia. 4. That he should pay 1,000 talents by instalments, and deliver up his younger son Demetrius as an hostage.

The Roman allies in this war were: the Ætolians, Athenians, Rhodians, the kings of the Athamanes, Dardanians, and Pergamus.—The Achæans at the beginning sided with Philip, but were subsequently gained over by Flaminius. See below, in the Roman History.


20. Soon after, the freedom of Greece was solemnly proclaimed at the Isthmian games by Flaminius: but loud as the Greeks were in their exultations, this measure served merely to transfer the supremacy of their country from Macedonia to Rome: and Grecian history, as well as the Macedonian, is now interwoven with that of the Romans. To foster quarrels between the Greek states, with the especial view of hindering the Achæans from growing too formidable, now became a fundamental principle at Rome; and[Pg 285] Roman and anti-Roman parties having quickly arisen in every city, this political game was easily played.

Flaminius even took care that the Achæans should have an opponent in the person of Nabis, although under the necessity of waging war against him previous to his return into Italy, 194.—In 192, war between Nabis and the Achæans; followed after the murder of Nabis, at the hands of the Ætolians, by the accession of Sparta to the Achæan league.—But about the same time Greece once more became the theatre of foreign war; Antiochus having firmly seated himself in the country, and enleagued himself with several tribes, but more particularly the Ætolians, inspired with bitter and long-standing hatred against the Romans. These last, however, after the expulsion of Antiochus from Greece, 191, paid dearly for their secession; nor was peace granted them by Rome till after long and unsuccessful supplications, 189.

Fate of Philip.

21. While war was pending between the Romans and Antiochus, Philip, in the character of one of the numerous allies of Rome, ventured to increase his territory at the expense of the Athamanes, Thracians, and Thessalians. To keep him in good humour he was permitted to effect those conquests; but after the termination of the war the oppression of Rome became so galling, 190. that it could not be otherwise than that all his thoughts should centre in revenge, and all his exertions be directed towards the recovery of power. Meanwhile the violent measures adopted for repeopling his exhausted kingdom—such is the punishment of ambition which usually awaits even the victorious!—the transplantation of the inhabitants of whole cities and countries, and the consequent and unavoidable oppression of several of his neighbours, excited universal complaints; and where was the accuser of Philip to whom [Pg 286]Rome would not now lend a ready ear?—His younger son, Demetrius, the pupil of Rome, and 183. by her intended, it is probable, to succeed to the crown, alone diverted the impending fate of Macedonia. But after the return of that prince from his embassy, the envy of his elder and bastard brother, Perseus, grew into an inveterate rancour, such as could not be quenched but by the death 181. of the younger. The lot of Philip was indeed hard, compelled as a father to judge between his two sons; but the measure of human woe was filled, when after the death of his favourite child he discovered that he was innocent; are we to wonder that sorrow should soon have hurried him 179. to a premature grave!

Roman policy against the Achæan league.

22. The same policy which was observed by the Romans towards Philip, they pursued towards the Achæans, with whom, since the termination of the war with Antiochus, they had assumed a loftier tone; and this artful game was facilitated by the continual quarrels among the Greeks themselves. Yet the great Philopœmen, worthy of a better age, maintained the dignity of the league at the very time that the Romans presumed to speak as arbitrators. After his decease they found it easy to raise a party among the Achæans themselves, the venal Callicrates offering his services for that purpose.

The Achæans was continually embroiled either with Sparta or with Messene: the grounds of difference were, that in both of those states there were factions headed by persons who, out of personal motives, and for the most part hatred to Philopœmen, wished to secede from the league; on the other hand, the prevailing idea among the Achæans was, that this league ought to comprise the whole of the Peloponnesus. In the war against the[Pg 287] Messenians, 183, Philopœmen, at the age of seventy, was taken prisoner by the enemy and put to death.

Plutarchi, Philopœmen. Nearly the whole of which is compiled from the lost biography of Polybius.

Perseus, 179—168.

23. The last Macedonian king, Perseus, had inherited his father's perfect hatred of the Romans, together with talents, if not equal, at least but little inferior. He entered into the speculations of his predecessor, and the first seven years of his reign was occupied in constant exertions to muster forces against Rome; with this view he called the Bastarnæ out of the north, in order to settle them in the territories of his enemies the Dardanians; he endeavoured to form alliances with the kings of Illyria, Thrace, Syria, and Bithynia; above all, he strove by negotiations and promises to reestablish the ancient influence of Macedonia in Greece.

The settlement of the Bastarnæ (probably a German race, resident beyond the Danube) in Thrace and Dardania, in order with them to carry war against the Romans, was one of the plans traced out by Philip, and now partially executed by Perseus.—In Greece the Macedonian party, which Perseus formed chiefly out of the great number of impoverished citizens in the country, would probably have gained the upper hand, had not the fear inspired by Rome, and the active vigilance of that power, interposed an effectual bar. Hence the Achæans, apparently at least, remained on the Roman side; the Ætolians, by domestic factions, had worked their own destruction; the case was the same with the Acarnanians; and the federation of the Bœotians had been completely dissolved by the Romans, 171. On the other hand, in Epirus the Macedonian party was superior; Thessaly was occupied by Perseus; several of the Thracian tribes were friendly to him; and in king Gentius he found an ally who might have been highly useful, had not the Macedonian prince, by an ill-timed avarice, deprived himself of his assistance.

Defeat at Perseus at Pidna.

24. The commencement of open hostilities was [Pg 288]hastened by the bitter hatred existing between Perseus and Eumenes, and by the intrigues of the latter at Rome. Neglect of the favourable moment for taking the field, and the defensive system, skilfully in other respects as it was planned, caused the ruin of Perseus, as it had done that of Antiochus. Nevertheless he protracted 172—168. the war to the fourth year, when the battle of Pidna decided the fate both of himself and his kingdom.

Miserable condition of Perseus until his capture at Samothrace; and afterwards until his death at Rome, 166.

25. According to the system at that period followed by Rome, the conquered kingdom of Macedonia was not immediately converted into a province; it was first deprived of all offensive power, by being republicanized and divided into four districts, wholly distinct from one another, and bound to pay Rome half the tribute they were before wont to furnish to their kings.

Fall of the Achæan league.

26. It was in the natural order of things that the independence of Greece, and more especially that of the Achæan league, should fall with Perseus. The political inquisition of the Roman commissaries not only visited with punishment the declared partizans of Macedonia; but even to have stood neutral was a crime that incurred suspicion. Rome, however, amid the rising hatred, did not deem herself secure until by one blow she had rid herself of all opponents of any importance. Above a thousand of the most eminent of the Achæans were summoned to Rome to justify themselves, and there detained seventeen years Callicrates, 167—150. in prison without a hearing. While at the head[Pg 289] of the league, stood the man who had delivered them up, Callicrates, (d. 150.) a wretch who could, unmoved, hear "the very boys in the streets taunt him with treachery."—A more tranquil period, it is true, now ensued for Greece, but it was the result of very obvious causes.

Greece becomes a Roman province, 150—148.

27. The ultimate lot both of Macedon and was decided by the system now adopted at Rome, that of converting the previous dependence of nations into formal subjection. The insurrection of Andriscus in Macedonia, an individual who pretended to be the son of Perseus, was quelled by Metellus, the country being constituted a Roman province; two years afterwards, at the sack of Corinth, vanished the last glimmer of Grecian freedom.

The last war of the Achæans arose out of certain quarrels with Sparta, 150, fomented by Diæus, Critolaus, and Damocritus, who had returned bitterly enraged from the Roman prison; in these disputes Rome interfered, with the design of wholly dissolving the Achæan league. The first pretext that offered for executing this scheme was the ill-treatment of the Roman ambassadors at Corinth, 148; war, however, still raging with Carthage and Andriscus, the Romans preserved for the present a peaceful tone. But the party of Diæus and Critolaus would have war; the plenipotentiaries of Metellus were again insulted, and the Achæans declared war against Sparta and Rome. In the very same year they were routed by Metellus, and their leader Critolaus fell in the engagement; Metellus was replaced in the command by Mummius, who defeated Diæus the successor of Critolaus, took Corinth and razed it to the ground, 146. The consequence was, that Greece, under the name of Achaia, became a Roman province, although to a few cities, such as Athens, for instance, some shadow of freedom was still left.

[Pg 290]

IV. History of some smaller or more distant Kingdoms and States erected out of the Macedonian monarchy.

Sources. Besides the writers enumerated above, (see p. 232.) Memnon, an historian of Heraclea in Pontus, deserves particular mention in this place, (see p. 162): some extracts from his work have been preserved to us by Photius, Cod. 224. In some individual portions, as, for instance, in the Parthian history, Justin[a] is our main authority; as are likewise Ammianus Marcellinus, and the extracts from Arrian's Parthica, found in Photius. The coins of the kings are also of great importance; but unfortunately Vaillant's Essay shows, that even with their assistance the chronology still remains in a very unsettled state. For the Jewish history, Josephus (see p. 35.) is the grand writer: of the Books of the Old Testament, those of Ezra and Nehemiah, together with the Maccabees, although the last are not always to be depended upon.

The modern writers are enumerated below, under the heads of the different kingdoms. Much information is likewise scattered about in the works on ancient numismatics.

[a] As Justin did no more than extract from Trogus Pompeius, a question presents itself of great consequence to various portions of ancient history; what authorities did Trogus Pompeius follow? The answer will be found in two treatises by A. L. L. Heeren: De fontibus et auctoritate Trogi Pompeii, ejusque epitomatoris Justini, inserted in Comment. Soc. Gott. vol. 15.

Smaller states rising out of Alexander's empire.

1. Besides the three main empires into which the monarchy of Alexander was divided, there likewise arose in those extensive regions several branch kingdoms, one of which even grew in time to be among the most powerful in the world. To these belong the kingdoms of, 1. Pergamus. 2. Bithynia. 3. Paphlagonia. 4. Pontus. 5. Cappadocia. 6. Great Armenia. 7. Little Armenia. 8. Parthia. 9. Bactria. 10. Jewish state subsequent to the Maccabees.

[Pg 291]

We are acquainted with the history of these kingdoms, the Jewish state alone excepted, only so far forth as they were implicated in the concerns of the greater empires; of their internal history we know little, often nothing. With respect to many of them, therefore, little more can be produced than a series of chronological data, indispensable, notwithstanding, to the general historian.

Kingdom of Pergamus,
B. C. 283—133.

2. The kingdom of Pergamus, in Mysia, arose during the war between Seleucus and Lysimachus. It owed its origin on the one hand to the prudence of its rulers, the wisest of whom luckily reigned the longest; and, on the other, to the weakness of the Seleucidæ: for its progressive increase it was indebted to the Romans, who in aggrandizing the power of Pergamus acted with a view to their own interest. History exhibits scarcely one subordinate kingdom whose princes took such skilful advantage of the political circumstances of the times; and yet they earned still greater renown by the anxiety they showed, in rivalling the Ptolemies, to foster the arts of peace, industry, science, architecture, sculpture, and painting. How dazzling the splendour with which the small state of Pergamus outshines many a mighty empire!

Philetærus, lieutenant of Lysimachus, in Pergamus, asserts his independence; and maintains possession of the citadel and town, 283—263. His nephew, Eumenes I. 263—241, defeats Antiochus I. at Sardes, 263, and becomes master of Æolis and the circumjacent country. His nephew, Attalus I. 241—197, after his victory over the Galatians, 239, becomes king of Pergamus: a noble prince, and one whose genius and activity embraced everything. His wars against Achæus brought him in alliance with Antiochus III. 216. Commencement of an alliance with Rome, arising out of his participation in the Ætolian league against Macedon, 211, in order to thwart Philip's project of conquest. Hence, after Philip's irruption into Asia, 203, participa[Pg 292]tion on the side of Rome, in the Macedonian war. His son Eumenes II. the inheritor of all his father's great qualities succeeds him, 197—158. As a reward for his assistance against Antiochus the Great, the Romans presented him with almost all the territories possessed by the vanquished king in Asia Minor, (Phrygia, Mysia, Lycaonia, Lydia, Ionia, and a part of Caria,) which thereafter constituted the kingdom of Pergamus; this prince extended his frontiers, but lost his independence. In the war with Perseus he was scarce able to preserve the good will of the senate, and therewith his kingdom. His brother, Attalus II. 158—138, a more faithful dependent of Rome, took part in nearly all the concerns of Asia Minor, more especially Bithynia. His nephew, Attalus III. 138—133, a prince of unsound mind, bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans, who, after vanquishing the lawful heir, Aristonicus, 130, took possession of it, annexing it to their empire, under the shape of a province called Asia.—Great discoveries and vast establishments made at Pergamus. Rich library; subsequently transferred by Antony to Alexandria, as a present for Cleopatra. Museum. Discovery of parchment, an invaluable auxiliary to the preservation of works of literature.

Choiseuil Gouffier, Voyage pittoresque de la Grèce, vol. ii. 1809. Containing excellent observations, both on the monuments and history of Pergamus, as well as on those of all the neighbouring coasts and islands.

Sevin, Recherches sur les rois de Pergame, inserted in the Mém. de l'Acad. des Inscript. vol. xii.

From the fall of Tyre and the unsuccessful attempt of Demetrius, B. C. 307, to the establishment of Roman dominion in the east, 300—200, was the brilliant period of Rhodes; alike important for political wisdom, naval power, and extensive trade. At the head of the senate (βουλὴ) were presidents, (πρυτανεῖς,) who went out of office every half year, and were honoured with precedence in the meetings of the commons. Friendship with all, alliance with none, was the fundamental maxim of Rhodian policy, until subverted by Rome. Thus was preserved the dignity of the state, together with its independence and political activity—where do we not meet with Rhodian embassies?—and permanent splendour, resulting from the cultivation of arts and sciences. What proofs of general commiseration did not Rhodes enjoy after that dreadful earthquake, which threw down even the famous colossus, 227! Long did her squadrons command the Ægæan; over that sea, the Euxine, and the western parts of the[Pg 293] Mediterranean as far as Sicily, her commerce extended, consisting in the rich exchange of commodities between three quarters of the globe. Her revenue proceeded from the customs, and was abundant; until, blinded by avarice, she sought to obtain at Peræa a territory on the mainland; an ambition of which the Romans availed themselves to her detriment, by presenting her with Lycia and Caria, 190. And yet did this republic outlive that of Rome! Great, indeed, is the chasm left in general history by the loss of the internal history of this island!

P. D. Ch. Paulsen, Commentatio exhibens Rhodi descriptionem Macedonica ætate, Gottingæ, 1818. A prize essay.

3. The other small kingdoms of Asia Minor are fragments rather of the Persian than of the Macedonian monarchy; for Alexander's march following another direction, they were not formally subjugated by that conqueror. The lines of their kings are generally traced back to an early period of the Persian age; but, properly speaking, their rulers in those days were nothing more than viceroys: selected indeed, for the most part, from the royal family, they bore the title of princes, and, in the gradual decline of the empire, not unfrequently threw up their allegiance. Nevertheless these kingdoms do not appear as really independent until after the time of Alexander. Connected with the Grecian republics Heraclea, Sinope, Byzantium, etc. they formed, both in the Macedonian and Roman ages, a system of small states, often distracted by internal wars, and still oftener mere tools in the hands of the more powerful.

1. Bithynia. As early as the Persian period, mention is made of two kings in Bithynia, Dydalsus and Botyras. The son of the latter, Bias, B. C. 378—328, made head against Caranus, one of Alexander's generals; as did also his son Zipœtas, d. 281, against Lysimachus.—Lycomedes I. d. 248. He called the Gauls[Pg 294] over from Thrace, 278, and with their assistance deposed his brother Zipœtas; the Gauls in consequence kept their footing in Galatia, and were for a long time an object of terror to Asia Minor. Zelas, d. about 232; established his dominion after a war with his half-brothers. Prusias I. son-in-law and ally of Philip II. of Macedon, d. 192. He sided with the Rhodians in the commercial war against Byzantium, 222, (see above, p. 282.) and directed his arms, 196, against Heraclea, a Grecian city in Bithynia, with a respectable territory along shore. Prusias II. waged war against Eumenes II. at the instigation of Hannibal, who had fled to his court, 184; he was subsequently about to deliver up the fugitive to the Romans; had not Hannibal put a period to his existence, 183: this king likewise waged war against Attalus II. 153; in both these contests Rome acted as mediator. Prusias, who had the meanness to style himself a freedman of the Romans, was dethroned by his own son, Nicomedes II. d. 92; a confederate of Mithridates the Great, with whom, nevertheless, he afterwards fell out concerning the appropriation of Paphlagonia and Cappadocia. Nicomedes was murdered by his son Socrates, who was, however, compelled to flee; in consequence of which Nicomedes III. succeeded to the crown. Deposed by Mithridates, who supported his half-brother Socrates, he was reinstated by Rome, 90. Having, however, at the instigation of the Romans, 89, attacked Mithridates, he was defeated and expelled in the first Mithridatic war, now kindled; but in the peace of 85, he was again reinstated by Sulla. At his death, 75, he bequeathed Bithynia to the Romans; and this legacy gave rise to the third Mithridatic war.

Vaillant, Imperium Arsacidarum, vol. ii. See below.

Sevin, Recherches sur les rois de Bithynie; inserted in the Mém. de l'Académie des Inscript. vol. xii.

2. Paphlagonia. Even in the Persian age, the rulers of this country were but nominally subject. After Alexander's death, B. C. 323, it fell into the hands of the kings of Pontus; it was, however, subsequently, again ruled by its own monarchs; among whom we hear of Morzes, about 179; Pylæmenes I. about 131: who assisted the Romans in the war against Aristonicus of Pergamus.—Pylæmenes II. d. before 121; who is said to have bequeathed his kingdom to Mithridates V. of Pontus. Hence Paphlagonia came to be implicated in the fortunes of Pontus, (see just below,) until after the fall of Mithridates the Great, 63,[Pg 295] that kingdom was converted into a province, with the exception of one of the southern districts, to which the Romans left some shadow of freedom.

3. Pontus. The later kings of this country derived their origin from the family of the Achæmenidæ, or house of Persia. In the Persian age they remained dependent or tributary princes: and as such we must consider Artabazes, son of Hystaspes, d. 480, Mithridates I. d. 368, and Ariobarzanes, d. 337, mentioned as the earliest kings of Pontus. Mithridates II. surnamed Ctistes, d. 302, was one of the first to acknowledge subjection to Alexander; after the death of the conqueror he sided with Antigonus, who treacherously caused him to be murdered. His son, Mithridates III. d. 266, (the Ariobarzanes of Memnon,) not only maintained himself after the battle of Ipsus against Lysimachus, but likewise possessed himself of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia. Mithridates IV. father-in-law to Antiochus the Great, waged an unsuccessful war against Sinope. The year of his death is undetermined, Pharnaces, d. about 156. He conquered Sinope 183; and that town then became the royal residence. War with Eumenes II. whom Rome had made so powerful, and with his allies; terminated by a treaty, according to which Pharnaces ceded Paphlagonia, B. C. 179. Mithridates V. d. about 121. He was an ally of the Romans, from whom, after the defeat of Aristonicus of Phrygia, he contrived to obtain Great Phrygia. Mithridates VI. surnamed Eupator, about 121—64. He bore the title of Great, an epithet to which he was as fully entitled as Peter I. in modern history; indeed he resembled the Russian prince in almost everything except in good fortune. His reign, although of the highest importance to general history, is, particularly in the portion previous to the wars with Rome, replete with chronological difficulties.—At the age of twelve years he inherits from his father not only Pontus, but likewise Phrygia, and a reversionary title to the throne of Paphlagonia, vacated by the death of Pylæmenes II.—During his nonage, 121—112, while by voluntarily inuring himself to hardships, he contrived to elude the treacherous hostility of his guardians, Rome deprived him of Phrygia. His conquests in Colchis and on the eastern side of the Black sea, 112—110.—Commencement of the Scythian wars. Called by the Greeks of Crimea to their assistance, he expelled the Scythians; subjected several insignificant Scythian princes on the mainland; and entered into alliances with the Sarmatic[Pg 296] and even Germanic races as far as the Danube, 108—105, having already a view to the invasion of Italy from the north.—This war ended, he travels over Asia, (Asia Minor?) about 104—103.—At his return, after punishing with death his faithless sister and wife, Laodice, he makes good his pretensions to Paphlagonia, which he divides with Nicomedes II. 102. The Roman senate demanding the restoration of that province, Mithridates not only refuses to accede, but likewise takes possession of Galatia; meanwhile Nicomedes places on the throne of Paphlagonia one of his own sons, whom he gives out to be a son of Pylæmenes II. and denominates Pylæmenes III.—Rupture with Nicomedes II. 101; the subject of dispute, Cappadocia, which, after removing the king, Ariarathes VII. his brother-in-law, with the assistance of Gordius, Mithridates himself now wished to possess; he is anticipated, however, by Nicomedes II. who marries Laodice, Ariarathes's widow.—Mithridates, notwithstanding, expels his rival, under pretence of holding the kingdom for his sister's son, Ariarathes VIII. whom at the end of a few months he puts to death at a private conference, 94; he defeats the brother of the murdered prince, Ariarathes IX. and then places on the throne, under the name of Ariarathes X. his own son, who is given out to be a third son of Ariarathes VII; in opposition to whom Nicomedes sets up another pretended Ariarathes. The Roman senate, meanwhile, declare both Paphlagonia and Cappadocia free, B. C. 92; attending, however, to the desires of the Cappadocians, they sanction the election of Ariobarzanes to the crown; and he is put in possession of the kingdom by Sylla, as proprætor of Cilicia, likewise in 92.—Mithridates, on the other hand, forms an alliance with the king of Armenia, Tigranes, to whom he gives his daughter in marriage; and employs him in expelling Ariobarzanes.—He himself, after the death of Nicomedes II. 92, supports the claims of the deceased king's exiled son, Socrates Chrestus, against the bastard Nicomedes III. and in the mean time takes possession of Paphlagonia. Nicomedes and Ariobarzanes are reinstated by a Roman embassy, 90, Mithridates, in order to gain time against Rome, causing Socrates to be put to death. The hostilities of Nicomedes, instituted by Rome, gave rise to the first Roman war, 89—85, carried on in Asia and Greece, and brought to a conclusion by Sylla. By the peace of 85, Mithridates restores Bithynia, Cappadocia, and Paphlagonia.—War with the revolted Colchians and Bosporans, 84.—Second war with Rome brought[Pg 297] about by the Roman governor, Murena, 83—81. Mithridates hereupon appoints his son, Machares, king of Bosporus, (Crimea,) whom he afterwards himself causes to be put to death, 66; he was likewise, in all probability, the instigator of the migration of the Sarmatæ out of Asia into Europe, in order to maintain his conquests in that quarter, about 80. Fresh disputes with Rome about Cappadocia, of which Tigranes takes possession, and third war with Rome, 75—64. The contest ended in the downfal of Mithridates, caused by the treachery of his son Pharnaces; Pontus became a Roman province; although the Romans, in the sequel, appointed over a portion of the country princes from the royal house, Darius, Polemo I. Polemo II. until Nero reduced it again wholly to the state of a province.

Vaillant, Imperium Achæmenidarum in his Imperium Arsacidarum, tom. ii. With the assistance of the coins.

For the history of Mithridates the Great, previously treated without sufficient chronological accuracy, see De Brosses, Histoire de la Rép. Romaine, and more especially

Joan. Ernst. Woltersdorf, Commentatio vitam Mithridatis Magni, per annos digestam, sistens; præmio ornata ab A. Phil. Ord. Gottingæ:, A. 1812.

4. Cappadocia. Until the time of Alexander this country remained a province of the Persian empire, although the governors occasionally made attempts at insurrection. The ruling family was here likewise a branch of the royal house; Ariarathes I. was particularly distinguished about B. C. 354. The prince contemporary with Alexander was Ariarathes II. who, being attacked by Perdiccas and Eumenes, fell in the contest, 322. Nevertheless, his son, Ariarathes III. supported by the Armenians, recovered the sceptre about 312. The son of this king, Ariaramnes, formed a matrimonial connection with the Seleucidæ, uniting his son Ariarathes IV. with the daughter of Antiochus Θεός. Ariarathes IV. during his lifetime, associated in the government his son Ariarathes V. d. 162. who married Antiochis, daughter to Antiochus the Great: this princess, finding herself at first barren, procured two supposititious sons, one of whom, Orophernes, subsequently wrested the sceptre from the legitimate and later born son, Ariarathes VI. but was afterwards expelled by the rightful heir, 157. In the war against Aristonicus of Pergamus, 131, he fell, as an ally of the Romans, leaving behind him six sons; five of whom were cut off by his ambitious relict Laodice; the sixth[Pg 298] however, Ariarathes VII. ascended the throne, and was married to Laodice, sister of Mithridates the Great, at whose instigation he was murdered by Gordius, under pretence of placing on the throne his sister's son, Ariarathes VIII; this last prince was soon after treacherously put to death by Mithridates, 94, and his brother Ariarathes IX. defeated 93, died of a broken heart; Mithridates then placed on the throne his own son, Ariarathes X. a lad eight years old. The independence of Cappadocia having meanwhile been proclaimed at Rome, the inhabitants of the country, in order to preclude domestic broils, themselves elect a king, appointing to that dignity Ariobarzanes I. who was installed by Sylla, 92, and, backed by the Romans, kept his footing in the Mithridatic wars. In 63 he made the crown over to his son, Ariobarzanes II. who was slain by the army of Brutus and Cassius, 43, as was his brother, Ariobarzanes III. 34, by Mark Antony; Antony then appointed Archelaus to be king, who enticed to Rome by Tiberius, A. D. 17, was there assassinated; and Cappadocia then became a Roman province.

5. Armenia was a province of the Syrian empire until the defeat of Antiochus the Great by Rome, 190. That defeat was followed by the accession of Antiochus's lieutenants, Artaxias and Zariadras; and now arose the two kingdoms of Armenia Major and Armenia Minor (the latter on the west bank of the Upper Euphrates). In Armenia Major the family of Artaxias kept possession of the throne, under eight (according to others ten) consecutive kings, until B. C. 5.—The only remarkable prince of this line was Tigranes I. 95—60, son-in-law and ally of Mithridates the Great, and lord of Asia Minor, Cappadocia, and Syria. He was, however, at the peace of 63, obliged to give up all, so that Armenia was dependent on the Romans, and remained so until B. C. 5, when it became the object of contention between the Romans and Parthians, being ruled at intervals by kings appointed by both parties, who endeavoured thereby to protect their own provinces. Finally, in A. D. 412, Armenia became a province of the new Persian empire.—In Asia Minor the descendants of Zariadras ruled dependently on Rome; after its defection under Mithridates the Great it usually formed part of some one of the neighbouring kingdoms, until in the reign of Vespasian it was converted into a province of the Roman empire.

Vaillant, Elenchus regum Armeniæ Majoris, in his Hist. Imp. Arsacidarum.

[Pg 299]

Bactrian and Parthian empires.

4. Besides the above small kingdoms, two mighty empires arose in Inner Asia, both out of Alexander's monarchy, and at the same time: these were the Parthian and the Bactrian; each having previously constituted a part of the empire of the Seleucidæ, from which they seceded under Antiochus II. The Parthian kingdom, or that of the Arsacidæ, B. C. 256—A. D. 226, at the maximum of its extension, comprised the countries between the Euphrates and Indus. Its history, so far as we are acquainted with it, is divided into four periods (see below); but unfortunately our information is so imperfect respecting all that relates to the Parthians, except their wars, that even the most important particulars are beyond the reach of conjecture.

Main facts in the history and constitution of the Parthian kingdom. a. Like the ancient Persian empire, the Parthian arose out of the conquests made by a rude mountain race of Central Asia, whose Scythian (probably Tatarian) origin, betrayed itself even in later times by their speech and mode of life: their conquests, however, were not effected with the same rapidity as those of the Persians. b. This empire increased at the expense of the Syrian in the west, and of the Bactrian in the east; but its dominion was never permanently established beyond the Euphrates, Indus, and Oxus. c. The wars with Rome, commencing in B. C. 53, and springing out of disputes for the possession of the Armenian throne, were for a long time unfortunate for the Romans. Success did not accompany the arms of Rome until she had discovered the art of raising her own parties within the kingdom itself, by lending her support to pretenders, an art rendered comparatively easy, by the unfavourable situation of the Parthian capital Seleucia and the neighbouring town of Ctesiphon, the real head quarters of the court. d. The empire was indeed divided into satrapies, eighteen of which are enumerated; nevertheless it comprised likewise several small kingdoms, which preserved their own[Pg 300] rulers, only that they were tributary, such, for instance, as Persis, etc. The Græco-Macedonian settlements were also in possession of great privileges, and of their own civic governments; Seleucia more especially, where the coins of the Parthian sovereigns were struck. e. The constitution was monarchal-aristocratic, something like that of the Poles, in the period of the Jagellons. At the king's side sat a supreme state council, (senatus, in all probability what was called the megistanes,) who had the power of deposing the king, and the privilege, it is supposed, of confirming his accession previous to the ceremony of coronation, performed by the field-marshals (surenas). The right of succession was only so far determined as belonging to the house of the Arsacidæ; the many pretenders to which this uncertainty gave rise, produced factions and domestic wars, doubly injurious to the empire when fomented and shared by foreigners. f. With regard to Asiatic commerce, the Parthian supremacy was of importance, inasmuch as it interrupted the direct intercourse between the western and eastern countries: it being a maxim of the Parthians not to grant a passage through their country to any stranger. This destruction of the trade occurs in the third period of the empire, being a natural result of the many wars with Rome, and the distrust thence ensuing. The East India trade, in consequence, took another road through Palmyra and Alexandria, which were indebted to it for their splendour and prosperity. g. It is probable that this was the reason why excessive luxury took a less hold on the Parthians than on the other ruling nations of Asia, notwithstanding their predilection for Grecian manners and literature, at that time generally prevalent throughout the east.

Line of the kings. I. Syrian period; that of reiterated wars with the Seleucidæ, until 130. Arsaces I. 256—253, founder of the Parthian independence, by procuring the death of the Syrian viceroy, Agathocles, to which he was instigated by the insult offered to his brother Tiridates. Arsaces II. (Tiridates I.) brother of the foregoing, d. 216. He possessed himself of Hyrcania, about 244, confirmed the Parthian power by a victory on Seleucus Callinicus, 238, whom he took prisoner, 236. Arsaces III. (Artabanus I.) d. 196. In his reign occurred the unsuccessful attempt of Antiochus III. who, in the treaty of 210, was obliged to renounce all claims on Parthia and Hyrcania, in return for which Arsaces lent his assistance to Antiochus in the war against[Pg 301] Bactria. Arsaces IV. (Priapatius,) d. about 181. Arsaces V. (Phraates I.) d. about 144; he conquered the Mardians on the Caspian. His brother, Arsaces VI. (Mithridates I.) d. 136. He raised the hitherto confined kingdom of Parthia to the rank of a mighty empire, having, after the decease of Antiochus Epiphanes, 164, by the capture of Media, Persis, Babylonia, and other countries, extended the frontiers westward to the Euphrates, and eastward to the Hydaspes, beyond the Indus. The invasion of Demetrius II. of Syria, supported by an insurrection of the conquered races, ended, 140, in the capture of the aggressor. Arsaces VII. (Phraates II.) d. about 127. Invasion of Antiochus Sidetes, 132, who was at first successful, but being soon afterwards cut off together with his whole army, 131, the Parthian empire was for ever freed from the attacks of the Syrian kings.

II. Period of the eastern nomad wars; from 130—53. After the fall of the Bactrian empire, which had hitherto formed the eastern rampart of the Parthians, violent wars took place with the nomad tribes of Central Asia (Scythæ, Dahæ, Tochari, etc.) in which Arsaces VII. was slain. Arsaces VIII. (Artabanus II.) shared the same fate about 124. Arsaces IX. (Mithridates II.) d. 87. This prince appears to have restored tranquillity to the east after bloody wars; he met, however, with a powerful rival in Tigranes I. of Armenia. In his reign occurred the first transactions between the Parthians and Romans, 92, Sylla being proprætor of Cilicia. Arsaces X. (Mnasciras,) d. about 76, waged a long war for the succession with his follower on the throne, the septuagenarian, Arsaces XI. (Sinatroces,) d. about 68. Unsuccessful war with Tigranes I. In consequence of civil wars, and of that with Tigranes, together with the formidable power of Mithridates the Great, the Parthian empire was now greatly weakened. Arsaces XII. (Phraates III.) d. 60, contemporary with the third Mithridatic war. Although both parties eagerly courted his alliance, and he himself was engaged in the contest with Tigranes, he, notwithstanding, observed an armed neutrality, and made the Parthian empire continue to be respected as far as the Euphrates. Neither Lucullus nor Pompey durst attack him. The fall of Mithridates and of his empire, 64, constitutes, however, an epoch in the Parthian history, the Romans and Parthians having now become immediate neighbours.—Arsaces XIII. (Mithridates II.) d. 54, deposed after several wars, by his younger brother Orodes,[Pg 302] and at last put to death, after the capture of Babylonia, where he had taken refuge.

III. Roman period; from B. C. 53, to A. D. 226; comprising the wars with Rome. Arsaces XIV. (Orodes I.) d. 36. In his reign the first war with Rome, caused by the invasion of Crassus; it ends in the annihilation of the invading army and general, 53. In consequence of this victory the Parthians acquired such preponderance, that during the civil wars they were frequently masters on this side of the Euphrates, and in 52—51 proceeded to attack Syria.—In the war between Pompey and Cæsar they sided with the former, and thus furnished the latter with a pretext for his Parthian expedition, which, however, was prevented by his murder in 44; again in the war between the triumviri and Brutus and Cassius, 42, they took the republican side. After the defeat of Brutus and Cassius, the Parthians, at the instigation of the Roman general and ambassador Labienus, and commanded by him and Pacorus, (eldest son to Arsaces,) spread over the whole of Syria and Asia Minor, 40; but, after violent exertions, were driven back by Ventidius, Antony's general, 39, 38; Pacorus lost his life, and his father died of grief. Arsaces XV. (Phraates IV.) d. A. D. 4, contemporary of Augustus. He confirmed his power by murdering his brothers and their dependents; his views were likewise furthered by the failure of Antony's expedition, B. C. 36, which ended pretty nearly in the same manner as that of Crassus. The remainder of his reign was disturbed by a pretender to the throne, Tiridates, who, after his defeat, 25, found an asylum at the court of Augustus. The threatened attack of Augustus was diverted by Phraates's restoration of the standards taken from Crassus, 20; a dispute, however, subsequently arose respecting the possession of the Armenian throne, A. D. 2, on which account Caius Cæsar was despatched into Asia, and accommodated matters by a treaty. The ultimate fate both of the king and the empire was principally decided by a female slave, Thermusa, sent as a present from Augustus; this woman, wishing to ensure the succession to her own son, prevailed upon the king to send his four sons to Rome as hostages, under the pretext of anticipating domestic troubles, 18.—A practice which from that time became frequent, the Parthian kings thinking it a convenient mode of ridding themselves of dangerous competitors, while the Romans knew how to make the[Pg 303] proper use of them.—Thermusa's son having grown up, she removed the king, and seated Phraataces on the throne, under the name of Arsaces XVI; he was, however, put to death by the Parthians, A. D. 4; and the crown given to one of the Arsacidæ, Orodes II, (Arsaces XVII.) who was, however, immediately afterwards slain by reason of his cruelty. In consequence, Vonones I. the eldest of the sons of Phraates sent to Rome, was called back and placed on the throne (Arsaces XVIII.); but that prince having brought with him Roman customs and luxury, was expelled, A. D. 14, with the assistance of the northern nomads, by Artabanes III. (Arsaces XIX.) d. 44, a distant relation: the fugitive took possession of the vacant throne of Armenia, but was soon after driven from thence likewise by his rival. Tiberius took advantage of the consequent disorders to send Germanicus into the east, A. D. 17, from whence he was never to return. The remainder of the reign of Artabanus was very stormy, Tiberius on the one hand taking advantage of the factions between the nobles to support pretenders to the crown; the revolts of the satraps, on the other hand, giving proof of the declension of the Parthian power. After his death war raged between his sons; the second, Vardanes, (Arsaces XX.) d. 47, made good his pretensions to the crown, and took North Media, (Atropatene;) he was succeeded by his elder brother Gotarzes, (Arsaces XXI.) d. 50, to whom Claudius unsuccessfully opposed Meherdates, educated as an hostage at Rome. Arsaces XXII. (Vonones II.) succeeded, after a reign of a few months, by Arsaces XXIII. (Vologeses I.) d. 90. The possession of the Armenian throne, given by this prince to his brother Tiridates, by the Romans to Tigranes, grandson of Herod the Great, excited a series of disputes, which began so early as the reign of Claudius, A. D. 52, and under Nero broke out into open war, waged with some success on the Roman side by Corbulo, 56—64, and closed by Tiridates going, after the death of Tigranes, to Rome, and there accepting the crown of Armenia as a gift at the hands of Nero, 65. Arsaces XXIV. (Pacorus,) d. 107, contemporary with Domitian. All that we know of him is, that he embellished the city of Ctesiphon. Arsaces XXV. (Cosroes,) d. about 121. The claims to the throne of Armenia implicated him in a war with Trajan, 114, during which Armenia, together with Mesopotamia and Assyria, were converted into Roman provinces. Trajan's consequent and successful inroad into the interior parts of the[Pg 304] Parthian dominions, 115—116, followed by the capture of Ctesiphon, and the appointment of Parthamaspates as king, appears to have been facilitated by the domestic commotions and civil wars which had for a long time harassed the empire. Nevertheless, in the following year, 117, Hadrian was compelled to give up all the conquered country; the Euphrates was again acknowledged as the boundary; Parthamaspates was appointed king of Armenia; and Cosroes, who had taken refuge in the upper satrapies, was reinstated on the throne, of which he seems ever after to have kept quiet possession. Arsaces XXVI. (Vologeses II.) d. 149. Parthia under his reign, and Rome under that of Antoninus Pius, remained on good terms. Arsaces XXVII. (Vologeses III.) d. 191. Under the reign of this king, the contemporary of Marcus Aurelius and L. Verus, the war with Rome was again kindled, 161, by Verus, and carried on in Armenia and Syria; Cassius, the legate of Verus, at last got possession of Seleucia, and demolished that city, 165.—Arsaces XXVIII. (Ardawan or Vologeses IV.) d. 207. This king having taken the part of Pescenninus Niger, in the war between him and Septimius Severus, was, after the defeat of his friend, 194, routed in a war with Septimius Severus, 197, and the chief towns of Parthia were sacked by the invaders. He is, without authority, represented as succeeded by a Pacorus, who took the name of Arsaces XXIX.: his real successor, however, appears to have been Arsaces XXIX. (Vologeses V.) d. 216. Domestic wars among his sons, fomented by Caracalla. Arsaces XXX. (Artabanus IV.) At the beginning of his reign, this prince likewise was contemporary with Caracalla, who, in order to pick a quarrel, demanded his daughter in marriage; according to some, Arsaces refused her, in consequence of which the Roman emperor undertook a campaign into Armenia; according to others, Arsaces having assented, and escorted his daughter to Caracalla, was, by an abominable stroke of treachery, cut off, together with all his train, A. D. 216. Caracalla having been murdered, 217, his successor, Macrinus, signed a peace with the Parthians. But Arsaces subsequently raised his brother Tiridates to the throne of Armenia; this act spurred the Persian Artaxerxes, son of Sassan, to rebellion; the Parthian king, defeated in three battles, fell in the last, thus putting a period to the family and dominion of the Arsacidæ, 226, and Artaxerxes became the founder of the New Persian kingdom, or that of the Sassanidæ. The revolution was [Pg 305] accompanied not only with a change of dynasty, but with a total subversion of the constitution.

Vaillant, Imperium Arsacidarum et Achæmenidarum, Paris, 1725, 2 vols. 4to. The first part comprises the Arsacidæ; the second the kings of Bithynia, Pontus, and Bosporus. It is an attempt, not altogether faultless, to arrange the series of kings, by the assistance of coins.

C. F. Richter, Historico-critical essay upon the dynasties of the Arsacidæ and Sassanidæ, according to the Persian, Grecian, and Roman authorities. A prize essay. Leipzic, 1804. A comparative research into the eastern and western sources. The chronology in the above sketch has been corrected by this work, in conjunction with

Th. Chr. Tychsen, Commentationes de Nummis Persarum et Arsacidarum; inserted in Commentat. Nov. Soc. Sc. Gotting. vol. i. iii.


5. The Bactrian kingdom arose nearly at the same time as the Parthian, 254; its origin, however, was of a different nature,—the independence of this state being asserted by the Grecian governor, who was consequently succeeded by Greeks;—its duration likewise was much shorter, extending only from B. C. 254 to B. C. 126. Scarce any fragments have been preserved of the history of this empire, the borders of which appear at one time to have extended to the banks of the Ganges, and the frontiers of China.

Founder of the empire, Diodatus or Theodotus I. B. C. 254; he threw off his allegiance to the Syrian king, under Antiochus II. He appears to have been master not only of Bactria, but also of Sogdiana. He likewise threatened the Parthians; after his decease, 243, his son and successor, Theodotus II. signed a treaty and alliance with Arsaces II. but was nevertheless deprived of his crown by Euthydemus of Magnesia, about 221. Antiochus the Great, at the conclusion of the Parthian war, directed his arms against Euthydemus, 209—206; the contest ended in a peace, by which Euthydemus, after delivering up his elephants,[Pg 306] was not only left in possession of the crown, but was allied to the Syrian family by the marriage of his son Demetrius with a daughter of Antiochus. Demetrius, though a great conqueror, does not seem to have been king of Bactria; his dominions comprised, it is probable, North India and Malabar, whose history now becomes closely connected with that of Bactria, although consisting only of mere fragments. The throne of Bactria fell to Apollodotus, and after him to Menander, who extended his conquests as far as Serica, while Demetrius was establishing his dominion in India, [as sovereign of which country he is represented in a medal lately discovered,] and where, about this time, several Greek states appear to have existed, perhaps ever since the expedition of Antiochus III. 205. Menander was succeeded, about 181, by Eucratidas, under whose reign the Bactrian empire attained its greatest extension; after defeating the Indian king, Demetrius, who had been the aggressor, he, with the assistance of the Parthian conqueror, Mithridates, (Arsaces VI.) annexed India to his own empire, 148. On his return, he was murdered by his son; the same, probably, that is mentioned afterwards by the name of Eucratidas II. He was the ally of Demetrius II. of Syria, and the main instigator of his expedition against the Parthians, 142; Demetrius being defeated by Arsaces VI. Eucratidas was, in consequence, deprived of a portion of his territory; overpowered soon after by the nomad races of Central Asia, the Bactrian empire fell to the ground, and Bactria itself, together with the other countries on this side of the Oxus, became a prey to the Parthians.

Th. Sieg. Bayer, Historia regni Græcorum Bactriani. Petropol. 1738, 4to. The few remaining fragments are in this work collected with industry and arranged with skill.

[Tod, Account of Greek, Parthian, and Hindu Medals, in Transactions of the R. Asiatic Society, vol. i. part ii, p. 316.

Tychsen, De Nummis Græcis et Barbaris in Bochara nuper retectis, in Comment. Nov. Soc. Sc. Gotting. vol. vi.]

Kingdom of the Jews.

6. The restored kingdom of the Jews was likewise a fragment of the Macedonian monarchy; and although it ranked only with the smaller states, its history in various respects deserves our attention, few nations having had so powerful an[Pg 307] influence on the progress of human civilization. The foundation of the independence of the Jews was not, it is true, laid before the year 167; yet their domestic constitution had previously assumed its main features, and their history, reckoning from the return of the Babylonian captivity, accordingly divides itself into four periods: 1. Under the Persian supremacy, 536—323. 2. Under the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ, 323—167. 3. Under the Maccabees, 167—39. 4. Under the Herodians and Romans, B. C. 39. to A. D. 70.

First period under the Persians. By permission from Cyrus, a colony of Jews belonging to the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Levi, returned to the land of their forefathers, 536: this colony, headed by Zorobabel, of the ancient royal family, and the high priest Joshua, consisted of about 42,000 souls; the far more important and wealthy portion of the nation preferred to remain on the other side of the Euphrates, where they had been settled for seventy years, and continued to be a numerous people. The new settlers found it difficult to keep their footing, principally in consequence of differences, produced by the intolerance they themselves evinced at the building of the temple, with their neighbours and kinsmen the Samaritans, to whom the colony was only a cause of expense. The Samaritans, subsequently, having erected a separate temple at Garizim, near Sichem, about 336, not only separated completely, but laid the foundation of an inveterate hatred between the two nations. Hence the prohibition to rebuild the city and temple, brought about by their means, under Cambyses, 529, and Smerdis, 522, and not taken off until 520, in the reign of Darius Hystaspes. The new colony did not receive a permanent internal constitution till the time of Ezra and Nehemiah; both brought in fresh colonists, the former in 478, the latter in 445. The country was under the dominion of the satraps of Syria; but in the increasing domestic declension of the Persian empire, the high priests gradually became the virtual rulers of the nation. Nevertheless, even at the time of Alexander's conquest, 332, the Jews seem to have manifested proofs of fidelity to the Persians.

[Pg 308]

Second period under the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ, 323—167. After the death of Alexander, Palestine, in consequence of its situation, generally shared the fate of Phœnicia and Cœle-Syria, (see above, p. 249.) being annexed to Syria.—Capture of Jerusalem, and transplantation of a vast colony of Jews to Alexandria by Ptolemy I. 312; from thence they spread to Cyrene, and gradually over the whole of North Africa, and even into Æthiopia. From 311—301 the Jews remained, however, subject to Antigonus. After the overthrow of his empire, they remained, 301—203, under the dominion of the Ptolemies; the most conspicuous of their high priests during this interval were Simon the Just, d. 291, and afterwards his son, Onias I. d. 218, who, by withholding the tribute due to Ptolemy III. exposed Judæa to imminent danger.—In the second war of Antiochus the Great against Egypt, 203, the Jews, of their own free will, acknowledged themselves his subjects, and assisted in driving out the Egyptian troops, who, under their general, Scopas, had again possessed themselves of the country, and the citadel of Jerusalem, 198. Antiochus confirmed the Jews in the possession of all their privileges; and although he promised their country, together with Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia, to Ptolemy Epiphanes, as the future dowry of his daughter, Judæa still remained under the Syrian supremacy; except that the revenue was for a time divided between the Syrian and Egyptian kings.—The high priests and self-chosen ethnarchs or alabarchs were at the head of the people; and we now find mention made for the first time of a senate, or the sanhedrim. But the rout of Antiochus the Great by the Romans was also the remote cause of the subsequent misfortunes of the Jews. The consequent dearth of money in which the Syrian kings found themselves, and the riches of the temple treasures, the accumulation of the sacred income and gifts, made the office of high priest an object of purchase under Antiochus Epiphanes: hence arose quarrels between the pontifical families, and out of those sprung factions, which Antiochus Epiphanes was desirous to turn to his own account, by the introduction of Grecian institutions among the Jews, in order thereby to promote the subjection of that people, now raised by its privileges almost to the rank of a state within that of Syria. Deposition of the high priest, Onias III. 175; his brother Jason having obtained the mitre by purchase, and the introduction of Grecian customs: Jason, however, was in his turn supplanted by his brother Mene[Pg 309]laus, 172. During the civil war arising out of these events, Antiochus Epiphanes, at that time conqueror in Egypt, (see above, p. 241.) takes possession of Jerusalem, 170, being provoked by the behaviour of the Jews to Menelaus, the high priest of his own appointment: the consequent oppression of the Jews, who now were to be Hellenized by main force, soon occasioned the rise under the Maccabees.

Third period under the Maccabees, 167—39. Commencement of the rebellion against Antiochus IV. brought about by the priest Mattathias, 167, who was almost immediately succeeded, 166—161, by his son Judas Maccabæus. Supported by the fanaticism of his party, Judas defeats in several battles the generals of Antiochus, who was absent in Upper Asia, where he died, 164; the Jewish leader is even said to have been favoured by Rome. The primary object of the insurrection was not, however, political independence; they fought only for religious freedom. Under Antiochus V. the sedition continued successful, both against the Syrian king and the high priest Alcimus, his creature, 163; Judas having died soon after his defeat by Demetrius I. was succeeded by his brother Jonathan, 161—143. The death of the high priest, Alcimus, 160, opened the path of Jonathan to that office, which he received in the ensuing war between Demetrius I. and Alexander Balas, 143, (see above, p. 244, 245.) both rivals courting his alliance: Jonathan sided with Balas, and consequently, from being merely the leader of a party, came to be head of the nation, which still, nevertheless, continued to pay tribute to the kings. Notwithstanding the favour he had shown to Balas, after the overthrow of that pretender, he was confirmed in his dignity by Demetrius I. 145; to whose assistance he marched at the subsequent great revolt in Antioch. Jonathan however, in 144, passed over to the side of the usurper, Antiochus, the son of Balas, (see above, p. 245.) and was by embassy presented with the friendship of the Romans in the same year, but by the treachery of Tryphon was taken and put to death, 143. His brother and successor, Simon, 143—135, having declared against Tryphon, was by Demetrius II. not only confirmed in his dignity, but excused from paying tribute; he likewise received the title of prince, (ethnarch;) and appears to have struck coins. After the capture of Demetrius, Antiochus Sidetes allowed Simon to remain in possession of those privileges so long as he stood in need of his assistance against Tryphon; but after the[Pg 310] death of that usurper, he caused him, 130, to be attacked by Cendebæus, who was defeated by the sons of Simon. Simon having been murdered by his son-in-law, Ptolemæus, who aspired to the government, 135, was succeeded by his son, John Hyrcanus, 135—107, who was compelled again to acknowledge submission to Antiochus Sidetes; but after the defeat and death of that prince by the Parthians, 130, he asserted his entire independence. The deep decline of the Syrian kingdom, the constant civil wars by which it was distracted, and the renewed league with the Romans, not only enabled Hyrcanus easily to maintain his independence, but likewise to increase his territory, by the conquest of the Samaritans and Idumæans. But with him ended the heroic line. Scarcely was he delivered from foreign oppression, when domestic broils arose; the Pharisees and Sadducees had hitherto been mere religious sects, but were converted into political factions by Hyrcanus, who, offended with the Pharisees, probably in consequence of their wish to separate the pontifical and princely offices, went over to the Sadducees; the former sect, the orthodox, were as usual supported by the many; the latter, the innovators, in consequence of the laxity of their principles, were favoured by the wealthy. Hyrcanus's eldest son, the cruel Aristobulus, 107, assumed the royal title, but soon after dying, 106, was succeeded by his younger brother, Alexander Jannæus, 106—79. His reign was an almost unbroken series of insignificant wars with his neighbours, this prince wishing to play the conqueror; and having likewise had the imprudence to irritate the powerful party of the Pharisees, these made him the object of public insult, and excited a tumult, 92, which was followed by a bloody civil war which lasted six years. Jannæus, it is true, maintained himself during the struggle; but the opposite party was so far from being annihilated, that, at his death, when passing over his sons, the feeble Hyrcanus (who possessed the pontifical dignity) and the ambitious Aristobulus, he bequeathed the crown to his widow Alexandra, it was with the understanding that she should join the party of the Pharisees: during her reign, therefore, 79—71, the Pharisees held the reins of government, and left her only the name. Provoked at this, Aristobulus, shortly before the death of the queen, endeavoured to obtain possession of the throne, and ultimately obtained his ends, notwithstanding Alexandra nominated Hyrcanus to be her successor. Hyrcanus, at the instigation of his confidant, the Idumæan Anti[Pg 311]pater, who was the progenitor of the Herodians, and assisted by the Arabian prince Aretas, waged war against his brother, 65, and shut him up in Jerusalem: but the Romans were arbitrators, and Pompey, then all-powerful in Asia, decided for Hyrcanus, 64; the party of Aristobulus, however, refusing to accede, the Roman general took possession of Jerusalem; made Hyrcanus high priest and prince, under condition that he should pay tribute; and took as prisoners to Rome Aristobulus and his sons, who, however, subsequently escaped and caused great disturbances. The Jewish state being now dependent on Rome, remained so, and the yoke was confirmed by the policy of Antipater and his sons, who followed the general maxim of entire devotion to Rome, in order thereby to succeed in wholly removing the reigning family. As early as 48, Antipater was appointed procurator of Judea by Cæsar, whom he had supported at Alexandria, and his second son Herod, governor in Galilee, soon became sufficiently powerful to threaten Hyrcanus and the sanhedrim, 45. He gained the favour of Antony, and thus maintained himself amid the tempests which, after the assassination of Cæsar, 44, shook the Roman world, powerful as the party opposed to him were: that party, however, at last, in lieu of the ill-fated Hyrcanus, the only surviving son of Aristobulus, placed Antigonus at their head, and, assisted by the Parthians, then flourishing in power, seated him on the throne, 39. Herod having fled to Rome, not only met with a gracious reception at the hands of the triumviri, but was by them appointed king.

Fourth period under the Herodians, B. C. 39 to A. D. 70. Herod the Great, B. C. 39 to A. D. 1. put himself in possession of Jerusalem and all Judæa, B. C. 37, and confirmed his power by marrying Mariamne of the house of the Maccabees. Notwithstanding his severity shown to the party of Antigonus, and the house of the Maccabees, the total extinction of which Herod deemed necessary for his own safety; yet so greatly did the wasted country stand in need of peace, that for that very reason his reign may be said to have been a happy one. Availing himself of the liberality of Augustus, whose favour he contrived to obtain after the defeat of Anthony, B. C. 31, Herod gradually increased the extent of his kingdom, which at last comprised Judæa, Samaria, Galilee, and beyond the Jordan, Peræa, Ituræa, and Trachonitis, (that is to say, the whole of Palestine,) together with Idumæa; from these countries he derived his income with[Pg 312]out being obliged to pay any tribute. The deference consequently shown by Herod to Rome, was but the effect of a natural policy, and his conduct in that respect could be objected to him only by bigoted Jews. To his whole family, rather than to himself individually, are to be attributed the executions which took place among its members; happy had it been if the sword had smitten none but the guilty and spared the innocent. In the last year but one of his reign is placed the birth of Christ (according to the usually adopted computation, made in the sixth century by Dionysius Exiguus. But the more accurate calculations of modern chronologists show that the real date of the Saviour's birth was probably four years earlier).—According to his will, with some few alterations made by Augustus, his kingdom was divided among his three surviving sons; Archelaus, as ethnarch, receiving the greater moiety, Judæa, Samaria, and Idumæa; the two others, as tetrarchs, Philip a part of Galilee and Trachonitis, Antipas the other part of Galilee, and Peræa, together with Ituræa; subsequently to which division, the various parts did not, in consequence, all share the same fate.—Archelaus, by misgovernment, soon lost his portion, A. D. 6; Judæa and Samaria were consequently annexed as a Roman province to Syria, and placed under procurators subordinate to the Syrian governors: among these procurators, the most famous is Pontius Pilate, about A. D. 27—36, under whom the founder of our religion appeared and suffered, not as a political—although accused of being so—but as a moral reformer. On the other hand, Philip retained his tetrarchy until the day of his death, A. D. 34, when his country had the same lot with Judæa and Samaria. Soon after, that is to say, in A. D. 37, it was, however, given by Caligula, with the title of king, to Agrippa, (grandson of Herod by Aristobulus,) as a recompense for his attachment to the family of Germanicus; and when Antipas, who wished to procure a similar favour for himself but instead of it, was deposed, 39, Agrippa received his tetrarchy also, 40, and soon afterwards, by the possession of the territory which had belonged to Archelaus, became master of the whole of Palestine. Agrippa having died in A. D. 44, the whole country being appended to Syria, became a Roman province, and received procurators, although Chalcis, 49, and subsequently also, 53, Philip's tetrarchy, were restored as a kingdom to his son Agrippa II. d. 90. The oppression of the procurators, and of Gessius Florus in particular, who obtained the office, A. D. 64, [Pg 313] excited the Jews to rebellion, which, 70, ended in the capture and destruction of their city and temple by Titus. The spread of the Jews over the whole civilized world of that time, although previously commenced, was by this event still further increased; and at the same time the extension of Christianity was prepared and facilitated. Even after the conquest, Jerusalem not only continued to exist as a city, but was also still considered by the nation as a point of union; and the attempt, under Adrian, to establish a Roman colony there, produced a fearful sedition.

Basnage, Histoire des Juifs depuis J. C. jusqu' à present. La Haye, 1716, 15 vols. 12mo. The first two parts only, properly speaking, belong to this period; but the others likewise contain several very valuable historical researches.

Prideaux, The Old and New Testament connected in the history of the Jews and their neighbouring nations. Lond. 1714, 2 vols. This work, together with that above quoted, have always been esteemed the grand books on the subject. The French translation of Prideaux's Connection is, by its arrangement, more convenient for use than the original: this translation was published at Amsterdam, 1722, 5 vols. 8vo. under the title of Prideaux, Histoire des Juifs et des peuples voisins depuis la décadence des Royaumes d'Israel et de Juda, jusqu' à la mort de J. C.

J. D. Michaelis, Translation of the Books of Esdras, Nehemiah, and Maccabees, contains in the observations several historic discussions of high importance.

J. Remond, Essay towards a history of the spread of Judaism, from Cyrus to the total decline of the Jewish state. Leipzig, 1789. The industrious work of a young scholar.

To the works enumerated p. 34, 35, must be added, for the more ancient history of the Jews:

J. L. Bauer, Manual of the history of the Hebrew nation, from its rise to the destruction of its state. Nuremberg, 1800, 2 parts, 8vo. As yet the best critical introduction, not only to the history, but also to the antiquities of the nation.

† In the works of J. J. Hess, belonging to this subject, namely, History of Moses; History of Joshua; History of the Rulers of Judah, 2 parts; History of the Kings of Judah and Israel: the history is throughout considered in a theocratic point of view.



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Introductory remarks on the Geography of Ancient Italy.

General outline of Italy.

Italy constitutes a peninsula, bounded on the north by the Alps, on the west and south by the Mediterranean, and on the east by the Adriatic sea. Its greatest length from north to south is 600 geogr. miles; its greatest breadth, taken at the foot of the Alps, is 320 geogr. miles; but that of the peninsula, properly so called, is not more than 120 geogr. miles. Superficial contents, 81,920 sq. geogr. miles. The principal mountain range is that of the Apennines, which, diverging occasionally to the west, or east, stretch from north to south through Central and Lower Italy. In the earlier times of Rome, these mountains were covered with thick forests. Main streams: the Padus (Po) and the Athesis, (Adige,) both of which discharge their waters in the Adriatic; and the Tiberis, (Tiber,) which falls into the Mediterranean. The soil, particularly in the plains, is one of the most fertile in Europe; on the other hand, many of the mountain tracts admit but of little cultivation. In that period when the Mediterranean was the grand theatre of trade, Italy, by her situation, seemed destined to become the principal mart of Europe; but she[Pg 315] never in ancient times availed herself sufficiently of this advantage.

Divisions of Italy.

It is divided into Upper Italy, from the Alps to the small rivers of Rubicon and Macra; (this part, however, of Italy, until presented with the right of citizenship under Cæsar, was, according to the Roman political geography, considered as a province;) into Central Italy, from the Rubicon and the Macra down to the Silarus and Frento; and into Lower Italy from those rivers to the southern land's end.

I. Upper Italy comprises the two countries, Gallia Cisalpina and Liguria.

Cisalpine Gaul.

1. Gallia Cisalpina, or Togata, in contradistinction to Gallia Transalpina. It bears the name of Gallia, in consequence of being for the most part occupied by Gallic races. This country is one continuous plain, divided by the Padus into two parts, the northernmost of which is therefore denominated Gallia Transpadana, (inhabited by the Taurini, Insubres, and Cenomani,) while the southern part (inhabited by the Boii, Senones, and Lingones) is known by the name of Gallia Cispadana. Various streams contribute to swell the Padus; from the north the Duria, (Durance,) the Ticinus, (Tessino,) the Addua, (Adda,) the Ollius, (Oglio,) the Mintius, (Minzio,) and several less important rivers; from the south, the Tanarus, (Tanaro,) the Trebia, etc. The Athesis, (Adige,) the Plavis, (Piave,) and a number of smaller mountain streams, roll their waters directly into the Adriatic.[Pg 316]

The cities in Gallia Cisalpina were, generally speaking, Roman colonies; and most of them have preserved to this day their ancient names. Among these are reckoned in Gallia Transpadana, principally, Tergeste, Aquileia, Patavium, (Padua,) Vincentia, Verona, all east of the Athesis; Mantua, Cremona, Brixia, (Brescia,) Mediolanum, (Milan,) Ticinum, (Pavia,) and Augusta Taurinorum, (Turin,) all west of the Athesis. In Gallia Cispadana we meet with Ravenna, Bononia, (Bologna,) Mutina, (Modena,) Parma, Placentia, (Piacenza). Several of the above places received municipal rights from the Romans.


2. Liguria. This country deduced its name from the Ligures, one of the old Italic tribes: it extended from the river Varus, by which it was divided from Gallia Transalpina, down to the river Macra; northward it extended to the Padus, and comprised the modern territory of Genoa.—Cities: Genua, an extremely ancient place; Nicæa, (Nice,) a colony of Massilia; and Asta, (Asti.)

II. Central Italy comprises six countries; Etruria, Latium, and Campania on the west; Umbria, Picenum, and Samnium on the east.


1. Etruria, Tuscia, or Tyrrhenia, was bounded north by the Macra, which divided it from Liguria; south and east by the Tiberis, which separated it from Latium and Umbria. Main river, the Arnus, (Arno). It is for the most part a mountainous country; the seashore only is level. This country derives its name from the Etrusci,[Pg 317] a very ancient people, composed, it is probable, of an amalgamation of several races, and even some early Grecian colonies, to which latter they were indebted, not indeed for all their arts, but for that of writing; to commerce and navigation the Etrusci were indebted for their opulence and consequent splendour. Cities: between the Macra and Arnus, Pisæ, (Pisa,) Florentia, Fæsulæ; between the Arnus and Tiberis, Volaterræ, (Volterra,) Volsinii, (Bolsena,) on the Lacus Volsiniensis, (Lago di Bolsena,) Clusium, (Chiusi,) Arretium, (Arrezzo,) Cortona, Perusia, (Perugia,) in the neighbourhood of which is the Lacus Thrasimenus, (Lago di Perugia,) Falerii, (Falari,) and the wealthy city of Veii. Each of the above twelve cities had its own individual ruler, lucumo; although frequent associations were formed among them, yet no firm and lasting bond seems to have united the nation into one.


2. Latium, properly the residence of the Latini, from the Tiberis north, to the promontory of Circeii, south; hence that country was likewise denominated Latium Vetus. Subsequently, under the name of Latium was likewise reckoned the country from Circeii, down to the river Liris, (Latium Novum;) so that the boundaries came to be, north, the Tiberis, south, the Liris: the seat of the Latins, properly speaking, was in the fruitful plain extending from the Tiber to Circeii; around them, however, dwelt various small tribes, some eastward, in the Apennines, such as the Hernici, Sabini, Æqui, and Marsi; others southward, such as the Volsci, Rutuli, and Aurunci.—Rivers: the Anio (Teverone) and Allia, which[Pg 318] fall into the Tiber, and the Liris, (Garigliano,) which empties itself into the Mediterranean. Cities in Latium Vetus: Rome, Tibur, Tusculum, Alba Longa, Ostia, Lavinium, Antium, Gabii, Velitræ, the capital of the Volsci, and several smaller places. In Latium Novum: Fundi, Terracina, or Anxur, Arpinum, Minturnæ, Formiæ.


3. Campania. The country lying between the Liris, north, and the Silarus, south. One of the most fruitful plains in the world, but at the same time greatly exposed to volcanic eruptions. Rivers: the Liris, the Vulturnus, (Voltorno,) the Silarus, (Selo). Mountain: Vesuvius. Campania derived its name from the race of the Campani. Cities: Capua the principal one; and also Linternum, Cumæ, Neapolis, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiæ, Nola, Surrentum, Salernum, etc.

The three eastern countries of Central Italy are as follows:


1. Umbria. It is bounded, north, by the river Rubico, south, by the river Æsis, (Gesano,) dividing it from Picenum, and by the Nar, (Nera,) dividing it from the Sabine territory. It is for the most part plain. The Umbrian race had in early times spread over a much larger portion of Italy. Cities: Ariminium, (Rimini,) Spoletium, (Spoleto,) Narnia, (Narni,) and Ocriculum, (Otriculi.)


2. Picenum. Bounded, north, by the Æsis, south, by the Atarnus, (Pescara.) The people are called Picentes. This country consists in a fertile plain. Cities: Ancona and Asculum Picenum, (Ascoli.)[Pg 319]


3. Samnium, the name of a mountain tract extending from the Atarnus, north, to the Frento, south; although that country reckoned among its inhabitants, not only the rude and powerful Samnites, but also several less numerous races; for instance, the Marrucini and Peligni in the north, the Frentani in the east, and the Hirpini in the south. Rivers: the Sagrus and the Tifernus. Cities: Allifæ, Beneventum, and Caudium.

III. Lower Italy, or Magna Grecia, comprised four countries; Lucania and Bruttium on the western side, Apulia and Calabria on the eastern.


1. Lucania. Boundaries: north, the Silarus, south, the Laus. For the most part a mountain tract. It derived its name from the race of the Lucani, a branch of the Ausones, or chief nation of Lower Italy. Cities: Pæstum, or Posidonia, still renowned for its ruins, and Helia, or Velia.


2. Bruttium, (the modern Calabria,) or the western tongue of land from the river Laus to the southern land's end at Rhegium. The river Brandanus constitutes the eastern frontier. A mountainous country, deriving its name from the Bruttii, (a half savage branch of the Ausones,) who dwelt in the mountains, while the seashores were occupied by Grecian settlements. Cities: Consentia, (Cosenza,) Pandosia, Mamertum, and Petilia. (Concerning the Greek colonies see above p. 155.)


3. Apulia. The country ranging along the eastern coast, from the river Frento to the commencement of the eastern tongue of land; an ex[Pg 320]tremely fertile plain, and particularly adapted to grazing cattle. Rivers: the Aufidus (Ofanto) and the Cerbalus. This country is divided into two parts by the Aufidus, the northern called Apulia Daunia, the southern called Apulia Peucetia. Cities: in Apulia Daunia; Sipontum and Luceria: in Apulia Peucetia; Barium, Cannæ, and Venusia.


4. Calabria or Messapia, the smaller eastern tongue of land, which terminates in the promontory of Iapygium. Cities: Brundusium (Brindisi) and Callipolis (Gallipoli). Concerning Tarentum and other Grecian colonies, see above, p. 155.

Three large islands are likewise reckoned as appertaining to Italy: they are Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica. According to the political geography of the Romans they were, however, considered as provinces. Although the above islands were, along the coast, occupied by aliens, the aboriginals, under their own kings, maintained a footing in the inland parts; among these the Siculi, said to have migrated from Italy, were the most celebrated; they remained in Sicily, and gave their name to the whole island. Concerning the cities, the more important of which were, some of Phœnician, but the most part of Grecian, origin, see above, p. 30, and p. 155, sqq.

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From the foundation of Rome to the conquest of Italy and the commencement of the wars with Carthage, B. C. 754—264, or A. U. C. 1—490.

Sources. The most copious author, and, if we except his system of deducing everything connected with Rome from Greece, the most critical of all those who have written on the earlier history of Rome and Italy, is Dionysius Halicarnassensis, in his Archæologia: of this work only the first eleven books, reaching down to the year 443, have been preserved; to these, however, must be added the fragments of the nine following books, xii—xx. discovered in 1816, and published by the Abbate Mai of Milan. Next to Dionysius is Livy, who as far as lib. iv, c. 18, is our main authority, till B. C. 292. Of the Lives of Plutarch the following belong to this period, Romulus, Numa, Coriolanus, Poplicola and Camillus; which for the knowledge and criticism they display, are perhaps more important even than Livy and Dionysius, see A. H. L. Heeren, De fontibus et auctoritate vitarum Plutarchi, inserted in Comment Recentiores Soc. Scient. Gott. Comment. I. II. Græci, III. IV. Romani; reprinted also as an appendix to the editions of Plutarch by Reiske and Hutten, Gottingen, 1821, ap. Dieterich. The sources of the most ancient Roman history were extremely various in kind. The traditions of the Fathers were preserved in historical ballads; (no mention is ever made of any grand epic poem;) and in this sense there existed a bardic history; by no means, however, wholly poetic, for even the traditions of Numa's Institutes are without the characteristics of poetry. The art of writing was in Italy of earlier origin than the city of Rome; how far, consequently, the public annals, such as the Libri Pontificum, extended back in early time remains undetermined. Several of the memorials are, beyond a doubt, mere family records, whether preserved by vocal tradition or in written documents. To the above must be added monuments, not only buildings and works of arts, but also treaties engraved on tables; of which, nevertheless, too little use seems to have been made. The Romans having learnt the art of writing from the Greeks, their history was as[Pg 322] frequently written in Greek as in Latin; and that not only by Greeks, such as, in the first place, Diocles of Peparethus, but likewise by Romans, such as Fabius Pictor, at an early period. From these last sources Dionysius and Livy compiled. The more ancient Roman history given by these authorities rests, therefore, in part, but by no means entirely, on tradition and poetry; still further amplified by the rhetoric style, that of the Greeks more especially. At what epoch the Roman history lays aside the poetic character can hardly be determined with certainty; it may be traced even in some parts of the period extending from the expulsion of the kings to the conquest by the Gauls.—For the purposes of chronology, great importance attaches to the fasti Romani, contained partly in inscriptions, (fasti Capitolini,) partly in manuscripts. They have been collected and restored by Pighius, Noris Sigonius, etc. in Grævii, Thes. A. R. vol. xi.; likewise in Almeloveen, Fast. Rom. I. II. Amstel. 1705, etc.

Pighii Annales Romanorum. Antwerp, 1615, fol. 2 vols. An essay towards a chronological arrangement; it reaches down to Vitellius.

The Roman history has been copiously treated of by the moderns in many works besides those on universal ancient history before enumerated, (p. 2.). We shall mention only the more important.

Rollin, Histoire Romaine, Depuis la foundation de Rome jusqu' à la bataille d'Actium. 13 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1823, édit. revue par Letronne. This history, which extends to B. C. 89, has been continued and terminated by Crevier. Although the critical historian might suggest much that is wanting in this work, it nevertheless contributed to advance the study.

Ed. Ferguson, The History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic. London, 1783, 4to. On the whole, the best work on the history of the Roman republic; it has superceded the earlier work of Goldsmith.

P. Ch. Levesque, Histoire de la République Romaine, 3 vols. Paris, 1807. He who would still wish to admire with blind enthusiasm the glory of ancient Rome, had better not read this work.

B. G. Niebuhr, Roman History.

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Rather criticism than history; the author seems to be perpetually endeavouring to overthrow all that has hitherto been admitted. The spirit of acuteness is not always that of truth; and men do not so lightly assent to the existence of a constitution which not only is contrary to the broad view of antiquity—inferences drawn from some insulated passages not being sufficient to overturn what is corroborated by all the others—but likewise, according to the author's own avowal, stands opposed to all analogy in history. But truth gains even where criticism is wrong; and the value of some deep researches will not for that reason be overlooked.—Consult on this subject:

W. Wachsmuth, Researches into the more Ancient History of Rome. Halle, 1819.

C. F. Th. Lachmann, Commentatio de fontibus T. Livii in prima Historiarum Decade. Gottingæ, 1821. A prize essay.

For the works upon the Roman constitution see below, at the end of this and at the beginning of the third period.

Abundance of most important writings upon Roman antiquities will be found in the great collections:

Grævii Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum. Lugd. Batav. 1694, sq. 12 vols. fol. and likewise in

Salengre, Thesaurus Antiquitatum Romanarum. Venet. 1732, 3 vols. fol.

Many excellent papers, particularly in

Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions.

With the exception of Nardini, Roma Vetus, inserted in Grævii Thes. A. R. t. iv. the best work on the topography of ancient Rome is

Venuti, Descrizione Topografica delle Antichità di Roma. P. I. II. Roma, 1763; and especially the new edition of that work by Visconti, 1803. There is also:

S. H. L. Adler, Description of the city of Rome. Altona, 1781, 4to.

The best representation of the monuments of ancient Rome will be found in

Piranesi, Antichità di Roma, 3 vols. fol.

General characteristic of Roman history.

1. In certain respects, the history of Rome is always that of one town, inasmuch as until the period of the Cæsars, the city continued mistress[Pg 324] of her extensive territory. The main parts of the internal constitution of Rome were formed during this first period; which, considered in an historical point of view, can hardly be said to be void of interest. Whether every fundamental institution had its origin precisely at the epoch to which it is attributed, is a question of little importance; it is sufficient to observe, that they certainly arose in this period; and that the steps by which the constitution was developed are, upon the whole, determined beyond the possibility of a doubt.

Romans of Latin origin.

2. Exaggerated and embellished as the most ancient traditions of the Romans respecting their origin may be, they all agree in this, that the Romans belonged to the race of the Latini, and that their city was a colony of the neighbouring Alba Longa. Long before this the custom seems to have obtained with the Latini, of extending the cultivation of their country by colonies.

The primitive history of Rome is as difficult to reduce to pure historic truth as that of Athens, or any other city of antiquity; this proceeds from its being principally founded on traditions, handled by poets and rhetoricians, and likewise differing from one another; as may be seen in Plutarch's Romulus. As the knowledge of those traditions, such as they are found in Dionysius and Livy, attaches to so many other subjects, it would be improper to pass them over in silence; and that they contained truths as well as poetic fictions is proved most evidently by the political institutions of which they narrate the origin, and which certainly reached back to those times. To attempt to draw a line of demarcation between mythical and historic times would be to mistake the real nature of mythology.

L. de Beaufort, Sur l'incertitude des cinq premiers siècles de l'histoire Romaine, nouv. éd. à la Haye, 1750, 2 vols. 8vo. Every thing that can be said against the credibility of the primitive Roman history has been developed by Beaufort with abundant, and often with laboured, acuteness.

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Kings of Rome.

3. During the first two hundred and forty-five years subsequent to its foundation this city was under the rule of governors, denominated kings; these, however, were not hereditary, still less were they invested with unlimited power, although they exerted themselves to become both perpetual and absolute. On the contrary, in this period was framed a municipal constitution, demonstrative of the existence, even at this early date, of a considerable degree of political civilization; in its principal parts this constitution was, no doubt,—as in every colony,—copied from that of the mother city. Its principal features were: a. Establishment and internal organization of the senate. b. Establishment and progress of the patrician or hereditary nobility, which, supported by the privilege of administering the sacred affairs, and by the introduction of family names, quickly formed, in opposition to the plebeians, a political party ever growing in power, although not, therefore, a mere sacerdotal caste. c. Organization of the people (populus), and modes of popular assembly (comitia), founded thereupon; besides the original division according to heads into tribus and curiæ, another was subsequently introduced according to property into classes and centuriæ, out of which, besides the more ancient comitia curiata, arose the very artificially constructed comitia centuriata. d. Religious institutions, (religiones,) which being most closely connected with the political constitution, formed a state religion, by means of which everything in the state was attached to determined forms, and received a higher sanction. Nor must we omit [Pg 326]e. the relations in private life established by law, the clientship, marriage, and especially paternal authority. In consequence of those domestic relations, a spirit of subordination and discipline, from the earliest times, pervaded the people; and to that spirit the Romans were indebted for the glory to which they attained.

Destruction of Alba Longa.

4. Notwithstanding many little wars with their immediate neighbours the Sabines, Æqui, and Volsci, together with various cities of the Etrusci, and even with the Latins themselves, Rome added but little to her territory: nevertheless she took the first step towards her aggrandizement; from the time of the destruction of Alba Longa, she aimed at being the head of the collected cities of the Latins, and finally attained the object of her ambition.

Line of kings. Romulus, 754—717. First establishment of the colony; augmentation in the number of the citizens, produced by the establishment of an asylum, and an union with part of the Sabines. Numa Pompilius, d. 679. By representing this prince as the founder of the religion of the Roman state, that religion received the high sanction of antiquity. Tullus Hostilius, d. 640. The conquest and destruction of Alba lays the foundation of Roman supremacy in Latium. Ancus Martius, d. 618. He extends the territory of Rome to the sea; the foundation of the port of Ostia proves that Rome already applied to navigation, the object of which was perhaps as yet rather piracy than trade. Tarquinius Priscus, d. 578. A Grecian by descent. Under his conduct Rome was already able to enter the field against the confederate Etrusci. Servius Tullius, d. 534. The most remarkable in the line of Roman kings. He placed Rome at the head of the confederacy of the Latins, which he confirmed by communia sacra. On his new division of the people according to property were raised the highly important institutions of the census and comitia centuriata. The necessity of this measure is demonstrative of the great and increasing prosperity of the Roman citizens; there can be no doubt, how[Pg 327]ever, that by its adoption the frame of the republic was already completed. Tarquinius Superbus, (the tyrant,)—509. This individual, having taken forcible possession of the throne as nephew to Priscus, endeavoured to confirm his power by a close connection with the Latins and Volsci; by this, as well as by his tyranny, he offended both the patrician and plebeian parties. His deposition, and the consequent reformation of the government, were however, properly speaking, brought about by the ambition of the patricians.

Algarotti, Saggio sopra la durata de' regni de' rè di Roma. (Op. t. iii.) Chronological doubts. Can the raising of difficulties deserve the name of criticism?

Consular government, B. C. 509.

5. The only direct consequence to the internal constitution of Rome, proceeding from the abolition of royalty was, that that power, undetermined as it had been while in the hands of the kings, was transferred to two consuls, annually elected. Meanwhile the struggle for liberty, in which the new republic was engaged with the Etrusci and Latins, contributed much to arouse the republican spirit which henceforward was the main feature of the Roman character—the evils of popular 498. rule being in times of need remedied by the establishment of the dictatorship. The party, however, which had deposed the ruling family, took wholly into their own hands the helm of state; and the oppression of these aristocrats, shown principally towards their debtors, who had become their slaves, (nexi,)—notwithstanding 507. the lex de provocatione established by Valerius Poplicola, ensuring to the people the highest judicial power—was so galling, that after the lapse of a few years it gave rise to a sedition of the commons, (plebis,) the consequence of which was the establishment of annually elected presidents of the people 493.(tribuni plebis).

[Pg 328]

First commercial treaty with Carthage, 508, in which Rome appears certainly as a free state, but not yet as sovereign of all Latium; the most important monument of the authenticity of the earlier Roman history.

Heyne, Fœdera Carthaginiensium cum Romanis super navigatione et mercatura facta: contained in his Opusc. t. iii. Cf. † A. H. L. Heeren, Ideas, etc. Appendix to the second vol.

Rise of the Roman constitution.

6. The further development of the Roman constitution in this period, hinges almost wholly on the struggle between the new presidents of the commons and the hereditary nobility; the tribunes, instead of confining themselves to defend the people from the oppression of the nobles, soon began to act as aggressors, and in a short time so widely overstepped their power, that there remained no chance of putting an end to the struggle but by a complete equalization of rights. A long time elapsed ere this took place; the aristocracy finding a very powerful support both in the clientship and in the religion of the state, operating under the shape of auspices.

Main facts of the contest: 1. In the trial of Coriolanus the tribunes usurp the right of summoning some patricians before the tribunal of the people.—Hence arise the comitia tributa; that is to say, either mere assemblies of the commons, or assemblies so organized that the commons had the preponderance. This institution gave the tribunes a share in the legislation, subsequently of such high importance, those officers being allowed to lay proposals before the commons. 2. More equitable distribution among the poorer classes of the lands conquered from the neighbouring nations, (the most ancient leges agrariæ,) suggested by the ambitious attempts of Cassius, 486. 3. Extension of the prerogatives of the comitia tributa, more especially in the election of the tribunes, brought about by Volero, 472. 4. Attempts at a legal limitation of the consular power by Terentillus, (lex Terentilla,) 460, which, after a long struggle, at last leads to the idea of one common written code, 452, which is likewise[Pg 329] realized in spite of the opposition at first made by the patricians.

Chr. F. Schulze, Struggle between the Democracy and Aristocracy of Rome, or History of the Romans from the Expulsion of Tarquin to the Election of the first Plebeian Consul. Altenburgh, 1802, 8vo. A most satisfactory development of this portion of Roman history.

Code of the twelve tables.

7. The code of the twelve tables confirmed the ancient institutions, and was in part completed by the adoption of the laws of the Greek republics, among which Athens in particular is mentioned, whose counsels were requested by a special deputation. In this, however, two faults were committed; not only were the commissioners charged with drawing up the laws elected from the patricians alone, but they were likewise constituted sole magistrates, with dictatorial power, (sine provocatione;) whereby a path was opened to them for an usurpation, which could be frustrated only by a sedition of the people.

Duration of the power of the Decemviri, 451—447. The doubts raised as to the deputation sent to Athens are not sufficient to invalidate the authenticity of an event so circumstantially detailed. Athens, under Pericles, was then at the head of Greece; and, admitting the proposed design of consulting the Greek laws, it was impossible that Athens should have been passed over. And indeed, why should it be supposed, that a state which fifty years before had signed a commercial treaty with Carthage, and could not be unacquainted with the Grecian colonies in Lower Italy, might not have sent an embassy into Greece?

The yet remaining fragments of the code of the twelve tables are collected and illustrated in Bachii Hist. Jurisprudentiæ Romanæ; and in several other works.

Its enactments.

8. By the laws of the twelve tables the legal relations of the citizens were the same for all; but as that code seems to have contained very little[Pg 330] in reference to any peculiar constitution of the state, the government not only remained in the hands of the aristocrats, who were in possession of all offices, but the prohibition, according to the new laws of marriage between patricians and plebeians, appeared to have raised an insurmountable barrier between the two classes. No wonder, then, that the tribunes of the people should have immediately renewed their attacks on the patricians; particularly as the power of those popular leaders was not only renewed, but even augmented, as the only limit to their authority was the necessity of their being unanimous in their acts, while each had the right of a negative.

Besides the other laws made in favour of the people at the renewal of the tribunicia potestas, 446, that which imported ut quod tributim plebes jussisset, populum teneret, frequently renewed in subsequent times, and meaning, in modern language, that the citizens constituted themselves, must, it would appear, have thrown the supreme power into the hands of the people; did not the Roman history, like that of other free states, afford examples enough of the little authority there is to infer from the enactment of a law that it will be practically enforced.

Dissensions between patricians and plebeians.

9. The main subjects of the new dissensions between patricians and plebeians, excited by the tribune Canuleius, were now the connubia patrum cum plebe, and the exclusive participation of the patricians in the consulship, of which the tribunes demanded the abolition. The repeal of the former law was obtained as early as 445, (lex Canuleia;) the right of admission to the consulship was not extended to the Plebeians, till after a struggle annually renewed for eighty years; during which, when, as usually was the case, the tribunes forbade the military enrolment, recourse was had to [Pg 331]a transfer of the consular power to the yearly elected commanders of the legions; a place to which plebeians were entitled to aspire, (tribuni militum consulari potestate.)—Establishment of the Censors. office of CENSORS, designed at first for nothing more than to regulate the taking of the census, and invested with no higher authority than what that required, but who soon after, by assuming to themselves the censura morum, took rank among the most important dignitaries of the state.

Petty wars.

10. Meanwhile Rome was engaged in wars, insignificant but almost uninterrupted, arising out of the oppression, either real or imaginary, which she exercised as head of the neighbouring federate cities, (socii,) comprising not only those of the Latins, but likewise, after the victory of lake Regillus, those of the other nations: the cities embraced every opportunity of asserting their independence, and the consequent struggles must have depopulated Rome, had not that evil been diverted by the maxim of increasing the complement of citizens by admitting the freedmen, and not unfrequently even the conquered, to the enjoyment of civic privileges. Little as these feuds, abstractedly considered, deserve our attention, they become of high interest, inasmuch as they were not only the means by which the nation was trained to war, but also led to the foundation of that senatorial power, whose important consequences will be exhibited hereafter.

Among these wars attention must be directed to the last, that against Veii, the richest city in Etruria; the siege of that place, which lasted very nearly ten years, 404—395, gave rise[Pg 332] to the introduction among the Roman military of winter campaigning, and of pay; thus, on the one hand, the prosecution of wars more distant and protracted became possible, while on the other the consequences must have been the levy of higher taxes, (tributa).

Rome burnt by the Gauls.

11. Not long after, however, a tempest from the north had nearly destroyed Rome. The Sennonian Gauls, pressed out of northern Italy through Etruria, possessed themselves of the city, the capitol excepted, and reduced it to ashes; an event which made so deep an impression on the minds of the Romans, that few other occurrences in their history have been more frequently the object of traditional detail. Camillus, then the deliverer of Rome, and in every respect one of the chief heroes of that period, laid a double claim to the gratitude of his native city, by overruling, after his victory, the proposal of a general migration to Veii.

Feuds revived.

12. Scarcely was Rome rebuilt ere the ancient feuds revived, springing out of the poverty of the citizens, produced by an increase of taxation consequent on the establishment of military pay, and by the introduction of gross usury. The tribunes, Sextius and Licinius, by prolonging their term of office to five years, had established their power; while Licinius, by an agrarian law, decreeing that no individual should hold more than five hundred jugera of the national lands, had ensured the popular favour; so that at last they succeeded in A consul chosen from the commons. obtaining, that one of the consuls should be chosen from the commons; and although the nobility, by the nomination of a prætor from their own body, and of ædiles curules, endeavoured to compensate[Pg 333] for the sacrifice they were obliged to make, yet the plebeians having once made good a claim to the consulship, their participation in the other magisterial offices, (the dictatorship, 353, the censorship, 348, the prætorship, 334,) and even the priesthood, (300,) quickly followed as a matter of course. Thus at Rome the object of political equality between commons and nobles was attained; and although the difference between the patrician and plebeian families still subsisted, they soon ceased to form political parties.

A second commercial treaty entered into with Carthage, 345, demonstrates that even at this time the navy of the Romans was anything but contemptible; although its principal object as yet was mere piracy. Roman squadrons of war however appear more than once within the next forty years.

Samnite war.

13. Far more important than any wars in which Rome had hitherto been engaged, were those soon about to commence with the Samnites. In former contests the object of Rome had been to establish her supremacy over her immediate neighbours; but in these, during a protracted contest of fifty years, she opened a way to the subjugation of Italy, and laid the foundation of her future greatness.

Commencement of the wars against the Samnites, the Campanians having called the Romans to their assistance against that nation, 343. These wars, carried on with vigorous exertion and various success, lasted, with but short intermissions, till 290. This is the true heroic age of Rome, ennobled by the patriotic valour of Decius Mus, (father and son, both voluntary victims,) Papirius Cursor, Q. Fabius Maximus, etc. The consequences of this struggle were: a. The Romans learnt the art of mountain warfare, and thereby for the first time acquired a peculiar system of military tactics; not, however, till they had been, 321, obliged to pass under the furcas Caudinas. b. Their relations were[Pg 334] more firmly established with their neighbours the Latins and Etrurians, by the complete conquest of the former, 340, and by repeated victories over the latter, more especially in 308. c. Great national federations having arisen in Italy, particularly during the last period of the Samnite wars, the Romans entered into connection with the more distant nations of the country; with the Lucanians and Apulians, by the first league, 323, with the Umbri, from the year 308; and although the nature of this connection frequently varied, the different nations were perpetually struggling for independence, and were consequently at enmity with Rome. In this period, moreover, commenced the practical illustration of the leading ideas of Rome upon the political relations in which she placed the conquered with regard to herself.

War against the Tarentines, who are assisted by Pyrrhus.

14. After the subjection of the Samnites, Rome, wishing to confirm her dominion in Lower Italy, was thereby, for the first time, entangled in war with a foreign prince; the Tarentines, too feeble to maintain alone their footing against the Romans, called Pyrrhus of Epirus to their assistance. He came, indeed, but not so much to further the views of the Tarentines as to advance his own; but even in victory, he learnt by experience that the Macedonian tactics gave him but a slight preponderance, which the Romans soon transferred to their own side, exhibiting the truth of the principle, that a good civic militia, sooner or later, will always get the upper hand of mercenary troops.

The idea of calling upon Pyrrhus for assistance was the more natural, as the predecessor of that prince, Alexander I. (see above p. 275.) had endeavoured, but without success, to effect conquests in Lower Italy. In the first war with Pyrrhus, 280—278, two battles were fought, the first at Pandosia, 280, the other at Asculum, 279; in both of which Rome was unsuccessful. But Pyrrhus, after crossing over into Sicily, 278, (see above, p. 173, 174.) once more returned into Italy, 275, when he was de[Pg 335]feated by the Romans at Beneventum, and compelled to evacuate Italy, leaving a garrison at Tarentum. That city, however, soon afterwards, 272, fell into the hands of the Romans, whose dominion was consequently extended to the extremity of Lower Italy.

Roman colonies.

15. The chief means to which, even from the earliest times, the Romans had recourse for the foundation of their dominion over the conquered, and at the same time for the prevention of the too great increase of the needy classes at Rome, was the establishment of colonies of their own citizens, which, being settled in the captured cities, served likewise as garrisons. Each colony had its own distinct internal constitution, modelled, for the most part, upon that of the mother city itself; hence to keep the colonies in perfect dependence naturally became an object of Roman policy. This colonial system of the Romans, necessarily and spontaneously arising out of the rude custom of bereaving the conquered of their lands and liberty, assumed its main features in the Samnite war, and gradually embraced the whole of Italy. Closely connected with this system was the construction of military highways, (viæ militares,) one of which, the Appian Way, was constructed so early as 312, and to this day remains a lasting monument of the greatness of Rome at that period.

Even at the time of Hannibal's invasion, the number of Roman colonies amounted to 53: but several which had been settled returned to the mother city.

Heyne, De Romanorum prudentia in coloniis regendis: inserted in Opusc. vol. iii. Cf. Prolusiones de veterum coloniarum jure ejusque causis, in his Opusc. vol. i.

Relations between Rome and the Italian nations.

16. But the relations existing between Rome [Pg 336]and the Italian nations were extremely various in kind. 1. A few cities and nations enjoyed the full privileges of Roman citizenship; in some instances, however, without the right of voting in the comitia (municipia). 2. The privileges of the colonies (jus coloniarum) were of a more restricted nature; the colonists were indeed in possession of their own civic government, but had no further share whatever either in the comitia or magistracies of Rome. The other inhabitants of Italy were either federates (socii, fœdere juncti) or subjects (dedititii). The first (a) preserved their internal form of government; but on the other hand (b) were obliged to furnish tribute and auxiliary troops (tributis et armis juvare rempublicam). Their further relation with Rome depended upon the terms of the league. The most advantageous of these terms were 3. in favour of the Latins, although each of their cities had its own separate league (jus Latii;) as 4. the rest of the Italian nations had their jus Italicum. On the other hand, 5. the subjects, dedititii, were deprived of their internal constitutions, and were governed by Roman magistrates, (præfecti,) annually renewed.

C. Sigonius, De antiquo jure civium Romanorum; and his treatise De antiquo jure Italiæ, inserted both in his Opera and in Grævii Thes. Ant. Rom. t. ii. contain the most learned researches on the details of these relations.

The Roman constitution a democracy.

17. The internal constitution of Rome itself, now completed, bore the character of a democracy, inasmuch as equality of rights existed both for nobles and commons. Yet this democracy was modified by expedients so various and wonderful[Pg 337]—the rights of the people, of the senate, of the magistrates, fitted so nicely into each other, and were so firmly supported by the national religion, connecting every thing with determinate forms—that there was no reason, at that time, to fear the evils either of anarchy, or, what is much more astonishing when we consider the warlike character of the people, those of military despotism.

The rights of the people consisted in the legislative power, so far as fundamental national principles were concerned, and in the election of the magistrates. The distinction between the comitia tributa (as independent of the senate) and the comitia centuriata (as dependent on the senate) still existed as to form, but had lost all its importance, the difference between patricians and plebeians being now merely nominal, and the establishment of the tribus urbanæ, 303, excluding the too great influence of the people (forensis factio) upon the comitia tributa. The rights of the senate consisted in administering and debating all transitory national affairs, whether foreign relations, (war and peace only excepted, in which the consent of the people was requisite,) financial concerns, or matters regarding domestic peace and security. But the manner in which the senate was supplied must have made it the first political body at that time in the world. The rights and rank of magistrates were founded on their greater or lesser auspicia, no public affair being entered upon except auspicato. Consequently he only who was in possession of the former could hold the highest civic and military power; (imperium civile et militare; suis auspiciis rem gerere;) as dictator, consul, prætor; such was not the case with those who had only the lesser auspicia. The union of civil and military power in the person of the same individual was not without its inconveniences, but military despotism was in some measure guarded against by the prohibition of any magistrate possessing military command within Rome itself. We must not dismiss this subject without observing, that as the Roman constitution arose merely out of practice, there never having been any completely written charter, we cannot expect that all the details should be clearly ascertained; to attempt, therefore, in default of such authority, to describe all the minutiæ would be the surest way to fall into error.

[Pg 338]

Of the numerous works on the Roman constitution and on Roman antiquities, we shall mention:

De Beaufort, La République Romaine, ou plan général de l'ancien gouvernement de Rome. La Haye, 1766, 2 vols. 4to. A most copious work, and one of the most solid in regard to the matters discussed; although it does not embrace the whole of the subject.

Histoire critique du gouvernement Romain; Paris, 1765. Containing some acute observations.

Du Gouvernement de la republique Romaine, par A. Ad. de Texier, 3 vols. 8vo. Hamburg, 1796. This contains many enquiries peculiar to the writer.

Some learned researches respecting the principal points of the Roman constitution, as Sigonius and Gruchius de comitiis Romanorum, Zamocius de Senatu Romano, etc. will be found collected in the first two vols, of Grævius, Antiq. Roman.

For the popular assemblies of the Romans, an antiquarian essay by Chr. Ferd. Schulze, Gotha, 1815, chiefly according to Niebuhr, may be consulted.

Among the numerous manuals of Roman antiquities, Nieuport, explicatio rituum Romanorum, ed. Gesner. Berol. 1743, promises at least as much as it performs. Of those which profess to treat of Roman antiquities in general, none have yet risen above mediocrity. Jurisprudence, however, has been much more successfully handled. We cite the two following excellent compendiums:

Bachii, Historia Jurisprudentiæ Romanæ. Lips. 1754. 1796.

C. Hugo, Elements of the Roman Law; 7th edit. Berlin, 1820.

[Pg 339]


From the commencement of the war with Carthage to the rise of the civil broils under the Gracchi, B. C. 264—134. Year of Rome, 490—620.

Sources. The principal writer for this highly interesting period, in which was laid the foundation of the universal dominion of Rome, is Polybius as far as the year 146, not only in the complete books preserved to us, which come down to 216, but also in the fragments. He is frequently followed by Livy, lib. xxi—xlv. 218—166. Appian, who comes next, does not confine himself merely to the history of the war; Florus gives us only an abridgement. The lives of Plutarch which relate to this portion of history, are Fabius Maximus, P. Æmilius, Marcellus, M. Cato, and Flaminius.

Of modern writers we dare only mention one:—and who is worthy to be ranked beside him?

Montesquieu, Considerations sur les causes de la grandeur et de la décadence des Romains.

1. The political division of Italy laid the foundation for the dominion of Rome in that country; the want of union and political relations in the world paved the way to her universal empire. The first step cost her much, the succeeding followed Struggle between Carthage and Rome; easily and rapidly; and the history of the struggle between Rome and Carthage only shows on a larger scale what the history of Greece exhibits on a smaller. The whole of the following history confirms the fact, that two republics cannot exist near each other, without one being destroyed its extent. or subjected: but the vast extent of this [Pg 340]struggle, the important consequences which followed, together with the wonderful exertions made, and the great men engaged on both sides, gave it an interest which cannot be found in that State of the two parties. of any other nations. Though the power and resources of both states were nearly equal in appearance, they were widely different in quality and circumstances. Carthage, besides her dominion over the seas, had also a better furnished treasury, by which she was enabled to enlist into her service as many mercenaries as she pleased: Rome, on the contrary, strong in herself, had all the advantages possessed by a nation of warriors over one partly commercial, partly military.

The first war of twenty-three years, B. C. 264—241.

2. The first war of twenty-three years between the two republics, arose from very slight causes: it soon, however, became a struggle for the possession of Sicily, which in the end naturally extended itself to the dominion of the sea. Rome, by the aid of her newly-built fleet, having obtained for some time this power, was enabled to attack Africa, and succeeded in driving the Carthaginians from Sicily.

The occupation of Messina by the Romans, 264, gave rise to this war. The defection of Hiero king of Syracuse from the side of Carthage, and his joining the Romans, first gave the latter the idea of expelling the Carthaginians from the island. The victory near Agrigentum, and capture of that city in 262, seemed to facilitate the execution of this project: it also convinced the Romans of the necessity of their having a naval power. We shall the less wonder at their forming a fleet in Italy, where wood was then plentiful, if we remember their previous experience in naval affairs; these were not the first vessels of war which they constructed, but only the first large ones which they built upon a Carthaginian model. The first naval victory of the Romans under Duilius, by the aid of grappling machines, 260. The[Pg 341] project then conceived of carrying the war into Africa was one of the great ideas of the Romans, and from that time it became a ruling maxim of the state, to attack the enemy in his own territory. The second and very remarkable naval victory of the Romans, 257, opened the way for them to Africa, and shows their naval tactics in a very brilliant light: but the unfortunate issue of their expedition to Africa, restored the equilibrium; and the struggle for the dominion of the sea became the more obstinate, as success did not altogether favour one party. The result of the contest appears to have turned upon the possession of the eastern promontories of Sicily, Drepanum, and Lilybæum, which were in a manner the bulwarks of the Carthaginians, and seemed impregnable since Hamilcar Barca had taken the command of them, 247. The last naval victory of the Romans, however, under the consul Lutatius, 241, having cut off the communication between Sicily and Carthage, and the finances of both parties being completely exhausted, a peace was concluded upon the conditions: 1. That the Carthaginians should evacuate Sicily and the small islands adjacent. 2. That they should pay to Rome, by instalments in ten years, for the expenses she had been at in carrying on the war, the sum of 2,200 talents. 3. That they should not make war against Hiero king of Syracuse.

3. The issue of this war placed the political connections of Rome in a new situation, and necessarily extended her influence abroad. The length of the war and the manner of its conclusion had, moreover, inspired a national hatred, such as is only found in republics; the conviction also that they could not remain independent of one another, must have become much more striking, as the points of contact had greatly increased since the beginning of the war. Who does not know the arrogance of a republic after the first essay of her power has been crowned with success! Rome gave a striking example of this by her invasion of Sardinia in the midst of peace. Effect of these successes on the constitution. These successes had also a sensible effect on the [Pg 342]Roman constitution. For although in appearance its form was not in the least changed, yet the power of the senate now acquired that preponderance which the ruling authority of a republic never fails to do after long and successful wars.

Origin and nature of the governments of the first Roman provinces, in part of Sicily and in Sardinia.

Chastisement of the Illyrian pirates.

4. An opportunity was soon afforded the Romans, in the Adriatic sea, of making use of their superior naval power, in chastising the pirates of Illyria under their queen Teuta. By effecting this, they not only secured their authority over that sea, but at the same time formed their first political relations with the Grecian states; relations which soon afterwards became of great importance.

Commencement of the first Illyrian war, 230, which ended with the subjugation of Teuta, 226. The war, however, again broke out, 222, against Demetrius of Pharus, who conceived himself inadequately rewarded by Rome for the services he had rendered her in the preceding war. The Romans found him a much more dangerous adversary than had been expected, even after his expulsion and flight to Philip, 220, (see above, p. 282.) Throughout this war, Rome appeared as the deliverer of the Grecian states, which had suffered extremely from the plunder of these freebooters; Corcyra, Apollonia, and other cities placed themselves formally under her protection, while the Achæans, Ætolians, and Athenians vied with each other in showing their gratitude.

Relations with Greece.

5. In the mean time, while Carthage endeavoured to make up for the loss of Sicily and Sardinia by extending her Spanish dominions, which the jealousy of Rome restrained her from carrying beyond the Ebro (p. 84.), Rome herself had a new war to maintain against her northern neigh[Pg 343]bours the Gauls, which ended after a violent contest with the establishment of her authority over the north of Italy.

From the first Gallic war to the burning of Rome, 390, the Gauls had repeated their attacks in 360 and 348, even to the conclusion of the peace in 336. But in the latter part of the Samnite war, a formidable confederacy having taken place among the Italian tribes, some of the Gauls enlisted as mercenaries in the service of the Etruscans, while others allied themselves to the Samnites. This led them to take part in these wars in 306, 302, and 292, until they were obliged, together with the Etruscans, to sue for peace in 284, before which time the Romans had sent a colony into their country, near Sena. This peace lasted till 238, when it was disturbed by the incursion of the transalpine Gauls; without, however, their coming to any war with Rome. But in 232, the proposition of Flaminius the tribune, (lex Flaminia), to divide the lands conquered from the Senones, became the cause of new disturbances. Upon this occasion, the Gauls entered into an alliance with their transalpine countrymen, the Gæsates on the Rhone, who had been accustomed to engage as mercenaries. These having crossed the Alps, the dreadful war of six years (226—220) began, in which, after defeating the Gauls near Clusium, 225, the Romans pursued them into their own territory, and encamped upon the Po, 223. The Gauls having been again completely overthrown by Marcellus, were obliged to sue for peace; when the Roman colonies of Placentia and Cremona were established. The number of men capable of bearing arms in all Italy subject to the Romans during this war amounted to 800,000.

Hannibal takes the command in Spain,

6. Before this storm was totally appeased, in which it is probable that Carthaginian policy was not altogether inactive, Hannibal had obtained the chief command in Spain. From the reproach of having first begun the war, he and his party cannot be cleared; Rome, in the situation she then was, could hardly desire it; he however who strikes the first blow is not always the real aggressor. The plan of Hannibal was the de[Pg 344]struction of Rome; and by making Italy the and makes Italy the seat of war. principal seat of the war, he necessarily turned the scale in his favour; because Rome, obliged to defend herself, left to him all the advantages of attack. The preparations she made for defence, show that it was not believed possible he could execute his enterprise by the route which he took.

The history of this war, 218—201, of which no later transaction has been able to destroy the interest, is divided into three parts: the history of the war in Italy; the contemporary war in Spain; and from 203, the war in Africa. Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the autumn, 218—engagement near the river Ticinus and the battle of Trebia, in the same year. Battle near the lake Thrasymenus in the spring, 217. Seat of the war transferred to Lower Italy, and the defensive system of the dictator Fabius until the end of the year. Battle of Cannæ, 216, followed by the conquest of Capua and the subjection of the greater part of Lower Italy. The defensive mode of warfare afterwards adopted by the Carthaginian, arose partly from his desire to form a junction with his brother Asdrubal and the Spanish army, and partly from his expectation of foreign support by means of alliances, with Syracuse, after the death of Hiero, 215, and with Philip of Macedon, 216. These hopes, however, were frustrated by the Romans.—Syracuse was besieged and taken, 214—212, (see above, p. 174.) and Philip kept employed in Greece, (see above, p. 282.) In addition to this, the Romans retook Capua, notwithstanding the audacious march of Hannibal towards Rome, 211, and he had now no succour left except the reinforcement which Asdrubal was bringing from Spain. The latter, however, was attacked immediately upon his arrival in Italy, near Sena, by the consuls Nero and Livius, and left dead on the field, 207. From this time the war in Italy became only of secondary importance, as Hannibal was obliged to act on the defensive in Bruttium.

The Course of Hannibal over the Alps ascertained, by J. Whittaker. London, 1794, 2 vols. 8vo. The author endeavours to prove that the passage of Hannibal was over the great St. Bernard, and criticises the opinions of other writers.

[Pg 345]

[We may likewise mention the learned treatise:—

A Dissertation on the Passage of Hannibal over the Alps. By H. L. Wickham, M. A. and the Rev. J. A. Cramer, M. A. second edition, Oxon.]

The war in Spain began nearly about the same time between Asdrubal and the two brothers, Cn. and P. Cornelius Scipio, and was continued, with various success, till the year 216, the issue depending much upon the disposition of the Spaniards themselves. The plan of Carthage after the year 216, was to send Asdrubal with the Spanish army into Italy, and to supply its place by an army from Africa; two victories, however, gained by the Scipios near the Ebro, 216, and the Illiberis, 215, prevented this from being effected, till at last both fell under the superior power and cunning of the Carthaginians, 212. But the arrival of the youthful P. Cornelius Scipio, who did not appear merely to his own nation as an extraordinary genius, entirely changed the face of affairs, and the fortunes of Rome soon became attached to his name, which alone seemed to promise victory. During his command in Spain, 210—206, he won over the inhabitants while he defeated the Carthaginians, and for the furtherance of his great design, contracted an alliance with Syphax in Africa, 206. He was unable, however, to prevent the march of Asdrubal into Italy, 208, which nevertheless rendered it an easy task for him to subdue all Carthaginian Spain as far as Gades, 206, and thus procured him the consular dignity at his return, 205.

The carrying of the war into Africa by Scipio, notwithstanding the opposition of the old Roman generals, and the desertion of Syphax, who at the persuasion of Sophonisba again went over to the Carthaginians (whose loss however was well repaid by Masinissa, whom Scipio had won over to his side in Spain), was followed by an important consequence; for after he had gained two victories over Asdrubal and Syphax, 203, and taken the latter prisoner, the Carthaginians found it necessary to recall Hannibal from Italy, 202; and the battle of Zama terminated the war, 201. The following were the conditions of peace: 1. That the Carthaginians should only retain the territory in Africa annexed to their government. 2. That they should give up all their ships of war, except ten triremes, and all their elephants. 3. That they should pay, at times specified, 10,000 talents. 4. That they should commence no war without the[Pg 346] consent of Rome. 5. That they should restore to Masinissa all the houses, cities, and lands that had ever been possessed by himself or his ancestors.—The reproach usually cast upon the Carthaginians, of having left Hannibal unsupported in Italy, in a great measure vanishes, if we remember the plan formed in 216, to send the Spanish army into Italy, and to replace it by an African one: a plan formed with much ability, and followed with as much constancy. We may add to this, that the Barcine faction maintained its influence in the government even to the end of the war. But why they, who by the treaty of peace gave up five hundred vessels of war, suffered Scipio to cross over from Sicily, without sending one to oppose him, is difficult to explain.

Power of Rome increased by the war.

7. Notwithstanding her great loss of men, and the devastation of Italy, Rome felt herself much more powerful at the end of this war than at the beginning. Her dominion was not only established over Italy, but extensive foreign countries had been brought under it; her authority over the seas was rendered secure by the destruction of the naval power of the Carthaginians. The Roman form of government, it is true, underwent no change, but its spirit much, as the power of the senate became almost unlimited; and although the dawn of civilization had broken over Rome, since her intercourse with more civilized foreigners, the state still remained altogether a nation of warriors. And now, for the first time, appears in the page of history the fearful phenomenon She becomes a military republic. of a great military republic; and the history of the next ten years, in which Rome overthrew so many thrones and free states, gives a striking proof, that such a power is the natural enemy to the independence of all the states within the reach of her arms. The causes which led Rome from this time to aspire after the dominion [Pg 347]of the world are to be found neither in her geographical situation, which for a conquering power by land seemed rather unfavourable; nor in the inclination of the people, who were opposed to the first war against Philip; but singly and entirely in the spirit of her government. The means, however, whereby she obtained her end, must not be sought for merely in the excellence of her armies and generals, but rather in that uniform, sharp-sighted, and dexterous Her policy. policy, by which she was enabled to frustrate the powerful alliances formed against her, notwithstanding the many adversaries who at that time sought to form new ones. But where could be found such another council of state, embodying such a mass of practical political wisdom, as the Roman senate must have been from the very nature of its organization? All this, however, would not have been State of the rest of the world. sufficient to have subjugated the world, if the want of good government, the degeneracy of the military art, and an extremely corrupt state of morals among both rulers and people, in foreign states, had not seconded the efforts of Rome.

View of the political state of the world at this period. In the west, Sicily (the whole island after 212), Sardinia, and Corsica, from the year 237, and Spain, divided into citerior and ulterior (the latter rather in name than in fact), had become Roman provinces 206; the independence of Carthage had been destroyed by the last peace, and her subordination secured by the alliance of Rome with Masinissa; Cisalpine Gaul, formed into a province, served as a barrier against the inroads of the more northern barbarians. On the other side, in the east, the kingdom of Macedonia, and the free states of Greece, forming together a very complicated system, had opened a connection with Rome since the Illyrian war, 230, and Philip's alliance with Hannibal, 214. Of the three powers of the first rank,[Pg 348] Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt, the two former were allied against the latter, who, on her part, maintained a good understanding with Rome. The states of secondary rank were, those of the Ætolian league, the kings of Pergamus, and the republic of Rhodes, with some smaller, such as Athens: these had allied themselves to Rome since the confederacy against Philip, 211. The Achæan league, on the contrary, was in the interests of Macedonia, which Rome always endeavoured to attach to herself, in order to make head against those of the first rank.

War against Philip, 200.
T. Quintius Flaminius, 198,
lays the foundation of Roman power in the east.

8. A declaration of war against Philip, notwithstanding the opposition of the tribunes of the people, and an attack upon Macedonia itself, according to the constant maxim of carrying the war into the enemy's country, immediately followed. They could not, however, drive Philip so soon from the fastnesses of Epirus and Thessaly, which were his bulwarks. But Rome possessed in T. Quintius Flaminius, who marched against Philip as the deliverer of Greece, a statesman and general exactly fitted for a period of great revolutions. By the permanency of his political influence he became indeed the true founder of the Roman power in the east. Who could better cajole men and nations, while they were erecting altars to him, than T. Quintius? So artfully indeed did he assume the character of a great genius, such as had been given by nature to Scipio, that he has almost deceived history itself. The struggle between him and Philip consisted rather in a display of talents in political stratagem and finesse than in feats of arms: even before the battle of Cynoscephalæ had given the finishing stroke, the Romans had already turned the balance in their favour, by gaining over the Achæan league.[Pg 349]

The negotiations between Rome and Macedonia, from the year 214, give the first striking examples of the ability and address of the Romans in foreign policy; and they are the more remarkable, as the treaty with the Ætolians and others, 211 (see above, p. 283), was the remote cause of the transactions which afterwards took place in the east. The peculiar system adopted by the Romans, of taking the lesser states under their protection as allies, must always have given them an opportunity of making war on the more powerful whenever they chose. This in fact happened in the present case, notwithstanding the peace concluded with Philip, 204. The chief object of the Romans in this war, both by sea and land, was to drive Philip completely out of Greece. The allies on both sides, and the conditions of peace, were similar to those concluded with Carthage (see above, p. 284). The destruction of the naval power of her conquered enemies became now a maxim of Roman policy in making peace; and she thus maintained the dominion of the seas without any great fleet, and without losing the essential character of a dominant power by land.

9. The expulsion of Philip from Greece brought that country into a state of dependence upon Rome; an event which could not have been better secured than by the present of liberty which T. Quintius conferred upon its inhabitants at the Isthmian games. The system of surveillance, which the Romans had already established in the west over Carthage and Numidia, was now adopted in the east over Greece and Macedonia. Roman commissioners, under the name of ambassadors, were sent into the country of the nations in alliance, and were the principal means by which this system of espionage was carried on. These however did not fail to give umbrage to the Greeks, particularly to the turbulent Ætolians; more especially as the Romans seemed in no hurry to withdraw their troops from a country which they had declared to be free.[Pg 350]

Liberty was expressly granted to the state which had taken the part of Philip, namely, to the Achæans; to the others it was naturally understood to belong. It was nevertheless three years, 194, before the Roman army evacuated Greece and withdrew from the fortified places. The conduct of T. Quintius during this period fully shows what he was. The Greeks indeed had much want of such a guardian if they wished to remain quiet: his conduct, however, in the war against Nabis, 195, shows that he had not really at heart the tranquillity of Greece.

War with Syria.

10. The treaty of peace with Philip contained the seeds of a new and greater war with Syria; but though this seemed inevitable at that time, it did not break out till six years afterwards; and in but few periods of the history of the world is so great a political crisis to be found, as in this short interval. The fall of Carthage and Macedonia had shown the rest of the world what it had to expect from Rome; and there was no lack of great men sufficiently endowed with courage and talents to resist her. Danger of a formidable league against Rome; The danger of a formidable league between Carthage, Syria, and perhaps Macedonia, was never so much to be feared, as when Hannibal, now at the head of affairs, laboured to effect it with all the zeal which his hatred of Rome could inspire; and they might calculate with certainty beforehand on the accession of many smaller states. Rome, however, by which she frustrates. her equally decided and artful policy procured Hannibal's banishment from Carthage, amused Philip by granting him some trifling advantages, and gained over the smaller states by her ambassadors. By these means, and by taking advantage of the intrigues in the court of Syria, she prevented this coalition from being formed. Antiochus was therefore left without assistance in[Pg 351] Greece, except from the Ætolians, and a few other unimportant allies; while Rome drew from hers, especially the Rhodians and Eumenes, advantages of the greatest consequence.

The first cause of contention between Rome and Antiochus was the liberty of Greece, which the former wished to extend to the Grecian cities of Asia, and to those in particular which had belonged to Philip, and afterwards to Antiochus; while the latter contended, that Rome had no right to intermeddle with the affairs of Asia. The second cause of dispute was the occupation of the Thracian Chersonesus by Antiochus, 196, in right of some ancient pretensions; and Rome, on her part, would not tolerate him in Europe. This quarrel therefore commenced as early as 196, but did not become serious till the year 105, when in consequence of Hannibal's flight to Antiochus, together with the turbulence and excitement of the Ætolians, whose object it was to embroil the rival powers, the political horizon was completely overcast. What a fortunate thing it was for Rome that such men as Hannibal and Antiochus could not understand each other!

Heyne, de fœderum ad Romanorum opes imminuendas initorum eventis eorumque causis; in Opusc. vol. iii.

11. This war was much sooner brought to a termination than the Macedonian, owing to the 191. half-measures adopted by Antiochus. After having been driven from Greece by Glabrio, and after two naval victories had opened to the Romans the way to Asia, he felt inclined to act on the defensive; but in Battle of Magnesia, 192. the battle near Magnesia at the foot of Mount Sipylus, L. Scipio gathered the laurels which more properly belonged to Glabrio. The total expulsion of Antiochus from Asia Minor, even before this victory, had been the chief object of the war. Conditions of peace. The conditions of peace (see above, p. 284.) were such, as not only weakened Antiochus, but reduced him to a state of dependence.[Pg 352]

During this contest in the east, a sanguinary war was going on in the west; from the year 201 in Spain, where the elder Cato commanded; and from 193 in Italy itself, against the Ligurians. Whatever may be said upon the means made use of by Rome to increase the number of her citizens, it will always be difficult to comprehend, not only how she could support all these wars without being thereby weakened, but how at the same time she could found so many colonies!

Moderation of Rome.

12. Even after the termination of this war, Rome refrained with astonishing moderation from appearing in the light of a conqueror: it was only for the liberty of Greece, and for her allies, that she had contended! Without keeping a foot of land for herself, she divided, with the exception of the free Grecian cities, the conquered Asia Minor between Eumenes and the Rhodians; the manner, however, in which she dealt with the Ætolians, who after a long supplication for peace were obliged to buy it dearly, shows that she also knew how to treat unfaithful allies. The War against the Gauls in Asia Minor, 189. war against the Gauls in Asia Minor was not less necessary for the preservation of tranquillity in that country, than it was injurious to the morals and military discipline of the Roman army. They here learned to levy contributions.

Rome the arbitress of the world.

13. Thus, within the short space of ten years, was laid the foundation of the Roman authority in the east, and the general state of affairs entirely changed. If Rome was not yet the ruler, she was at least the arbitress of the world from the Atlantic to the Euphrates. The power of the three principal states was so completely humbled, that they durst not, without the permission of Rome, begin any new war; the fourth, Egypt, had already, in the year 201, placed herself under[Pg 353] the guardianship of Rome; and the lesser powers followed of themselves: esteeming it an honour to be called the allies of Rome. With this name the nations were lulled into security, and brought under the Roman yoke; the new political system of Rome was founded and strengthened, partly by exciting and supporting the weaker states against the stronger, however unjust the cause of the former might be, and partly by factions which she found means to raise in every state, even the smallest.

Although the policy of Rome extended itself everywhere by means of her commissioners, or ambassadors, yet she kept a more particular guard against Carthage by favouring Masinissa at her expense, against the Achæan league by favouring the Spartans, and against Philip of Macedon by favouring every one who brought any complaint against him (see above, p. 285).

14. Although these new connections and this intercourse with foreign nations greatly aided the diffusion of knowledge and science, and was followed by a gradual improvement in her civilization, yet was it nevertheless, in many respects, detrimental to the internal state of Rome. The introduction of the scandalous Bacchanalia, which were immediately discovered and forbidden, shows how easily great vices may creep in among a people who are only indebted for their morality to their ignorance. Among the higher classes also the spirit of intrigue manifested itself to an astonishing degree; particularly by the attacks directed against the Scipios by the elder Cato, whose restless activity became the instrument of his malignant passions. The severity of his censorship did not repair the evils caused by his immorality and pernicious politics.[Pg 354]

Voluntary exile of Scipio Africanus to Linternum, 187. He dies there, 183, the same year in which Hannibal falls under the continued persecution of Rome. His brother Scipio Asiaticus is also unable to escape a trial and condemnation, 185. One would have expected a sensible effect from the exile of these two great men; but, in a state where the ruling power is in the hands of a body like what the Roman senate was, the change of individuals is but of little consequence.

New broils with Philip, 185.
His death, 179.

15. Fresh disputes arose, as early as 185, with Philip of Macedon, who soon found that they had spared him no longer than it suited their own convenience. Although the intervention of Philip's youngest son, upon whom the Romans had formed some design, prevented the powers from coming to an immediate rupture, and war was still further delayed by Philip's death, yet the national hatred descended to his successor, and continued to increase, notwithstanding an alliance concluded with him, until the Open war, 172. war openly broke out (see above, p. 287).

The first circumstance which gave umbrage to Philip was the small portion they permitted him to conquer in Athamania and Thessaly during the war against Antiochus. But what sharpened his animosity, much more than the object in dispute, was the conduct of the Roman commissioners, before whom he, the king, was called upon to defend himself as an accused party, 184. The exclamation of Philip, that "the sun of every day had not yet set," showed his indignation, and at the same time betrayed his intention. The interval previous to the breaking out of the war was anything rather than a time of peace for Rome; for besides that the Spanish and Ligurian wars continued almost without intermission, the revolts which broke out in Istria, 178, and in Sardinia and Corsica, 176, produced much bloodshed.

Second Macedonian war, ends with the ruin of the kingdom, 168.

16. In the second Macedonian war, which ended with the destruction of Perseus and his kingdom (see above, p. 288), it required the ac[Pg 355]tive efforts of Roman policy to prevent a powerful confederacy from being formed against her; as Perseus used all his endeavours to stimulate, not only the Grecian states, and Thrace and Illyria, but also Carthage and Asia, to enter into alliance with him. Where was it that Rome did not at this crisis send her ambassadors? She did not, indeed, succeed so far as to leave her enemy quite alone, but prepared new triumphs for herself over the few allies she left him. The devastated Epirus, and Gentius king of Illyria, suffered dearly for the assistance they had lent him; the states also which had remained neuter, the Rhodians and Eumenes, were made to feel severely that they were the mere creatures of Rome.

Beginning of the Macedonian war, 171, before Rome was prepared; a deceitful truce, which raised the indignation even of the elder senators, was the means resorted to for gaining time. Notwithstanding this, the war at first, 170 and 169, was favourable to Perseus; but he wanted resolution and judgment to enable him to turn his advantages to account. In 168, Paulus Æmilius, an old general, against the usual custom of the Romans, took the command. Bloody and decisive battle near Pydna, June 22, 168. So completely may one day overturn a kingdom which has only an army for its support! Contemporary with this war, and highly fortunate for Rome, was the war of Antiochus Epiphanes with Egypt. No wonder that Rome did not, till 168, through Popilius, command peace between them! (See above, p. 261.)

Its consequences.

17. The destruction of the Macedonian monarchy was attended with consequences equally disastrous to the conquerors and the conquered. To the first it soon gave the notion of becoming the masters of the world, instead of its arbiters; and it exposed the latter, for the next twenty[Pg 356] years, to all the evils inseparable from such a catastrophe. The system of politics hitherto pursued by Rome could not last much longer; for if nations suffered themselves to be brought under the yoke by force, it was not to be expected that they would long be held in dependence under the specious name of liberty. But the state of things after this war was such as contributed to hasten a change in the form of the relations which existed between Rome and her allies.

The republican constitution given to the already ruined and devastated Macedonians (see above, p. 288.) and Illyrians, and which, according to the decree of the senate, "showed to all people that Rome was ready to bestow liberty upon them," was granted upon such hard conditions, that the enfranchised nation soon used every endeavour to procure themselves a king. Greece however suffered still more than Macedonia. Here, during the war, the spirit of faction had risen to the highest pitch; and the arrogant insolence of the Roman party, composed for the most part of venal wretches, was so great, that they persecuted not only those who had espoused an opposite faction, but even those who had joined no faction at all. Rome nevertheless could not believe herself secure, until she had destroyed, by a cruel artifice, all her adversaries (see above, p. 288).

18. Entirely in the same spirit did Rome proceed against the other states from whom she had anything to fear. These must be rendered defenceless; and every means of effecting that purpose was considered justifiable by the senate. The quarrels between the successors to the throne of Egypt were taken advantage of to cause dissensions in that kingdom (see above, p. 260); while Syria was retained in a state of tutelage, by keeping the rightful heir to the throne at Rome; and its military power neutralized by means of their ambassadors (see above, p. 243).[Pg 357]

19. From these facts we may also conclude, that the injuries now meditated against Carthage were not separate projects, but rather formed part of the general system of Roman policy at this period, although particular events at one time retarded their execution, and at another hastened it. History, in recounting the incredibly bad treatment which Carthage had to endure before her fall, seems to have given a warning to those nations who can take it, of what they may expect from the domination of a powerful republic.

Cato was chief of the party which sought the destruction of Carthage, both from a spirit of envy against Scipio Nasica, whom he hated for his great influence in the senate; and because, when ambassador to Carthage, he thought they did not treat him with sufficient respect. But Masinissa's victory, 152 (see above, p. 88), and the defection of Utica, brought this project into immediate play. Beginning of the war, 150, the Carthaginians having been previously inveigled out of their arms. The city, however, was not captured and destroyed till 146, by P. Scipio Æmilianus. The Carthaginian territory, under the name of Africa, was then made a Roman province.

A new war with Macedonia and Greece.

20. During this third war with Carthage, hostilities again broke out in Macedonia, which brought on a new war with Greece, and entirely changed the state of both these countries. In Macedonia, an impostor named Andriscus, who pretended to be the son of Philip, placed himself at the head of that highly disaffected people, assumed the name of Philip, and became, particularly 148. by an alliance with the Thracians, very formidable to the Romans, until overcome by Metellus. Rome wishing to take advantage of this crisis to dissolve the Achæan league, the Achæan war broke out (see above, p. 289). This [Pg 358]war was begun by Metellus, and terminated by Mummius with the Terminated by the destruction of Corinth, 146. destruction of Corinth. By reducing both Macedonia and Greece to the form of provinces, Rome now gave evident proof that no existing relations, nor any form of government, can prevent nations from being subjugated by a warlike republic, whenever circumstances render it possible.

It might have been expected, that the destruction of the two first commercial cities in the world, in the same year, would have been followed by important consequences to the course of trade; but the trade of Carthage and Corinth had already been drawn to Alexandria and Rhodes, otherwise Utica might, in some respects, have supplied the place of Carthage.

War in Spain, 146.

21. While Rome was thus destroying thrones and republics, she met in Spain with an antagonist—a simple Spanish countryman named Viriathus—whom, after six years' war, she could only rid herself of by assassination. The war, nevertheless, continued after his death against the Numantines, who would not be subjected, but were at last destroyed by Scipio Æmilianus.

The war against the Spaniards, who of all the nations subdued by the Romans defended their liberty with the greatest obstinacy, began in the year 200, six years after the total expulsion of the Carthaginians from their country, 206. It was exceedingly obstinate, partly from the natural state of the country, which was thickly populated, and where every place became a fortress; partly from the courage of the inhabitants; but above all, owing to the peculiar policy of the Romans, who were wont to employ their allies to subdue other nations. This war continued, almost without interruption, from the year 200 to 133, and was for the most part carried on at the same time in Hispania Citerior, where the Celtiberi were the most formidable adversaries, and in Hispania Ulterior, where the Lusitani were equally powerful. Hostilities were at the highest pitch in 195, under Cato, who reduced[Pg 359] Hispania Citerior to a state of tranquillity 185—179, when the Celtiberi were attacked in their native territory; and 155—150, when the Romans in both provinces were so often beaten, that nothing was more dreaded by the soldiers at home than to be sent there. The extortions and perfidy of Servius Galba placed Viriathus, in the year 146, at the head of his nation, the Lusitani: the war, however, soon extended itself to Hispania Citerior, where many nations, particularly the Numantines, took up arms against Rome, 143. Viriathus, sometimes victorious and sometimes defeated, was never more formidable than in the moment of defeat; because he knew how to take advantage of his knowledge of the country, and of the dispositions of his countrymen. After his murder, caused by the treachery of Cæpio, 140, Lusitania was subdued; but the Numantine war became still more violent, and the Numantines compelled the consul Mancinus to a disadvantageous treaty, 137. When Scipio, in the year 133, put an end to this war, Spain was certainly tranquil; the northern parts, however, were still unsubdued, though the Romans penetrated as far as Galatia.

Attalus III. leaves his kingdom to the Romans.

22. Towards the end of this period, the Romans obtained at a much cheaper rate the possession of one of their most important provinces; for the profligate Attalus III. king of Pergamus, bequeathing them the whole of his kingdom (on what account is uncertain, see above, p. 292.), they immediately took possession of it, and kept in spite of the resistance of the legitimate heir Aristonicus, merely ceding, as a recompense, Phrygia to Mithridates V. king of Pontus. Thus, by a stroke of the pen, the largest and finest part of Asia Minor became the property of Rome. If this extraordinary legacy was the work of Roman policy, she paid dearly enough, in the long run, for this accession to her power and riches, by the destruction of her morals, and the dreadful wars to which this legacy gave rise under Mithridates.[Pg 360]

Roman provinces.

23. The foreign possessions of Rome, besides Italy, comprised at this time under the name of provinces, a name of much higher signification in the Latin language than in any other, Hispania Citerior and Ulterior, Africa (the territory of Carthage), Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, Liguria, and Cisalpine Gaul, in the west; and in the east, Macedonia, Achaia, and Asia (territory of Pergamus). The inhabitants of these countries were How governed. entirely subject to Rome. The administration of them was carried on by those who had enjoyed the office of consul, and by prætors, subordinate to whom were the quæstors, or collectors of the revenue. The highest military and civil powers were united in these governors; a principal cause of that horrible oppression which was soon felt. Troops were always kept up in the provinces; and the Latin language everywhere introduced (except only where Greek was spoken), that the inhabitants might be made as much like Romans as possible.

Till nearly the end of this period, prætors were expressly appointed to each province. It was not till after the origin of the quæstiones perpetuæ, that it became the custom for the prætors who had vacated office, to succeed to the provinces (proprætores), a principal cause of the degeneracy of the Roman constitution.

C. Sigonius, de Antiquo jure provinciarum in Grævii Thes. Antiq. Rom. vol. ii.

Roman revenue.

24. The acquisition of these rich countries naturally had great influence in augmenting the revenue of the Romans. Though Rome was not indeed a state, like Carthage, altogether dependent upon finances, yet she kept these ad[Pg 361]justed in a wonderful manner; a spirit of nice order being observed in this as well as in every other department of her administration. If in extraordinary emergencies recourse were had to native loans, to a change in the value of money, or a monopoly of salt, order was soon restored; while the booty obtained from conquered countries was also a great source of the public income so long indeed as it was reserved for the state, and did not become the prey of the generals.

Sources of the Roman revenue (vectigalia) were: 1. Tribute a. from the Roman citizens; that is to say, a property-tax imposed by the senate according to the urgency of the case (which, however, was remitted, for a long time, after the war with Perseus, 168, being no longer necessary). b. Tribute of the allies (socii) in Italy: which seems also to have been a property-tax; differing in different places. c. Tribute of the provinces: in some a heavy poll-tax, in others taxes on property; in all, however, they were paid in natural productions, mostly ordinary, though sometimes extraordinary, as well for the salary of the governor as for the supply of the capital. 2. The revenue from the national domains (ager publicus), both in Italy (especially Campania) and in the provinces; the tythes (decumæ) of which were paid by means of leases for four years, granted by the censors. 3. The revenue from the customs (portoria), collected in the seaports and frontier towns. 4. The revenue arising from the mines (metalla), particularly the Spanish silver mines; the proprietors of which were obliged to pay a duty to the state. 5. The duty upon enfranchised slaves (aurum vicesimarium). All receipts flowed into the national treasury, the ærarium; all outgoings were exclusively ordered by the senate; and the people were consulted as little with regard to them as they were respecting the imposts. The officers employed were the quæstores, under whom were the scribæ, divided into decurias, who, though certainly subordinate, had nevertheless great influence. Their services, as they were not yearly changed, must have been indispensable to the quæstores for the time being; and the whole management of affairs, at least in detail, must have fallen into their hands.

[Pg 362]

Upon the finances of Rome, the best work at present is:—

P. Burmanni, Vectigalia Populi Romani. Leyden, 1734, 4to.

Two excellent treatises have since appeared in German upon this subject:—

D. H. Hegewisch, Essay upon Roman Finances. Antona, 1804, and

R. Bosse, Sketch of the System of Finance in the Roman State. Brunswick, 1803, 2 parts. Both include the periods of the republic and the monarchy.


From the beginning of the civil broils under the Gracchi, to the fall of the republic. B. C. 134—30. Year of Rome, 620—724.

Sources. Concerning the first half of this important period of the republic, down to the time of Cicero, we are sadly in want of precise information. Not one of the contemporary writers has been preserved to us, nor indeed any one of the later historians who have compiled a history of the whole period. Appian, de Bellis Civilibus; Plutarch, in his Lives of the Gracchi; and the spirited Compendium of Vel. Paterculus, are, for this portion, our principal authorities; and even the imperfect summaries of the lost books of Livy, so masterly supplied by Freinshemius here become of importance. For the times which follow, the Jugurtha and Cataline of Sallust, are two excellent historical cabinet pieces, and become the more valuable for the insight they at the same time give us of the internal condition of Rome. His great work, however, The Histories, is, with the exception of a few precious fragments, unfortunately lost. For the times of Cæsar and Cicero, we have the Commentaries of the first, and the Orations and Letters of the latter; both fertile sources of information. What is left us of Dio Cassius's History, begins with the year 69 before Christ. Of Plu[Pg 363]tarch's Lives, besides those of the Gracchi, the following are connected with this period: C. Marius, Sylla, Lucullus, Crassus, Sertorius, Cato of Utica, Cicero, Brutus, and Antonius. Upon the sources for these lives, see my treatises cited above, p. 321.

Among the moderns, the greater part of this period is particularly treated of by:—

De Brosses, Histoire de la République Romaine dans le cours du VIIe Siècle par Salluste, à Dijou, 1777, 3 vols. 4to.

In German by J. C. Schleuter, 1790, etc. with remarks, 4 vols. The editor of this capital work had an idea of translating Sallust, and supplying what is lost. It contains, besides a translation of Jugurtha and Cataline, the period between both, of which Sallust treats in his Histories: that is, from Sylla's abdication, B. C. 79—67; and is equally important for its own merits and for the period to which it belongs.

Vertot, Histoire des révolutions arrivées dans le gouvernement de la République Romaine. Paris, 1796, 6 vols. 12mo. Although this justly esteemed work includes the foregoing period, it is particularly valuable for the present.

Mably, Observations sur les Romains. Genève, 1751, 2 vols. 8vo. A survey of the internal history; ingenious, but as superficial as the Observations sur les Grecs by the same author.

Civil wars.
Power of the senate creates an aristocracy,
which is opposed by the tribunes of the people.

1. The foregoing period is composed of the history of foreign wars alone; in this, on the contrary, Rome appears in a continual state of internal commotion. And if foreign hostilities interrupt this state of things for a short time, it is only that it may be renewed with more violence, till at last it ends in a furious civil war. As the almost boundless power of the senate had laid the foundation of an exceedingly hateful family aristocracy, against which the tribunes of the people arrayed themselves, in the character of powerful demagogues, there arose a new struggle between the aristocratic and democratic parties, which almost immediately grew into two powerful[Pg 364] factions. This contest, from its extent and its consequences, soon became much more important than the ancient one between the patricians and the plebeians.

This family aristocracy gradually arose from the power of the magistrates, who now not only enjoyed a very high political importance, but, by the government of the provinces, acquired immense wealth. The present aristocracy, then, consisted of the ruling families (nobiles) concentrated in the senate. The struggle with the opposite party, the people (plebs), became so much the more violent in consequence of the great abuses which had crept into the administration, particularly in the division of the lands of the republic; the ruling families securing to themselves the fruits of all the victories and conquests, while the power of the democracy, by the vast accumulation of people (without the means of livelihood, although voting in the comitia), especially of enfranchised slaves, who, though strangers, mostly without power or property, formed, nevertheless, the greater part of what was then called the Roman people.

G. Al. Ruperti, Stemmata gentium Romanarum. Goett. 1795, 8vo. Almost indispensable for obtaining a clear insight into the history of the Roman families, and of course into that of the state.

First disturbances under T. S. Gracchus. B. C. 133.
He desires to relieve the distress of the lower orders, and dies in the attempt:

2. Commencement of the disturbances under the tribunate of Tib. Sempronius Gracchus, whom former connections had long made the man of the people. His desire was to relieve the distress of the lower orders; and the means whereby he hoped to do this was a better division of the lands of the republic, now almost exclusively in the hands of the aristocracy. His reform, therefore, naturally led at once to a struggle with that party. Tib. Gracchus however soon found, by experience, that a demagogue cannot stop where he would, however pure his intentions may be at first; and no sooner had he obtained a pro[Pg 365]longation of his term of office, in opposition to the usual custom, than he fell a sacrifice to his undertaking.

The first agrarian law of Gracchus was confirmed by the people, notwithstanding the fruitless opposition of his colleague Octavius, who was deposed; it decreed, that no person should possess above five hundred acres of land, nor any child above half that quantity. This law was, in fact, only a renewal of the ancient lex Licinia; in the condition, however, in which Rome now was, it bore much harder upon the property usurped by the great families, than it did in former times. Appointment of a committee for dividing the national lands, and for enquiring also at the same time which were the property of the state (ager publicus) and which were not. New popular propositions of the elder Gracchus, especially that for the division of the treasures left by king Attalus of Pergamus, with the view of securing his continuance in office; great insurrection of the aristocratic party under Scipio Nasica, and murder of Tiberius Gracchus, on the day of electing the new tribunes of the people.

his fall does not destroy his party.

3. The fall of the chief of the new party, however, occasioned any thing rather than its destruction. Not only was there no mention of an abrogation of the agrarian law, but the senate was obliged to allow the place in the commission, which had become vacant by the death of Gracchus, to be filled up; and Scipio Nasica himself was sent out of the way, under the pretext of an embassy to Asia. The party of the senate did, 132. indeed, find a powerful support for a short time in the return of Scipio Æmilianus (d. 129) from Spain; but its greatest support was found in the difficulties of the law itself, which prevented its execution.

Great revolt of the slaves in Sicily under Eunus, 134—131. This contributed not a little to keep alive the dissensions, as it showed the necessity of a reform.

[Pg 366]

The tribunes endeavour to increase their power. 130.

4. Evident endeavours of the tribunes of the people to increase their power, Gracchus having now awakened them to a sense of it. Not satisfied with a seat and voice in the senate, Carbo wished that the renewing of their dignity should be passed into a law. By the removal, however, of the chiefs of the lower party, upon honourable pretexts, new troubles were put off for some years.

First establishment of the Roman power in Transalpine Gaul by M. Fulvius Flaccus, on the occasion of his being sent to the assistance of Massilia, 128. Southern Gaul became a Roman province as early as 122, in consequence of the defeat of the Allobrogi and Averni by Q. Fabius, who had been sent against them to support the Ædui, the allies of Rome. Capture of the Balearian isles by Metellus, 123. Quæstorship of C. Gracchus in Sicily, 128—125.

C. Gracchus.

5. These palliative remedies, however, availed nothing after the return of C. Gracchus from Sicily with a full determination to tread in the footsteps of his brother. Like him, it is true, he fell a victim to his enterprise; but the storm that he raised during the two years of his tribunate fell so much the more heavily, as the popular excitement was more general, and from his possessing more of the shining talents necessary to form a powerful demagogue than his brother.

First tribunate of C. Gracchus, 123. Renewal of the agrarian law, and rendering its provisions more strict. Nevertheless, as he increased the fermentation by his popular measures and by acting the demagogue, and obtained the renewal of the tribunate for the following year, 122, he so far extended his plan, as to render it not only highly dangerous to the aristocracy, but even to the state itself. Establishment of distributions of corn to the[Pg 367] poor people. Plan for the formation of the knights (ordo equestris) into a political body, as a counterbalance to the senate, by conferring on it the right of administering justice, (judicia,) which was taken from the senate. Still more important project of granting to the Italian allies the privileges of Roman citizenship; and also the formation of colonies, not only in Campania, but also out of Italy, in Carthage. The highly refined policy of the senate, however, by lessening this man of the people in the eyes of his admirers, through the assistance of the tribune Livius Drusius, prevented his complete triumph; and, once declining, Gracchus soon experienced the fate of every demagogue, whose complete fall is then irretrievable. General insurrection, and assassination of C. Gracchus, 121.

Victory of the aristocratic faction.

6. The victory of the aristocratic faction was this time not only much more certain and bloody, they turned the advantages it gave them to such good account, that they eluded the agrarian law of Gracchus, and indeed, at last, completely abrogated it. But the seeds of discord already disseminated, especially among the Italian allies, could not be so soon checked, when once the subjects of these states had conceived the idea that they were entitled to a share in the government. How soon these party struggles might be renewed, or indeed a civil war break out, depended almost entirely upon foreign circumstances, and the chance of a bolder leader being found.

Agrarian law evaded: at first by repealing an act which prohibited the transfer of the national lands already divided, whereby the patricians were enabled to buy them again;—afterwards by the lex Thoria: complete stop put to all further divisions, a land-tax, to be distributed among the people, being instituted in its stead; but even this latter was very soon annulled.

D. H. Hegewisch, History of the Civil Wars of the Gracchi. Altona, 1801.[Pg 368]

History of the Revolution of the Gracchi in my Miscellaneous Historical Works. Vol. iii. 1821.

Effects of this party-spirit in corrupting the nation.

7. Visible effects of this party spirit upon public morals, which now began to decline the more rapidly, in proportion to the increase of foreign connections. Neither the severity of the censorship, nor the laws against luxury (leges sumtuariæ), nor those which now became necessary against celibacy, could be of much service in this respect. This degeneracy was not only to be found in the cupidity of the higher ranks, but also in the licentiousness of the lower orders.

Luxury in Rome was first displayed in the public administration (owing to the excessive accumulation of wealth in the treasury, especially during the Macedonian wars) before it infected private life; and the avarice of the great long preceded the latter. The sources from whence they satisfied this passion were found in the extortions of the governors of provinces, their great power, and the distance from Rome rendering the leges repetundarum of but little effect. Probably the endeavours of the allied princes and kings to gain a party in the senate was a still more fruitful source, as they could obtain their end only by purchase, and so gave a new impulse to the cupidity and intriguing disposition of the members of that council. But private luxury requires everywhere some time to ripen. It attained its height immediately after the Mithridatic wars.

D. Meiner, History of the Corruption of the Morals and Constitution of the Romans. Leips. 1782.

Meierotto, Morals and Manners of the Romans at different periods of the Republic. Berlin, 1776. Which considers the subject in several points of view.

C. A. Bottiger, Sabina, or, morning scenes at the toilette of a rich Roman lady. Leips. 1806, 2 vols. A true and lively description of the luxury of the Roman ladies, but principally at its most brilliant period. It has been translated into French.

The African war against Jugurtha. 118—106.

8. This corruption was manifested in a striking [Pg 369]manner in the next great war that Rome entered into, which was in Africa, against Jugurtha of Numidia, the adopted grandson of Masinissa; and soon after against his ally Bocchus of Mauritania. This war, kindled and maintained by the avarice of the Roman nobles, which Jugurtha had already had an opportunity of knowing at the siege of Numantia, paved the way to the aggrandizement of C. Marius C. Marius, a new demagogue, who, being also a formidable general, did much more harm to the state than even the Gracchi.

Commencement of the quarrel of Jugurtha with the two sons of Micipsa, and assassination of Hiempsal, one of them, 118.—When the other, Adherbal, arrived at Rome, 117, the party of Jugurtha had already succeeded, and obtained a partition of the kingdom. New attack upon Adherbal, who is besieged in Cirta, and, notwithstanding the repeated embassies of Rome to Jugurtha, is compelled to surrender, and is put to death, 112. The tribune C. Memmius constrains the senate to declare war against Jugurtha; but Jugurtha purchases a peace of the consul Calpurnius Piso, 111.—Nevertheless Memmius hinders the ratification of the peace, and Jugurtha is required to justify himself at Rome. He would probably, however, have bought his acquittal, if the murder of his kinsman Massiva, 110, by the help of Bomilcar, had not rendered it impossible. The war is renewed under the consul Sp. Albinus and his brother Aulus, 110, but with very little success, until the incorruptible Q. Metellus took the command, 109, who would have put an end to it, notwithstanding the great talents now displayed as a general by Jugurtha, and his alliance with Bocchus, 108, had he not been supplanted by Marius, who obtains the consulship by his popularity, 107. Marius is obliged to have recourse to perfidy to get Jugurtha into his hands, who is betrayed by Bocchus, 106. Numidia is divided between Bocchus and two grandsons of Masinissa, Hiempsal and Hiarbas.

obtains the consulate;

9. The elevation of Marius to the consulate not only humbled the power of the aristocracy, but [Pg 370]also showed, for the first time, that the way was open to a man of low birth (homo novus) to the highest offices; the method, however, which he had taken to form his army, entirely against the Roman custom, that is, of composing it of the lower orders (capite censis) must have rendered him doubly formidable. Nevertheless, he would scarcely have effected so great a change in the constitution, if a new and terrible war had not rendered his services indispensable:—this was defeats the Cimbri and Teutones; the threatened invasion of the Cimbri and Teutones the most powerful nations of the north, during which a new and violent rebellion of the slaves was raging in Sicily:—for after the defeat of so many Roman armies, the people believed that no one but the conqueror of Jugurtha could save Italy; and Marius knew so well how to turn this to account, that he remained consul during four successive years.

The Cimbri, or Cimmerians, probably a nation of German origin, from beyond the Black sea, originated a popular migration which extended from thence as far as Spain. Their march was perhaps occasioned, or accelerated, by the Scythian war of Mithridates; and their course, like that of most nomad races, was from east to west along the Danube. They had already, in 113, defeated the consul Papirius Carbo, near Noreia in Styria. In their progress towards the west they were joined by German, Celtic, and Helvetic tribes (the Teutones, Ambrones, and Tigurians).—Attack Roman Gaul, 109, where they demand settlements and defeat Junius Silanus the consul.—Defeat of L. Cassius Longinus and M. Aurelius Scaurus, 107.—Great defeat of the Romans in Gaul, 105, occasioned by the disagreement of their generals, the consuls, Cn. Manlius and Q. Servius Cæpio. Marius obtains the command, and remains consul from 104—101. The migrations of the Cimbri—a part of whom reach the Pyrenees, but are driven back by the Celtiberians, 103—give Marius[Pg 371] time to complete his army. In 102, after dividing themselves, they first attempted to penetrate into Italy: the Teutones through Provence, and the Cimbri by Tyrol.—Great defeat and slaughter of the Teutones by Marius, near Aix, 102.—The Cimbri, on the contrary, effect an invasion and make progress till Marius comes to the help of Catulus. Great battle and defeat of the Cimbri near the Po, July 30, 101.

J. Muller, Bellum Cimbricum. Tigur, 1772. A youthful essay of that celebrated historian. Compare

Mannert, Geography, etc. part iii.

buys his sixth consulate.

10. Although during this war the power of the popular party had sensibly increased, yet the storm did not break out until Marius bought his sixth consulate. Now, even in Rome itself, he wished to avenge himself upon his enemies; and what could the senate do, when it had at its head a demagogue in the consul himself?—His league with the tribune Saturnius, and the prætor Glaucias, forming already a true triumvirate, would have overthrown the republic after the expulsion of Metellus, if the unbridled licentiousness of the rabble connected with his allies had not obliged him to break with them, lest he should sacrifice the whole of his popularity.

The measures of this cabal, who wished to appear as if treading in the steps of the Gracchi, were principally directed against Q. Metellus, the chief of the party of the senate, and who, since the African war, had been the mortal foe of Marius. After the exile of Metellus, occasioned by his opposition to a new agrarian law, this faction usurped the rights of the people, and lorded it in the committees; until, at a new election of consuls, a general revolt, favoured by Marius himself, took place of all the well-disposed citizens against them; Saturnius and Glaucias were besieged in the capitol, forced to surrender, and executed. The[Pg 372] return of Metellus from his voluntary exile soon followed, 92, much against the will of Marius, who was obliged to retire into Asia.


11. The few years of tranquillity which Rome now enjoyed, brought to maturity many benefits and many evils, the seeds of which had been already sown. On one hand the rising eloquence of Antonius, Crassus, and others, was employed with effect against the oppressors of the provinces in the state trials (questiones); and some generous spirits used all their endeavours to heal the wounds of Sicily, Asia, and other provinces, by a better administration; while, on the other hand, the power of the ordo equestris became a source of much abuse: for besides their right to sit in the tribunals (judiciis), which C. Gracchus had conferred upon them, they had also obtained the farming of the leases, and thereby the collection of the revenue in the provinces; by which means they were enabled not only to oppose every reform that was attempted in the latter, but even at Rome to hold the senate in a state of dependence. The struggle which now arose between them and the senate respecting the judicia (or right to preside in the tribunal), was one of the most fatal to the republic, as this right was abused by them for the purpose of satisfying their personal rancour, and oppressing the greatest men. The tribune M. Livius Drusus the younger, it is true, wrested from them half their power; but, alas! the manner in which he did it kindled into a flame the fire which had been smouldering from the time of the Gracchi.

[Pg 373]

Acquisition of Cyrene by the testament of king Apion, 97; notwithstanding which it maintained its independence, although probably by paying a tribute. Adjustment of the differences between the kings of Asia Minor by the prætor Sylla, 92 (see above, p. 294).

War of the allies, 91—88.

12. Revolt of the Italian tribes, who desire to obtain the right of Roman citizens; whereupon the bloody war of the allies ensues. Although the oppression of Rome had been preparing this war for a long time, yet it was an immediate consequence of the intrigues of the Roman demagogues, who since the law of the younger Gracchus, had, with the view of making themselves popular, continually flattered the allies with the hope of sharing the privileges of Roman citizenship. It was however soon seen, that the allies were not at a loss among themselves for leaders, capable of forming great plans and executing them with vigour. Italy was about to become a republic, with Corfinium for its capital instead of Rome. Neither could Rome have saved herself from such an event, but by gradually permitting the allies to enjoy the complete freedom of the city.

After the civil wars of the Gracchi, large bands of the allies were continually flocking to Rome. These were in the pay of the demagogues, whom the lex Licinia, 95, had banished from Rome, and thereby laid the foundation of the revolt. From that time the conspiracy among these tribes began, and attained without interruption such a degree of maturity, that the carelessness of Rome can only be accounted for from the party fury which then existed, and which the lex Varia, 91, enacted against the promoters of rebellion, served only to inflame the more. The murder of the tribune Livius Drusus, 91, a very ambiguous character, brought the affair to an open rupture. In this alliance were the Marsi, Picentes, Peligni, Marrucini, Frentani, the Samnites, who played a principal part, the Hirpini, Apuli, and the Lu[Pg 374]cani. In this war, which was so much the more bloody, as it was mostly composed of separate contests and sieges, especially of the Roman colonies, Cn. Pompeius the elder, L. Cato, Marius, and, above all, Sylla, particularly distinguished themselves on the side of the Romans; and among the generals of the allies Pompadias, C. Papius, etc.—Concession of the freedom of the city, first to such allies as remained faithful, the Latins, Umbrians, etc. by the lex Julia, 91; afterwards, by degrees, to the remainder by the lex Plotia. Some, nevertheless, still continued in arms.

Heyne, de Belli Socialis causis et eventu, in Opusc. t. iii.

13. The war now just ended, essentially changed the constitution of Rome, as she no longer remained, as hitherto, the exclusive head of the whole state; and although the new citizens were only formed into eight tribes, yet their influence must soon have been felt in the committees, on account of the readiness with which they promoted factions. Besides this, the long-cherished private hatred between Marius and Sylla was greatly strengthened by this war, as Sylla's fame was considerably raised thereby, while that of Marius was proportionably diminished. An opportunity was only wanted, like that which the first Pontine war soon furnished, to stir up a new civil war, which threatened to destroy the liberty of Rome.

Alliance of Marius with Sulpicius against Sylla, 88.

14. Alliance of Marius with the tribune Sulpicius, with the view of wresting from Sylla the command of the forces against Mithridates, already conferred upon him by the senate. The ease with which Sylla, at the head of an army on which he could depend, expelled the chiefs of this party, seems to have left him ignorant of the fact, that the party itself was not thereby destroyed. However judicious may have been his[Pg 375] other measures, the elevation of Cinna to the consulship was an error in policy of which Italy had still more reason to repent than himself. How much blood might have been spared if Sylla had not unseasonably wished to become popular!

Proposition of Sulpicius for an indiscriminate distribution of the new citizens and freemen among all the tribes of Italy, that he might thereby gain a strong party in his favour, which, by a violent assembly of the people, transfers the command from Sylla to Marius. March of Sylla upon Rome, and expulsion of Marius, who, by a series of adventures almost surpassing belief, escapes to Africa and is proscribed with his son and ten of his partisans. Reestablishment of the power of the senate, whose number is made up by three hundred knights. Sylla, after having caused his friend C. Octavius and his enemy L. Cinna to be elected consuls, hastens back to Greece.

First war against Mithridates. 89—85.
His great power:
that of Rome divided.

15. First war against Mithridates the Great. Sylla gains several victories over that king's generals in Greece; wrests from him all his conquests, and restricts him to his hereditary dominions. Rome since the time of Hannibal had met with no such powerful opponent as the king of Pontus, who in a few months had become master of all Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece, and threatened even Italy itself; we must besides consider, that the war on the side of Rome was carried on in a manner altogether different from that of any previous one; as Sylla, after the victory of the opposite party, being himself proscribed in Rome, was obliged to continue it with his own army, and his own private resources. The unfortunate countries which were the theatre of this war, felt as many calamities during the struggle, as Italy was doomed to suffer after its close.[Pg 376]

Commencement of the war by Mithridates before the termination of that of the allies, 89, by taking possession of Cappadocia and Paphlagonia. He was not less formidable by his alliance with the tribes along the Danube, and his navy, than by his land forces; and the irritation of the people of Asia against Rome rendered his enterprise still more easy. Double victory over Nicomedes king of Bithynia and the Roman general M. Aquilius, followed by the conquest of all Asia Minor except the isle of Rhodes. Massacre of all the Roman citizens in the states of Asia Minor. Expedition of the king's army into Greece, under the command of his general Archelaus, who makes Athens the theatre of the war, 88. Siege and capture of that unfortunate town by Sylla, 1st March, 87. Repeated great defeats of Mithridates's army under the command of Archelaus, near Chalcis, and afterwards near Orchomenus, by Sylla, 86, whose general plan was formed upon the entire destruction of his enemies. Negotiations for peace commenced by Archelaus, and finally settled at a personal conference between Sylla and Mithridates. The adverse party in Rome, however, had in the mean time sent a new army into Asia Minor, to act as well against Sylla as against Mithridates, under the command of L. Valerius Flaccus, who, however, is assassinated by his lieutenant Fimbria. The latter gains some advantages over the king, but, being shut up by Sylla, kills himself. Owing to the licentiousness of his army, which Sylla dared not restrain; and the heavy contributions exacted by him in Asia Minor after the peace, in order to carry on the war in Italy, 84; together with the bodies of pirates formed out of the fleet disbanded by Mithridates, these unfortunate countries were almost ruined; the opulent cities more especially.

New revolution in Rome
under Cinna and Marius.

16. But during this war a new revolution took place in Rome, which not only overthrew the order reestablished by Sylla, but also, by the victory of the democratic faction under Cinna and Marius, gave rise to a wild anarchy of the people, and which the death of Marius, alas, too late for Rome! only rendered more destructive; as the leaders themselves could no longer restrain the savage hordes of their own party. However[Pg 377] dreadful the prospect of the return of Sylla might seem, it was nevertheless the only hope that remained for all those who had not joined the popular faction, or had not some connection with its leaders.

Revolt of Cinna, brought on by the proscriptions, soon after the departure of Sylla; Cinna, by distributing the new citizens into all the tribes, hoped to raise himself a party; but C. Octavius, at the head of the senate and ancient citizens, drove him from Rome, and forced him to give up the consulship, 87. He however soon raised a powerful army in Campania, and recalled Marius from exile. Capture and pillage of Rome, already weakened by famine, and horrible massacre of the inhabitants; after which Marius and Cinna name themselves consuls and banish Sylla. Death of Marius, 13th Jan. 86. C. Papirius Carbo succeeds him in the consulship. The mediation of the senate is useless, as the chiefs of both parties can only hope for security by the annihilation of their adversaries. The murder of Cinna by his own soldiers, 84, entirely deprives the dominant faction of a competent leader. Neither the cowardly Carbo, although he remained consul alone, nor the stupid Norbanus, nor the youth C. Marius (the son), had sufficient personal authority for that purpose; and Sertorius leaves Italy in good time to kindle a new flame in Spain.

Sylla's return, and bloody civil war, 83.

17. Return of Sylla to Italy, and a terrible civil war, which ends only with the extermination of the democratic faction, and his own elevation to the perpetual dictatorship. Although his enemies had so much advantage over him in point of numbers, yet their party was so little consolidated, that he with his veterans could not fail to obtain an easy victory. The slaughter during this war fell for the most part upon the Italian tribes, who had joined the party of Marius, and this afforded Sylla the means of giving settlements to his own soldiers; but most of the horrors of this revolution which fell to the share of Rome, were reserved till the day of victory was past. Sylla's proscription. Sylla's[Pg 378] proscription, which should only have punished his personal enemies, was the signal for a general massacre, as every one took that opportunity to rid himself of his private foes; and avarice did as much as vengeance. Who in these days, so terrible to Italy, was sure of his life or property? And yet, when we consider the dreadful circumstances which attended the foregoing dominion of the people, deduct all that was done without Sylla's knowledge, and consider how much he was obliged to do in order to satisfy his army, we shall find it difficult to say how far he deserves the reproach of wanton cruelty.

Sylla's arrival; victory over Norbanus immediately after, and seduction of the army of the consul Scipio, 82. After this almost every person of distinction declared in his favour, and the young Pompey having brought to him an army which he had himself raised, his party acquired more consideration, and himself more power. Victory over the younger Marius, near Sacriportum, who throws himself into Præneste, where he is besieged. But the great and decisive battle gained before the gates of Rome, over the Samnites under the command of Telisinus, is followed by the fall of Præneste and the capture of Rome. After the proscription which immediately ensued, Sylla is created perpetual dictator, and secures his power in Rome by the emancipation of ten thousand slaves, whose masters he had proscribed; and in Italy by colonies of his veterans, whom he establishes at the expense of his enemies.

Reform in the constitution: 81—79.
power of the senate restored.
Sylla's abdication, 79.

18. Great reform in the constitution during the two years' dictatorship of Sylla. The aristocracy of the senate, which he filled up with knights, was not only reestablished, but he also stopped the sources from which the great disorders of the democracy had hitherto proceeded. It seems probable that his natural indolence, which led[Pg 379] him to prefer a life of luxurious ease to one of laborious activity, when he was no longer spurred to the latter by his passions, was the chief cause of his voluntary abdication. He had, however, the great advantage over Marius, of not being the sport of his own feelings. The conduct of Sylla, indeed, was so consistent throughout, that it satisfactorily shows he knew very well what was his ultimate aim—which Marius never did.

Internal regulations of Sylla by the leges Corneliæ. 1. Law to restrain the influence of the tribunes, by taking from them their legislative power. 2. Law respecting the succession to the magistracy; the number of prætors fixed to eight, and the quæstors to twenty. 3. Lex de majestate, especially to limit the power of the governors of provinces, and to abolish their exactions. 4. Lex de judiciis, whereby the judicia were again restored to the senate. 5. Several police regulations, de sicariis, de veneficiis, etc. for the preservation and tranquillity of Rome, upon which everything depended. 6. The lex de civitate, taking from the Latins and several Italian cities and tribes the privileges of Roman citizens, upon which they set so much store, although we scarcely know in what they consisted. Foreign wars: War in Africa against the leaders of the democratic faction, Cn. Domitius and king Hiarbas, which is ended by a triumph to Pompey, 80. Second war against Mithridates begun by Murena, in hopes of obtaining a triumph, to whom Archelaus came over; but which, under the command of Sylla, terminates in an accommodation.

A state like Rome exposed to convulsions.

19. Nevertheless it was impossible that the enactments of Sylla should be long observed; as the evil lay too deep to be eradicated by laws. A free state like that of Rome, with no middle class, must, from its nature, be exposed to continual convulsions, and these will be more or less violent in proportion to its greatness. Besides, as in the last revolution almost all property had[Pg 380] changed hands, there was spread over all Italy a powerful party, who desired nothing so much as Counter-revolution desired by many. a counter-revolution. And to this we may add, that there were many young men, such as Lucullus, Crassus, and above all Pompey, who had opened to themselves a career during the late troubles, which they would scarcely yet wish to bring to a close. It will not then appear strange, that immediately after the death of Sylla († 88), a Æmilius Lepidus. consul, M. Æmilius Lepidus, should form the design of becoming a second Marius; a design which could only be frustrated by the courage and activity of such a patriotic citizen as Q. Lutatius Catulus, his colleague.

Attempt of Lepidus to rescind the acts of Sylla, 78. Defeated, first before Rome and again in Etruria, by Catulus and Pompey, 77, after which he dies in Sardinia.

Civil war of Sertorius in Spain.

20. But much more dangerous for Rome might have been the civil war kindled by Sertorius in Spain, if the plan of that exalted republican to invade Italy had succeeded. Even Pompey himself, after a six years' struggle, would hardly have prevented it, had it not been for the worthlessness of the Roman vagabonds who surrounded him, and his assassination by Perpenna. The rapid termination of the war after the fall of its conductor, is a circumstance much more creditable to Sertorius than to the conqueror Pompey.

The forces of Sertorius in Spain, consisted not only of the party of Marius which he had collected, but more essentially of the Spaniards, particularly the Lusitanians, whom he had inspired with an unbounded confidence in himself. Very variable success of the war against Metellus and Pompey, who receive but very little support from Rome, 77—75. Negotiation of Ser[Pg 381]torius with Mithridates the Great, and interchange of embassies without any important result, 75. Sertorius assassinated by Perpenna, 72.

The third Mithridatic war; combined with the servile war, and that of the pirates,

21. Before, however, the flame of war was totally extinguished in the west, Mithridates kindled a new and much fiercer one in the east; at the same time a war of slaves and gladiators was raging with terrible fury in Italy itself; and whole fleets of pirates not only ravaged the Italian coasts, but threatened Rome herself with a famine, and obliged her to have recourse to a mode of naval warfare altogether peculiar. All these enemies were not without intelligence with one another; and colossal as was the power of the republic at that time, and rich as Rome was in distinguished men, it seems probable that the storm threatens the downfal of Rome. which beat on every side between 75—71, would have razed her to the ground, if a stricter alliance could have been formed between Sertorius, Spartacus, and Mithridates. But the great difficulty of communication which at that time existed, and without which probably a republic such as the Roman never could have been formed, proved of more assistance at this crisis than at any other.

The third Mithridatic war, occasioned by the will of Nicomedes king of Bithynia, who had bequeathed his kingdom to Rome (see above, p. 294), was carried on in Asia Minor, first by Lucullus, 74—67, and afterwards by Pompey, 66—64. Mithridates, being better prepared, had already concluded an alliance with Sertorius in Spain, 75. But the deliverance of Cyzicus by Lucullus, 73, and the defeat of the king's fleet, intended to act against Italy, not only frustrated all his original plans, but were followed by the occupation of his own dominions, 72 and 71, by the enemy, notwithstanding a new army which Mithridates collected, mostly from the nomad hordes of Northern Asia. Flight[Pg 382] of Mithridates to Tigranes, 71, who positively refused to deliver him up, and formed an alliance with him, 70; while the Parthian, Arsaces XII. held both parties in suspense by negotiations. Victory of Lucullus over the allied sovereigns, near Tigranocerta, 69, and Artaxata, 68; but the mutinies which now broke out among his troops not only hindered him from following up these advantages, but turned the scale so much in Mithridates's favour, that in 68 and 67 he quickly regained almost all his dominions, even while the Roman commissioners were on their route to take possession of them. Lucullus, by his reform in the finances of Asia Minor, raises a powerful party against himself in Rome, and thereby loses his command.

The servile war, 73—71.

22. The war of the slaves and gladiators, which happened nearly at the same time, was, from the theatre of action being in its neighbourhood, equally dangerous to Rome; it became still more terrible from the violence with which these outraged beings sought to revenge their wrongs, and more formidable from the talents of their leader, Spartacus; and the conclusion of this struggle seemed, therefore, of so much importance to Rome, that it gave terminated by Crassus. M. Crassus a much higher influence in the state than he could ever have obtained by his riches alone.

Commencement of this war by a number of runaway gladiators, who, being strengthened by an almost general revolt of the slaves in Campania, 73, soon became very formidable. The defeat of four generals, one after the other, throws open to Spartacus the road to the Alps, and enables him to leave Italy; but the greediness of booty manifested by his hordes, who wished to plunder Rome, obliged him to return. Crassus takes the command and rescues Rome, 72; upon which Spartacus retires into Lower Italy, hoping to form a junction with the pirates, and to carry the war into Sicily, but is deceived by them, 71. His complete overthrow near the Silarus, 71. Pompey, then returning from Spain, finds means to seize a sprig of the laurel chaplet which by right should have adorned only the brow of Crassus;[Pg 383] hence arises a misunderstanding between these two commanders, during their consulate, 70, which threatened to be dangerous to the state.

The war against the pirates;

23. The war against the pirates of Sicily and Isauria was not only very important in itself, but still more so in its consequences. It procured for Pompey a legal power such as no Roman general had ever before enjoyed; and the quick and glorious manner in which he brought it to a close, opened for him the way to the great object of his terminated by Pompey. ambition—the conduct of the war in Asia against Mithridates.

The extraordinary power acquired by these pirates was owing partly to the great negligence of the Romans in sea affairs, (see page 340), partly to the war against Mithridates, who had taken the pirates into his pay, and partly also to the Roman oppressions in Asia Minor. War had been undertaken against them as early as 75, by P. Servilius; but his victories, though they procured him the title of Isauricus, did them but little harm. They were to be dreaded, not only for their piracies, but because they also offered an easy means of communication between the other enemies of Rome from Spain to Asia. The new attack of the prætor M. Antonius upon Crete, proved a complete failure; but it was the cause of that hitherto independent island being again attacked, 68, by Metellus, and reduced to a Roman province, 67. Pompey takes the command against the pirates with extraordinary privileges, obtained for him by Gabinius, and finishes the war in forty days, 67.

Fall of Mithridates.

24. After these triumphs over so many enemies, Mithridates was the only one which now remained; and Pompey had here again the good fortune to conclude a struggle already near its end; for notwithstanding his late success, Mithridates had never been able completely to recover himself. His fall undoubtedly raised the power[Pg 384] of Rome in Asia Minor to its highest pitch; but it brought her, at the same time, into contact with the Parthians.

Pompey obtains the conduct of the war against Mithridates with very extensive privileges, procured for him by the tribune Manilius (lex Manilia), notwithstanding the opposition of Catulus, 67. His victory by night, near the Euphrates, 66. Subjection of Tigranes, while Mithridates flies into the Crimea, 65, whence he endeavours to renew the war. Campaign of Pompey in the countries about the Caucasus, 65; he marches thence into Syria, 64. Mithridates kills himself in consequence of the defection of his son Phraates, 63. Settlement of Asiatic affairs by Pompey: besides the ancient province of Asia, the maritime countries of Bithynia, nearly all Paphlagonia and Pontus, are formed into a Roman province, under the name of Bithynia; while on the southern coast Cilicia and Pamphylia form another under the name of Cilicia; Phœnicia and Syria compose a third, under the name of Syria. On the other hand, Great Armenia is left to Tigranes; Cappadocia to Ariobarzanes; the Bosphorus to Pharnaces; Judæa to Hyrcanus (see page 310); and some other small states are also given to petty princes, all of whom remain dependent on Rome. The tribes inhabiting Thrace during the Mithridatic war, were first defeated by Sylla, 85, and their power was afterwards nearly destroyed by the proconsuls of Macedonia: as by Appius, in 77; by Curio, who drove them to the Danube, 75—73; and especially by M. Lucullus, while his brother was engaged in Asia. Not only the security of Macedonia, but the daring plans of Mithridates rendered this necessary.

State of Rome;
changes in her constitution;
the restoration of the power of the tribunes.

25. The fall of Mithridates raised the republic to the highest pitch of her power: there was no longer any foreign foe of whom she could be afraid. But her internal administration had undergone great changes during these wars. Sylla's aristocratic constitution was shaken by Pompey, in a most essential point, by the reestablishment of the power of the tribunes, which was done because neither he nor any leading men could ob[Pg 385]tain their ends without their assistance. It was by their means that Pompey had procured such unlimited power in his two late expeditions, that the existence of the republic was thereby endangered. It was, however, a fortunate circumstance for Rome, that Pompey's vanity was sufficiently gratified by his being at the head of affairs, where he avoided the appearance of an oppressor.

Reiterated attempts of the tribune Sicinius to annul the constitution of Sylla defeated by the senate, 76. But as early as 75 Opimius obtained that the tribunes should not be excluded from honourable offices, and that the judgments (judicia) should be restored to the knights (equites). The attempts of Licinius Macer, 72, to restore the tribunes to all their former powers, encountered but a short opposition; and their complete reestablishment was effected by Pompey and Crassus during their consulate, in 70.

This victory of the democrats leads to an oligarchy. 70.
Catiline's conspiracy.

26. This victory of the democratic faction, however, in consequence of the use made of it by some leading men, necessarily led the way to an oligarchy, which after the consulate of Pompey and Crassus became very oppressive. Catiline's conspiracy, which was not matured till after several attempts, would have broken up this confined aristocracy, and placed the helm of state in the hands of another and still more dangerous faction: a faction composed in part of needy profligates and criminals dreading the punishment of their crimes, and partly of ambitious nobles. It occasioned a short civil war; but procured Cicero. Cicero a place in the administration. With what pleasure do we forgive the little weaknesses and failings of one so gifted with talents and great virtues! of one who first taught Rome, in so[Pg 386] many ways, what it was to be great in the robe of peace!

Catiline's first conspiracy, in which Cæsar and Crassus seem to have been implicated, 66, as well as in the second, 65: failure of the former by chance—of the latter through Piso's death. The third broke out in 64, as well in Rome, where the conspirators, having no armed force, were soon suppressed by the vigilance and activity of Cicero, 63, as in Etruria, where a victory of the proconsul Antonius over Catiline, who was left dead on the field, concluded it, 62.

Effects of the Asiatic war on the Roman manners.

27. The suppression of this conspiracy, however, did not stay the effect which the recently concluded Asiatic war had upon Roman manners. The luxury of the east, though united with Grecian taste, which had been introduced among the great by Lucullus; the immense riches poured into the treasury by Pompey; the tempting examples of unlimited power, which single citizens had already exercised; the purchase of the magistracy by individuals, in order, like Verres, after the squandering of millions, to enrich themselves again in the provinces; the demands of the soldiers upon their generals; and the ease with which an army might be raised by him who had only money enough to pay it; all these circumstances must have foreboded new and approaching convulsions, even if the preceding storms in this colossal republic, in which we must now judge of virtues and vices, as well as of riches and power, by a very magnified standard, had not formed Great men of this period: Cato. men of that gigantic character they did:—men like Cato, who struggled alone to stem the impetuous torrent of the revolution, and was sufficiently powerful to retard its progress for a time; or, like Pompey. Pompey, who by [Pg 387]good fortune and the art of acquiring influence, arose to a degree of authority and power never before attained by any citizen of a free state; or, like Crassus. Crassus, "who only considered him as rich that could maintain an army by his own private means," founding their pretensions on wealth; or, finally, like the aspiring and now powerful Cæsar. Cæsar, whose boundless ambition could only be surpassed by his talents, and courage, "who would rather be the first in a village than the second in Rome." The return of Pompey from Asia, threatening the senate with a new dictator, appeared an eventful moment.

Attempt of Pompey, through the tribune Metellus Nepos, to be allowed to return to Rome at the head of his army, frustrated by the firmness of Cato, 62.

Pompey's return revives the struggle between him and the senate, 61.

28. The arrival of Pompey in Rome renewed the struggle between the senate and that powerful general, although he had disbanded his army on landing in Italy. The ratification of his management of affairs in Asia, which was the chief point of contention, was opposed by the leading men of the senate, Cato, the two Metelli, and Lucullus, which induced Pompey to attach himself entirely to the popular party, by whose means he hoped to obtain his end; Cæsar's return from Lusitania, 61. Cæsar's return, however, from his province of Lusitania, entirely changed the face of affairs.

Triumvirate of Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus, 60.
Cæsar's consulate, 59,
obtains him the government of the two Gauls and Illyria for five years.

29. Close union between Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus; that is, a secret alliance, formed by the interposition of Cæsar. That which formed the height of the ambition of Pompey and Crassus was only regarded by Cæsar as the means by which he might be able to effect his. His con[Pg 388]sulate—a kind of dictatorship under the mask of great popularity—necessarily paved the way to his future career, as by giving him the government of the two Gauls and Illyria for five years, it opened a wide field for conquest, and gave him an opportunity of forming an army devoted to his will.

Cæsar's abode and campaign in Gaul from the spring of 58 till the end of the year 50. By arresting the emigration of the Helvetians, and by the expulsion of the Germans, under Ariovistus, from Gaul, 58, Cæsar gained an opportunity of intermeddling in the internal affairs of that country, and afterwards of subduing it, which was completed by his victory over the Belgæ, 57, and the Aquitani, 56; so that Cæsar was at liberty to undertake his several expeditions, as well in Britain, 55 and 54, as in Germany, 54 and 53. But the repeated revolts of the Gauls, 53—51, especially under Vercingetorix, 52, occasioned a war no less obstinate than their first conquest. Roman policy continued the same throughout. The Gauls were subdued, by the Romans appearing as their deliverers; and in the country they found allies in the Ædui, Allobroges, etc.

30. The triumvirate, in order to establish their power upon a solid foundation, took care, by the management of the tribune Clodius, to get rid of the leaders of the senate, Cato and Cicero, before the departure of Cæsar; and this they did by giving the former a kingdom to govern, and by procuring the banishment of the latter. They must however soon have discovered, that so bold a demagogue as Clodius could not be used as a mere machine. And, indeed, after Cæsar's departure he raised himself so much above the triumvirs, that Pompey was soon obliged, for his own preservation, to permit Cicero to return from exile, which could only be effected by the most violent efforts of the tribune Milo. The power of[Pg 389] Clodius, however, was but little injured thereby, although Pompey, to put a stop to the source of these disorders, and revive his own popularity, procured the nomination of himself as præfectus annonæ, or superintendent of provisions.

Exile of Cicero, the greater part of which he spent in Macedonia, from April, 58, till 4th Sept. 57. Ptolemy king of Cyprus deposed, and that island reduced to a Roman province by Cato, on the proposition of Clodius, 57 (see page 264). The personal dislike of Clodius and the riches of the king were the causes that brought upon him this misfortune.

Middleton's Life of Cicero, 2 vols. 8vo. This work is almost a complete history of Rome during the age of Cicero; for whom the writer discovers an undue partiality.

M. Tullius Cicero, all his Letters translated, in chronological order, and illustrated with notes, by C. M. Wieland. Zurich, 1808. With a preliminary view of the life of Cicero. Of all Germans the writings of Wieland, whether original or translations (and to which can we give the preference?) afford the most lively insight into Greek and Roman antiquity at various periods. What writer has so truly seized its spirit, and placed it so faithfully and elegantly before his readers? His labours on the Letters of Cicero (whose foibles he exposes with a rigorous and unflinching hand) serve to make us much better acquainted with Rome, as it then was, than any Roman history.

Jealousy of the triumvirate.

31. A jealousy arises between the triumvirate, as Cæsar, though absent, still found means to keep up his party at Rome in such watchful activity, that Pompey and Crassus considered it impossible to maintain their own influence, except by procuring such concessions as had been made to him. Harmony once more restored by an accommodation at Lucca, as the parties found it necessary to preserve a good understanding with each other.

The terms of this accommodation were; that Cæsar should have his government prolonged for another five years; and that Pompey and Crassus should enjoy the consulship for the ensuing[Pg 390] year, the former receiving the provinces of Spain and Africa; and the latter that of Syria, for the purpose of carrying on a war against the Parthians. In proportion as these conditions were kept secret, there remained less secrecy respecting the alliance itself.

Second consulate of Pompey and Crassus, 55.

32. Second consulate of Pompey and Crassus. It was only amidst violent storms that they could effect their purposes; as it depended upon which faction should first gain or keep possession of the forum. The resistance they met with from the inflexible disposition of Cato, who in his austere virtue alone found means to secure himself a powerful party, shows how unfairly those judge who consider the power of the triumvirate as unlimited, and the nation as entirely corrupted.

Campaign of Crassus against the Parthians, undertaken at his own expense, 54. Instead, however, of gathering laurels like Cæsar, he and his whole army were completely overthrown in Mesopotamia, 53; and the Parthians from this time maintain a powerful preponderance in Asia (see above, p. 302).

Pompey aspires to become head of the republic;

33. As the triumvirate by this failure of Crassus was reduced to a duumvirate, Pompey (who remained in Rome, and governed his provinces by lieutenants), in the midst of continual domestic broils, which he cunningly took care to foment, was evidently aiming to become the acknowledged head of the senate and republic. The idea that a dictator was necessary prevailed more and more 53. during an anarchy of eight months, in which no appointment of a consul could take place; and notwithstanding the opposition of Cato, Pompey succeeded, after a violent commotion, in which Clodius was murdered by Milo, in getting himself nominated is appointed sole consul, 52. sole consul; a power equal to that of dictator.[Pg 391]

Consulate of Pompey, 52, in which, at the end of seven months, he took as colleague his father-in-law Metellus Scipio. The government of his provinces, which afterwards became the chief seat of the republicans, is prolonged for five years.

Civil war inevitable.

34. From this time civil war became inevitable; for not only the chiefs of the parties, but also their adherents desired it. The approach of the time when Cæsar's command would expire, necessarily hastened the crisis. Could it be supposed that the conqueror of Gaul would return to a private life, and leave his rival at the head of the republic? The steps taken on both sides towards an accommodation were only made to escape the odium which would attach to him who struck the first blow. But Pompey unfortunately could never understand his opponent, who did all himself, all completely, and all alone. The brilliant light in which Pompey now appeared, as defender of the republic, delighted him so much, that it made him forget what belonged to its defence; while Cæsar avoided, with the greatest care, every appearance of usurpation. The friend, the protector of the people against the usurpations of their enemies, was the character which he now chose to assume.

Commencement of the contest upon Cæsar's demand to be allowed to hold the consulship while absent, 52. Cæsar, by the most lavish corruption, had increased his adherents in Rome, gained the tribunes, and among them especially the powerful speaker C. Curio (whom he did not think too dearly purchased at the price of about half a million sterling); by this man it was suggested to Cæsar that he should give up his command, and leave a successor to be appointed in his place, 51, if Pompey would do the same: a proposition which created a prejudice much in his favour. Repeated, but insincere offers of both parties for an accommodation, 50, till at last a decree of the senate[Pg 392] was passed, Jan. 7, 49, by which Cæsar was commanded "to disband his army under the penalty of being declared an enemy to the republic," without regard to the intercessions of the tribunes, whose flight to him gave an appearance of popularity to his party. Cæsar crosses the Rubicon, the boundary of his province.

Civil war between Cæsar and Pompey.

35. The civil war now about to break out, seemed likely to spread over nearly all the countries of the Roman empire; as Pompey, finding it impossible to maintain himself in Italy, had chosen Greece for the principal theatre of the war; while his lieutenants, with the armies under their command, occupied Spain and Africa. Cæsar, by the able disposition of his legions, was everywhere present, without exciting beforehand any suspicion of his movements. A combination of circumstances, however, carried the war into Alexandria, and even as far as Pontus; indeed it might be called rather a series of six successive wars than merely one, all of which Cæsar, by flying with his legions from one quarter of the world to the other, ended, within five years, victoriously and in person.

Rapid occupation of Italy in sixty days (when the troops under Domitius surrendered at Corfinus), which, as well as Sicily and Sardinia, were subdued by Cæsar almost without opposition; Pompey, with his troops and adherents, having crossed over to Greece. Cæsar's first campaign in Spain against Pompey's generals, Afranius and Petreius, whom he forces to surrender; this, however, is counterbalanced by the loss of the legions under Curio in Africa. In December, 49, however, Cæsar is again in Italy, and named dictator, which he exchanges for the consulate. Spirited expedition into Greece with the ships he had been previously collecting together, Jan. 4, 49. Unfortunate engagement at Dyrrachium. Removal of the war into Thessaly, and decisive battle of Pharsalia, July 20, 48, after which Pompey flies to Alexandria, where he is killed on his landing. Cæsar arrives three days after him at Alexandria.

[Pg 393]

Cæsar again dictator.

36. Cæsar, after the victory of Pharsalia, again nominated dictator, with great privileges. The death of Pompey, however, does not destroy his party; and the six months' war of Alexandria, as well as the expedition into Pontus against Pharnaces, gave them time to rally their forces both in Africa under Cato, and in Spain under the sons of Pompey.

During the Alexandrine war (see above, p. 266) and the expedition against Pharnaces, the son of Mithridates,—who had obtained the kingdom of his father, but was slain by Cæsar immediately after his arrival, 47,—great disorders had broken out in Rome, caused by the tribune Dolabella's flattering the people with the abolition of debts (novæ tabulæ), notwithstanding the military power of M. Antony, whom Cæsar had sent to Rome as master of the horse (magister equitum), as this abandoned sensualist at first actually favoured the projects of the tribune. Cæsar's return to Rome, December, 47, put an end, it is true, to these disorders; but the increase of the opposite party in Africa, and an insurrection among his soldiers, obliged him to set out for Africa immediately, January, 46. Victory near Thapsus over Scipio and Juba; after which Cato kills himself at Utica. Numidia, the kingdom of Juba, becomes a Roman province. Cæsar after his return to Rome in June, is only able to stay there four months, as, before the end of the year, he is obliged to set out for Spain to crush the dangerous efforts of Pompey's two sons. Bloody battle at Munda, March, 45, after which Cneius is killed, but Sextus escapes to the Celtiberians.

Enquiry into the views of Cæsar.

37. Nothing seems more evident than that Cæsar did not, like Sylla, overthrow the republic for the purpose of reestablishing it; and it is perhaps impossible to say what could be the final views of a childless usurper, who throughout his whole career, seemed only to be guided by an inordinate ambition, springing from a consciousness of superior powers, and to satisfy which, no means seemed to him difficult or unlawful. The period[Pg 394] of his dictatorship was so short, and so much interrupted by war, that his ultimate plans had not time for their development. He endeavoured to establish his dominion by popular measures; and although his army must still have been his main support, yet no proscription was granted to satisfy it. The reestablishment of order in the distracted country of Italy, and particularly in the capital, was his first care; and he proposed to follow that by an expedition against the powerful Parthian empire. His attempts, however, to obtain the diadem, seemed to place it beyond a doubt that he wished to introduce a formal monarchy. But the destruction of the form of the republic was shown to be more dangerous than the overthrow of the republic itself.

The following were the honours and privileges granted to Cæsar by the senate. After the battle of Pharsalia, 48, he was nominated dictator for one year and consul for five years; and obtained the potestas tribunicia, as well as the right of making war and peace, the exclusive right of the committees, with the exception of the tribunes, and the possession of the provinces. The dictatorship was renewed to him, 47, for ten years, as well as the præfectura morum, and was at last, 145, conferred upon him for ever, with the title of imperator. Although Cæsar thus became absolute master of the republic, it appears to have been done without laying aside the republican forms.

Conspiracy formed against him, 44. by Brutus, Cassius, etc.
His Death, March 15.

38. Conspiracy against Cæsar, formed by Brutus and Cassius, and terminating in the death of Cæsar. Men so exalted as were the chiefs of this plot, easily understand one another; and it was quite in accordance with their character not to meditate upon the consequences of their deed. Cæsar's death was a great misfortune for Rome. Experience soon showed that the republic could[Pg 395] not be reestablished thereby; and his life might probably have spared the state some of those calamities which now, by its change to a monarchy, became unavoidable.

We still want a discriminating life of Cæsar, who in modern times has been as extravagantly praised as Alexander has been unjustly censured. As generals and conquerors, both were equally great—and little; as a man, however, the Macedonian, in the brilliant period of his life, to which Cæsar never attained, was superior; to the great political ideas which developed themselves in Alexander, we know of none corresponding in Cæsar; who knew better than any how to attain dominion, but little of preserving it.

Histoire de la Vie de Jules Cæsar, par M. de Bury, Paris, 1758, 2 vols. 8vo.

Life of C. Julius Cæsar, by A. G. Meissner, continued by J. Ch. L. Haken, 1811, 4 parts. At present the best.

Caius Julius Cæsar, from original sources, by Professor Söltl. A short biography, judiciously executed.

Amnesty declared; but not approved by Antony and Lepidus.

39. Notwithstanding the amnesty at first declared, the funeral obsequies of Cæsar soon showed, that peace was of all things the least desired by his generals, M. Antony and M. Lepidus, now become the head of his party; and the arrival of Cæsar's nephew, C. Octavius (afterwards Cæsar Octavianus), whom he had adopted in his will, rendered affairs still more complicated, as every one strove for himself; Antony's particular object being to raise himself into Cæsar's place. However earnestly they sought to gain the people, it was in fact the legions who decided, and the command of them depended, for the most part, upon the possession of the provinces. We cannot therefore wonder, that while they sought to revenge the murder of Cæsar, this[Pg 396] became the chief cause of the struggle, and in a few months led to a civil war.

At the time of Cæsar's death, M. Antonius was actual consul, and Dolabella consul-elect; M. Lepidus magister equitum (master of the horse); M. Brutus and Cassius, prætors (the first, prætor urbanus). Cæsar had given to the former the province of Macedonia, and to the latter that of Syria, which had been confirmed to them by the senate. M. Lepidus had been nominated to Transalpine, and D. Brutus to Cisalpine Gaul. But soon after the murder of Cæsar, Antony obtained, by a decree of the people, Macedonia for himself, and Syria for his colleague Dolabella, with whom he had formed a close connection; instead of which the senate decreed to Cassius Cyrene, and to Brutus, who now had the important charge of supplying Rome with provisions, Crete. But soon after (June 1, 44), Antony desired, by a new change, to obtain Cisalpine Gaul for himself, and Macedonia for his brother C. Antony, both of which he procured from the people.

Antony endeavours to establish himself in Cisalpine Gaul.

40. As M. Antony sought by force to establish himself in Cisalpine Gaul, and D. Brutus refused to give it up to him, and retired into Mutina, a short, indeed, but very bloody civil war arose, (bellum mutinense.) The eloquence of Cicero had caused Antony to be declared an enemy of the republic; and the two new consuls, Hirtius and Pansa, together with Cæsar Octavianus, were sent against him. The defeat of Antony compelled him to seek refuge beyond the Alps with Lepidus; but the two consuls being slain, Octavianus at the head of his legions was too importunate to be refused the consulship, and soon convinced the defenceless senate, how impossible it was to reestablish the commonwealth by their powerless decrees. The employment, moreover, of the magistratus suffecti, which soon after arose, was in itself a sufficient proof that it was now no[Pg 397] more than the shadow of what it had formerly been.

The Mutine war begins in December, 44, and closes with the defeat of Antony at Mutina, April 14, 43. Octavius obtains the consulate, Sept. 22.

Formation of a triumvirate by C. Octavianus, M. Antony, and Lepidus.

41. Octavianus, deserting the party of the senate, enters into a secret negotiation with Antony and Lepidus; the consequence of which is a meeting of the parties at Bononia, and the formation of a new triumvirate. They declare themselves the chiefs of the republic for five years, under the title of triumviri reipublicæ constituendæ; and dividing the provinces among themselves according to their own pleasure, they make the destruction of the republican party their principal object. A new proscription in Rome itself, and a declaration of war against the murderers of Cæsar, were the means by which they proposed to effect it.

The agreement of the triumvirate was concluded Nov. 27, 43, after which the march of the triumvirs upon Rome gives the signal for the massacre of the proscribed, which soon extends all over Italy, and in which Cicero perishes, Dec. 7. The cause of this new proscription was not party hatred alone, but was as much, perhaps more, owing on the one hand to the want of money for carrying on the war they had undertaken, and on the other to a desire of satisfying the turbulent demands of the legions. Where is to be found a time so full of terror as this, when even tears were forbidden?

Civil war between the oligarchy and republicans.

42. The civil war, now on the eve of breaking out, may be considered therefore as a war between the oligarchy and the defenders of the republic. The Roman world was, as it were, divided between the two; and although the former had possession of Italy, and the western pro[Pg 398]vinces, that advantage seemed counterbalanced to the chiefs of the opposite party by the possession of the eastern countries, and the naval power of Sextus Pompey, which seemed to assure them the dominion of the sea.

M. Brutus had taken possession of his province of Macedonia as early as the autumn of 44; while Cassius, on the contrary, had to contend for that of Syria with Dolabella, who by the murder of the proconsul Trebonius had possessed himself of Asia. Being, however, for this offence, declared an enemy by the senate, and shut up in Laodicea by Cassius, he killed himself, June 5, 43. From this time Brutus and Cassius were masters of all the eastern provinces, at whose expense they maintained their troops, though not without much oppression. S. Pompey, after the victory of Munda, 45, having secreted himself in Spain, and afterwards become a chief of freebooters, had grown very powerful; when the senate, after Cæsar's assassination, having made him commander of the sea-forces, he with them took possession of Spain, and, after the conclusion of the triumvirate, of Sicily, and then, very soon after, of Sardinia and Corsica. It was a great thing for the triumvirate, that C. Pompey did not know how to reap half the profit he might have done from his power and good fortune.

Its seat in Macedonia.

43. Macedonia became the theatre of the new civil war, and together with the goodness of their cause, superior talents, and greater power both by land and sea, seemed combined to ensure the victory to Brutus and Cassius. But in the decisive battle at Philippi, fortune played one of her most capricious tricks, and with the two chiefs fell the last supporters of the republic.

Double battle at Philippi towards the close of the year 42; voluntary death of Cassius after the first, and of Brutus after the second engagement.

Plutarchi Vita Bruti; from the narratives of eyewitnesses.

[Pg 399]

Quarrels of the oligarchy among themselves.

44. The history of the eleven years intervening between the battle of Philippi and that of Actium, is little more than an account of the quarrels of the oligarchy among themselves. The most subtle was, in the end, victorious; for M. Antony possessed all the sensuality of Cæsar, without his genius: and the insignificant Lepidus soon fell a sacrifice to his own vanity and weakness. While Antony went into Asia to arrange the affairs of the eastern provinces, and from thence with Cleopatra to Alexandria, Octavianus returned to Rome. But the famine which then reigned in that city through Pompey's blockade of the seacoast; the misery spread throughout Italy by the wresting of patrimonial lands from the proprietors to distribute among the veterans; and the insatiable covetousness of the latter rendered his situation as dangerous now as it had Fulvia causes a civil war; been before the war. Besides all this, the hatred of the enraged consort of Antony, who had entered into an alliance with her brother-in-law, the consul L. Antony, brought on, towards the end of the year, a civil war, which ended with the surrender and burning of Perusium, in which L. Antony had shut himself up, and which was already much weakened by famine.

The bellum Perusinum lasted from the end of the year 41 till April, 40.


45. This war, however, had nearly led to one still greater; for M. Antony, as the enemy of Octavianus, had come to Italy in order to assist his brother, and with the intention of forming an alliance with S. Pompey against the former. But fortunately for the world, not only was harmony[Pg 400] restored between the triumvirs, but on account of the great famine which prevailed at Rome, a peace was also concluded with Pompey, although it lasted but a very short time.

The principal object of the peace between the triumvirs was a new division of the provinces, by which the city of Scodra in Illyria was fixed upon as the boundary. Antony obtained all the eastern provinces; Octavianus all the western; and Lepidus Africa. Italy remained in common to them all. The marriage of Antony with Octavia, Fulvia being dead, was intended to cement this agreement. In the peace concluded with S. Pompey at Misenum, he obtained the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, and the promise of Achaia.

Pompey recommences the war;
which causes his destruction, 38; and Lepidus's expulsion, 39.

46. Pompey, however, was not long in finding that an alliance between him and the triumvirs would only end in his own destruction; and the war which he soon commenced, and which Octavianus could not bring to a close but with the assistance of Agrippa, was of so much the more importance, as it not only decided the fate of Pompey, but by leading to dissensions, and the expulsion of Lepidus, reduced the triumvirate to a duumvirate.

After a doubtful engagement at sea, 38, and the formation of a new fleet, Pompey was attacked on all sides at the same time; Lepidus coming from Africa, and Antony sending also some ships. Final overthrow of Pompey, who flies to Asia and there perishes.—Lepidus wishing to take possession of Sicily, Octavianus gains over his troops, and obliges him to retire from the triumvirate.

Foreign wars prevent Augustus and Antony from coming to an open rupture.
Antony offends Rome and divorces Octavia, 32.

47. The foreign wars in which Octavianus as well as Antony were engaged in the following years, prevented for some time their mutual jealousy from coming to an open rupture. Octavianus, to tame his unruly legions, employed them [Pg 401]with some success against the nations of Dalmatia and Pannonia; whilst Antony undertook an expedition against the powerful Parthians and their neighbours. But in offending Rome by his conduct in these wars, he only armed his opponent against himself; and his formal separation from Octavia, loosened the only tie which had hitherto held together the two masters of the world.

After his first stay in Alexandria, 41, Antony returned to Italy, 40, and then, having made peace with Octavianus, he carried his new wife Octavia with him into Greece, where he remained till the year 37. Although his lieutenant Ventidius had fought with success against the Parthians, who had invaded Syria (see above, p. 302.), Antony determined to undertake an expedition against them himself, 36. But although in alliance with Artavasdes king of Armenia (whom he soon after accused of treachery), in seeking to effect an entrance into Parthia, by passing through Armenia and Media, a different route from that taken by Crassus, he was very nearly meeting with the same fate, and the expedition completely failed. He then revenged himself upon Artavasdes, who fell into his hands in a fresh expedition which he made, 34, and deprived him of his kingdom. After his triumphal entrance into Alexandria, he made a grant of this as well as other countries to Cleopatra and her children. (See above, p. 267.) In 33, he intended to renew his expedition against the Parthians, in alliance with the king of Media; but having, at the instigation of Cleopatra, ordered Octavia to return home, when she had already come as far as Athens on her way to meet him, Octavianus and Antony reciprocally accused each other before the senate, and war was declared at Rome, though only against Cleopatra.

Greece the seat of war between Antony and Octavianus.
Antony defeated at Actium, 2d. Sept. 31;
his death, 30, leaves Octavianus without a rival.

48. Greece became again the theatre of war; and although the forces of Antony were most considerable, yet Octavianus had the advantage of having, at least in appearance, the better cause. The naval victory of Actium decided for Octavianus, who could scarcely believe it, till he [Pg 402]found that Antony had forsaken his fleet and army, the latter of which surrendered without striking a blow. The capture of Egypt followed, (see above, p. 267.) and that country was reduced to a Roman province; the death of Antony and Cleopatra ended the war, and left Octavianus absolute master of the republic.

The history of the last days of Antony, principally after his decline, having been written under the rule of his enemies, must be received with that mistrust which all such histories require. It has furnished abundant matter for the retailers of anecdote. The history of Cleopatra rests partly on the accounts of her physician Olympus, of which Plutarch made use.



Geographical outline. View of the Roman empire and provinces, and other countries connected with it by war or commerce.

Boundaries of the Roman empire.

The ordinary boundaries of the Roman empire, which, however, it sometimes exceeded, were in Europe the two great rivers of the Rhine and Danube; in Asia, the Euphrates and the sandy desert of Syria; in Africa likewise, the sandy regions. It thus included the fairest portions of the earth, surrounding the Mediterranean sea.[Pg 403]

European countries: Spain.

European countries: I. Spain (Hispania). Boundaries: on the east the Pyrenees, on the south, north, and west, the sea. Principal rivers: the Minius (Minho), Durius (Douro), Tagus (Tejo), Anas (Guadiana), Bætis (Guadalquiver), which flow into the Atlantic; and the Iberus (Ebro), which falls into the Mediterranean. Mountains: besides the Pyrenees, the Idubeda along the Iberus, Orospeda (Sierra Morena). Lusitania. Divided into three provinces. 1. Lusitania: northern boundary the Durius, southern, the Anas. Principal tribes: Lusitani, Turdetani. Principal town: Augusta Emerita. Bætica. 2. Bætica: boundaries on the north and west the Anas, on the east the mountains of Orospeda. Principal tribes: Turduli, Bastuli. Principal towns: Corduba (Cordova), Hispalis (Seville), Gades (Cadiz), Munda. Tarraconensis. 3. Tarraconensis, all the remainder of Spain. Principal tribes: Callæci, Astures, Cantabri, Vascones, in the north; Celtiberi, Carpetani, Ilergetes, in the interior; Indigetes, Cosetani, etc. on the Mediterranean. Chief towns: Tarraco (Tarragona), Cartago Nova (Carthagena), Toletum (Toledo), Ilerda (Lerida); Saguntum and Numantia (Soria) were already destroyed. Balearic isles. The Balearic isles, Major (Majorca), and Minor (Minorca), were considered as belonging to Spain.

Transalpine Gaul:

II. Transalpine Gaul. Boundaries: on the west the Pyrenees; on the east the Rhine, and a line drawn from its source to the little river Varus, together with that river itself; on the north and south the sea. Principal rivers: the Garumna (Garonne), Liger (Loire), Sequana [Pg 404](Seine), and Scaldis (Scheldt), which empty themselves into the ocean; the Rhodanus (Rhone), which is increased by the Arar (Saone), and falls into the Mediterranean; and the Mosella (Moselle) and Mosa (Meuse), which flow into the Rhine. Mountains: besides the Alps, the Jura, Vogesus (Vosge), and Cebenna (Cevennes). Divided into four provinces. Gallia Narbonensis. 1. Gallia Narbonensis, or Braccata. Boundaries: on the west the Pyrenees, on the east the Varus, on the north the Cevennian mountains. Principal tribes: Allobroges, Volcæ, Calyes. Principal towns: Narbo (Narbonne), Tolosa (Toulouse), Nemausus (Nîmes), Massilia (Marseilles), Vienna. Gallia Celtica. 2. Gallia Lugdunensis, or Celtica. Boundaries: to the south and west the Liger (Loire), to the north the Sequana, to the east the Arar. Principal tribes: Ædui, Lingones, Parisii, Cenomani, etc. all of Celtic origin. Principal towns: Lugdunum (Lyons), Lutetia Parisiorum (Paris), Alesia (Alise). Gallia Aquitanica. 3. Gallia Aquitanica. Boundaries: the Pyrenees on the south, the Liger on the north and east. Principal tribes: Aquitani (of Iberian origin), Pictones, Averni, etc. of Celtic descent. Principal towns: Climberis, Burdegala (Bourdeaux). Gallia Belgica. 4. Gallia Belgica. Boundaries: on the north and east the Rhine, on the west the Arar, on the south the Rhodanus as far as Lugdunum, so that it comprised at first the countries bordering on the Rhine and Helvetia. The latter, however, were afterwards separated from it under the names of Germania Inferior and Superior. Principal tribes: Nervii, Bellovaci, etc. in the north, of Belgic origin; Treviri, Ubii, of Ger[Pg 405]man origin; Sequani, Helvetii, in the interior, of Celtic origin. Principal towns: Vesentio (Besançon), Verodunum (Verdun), etc. Along the Rhine in Germania Inferior: Colonia Agrippina (Cologne). In Germania Superior: Mogontiacum (Mayence, or Mentz), and Argentoratum (Strasburg).

Cisalpine Gaul.

III. Gallia Cisalpina, or Togata (Lombardy, see above, p. 315). But as from the time of Cæsar the inhabitants enjoyed all the privileges of Roman citizens, it may be reckoned as forming part of Italy.


IV. Sicilia; divided into Syracuse and Lilybæum.

Sardinia, Corsica.

V. Sardinia and Corsica, see above, p. 320.

British islands.

VI. The Insulæ Britannicæ (British islands); but of these, only England and the southern part of Scotland were reduced into a Roman province in the time of Nero, under the name of Britannia Romana. Principal rivers: Tamesis (Thames) and Sabrina (Severn). Cities: Eboracum (York) in the north, Londinum (London) in the south. Into Scotland, Britannia Barbaria, or Caledonia, the Romans often penetrated, but without being ably completely to conquer it; and as for Hibernia, Ierne (Ireland), it was visited by Roman merchants, but never by Roman legions.

Countries south of the Danube: Vindelicia.

VII. The countries south of the Danube, which were subdued under Augustus and formed into the following provinces: 1. Vindelicia. Boundaries: on the north the Danube, on the east the Ænus (Inn), on the west Helvetia, on the south Rhætia. Principal tribes: Vindelici, Brigantii, etc. Principal towns: Augusta Vin[Pg 406]delicorum (Augsburg), Brigantia (Bregenz). Rhætia. 2. Rhætia. Boundaries: on the north Vindelicia, on the east the Inn and the Salza, on the south the chain of the Alps from Lacus Verbanus (Lago Maggiore) to Belinzona, on the west Helvetia. Principal tribe: Rhæti. Principal towns: Curia (Chur), Veldidena (Wilden), Tridentum (Trent). Noricum. 3. Noricum. Boundaries: on the north the Danube, on the west the Ænus, on the east the mountain Cetius (Kahlenberg), and on the south the Julian Alps and the Savus (Save). Principal tribes: Boii. Cities: Jovavum (Salzburg), Boiodurum (Passau). Pannonia Superior. 4. Pannonia Superior. Boundaries: on the north and east the Danube, on the south the Arrabo (Raab), on the west the mountain Cetius. Cities: Vindobona (Vienna), Caruntum. Pannonia Inferior. 5. Pannonia Inferior. Boundaries: on the north the Arrabo, on the east the Danube, on the south the Savus. Cities: Taurunum (Belgrade), Mursa (Esseg), and Sirmium. Mœsia Superior. 6. Mœsia Superior. Boundaries: on the north the Danube, on the south Mount Scardus, or Scodrus, on the west Pannonia, on the east the river Cebrus (Ischia). Cities: Singidunum (Semlin), and Naissus (Nissa). Mœsia Inferior. 7. Mœsia Inferior. Boundaries: on the north the Danube, on the west the Cebrus, on the south mount Hæmus (the Balkan), and on the east the Pontus Euxinus. Cities: Odessus (Varna), Tomi (Tomisvar).


VIII. Illyricum, in its most extensive signification, comprised all the provinces south of the Danube, together with Rhætia and Dalmatia: but Illyricum Proper comprehends only the lands along the coast of the Adriatic, from Rhætia in[Pg 407] Italy to the river Drinus, and easterly to the Savus. Principal towns: Salona, Epidaurus (near the present Ragusa), Scodra (Scutari).


IX. Macedonia. Boundaries: on the north mount Scodrus, on the south the Cambunian mountains, on the west the Adriatic, and on the east the Ægean sea. Rivers: the Nestus, Strymon, and Halyacmon, which fall into the Ægean sea, and the Apsus and Aöus, which fall into the Adriatic. Principal tribes: Pæones in the north, Pieres and Mygdones in the south. Principal towns: Pydna, Pella, Thessalonica, Philippi, with other Greek colonies (see above, p. 164). Dyrrachium and Apollonia on the western coast.


X. Thrace had for some time kings of her own, though dependent on Rome, and was first reduced to a Roman province under Claudius. Boundaries: on the north Mount Hæmus, on the west the Nestus, on the south and east the sea. River: Hebrus. Principal tribes: Triballi, Bessi, and Odrysæ. Cities: Byzantium, Apollonia, Berœa.


XI. Achaia (Greece), see above, p. 131.


XII. To the north of the Danube the province of Dacia was brought under the Roman empire by Trajan. Boundaries: on the south the Danube, on the west the Tibiscus (Theiss), in the east the Hierasus (Pruth), in the north the Carpathian mountains. Principal tribe: Daci. Chief cities; Ulpia Trajana and Tibiscum.

Asiatic provinces. Asia Minor.

Asiatic provinces: I. Asia Minor contained the provinces: 1. Asia (see above, p. 293). 2. Bithynia, together with Paphlagonia and part of Pontus. 3. Cilicia, with Pisidia (see above, [Pg 408]p. 18.) Syria. Isle of Cyprus. II. Syria and Phœnicia. III. The isle of Cyprus. Several other states, likewise dependent, still preserved their kings: as, Judæa (became a Roman province, A. D. 44.), Commagene (province A. D. 70, and, together with Judæa, added to Syria), Cappadocia (province A. D. 17), Pontus (completely a province under Nero). Free states. Free states at this time: Rhodes, Samos (provinces A. D. 70), and Lycia (province A. D. 43). Beyond the Euphrates, Armenia and Mesopotamia were reduced to provinces by Trajan, but, as early as the time of Adrian, were abandoned.

African provinces. Egypt. Cyrenaica. Africa. Mauritania.

African provinces. I. Egypt. II. Cyrenaica, with the isle of Crete. III. Africa, Numidia (see above, p. 47). Mauritania still had its separate king, but he was set aside, A. D. 41, and the country divided into two provinces: 1. Mauritania Cæsariensis. Boundaries: on the east the river Ampsaga, on the west the Mulucha. Principal places: Igilgilis and Cæsaria. 2. Mauritania Tingitana, from the river Mulucha to the Atlantic ocean. Capital: Tingis.

States on the borders. Germany.

Principal states on the borders of the empire: I. Germania. Boundaries: on the south the Danube, on the north the sea, on the west the Rhine, on the east undetermined, though the Vistula is generally regarded as such. Principal rivers: the Danubius, Rhenus (Rhine), Albis (Elbe), Visurgis (Weser), Viadrus (Oder), and the Vistula; the Lupias (Lippe) and Amisia (Ems) are likewise frequently mentioned. Mountains and forests: the Hercynian forest, a general name for the forest mountains, particularly of eastern Ger[Pg 409]many. Melibocus (the Hartz), Sudetus (the Thuringian forest); the forest of Teutoburg, to the south of Westphalia, etc. It would be useless to seek for a general political division, or for the cities, of ancient Germany; we can only point out the situation of the principal tribes. It is necessary, however, to precede this by two observations: 1. The same territory, in the tide of forcible emigration and conquest, and particularly after the second century, often changed its inhabitants. 2. The names of some of the principal tribes often became that of a confederacy. The principal tribes in the period of Augustus were, in northern Germany; the Batavi in Holland; the Frisii in Friesland; the Bructeri in Westphalia; the lesser and larger Chauci in Oldenburg and Bremen; the Cherusci, likewise the name of a confederation, in Brunswick; the Catti in Hesse. In southern (central) Germany: the Hermunduri in Franconia; the Marcomanni in Bohemia. Alemanni. The Alemanni, not the name of a single tribe, but of a confederation, are first mentioned in the third century: in the period of Augustus these tribes, and the principal of those of eastern Germany, which gradually became known, were included under the general name of Suevi. Suevi.


The northernmost countries of Europe were considered as isles of the German ocean, and therefore regarded as belonging to Germany. They were Scandinavia, or Scandia (southern Sweden), Nerigon (Norway), and Eningia, or probably Finningia (Finland). The northernmost island was called Thule.[Pg 410]


The north of Europe, from the Vistula to the Tanais (Don), was comprised under the general name of Sarmatia; but beyond the territory about the Danube, and especially Dacia (see above, p. 407), they were only in a slight degree acquainted with the coast of the Baltic, by the amber trade.


In Asia the Roman empire was bounded by Great Armenia (see above, p. 19, and 299), the Parthian empire from the Euphrates to the Indus (see above, p. 19—22), and the peninsula of Arabia (see above, p. 19).


Eastern Asia, or India, became known to the Romans by a commercial intercourse carried on between them, and which began soon after the conquest of Egypt. It was divided into India on this side the Ganges, that is: 1. The territory between the Indus and Ganges; 2. The peninsula on this side, the western coast of which in particular (Malabar), was very well known; and, 3. The island of Taprobana (Ceylon), and India beyond the Ganges, to which also the distant Serica belonged: but of all these countries they had but a very imperfect knowledge.


The boundaries of Africa were Æthiopia above Egypt, and Gætulia and the great sandy desert of Libya, above the other provinces.

[Pg 411]


From Augustus Cæsar to the death of Commodus, B. C. 30. A. C. 193.

Sources. For the whole of this period Dion Cassius, lib. li—lxxx, is our historian; though of his last twenty books we have only the abridgment of Xiphilinus. For the history of the emperors from Tiberius to the beginning of Vespasian's reign, the principal writer is Tacitus, in his Annals, A. C. 14—63; (of which, however, part of the history of Tiberius, 32—34, all of Caligula and the first six years of Claudius, 37—47, as well as the last year and a half of Nero, are unfortunately lost); and in his History, of which scarcely the first three years, 69—71, are come down to us. Suetonius's Lives of the Cæsars, down to Domitian, are so much the more valuable, because in a state like the Roman it becomes of importance to know the character and domestic life of the ruling men. For the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius the History of Velleius Paterculus is not of less consequence, although written in a court-like tone. The sources for the history of the separate Cæsars will be given as we come to them.

The following are the labours of modern writers:

Histoire des Empereurs et des autres Princes qui ont régné dans les six premiers siècles de l'Eglise, par M. Lenain de Tillemont. à Bruxelle, 1707, 5 vols. 8vo. (An earlier edition in 4to. 1700, 4 vols.) The work of Tillemont has some worth as a laborious compilation, but is superseded in its execution by the following:

Histoire des Empereurs Romains, depuis Auguste jusqu' à Constantin, par M. Crevier. Paris, 1749, 12 vols. 8vo. [Translated into English.] A continuation of Rollin's Roman History (see above, p. 318), quite in the spirit of that writer, and by one of his school.

Dr. Goldsmith's Roman History, from the foundation of the city of Rome to the destruction of the western empire. London, 1774, 2 vols. 8vo. Rather a sketch than a detailed history (see above, p. 321, sqq.).

[Pg 412]

History of Rome under the Emperors, and of the contemporary nations, by M. D. G. H. Hubler. Fryburg, 1803, 3 parts. Continuation of the work cited p. 2: it reaches down to Constantine.

Augustus Cæsar B. C. 30—A. C. 14.

1. Octavianus Cæsar, on whom the senate conferred the honourable title of Augustus, which they periodically renewed, and which descended to his successors, possessed the sole dominion of the empire during forty-four years. The government, notwithstanding the great revolutions by which the republic had been converted into a monarchy, was not yet, either in fact or in form, altogether a despotic one. The private interest of the ruler required that the republican form should be preserved to the utmost, as without that he could not make an entire change; and the rest of his history sufficiently shows, that the cruelty with which he may be reproached in the early part of his career, was rather owing to circumstances than to his natural disposition. But during a reign so long, so tranquil, and so fortunate, could it be otherwise than that the republican spirit which at the beginning existed only in a few individuals, should evaporate of itself!

The forms under which Augustus held the different branches of supreme power (dictatorship excepted) were;—the consulate, which, till B. C. 21, was annually renewed; and the potestas consularis, which, in B. C. 19, was settled on him for ever;—the tribunicia potestas, which was, 30, granted him for ever, rendered his person sacred (sacrosancta), and prepared the way to the judicia majestatis (accusations of high treason). As imperator, 31, he continued commander of all the forces, and obtained the imperium proconsulare (proconsular power) in all the provinces. He assumed the magistratura morum (censorship), 19; and became pontifex maximus (high priest), 13. To avoid[Pg 413] all appearances of usurpation, Augustus at first accepted the sovereign power only for ten years, and afterwards had it renewed from time to time, for ten or five years, which, at a later period, gave rise to the sacra decennalia.

The senate.

2. The senate, indeed, remained a permanent council of state, and Augustus himself endeavoured to increase its authority by more than one purification (lectio); but the connection between him and that assembly seemed of a very fragile nature, as it was undetermined, and could not at this time be settled, whether Augustus was over the senate, or the senate over Augustus. All matters of state could not be brought before the senate, as even the most important often required secrecy. It naturally followed, that a prince, as yet without a court, and who had no proper minister, but only his friends and freedmen, should consult with those whom he thought most worthy his confidence, a Mæcenas, or an Agrippa, etc. Hence afterwards was formed the secret council of state (consilium secretum principis). Among the republican magistrates the highest lost most; and as so much now depended upon the preservation of peace in the capital, the offices of præfect of the city (præfectus urbis) and præfect of provisions (præfectus annonæ) were not only made permanent, but became, especially the former, the principal offices in the state.

The spirit of monarchy shows itself in nothing more than in its strict distinction of ranks; hence, therefore, the magistrates, especially the consuls, lost nothing. Hence also the long-continued custom of nominating under-consuls (consules suffecti,) which in time became merely a formal assumption of the ornamenta consularia et triumphalia (consular and triumphal ornaments). Other offices were created for the purpose of rewarding friends and dependents.

[Pg 414]

Introduction of standing armies.

3. The introduction of standing armies, already long prepared, naturally followed a dominion acquired by war; and became, indeed, necessary to guard the frontiers and preserve the newly-made conquests; the establishment of the guards and militia of the city (cohortes prætorianæ and cohortes urbanæ) were measures equally necessary for the security of the capital and the throne. The creation of two prætorian præfects, however, instead of one, diminished for the present the great importance of that office.

Distribution of the legions over the provinces in castra stativa (fixed camps), which soon grew into cities, especially along the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates (legiones Germanicæ, Illyricæ, et Syriacæ). Fleets also were stationed at Misenum and Ravenna.

The provinces divided between the emperor and the senate.

4. The government, as well as the administration and revenue of the provinces, Augustus willingly divided with the senate; keeping to himself those on the frontiers (provinciæ principis,) in which the legions were quartered, and leaving to that assembly the others (provinciæ senatûs). Hence his deputies (legati, lieutenants) exercised both civil and military authority in his name; while those of the senate, on the contrary (proconsules), only administered in civil affairs. Both were, in general, attended by commissioners (procuratores et quæstores). The provinces were unquestionably gainers by this new arrangement, not only because their governors were more carefully looked after, but because they were paid by the state.

The fate of the provinces naturally depended, in a great degree, upon the disposition of the emperor and governor; but there was also an essential difference between the provinces of the emperor[Pg 415] and those of the senate (provinciæ principis et senatûs): in the latter there was no military oppression as there was in the former; and to that may be ascribed the flourishing state of Gaul, Spain, Africa, etc.

the private and military chest of the emperor; the state chest
swallowed up by the former.

5. There is little doubt but that the finances of the treasury remained, upon the whole, much the same as before; but in its internal administration Augustus made many alterations, of which we have but a very imperfect knowledge. Of course there would be at first an obvious difference between the privy and military chest of the emperor (fiscus), which was at his immediate disposal, and the state chest (ærarium) which he disposed of indirectly through the senate, though it must afterwards follow as a natural consequence of increasing despotism, that the latter should progressively become merged in the former.

The great disorder into which the treasury had been thrown during the civil wars, and especially by giving away the state lands in Italy to the soldiers, together with the heavy sums required for the maintenance of the standing army now established, must have rendered it much more difficult for Augustus to accomplish the reform he so happily executed; and in which it seems to have been his chief aim to place everything, as far as possible, upon a solid and lasting foundation. The principal changes which he made in the old system of taxation seem to have been: 1. That the tithes hitherto collected in the provinces should be changed into a fixed quota, to be paid by each individual. 2. The customs, partly by reestablishing former ones, and partly by imposing new ones as well as an excise (centesima rerum venalium), were rendered more productive. The possession of Egypt, which was the depôt of nearly all the commerce of the east, rendered the customs at this time of great importance to Rome. 3. All the state lands in the provinces were, by degrees, changed into crown lands. Of the new taxes the most considerable were the vigesima hereditatum (the twentieth of inheritances), though with important restrictions; and the fines[Pg 416] upon celibacy by the lex Julia Poppæa.—The greater part of these state revenues most likely flowed, from the very first, into the fiscus: that is, the whole revenues of the provinciæ principis, as well as of those parts of the provinciæ senatûs which were appropriated to the maintenance of the troops; the revenues arising from the crown domains; the vigesima, etc. To the ærarium (now under three præfecti ærarii) remained a part of the revenues of the provinciæ senatûs, the customs and the fines. Thus it appears that Augustus was master of the finances, of the legions, and thereby of the empire.

See above, p. 362, the writings of Hegewisch and Bosse.

Extension of the empire:
Spain and Gaul, 25.
Countries south of the Danube, 15—35.

6. The extension of the Roman empire under Augustus was very considerable; being generally of such a nature as conduced to the security of the interior, and to the safeguard of the frontiers. The complete subjugation of northern Spain, and western Gaul, secured the frontiers on that side; as did the threatened but never-executed expedition against the Parthians, and the one actually undertaken against Armenia, A. C. 2. But the most important conquest in this quarter was that of the countries south of the Danube, viz. Rhætia, Vindelicia, and Noricum, as well as Pannonia, and afterwards Mœsia. To counterbalance these, the expedition against Arabia Felix completely failed; and that against Æthiopia was of no further consequence than to strengthen the frontiers.

7. All these conquests together, however, did not cost the Romans so much as their fruitless attempt to subjugate Germany, first, by the sons-in-law of Augustus, Drusus and Tiberius Nero, and afterwards by the son of the former, Drusus Unsuccessful attempt to subdue Germany. Germanicus. Whether or not this undertaking was a political fault, must always remain a problem, as it is now impossible to say how far[Pg 417] the security of the frontiers could be preserved without it.

Rome commenced her hostile attack upon Germany under the command of Drusus, B. C. 12; Lower Germany (Westphalia, Lower Saxony, and Hesse) being in general the theatre of the war: while the Lower Rhine was attacked both by sea and land at the mouths of the Ems, the Weser, and the Elbe, on account of the great assistance afforded the Romans by their alliance with the nations on the coasts, the Batavi, Frisii, and Chauci. The intrepid Drusus, in his second expedition, 10, penetrated as far as the Weser, and, 9, even as far as the Elbe, but died on his return. His successors in the command (Tiberius, 9—7, Domitius, Ænobarbus, 7—2, M. Vinicius, 2—A. C. 2, then again Tiberius, A. C. 2—4, who was followed by Quintilius Varus, A. C. 5—9,) endeavoured to build on the foundation laid by Drusus, and, by erecting forts and introducing the Roman language and laws, gradually to reduce into a province the part of Germany they had already subdued; but the craftily organized revolt of the young Arminius (Hermann,) a prince of the Cherusci, son of Siegmar, and son-in-law of Segestes, a friend of the Romans, together with the defeat of Varus and his army in the Teutoburg wald, or forest, near Paderborn, A. C. 9, rescued Germany from slavery, and its language from annihilation. It moreover taught the conquerors (what they never forgot) that the legions were not invincible. Augustus immediately despatched Tiberius, who had just quelled a furious insurrection in Pannonia, together with Germanicus, to the Rhine; but these confined themselves to simple incursions, till Germanicus, A. C. 14—16, again carried his arms further into the country, and certainly penetrated as far as the Weser. Yet, notwithstanding his victory near Idistavisus (Minden), the loss of his fleet and part of his army by a tempest on his return, and the jealousy of Tiberius at his victory, obliged him to give up his command. From this time the Germans were left at rest in this quarter.

Mannert, Geography of the Greeks and Romans, part iii.

Reign of Augustus, a brilliant period for Rome.

8. The long, and for Italy itself, peaceable reign of Augustus, has generally been considered a fortunate and brilliant period of Roman history; and, when compared with the times which pre[Pg 418]ceded and followed, it certainly was so. Security of person and property were reestablished; the arts of peace flourished under the benign patronage of Augustus and his favourite Mæcenas; and we may add, that, as the formal restoration of the republic would only have been the signal for new commotions, the government of Augustus, if not the very best, was, at least, the best that Rome could then bear. Should it be said his private life was not blameless, it may be replied, that he inflexibly maintained an outward decency, to which, indeed, he sacrificed his only daughter; and if laws could have bettered the public morals, there was no lack of decrees for that purpose.

Among his most important laws to this end are, the lex Julia de adulteriis and the lex Papia Poppæa against celibacy. The latter excited many murmurs.

Augustus's family.
B. C. 23.
Julia married to Agrippa, 17.
6—A. C. 9.
A. C. 2.
Tiberius adopted by Augustus 4.

9. Nearly all that remains of the history of Augustus, is an account of his domestic troubles; the most unhappy family being that of the emperor. The influence of Livia, his second wife, was very great, but does not seem to have been perverted to any worse purpose than raising her sons, Tiberius and Drusus, to the throne. The naturally unsettled state of the succession, in a government such as that of Rome now was, became much increased by circumstances. After the untimely death of his nephew and son-in-law Marcellus, whom he had adopted, his widow Julia, the only child of Augustus by his wife Scribonia, was married to Agrippa. The two eldest sons of this marriage, C. and L. Cæsar, were adopted, upon the death of their father, by the emperor, who showed so much fondness towards them as [Pg 419]they grew up, that Tiberius, who in the mean time had married their mother, Julia,—afterwards banished by Augustus for her licentious conduct—left the court in disgust. The death of the two young princes, however, again revived the hopes of Tiberius, who was adopted by Augustus upon the condition that he should also adopt Drusus Germanicus, the son of his deceased brother Drusus; after which Augustus, with the consent of the senate, formally associated him with himself in the government, making him an equal partner in the imperial privileges: called by his successors, lex regia.

Marmor Ancyranum; or, inscriptions in the temple of Augustus at Ancyra. A copy of the account given of his government, which Augustus latterly caused to be set up at Rome as a public memorial: unfortunately much mutilated. It is to be found in Chishull, Antiq. Asiatic.

Memoirs of the Court of Augustus, by Thomas Blackwell. London, 1760, 3 vols. 4to. divided into fifteen books. The last vol. was published after the death of the author, by Mr. Mills. The last two books of this prolix work contain a description of the contemporary affairs of Augustus; the others go back to earlier times. A just appreciation of Augustus requires a previous critical examination of the sources from which Suetonius has drawn the materials for his biography.

Histoire des triumvirats augmentée de l'histoire d'Auguste, par Larry. Trevoux, 1741, 4 parts, 8vo. The last part of this simple narrative contains the history of Augustus from the death of Catiline.

August 14, 19—March 16, 37.
Changes in the constitution:
power of the comitia reduced;
despotism introduced by the judicia majestatis;
degraded character of the senate.

10. The reign of Tiberius Claudius Nero, or, as he was called after his adoption, Augustus Tiberius Cæsar, from his fifty-sixth to his seventy-eighth year, changed rather the spirit than the form of the Roman constitution. He succeeded quietly to the vacant throne at Rome, although the legions [Pg 420]in Pannonia, and still more in Germany, felt that they could make emperors. Under him the comitia, or assemblies of the people, were reduced to a mere shadow; as he transferred their duties to the senate, which also became the highest tribunal for the state crimes of its own members: this assembly, however, had now been so much accustomed to obey the will of the prince, that everything depended on his personal character. Tiberius founded his despotism upon the judicia majestatis, or accusations of high treason, now become an engine of terror, the senate also sharing his guilt with a pusillanimity and servility which knew no bounds. This degraded assembly, indeed, from the moment that it ceased to be the ruling authority of a free state, necessarily became the passive instrument of the most brutal tyranny. Notwithstanding the military talents and many good qualities of Tiberius, his despotic character had been formed long before his fifty-sixth year, when he mounted the throne; although exterior circumstances prevented him from entirely throwing off the mask which he had hitherto worn.

The foundation of the judicia majestatis, which soon became so terrible by the unfixed state of crime, had been laid during the reign of Augustus by the lex Julia de majestate, and the cognitiones extraordinariæ, or commissioners appointed to take cognizance of certain crimes; it was, however, the abuse of them by Tiberius and his successors, which rendered them so dreadful.

Ruin of Germanicus and his family.

12. The principal object of Tiberius's suspicion, and therefore of his hate, was Germanicus, a man almost adored by the army and the people. This brave general he soon recalled from Ger[Pg 421]many, and sent into Syria to quell the disorders of the east. After having successfully put an end to the commotions which called him there, he A. C. 19. was poisoned by the contrivances of Cn. Piso and his wife; and even that did not shelter the numerous family which he left behind, with his widow Agrippina, from persecution and ruin.

The expeditions of Germanicus in the east not only gave a king to Armenia, but also reduced Cappadocia and Commagene to Roman provinces, A. C. 17.

Histoire de Cæsar Germanicus, par M. L. D. B. [EAUFORT]. à Leyden, 1741. An unpretending chronological narrative.

L. Ælius Sejanus, the cruel minister of Tiberius;
Tiberius retires to Capreæ, 26.
Fall of Sejanus attended with great carnage, 31.
Tiberius becomes a despotic monster.

13. Rome, however, soon experienced to her cost the powerful ascendancy which L. Ælius Sejanus, the præfect of the prætorian guard, had acquired over the mind of Tiberius, whose unlimited confidence he possessed the more, as he enjoyed it without a rival. The eight years of his authority were rendered terrible not only by the cantonment of his troops in barracks near the city (castra prætoriana), but (having first persuaded Tiberius to quit Rome for ever, that he might more securely play the tyrant in the isle of Capreæ) by his endeavouring to open a way for himself to the throne by villanies and crimes without number, and by his cruel persecution of the family of Germanicus. The despotism he had introduced became still more dreadful by his own fall, in which not only his whole party, but every one that could be considered as connected with it, became involved. The picture of the atrocious despotism of Tiberius is rendered doubly disgusting by the horrid and unnatural lust which he joined to it in his old age.[Pg 422]

Tiberius's misfortune was, that he came too late to the throne. His early virtues made no compensation for his later cruelties. It is properly the former which Vel. Paterculus praises, whose flattery of Tiberius, in whose reign he flourished, is more easily justified than his praise of Sejanus.

Caligula, March 16, 37—Jan. 24, 41.

14. At the age of twenty-five Caius Cæsar Caligula, the only remaining son of Germanicus, ascended the throne; but the hopes which had been formed of this young prince were soon wofully disappointed. His previous sickness and debaucheries had so distorted his understanding, that his short reign was one tissue of disorder and crime. Yet he did still more harm to the state by his besotted profusion than by his tiger-like cruelty. At length, after a career of nearly four years, he was assassinated by Cassius Chærea and Cornelius Sabinus, two officers of his guard.

Claudius, Jan. 24, 21—Oct. 13, 54.
the weak tool of his wives and freedmen.
Agrippina procures the throne for her son, with the assistance of Burrhus, and
poisons Claudius, 54.

15. His uncle Tiberius Claudius Cæsar, who, at the age of fifty, succeeded him, was the first emperor raised to the throne by the guards; a favour which he rewarded by granting them a donative. Too weak to rule of himself, almost imbecile from former neglect, profligate, and cruel from fear, he became the tool of the licentiousness of his wives and freedmen. Coupled with the names of Messalina and Agrippina, we now hear, for the first time in Roman history, of a Pallas and a Narcissus. The dominion of Messalina was still more hurtful to the state by her rapacious cupidity, to which everything gave way, than by her dissolute life; and the blow which at last punished her unexampled wantonness, left a still more dangerous woman to supply [Pg 423]her place. This was Agrippina, her neice, widow of L. Domitius, who joined to the vices of her predecessor a boundless ambition, unknown to the former. Her chief aim was to procure the succession for Domitius Nero, her son by a former marriage—who had been adopted by Claudius, and married to his daughter Octavia—by setting aside Britannicus, the son of Claudius; and this she hoped to effect, by poisoning Claudius, having already gained Burrhus, by making him sole præfect of the prætorian guard. Notwithstanding the contentions with the Germans and Parthians (see above, p. 303) were only on the frontiers, the boundaries of the Roman empire were in many countries extended.

Commencement of the Roman conquests in Britain (whither Claudius himself went) under A. Plautius, from the year A. C. 43. Under the same general, Mauritania, A. C. 42, Lycia, 43, Judæa, 44 (see above, p. 312), and Thrace, 47, were reduced to Roman provinces. He also abolished the præfectures which had hitherto existed in Italy.

Nero, Oct. 13, 54—June 11, 68.
His education and character.

16. Nero Claudius Cæsar, supported by Agrippina and the prætorian guard, succeeded Claudius at the age of seventeen. Brought up in the midst of the blackest crimes, and, by a perverted education, formed rather for a professor of music and the fine arts than for an emperor, he ascended the throne like a youth eager for enjoyment; and throughout his whole reign his cruelty appears subordinate to his fondness for debaucheries and revelry. The unsettled state of the succession first called into action his savage disposition; and after the murder of Britannicus the sword fell Destroys Britannicus and all the Julian family: his vanity also makes him cruel. in regular order upon all those who were even [Pg 424]remotely connected with the Julian family. His vanity as a performer and composer excited in an equal degree his cruelty; and as, among all tyrants, every execution gives occasion for others, we need not wonder at his putting to death every one that excelled him. His connection, however, in the early part of his reign, with Agrippina, Burrhus, and Seneca, during which he introduced some useful regulations into the treasury, kept him within the bounds of decency. But Poppæa Sabina having driven him on to murders his wife and mother; the murder of his mother and his wife Octavia, and Tigellinus being made his confident, he felt no longer restrained by the fear of public opinion. The executions of individuals, nearly all of which history has recorded, was not, perhaps, upon the whole, the greatest evil; plunders the provinces to support his profligacy. the plunder of the provinces, not only to support his own loose and effeminate pleasures, but also to maintain the people in a continual state of intoxication, had nearly caused the dissolution of the empire. The last years of Nero were marked by a striking and undoubted insanity, which displayed itself in his theatrical performances, and even in the history of his fall. A. C. 68. It appears that both around and upon a throne like that of Rome, heroes were formed for vice as well as virtue!

Discovery of the conspiracy of Piso, 65, and the revolt of Julius Vindex in Celtic Gaul, 68, followed by that of Galba in Spain, who is there proclaimed emperor, and joined by Otho, in Lusitania. Nevertheless, after the defeat of Julius Vindex in Upper Germany, by the lieutenant Virginius Rufus, these insurrections seemed quelled, when the prætorian guard, instigated thereto by Nymphidius, broke out into rebellion in Rome itself. Flight and death of Nero, June 11, 68. Foreign wars during[Pg 425] his reign: in Britain (occasioned by the revolt of Boadicea), great part of which was subdued and reduced to a Roman province, by Suetonius Paulinus; in Armenia, under the command of the valiant Corbulo, against the Parthians (see above, p. 303); and in Palestine against the Jews, 66. Great fire in Rome, 64, which gives rise to the first persecution against the Christians.

The principal cause why the despotism of Nero and his predecessors was so tamely submitted to by the nation, may undoubtedly be found in the fact, that the greater part of it was fed by the emperors. To the monthly distributions of corn were now added the extraordinary congiaria and viscerationes (supplies of wine and meat). The periods of tyranny were very likely the golden days of the people.

Extinction of the Julian family causes many troubles.

17. By the death of Nero the house of Cæsar became extinct, and this gave rise to so many commotions, that in somewhat less than two years, four emperors by violence obtained possession of the throne. The right of the senate to name, or at least to confirm, the successors to the throne, was still indeed acknowledged; but as the armies had found out that they could create emperors, the power of the senate dwindled into an empty ceremony. Galba, June 11, 68—Jan. 15, 69. Servius Sulpicius Galba, now seventy-two years of age, having been already proclaimed emperor by the legions in Spain, and acknowledged by the senate, gained possession of Rome without striking a blow, the attempt of Nymphidius having completely failed, and Virginius Rufus voluntarily submitting to him. Galba, however, having given offence both to the killed by the prætorian guard. prætorian guard and the German legions, was dethroned by the guards, at the instigation of his former friend Otho, at the very time when he thought he had secured his throne by adopting[Pg 426] the young Licinius Piso, and had frustrated the hopes of Otho.

Otho, Jan. 69—April 16.

18. M. Otho, aged thirty-seven, was indeed acknowledged emperor by the senate, but wanted the sanction of the German legions, who, proclaiming their general, A. Vitellius, emperor, invaded Italy. Otho marches against him, but after the loss of the battle of Bedriacum kills himself—whether from fear or patriotism, remains uncertain.

The special sources for the history of Galba and Otho, are their Lives by Plutarch.

Vitellius, April 16, Dec. 20, 69.

19. Vitellius, in his thirty-seventh year, was acknowledged emperor not only by the senate, but likewise in the provinces; his debaucheries and cruelty, however, together with the licentiousness of his troops, having rendered him odious at Rome, the Syrian legions rebelled and proclaimed their general, Vespasian proclaimed emperor. T. Flavius Vespasian, emperor, who, at the solicitation of the powerful Mutianus, governor of Syria, accepted the imperial diadem. The troops on the Danube declaring for him shortly after, and marching into Italy under their general Antonius Primus defeated the army of Vitellius at Cremona. Vitellius was immediately hurled from the throne, though not till after some blood had been spilt by the commotions that took place at Rome, in which Flavius Sabinus, the brother of Vespasian, was slain, and the capitol burnt.

Vespasian, Dec. 20, 69—June 24, 79.

20. Flavius Vespasian ascended the throne in his fifty-ninth year, and became thereby the founder of a dynasty which gave three emperors to Rome. The state, almost ruined by profusion, [Pg 427]civil war, and successive revolutions, found in Vespasian a monarch well suited to its unhappy condition. He endeavoured, as far as he could, to determine the relations between Fixes the power of the senate; himself and the senate; while, by a decree, he restored to it all the rights and privileges which had been conferred upon it by his predecessors of the family of Cæsar, and settled and added some others (lex regia). He made a thorough reform in the improves the treasury; completely-exhausted treasury, which he recruited in part by reducing the countries Nero had made free, together with some others, into provinces; partly by restoring the ancient customs, by increasing others, and by imposing new ones: without this it would have been impossible for him to have reestablished the discipline of the army. founds public buildings, and promotes education; banishes the Stoics; His liberality in the foundation of public buildings, as well in Rome as in other cities; and the care with which he promoted education, by granting salaries to public teachers, are sufficient to free him from the reproach of avarice; and although, on account of their dangerous opinions, he banished the Stoics (who since the time of Nero had become very numerous, and retained nearly all the principles of republicanism), the annulling of the and annuls the judicia majestatis. judicia majestatis and the restoration of the authority of the senate show how far he was from being a despot.

Rhodes, Samos, Lycia, Achaia, Thrace, Cilicia, and Commagene, were brought by Vespasian into the condition of provinces. Foreign wars: that against the Jews, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem, A. C. 70; and a much greater war against the Batavians and their allies under Civilis, who during the late civil wars, sought to shake off the Roman yoke, 69; but were reduced to an accommodation by Cerealis, 70. Expeditions[Pg 428] of Agricola in Britain, 78—85, who not only subdued all England, and introduced the Roman manners and customs, but also attacked and sailed round Scotland.

D. Vespasianus, sive de vita et legislatione T. Flavii Vespasiani Imp. commentarius, auctore A. G. Cramer. Jenæ, 1785. An excellent enquiry, with illustrations of the fragments of the lex regia. The second part, de legislatione, contains a learned commentary upon the senatus consulta, during his reign.

Titus, June 27, 79—Sept. 13, 81.

21. His eldest son, Titus Flavius Vespasian, who in the year 70 had been created Cæsar, and reigned from his thirty-ninth to his forty-second year, gives us the rare example of a prince becoming better on the throne. His short and benevolent reign was, indeed, only remarkable for its public calamities: an eruption of mount Vesuvius, overwhelming several cities, was followed by a destructive fire, and Dreadful fire and plague, 79. a dreadful plague at Rome. His early death secured him the reputation of being, if not the happiest, at least the best of princes.

Domitian, Sept. 13, 81—Sept. 18, 96.
a complete and cruel despot;
unsuccessful in war;
raises the soldiers' pay;
employs informers.

22. His younger brother and successor, L. Flavius Domitian, who reigned from his thirtieth to his forty-fifth year, gives an example quite opposite to that of Titus: beginning with justice and severity, he soon degenerated into the completest despot that ever swayed the Roman sceptre. His cruelty, joined to an equal degree of pride, and nourished by suspicion and jealousy, made him the enemy of all who excelled him by their exploits, their riches, or their talents. The mortifications to which his pride must have been subjected in consequence of his unsuccessful wars against the Catti, and more particularly the Daci, increased his bad disposition. His despotism was founded upon his armies, whose pay he aug[Pg 429]mented one fourth; and that he might not thereby diminish the treasury, as he had too much done at first, he multiplied the judicia majestatis, rendering it still more terrible by the employment of secret informers (delatores), in order, by confiscations, to augment the wealth of his private treasury (fiscus). By confining his cruelty chiefly to the capital, and by a strict superintendence over the governors of provinces, Domitian prevented any such general disorganization of the empire as took place under Nero. His fall confirmed the general truth, that tyrants have little to fear from the people, but much from individuals who may think their lives in danger.

The foreign wars during this reign are rendered more worthy of remark by being the first in which the barbarians attacked the empire with success. Domitian's ridiculous expedition against the Catti, 82, gave the first proof of his boundless vanity; as did the recall of the victorious Agricola, 85, from Britain, of his jealousy. His most important war was that against the Daci, or Getæ, who, under their brave king Dercebal, had attacked the Roman frontiers; this again occasioned another with their neighbours, the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Jazygi, 86—90, which turned out so unfortunate for Rome, that Domitian was obliged to purchase a peace of the Daci by paying them an annual tribute.

Nerva, Jan. 24, 96—Jan. 27, 98.
his reign the dawn of a happy period.

23. M. Cocceius Nerva, aged about seventy years was raised to the throne by the murderers of Domitian; and now, at last, seemed to break forth the dawn of a more happy period for the empire. The preceding reign of terror completely ceased at once; and he endeavoured to impart fresh vigour to industry, not only by diminishing the taxes, but also by distributing lands to the poor. The insurrection of the guards cer[Pg 430]tainly cost the murderers of Domitian their lives; but it was at the same time the cause of Nerva's securing the prosperity of the empire after his death, by the adoption of Trajan.

Trajan, Jan. 24, 98—Aug. 11, 117.
the best of the Roman monarchs.
Restores the Roman constitution;
his frugality and liberality;
conquers Dacia,
Armenia, Mesopotamia, and part of Arabia.

24. M. Ulpius Trajan (after his adoption, Nerva Trajan), a Spaniard by birth, governed the empire from his forty-second to his sixty-second year. He was the first foreigner who ascended the Roman throne, and at the same time the first of their monarchs who was equally great as a ruler, a general, and a man. After completely abolishing the judicia majestatis, he made the restoration of the free Roman constitution, so far as it was compatible with a monarchical form, his peculiar care. He restored the elective power to the comitia, complete liberty of speech to the senate, and to the magistrates their former authority; and yet he exercised the art of ruling to a degree and in a detail which few princes have equalled. Frugal in his expenses, he was nevertheless splendidly liberal to every useful institution, whether in Rome or the provinces, as well as in the foundation of military roads, public monuments, and schools for the instruction of poor children. By his wars he extended the dominion of Rome beyond its former boundaries; subduing, in his contests with the Daci, their country, and reducing it to a Roman province; as he likewise did, in his wars against the Armenians and Parthians, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and part of Arabia. Why was so great a character disfigured by an ambition of conquest?

The first war against the Daci, in which the shameful tribute was withdrawn and Dercebal reduced to subjection, lasted from[Pg 431] 101—103. But as Dercebal again rebelled, the war was renewed in 105, and brought to a close in 106, when Dacia was reduced to a Roman province, and many Roman colonies established therein. The war with the Parthians arose from a dispute respecting the possession of the throne of Armenia (see above, p. 304), 114—116: but although Rome was victorious she gained no permanent advantage thereby.

The especial source for the history of Trajan is the Panegyricus of Pliny the Younger; the correspondence, however, of the same writer, while governor of Bithynia, with the emperor, affords us a much deeper insight into the spirit of his government: Plinii Epist. lib. x. Who can read it without admiring the royal statesman?

Rittershusii Trajanus in lucem reproductus. Ambegæ, 1608. A mere collection of passages occurring in ancient authors respecting Trajan.

Res Trajani Imperatoris ad Danubium Gestæ, auctore Conrad Mannert. Norimb. 1793: and

Joh. Christ. Engel, Commentatio de Expeditionibus Trajani ad Danubium, et origine Valachorum. Vindob. 1794.—Both learned dissertations, written for the prize offered by the Royal Society of Gottingen; the first of which obtained the prize, and the other the accessit, i. e. was declared second best.


25. By the contrivances of Plotina, his wife, Trajan was succeeded by his cousin and pupil, whom he is said also to have adopted, P. Ælius Adrian, who reigned from his forty-second to his sixty-third year. He was acknowledged at once by the army of Asia, with which he then was, and the sanction of the senate followed immediately after. He differed from his predecessor in that his chief aim was the preservation of peace; on which account he gave up (rare moderation!), directly after his accession, the newly conquered provinces of Asia, Armenia, Assyria, and Mesopotamia, and so put an end to the Par[Pg 432]thian war (see above, p. 304.) He retained, though with some unwillingness, that of Dacia, because otherwise the Roman colonies would have become exposed. He well made up for his pacific disposition, however, in seeking, by a general and vigorous reform in the internal administration, and by restoring the discipline of the army, to give greater solidity to the empire. For that purpose he visited successively all the provinces of the Roman empire; first the eastern, and afterwards the western; making useful regulations and establishing order wherever he came. He improved the Roman jurisprudence by the introduction of the edictum perpetuum. Passionately fond of and well instructed in literature and the fine arts, he gave them his liberal protection, and thus called forth another Augustan age. Upon the whole, his reign was certainly a salutary one for the empire; and for any single acts of injustice of which he may be accused, he fully compensated by his choice of a successor. After having first adopted L. Aurelius Verus (afterwards Ælius Verus), who fell a sacrifice to his debaucheries, he next adopted T. Aurelius Antoninus (afterwards T. Ælius Adrianus Antoninus Pius), upon condition that he should again adopt M. Aurelius Verus (afterwards M. Aurelius Antoninus), and L. Cesonius Commodus (afterwards L. Verus), the son of Ælius Verus.

During his reign a great revolt broke out in Judæa, under Barcochab, 132—135, occasioned by the introduction of pagan worship into the Roman colony of Ælia Capitolina (the ancient Jerusalem).

The especial source for the history of Adrian, is his Life and[Pg 433] that of Ælius Verus by Ælius Spartianus in Script. Hist. Aug. Minores, already quoted.

Antoninus Pius, July 10, 138.—March 7, 161.

26. The reign of Antoninus Pius, from his forty-seventh to his seventieth year, was without doubt the happiest period of the Roman empire. He found everything already in excellent order; and those ministers which Adrian had appointed, he continued in their places. His quiet activity furnishes but little matter for history; and yet he was, perhaps, the most noble character that ever sat upon a throne. Although a prince, his life was that of the most blameless individual; while he administered the affairs of the empire as though they were his own. He honoured the senate; and the provinces flourished under him, not only because he kept a watchful eye over the conduct of the governors, but because he made it a maxim of his government to continue in their places all those whose probity he had sufficiently proved. He observed rigid order in the finances, and yet without sparing where it could be of service in the foundation or improvement of useful institutions; as his erection of many buildings, establishment of public teachers with salaries in all the provinces, and other examples fully show. He carried on no war himself; on the contrary, several foreign nations made choice of him to arbitrate their differences. Some rebellions which broke out in Britain and Egypt, and some frontier wars excited by the Germans, the Daci, the Moors, and the Alani, were quelled by his lieutenants.

[Pg 434]

The principal and almost the only source for the history of Antoninus Pius, Dion Cassius's history of this period being lost, is his Life by Julius Capitolinus in the Script. Hist. August. And even this refers to his private character rather than his public history. Compare the excellent Reflections of Marcus Aurelius, i, 16. upon this prince.

Vie des Empereurs Tite Antonin et Marc Aurele, par M. Gautier de Sibert. Paris, 1769, 8vo. A valuable essay on the lives of the two Antonines.

Marcus Aurelius, March 7, 161.—March 17, 180.

27. He was succeeded by Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the philosopher (aged 40—59 years), who immediately associated with himself, under the title of Augustus, L. Verus (aged 30—40 years, † 169), to whom he gave his daughter in marriage. Notwithstanding the differences of their character, the most cordial union existed between them during the whole of their common reign; L. Verus, indeed, being almost always absent in the wars, took but a very small share in the government. The reign of M. Aurelius was marked by several great calamities: a dreadful pestilence, a famine, and almost continual wars. Nothing short of a prince like Aurelius, who exhibited to the world the image of wisdom seated on a throne, could have made so much misery tolerable. Soon after 161—166. his accession, the Catti made an irruption upon the Rhine, and the Parthians in Asia. L. Verus was sent against them. But the wars on the Danube with the Marcomanni and their allies in Pannonia, and other The northern nations begin to press forward. northern nations, who now began to press forward with great force upon Dacia, were of much greater consequence. They occupied M. Aurelius from the year 167, with but little intermission, to the end of his reign. He succeeded, indeed, in main[Pg 435]taining the boundaries of the empire; but then he was the first who settled any of the barbarians within it, or took them into the Roman service. In the internal administration of affairs he closely followed the steps of his predecessor, Avidius Cassius's rebellion, except that he was rather too much influenced by his freedmen and family. The only rebellion which broke out against him, was that of Avidius Cassius, his lieutenant in Syria, occasioned by a false report of his and death, 175. death; but it was quelled by the destruction of that general, as soon as the truth was made known.

The war against the Parthians (see above, p. 304) was indeed brought to a successful issue by Verus, the principal cities of the Parthians falling into the hands of the Romans; Verus left them, however, to be carried on by his lieutenants, while he rioted in debaucheries at Antioch. The first war against the Marcomanni, carried on in the beginning and until the death of Verus, by the two emperors together, was highly dangerous for Rome, as many other nations had joined the Marcomanni, particularly the Quadi, Jazygi, and Vandals, and penetrated as far as Aquileia. M. Aurelius ended this war by a glorious peace, 174, as he found it necessary to stop the progress of Cassius's rebellion; in 178, however, the Marcomanni again commenced hostilities, and before their close M. Aurelius died at Sirmium. Contemporary with these wars, yet, as it seems, without any connection with them, were the attacks of other nations upon Dacia, the Bastarnæ, Alani, etc. who poured in from the north, probably pressed forward by the advance of the Goths. This was the first symptom of the great migration of nations now beginning.

The especial sources for the history of M. Aurelius, are the Biographies of him and L. Verus, written by Julius Capitolinus, as well as that of Avidius Cassius, by Vulcatius Gallicanus in Script. Hist. August. The letters discovered in Milan, among and together with the writings of Fronto, are of no historical service.—His principles are best learnt from his Meditations on himself.

[Pg 436]

Ch. Meiners de M. Aurel. Antonini ingenio, moribus, et scriptis, in Commentat. Soc. Gotting. vol. vi.

T. Commodus, March 17, 180—Dec. 31, 192.

28. By means of adoption the Roman empire had been blessed, during the last eighty years, with a succession of rulers such as have not often fell to the lot of any kingdom. But in J. Commodus the son of M. Aurelius (probably the offspring of a gladiator), who reigned from his nineteenth to his thirty-first year, there ascended the throne a monster of cruelty, insolence, and lewdness. At the commencement of his reign he bought a peace of the Marcomanni that he might return to Rome. Being himself unable to support the burden of government, the helm of state Perennis, † 186. was placed in the hands of the stern and cruel Perennis, præfect of the prætorian guard; but who, being murdered by the discontented soldiers, was succeeded by the freedman Cleander, † 189. Cleander, who put up all for sale, till he fell a sacrifice to his own insatiable avarice, in a revolt of the people, caused by their want of provisions. The extravagant propensity of Commodus for the diversions of the amphitheatres, and the combats of wild beasts and gladiators, wherein he himself usually took a part, in the character of Hercules, became a chief cause of his dissipation, and thereby of his cruelty; till at last he was killed at the instigation of his concubine Marcia, Lætus the præfect of the prætorian guard, and Electus. 182—184. The wars on the frontiers during his reign, in Dacia, and especially in Britain, were successfully carried on by his lieutenants, generals who belonged to the school of his father.[Pg 437]

The especial source for the history of Commodus is his private life by Æl. Lampridius, in the Script. Hist. August.—The history of Herodian begins with his reign.

State of the empire at this period.

29. The disasters under M. Aurelius, and the extravagances of Commodus, had injured the empire, but not enfeebled it. Towards the close of the period of the Antonines it still retained its pristine vigour. If wise regulations, internal peace, moderate taxes, a certain degree of political, and unrestrained civil liberty, are sufficient to form the happiness of a commonwealth, it must have been found in the Roman. What a number of advantages did it possess over every other, simply from its situation! Proofs of it appear on every side. A vigorous population, rich provinces, flourishing and splendid cities, and a lively internal and foreign trade. But the most solid foundation of the happiness of a nation consists in its moral greatness, and this we here seek for in vain. Otherwise the nation would not so easily have suffered itself to be brought under the yoke of Commodus by prætorian cohorts and the legions. But what best shows the strength which the empire still retained, is the opposition it continued to make, for two hundred years longer, to the formidable attacks from without.

D. H. Hegewisch upon the Epochs in Roman History most favourable to Humanity. Hamburg, 1800—8.

Foreign commerce, so flourishing in this period, could only be carried on, to any extent, with the east—mostly with India—as the Roman empire spread over all the west. This trade continued to be carried on through Egypt, and also through Palmyra and Syria. Information thereupon will be found in

W. Robertson's Disquisition concerning the Knowledge [Pg 438] which the Ancients had of India. London, 1791, 4to. Often reprinted. And particularly upon Egypt, in

W. Vincent, the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea. London, 1802, 4to. 2 vols. A very instructive work.

Heeren, Commentationes de Græcorum et Romanorum de India notitia, et cum Indis commerciis: in Commentat. Soc. Gott. vol. x. xi.


From the death of Commodus to Diocletian, A. C. 193—284.

Sources. The Extracts of Xiphilinus from Dion Cassius, lib. lxxiii—lxxx. though often imperfect, reach down as low as the consulate of Dion himself under Alexander Severus, 229.—Herodiani Hist. libri viii. comprise the period from Commodus to Gordian, 180—238.—The Scriptores Historiæ Augustæ Minores contain the private lives of the emperors down to Diocletian, by Julius Capitolinus, Flavius Vopiscus, etc.—The Breviaria Historiæ Romanæ of Eutropius, Aurelius Victor, and S. Rufus are particularly important for this period.—Finally, the important information that may be derived from the study of medals and coins, not only for this section, but for the whole history of the emperors, may be best learnt by consulting the writers upon those subjects: J. Vaillant, Numismata Augustorum et Cæsarum, cura J. F. Baldino. Rome, 1743, 3 vols. The Medallic History of Imperial Rome, by W. Cooke. London, 1781, 2 vols.—But above all, the volumes belonging to this period in Eckhel, Doctrina Nummorum Veterum.

With the period of the Antonines begins the great work of the British historian:

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon. Oxford, 1828, 8 vols. 8vo. In worth and extent this work is superior to all others. It embraces the whole period of the middle ages; but only the first part belongs to this period.

[Pg 439]

Pertinax, Jan. 1—March 28, 193.

1. The extinction of the race of the Antonines by the death of Commodus was attended with convulsions similar to those which took place when the house of Cæsar became extinct at the death of Nero. It is true that P. Helvius Pertinax, aged sixty-seven, præfect of the city, was raised to the throne by the murderers of Commodus; and that he was acknowledged, first by the guards, and afterwards by the senate. But the reform which he was obliged to make at the beginning of his reign in the finances, rendered him so odious to the soldiers and courtiers, that a revolt of the first, excited by Lætus, cost him his life before he had reigned quite three months. This was the first commencement of that dreadful military despotism which forms the ruling character of this period; and to none did it become so terrible as to those who wished to make it the main support of their absolute power.

The insolence of the prætorian guard had risen very high during the reign of Commodus; but it had never, even in the time of the Antonines, been entirely suppressed. It was only by large donatives that their consent could be purchased, their caprice satisfied, and their good humour maintained; especially at every new adoption. One of the greatest reproaches to the age of the Antonines is, that those great princes, who seem to have had the means so much in their power, did not free themselves from so annoying a dependence.

Jul. Capitolini Pertinax Imp. in Script. Hist. Aug.

Didias Julianus.

2. When, upon the death of Pertinax, the rich and profligate M. Didius Julianus, aged fifty-seven, had outbid, to the great scandal of the people, all his competitors for the empire, and purchased it of the prætorian guard, an insurrection of the legions, who were better able to create [Pg 440]emperors, very naturally followed. But as the army of Illyria proclaimed their general Septimius Severus, Pescennius Niger, Albinus. Septimius Severus, the army of Syria, Pescennius Niger, and the army of Britain, Albinus, nothing less than a series of civil wars could decide who should maintain himself on the throne.

Æl. Spartiani Didius Julianus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

3. Septimius Severus, however, aged 49—66, was the first who got possession of Rome, and, after the execution of Didius Julianus, he was acknowledged by the senate. He dismissed, it is true, the old prætorian guard, but immediately chose, from his own army, one four times more numerous in its stead. And after he had provisionally declared Albinus emperor, he marched his army against Pescennius Niger, already master of the east, whom, after several contests near the Issus, he defeated and slew. Nevertheless, having first taken and destroyed the strong city of Byzantium, a war with Albinus soon followed, whom the perfidious Severus had already attempted to remove by assassination. After a bloody defeat near Lyons, Albinus kills himself, Feb. 19, 197. Albinus kills himself. These civil wars were followed by hostilities against the Parthians, who had taken the part of Pescennius, and which ended with the plundering of their principal cities (see above, p. 304). Severus possessed most of the virtues of a soldier; but the insatiable avarice of his minister Plautianus, the formidable captain of the prætorian guard, robbed the empire even of those advantages which may be enjoyed under a military government, 204. until he was put to death at the instigation of Caracalla. To keep his legions em[Pg 441]ployed, Severus undertook an expedition into Britain, where, after extending the boundaries of the empire, he died at York (Eboracum), leaving his son the maxim, "to enrich the soldiers, and hold the rest for nothing."

Agricola had already erected a line of fortresses, probably between the Firth of Clyde and the Firth of Forth. These were changed by Adrian into a wall along the present boundaries of Scotland. Severus again extended the frontiers, reestablished the fortresses of Agricola, and afterwards built a wall from sea to sea; his son, however, gave up the conquered country, and the wall of Adrian again became the boundary of the empire.

Æl. Spartiani Septimius Severus et Pescennius Niger.

Jul. Capitolini Claudius Albinus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Caracalla, Feb. 4, 211—April 4, 217.

4. The deadly hatred which reigned between the two sons of Severus, M. Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus Caracalla, aged 23—29, and his young step-brother Geta, aged twenty-one, led to a dreadful catastrophe; for at their return to Rome, and after a fruitless proposition had been made for a division of the empire, Geta murdered, April 4, 212. Geta was assassinated in the arms of his mother Julia Domna, together with all those who were considered as his friends. The restless spirit of Caracalla, however, soon drew him from Rome, and in traversing first the provinces along the Danube, and then those of the east, he ruined them all by his exactions and cruelty, to which he was driven for money to pay his soldiers, and to purchase peace of his enemies on the frontiers. The same necessity led him to grant the right of citizenship to all the provinces, that he might thereby gain the duty of the vicesima hereditatum et manumissionum (twentieth upon inheritances and enfranchisements), which he very soon afterwards changed [Pg 442]into a tenth (decima).—With respect to his foreign wars, his first was against the Catti and Alemanni, 215. among whom he remained a long time, sometimes as a friend and sometimes as an enemy. But his principal efforts, after having previously ordered a dreadful massacre of the inhabitants of Alexandria, to satisfy his cruel rapacity, were directed against 216. the Parthians (see above, p. 304); and in his wars against them he was assassinated by Macrinus, the præfect of the prætorian guard.

The præfect, or captain, of the prætorian guard became, from the time of Severus, the most important officer in the state. Besides the command of the guards, the finances were also under his control, together with an extensive criminal jurisdiction. A natural consequence of the continually increasing despotism.

Æl. Spartiani Antoninus Caracalla et Ant. Geta, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Macrinus, April 11, 217—June 8, 218.

5. His murderer, M. Opelius Macrinus, aged fifty-three, was recognized as emperor by the soldiers, and forthwith acknowledged by the senate. He immediately created his son, M. Opelius Diadumenus, aged nine years, Cæsar, and gave him the name of Antoninus. He disgracefully terminated the war against the Parthians by purchasing a peace, and changed the decima (tenth) of Caracalla again into the vicesima (twentieth). However, while he still remained in Asia, Bassianus Heliogabalus, grand-nephew of Julia Domna, and high priest in the temple of the Sun at Emesa, whom his mother gave out for a son of Caracalla, was proclaimed emperor by the legions, and, after a combat with the guards, subsequently to which Macrinus and his son lost their lives, they raised him to the throne.[Pg 443]

Mæsa, the sister of Julia Domna, had two daughters, both widows; Soæmis, the eldest, was the mother of Heliogabalus, Mammæa, the youngest, the mother of Alexander Severus.

Jul. Capitolini Opelius Macrinus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Heliogabalus, June 8, 218—March 11, 222.

6. Heliogabalus, aged 14—18, who assumed the additional name of M. Aurelius Antoninus, brought with him from Syria the superstitions and voluptuousness of that country. He introduced the worship of his god Heliogabal in Rome, and wallowed openly in such brutal and infamous debaucheries, that history can scarcely find a parallel to his dissolute, shameless, and scandalous conduct. How low must the morality of that age have been sunk, in which a boy could so early have ripened into a monster!—The debasement of the senate, and of all important offices, which he filled with the degraded companions of his own lusts and vices, was systematically planned by him; and he deserves no credit even for the adoption of his cousin, the virtuous Alexander Severus, as he shortly after endeavoured to take away his life, but was himself for that reason assassinated by the prætorian guards.

Æl. Lampridii Ant. Heliogabalus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Alexander Severus, March 11, 222—Aug. 235.

7. His young cousin and successor, M. Aurelius Alexander Severus, aged 14—27, who had been carefully educated under the direction of his mother Mammæa, proved one of the best princes in an age and upon a throne where virtues were more dangerous than vices. Under favour of his youth he endeavoured to effect a reform, in which he was supported by the cooperation of the guards, who had elevated him to the throne. He restored the authority of the senate, from among [Pg 444]whom he chose, with rigid justice, his privy council of state, banishing the creatures of Heliogabalus War against Persia, 226. from their places. The revolution in the Parthian empire, out of which was now formed the new Persian, was of so much importance to Rome, that it obliged Alexander to undertake a war against Artaxerxes, in which he was probably victorious. But while 231—233. marching in haste to protect the frontiers against the advance of the Germans upon the Rhine, his soldiers, exasperated at the severity of his discipline, and incited by the Thracian Maximin, 235. murdered him in his own tent. His præfect of the prætorian guard, Ulpian, had already, for the same cause, fallen a victim to this spirit of insubordination, which was not checked 222. even by the immediate presence of the emperor himself.

The revolution in Parthia, whereby a new Persian empire was formed (see above, p. 304.), became a source of almost perpetual war to Rome; Artaxerxes I. and his successors, the Sassanides, claiming to be descendants of the ancient kings of Persia, formed pretensions to the possession of all the Asiatic provinces of the Roman empire.

Ælii Lampridii Alexander Severus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Heyne de Alexandro Severo Judicium, Comment. i. ii. in Opuscula Academica, vol. vi.

Maximinus Aug. 235—May, 238.

8. The death of A. Severus raised military despotism to the highest pitch, as it placed on the throne the half savage C. Julius Maximinus, by birth a Thracian peasant. At first he continued the war against the Germans with great success, repulsing them beyond the Rhine; and resolved, by crossing Pannonia, to carry the war even among the Sarmatians. But his insatiable rapacity, which spared neither the capital nor the [Pg 445]provinces, made him hateful to all; and Gordian, proconsul of Africa, in his eightieth year, was, together with his son of the same name, proclaimed Augustus by the people, and immediately acknowledged by the senate. Upon April, 238. this, Maximinus, eager to take vengeance on the senate, marched directly from Sirmium towards Italy. In the mean time, the legions of the almost defenceless Gordians were defeated in The Gordians. Africa, and themselves slain by Capellianus the governor of Numidia. Notwithstanding this, as the senate could expect no mercy, they chose as co-emperors the præfect of the city, Maximus Pupienus, and Clodius Balbinus and Pupienus. Balbinus, who, in conformity with the wishes of the people, created the young Gordian III. Cæsar. In the meanwhile Maximinus, having besieged Aquileia, and the enterprise proving unsuccessful, was slain by his own troops. Pupienus and Balbinus now seemed in quiet possession of the throne; but the guards, who had already been engaged in a bloody feud with the people, and were not willing to receive an emperor of the senate's choosing, killed them both, and proclaimed as Augustus, Gordian, already created Cæsar.

Jul. Capitolini Maximinus Gordiani tres, Pupienus et Balbinus, in Script. Hist. August.

Gordian III. July, 238—Feb. 244.
Syrian expedition, 241—243.

9. The reign of the young M. Antoninus Gordianus lasted from his twelfth to his eighteenth year. He was grandson of the proconsul who had lost his life in Africa, and in the early part of his reign, acquired a degree of firmness from the support of his father-in-law, Misitheus, præfect of the prætorian guard, as well as from the suc[Pg 446]cessful expedition which he undertook into Syria against the Persians, who had invaded that province. But after the death of Misitheus, Philip the Arabian, being made præfect of the guards in his stead, found means to gain the troops over to himself, and, after driving Gordian from the throne, caused him to be assassinated.

Philippus, Feb. 244—Sept. 249.

10. The reign of M. Julius Philippus was interrupted by several insurrections, especially in Pannonia; until at length Decius, whom he himself had sent thither to quell the rebellion, was compelled by the troops to assume the diadem. Philip was soon after defeated by him near Verona, where he perished, together with his son of the same name. In this reign the secular games, ludi sæculares, were celebrated, one thousand years from the foundation of the city.

Sept. 249—Oct. 251.

11. Under the reign of his successor, Trajanus Decius, aged fifty, the Goths for the first time forced their way into the Roman empire by crossing the Danube; and although Decius in the beginning opposed them with success, he was at last slain by them in Thrace, together with his son, Cl. Herennius Decius, already created Cæsar. Upon this the army proclaimed C. Trebonianus Gallus emperor, who created his son, Volusian, Cæsar; and having invited Hostilian, the yet remaining son of Decius, with the ostensible purpose of securing his cooperation, he nevertheless soon contrived to get rid of him. He purchased a peace of the Goths; but, despised by his generals, he became involved in a war with his victorious lieutenant, Æmilianus, May 253. Æmilius Æmilianus, in Mœsia, and was slain, together with his son, by his own [Pg 447]army. In three months, however, Æmilianus shared the same fate; Publius Licinius Valerianus, the friend and avenger of Gallus, advancing against him with the legions stationed in Gaul. Both the people and army hoped to see the empire restored under Valerian. Valerian, already sixty years of age; but, although his generals defended the frontiers against the Germans and Goths, he himself had the misfortune to be defeated and taken prisoner by the superior forces of the Persians. Upon this event his son and associate in the empire, P. Licinius Gallienus, 259—968. Gallienus, who knew everything except the art of governing, reigned alone. Under his indolent rule the Roman empire seemed on one hand ready to be split into a number of small states, while on the other it seemed about to fall a prey to the barbarians; for the lieutenants in most of the provinces declared themselves independent of a prince whom they despised, and to which, indeed, they were driven, like Posthumius in Gaul, for their own security.—There were nineteen of these; but as many of them named their sons Cæsars, this period has been very improperly distinguished by the name of the thirty tyrants, although their intolerable oppressions might well justify the latter expression. The Persians at the same time were victorious in the east, and the Germans in the west.

The German nations which were now become so formidable to the Roman empire, were: 1. The great confederation of tribes under the name of Franks, who spread over Gaul along the whole extent of the Lower Rhine. 2. The allied nations of the Alemanni on the Upper Rhine. 3. The Goths, the most powerful of all, who had formed a monarchy upon the banks of the Lower[Pg 448] Danube and the northern coasts of the Black sea, which soon extended from the Boristhenes to the Don; and who became formidable, not only by their land forces, but also by their naval power, especially after they had captured the peninsula of Crim Tartary (Chersonesus Taurica); and by means of their fleets they not only kept the Grecian, but likewise the Asiatic provinces in a continual state of alarm.

Trebelli Pollionis Valerianus, Gallieni duo, triginta tyranni, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Concerning the thirty tyrants under the Roman emperor Gallienus, by J. C. F. Manso; at the end of his Life of Constantine.

Claudius, March, 268—Oct. 270.

12. Gallienus losing his life before Milan, in the war against Aureolus an usurper, had nevertheless recommended M. Aurelius Claudius (aged 45—47) for his successor. The new Augustus reestablished in some degree the tottering empire; not only by taking Aureolus prisoner and defeating the Alemanni, but also by a decisive 269. victory gained at Nissa over the Goths, who had invaded Mœsia. He died, however, soon after, at Sirmium, of a pestilential disease, naming for his successor Aurelian, a hero like himself, who mounted the throne upon the death of Quintillus the late emperor's brother, who had at first proclaimed himself Augustus, but afterwards died by his own hand.

Trebellii Pollionis divus Claudius, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Aurelian, Oct. 270—March, 275.

13. During the reign of L. Domitius Aurelianus, which lasted almost five years, those countries which had been partly or entirely lost to the empire were restored. Having first driven back the Goths and the Alemanni, who had advanced as far as Umbria, he undertook his expedition 271. against the celebrated Zenobia, queen of [Pg 449]Palmyra, who at that time possessed Syria, Egypt, and part of Asia Minor. These countries he again brought under the dominion of the empire, after having Zenobia defeated and made prisoner, 271—273. defeated Zenobia and made her prisoner. The western provinces of Gaul, Britain, and Spain, which since the time of Gallienus had been governed by separate rulers, and were now under the dominion of Tetricus, he reduced to their former obedience. Dacia, on the contrary, he willingly abandoned; and as he transported 274. the Roman inhabitants across the Danube into Mœsia, the latter henceforward bore the name of Dacia Aureliani. Hated for his severity, which in a warrior so easily degenerates into cruelty, 275. he was assassinated in Illyria at the instigation of his private secretary Mnestheus.

Flav. Vopisci divus Aurelianus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Palmyra in the Syrian desert, enriched by the Indian trade, and one of the most ancient cities in the world, became a Roman colony in the time of Trajan. Odenatus, the husband of Zenobia, had acquired so much celebrity by his victories over the Persians, that Gallienus had even named him Augustus with himself. He was murdered, however, by his cousin Mæonius, 267. Zenobia now took possession of the government for her sons Vabalathus, Herennianus, and Timolaus, without, however, being acknowledged at Rome. After this, in the time of Claudius, she added Egypt to her dominions. Aurelian, having first defeated her near Antioch and Emesa, soon afterwards took Palmyra, which, in consequence of a revolt, he destroyed.—Even in its ruins Palmyra is still magnificent.

The Ruins of Palmyra, by R. Wood. London, 1753; and the Ruins of Balbec, otherwise Heliopolis, by the same author, London, 1757, give us clear and certain ideas of the splendour and magnitude of these cities.

A. H. L. Heeren, de Commercio urbis Palmyræ vicinarumque urbium, in Comment. recent. Soc. Gotting. vol. vii. and the Appendix to Heeren's Researches.

[Pg 450]

Tacitus, Sept. 25, 275—April, 276.

14. An interregnum of six months followed upon the death of Aurelian, till at length the senate, at the repeated solicitations of the army, ventured to fill up the vacant throne. The object of their choice, however, M. Claudius Tacitus, the worthiest of the senators, was unfortunately seventy-five years old, and perished after a short reign of six months, in an expedition against the Goths. Upon this event the army of Syria raised M. Aurelius Probus to the purple; while Florianus the brother of Tacitus, who had already been acknowledged at Rome, was put to death by his own people.

Flav. Vopisci Tacitus; ejusd. Florianus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Probus, April, 276—August, 282.
Carus, Aug. 282.
Aug. 283.

15. The six years' reign of Probus was a warlike one. He defeated the Germans, and forced them beyond the Rhine and Danube; strengthening the frontiers by building a strong wall from the Danube, near Regensburg, to the Rhine. He also obliged the Persians to make peace. Nevertheless, the number of towns which he reestablished and peopled with prisoners of war, and the vineyards which he caused his soldiers to plant on the Rhine, are proofs that he had taste and inclination for the arts of peace. This policy, however, would not suit the legions! After he had perished, therefore, by the hands of his soldiers, they proclaimed the præfect of the prætorian guard, M. Aurelius Carus, emperor, who created his two sons Cæsars—men very unlike each other in disposition, M. Aurelius Carinus being one of the greatest reprobates, while M. [Pg 451]Aurelius Numerianus was gentle by nature, and had a mind well formed by study. The new emperor, having defeated the Goths, marched against the Persians, but was shortly afterwards killed, it is said, by a flash of lightning. Nor did his son Numerianus long survive him, being murdered by his own father-in-law, Arrius Aper, the prætorian præfect.

Flav. Vopisci Probus imper. ejusd. Carus, Numirianus et Carinus, in Script. Hist. Aug.

Review of the government during this period.

16. Although this period gives us a finished picture of a complete military despotism, it is still evident that this was owing to the entire separation of the military order from the rest of the people, by the introduction of standing armies, and the extinction of all national spirit among the citizens. The legions decided because the people were unarmed. It was, indeed, only among them, situated far from the soft luxuries of the capital, and engaged in almost a continual struggle with the barbarians, that a remnant of the ancient Roman character was still preserved. The nomination of their leaders to the purple became a natural consequence, not only of the uncertainty of the succession, which could not be fixed by mere ordinances, but often of necessity, from their being in the field under the pressure of urgent circumstances. Thus a succession of distinguished generals came to the throne: what authority, indeed, would an emperor at that time have had who was not a general? All durable reform, however, was rendered quite impossible by the quick succession of rulers. Even the best[Pg 452] among them could do but very little for the internal administration; as all their energies were required to protect the frontiers, and defend themselves against usurpers, who, with the exception of the formality of being acknowledged by the senate, had claims as well founded as their own.

Luxury hastens the decline of the empire.

17. The decline of the empire also became so much the more rapid, in proportion as in these days of terror luxury had increased not only in the splendour and profligate effeminacy of private life, but more particularly in public, to a pitch almost beyond belief. The latter was especially shown in the exhibitions of the amphitheatre and circus; by which not only every new ruler, but even every new magistrate was obliged to purchase the favour of the people. Thus these remnants of a free constitution served only to accelerate the general ruin! What enjoyments, indeed, could be found under the rod of despotism, except those of the grossest sensuality; and to satisfy this, the intellectual amusements of the theatre (mimes and pantomimes), and even those of rhetoric and poetry, were made to contribute.

Progress and effects of the Christian religion.

18. Yet, during this general decay, the gradual spread of the Christian religion was working a reform altogether of a different nature. Before the end of this period it had opened itself a way into every province, and, notwithstanding the frequent persecutions, had made converts in every rank of society, and was now on the eve of becoming the predominant form of worship. We shall be better able to estimate its value, if we consider it as the vehicle by which civilization[Pg 453] made its way among the rude nations that now appeared on the scene, than if we merely consider it as the means of improving the manners and morals of the Roman world. In a political view it became of the greatest importance on account of the hierarchy, the frame-work of which was now in a great measure constructed among its professors. It was afterwards adopted as a state religion; and although the ancient creed of Rome had formerly been on the same footing, yet it was only calculated for the republic, and not at all for the now existing monarchy. The overthrow of paganism was necessarily attended with some violent convulsions, yet its loss was nothing to be compared with the support which the throne afterwards found in the hierarchy.

The dispersion of the Jews, and especially the persecutions which were renewed from time to time, after the reign of Nero, (but which only served to kindle enthusiasm,) strongly cooperated in spreading the Christian religion. These persecutions were principally called forth against the Christians on account of their forming themselves into a separate society, which caused them to be regarded as a dangerous sect at Rome, notwithstanding the general toleration granted to every other system of religious belief. Although towards the end of this period, only a very small proportion of the inhabitants of the Roman empire as yet professed the Christian faith, it nevertheless had followers in every province.

History of the Social Constitution of the Christian Church, by D. G. J. Planck, 4 parts, 1800. It is the first part of this excellent work which relates to this period.

[Pg 454]


From Diocletian to the overthrow of the Roman empire in the west, A. C. 284—476.

Sources. It now becomes of importance to enquire whether the historians were Christians or pagans. Zosimus, the imitator of Polybius, belonged to the last. He describes the fall of the Roman state, as his model does the previous part. Of his Histories only five books and a half, to the time of Gratian, 410, have descended to us. He was certainly a violent antagonist of the Christians, yet, nevertheless, the best writer of this period. Ammiani Marcellini Historiarum, lib. xiv—xxxi. from the year 353—378 (the first thirteen books are lost). Probably a Christian, but yet no flatterer; and, notwithstanding his tiresome prolixity, highly instructive. Together with the writers of general history already noticed at p. 437, we must here especially add to the abbreviators, Pauli Orosii Hist. lib. vii. and Zonaræ Annales. The Panegyrici Veteres, from Diocletian to Theodosius, can only be used with circumspection.—The writers of church history, such as Eusebius, in his Hist. Eccles. lib. x. and in his Vita Constantini Magni, lib. v. as well as his continuators, Socrates, Theodoret, Sozomenus, and Evagrius, are also highly important for the political history of this period, though, from their partiality towards the Christian emperors, they should rather be classed with the panegyrists than the historians. To these may be added another principal source, viz. the Constitutions of the emperors, which have been preserved in the Codex Theodosianus and Justinianeus, from the time of Constantine the Great.

Besides the works quoted at pages 411, 437, the Byzantine historians here become of importance. We shall mention also:

Histoire du Bas-Empire depuis Constantin, par M. le Beau, continuée par M. Ameilhon. Paris, 1824, 20 vols. 8vo. The first seven parts only belong to this period.

[Pg 455] † The German translation of Guthrie and Gray's Universal History, 5 sections, 1 vol. Leipsic, 1768. Rendered very useful by the labours of Ritter.

Histoire du Bas-Empire, depuis Constantin jusqu' à la prise de Constantinople en 1453, par Carentin Royou. Paris, 1803, 4 vols. 8vo. A useful abridgement, without much research.

Diocletian, Sept. 17, 284—May 1, 305.
Carinus, † 285.
Maximian associated in the government, 286.
Carausius, 288—293.
Galerius and Chlorus created Cæsars, 292.

1. The reign of C. Valerius Diocletian, aged 39—60, proclaimed emperor after the murder of Numerianus, by the troops in Chalcedon, begins a new section in Roman history. To the period of military despotism succeeded the period of partitions. After Diocletian had defeated Carinus the yet remaining Cæsar, in Upper Mœsia, where he was assassinated, he made M. Valerius Maximianus Herculius, a rough warrior who had hitherto been his comrade in arms, the sharer of his throne. Herculius now contended with the Alemanni and Burgundians on the banks of the Rhine, while Diocletian himself made head against the Persians. Nevertheless, the two Augusti soon found themselves unable to withstand the barbarians, who were pressing forward on every side, more especially as Carausius had usurped and maintained the title of Cæsar in Britain. Each of them, therefore, created a Cæsar: Diocletian chose C. Galerius, and Maximianus Flavius Constantius Chlorus, both of whom had distinguished themselves as generals, at that time the only road to advancement. The whole empire was now divided between these four rulers; so that each had certain provinces to govern and defend; without detriment, however, to the unity of the whole, or to the dependence in which a[Pg 456] Cæsar stood as the subordinate assistant and future successor of his Augustus.

In the partition, 292, Diocletian possessed the eastern provinces; Galerius, Thrace, and the countries on the Danube (Illyricum); Maximianus, Italy, Africa, and the islands; and Constantius, the western provinces of Gaul, Spain, Britain, and Mauritania.

2. This new system could not but have a striking effect upon the spirit of the government. It was now not only in fact, but also in form, entirely in the hands of the rulers. By their continual absence from Rome they became freed from that moral restraint in which the authority of the senate, and the name of the republic, not yet entirely laid aside, had held before them. Diocletian formally assumed the diadem, and, with the ornaments of the east, introduced its luxuries into his court. Thus was laid the foundation of that structure which Constantine the Great had to complete.


3. The consequences of this new system became also oppressive to the provinces, inasmuch as they had now to maintain four rulers, with their courts, and as many armies. But however loud might be the complaints of the oppression occasioned thereby, it was, perhaps, the only means of deferring the final overthrow of the whole edifice. In fact, they succeeded not only in defeating the usurpers, Allectus in Britain 293—296. (who had murdered Carausius in 293), Julian in Africa, and Achilleus in Egypt; but also in defending the frontiers, which, indeed, by the victories of Galerius over the Persians, they extended as far as the Tigris. Did not, however,[Pg 457] the gloomy perspective present itself, that among so many rulers, and the undefined relations which existed between the Cæsars and the emperors, the union could not be of long continuance?

Constantius, 305—307.
Galerius, 305—313.

4. Diocletian voluntarily abdicated the throne (although the growing power and encroaching disposition of Galerius might perhaps have had some influence), and obliged his colleague Maximianus to do the same. The two Cæsars, Constantius and Galerius, were proclaimed Augusti, and altered the division of the empire, so that the former possessed all the western countries, of which, however, he freely ceded Italy and Africa to Galerius, who had all the remaining provinces. The latter, during the same year, created Flavius Severus, Cæsar, and confided to him the government of Italy and Africa; as he did also C. Galerius Maximin, to whom he gave the Asiatic provinces. The administration of the two emperors, however, was very different; Constantius was as much beloved for his mild and disinterested government, as Galerius was hated for his harshness and prodigality. Constantius died very soon after at York, leaving his son Constantine heir to his dominions, who was immediately proclaimed Augustus by the legions, although Galerius would only acknowledge him as Cæsar.

Constantine the Great, July 25, 306—May 22, 337.

5. Thus Constantine, who afterwards obtained the surname of Great, began to rule, aged 33—64, though at first only over Britain, Spain, and Gaul; nevertheless, after seventeen years of violence and warfare, he succeeded in opening himself a way to the sole dominion of the empire. The rulers disagreed among themselves; and for[Pg 458]midable usurpers started up and rendered war inevitable.

The history of the first seven years of Constantine, 306—313, is very complicated; after that, he had only one rival to struggle with, 314—323. At his accession, Galerius, as Augustus, was in possession of all the other provinces; of which, however, he had given to Cæsar Maximin the government of those of Asia, and to Cæsar Severus, now created Augustus, Italy and Africa. The latter, however, rendering himself odious by his oppression, Maxentius, the son of the former emperor, Maximianus, assumed the title of Augustus at Rome (Oct. 28, 306), and associated his father with himself in the government; so that at this time there were six rulers: Galerius, Severus, Constantine, Maximin, and the usurpers Maxentius and his father Maximianus. But in the year 307, Severus, wishing to oppose Maxentius, was abandoned by his own troops, upon which he surrendered himself to Maximianus, who caused him to be executed. In his place Galerius created his friend Licinius, Augustus; and Maximin obtained the same dignity from his army in Asia. In the mean time, Maximianus, after having endeavoured to supplant his own son in Rome, fled to Constantine, who had crossed over into Gaul and there defeated the Franks, 306; but having made an attempt upon the life of Constantine, who had married his daughter Fausta, that emperor caused him to be put to death, 310. As the excesses of Galerius soon brought him to the grave, 311, there only remained Constantine, Licinius, and Maximin, and the usurper Maxentius. The latter was soon defeated and slain, 312, before the gates of Rome, by Constantine, who thereby became master of Italy and the capital. A war having broken out about the same time between Maximin and Licinius, Maximin was defeated near Adrianople, and then killed himself, 313. The year 314 brought on a war between the two remaining emperors, Constantine and Licinius, which, however, ended the same year in an accommodation, by which Constantine obtained all the countries on the south bank of the Danube, as well as Thrace and Mœsia Inferior; it broke out again, however, in 322, and was finally terminated by a decisive victory in Bithynia, and the total overthrow of Licinius, whom Constantine put to death, 324.

6. However opposite may be the opinions[Pg 459] formed respecting the reign of Constantine the Great, its consequences are perfectly plain. Although he annihilated military despotism, he established in its stead, if not completely, yet in great measure, the despotism of the court, and likewise the power of the hierarchy. He had already, during his expedition against Maxentius, decided in favour of the Christian religion; and since he thereby gained a vast number of partisans in all the provinces, and weakened at the same time the power of his co-emperors, or competitors, it was the surest way he could have taken to obtain sole dominion, the great object of his ambition. This change must nevertheless have had very considerable influence on every part of the government, as he found in the previously established hierarchy a powerful support of the throne; and since he, in concert with it, settled what was, and what was not the orthodox doctrine, he introduced a spirit of persecution heretofore unknown.

At a period in which religious parties must almost necessarily have become political parties, we can by no means venture to judge of the importance of the sect by the importance of their points of doctrine. The quarrels of the Arians, which arose at this time, gave Constantine, by the council of Nice, 325, the opportunity he wished for, of making good his authority in religious legislation.

7. The removal of the seat of empire from Rome to Constantinople was connected with this change in the form of worship—as a Christian court would have been awkwardly situated in a city still altogether pagan—although the need there was of protecting the frontiers against the Goths and Persians had a considerable share[Pg 460] therein. It did, indeed, become the principal means of establishing the despotism of the court; but those who regard it as one of the causes of the decline of the empire, should remember, that for an empire fallen so low as the Roman was at this time, despotism was almost the only support that remained.

The various partitions of the empire from the time of Diocletian, had led the way to this change of the capital; because a natural result of that system was, that the emperors and Cæsars, when not with the army as they usually were, would reside in different cities. The seat of Diocletian's government was at Nicomedia; of Maximian's, at Milan; even Constantine himself remained but very little at Rome. In these new residences they felt themselves unfettered; and therefore, although the Roman senate existed till after the time of Constantine, its authority must have fallen of itself from the time of Diocletian.

8. We ought not, therefore, to wonder that the consequence of this removal was so complete a change in the whole form of government, that after a short time it seemed to be altogether a different state. A partition of the empire was made, which, though it might in part have been founded on those which had previously existed, was yet so different, that it not only changed the ancient divisions of the provinces, but completely altered their mode of government.—The court, with the exception of polygamy, assumed entirely the form of an eastern court.—A revolution also had taken place in the military system, by the complete separation of the civil and military authorities, which the prætorian præfects had hitherto possessed, but who now became merely civil governors.

According to the new division the whole empire was divided into four præfectures, each of which had its dioceses, and each[Pg 461] diocese its provinces. The præfectures were: I. The eastern (præfectura Orientis); it contained five dioceses; 1. Orientis; 2. Ægypti; 3. Asiæ; 4. Ponti; 5. Thraciæ; forming altogether forty-eight provinces, and comprising all the countries of Asia and Egypt, together with the frontier countries of Libya and Thrace. II. Præfectura Illyrici, containing two dioceses; 1. Macedoniæ; 2. Daciæ; forming eleven provinces, and comprising Mœsia, Macedon, Greece, and Crete. III. Præfectura Italiæ, containing three dioceses; 1. Italiæ; 2. Illyrici; 3. Africæ; forming twenty-nine provinces, and comprising Italy, the countries on the south of the Danube, as far as the boundaries of Mœsia; the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, and the African provinces of the Syrtis. IV. Præfectura Galliarum, containing three dioceses; 1. Galliæ; 2. Hispaniæ; 3. Britanniæ; forming altogether twenty-eight provinces, and comprising Spain and the Balearian islands, Gaul, Helvetia, and Britain.—Each of these præfectures was under a præfectus prætorio (prætorian præfect), but who was merely a civil governor, and had under him vicarios, in the dioceses, as well as the rectores provinciarum, of various ranks and titles. They were named proconsules præsides, etc. Besides these, Rome and Constantinople, not being included in any of the four præfectures, had each its præfect.

As principal officers of state and the court (s. cubiculi), we now for the first time meet with the præpositus s. cubiculi (grand-chamberlain), under whom were all the comites palatii and cubicularii, in four divisions; these, at a later period, were frequently eunuchs of great influence; the magister officiorum (chancellor, minister of the interior); the comes sacrarum largitiorum (minister of the finances); the quæstor (the organ of the emperors in legislation; minister of justice and secretary of state); the comes rei principis (minister of the crown-treasury) [privy-purse]; the two comites domesticorum (commander of the household guards), each of whom had his corps (scholas) under him. The number of the state officers and courtiers was continually increasing. If the good of a commonwealth consisted in forms, ranks, and titles, the Roman empire must at this time have been truly happy!

At the head of the troops were the magistri peditum (masters of the infantry) and the magistri equitum (masters of the horse), under the magister utriusque militæ (general in chief of the whole army). Their subordinate commanders were called comites [Pg 462]and duces. Constantine considerably reduced the army. In the arrangement of the troops he also made great alterations; these, however, were but of slight consequence compared with that which was produced by admitting into the service a continually increasing number of barbarians.

Notitia dignitatem utriusque Imperii cum not. Pancirolli Græv. Thesaur. Antiquitat. Rom. vol. vii.


9. It would naturally be expected that these great changes should lead to others in the system of taxation. New taxes, or old ones revived, were added to those already existing, and became, by the manner in which they were collected, doubly oppressive. We shall particularly notice, a. The annual land-tax (indictio). b. The tax upon trade (aurum lustrale). c. The free gift (don. gratuit.), now grown into an obligatory tax (aurum coronarium). To these we must add the municipal expenses, which fell entirely upon the citizens, and especially upon the civic officers (decuriones), places which must have been generally held by the rich, as Constantine had in great measure appropriated the wealth of the cities to the endowment of churches, and the support of the clergy.

a. The land-tax, or indiction, which if not first introduced by Constantine was entirely regulated under him, was collected after an exact register, or public valuation, of all the landed estates. Its amount was yearly fixed and prescribed by the emperor (indicebatur), and levied by the rectors of provinces and the decurions; an arbitrary standard (caput) being taken as the rate of assessment.

As this register was probably reviewed every fifteen years, it gave rise to the cycle of indictions of fifteen years, which became the common era, beginning from September 1, 312. In this manner the tax included all those who were possessed of property. b. The tax on commerce; which was levied on almost every kind of trade. It was collected every four years, whence the aurum lustrale. c. The aurum coronarium grew out of the[Pg 463] custom which obtained of presenting the emperors with golden crowns on particular occasions; the value of which was at last exacted in money. Every considerable city was obliged to pay it.

Spread of the Christian religion.

10. The rapid spread of the Christian religion, the promulgation of which was enforced as a duty upon all its professors, was now accelerated by the endeavours of the court. Constantine forbade sacrifices, and shut up the temples; and the violent zeal of his successors unfortunately soon turned them into ruins.

Histoire de Constantin-le-Grand, par le R. P. Bern. de Varenne. Paris, 1778, 4to.

Vita di Constantino il Grande dell' Abb. Fr. Gusta. Fuligno, 1786. Both these works, especially the first, are written in a tone of panegyric; the latest, and by far the best, is

Life of Constantine the Great, by J. C. F. Manso. Bresl. 1817. With several very learned appendixes, which clear up some particular points.

Constantine, Constantius and Constans.

11. The three Cæsars and sons of Constantine the Great, Constantine, 337—340; Constantius, 337—361; and Constans, 337—350; had been carefully educated, and yet resembled one another as much in their vices as they did in their names. They indeed divided the empire again upon the death of their father; but were so eager after territory, which neither of them was qualified to govern, that a series of wars followed for the next twelve years, till at last Constantius was left master of the whole; and by the murder of most of his relations secured the throne to himself.

In the partition of the empire Constantine obtained the præfectura Galliarum, Constans the præfectura Italiæ et Illyrici, and Constantius the præfectura Orientis. But as Constantine desired to add Italy and Africa to his portion, he attacked[Pg 464] Constans, and thereby lost his life, so that Constans came into thee possession of the western countries. In consequence, however, of his wretched misgovernment, Magnentius, a general, proclaimed himself emperor in Gaul, and Constans was slain in endeavouring to escape, 350. A war with Constantius, who was then occupied in the east, became inevitable, and broke out 351. The usurper was defeated first at Mursa in Pannonia, then retreating into Gaul he was again defeated, 353; upon which he slew himself, together with his family.

Constantius alone.

12. As Constantius, however—sunk in effeminacy and debauchery, and surrounded and governed by eunuchs—was unable to sustain the weight of government alone, he took his cousin Constantius Gallus, hitherto a state prisoner, and whose father he had formerly slain, to his assistance, created him Cæsar, and sent him into the east against the Parthians. But his excessive arrogance, which was fomented by his wife Constantina, rendered him so dangerous that Constantius recalled him, and caused him, upon his return, to be put to death in Istria. His younger brother Fl. Julian, from whom the suspicious Constantius believed he had nothing to fear, was Nov. 6, 355. promoted in his place, created Cæsar, and sent to defend the frontiers on the Rhine. Although Julian passed suddenly from study to warfare, he not only fought against the Germans with success, but also made a deep inroad into their country. In the mean time Constantius, after his generals had been beaten by the Persians, who wished to reconquer the provinces they had ceded, was preparing an expedition against them in person, and with that view endeavoured gradually to withdraw the troops of Julian, in consequence of which the latter, suspecting his de[Pg 465]sign, was induced to accept the diadem presented 361. by his soldiers. While marching, however, along the Danube against Constantius, he received information of that prince's death in Asia.

Julian, March, 360—June 25, 363.

13. Fl. Julian, (the apostate,) who reigned from his twenty-ninth to his thirty-second year, was the last and most highly gifted prince of the house of Constantine. Instructed by misfortunes and study, he yet had some faults, though certainly free from great vices. He began with reforming the luxury of the court. His abjuration of the religion now become dominant, and which he wished to annihilate by degrees, was an error in policy, which he must have discovered to his cost had his reign been prolonged. Wishing, however, to terminate the war against the Persians, he penetrated as far as the Tigris, where he lost his life in an engagement, after a reign of three years.

The Emperor Julian and his Times, by August. Neander. Leipsic, 1812. An historical sketch.

Jovian, June 25, 363—Feb. 24, 364.

14. Fl. Jovianus, now thirty-three years of age, was immediately raised to the purple by the army. He concluded a peace with the Persians, by which he restored them all the territory that had been conquered from them since the year 297. After a short reign of eight months he was carried off by a sudden disorder; and the army proclaimed Fl. Valentinian at Nice in his stead, Valentinian almost immediately associated his Valentinian and Valens. brother Valens with himself in the government, and divided the empire by giving him the præfectura Orientis, and retaining the rest for himself.[Pg 466]

Valentinian Feb. 26, 364—Nov. 17, 375.

15. The reign of Valentinian I. in the east, who, in the year 367, created his son Gratian Augustus with himself, is distinguished by the system of toleration which he followed with regard to the affairs of religion, though in other respects a cruel prince. Nearly the whole of his reign was taken up in almost continual struggles with the German nations, who had recovered from the losses they had suffered under Julian. His first efforts were directed against the Franks, the Saxons, and the Alemanni on the Rhine; and afterwards against the Quadi and other nations on the Danube; where he died of apoplexy at Guntz in Hungary.

Valens, 364—368.

16. In the mean time his brother Valens (aged 38—52 years) had to contend with a powerful insurrection which had broken out in the east. A certain Procopius had instigated the people to this, by taking advantage of the discontent occasioned by the oppression of Valens, who, having adopted the opinion of the Arians, was more disliked in the east than his brother was in the 373. west. His war against the Persians ended with a truce. But the most important event that happened during his reign, was the entrance of the Huns into Europe, which took place towards its close. This in its turn gave rise to the great popular migration, by which the Roman empire in the west may properly be said to have been overthrown. The immediate consequence was the admission of the greater part of the Visigoths into the Roman empire, and this occasioned a war which cost Valens his life.

[Pg 467]

The Huns, a nomad people of Asia, belonged to the great Mongolian race. Having penetrated to the Don, 373, they subdued the Goths upon that river as far as the Theiss. The Goths, divided into Ostrogoths and Visigoths, were separated from one another by the Dnieper. The former, driven from their country, fell upon the Visigoths, in consequence of which the emperor Valens was requested by the latter to grant them admission into the Roman empire, and with the exception of the Vandals, who had been seated in Pannonia from the time of Constantine, they were the first barbarian nation that had been settled within the boundaries of the empire. The scandalous oppression of the Roman governor, however, drove them into rebellion; and as Valens marched against them, he was defeated near Adrianople and lost his life, 378.

Gratian, 375—383, and
Valentinian II. 375—392.

17. During these events, Gratian (aged 16—24 years) succeeded his father Valentinian I. in the west, and immediately associated his brother, Valentinian II. (aged 5—21 years) with himself in the empire; giving him, though under his own superintendence, the præfectura Italiæ et Illyrici. Gratian set forward to the assistance of his uncle Valens against the Goths, but receiving on his march an account of his defeat and death, and fearing the east might fall a prey to the Goths, he raised Theodosius, a Spaniard, who had already distinguished himself as a warrior, to the purple, and gave him the præfectura Orientis et Illyrici.

Revolt of Maximus, 383.

18. The indolent reign of Gratian led to the rebellion of Maximus, a commander in Britain, who, crossing into Gaul, was so strongly supported by the defection of the Gallic legions, that Gratian was obliged to seek safety in flight. He was, however, overtaken and put to death at Lyons. By this event Maximus found himself in possession of all the præfectura Galliarum; and by promising Theodosius not to interfere [Pg 468]with the young Valentinian II. in Italy, he prevailed upon him to acknowledge him emperor. But having broken his promise by the invasion of Italy, he was defeated and made prisoner by 388. Theodosius in Pannonia, and soon after executed. Upon this Valentinian II. a youth of whom great hopes were entertained, became again master of all the west. But, unfortunately, he was murdered by the offended Arbogast, his magister militum; who, thereupon, raised to the throne his own friend Eugenius. Eugenius, magister officiorum. Theodosius, however, so far from acknowledging, declared war against him and made him prisoner. He himself thus became master of the whole empire, but died in the following year.

Theodosius the Great, Jan. 19, 379—Jan. 17, 395.

19. The vigorous reign of Theodosius in the east, from his thirty-fourth to his fiftieth year, was not less devoted to politics than to religion. The dexterity with which he at first broke the power of the victorious Goths (though they still preserved their quarters in the provinces on the Danube), procured him considerable influence, which the strength and activity of his character enabled him easily to maintain. The blind zeal, however, with which he persecuted Arianism, now the prevailing creed in the east, and restored the orthodox belief, as well as the persecutions which he directed against the pagans and the destruction of their temples, occasioned the most dreadful convulsions. His efforts to preserve the boundaries of the empire, not a province of which was lost before his death, required an increase of taxes; and however oppressive this might be, we cannot impute it to the ruler as a crime. In an[Pg 469] empire so enfeebled in itself, and which, nevertheless, had powerful foes on every side to contend with, it followed that every active reign would be oppressive. Yet never before had the internal depopulation of the empire made it necessary to take so many barbarians into Roman pay, as under this reign; whence naturally followed a change in the arms and tactics of the Roman armies.

P. Erasm. Muller, de genio sæculi Theodosiani. Havniæ, 1798, 2 vols. A very learned and in every respect excellent description of the deeply-decayed Roman world as it now stood.

Final division of the Roman empire.
Arcadius, 395—408.
Honorius, 385—423.

20. Theodosius left two sons, between whom the empire was divided. Both parts, however, were certainly considered as forming but one empire—an opinion which afterwards prevailed, and even till late in the middle ages had important consequences—yet never since this period have they been reunited under one ruler. The eastern empire, comprising the præfectura Orientis et Illyrici, was allotted to the eldest son, Arcadius (aged 18—31) under the guardianship of Rufinus the Gaul. The western, or the præfectura Galliarum et Italiæ, to the younger, Honorius, aged 11—39, under the guardianship of the Vandal Stilico.

Alaric king of the Visigoths.

21. The western empire, to the history of which we shall now confine ourselves, suffered such violent shocks during the reign of Honorius, as made its approaching fall plainly visible. The intrigues of Stilico to procure himself the government of the whole empire, opened a way for the Goths into its interior, just at a time when they were doubly formidable, fortune having given them a leader greatly superior to any they had [Pg 470]hitherto had. Alaric king of the Visigoths established himself and his people in the Roman empire, became master of Rome, and mounted the throne: it was the mere effect of chance that he did not overthrow it altogether.

Both Honorius and Arcadius, especially the latter, belonged to that class of men who never come to years of maturity; their favourites and ministers therefore governed according to their own inclination. Stilico, who made Honorius his son-in-law, was not deficient, indeed, in abilities for governing; and his endeavour to obtain the management of the whole empire, arose, perhaps, from the conviction that it was necessary he should have it. He could not, however, gain his object by intrigue; for after the murder of Rufinus; 395, he found a still more powerful opponent in the eunuch Eutropius, his successor in the east. Under the regency of Stilico, Gaul, in consequence of its troops being withdrawn to oppose Alaric, 400, was inundated by German tribes—by Vandals, Alani, and Suevi—who from thence penetrated even into Spain. Nevertheless, he preserved Italy from their attacks by the victory which he gained, 403, over Alaric at Verona; and again over Radagaisus, 405, who had advanced with other German hordes as far as Florence. But Stilico, having entered into a secret alliance with Alaric, for the purpose of wresting eastern Illyrica from the empire of the east, was overreached by the intrigues of the new favourite Olympius, whose cabal knew how to take advantage of the weakness of Honorius, and of the jealousy of the Roman and foreign soldiers. Stilico was accused of aspiring to the throne, and was executed August 23, 408. Rome lost in him the only general that was left to defend her. Alaric invaded Italy the same year, 408, and the besieged Rome was obliged to purchase peace; the conditions, however, not being fulfilled, he was again, 409, before Rome, became master of the city, and created Attalus, the præfect of the city, emperor instead of Honorius, who had shut himself up in Ravenna. In 410 he assumed the diadem; and, making himself master of the city by force, gave it up to be plundered by his troops. Soon afterwards, while projecting the capture of Sicily and Africa, he died in lower Italy. Hi