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out a fleet. Reje&ting therefore the principles which the kings his predecessors had followed, with respect to the marine, he equipped a very large fleet; it consisted, they say, of 400 fail . If we helieve the report of the authors of an. tiquity, these were the first ships of war that had been seen. Before the Egyptians had only had weak barks, or even rafts, which served them to coast about the borders of the Arabian gulfs. It was likewise on this sea that Sesostris made his fleet be builts. I am persuaded, though
the ancients do not say so, that to effect this he had re. · course to Phænician workmen. It is equally probable, that
the greatest part of the tackling which rigged these veslels, was got from the same nation.
By means of his fleet, Sefoftris made himself master of the greatest part of the maritime provinces, and the coasts of the Indian sea h. We do not see that this prince is said to have had ships on the Mediterranean. Diodorus says, it is true, that Şefoftris conquered the, Cyclades i, But it is very probable that this expression should be understood of some ifles of the Indian fea, and not of those which the ancients knew under that name in the Mediterranean. The manner alone in which Diodorus expresses himself, is enough to lhew it *; especially, as neither he, nor Herodotus, say in any other place, that Sefoftris had a fleet in the Mediterranean.
The reign of this prince was a brilliant, but short epoch, for the marine among the Egyptians. In effect, it does not appear that the successors of Sefoftris ever entered in to his views, or continued his projects. The writers of antiquity do not mention any maritime enterprise undertaken in Egypt, in the ages we are at present running om d Id. ibid. p. 64.
• Herod. 1. 2. n. 102.; Diod. l. 1. p. 64. i Plin. 1. 7. sect. 57. p. 417. & Herod. I. 2. n. 102,; Diod. 1. 1. p. 64. h Herod. & Diod. locis cit. These authors only speak of the Red sea ; but it is known, that under that denomination, the ancients included all the space of sea which washes Asią to the south, i LJ.p. 65.
The name of Cyclades is a generical term, which may agree with many £ollections of illes, 002
ver. The ancient manner of thinking, with respect to commerce and navigation, resumed its empire. Entirely taken up with the means of rendering the inland commerce of his kingdom very flourishing, Sefoftris wanted to have an easy communication between the different provinces of Egypt. With this view, he had caused many canals to be cut, which came from the Nile', and communicated with each other. By thus facilitating the transport of commodities, he had taken care that plenty should spread itself over all his kingdom. These works so proper to encourage commerce, yet could not inspire the Egyptians with a taste for it; they did not try to extend their commerce to any distance, nor to make with foreigners establishments capable of supporting it; for I do not think one can refer to this end the different colonies which Cecrops and Danaus conducted from Egypt into Greece, about an hundred years after Sesostris. We know that the chiefs of thele new migrations kept up no relation with Egypt ». They ought then only to be looked upon as adventurers
, who, discontented with their lot, put themselves at the liead of a troop of vagabonds to go and seek their fortune in a foreign land. I also think that it had been with these fecond colonies as with the first, that is to say, that they made their passage from Egypt into 'Greece in Phoenician bottoms n.
The Egyptians continued to give very little access to strangers.' The ports of Egypt, except that of Naucratis, remained always shut. They were not opened till under the reign of Pfammeticus °, that is to lay, more than 1000 years after Sefoftris.
Although 'ancient Egypt was little given to commerce, the people notwithstanding enjoyed immense riches. They owed them to the exploits and ihe conquests of their first sovereigns. These princes had over-run and subjected a great part of Asia p. These wars were not unprofitable :
| Herod. I. 2. n. 108. Diod. 1. 1. p. 66. mu See Herod. 1. 2. n. 154.
» See Marsh. p. 109. & 110, ë Diod. 1. 2. p. 78, p Id. ibid. p. 23. 24. & 56.
Selostris got by his expeditions an immense booty Befides, he imposed considerable tributes of every fort on the nations he had conquered They were even obliged 10 bring them to Egypts. The successors of this prince imi. tated his example. Ancient inscriptions, which still subfift. ed in the times of Strabo and Tacitus, marked the weight of gold and of silver, the number of arms and of horses, the quantity of ivory and perfumes, of corn and other commodities that each nation was to pay · These tributes, by the report of Tacitus, equalled those which in his time the Parthians and even the Romans could demand from the people under their dominion ».
It is not then surprising, that, in spite of their disinclination to commerce, ancient Egypt is said to have enjoyed great opulence. By the conquests of her first monarchs, she was become the centre or boundary of a great part of the riches of Asia. The superb monuments which these princes caused to be ere&ted, the immense works which they undertook, fpread money over the nation, and circulated their treasures. Each private person profited by it, and might that way alone enrich himself readily enough. Besides, they were very luxurious in Egypt in early times. One may judge of this by the quantity of gold and silver vases, the precious habits, &c. which the Israelites brouglit from that country when they came out of it x.
at present, many details relating to the commerce and navigation of the Phænicians. It is in effect to this epoch, that most of the maritime enterprises which have rendered
1 Ibid. p. 65.
Ibid. * Strabo, 1. 17. p. 1171.; Tacit. aonal. 1. 2.c. 63.
Exod. c. 12. V. 35.
these people so famous in antiquity should be referred. Their history furnishes a very convincing proof what industry can do, and shews very evidently to what pitch commerce is capable of raising a nation which applies to it with ardor.
When we speak of the Phænicians, we must distinguish the times with accuracy. These people possessed originally a large extent of countries, comprised under the name of the land of Canaan. They lost the greatest part of it by the conquests of the Israelites under Joshua. The lands which fell in the division to the tribe of Asher, extended to Sidon y. Thật city notwithstanding was not subdued. The inhabitants preserved their lives and liberty 2. It even appears, that they were not disturbed, but were permitted to enjoy great tranquillity a. The Sidonians made use of this to continue their commerce, and la boured to extend it more and more. They even found themselves foon able enough to oppress the Israelites in their turn. This event happened in the times of the judges b. We are ignorant of the circumstances, which besides are foreign to our object. Let us return to the commerce of the Sidonians.
If the conquests of Joshua took from the Phænicians ą great part of their dominion, they were well paid by the consequences of that event. To support and maintain their commerce with advantage, these people had occafion to e. stablish warehouses in the different countries where business might draw them. They were not able to form lasting settlements, but by the aid of a certain number of colonies. The revolution occasioned in the countries of Canaan by the irruption of the Hebrew people, enabled the Sidonians to send colonies where ever they thought proper. In effect, the greatest part of the ancient inhabitants of Palestine seeing themselves threatened with entire destruction, had recourse to flight to save themselves. Sidon offered them an afylum: they cast themselves upon them; but the terri: tory of that city was not sufficient to support this multitude
of refugees ; it happened that they were still under a necefsity of finding new settlements e. Sidon lent them ships, and made good use of these new inhabitants to extend their trade and form fettlements. From hence, that great number of colonies which went then from Phænicia, to spread themselves in all the countries of Africa and of Europe.
I shall not undertake to particularise exactly all the places where the Phoenicians came to introduce themselves. The reader may consult the authors who have discusled this matter with the extent it requires, and the exactness it merits *. I shall confine myself to general facts, which may enable the reader to judge of the nature and of the extent of the commerce which that nation carried on in the ages we are speaking of at present. I shall also observe, that then there was no mention made of Tyre, not even of the ancient Tyre which was taken by Nabuchodonofor. That city was not built till about 40 years after the taking of Troy d.
It owed its origin to a colony of Sidonians. Their beginnings, like all those new settlements, were very weak. Homer, who speaks fo often of Sidon, does not once name Tyre. That city was not distinguished enough in his time, to deserve a place in history.
To return to our subject, the first settlements of the Phoenicians were in the isles of Cyprus and Rhodes. They passed successively into Greece, into Sicily and Sardinia. Afterwards they transported themselves among the Gauls, and always advajicing, they discovered the southern part of Spain. These people were incontestably the first navigators who are said to have penetrated into that extremity of Europe. It is even in the Phoenician language, that we must search for the etymology of the name which that kingdom still bears at this day t.
TI • See Procop, de bello Vandal. 1. 2. C. IO. * Bochart, Huet, Newton, 6t. d Marth. p. 295.
e See part 1. b. 4. C. 2. art. I. + They pretend that Spain was formerly filled with fo prodigious a quantity of rabbits, that these animals, by means of digging the earth, almost overturned the houses. Varro, de re ruftica, 1. 3. C. 13.; Strabo, 1. 3. p. 213. 214. & 256.; Plin. l. 8. fect. 43. & 83. (SD Sathan, in Hebrew, little different from the Phoenician, significs a rabbir.