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PART IN. taking an affection to the place, caused water-courses to
be made to it, from the further side of the mountain Orontes, digging a passage through the hills with great labour and charge. It being destroyed by the injury of time, it was re-edified by Deioces, the sixth King of the Medes, and afterwards much beautified and enlarged by Seleucus Nicanor, one of the successors of Alexander the Great in his Asian conquests. For beauty and magnificence it was little inferior to Babylon or Nineveh. In compass it is said to be one hundred and eighty, or two hundred furlongs, which make about twenty-four of our miles. The walls thereof are affirmed in the book of Judith to be seventy cubits high, fifty cubits broad, and the towers upon the gates an hundred cubits higher; all built of hewn and polished stones, each stone being six cubits in length, and three in breadth. But this is to be understood only of the innermost wall, there being seven in all about it; each of them higher than the other, and cach distinguished by the colour of their several pinnacles, which gave unto the eye a most pleasant prospect. It was the ordinary residence of the Kings of Persia in the heat of summer, as Susa, before mentioned and described, was in the cold of winter. The royal palace was about a mile in compass, and built with all the cost and skill that a stately edifice did require. Some of its beams are said to be of silver, and the rest of cedar, which were strengthened with plates of gold. Josephus, the Jewish historian, relates, that it was built by the prophet Daniel ; which must be understood no otherwise than that he overlooked the work, or contrived the model, appointed to do so by the order of Darius the Mede, to whom the building of the same is ascribed by others. Neglected at length by the Kings of the Parthian race, it became a ruin.
C H A P. VI.
Of the more remarkable Places mentioned in the Apocryphal
Books, and not spoken of before.
I SHALL in this last chapter take notice of the more re- 1.
Of Thisbe, markable places mentioned in the Apocryphal books, and
and the city which have not been spoken of before. I have not ob- Nephtali. served any place or country mentioned in the two Apocryphal books of Esdras, but what has somewhere or other been before taken notice of; and therefore, passing by them, we come to the book of Tobit. In chap. i. ver. 2. we read, that in the time of Enemassar, (who is sup
. posed to be the same called 2 Kings xvii. 3. Shalmaneser,) King of the Assyrians, Tobit was led captive out of Thisbe, which is at the right hand of that city, which is properly called Nephtali in Galilee. Now it is thought with great probability, that the city here said to be properly called Nephtali was the same with that which was otherwise called Kadesh-Nephtali, this being the principal city of Nephtali in the more early times. And as it was called KadeshNephtali, to distinguish it from other cities called by the name of Kadesh; so it is very likely, that it was also for brevity's sake (omitting the former part of the compound name, namely Kadesh, as common to it with other places) called Nephtali, and the rather, as being the most eminent city in the tribe of Nephtali. For it was not only a Levitical city, but also one of the three cities of refuge on the west of Jordan.
In ver. 14. of this first chapter of Tobit, we have mention made of Rages, a city of Media. This is probably of the city enough thought to be the same with Ragau, mentioned in chap. i. ver. 15. of the book of Judith. Nor is it a conjecture without any foundation, that it was built by Reu the son of Peleg. For not only the descendants of Arphaxad (of whom came Peleg, the father of Reu) settled in these and the adjacent parts; but Reu is called by
PART III. the Seventy Interpreters Ragau. And as to the posterity
of Arphaxad settling here, it is remarkable, that in the very beginning of the book of Judith, we have mention made of Arphaxad, who reigned over the Medes in Ecbatane; this name being probably given to the said King in memory and honour of their forefather Arphaxad, the son of Shem, and grandson of Noah; who probably upon the dispersion of mankind settled himself in these parts of Asia; whence we find here a whole country retaining plain footsteps of his name, it being called Arrapachitis in Ptolemy, probably for Arphaxaditis.
Proceed we to the book of Judith; and the most reof Bethu- markable place in this history is the city or town of
Bethulia, wherein Judith lived when it was besieged by Holofernes, the general of the Assyrian army. That this place was situated not far from Dothaim, is evident, as from other texts, so especially from chap. vii. ver. 3. where it is said, that the army under Holofernes encamped in the valley near unto Bethulia, by the fountain, and they spread themselves in breadth over Dothaim even to Belmaim, and in length from Bethulia unto Cyamon (or the Bean-field) over against Esdraelon. Now Dothaim being probably the same with Dothan, and Esdraelon the same with Jezreel, we may from hence make a pretty good guess at the situation of Bethulia, that it was such as is assigned it in the map hereunto belonging. Brochard tells us, that from the place taken for Bethulia, when he travelled the Holy Land, to Tiberias on the sea of Galilee, was one league, and that the latter lay to the south-east of the former. As for the other places mentioned in the book of Judith, they are either such as are of very uncertain situation, or else of no great note, or lastly such as have been already described." And the same may be said of the places that are mentioned in the several following Apocryphal books, till we come to the two books of the Maccabees, which are the last of the Apocryphal books.
In these two books, as being chiefly historical, we have of Modin. mention made of many places, among which, excepting those already spoken of, the chief or most remarkable are CHAP. VI. these that follow : Modin I mention first, on account of its being the dwelling-place of Mattathias, of whom was descended Judas surnamed Maccabeus. The situation of this place is not well agreed on; some placing it 'not very far from Jerusalem. For Mr. Maundrell tells us, that in his return from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, he made a visit to (what is now-a-days.called) the wilderness and convent of St. John the Baptist; and that being come within about'a league of the convent, he had in sight Modon, a village on the top of an high hill, the burying-place of those heroical defenders of their country, the Maccabees. And so likewise Le Bruyn tells us, that at a little distance from the convent of the Holy Cross (which is about an hour's journey from Jerusalem) he saw upon a very high hill, the place where the Maccabees lie buried, and the ruins of their house. And a little after he tells us, that being gone further on in his way to Bethlehem, he turned towards Modin; and he not only gives us a draught of it, but also tells us, that of the burying-places of the Maccabees there are still seven arches remaining, under which the bodies were laid. From which it may be inferred, that our author was either at or very near the place; and consequently, that it lies not very far from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. But others will have Modin to lie much farther westward, namely, on the coast, or not far from the coast, of the Mediterranean sea. And this opinion is founded on 1 Maccab. xiii. 25, 26. where it is said thus : Then sent Simon, and took the bones of Jonathan his brother, and buried them in Modin, the city of his fathers.--Simon also built a monument upon the sepulchre of his father and his brethren, and raised it aloft to the sight, with hewn stone behind and before. Moreover, he set up seven pyramids one against another, for his father and his mother, and his four brethren. And in these he made cunning devices; about the which he set great pillars. And upon the pillars he made all their armour for a perpetual memory; and by the armour, ships carved, that they might be seen of all that sail
5. Of Perse
PART III. on the sea. Now from the last clause of this passage it
seems evident, that Modin was at no great distance from the Mediterranean sea. Whence it will follow, that the forementioned place, taken notice of by Mr. Maundrell and Mr. Le Bruyn, is not rightly reputed to be the burying-place of the Maccabees; but that their opinion is better founded, who place Modin much nearer to the coast of the Mediterranean sea. Agreeably hereunto Eusebius and Jerom tell us, that Modin was situated near to Diospolis, or Lydda. And Bonfrerius observes , that some moderns place the situation of Modin at four miles distance from Lydda, and one long mile from Joppa.
The next place I shall speak of is Persepolis, mentioned
2 Macc. ix. 2. It was the chief city, not only of that propolis.
vince of the Persian empire which is properly called Persis, but of the whole empire; whence it is styled by the historian Quintus Curtius, the Queen of the East. It was situated near the banks of a river called Araxes, otherwise said to be called Rhogomanes, and now-a-days Bendemir. It was built for the most part of cypress-wood, the walls of the houses being of marble, digged out of an adjoining mountain. Diodorus Siculus, who at large describes this city, affirms it to be the richest and finest city in all the world. And we may well believe him as to the richness of it, Alexander the Great finding here one hundred and twenty thousand talents in ready money for his own share, after the soldiers had made what spoil they listed of plate, bullion, images of gold and silver, and jewels of unspeakable value. But the chief beauty of it was the royal palace, built on an hill, surrounded with a treble wall; the first of sixteen cubits height, the second of thirty, and the third of sixty : all of them of black polished marble, with stately battlements, and in the circuit of the whole palace an hundred turrets, which afforded a most admirable
prospect. Nor was the inside of less beauty, than the outside of majesty ; the roof thereof shining with ivory, silver,
b Annot. in tab. Terræ promissæ.