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Maimonides, that Terentius Rufus, captain of the army of Titus, absolutely ploughed up the foundations of the temple with a ploughshare. Now, also, was literally fulfilled that prophecy of Micah,—" Therefore shall Zion, for your sakes (i. e. for your wickedness,) be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the Lord's house as the high places of the forest."
SIEGE AND DESTRUCTION OF TYRE.
Alexander signified to the inhabitants of Tyre, that he proposed to sacrifice to Hercules in their city.
When the Tyrians received this alarming intelligence, they discovered not less firmness than prudence.
They immediately sent an embassy to Alexander, and assured him that they had formed an unalterable resolution, that neither the Persians nor the Macedonians should ever enter their city. We cannot but wonder at this boldness in a nation whose inhabitants were wholly unaccustomed to war; but the resources of their wealth and commerce seem to have heightened the courage, instead of softening the character of the people. Their city, which, in the language of the east, was styled the eldest daughter of Sidon, had been long acknowledged the mistress of the sea. The purple shell-fish, which is found in great abundance on their coast, gave them early possession of that lucrative branch of commerce; and the advantage of clothing the princes and nobles of antiquity was principally confined to the Tyrians. Their city was separated from the sea by a frith half a mile broad; and the walls were a hundred feet high, and extended eighteen miles in circumference. The industry of the inhabitants, together with the convenience of its situation, and the capaciousness of its harbours, made it the commercial capital of the world. It abounded with excellent artificers in wood, stone, and iron, was numerously peopled, and had large magazines of military and naval stores.
Notwithstanding the natural and artificial strength of the city, Alexander resolved to besiege it. He, therefore, in the first place, ran a mole from the continent to the walls of Tyre, where the sea was about three fathoms deep. On the side of the continent, the work was carried on with great alacrity : but when the troops approached the city, the inhabitants galled them with missile weapons from the battlements, and the depth of water incommoded them. The Tyrians also, annoyed the workmen from their galleys, which, as they had the command of the sea, they could easily effect. To forward their labours, and, at the same time, resist these complicated assaults, Alexander gave orders to erect, on the furthest projecture of the mole, two wooden towers, on which he placed engines; these were covered with leather and raw hides, in order to resist the burning darts and fire-ships of the enemy.
But this contrivance was soon rendered vain and ineffeetual. The Tyrians procured a large hulk, which they filled with dry twigs, pitch, sulphur, and other combustibles. Two masts were raised towards the prow, each of which was armed with a double yard : and from the extremities of these were suspended vast caldrons, filled with whatever substance might seem likely to add to the conflagration. As soon as the wind appeared favourable, they towed the hulk into the sea with two galleys; and, having approached the mole, the sailors set the vessel on fire and swam to land. The works of the Macedonians were soon in a blaze; and the Tyrians, sailing forth in boats, prevented them from extinguishing the fire; by which means the labour of many weeks was reduced to ruin in one day.
Alexander, however, was not to be intimidated by this misfortune: he gave orders that a new mole should be raised higher and broader than the first, and upon which engines should again be placed. While these operations were carrying on, he received reinforcements of troops from Peloponnesus, which arrived very opportunely to revive the courage of his men, exhausted by fatigue, and dejected by defeat. The maritime provinces also, which he had reduced to his subjection, sent to offer their assistance in an undertaking, which could scarcely have terminated successfully so long as the Tyrians possessed the dominion of the sea. By the united force of lower Asia, Cyprus, and Rhodes, the whole armament of Alexander amounted to two hundred and twenty-four vessels. The lyrians, who had hitherto confided in their superiority, were now obliged to retire within their harbours for safety.
That people, however, was not discouraged from persevering in their defence: they attacked with showers of ignited weapons the hulk and galleys destined to advance the battering engines against their walls; and besides this, still trusting in their courage, resolved to attack the Cyprian squadron, stationed at the mouth of the harbour which looked towards Sidon. The boldness of the design was not less than the bravery which the Tyrians employed in carrying it into execution. That they might conceal their operations from the enemy, they had previously fixed up sails in the mouth of the harbour.
They observed that the Greeks and Macedonians were usually employed in private affairs about mid-day, and that Alexander about that time also retired to his pavilion, which was erected near the haven, and lookied towards Egypt. Against that hour, therefore, the best sailing vessels were selected from the whole fleet, and manned with the most expert rowers and the most resolute soldiers, all inured to the sea, and properly armed for battle.
They proceeded for a while slowly and silently; but when they had approached within sight of the Cyprians, they at once clashed their oars, raised a shout, and advanced abreast of each other to the attack. The Tyrians sunk many of the enemy's ships at the first shock; and others were dashed against the shore. On that day, Alexander had remained but a short time in his pavilion. When he was informed of this desperate sally of the besieged, he commanded such vessels, as were ready, to block up the mouth of the haven ; and thus prevented the remainder of the Tyrian fleet from joining their victorious companions. In the meantime, with several galleys, hastily prepared, he sailed round to attack the 'Tyrians. The inhabitants in the city, perceiving the danger of their comrades, made signals to recal them to the ships ; but they had scarcely begun to shape their course back to the city, when the fleet of Alexander assailed, and soon rendered them unserviceable. Few of the vessels escaped; two were sunk at the mouth of the harbour, but the men saved themselves by swimming.
The issue of these naval operations determined the fate of Tyre. Having proved so victorious over the hostile feet, the Macedonians now fearlessly advanced their engines against the walls of the city. Amidst repeated assaults for two days, the besiegers exhibited great ardour and courage, and the besieged were actuated by their desperate situation. The towers whicb the Greeks and Macedonians had raised to the height of the walls, enabled them to fight hand to hand with the enemy. By the assistance of spontoons, some of the bravest soldiers passed over to the battlements; but the besieged poured vessels of burning sand on those who attempted to scale the walls with ladders, and which penetrated to the bone. The vigour of attack could only be equalled by the vigour of resistance; the Tyrians contrived to weaken the shock of the battering engines by green hides and coverlets of wool; and when the enemy was so far successful as to effect a breach in the walls, the bravest were always ready to repel them from entering the place.
'On the third day, the engines of the besiegers, assailed the walls : and the fleet, divided into two squadrons, attacked the opposite harbours at the same time. The battering engines having effected a wide breach in the walls, Alexander gave orders to raise the scaling-ladders, that the soldiers might enter the town over the ruins. Admetus, with the targeteers, was the first that attempted to mount the breach; but this brave commander soon fell by the attack of the enemy; Alexander and his companions, however, following after, took possession of the wall. l'he two squadrons of the fleet were also successful: the one entered the harbour of Egypt, whilst the other forced its passage into that of Sidon; but the besieged, though the enemy had possessed themselves of the walls of their city, still rallied, and prepared for defence.
The lyrians having taken some Grecian vessels from Sidon, inhumanly butchered the crews upon their walls, and then threw the dead bodies into the sea, in sight of the whole Macedonian army. This action, together with the extreme length of time to which the siege had been protracted, provoked the resentment of Alexander, and exasperated the fury of the victors. Eight thousand Tyrians were slain in the town, and thirty thousand were dragged into captivity. The principal magistrates of the city, together with some Carthaginians, who had come to worship the gods of their mother country sought refuge in the temple of Tyrian Hercules, where the clemency or piety of Alexander saved them. The Macedonian army lost four hundred men in the obstinate siege of seven months.
Thus fell s'yre, that had been for many ages the most flourishing city in the world, and had spread the arts of commerce into the remotest regions.
BATTLE BETWEEN THE ROMANS AND ALBANS.
The Roman and Alban forces at length met, about five miles from Rome, prepared to decide the fate of their respective kingdoms; for almost every battle in these barbarous times was decisive. The two armies were for some time drawn out in array, awaiting the signal to begin, both impatient to remove the dreadful suspense which kept them from death or victory. But an unexpected proposal from the Alban general suspended the onset ; for stepping in between both armies, he offered the Romans a choice of deciding the dispute by single combat: adding, that the side, whose champion was overcome, should submit to the conqueror.
A proposal like this suited the impetuous temper of the Roman king, and was embraced with joy by his subjects, each of whom hoped, that himself should be chosen to fight the cause of his country. Many valiant men offered them-elves, but could not be accepted tò the exclusion of others, till, at last, chance suggested a remedy There were ai that time three persons, twine brothers in each army; those of the Romans wer: call-d Horatii, and the Albans Curiatii
, all remarkable for their courag, strength, and activity; to them it was resolved to commit the ma
nagement of the combat. When the previous ceremony of oaths and protestations, binding the army of the vanquished party to submit to that of the victorious, was over, the combatants were led forth, amidst the encouragements, prayers, and the shouts of their country. They were reminded of their former achievements; they were admonished, that their fathers, their countrymen, and even the gods, were spectators of their prowess. When the people, however, expected to see them rush to the combat, they dropped their arms, and embraced each other with all the marks of the most tender friendship ; but at length, warmed with the importance of the cause, the champions engaged; and each, totally regardless of his own safety, sought only the destruction of his opponent. The spectators, in horrid silence, trembled at every blow, and burned to share the danger, till at length victory, which had hitherto been doubtful, appeared to declare against the Romans: in consternation they beheld two of their champions lying dead upon the plain, and the three Curiatii, being all wounded, slowly endeavouring to pursue the survivor, who seemed by flight to elude their fury. The Alban army, unable to suppress their joy, raised a loud acclamation, while the Romans inwardly cursed the cowardice of him whom they saw in circumstances of such baseness. Soon, however, they began to alter their sentiments, when they perceived that his Aigbt was only pretended, in order to separate his antagonists, whom he was unable to oppose united; for quickly after, stopping his course, and turning upon the nearest pursner, he laid him dead at his feet : the second brother, advancing to assist him who was fallen, soon shared the same fate : and . now there remained but the last Curiatus to conquer, who, fatigued and disabled with his many wounds, slowly came up to offer an easy viciory. He was killed, almost unresisting, while the conqueror exulting, offered him as a victim to the superiority of the Romans, whom now the Alban army consented to obey.
Such an achievement, attended too with such signal effects, deserved every honour Rome could bestow ; but, to the disgrace of the conqueror, the hand which in the morning was exerted to save his country, was before night embrued in the blood of a sister. Returning triumphant from the field, it raised his indignation to behold her bathed in tears, and lamenting the loss of her lover, one of the Curiatii, to whom she was betrothed; but, upon seeing the vest which she had made for her lover among the number of his spoils, and hearing her upbraidings, he was transported with passion, and slew her in a rage. This action greaily displeased the senate, and drew on