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between the Chinese and Indian nations, must con- | ranges of mountains on either side. The greatest breadth trast the peculiar culture of the Chinese with that of of the valley is 150 miles, but generally it is much less, the Hindoo, fashioned almost like a European, even to the mountain ranges on either side often being not more his complexion. He will study the boundless religious than five to ten miles from the river. system of the Brahmins, and oppose it to the bold A country so favourably situated, and possessing so belief of the original Chinese, which can hardly be many advantages, could not but be among the earliest named religion. He will remark the rigorous division peopled; and accordingly, as far back as the human of the Hindoos into castes, sects, and denominations, memory can reach, we find' a dense population of a for which the inhabitants of the central kingdom have very peculiar character inhabiting the whole valley of even no expression. He will compare the dry prosaic the Nile. These ancient Egyptians seem, as we have spirit of the Chinese with the high poetic soul of the already said, to have been a mixture of the Semitic dwellers on the Ganges and the Dsumnah. He will with the Ethiopic element, speaking a peculiar lanhear the rich and blooming Sanscrit, and contrast it guage, still surviving in a modified form in the Coptic with the unharmonious speech of the Chinese. He of modern Egypt. In the ancient authors, however, will mark, finally, the literature of the latter, full of the Egyptians are always distinguished from the matters of fact and things worth knowing, as contrasted Ethiopians, with whom they kept up so close an interwith the limitless philosophic-ascetic writing of the course, that it has been made a question whether the Indians, who have made even the highest poetry weari- Egyptian institutions came from the Ethiopian Meroe, some by perpetual length.'
or whether, as is more probable, civilisation was trans
mitted to Ethiopia from Egypt. History of the Eastern Nations till their Incorporation in the The whole country is naturally divided into three Persian Empire.
parts--Upper Egypt, bordering on what was anciently Leaving India-that great fragment of the original Ethiopia; Middle Egypt; and Lower Egypt, including Caucasian civilisation--and proceeding westward, we the Delta of the Nile. In each there were numerous find two large masses of the human species filling in cities in which the population was amassed: originally the earliest times the countries lying between the Indus Thebes, a city of Upper Egypt, of the size of which and the Mediterranean--namely, an Indo-Persian mass surprising accounts are transmitted to us, and whose filling the whole tract of country between the Indus ruins still astonish the traveller, was the capital of the and the Tigris; and a Semitic-Aramaic mass filling country; but latterly, as commerce increased, Memphis the greater part of lesser Asia and the whole peninsula in Middle Egypt became the seat of power. After of Arabia, and extending itself into the parts of Africa Thebes and Memphis, Ombi, Edfou, Esneh, Elephanadjoining the Red Sea. That in the most remote ages tina, and Philoe seem to have been the most important these lands were the theatres of a civilised activity of the Egyptian cities. is certain, although no records have been transmitted Our accounts of the Egyptian civilisation are derived from them to us, except a few fragments relative to the chiefly from the Greek historian Herodotus (B. C. 408), Semitic nations. The general facts, however, with re- who visited Egypt and digested the information which gard to these ante-historic times, seem to be: Ist, That he received from the priests as to its ancient history; the former of the two masses mentioned-namely, the and Manetho, a native Egyptian of later times, who population between the Indus and the Caspian-was wrote in Greek. From their accounts it is inferred essentially a prolongation of the great Indian nucleus, that the country was anciently divided into thirty-six possessing a culture similar to the Indian in its main sections or provinces called nomes-ten in Upper, sixaspects, although varied, as was inevitable, by the teen in Middle, and ten in Lower Egypt. “Many of operation of those physical causes which distinguish the separate nomes were of considerable substantive the climate of Persia and Cabool from that of Hindoos- importance, and had a marked local character each to tan; 2d, That the Semitic or Aramaic mass divided itself, religious as well as political; though the whole itself at a very early period into a number of separate of Egypt, from Elephantine to Pelusium and Kanopus, peoples or nations, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the is said to have always constituted one kingdom.'. Of Phænicians, the Jews, the Arabians, &c. and that each this kingdom, the population, according to a rough of these acquired a separate development, and worked estimate, may have been about seven millions. The out for itself a separate career; 3d, That upwards of a government was a monarchy based on an all-powerful thousand years before Christ the spirit of conquest priesthood, similar to the Brahminical system of India; appeared among the Semitic nations, dashing them and, as in India, the most striking feature in the violently against each other; and that at length one Egyptian society was the division of the people into Semitic fragment—that is, the Assyrians--attained the hereditary castes. “The population of Egypt,' says supremacy over the rest, and founded a great dominion, Mr Grote in his History of Greece, ‘was classified called the Assyrian empire, which stretched from Egypt into certain castes or hereditary professions, of which to the borders of India (B. C. 800); and 4th, That the the number is represented differently by different pressure of this Semitic power against the Indo-Persic authors. The priests stand clearly marked out as the mass was followed by a reaction-one great section of order richest, most powerful, and most venerated, disthe Indo-Persians rising into strength, supplanting the tributed all over the country, and possessing excluAssyrian empire, and founding one of their own, called sively the means of reading and writing, * besides a vast the Persian empire (B. C. 536), which was destined in its amount of narrative matter treasured up in the meturn to be supplanted by the confederacy of Grecian mory, the whole stock of medical and physical knowstates in B.C. 326.
ledge then attainable, and those rudiments of geometry Beginning with Egypt, let us trace separately the (or rather land-measuring) which were so often called career of each of the Eastern nations till that point into use in a country annually inundated. To each of time at which we find them all embodied in the god and to each temple throughout Egypt, lands and great Persian empire:
other properties belonged, whereby the numerous band
of priests attached to him were maintained. Their The Egyptians.
ascendancy, both direct and indirect, over the minds of Egypt, whose position on the map of Africa is well the people was immense; they prescribed that minute known, is about 500 miles long from its most northern ritual under which the life of every Egyptian, not exto its most southern point. Through its whole length cepting the king himself, was passed, and which was flows the Nile, a fine large stream rising in the inland for themselves more full of harassing particularities kingdom of Abyssinia, and, from certain periodic floods than for any one else. Every day in the year belonged to which it is subject, of great use in irrigating and * Mr Grote subjoins the following important note : The fertilising the country. A large portion of Egypt con- word priest conveys to a modern reader an idea very different sists of an alluvial plain, similar to our meadow grounds, from that of the Egyptian ispers, who were not a profession, but formed by the deposits of the river, and bounded by l an order, comprising many occupations and professions.'
to some particular god, and the priests alone knew to human life in these gigantic works must have been which. There were different gods in every nome, enormous. About 120,000 men are said to have perished though Isis and Osiris were common to all; and the in the digging of a canal, which was left untinished, priests of each god constituted a society apart, more or between the Red Sea and an arm of the Nile; and less important, according to the comparative celebrity according to Herodotus, the Egyptian priests of his day of the temple. The property of each temple included described the building of the Pyramids as a time of troops of dependents and slaves, who were stamped with extreme exhaustion and hardship to the whole country. “ holy marks,” and who must have been numerous, in The religion of the Egyptians seems to have been, order to suffice for the service of the large buildings in its popular form at least, a mere gross Fetishism, and their constant visitors.
whose principal characteristic was a worship of teeming Next in importance to the sacerdotal caste were the animal life-the bull, the cat, the ibis, the crocodile, military caste or order, whose native name indicated &c.; different animals in different nomes. Whaterer that they stood on the left hand of the king, while the profounder meaning lay hid under this gross ceremonial priests occupied the right. They were classified into the priest-caste reserved to themselves, as one of the Kalasiries and Hermotybii, who occupied lands in mysteries, the possession of which severed them from eighteen particular nomes or provinces, principally in the rest of the population. Among these mysteries Lower Egypt. The Kalasiries had once amounted to was the art of writing, which was practised both in the 160,000 men, the Hermotybii to 250,000, when at the alphabetical and the hieroglyphic form; the latter maximum of their population; but that highest point being used for special purposes. Some vague notion had long been past in the time of Herodotus. To each of the immortality of the soul, resembling the Hindoo man of this soldier-caste was assigned a portion of land, tenet of transmigration, seems to have pervaded the equal to about 6 English acres, free from any tax. Egyptian religion; and this belief appears to have lain The lands of the priests and the soldiers were regarded at the foundation of the Egyptian practice of embalmas privileged property, and exempt from all burdens; ing the dead. The business of enibalming was a very while the remaining soil was considered as the property dignified one, and was aided by a host of inferior of the king, who, however, received from it a fixed pro- functionaries, who made and painted collins and other portion-one-fifth of the total produce-leaving the articles which were required. The bodies of the poorer rest in the hands of the cultivators. The soldiers were classes were merely dried with salt or natron, and interdicted from every description of art and trade.' wrapt up in coarse cloths, and deposited in the cata
The other castes are differently given in different combs. The bodies of the rich and great underwent authors; the most probable account, however, is that the inost complicated operations, wrapt in bandages which assigns them as three-the caste of the husband dipped in balsam, and laboriously adorned with all men, that of the artificers, and that of the herdsmen, kinds of ornaments. Thus prepared, they were placed which last caste included a variety of occupations held in highly-decorated cases or cotiins, and then consigned in contempt, the lowest and most degraded of all being to sarcophagi in the catacombs or pyramids. Bodies that of swineherd. The separation between the hus- so prepared have been called mummies, either from the bandmen and the herdsmen seems to have arisen from Arabian word momia, or the Coptic mum, signifying the circumstance that different parts of the country, bitumen or gum-resin. not suitable for agriculture, were entirely laid out in Although the Egyptians carried on from early times a pasture. The artificers, constituting the vast town caravan-commerce with the adjacent countries of Phepopulation of Egypt, were subdivided into a great nicia, Palestine, and Arabia, importing such articles as variety of occupations, weavers, masons, sculptors, &c. wine, oil, and spices for embalming, yet exclusiveness who were compelled to these professions by hereditary and self-sufficiency were characteristics of their civilisaobligation. It was by the labour of this vast town tion. There, on the banks of the Nile, these millions population, assisted by that of herds of slaves, that lived, changeless in their methods through centuries, those huge works were accomplished, the remains of each individual mechanically pursuing the occupation which still attest the greatness of ancient Egypt. Part to which he was born-millions cultivating the soil, of the artisan population were exclusively occupied in and producing wheat, &c. for the subsistence of the skilled labour; and in a country where there was such whole; others tending the cattle necessary for food or a taste for works of masonry, sculpture was necessarily sacritice; millions, again, crowded into the numerous one of the most largely-stocked of the skilled occupa- towns, occupied in the various handicrafts necessary to tions. • Perfect exactness of execution, it is said, provide articles of clothing, luxury, &c.--a large promastery of the hardest stone, and undeviating obe- portion of this class being available for stupendous dience to certain rules of proportion, are general cha- architectural works; and lastly, diffused through these racteristics of Egyptian sculpture. There are yet seen country and town populations, two other proprietorin their quarries obelisks not severed from the rock, castes-the one a militia, occupied in gymnastic exerbut having three of their sides already adorned with cises alone; the other a sacerdotal or intellectual hieroglyphics, so certain were they of cutting off the order, within whose body was accumulated all the spe. fourth side with precision. These skilled artiticers culative or scientific wisdom of the country. Relations may be supposed to have acted as foremen and over- existed between Egypt and the adjacent countries; seers of the reat numbers of labourers who were em- and rumours of the nature of its peculiar civilisation ployed in public works such as the Pyramids. In the may have spread through the nations of the Mediterconstruction of these works, no degree of labour for any ranean; but for a long while it was shut, like the prelength of time seems to have intimidated the Egyptians. sent China, against foreign intrusion; and it was not The huge blocks of stone, sometimes weighing 1000 tons till about the year 650 B.c. that it was thrown open to each, were dragged for hundreds of miles on sledges, general inspection. In the sixth and fifth centuries and their transport, perhaps, did not occupy less time B.C., the philosophers of other countries, and especially than a year; in one case which is known, 2000 men of Greece, used to visit Egypt in order to acquire, by were employed three years in bringing a single stone intercourse with the Egyptian intellectual caste, some from a quarry to the building in which it was to be of that precious knowledge of which they were beplaced. Usually, the sledges were drawn by men yoked lieved to be the depositaries. in rows to separate ropes, all pulling at a ring fixed to Although the Egyptian civilisation is known to have the block. (See Vol. I. p. 404.) Where it was possible, existed pretty much as we have described it from im. the blocks were brought from the quarries on flat- memorial antiquity, yet, with the exception of what bottomed boats on the Nile. But the transport of these we learn from Scripture, we know little of Egyptian masses was much more easily accomplished than the history, properly so called, anterior to the time when placing of them in elevated situations in the buildings. the country was thrown open to the Greeks. Herodotus They were raised by the power of levers and inclined and Manecho, indeed, have given us retrospective lists planes at immense trouble and cost. The waste of of the Egyptian kings, extending back into the primi
tire gloom of the world; but portions of these lists are , after his death the country was subjugated by Camevidently constructed backwards on mythical prin- byses, and annexed to the Persian empire (B.C. 525). ciples. Thus Manetho, preserving doubtless the traditions of the sacerdotal Egyptian caste, to which he is supposed to have belonged, carries back the imagina
The great peninsula of Arabia was in the earliest tion as far as 30,000 years before the birth of Christ. times inhabited by a population of the Seinitic stock, From this date till B. c. 5702, great divine personages it now, partly concentrated in cities, partly wandering
in all essential respects similar to that which inhabits ruled in Egypt; then (B.C. 5702) it came into the possession of human kings, the first of which was Menes. in tribes through the extensive deserts which mark the From the accession of Menes down to the incorpora- surface of the country. The inhabitants of the towns tion of Egypt with the Persian empire (B. c. 525), He- subsist by agriculture and commerce; the wandering rodotus assigns 330 kings, or, as they are called in tribes by cattle-rearing and pillage. In ancient times, Scripture, Pharaohs, whose names, he informs us, were
'as now, the Arabs were celebrated for their expert horseread to him out of a papyrus manuscript by the Egyp- manship, their hospitality, their eloquence, and their tian priests, who pledged themselves to its accuracy; free indomitable spirit. In religion, however, the moand Manetho reckons up twenty-six dynasties, soine of dern Arabs, who are Mohammedans, differ from the them native and others foreign, which divided the long ancient Arabs, who were idolaters, chiefly worshippers period into portions of different lengths. The earlier of of the celestial luminaries, nowhere so beautiful as in these dynasties are of course unhistorical, and are to the sky of an Arabian desert. The Arabs themselves be treated as Egyptian myths—that is, fictions of the trace their history back, the older tribes to Kahtan (the peculiar Egyptian imagination, as the Greek stories of Joktan of the 10th chapter of Genesis), the later to Prometheus, &c. were fictions of the peculiar Greek Adnan, a descendant of Ishmael the offspring of Abraimagination. The later dynasties, however, are not to ham. It is unnecessary, however, to enter into this be thus dismissed. It was in the fifteenth of Manetho's history, as Arabia was not incorporated with the Perdynasties, or s.c. 1920, that Abraham is supposed to sian empire, and only assumed historical importance in have visited Egypt; and monuments remain which are later times, when it sent forth the religion of Mohamreferred to the sixteenth and seventeenth dynasties, med over the East. (See Nos. 58 and 76.) during which it was that the Israelites remained in
Syria. Egypt. These three dynasties were foreign ones, and are denominated the dynasties of the Hyksos; or Syria—which name is generally applied to the country
The Semitic or Aramaic population overspreading shepherd kings--these shepherds being represented as a red-haired and blue-eyed race of invaders, who came
lying between the Euphrates and Arabian desert on the from the Semitic countries in the north-east. The shep. divided itself into various independent states or king
east, and the Mediterranean on the west-had early herd kings are said to have destroyed the monuments of doms, which ultimately resolved themselves, it would the previous dynasties. At length they were expelled by a native dynasty of Thebans, the eighteenth in Ma- appear, into three. These were Phoenicia, a narrow netho's list, and the head of which is supposed to have the river Elentheros; Palestine, or the Holy Land, in
strip of coast-land, extending from Mount Carmel to been the Pharaoh' who knew not Joseph.' The exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is believed to have taken cluding the country south of Phænicia, between the place B. c. 1491, under the reign of the Pharaoh of the inland district lying between Mount Carmel and Mount
Arabian desert and the Mediterranean, as well as the eighteenth dynasty, named Thothmes III.-the Pharaoh whose heart was hardened, and who was drowned Herman ; and Syria Proper, whose capital was Dain the Red Sea. This Theban dynasty produced many kings was at its highest, included all the country except
mascus, and which, when the power of the Damascan able sovereigns; one of whom, Rameses 11., was a great Palestine and Phænicia. Syrian history possesses no conqueror, and extended the Egyptian dominion far independent importance; we pass, therefore, to the into Asia. The nineteenth and twentieth dynasties history of the Phoenician and Jewish nations. were likewise from 'Thebes; the twenty-first were Tan. ites; the twenty-second, Babastites; the twenty-third,
The Phænicians. Tanites again; the twenty-fourth, Saites, from Sais in Phoenicia was an exceedingly small country, its Lower Egypt; the twenty-fifth (1. c. 312) was an length being only about 120 miles, and its breadth Ethiopian dynasty, during whose rule there were fre- nowhere greater than 20 miles. Indeed it may be quent wars with the Assyrians. The twenty-sixth described as a mere slip of coast-land, sufficiently large dynasty, which succeeded the Ethiopian one after a to accommodate a range of port towns, such as a mer. period of anarchy, was from Sais. The first of its chant people required. The most northern of these kings was Psammetichus I., whose reign (B.C. 650) Phænician cities was Aradus, situated on a small island; constitutes an epoch in Egyptian history. Having at the most southern was the famous Tyre; and between tained to the throne by the aid of Greek mercenaries, the two were situated many others, of which the chief he broke down the barriers which Egyptian exclusive- were Sidon, Berytus, Tripolis, and Byblus. The greater ness had hitherto kept up against foreigners, greatly to part of the population was contained in these cities, the disgust of many of his subjects, especially of the the rural population being small in proportion. priestly caste, whose trammels other respects he Originally, Phænicia was divided into a number of ihrew off, and of the military caste, who found their little states or communities, each having a town for its places occupied by Ionian and Karian colonists. The metropolis, with a hereditary king of its own; and ere successors of Psammetichus involved themselves in war the country was restricted by the formation of the with the Chaldeans or Assyrians of Babylon. The Jewish nation, the number of these Phænician or fourth of them, named Amasis (B.C. 570-526), rivalled Canaanitish principalities must have been considerable. Psammetichus in liberality of policy. Besides grant. The Phænicians were a fragment of the Canaanites of ing permission,' says Mr Grote, to various Grecian Scripture; and doubtless in the annals of the separate towns to erect religious establishments for such of their Phænician towns, such as Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus, citizens as visited the Greek port of Naukratis, he also were preserved records, from the Phænician point of sanctioned the constitution of a formal and organised view, of many of those ancient transactions which are emporium or factory, invested with commercial privi- related in the Scriptural account of the settlement of leges, and armed with authority exercised by presiding the Jews in Canaan. Without going back, however, officers regularly chosen.' To this important establish- into the remoter period of Phænician history, one of ment was given the name of the Hellénion ; just as if, the questions connected with which is, whether Tyre at a hitherto close port of China, an institution were to (founded, it was said, B.c. 2700) or Sidon was the more be permitted to be called The British Factory. Under ancient town, let us give a summary view of the nature Amasis, Egypt attained to a great degree of prosperity, of the Phoenician civilisation at the period of its highest which was remembered the more that immediately I celebrity-namely, from B.c. 1200 to B. c. 700, at which
time we find Tyre exercising a presiding influence over | said, 'their ships bound on a voyage observed that a the other Phænician communities.
stranger kept them company, or followed them in The Phænicians were the great trading nation of their track, they were sure to get rid of him, or deantiquity. Situated at so convenient a point on the ceive him if they could; and in this they went so Mediterranean, it devolved on them to transport to the far as to venture the loss of their ships, and even of sea-shore the commodities of the East, brought to them their lives, so that they could but destroy or disappoint overland by Arabian and Egyptian caravans, and from him; so jealous were they of foreigners, and so bent on the sea-shore to distribute them among the expecting keeping all to themselves. And to add to the dangers nations of the West. Nor were they without valuable of the sea, and discourage other nations from trading, products of their own. The sand of their coasts was they practised piracy, or pretended to be at war particularly suitable for the manufacture of glass; with such as they met when they thought themselves their bays abounded in a species of fish which produced strongest.' This policy succeeded so far, that hardly a fine purple dye -- the celebrated Tyrian purple of a merchant ship was to be seen in the Mediterranean antiquity; and in various parts of the country there not manned by Phoenicians. From this extension of were excellent mines of iron and copper. It was, in the Phænician commerce throughout the Mediterfact, essential for the general interests of the race that ranean resulted, by necessity, an extensive system of the people inhabiting that portion of the Mediterranean colonisation. The distance, for instance, of Spain from coasts should devote themselves to commerce. In anti. Phænicia, rendered all the greater by the ancient cuscipation of this, as it might seem, the mountains of tom of always sailing close by the coast, made it necesLibanus, which separated the narrow Phænician terri- sary for the Phænician traders to have intermediate tory from Syria, were stocked with the best timber, ports, settlements, or factories, to which their vessels which, transported over the short distance which inter- might resort, not to say that such settlements were vened between these mountains and the sea, abun- required for the collection of the produce which was to dantly supplied the demands of the Phænician dock- be taken back to Phoenicia. Accordingly, in process of yards. There was something in the Phoenician charac- time, Phænician colonies were established at all avail. ter, also, which suited the requirements of their geo-able points of the Mediterranean--on the coasts of graphical position. Skilful, enterprising, griping in Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain, and in the Balearic their desire for wealth, and in other respects resem- Islands; the rising maritime spirit of the Greeks exbling much their neighbours the Jews, to whom they cluding the Phænicians from the Ægean and the coasts were allied in race, and whose language was radically of Asia Minor. Among the most ancient of the colonies identical with their own- -theirs was essentially the from Tyre were Carthage and Utica on the African merchant type of character,
coast, and Gades (Cadiz) in Spain; all of which were Standing as the Phænicians did as the people by founded before the first of the Greek Olympiads (B.C. whom the exchange between the East and the West 884). From these afterwards arose smaller settlements, was managed, a complete view of their life and manner which diffused the Phænician agency still more extenof activity should embrace first, their relations with the sively among the uncivilised nations of Africa and East - that is, their overland trade with Assyria, western Europe. Gades in Spain, situated, according Arabia, Egypt, Persia, and India; secondly, their rela- to the ancient mode of navigation, at a distance of tions with the West -- that is, their maritime trade seventy-five days' sail from Tyre or Sidon--a distance with the various nations of the Mediterranean and larger than that which now divides Liverpool from Atlantic coasts; and thirdly, the peculiar character of Bombay--was a colony of special importance; first, as mind which either accompanied or resulted from the commanding the inland Spanish trade, particularly consciousness of such a position in the great family valuable at that time, inasmuch as the gold and silver of mankind.
mines of Spain caused it to be regarded as the Mexico With regard to the overland trade of the Phænicians or Peru of the ancient world; and secondly, as forming with the Eastern countries, little requires to be said a point from which the Phænician commerce could be except that it was one attended with great risks—the still farther extended along the extra-Mediterranean journey of a caravan across the deserts, and through shores. From this point, we are told, the Phænician the roaming tribes which separated Phænicia froin ships extended their voyages southwards for thirty interior Asia, being a more serious enterprise than a days' sail along the western coast of Africa, and northlong sea voyage. It is probable that the Phænicians wards as far as Britain, where they took in tin from managed this commerce not in their own persons, but the mines of Cornwall, and even as far as the Baltic, as wealthy speculative merchants, dealing in a skilful where they collected amber. Upon what a scale of manner with the native Egyptian, Assyrian, or Ara- profit must these expeditions have been conducted, bian caravan-proprietors, with whom they maintained when, from Tyre to Cornwall, not a merchant ship an understood connection. At the same time it is besides those of the Phoenicians was to be seen! And likely that they stimulated and regulated the Eastern who can tell what influence these Phoenician visits commerce, by means of Phænician agents or emissaries may have had on the then rude nations bordering the despatched into the interior with general instructions, Atlantic ?-or how far these ante-historic Phænician just as in later times European agents were often de impulses may have stimulated the subsequent career spatched into the interior of Africa to direct the move- of these nations ? Like the visit of an English merments of native merchants. It was in their maritime chantinan now to a South Sea island, so must have trade with the West, however, that the Phoenicians been the visit of a Phenician trading vessel 3000 chiefly exhibited the resources of their own character. years ago to the Britons of Cornwall. Shipping the Oriental commodities, as well as their As might be expected, this great merchant people native products, at Tyre or Sidon, they carried them to were among the most cultured of antiquity, and all the coasts of the Mediterranean as far as Spain, especially skilled in all the arts of luxurious living. selling them there at immense profit, and returning The 27th chapter of the book of Ezekiel presents with freights of Western goods. With some of the a most striking picture of the pride and magnificence nations of the Mediterranean their intercourse would of the Tyrians, and embodies many minute partibe that of one civilised nation with another; with culars relative to Phænician customis and mode of others, and especially with those of the West, it must life. Indeed it has justly been pronounced the most have been an intercourse similar to that of a British early and most authentic record extant relative to the ship with those rude islanders who exchange their commerce of the ancients. We shall therefore quote valuable products for nails, bits of looking - glass, part of it, inserting parenthetical explanations. O and other trifles. Whether their customers were civi- thou,' says the prophet, 'that art situate at the entry lised or savage, however, the Phænicians reaped profits of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many from them. Their aim was to monopolise the com- isles, thus saith the Lord God, (Tyrus, thou hast merce of the Mediterranean. 'If at any time, it is said, I am of perfect beauty. Thy borders are in the
midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy | sians. Among the last of the Phænician achievements beauty, they have made all thy shipboards of fir- was the circumnavigation of Africa B.C. 600- a feat trees of Senir (Mount Hermon); they have taken undertaken by Phoenician sailors at the command of cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. Of the the Egyptian king Nekos, one of the immediate sucoaks (some translate alders) of Bashan have they made cessors of Psammetik; and, as is now beliered, thine oars; the company of the Asharites have made really performed-the course pursued being from the thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim Red Sea round Africa to Spain—the reverse, therefore, (better translated “thy benches" — that is, seats in of that followed by Vasco de Gama 2000 years later. à pleasure-galley-have they made of ivory inlaid in About the time that Phænicia began to wane, her box from the isles of Chittim—supposed to be Cyprus, colony, Carthage, assumed her place in the affairs of Corsica, or Pontus in Asia Minor). Fine linen with the world. Carthaginian civilisation was essentially a broidered work from Egypt was that which thou mere repetition of the Phænician, although under a difspreadest forth to be thy sail (some interpret flag; but ferent form of government: Carthaginian history interthe reference is probably to a pleasure-vessel, whose weaves itself with that of the Romans. (See No. 57.) sails might consist of fine linen); blue and purple from the isles of Elishah (the Grecian countries) was that
Palestine--the Jews. which covered thee (were used as awnings--Laconian Palestine extends from north to south a length of purple being more suitable for this purpose than the about 200 miles, and 50 in breadth; and is therefore, more expensive Tyrian). The inhabitants of Zidon in point of size, of nearly the same extent as Scotland. (Sidon) and Arvad (Aradus) were thy mariners: thy The general character of the country is that of a hilly wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots. region, interspersed with moderately fertile vales; and The ancients of Gebal (another Phoenician city) and being thus irregular in surface, it possesses a number the wise men thereof were in thee thy calkers; all of brooks or streams, which for the most part are the ships of the sea with their mariners were in thee swollen considerably after rains, but are almost dry in to occupy thy merchandise. (This passage is very the hot seasons of the year. The present condition of minute-Tyre, it seems, supplied its own pilots, but Palestine scarcely corresponds with its ancient fertility. drew its mariners and shipwrights from other parts of This is chiefly attributable to the devastating effects of Phoenicia.) They of Persia, and of Lud, and of Phut, perpetual wars; and some physical changes have also were in thine army, thy men of war: they hanged the contributed to the destruction of agricultural industry. shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeli. Yet, after all, so excellent would the soil appear to be, ness (Tyre, it seems like her daughter Carthage, em- and so ample its resources, that Canaan may still be ployed mercenary troops, drawing them chiefly from characterised as a land flowing with milk and honey. the nomad tribes of Persia, &c.) Tarshish (here The history of the extraordinary nation which once Tarshish means Tarlessus, the Spanish colony of the inhabited this land, must be so much more familiar to Phænicians) was thy merchant (agent) by reason of our readers than that of any other ancient nation, that the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, all that is necessary here is a brief sketch, such as will and lead, they traded in thy fairs. Javan (the Grecian assist the imagination in tracing with due completecountries), Tubal, and Meschach (the countries near ness the general career of the East till the establishthe Black and Caspian Seas), they were thy merchants; ment of the Persian empire. According to the acthey traded the persons of men (slaves—Circassian counts given of the Jews in Scripture, and in their and Georgian slaves, valued then as now) and vessels history by Josephus, they were descended from Abraof brass in thy market. They of the house of Togarmah ham, the tenth in descent from Noah, through his (Armenia) traded in thy fairs with horses, and horse- second son Shem. According to Josephus, Abraham, men, and mules. The men of Dedan (either India or who was born in the 2920 year (according to other southern Arabia) were thy merchants; many isles authorities, in the 3524 year) after the Deluge, ‘left were the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee the land of Chaldea when he was seventy-five years for a present horns of ivory and ebony (either tusks of old, and, at the command of God, went into Canaan, irory or horns, ivory and ebony). Syria (Cæle, Syria, and therein he dwelt himself; and left it to his posterity. and Mesopotamia) was thy merchant by reason of the He was a person of great sagacity, both for understandmultitude of the wares of thy making: they occupied | ing of all things and persuading his hearers, and not in thy fairs with emeralds, purple, and broidered work, mistaken in his opinions; for which reason he began to and fine linen, and coral, and agate. Judah, and the have higher notions of virtue than others had, and he land of Israel, they were thy merchants; they traded determined to renew and to change the opinion all men in thy market wheat of Minnith and Pannag, and happened then to have concerning God; for he was the honey, and oil, and balm. (The proximity of a corn- first that ventured to publish this notion, that there was growing country like Judea was of great advantage but one God, the Creator of the universe; and that as to the Phoenicians—the other products mentioned were to other gods, if they contributed anything to the hapalso supplied from Judea; the balm from the neigh-piness of men, that each of them afforded it only accordbourhood of Lake Genesareth.) Damascus was thy ing to IIis appointment, and not by their own power. merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, For which doctrines, when the Chaldæans and other for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon people of Mesopotamia raised a tumult against him, he (Aleppo) and white wool. Dan also and Javan (here thought fit to leave that country, and at the command part of Arabia is meant), going to and fro, occupied in of God he came and lived in the land of Canaan. And thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy when he was there settled, he built an altar, and permarket. Dedan was thy merchant in precious clothes forined a sacrifice to God.' After the death of Abrafor chariots. Arabia (the Bedouin Arabs), and all the ham's son Isaac, his younger son Jacob remained for a princes of Kedar, they occupied with thee in lambs, number of years in Canaan, surrounded by a family of and rams, and goats.
twelve sons, one of whom, Joseph, as related in SeripAmong the contributions made by the Phænicians ture, became the cause of the removal of his father and to the west, were alphabetical writing, the Greek alpha- brethren, and all belonging to them, into Egypt. The bet being a derivative from the Phænician; the scale Hebrew emigrants were seventy in number, and formed of weight; and that of coined money. Having made at the first a respectable colony among the Egyptians. these and other contributions to the west, Phoenicia Jacob died after having been seventeen years in Egypt, began about 700 B. c. to decline in importance; the and his body was carried by Joseph to llebron, and Ionian Greeks, and latterly the Egyptians, becoining buried in the sepulchre of his father and grandfather. its commercial rivals on the Mediterranean; and the Joseph also died in Egypt at the age of 110, and at invasions of the Assyrians from the east depriving it of length his brethren died likewise. Each of the twelve independence. Subdued by the Assyrians and Baby- sons of Jacob became the progenitor of a family or lonians, Phoenicia was transferred by them to the Per- | tribe, and the twelve tribes, personified by the term