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ART:1:: Of the state of archite&ture among the Egyp-
I. On the names and figures of the constellations
P. 40. 154
and SCIENCES, and their PROGRESS
among the most ANCIENT NA TIONS. .
HE space of time which elapsed from the deluge to the death of Jacob, was, without contradiction,
the niost disagreeable part of our work. We have not facts enow, nor sufficient historical details, to frame an absolutely clear idea of the human race in the first ages. We ought not indeed to promise ourselves more in the infancy of the world; it is even more than one durst hope for in times so remote. · In spite of the scarcity of monuments, one may always have a glimpse of the steps by which these people gradually arose to perfection.
We shall not be exposed to the fame inconveniencies in the ages of which I am going to give an account. Although in the number of facts which present themselves, there are fome greatly altered by fable, they afford, notwithstanding, a great deal for the gratification of curiosity. Sufficient particulars have been transmitted to us of the state of poli. tics, arts, sciences, commerce, navigation, and the art-mi. litary in some parts of Asia, and in Egypt.
Greece, which until this time there has been scarce any notice taken of, begins now to fix our attention. In proportion as we come down from the ages near the deluge, we shall fee arts and sciences introduce themselves into that part of Europe, and its inhabitants emerge from barbarism.
The picture of all these different objects is not difficult to trace. The epochs of them are known, we are able to deter. mine them; in a word, we may easily follow the progress of nations, determine exactly enough the degree of their knowledge, and estimate their scientifical attainments. VOL. II.
From the death of Jacob to the establishment of
monarchy among the Ifraelites, containing about
HE history of the Upper Asia will not afford us, in
the course of the present ära, any insight in politics,
laws, and the form of government. The events that happened in that part of the world during the whole space of time under our present examination, are absolutely unknown. The history of Egypt is not quite so barren in those times as that of the Upper Asia; it will give us some affiftance in each of the objects which I have just indicated : but Greece will abundantly repay us for the small affiitance which Asia and Egypt will afford us for that period. The history of that part of Europe affords, in the ages we are now treating of, variety of events, of circumstances and details, abundantly sufficient to instruct us in the progress of laws and politics among the different people, known una der the name of Greeks.
CH A P.
Of the Babylonians end 1fyriens.
7 E have seen in the first part of this work, that Ninus
had united the throne of Babylon to that of Assyria. We have there likewise feen, that, on the death of that prince, the vast empire formed by his conquests fell into the