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still the chief town in this district; and Hebron, near the southern
end of the range, with a temple bearing date aj>. 155.

§ 26. The history of Palestine as an independent state commences
with the Exodus ftom Egypt, and terminates with the Babylonish
captivity. It may be divided into three periods, viz. the Judges,
the United Kingdom, and the Divided Kingdom.

(1.) The Judges.^-JJnder the Judges the Israelites were chiefly en-
gaged in protecting themselves against the attacks of the neighbouring
nations— the Philistines, Canaanites of Hazor, Midianites, Amalekitee,
and Ammonites. The only distant people with whom they came in
contact were the Mesopotamians under Chushan-rishathaim. The
tribes during this period lived under their own elders, without any
bond of pohtical union : in time of war they had their special leaders
or judges, who were sometimes elected (Judg. iv. 6, xi 5), and at other
times assumed the office (iii. 9, 15, 31, x. 1, 3). The office of Judge,
in the proper sense of the term, originated with Eli, with the excep-
tion of Deborah, who also held the office of prophetess (Judg. iv. 4).

(2). T/ie United Kinfjdom.-^Vnder the earliest king, Saul, the border
warfare was sustained by the Ammonites, Philistines, and Amalekitee,
and the boundaries of the empire did not advance; but under his
successor David the addition of the territories of Hadadezer king of
Zobah, and Hadad king of Damascus, carried the boundary to the
Euphrates; while the defeat of the Edomites in the S. by Abishai, one
of David's generals, secured the route to the Dead Sea and prepared


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the way for the commerce afterwards carried on by the Red Sea. His
border was effectually secured by the defeat of the Ammonites. The
alliance with Hiram king of Tyre, which was commenced by David,
was another important step. Under Solomon the Jewish state reached
the climax of its greatness ; he extended his relations with foreign
nations by his alliance with the soyereign of Egypt, and by the commer-
cial intercourse which he carried on with that country : he continued
the alliance with Hiram, king of Tyre, and was thus enabled to carry
on trade with the distant coasts of Arabia, Africa, and India. The
extent of his dominions was from Phcenicia in the K. to the lied Sea
in the S., and from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates. Within his
own territories the Canaanites were reduced to bondsmen, and on his
border the Philistines, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Syrians, and
even some of the Arab tribes, yielded a peaceable subjection. Before
the termination of his reign, however, the kingdom showed symptoms
of decline. Damascus was again raised to an independent position
under Rezin. On the other side he was pressed by Hadad, one of the
royal family of Edom, who obtained an independent position on his
border, while inward disaffection broke out under Jeroboam.

(3.) The Divided Kingdom. — On the death of Solomon a disruption of
the tribes took place, ten of them combining to form the northern
kingdom of Israel, while the remaining two, Judah and Benjamin,
formed the southern kingdom of Judah. The latter, though smaller
in point of extent, had a counterpoise in the possession of the capital,
Jerusalem, and in the compactness of its territory. Israel was, more-
over, peculiarly open to the encroachments of the eastern empires, no
barrier being interposed between the trans- Jordanic district and the
desert, while the heart of the oountry might be reached from the north
by the ** entering in of Hamath " between the ranges of Libanus and
.^tilibanus. Judah, on the other hand, was accessible only on the
side of Egypt. Hence, as we might have expected, the former kingdom
was the first to succumb beneath the growing influence of Assyria.

The kingdom of Judah lasted from b.c. 975 to B.C. 588, under 20
kin^; that of Israel from B.C. 975 to b.c. 721, under 19 kings. The
capital of the former was Jerusalem, of the latter Shechem, and after
the accession of Omri, Samaria. The hi8k>ry of these kingdoms con-
sists of a constant succession of wars, either among themselves or
with the powerful nations on either side of them. Into the details
of these wars it is unnecessary for us to enter, as they did not affect
the territorial divisions of P&lestine until the final extinction of the
kingdoms. Isrnel was incorporated with the Assyrian empire, and at
the dissolution of that empire passed, with the remainder of the western
provinces, into the hands of the Babylonians. Judah, though occasion-
ally reduced to subjection by the Assyrians^ was not totally subdued
until after the establishment of the Babylonian empire.

Palestine remained an integral portion, first of the Babylonian, and
afterwards of the Persian empire. In the reign of Cyinis the Jews
were restored to their native land (b.c. 525), and the Temple was
rebuilt; commissions were issued to Eatt under Artaxerxee I. (d.c.
457) and Nehemiah (b.c. 445) for the completion of the works neces-
sary to the re-establishment of the Jewish pqlity. The conquest of
Palestine by Alexander the Great, and the subversion of the Persian
empire, led to disastrous results. Palestine was for a lengthened period
the debateable ground between the monarchies of Syria and Egypt.
Annexed in the first instance to Syria (b.c. 323), it was conquered by


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Ptolemy (b.c. 312), and it remained a portion of the Egyptian dominion
from B.C. 301 to b.c. 203. ,The Jews then sought the assistance of the
Seleucidse, and a succession of struggles for* independence followed,
under the leadership of the Maccabees, terminating in the establish-
ment of an independent dynasty under John Hyrcanus (B.C. 130). The
disputes which disgraced his successors ultimately opened the way for
the interference of Pompey (B.C. 63), and Judasa became henceforth
dependent upon Rome. Antipater, an Idumiean, was appointed proeu-
raior by the influence of Julius Ceesar (b.c. 48); and his second son
Herod was elevated to the dignity of king of Judsa (b.c. 38), and after-
wards of the whole of Palestine and Idumsea (b.c. 31). On the death
(B.C. 4) of this Herod — distinguished as " the Great " — the kingdom was
divided into three portions, Archelaus receiving Judsea, Samaria, and
Iduma-a ; Philip, Galilee, with the title of Tetrarch ; and Antipas, Tra*
chonitis, Batansea, and Iturea. These districts were again consolidated
into one kingdom under Herod Agrippa (a.d. 41) and his son Agrippa
II. ; but the Roman authority was really paramount, and the Jews
suffered severely from the rapacity of the governors imposed upon
them. A fierce struggle ensured, terminating in the destruction of
Jerusalem under Titus (a.d. 70), and in the extinction of the national
existence of the Jews.

Ronan Kemaint in Ihe South Wall of Uararo at Jeruaalem. (From a Skeidi by
Wm. Tipping, Eaq.)


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Temple of Bire-Nimrud at BorBippo.


I. Mesopotamia.— § I . Boundaries and character. § 2. Mountains :
Rivers. § X Divisions : Towns : History. II. Babylonia.— •§ 4.
Boundaries, and character. § 5. Rivers : Canals. § 6. Inhabit-
ants. § 7. Divisions : Towns : History. III. Assyria. — § 8.
Boundaries and character. § 9. Rivers. § 10. Inhabitants : Divi-
sions. § 11. Towns: Histoiy. IV. Armenia.— § 12. Boundaries
and character. § 13. Mountains : Rivers. § 14. Inhabitants :
Divisions : Towns : History. § 1 5. The Anabasis of Xenophon.
V. § 16. Colchis. § 17. Iberia. § 18. Albania. § 19. Sarmatia.

I. Mesopotamia.

§ I. Metopotamia was bounded on the N. by Mons Masius,
separating it from Armenia, on the E. by the Tigris, on the W. by
the Euphrates, and on the^S. by the Median Wall, separating it
from Biabylonia. It consists for the most part of an immense
plain, broken only in one place by the range of Sing&ras, Sinjar,
which crosses it for a considerable distance towards the S.W. in the


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latitude of Nineveh. The plain affords excellent pasturage during
the spring and early summer months, but afterwards becomes
parched up in the absence of artificial irrigation. Hence in modem
times it presents, at one period, the most rich and delightful aspect,
luxuriant with grass, and enamelled with flowers, at another period
the appearance of an arid barren wilderness. In ancient times the
remains of cities prove that it was more densely populated, and
better cared for than at present. Timber was both abundant and
of fine growth, so much so that the emperors Trajan and Severus
built fleets on the banks of the Euphrates. Among its special pro-
ducts may be noticed naphth^i, amomum, and gangitis, probably a
kind of anthracite coaL The remote districts were the haimts of
the lion, the wild ass, and the gazelle.

Aiamtf.-^-Mesopotamia is derived from the Greek words /idaoSf woTafiSs,
expressive of its position between the Tigris and Euphrates ; it thus
closely corresponds with the Hebrew designation Aram-naharaim,
"Aram of the two rivera/' and the modem Anhic Al-Jezireh, "the
island/' The name Mesopotamia is of comparatively recent introduc-
tion, not appearing either in Herodotus or Xeuophon : this district was
probably first recognized by a special name about the time of Alex-
ander the Great.

§ 2. The most important mountain-range is Matiai. which skirts
the N. boimdary, and throws out niuuerous spurs towards the S.,
imparting a hilly broken character to the northern district : Singarat
may be regarded as a distant oflset of this chain. The chief rivers
are the Tigrii and the Euphratei, from which the country derives its
name : these have been already noticed, as skirting the borders of
the plain. The rivers which traverse the plain are for the most
part tributaries of the Euphrates : the most important is the
Chabdras, Kfiabdr, which rises in Masius, and after a course
fii-st towards the S.E, and then towards the S.W. joins the Eu-
phrates at Oircesium: at the point where its course clianges it
receives several tributaries, particularly the Mygdonim from Nisibis.
The Balissoi or Belias, Belikke, flows through the N.W. of the dis-
trict, and joins near Callinlcimi : on its banks the army of Crassus
first encountered the Parthians.

§ 3. Under the Romans the country was divided into two parts
— Oirhotee to the W., and Mygdonia to the E. of the Chaboras : the
former was so named after Osrhoes, an Arabian chief who established
himself there in the time of the Seleucidae. The inhabitants were
a Semitic race — a branch of the Aramaic family which extended
over Syria. The towns lined the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris,
and were thickly strewed over the plain at the foot of the Masian
range. We know singularly little of them, and tlie few particulars
recorded belong almost wholly to the period of the Roman empire,


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when Mesopotamia became a battle-field against the Parthians.
The openness of the country and its liability to sweeping invasions
may very much account for this : towns rose and fell without any
record of their existence. Some, as CorsSte, were in ruins in
Xenophon's time ; others, as Carmande, were large and prosperous,
and yet are never heard of again ; while others, like the Ccense
which he notices, are known only by the stupendous mounds
under which they are buried.

The most important town in Osrhoene was Edima, situated on the
Scirtus, a tributary of the Balisaus, and otherwiBe named Antioohia
Callirhoet, from a fountain of that name: it was probably built by
AntigonuA, though a much earlier date has been assigned to it, and it
has even beeu identified with the Scriptural Ur : Edessa became in
Christian times the seat of a famous theolo^cal school. IHsIbis, the
capital of Mygdonia, stood on the Mygdomus, near the base of the
Masian range : it was also reputed a to^n of great antiquity, and pro-
bably was so, though not to be identified with any Scriptural town : it
is first noticed by rolybius under the name of Antiochia Mygdonise ;
it figures frequently in the wars between the Romans and Parthians,
and remained an outpost of the Roman empire to a late date. Oarrhss,*
on a branch of the Belias, was an old town of commercial importance :
the same character, though in a higher degree, attached to Batn»,
which stood between Carrhss and the Euphrates, and was the scene of
an annual fair of great importance : it was fortified by Justinian.
ApamSa, on the Euphrates, was built by Seleucus opposite Zeugma for
the defence of the bridge of boats. Hicc^horiiim, lower down the river,
was probably founded by Seleucus I., though by some writers attributed
to Alexander the Great. Ciroetiiim, at the junction of the Chaboras,
is noticed by Pix>copius as the ^po^piov i^xc^op of the Romans in his
day. Is, near the Babylonian frontier, represents the modem Hit.
Bingara, near the eastern end of the range of the same name, appears
to have beeu the chief town in the central district : it was the scene of
several conflicts in the Eastern wars of the Romans, and particularly of
one between Constantius II. and Sapor. Atra or HatrsB, near the Tieris,
to the S.E. of Singara, is described as a place of great strength, which
held out successfully against Trajan and Septimus Severus: extensive
ruins of it still remain under the name of Al Hathr.

Of the less important towns we may notice — Anthemusia, between
the Euphrates and Edessa — Shesama, JRa«-aZ-^tn, near the sources of
the Chaboras, afterwards named Theodoiiopolis, probably as having
been rebuilt by Tbeodosius — Constantia between Nisibis and Charrs —
lehne, a fortified town or castle on the Bilecha— and Dura, near Circe-
si um, the place where a military monument to Oordian was eVected.

lf/«/ory.— In early times, Mesopotamia formed a portion of the great
Eastern monarchies of Assyria, Media, and Persia. The authoi-ity
exercised by those powers was of a very lax and indefinite. character.

Crassus took refiige at Carrbte after hi»> defeat by the Parthians.

sic, ubi «aBva

Arma dncnm diriroens miserando fimere Cnuwos

Asayriatt Latio maculavit sanguine Carras,

Farthiea Romanoa aolvenmt danma fiirorea.— Lvo. i. 108.


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and in all probability the western district, adjacent to the Euphrates,
waa practically independent. The Assyrian inscriptions make mention
of the Nairi, as a tribe in that part with which the monarchs were
frequently at war. The history of these wars and of the heroes who
conducted them is, however, sunk in oblivion : nor do we hear of any
conqueror ever issuing from this country, vnth the exception of
Chushan-rishathaim, noticed in the Bible (Judg. iii. 8) as having held
Israel in subjection for eight years : his name, '' Chushan of the double
aggression," seems to bespeak a chieftain versed in the practices of
border warfare. The Seleucidffi extended their sway over the northern
part of Mesopotamia more particularly, and nominally over the whole
of it. Trajan conquered it, but Hadrian relinquished possession of it.
It was again conquered under M. Aiu*elius, but after i*epeated struggles
the greater part was given up to the Persians by Jovian: a.d. 368.

View of Babil from the West.

II. Babylonia.

§ 4, Babylonia was bounded on the N. by the Median Wall, on
the E. by the Tigris, on the S. by the Persian Gulf, and on the W.
and S.W. by the Arabian desert. The natural limit on the N. was
formed by the approximation of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates
to each other. The name was sometimes, however, extended over
the whole of Mesopotamia. Babylonia consists of an almost un-
broken plain, which in early times under a system of skilful irri-
gation possessed the very highest fertility, but which at present
is for the most part a barren and desolate wilderness. Its soil was
well fitted for the growth of cereals, and among the other produc-
tions for which the coimtry was famous in ancient times we may
notice— the date-palm, semmunif and asphalt.

§ 5. There are no hills in Babylonia : nor are there any rivers


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except the two great border ttreams of the laphrataf and the Tlgrii,
which have been already dewribed. Artificial works take the place
of natural features : a network of canals conducted the fructifying
waters of the rivers over the fiace of the country, and presented,
next to the rivers themselves, the most striking objects in its general
aspect. Of these, four are described by Xenophon (Anab, i. 7, § 16)
as crossing from the Tigris to the Euphrates, each sufficiently large
to convey a com vessel : the longest, named Nahr-McUcha, " the
king's canal," entered the Tigris near Seleucia, and was ascribed by
Herodotus (i. 185) to Nitocris. In addition to these, there were two
very important canals on the W. of the Euphrates, designed appa-
rently to regulate the flow of the river, and to prevent it from over-
flowing its banks : the first, named Xaaisiref, left the river above
Babylon, and terminated in a marsh some distance to the S. ; the
second, PallaoSpat, commenced about 75 miles S. of Babylon, and
joined the Persian Gulf at Ter€don. Ivumerous marshes lay along
the courses of these canals W. of the Euphrates, conmiencing im-
mediately below Babylon. We must also notice the Median Wall
of Xenophon (Afiab, ii. 4, § 12), which crossed between the rivers
in a north-easterly direction, coming upon the Tigris about 85 miles
above Baghdad,

§ 6. The earliest occupants of this country in historical times
were a Cushite or Hamitic race. The name of Cush (which was
more generally restricted to the Ethiopians of Africa) appears in
Asia under the forms Cossaei, Cissia, and Susiana; Nimrod, the
reputed founder of Babylon, is described in the Mosaic genealogy as
the son of Cush (Gen. x. 8). The indigenous appellation of this
race seems to have been Akkad, and its dominant tribe appears
under the familiar name of " Chaldees," or Kaidaif as they are called
in the Assyrian Inscriptions. The wide extension of the name of
Chaldees to the very borders of Armenia seems to imply that at one
period this race had spread over the whole of Mesopotamia. This
original Hamitic race was either superseded by, or, perhaps we
should rather say, was developed into the Semitic race, which
issued hence along the courses of the Tigris and Euphrates north-
wards, and across the Arabian desert westwarus to the shores of the
Mediterranean. Probably, a Scythic or Turanian element was
superadded, representing a still earlier aboriginal population; this
may be represented by "the nations" noticed in conjunction with
the Hamitic Shinar and the Semitic Elam (Gen. xiv. 1).

§ 7. Babylonia was not parcelled out into any systematic ar-
rangement of provinces or districts, but certain portions of the
plain received special designations, as Chaldisa, the position of which
has been described (p. 12) ; MMtaa, about the head of the Persian
Gnlf^ and a second diistrict of ^e same name in the N., probably at


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Book II.

the point where the Euphrates and Tigria approach each other most
nearly ; Auranltis, and Amordoeia, on the right bank of the Euphrates.
The towns of Babylonia belong to three distinct periods : (i) the
ancient capitals whose history is unknown, except in so far as
the ruins themselves declare it ; (ii) the historical towns erected
during the flourishing period of the Babylonian empire ; and (iii)
those subsequently built by the Seleucidie for commercial objects,
and which continued to exist imder the Roman empire as border
fortresses. The sites of the first class are marked by those wonder-
ful mounds which rise so conspicuously out of the plain, and of
which the Birs-i-Nimi'ud, near Babylon, Akkerkuf, near Baghdad^

flan of the Ruins of Bal^lon.


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Chap. XII. BABYLON. 213

Niffer, in the central plain, Warka and Senkereh^ about the marshes
of the Euphrates, and MugJieir, on the western side of that river,
besides many others which might be enumerated, are still in exist-
ence. Some of these have been identified with the old Biblical
capitals of the land of Shinar ; of others, even the names are imre-
corded in history, but may yet be deciphered from the monograms
on the bricks. These cities perished at a very early period, and
were in many cases converted into the abodes of the dead, being
used as Necropolises by the succeeding towns : this is the case par-
ticularly at Warka and Niffer, where cbflBns are piled up tier on
tier in prodigious numbers. In the second class may be placed the
filmed capital of Babylon, and its suburb Borsippa. In the third
class, Seleucia on the Tigris, Apam^ Charax Spa^u, and others.

Babylon stood on both sides of the Euphrates, near the modem
Hillah. Its size was enormous : Herodotus estimates the circuit of the
walls at 480 stades, and Ctedas at 3G0 : there appear to have been two
walls ; and the discrepancy between these writers may be explained on
the ground that the former refers to the ott(er, and the latter to the
inner wall. Even the lowest of these computations would imply an
area of above 100 square miles, or nearly five times the size of London.
The height of the walls ' was no less remarkable ; according to Hero-
dotus, 200 royal cubits or 337^ feet, nearly the height of the dome of
St. Paul's, and their thickness 50 royal cubits or 85 feet. It was
entered by a hundred gates of braas, and protected by 250 towers.
The more remarkable buildings were— the ancient temple of Belus,
represented by the mound of Babtl (A), an oblong mass about 140
feet high, 600 long, and 420 broad— the palace of Nebuchadnezzar,
identified with the mound of the Kasr (B), an irregular square of
about 700 yards each side— a more ancient palace, contained in the
mound o{Amram (C), more to the S.— and another palace, the " lesser "
one of Ctesias, the ruins of which (DD) exist on both sides of the river.
There are also remains of an enclosure in two parallel mounds (FF),
probably a reservoir. The present remains are almost wholly on the
left bank of the river, which has probably changed its course, and
formerly ran between the two ridges marked II. The hanging gardens
formed one of the greatest ornaments of Babylon. The lines GG are
the remains of one of the walls. About six miles to the S.W. of
Babylon was Bonippa, represented by Birs-Nimriid, where a mound of
a pyramidal form, built up in a series of seven stages 'to a height of
153 feet, is crowned by the remains of the temple of Nebo : it was

' The oonstrnetion of these walls Vas oommonly attributed to Semiramis : —
Sirjj vXari rtixof
'Aa^dXr^ i^owA ttfiCpctfut ififiiurCKtvty.-'TimocB. IdyL zvi. 99.

nbi dicitar altam
Coctnilras maris cinxisse Semiramis nrbem. — Or. Met. iv. 57.
Persamm statait Babylona Semiramis orbem,

Ut solidam oocto toUeret aggere epos ;
Et doc in adyersum misit per moBnia cnrms,

Ne posscnt tacto stringere ab axe latos.
Duxit et Enphraten medium, qiuun coadidit, arci,
Jussit et imperio sorgere Baotra caput. — ^Pbopxrt. iil. 11, 31.


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erected by Nebuchadnezzar, and has been erroneously identified with
the ' Tower of Babel * (Gen. xi. 4).

View of the Kasr, or ancient Palace of Nebuchadneziar.

The early history of Babylon is involved in much obscurity : it was
not the original capital of the country, and its existence is not carried
back by historical evidence to a period anterior to the 15th century
B.C., when it is noticed in an Egyptian inscription. The earliest notice
in the Bible occurs in the reign of Hezekiah, b.c. 712. At that time it
was ruled by its own king ; but generally speaking it was subject to
the kings of Nineveh during the period of Assyrian ascendancy. After
the £Edl of Nineveh it rose to be the head of a mighty empire, and was
enlarged and adorned by Nebuchadnezzar. It was taken by Cyrus,
B.C. 538, who regularly resided there for a certain period of the year :
the fortifications were destroyed by Darius Hystaspis, and the temple
of Belus by Xerxes. Babylon retained its position until the time of
Alexander the Great, but soon afterwards simk into insignificance
through the erection of Seleucia on the banks of the Tigris, b.c. 322.

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