R. B Bement.

The Kingdom of brass ; or, The History of the World from the birth of Alexander the Great to the birth of Christ online

. (page 1 of 24)
Online LibraryR. B BementThe Kingdom of brass ; or, The History of the World from the birth of Alexander the Great to the birth of Christ → online text (page 1 of 24)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Prof. C. A. Kofoid














"And another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over the whole earth."






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by


In the Clerk's office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern
District of Ohio.

% : : i
:'.. ^::^:-.0

Printed by

V: *.^




Introduction 9

Sketch of the Life of Alexander 13

Fate of the Family of Alexander 29

Fate of the principal Officers 36

Ptolemy Soter 45

Coronation of Philadelphia 66

Domestic troubles in Macedon 69

Woman's rule in Lybia 75

Life of Seleucus Nicator 77

Antiochus Soter 79

Antiochus Theos 82

Ptolemy Evergetes 84:

Hierax 88

Events in Macedon 90

Antiochus the Great 93

Battle of Eaphia 107

Achseus 113

Ptolemy Epiphanes 120

Antiochus in the East 129

Demetrius and Philip of Macedon 134

Invasion of Rhodes, Sios and Abydos by Philip of Macedon 146

Antiochus and the Romans 150

Death of Antiochus the Great 160

Seleucus Philopator 167

Ptolemy Philometor 170

Antiochus Epiphanes 176

Death of Epiphanes 199




Antiochus Eupator. 204

Jewish History 208

Ptolemy Physcon 246

Alexander Bala 249

Demetrius Nicator 250

Antiochus Sidetes 254

Ptolemy Lathyrus 267

Alexander I. and II 263

Death of the Syrian Cleopatra 267

Fall of Syria 272

Ptolemy Auletes 276

Synopsis of the fate of Syrian Kings 278

Cleopatra of Egypt 279

Battle of Actium 300

Death of Marc Antony , 309

Death of Cleopatra 310


HAYING personally visited the ground and devoted much time
and care to the study of the history of Egypt, and in the prep-
aration of a large work on ancient history, (which was unfortu-
nately lost after it had gone into the hands of the printer,) I
determined to prepare a small work embracing only the history
of Egypt from the time of Alexander to the beginning of the
Christian era, to be called THE LAGID^E, or Egypt under the
Ptolemies. This work had advanced to the time of Physcon,
when it became apparent that the history of Egypt could not
well be kept distinct from that of other branches of Alexander's
vast empire. At that stage the purpose was formed of enlarg-
ing the work, filling up a few gaps, and including the four heads
of the third beast of Daniel's vision. After much effort, I found
it impracticable to avoid an occasional repetition of the same
substantial facts, as they affected different governments ; but in
this respect I believe I have been more methodical than the old
authors, although less so than I could desire. I have kept con-
stantly before the mind the connection between the sacred prophets,
especially Daniel, and the history to which the prophecies referred.
This work has been prepared under peculiar embarrassments.
My time has been chiefly devoted to public lectures on ancient




history, and it was only at intervals that attention could be
devoted to the work. The loss of the manuscripts for the
larger work rendered references very inconvenient. Owing to a
partial failure of my sight, I have been obliged to employ an
amanuensis. Consequently, some difficulty has arisen in filling
up gaps, and gliding gracefully from one subject to another.
No other writer, so far as I know, has attempted to furnish a
connected history exclusively devoted to this period of time, or
its harmony with the sacred scriptures. It is therefore hoped
that with whatever of defect it may contain, this work may
meet with a charitable and favorable reception from the public
and the press. E. B. BEMENT.




THE unparalleled suddenness of the rise, extension, and dis-
memberment of the Macedonian empire, was like the unexpected
appearance of a magnificent comet, filling the vaulted arch with its
dazzling radiance, streaming through the heavens from the western
horizon to the verge of the east, then with terrific explosion
bursting into four new planets, with many a lesser corruscation,
whose meteoric and unsteady lights one by one paled and finally
disappeared, leaving the four prominent ones for a time to circle
in their eccentric orbit, coming frequently in collision with fear-
ful encounter, then rebounding apart, until the larger brilliant
orb of day made its appearance and absorbed all four into its

In extent, Alexander's empire embraced more than all that of
Nebuchadnezzar. In rapidity of enlargement, it surpassed that
of Cyrus. And in many points of comparison it exceeded both,
justifying the language of the prophet, " and bear rule over all
the earth." This empire, with its subdivisions, is justly called THE
KINGDOM OF BRASS. While gold is the appropriate emblem of will,
strong, indomitable, successful at home, brass expresses a simi-
lar will going abroad to execute its purpose. For this reason, brass


is often represented as appertaining to the feet, ready to go forth
to execute the will. " His feet were as pillars of brass, as if
they burned in a furnace."

The history of Alexander and his successors furnishes a great
number of episodes or solitary fragments of history, whose trag-
ical character is of surpassing interest ; but clustered together,
they exhibit such a brilliancy of sparkling gems as can be gath-
ered no where else in so limited a space of time.

In itself, this history has merit that deserves more attention
and careful study than it has usually received. But there is
another aspect of this subject that demands our special atten-
tion. This period of time was the theme of prophetic vision,
and in its elements we find a most complete demonstration of the
truth and divine authenticity of the sacred writings.

After a few brilliant visions abounding in rich imagery, rep-
resenting the future history of four successive great kingdoms,
and the final triumph of truth and righteousness, the prophet
Daniel drops from the sublime scenery of emblems into plain,
literal, and common language, and describes with minuteness
these governments in collision, the results of their battles, the
reg.ular succession of princes that participated in the history of
the third kingdom, and the particular character of each, man by
man, as a king of fierce countenance, the raiser of taxes, the
vile person, etc., etc.

The history of the Israelites, and especially the Jews, is a
subject of much interest to the student of the Bible.

Except the books of Maccabees, which are far from being reli-
able, but little of their condition from the close of their captivity
to the time of Christ, has hitherto been published in the English
language, and that little is so merged in the history of others as
to be difficult to comprehend, leaving but vague and indefinite
impressions upon the mind of the student.

In the following pages an effort is made, after the time of the
Epiphanes, to separate partially the history of the Jews from
that of the surrounding nations.


It will be seen that after the death of Zedekiah, who was
deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 588, none of the tribe of
Judah reigned over this people.

Authority, so far as any remained in JuJea, was lodged in
the hands of the high priesthood of the tribe of Levi, and when
the kinglj form of government was again restored, the crown
was placed upon the head of that officer, and not upon a Jew.

If the law-giver did not depart from Judah he was not of that
tribe, although he dwelt among them and ruled over them.

Of the ten tribes, often called the lost tribes, the most proba-
ble opinion is, that during the captivity all became blended in
one nation, under the general name of Jews.

The conquest of so many nations by Alexander at this partic-
ular period, was admirably adapted to prepare the way of the
Lord ; to aid in the early and rapid spread of the gospel of the
blessed God. These nations were at that time the most intelli-
gent and energetic people upon the face of the whole earth;
they surrounded Judea on all sides ; they spoke a great variety
of tongues.

The Macedonian supremacy diffused a knowledge of the Greek
language through all the different tribes of the family of man.

Before the time of Christ, so extended had become that lan-
guage that almost every where in the higher circles the Greek
was spoken, whereby not only apostles inspired with the gift of
tongues were able to address the common multitude, but unin-
spired ministers of the word could address the rulers and dis-
tinguished personages in a large portion of the world.

The subsequent subjection of all to Home opened also the
means of intercommunication between these different nations.

All these must have been by divine arrangement to facilitate
the accomplishment of that which the council of heaven had
determined, and which the Lord had declared by his servants the

' *

THE if/



AND as 1 was considering, behold an he-goat came from the west on
the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground ; and the goat
had a notable horn between his eyes. DANIEL viii : 5.

THRSE hundred and fifty-six years before the birth of
Christ, a remarkable personage was ushered in to this world
from Beecher's preexistent state, around whose cradle the
fates held court, and upon whose decree hung the destiny
of many nations as they were to be borne on the bosom of
the resistless stream of future time. Alexander the Con-
queror was born at Pella, a city of Macedon.

This country comprised the western half of modern
Turkey in Europe, while the eastern half of the same
country was called Thrace. About 398 years before the
birth of Christ, Macedon was governed by King Amyntas,
whose wife'^ name was Eurydice, by whom he had Alexan-
der, Perdiccas and Philip ; and by another woman, Ptolemy.

Amyntas died about 379 years before Christ, and his
son Alexander took the throne, but perished in war after
a reign of one year. The only important event in his
administration was, that he delivered his infant brother,



Philip, a hostage into the hands of his enemies, the Hlyr-
ians, who soon sent him safely back to his mother.

Perdiccas ascended the throne of Macedon, not without
much opposition his cousin Pausanias: Philip was
again delivered, to t-Jie. Thebans as a hostage, where he
,'reeehcd &n oxosylferit' $recian education, being about ten
years of age when he went to Thebes. About ten years
later, Perdiccas was slain in battle.

In the midst of confusion in Macedon, Philip, who had
escaped from his keepers, appeared suddenly and unex-
pectedly in the camp of his countrymen, and was at once
proclaimed king, to the exclusion of the son of Perdiccas,
who was an infant.

For the first four years, Philip only claimed to govern
as Prince protector of the infant heir ; but in the twenty-
fourth year of his age, 360 years before Christ, he assumed
the crown.

In his administration he displayed the skill an<& ability
of a discreet politician, a crafty statesman, and an able
general. His domestic relations were quite unfortunate.
His first wife was Olympias of Epyrus, by whom he had
Alexander the Great, and two daughters, Cleopatra and
Thessalonica. Olympias was a woman of great energy
and decision of character, but most haughty and unloveable
in her spirit. Indeed she was a Macedonian edition of
Jezebel, but Philip was not another Ahab to submit to her
authority. Tired of her evil machinations, Philip divorced
Olympias, and married Cleopatra, a Macedonian lady, a
niece of Attalus. The nuptials of Philip and Cleopatra
were celebrated with great pomp, but before the festival closed
they had a regular family jar. As we may well suppose,
Alexander was in no very pleasant state of mind, to see
his mother set aside and another^introduced in her place.
Attalus drank a toast, and called upon the Macedonians to


thank the gods for the prospect of a native prince to heir
the throne of Philip. This was an allusion to the fact that
Olympias was not a native of Macedon. The words of
Attains fell upon the ear of Alexander like a spark of fire
upon a magazine of powder. Seizing a goblet of wine, he
furiously dashed it at the head of the insolent nobleman,
exclaiming, " Wretch ! do you call me illegitimate ?"
Attains returned the compliment by hurling another cup
at Alexander. The quarrel became general, and cups and
wine flew plentifully about the hall. Philip, who had
received many wounds in battle, had become somewhat
infirm. He arose from his royal seat, and with drawn
sword, in wrath advanced across the hall to chastise his son
for disturbing the banquet. In his effort, he stumbled and
fell to the floor. Alexander, not in the least intimidated,
pointed at his fallen father and exclaimed, " A fine king
have you to lead the army to war against the Persians,
when he can not cross a banquet hall without falling. I
will show you in due time who can govern Macedon."

The attendants ultimately separated the parties and
ended the present commotion. The little horn of the rough
he-goat seen in Daniel's vision had begun to manifest itself.
The energy and boldness of Alexander gave foreshadow-
ings of his future career. But this is not the end of this
unfortunate jar. There is scarce room to doubt that on
that day Philip, great King of Macedon, sold his own life
for a trifle. Subsequent events were the offspring of that
night's deeds.

Oh, how often do parents forget that children will one
day be older and will remember their early wrongs.
Some ten years after this occurrence, Cleopatra, not the
wife but the daughter of Philip, was married to a King of
Epyrus, and a great ceremony was performed in honor of
the nuptials. A grand procession marched toward the


temple. Philip, walking, dressed in all the gayety of royal
robes, in a prominent part of the procession, was stabbed,
and sunk dead in the street. The assassin was caught and
put to death ; but there is no reason to doubt that Olym-
pias and Alexander were the instigators of the murder.
Thus perished King Philip, about 336 years before Christ.
After having conquered many nations, and won victories in
many a battle field, he fell by the stratagem of his own
family, and died as a fool dieth.


Brothers Alexander, Perdiccas, Ptolemy.

Wives and Favorites Olympias, Cleopatra, Audaca,
Philinna, Arsinoe.

Children By Olympias : Alexander, Cleopatra, Thessa-
lonica. By Cleopatra: Caranus and Europa (both mur-
dered by Olympias.) By Audaca: Cyna, (Eurydice, grand-
child). By Philinna a Larissean dancer: Aridaeus. By
Arsinoe : Ptolemy, King of Egypt.

Arideus subsequently married Eurydice, daughter of

Alexander had no sooner ascended the throne of his
father, than he began to plan for the invasion of Persia.
This had been a favorite topic with his predecessors,
none of whom had, however, been able to put their plans
into execution. To comprehend the inducement to such an
undertaking, we must review a few past events and the
then state of the world. Asia Minor, lying between the
Black and Mediterranean Seas, was divided into a number
of states and provinces, among which were Lydia, Phrygia,
Bythinia, Capadocia, Mysia, and Cilicia. These colonies
had, in a great measure, been settled by Grecian emigra-
tion. The majority of the people spoke a dialect of the


Greek language. Their manners, customs, literature and
religion were Grecian. For a time they had been governed
by their own laws, and rulers of their own choosing, but
had gradually lost their independence and were subjected
to petty kings and local governors, whose avarice and cru-
elty knew no bounds. The Persian monarchs had subjected
these states to their dictation, and appointed satraps as local
governors over them who were the mere creatures of the
Persian court. It is therefore not surprising that the
Greeks, a bold, free and independent people, should sympa-
thise with these brethren in Asia Minor, and that collisions
and acts of violence should frequently occur in which Greece
and Persia should be found on opposite sides. These events
had at an earlier date led Darius and Xerxes to attempt
the invasions and conquest of Greece. Their invasions
ending in ignominious defeats, had created hereditary hate
between the two races. Greece feared Persia and desired
her humiliation. Persia detested the free spirit of Greece
which was dangerous to her dependencies in that quarter of
of the empire. Macedon was indeed an empire of itself,
separate from the Grecian states, but it was also originally
a colony of Grecian emigration ; as among themselves the
Greek, the Macedonian and the Epirots are spoken of as
distinct nations, but as relating to the rest of the world they
are all Greeks. Alexander soon brought all the discordant
Grecian elements into one general consolidation and him-
self at their head. He had ascended the throne of his
father in the year 336, being but twenty years of age, and
in two years he was prepared to march against Persia. He
had in his army a staff of officers, a body of men aged, expe-
rienced, grave, and any of wh m was capable of taking the
entire command of a great expedition arid conducting a
grand campaign with ability. Most of them were older
than himself and had served in the wars of his father;


several of them were persons more or less related to him-
self. Alexander, in the expedition, was the motive power
the steam-engine ; his able officers the engineers the
directors of that power. With the youthful ardor of the
ambitious- Alexander and the sedate wisdom of Perdiccas
Antipater and others, we might expect an energetic war,
terminating in triumph.

The Persian, empire had now existed about two hundred
years from the year 536 B. C. Its authority extended
to the great seas of the West. Under its control where
Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor, with all that once
was Assyria, Babylonia, Media, Parthia and Elirnea. But
luxury had enervated its monarchs and corrupted its leaders
and people, so that Persia, though vast in dimensions, was
like an old, feeble, doting man, trembling and ready to fall,
yet full of vanity and boasting of its strength. Alexander
crossed the straits with an army well disciplined, and
inured to toil and hardship, but small in number and almost
entirely without funds. They trusted not to their purses
but to their swords to obtain supplies. The first battle was
fought in the waters and on the banks of the Granicus,
where victory after a severe struggle, crowned the standard
of the Europeans. About two years were devoted to the
conquest of Asia Minor, whose satraps, creatures of the
Persian court, resisted manfully but unsuccessfully the
invaders, while Darius, for whom they were contending, was
still devoting himself to pleasure and debauchery at Susa,
not yet having moved to the aid of his dependent provinces.
Alexander having subdued all the states of Asia Minor, went
into winter quarters at Tarsus, the future birth-place of the
Apostle Paul, the locality of the first interview of Marc
Antony with the captivating Cleopatra. The next year,
332, was one of great events in the field of Mars : Darins,
aroused from his dream, advanced with a large army to


check the progress of the Macedonian hero. This army-
was large only in numbers, not in soldiers. They were a
body of proud, conceited, dissolute men, women, and servants,
rendered vicious and effeminate by the example and au-
thority of the king; there was great display of riches;
silks and tapestry adorned the gorgeous oriental tents,
there were cushions and divans, cups of gold and silver and
wines to fill them ; but these were not the best implements
with which to meet a rude and hardy yet well disciplined
army of Greece.

Alexander was crossing the mountains of Amanus, which
separate Syria from Cilicia, through the gap or pass. When
he learned that Darius and the Persian army, having crossed
through the northern pass, were now in his rear, he suddenly
wheeled, and turning into Cilicia, met and in the famous
battle of Issus conquered and entirely defeated the nume-
rous hosts of the Persians. Darius, indeed, escaped with
but so few men that little more is heard of him for two
years. Alexander now sent forward one of his generals
through the pass and down southward on the east of Anti-
Lebanon to Damascus, where that officer was so successful
as to capture the city, with most of the treasures of Darin*
which had been deposited there ; he also made prisoners of
the mother, wife, sister, and other female members of the
family of the Persian King. Alexander himself, with part
of his army, proceeded along the coast through Phoenicia.
On his right the great sea rolled its waves and lashed the
shore, here and there wearing into the land, and forming
beautiful bays and sheltering harbors where the Phoeni-
cians moored their vessels returning from commercial enter-
prises, pushed by them into all waters. On his left were
the mountains of Lebanon whose highest peaks ascend ten
thousand feet above the level of the sea and are capped
with perpetual snow. The sides of these mountains are


adorned with cedar and fir trees, whose evergreen foliage
was an emblem of the unfading laurels of fame which were
to repose upon the brow of the youthful hero : between the
mountain and the sea is a narrow slope of arable land
watered by many a brawling rivulet whose contents leaped
from the cliffs and were discharged into the sea below.

But why moves Alexander in this direction ? It must
be recollected that Phoenicia, except Tyre, had been
annexed to Assyria under Shalmanezer, of Nineveh, and
in the overthrow of that city had passed to the kingdom of
Babylon ; then following its fortunes, Phoenicia passed into
the possession of the Persians ; here also lay all the mari-
time strength of the enemy. It was, therefore, expedient
to secure the cooperation of the Phoenicians, before Alexan-
der could safely proceed in his Eastern enterprise, Beritus,
Tripoli, and Sidon gladly threw off the yoke of the Persians,
and opening their gates to him, joined the standard of the
hero of Macedon. Tyre resisted not so much out of regard
for Persia as from a desire for independence ; but after seven
months siege the proud city of commerce was humbled in the
dust and all western Asia was subjected to Alexander.

At the south-east angle of the Mediterranean sea stood,
anciently, the city of Gaza. Many a heathen writer refers
to the events said to have transpired in and around this
spot, when the demigods dwelt upon the earth and mingled
in the affairs of men. It is quite uncertain, however,
when or by whom Gaza was founded. In the time of
Joshua, and for many years afterward, it was in the pos-
session of the Philistines, but ultimately, upon the exter-
mination of that race, it became the property of the
kingdom of Judah. In common with the rest of Judah, it
became subject to Babylon, and at the fall of that empire,
it passed to the scepter of the Persians. Situated as it
once was, on the angle of the sea, and commanding the


high road from Asia into Egypt, it was ever deemed of
great military importance.

It is now governed by a Bey, or Satrap, of the Pasha of
Egypt. The modern city of Gaza is situated some miles
hack from the sea, whether precisely on the spot of the
ancient city or not it is hard to determine. All along this
coast the sea has in the course of centuries receded far
from the .ancient land-mark, leaving a long line of sandy
heach in many places, so that cities once seaports are left
quite remote from the waters. The probability is, there-
fore, that Gaza has not been removed, but that the sea has
deserted it. This city has been the theater of many a

Online LibraryR. B BementThe Kingdom of brass ; or, The History of the World from the birth of Alexander the Great to the birth of Christ → online text (page 1 of 24)