William Shepherd.

Systematic education: or Elementary instruction in the various departments of literature and science; with practical rules for studying each branch of useful knowledge (Volume 1) online

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rior and Inferior, the former occupying part of Hungary, the
latter, Sclavonia. I Pannonia Superior was Vindebona, now
Vienna ; Acincum, now Buda, opposite to which was Pest.
In Pannonia Inferior, between the Save and Drave, was

Illyricum included the south-eastern part of the circle
of Austria, part of Croatia, Dalmatia, the greater part of
Bosnia, and Albanio north of Alesse. This country became
a Roman province in the reign of Augustus, and the divisions
were denominated Liburnia and Dalmatia.

Italia, so called from Italus, a prince of the country,
included the whole extent of modern Italy, excepting that part
of it which is included within the Alps, and which made one
of the eastern boundaries of Gallia. This country was also
called Hesperia by the Greeks, as being west of Greece;
Ausonia, from a people of the country ; CEnotria, from a
prince named CEnotrus, the son of Lycaon ; and it was called
Saturnia, from its being supposed the residence of Saturn,
after his expulsion from heaven by Jupiter. It was anciently
divided into Gallia, Cisalpina, or Gaul on this side the Alps,
and Gallia Propria ; after this the southern part of Italia was
denominated Graecia Magna, from the Grecian colonies which
it contained, viz. Apulia, Calabria, Lucania, Brutium, &c.

SiciLiA, Corsica and Sardinia, islands in the Medi-
terranean sea, attached to Italia, retain their ancient names.

GRECiAis that part of Turkey in Europe, which is bound-
ed on the west by the Gulf of Venice [and the Grecian Sea ;
on the south by the Mediterranean, and on the east by the
Archipelago. It was divided into Macedonia on the north,
Graecia in the middle, and Peloponnesus, or island of Pelops,
on the south. The modern name for the Peloponnesus is


Morea, from the mulberry trees that grow there, having been

introduced for supplying silkworms with food.

Thracia included that part of Turkey in Europe, between
the Black Sea, and the mountains Haeini and Rhodopes.
This country was conquered by the Romans during the reign
of Claudius, and toward the end of the third century of the
Christian aera, Thracia was divided into four provinces ;
Europa, Haemimontus, Rhodope and Thracia.

Mo ESI A comprehended that part of Turkey, which in-
cluded Bulgaria and Servia, deducting that part of it which
belongs to Pannouia, and part of Romania. The extent of
Moesia along the Ister, was divided into Moesia Superior and

Da CI A included the district of Bessarabia, Moldavia,
Wallachia, Transylvania, Upper Hungary, and part of Lower

Sarmatia Europ^a, comprehended Prussia and Po-
land, to the east of the Vistula ; Courland, Lithuania, Crimaca,
and Russia in Europe.


Asia Minor, a term never used by the ancients, com-
prizes the provinces between the Euxinc and Mediterranean
seas, and is now called Anatolia. Along the shores of the
Euxine and the Propontis, is Bithynia, next to which is
Paphlagonia, and on the east of this is Pontus. South of the
Propontis is Mysia, and, still more southerly, are Lydia, Caria,
and Lycia. South of the Hellespont, which leads from the
Propontb to the Archipelago, is Troja or Troas, the scene of
Homer's Iliad. North-east of Lycia is Pamphylia, Pisidia,
and Phrygia, and east of Phrygia is Cappadocia. Cilicia and
Isauria are on the south, the latter bordering on the Medi-

Syria is below Cilicia, not far from the eastern coast of
the Mediterranean ; the coast itself is called Phoenicia, south
of which is Palestioa^ or th<; Holy Ltand, The northern part of



Palestiiia was Galilaea, the middle, Samaria, and the lower or
southern part, Judsea. Below Judaea, at the top of the Sinus
Arabicus was Arabia Petraea, or Stony Arabia, lower down
was Arabia Felix, or the Fruitful, and the rest of the plain be-
tween the Arabian and Persian gulphs was Arabia Deserta.
East of Arabia, near the mouth of the Euphrates, at the top
of the Persian gulph, is Chaldea, and, above it, Babylonia.
Mesopotamia is situated between the rivers Euphrates and
Tigris : on the east of the Tigris is Assyria, and still more
easterly is Media, to the south of which is Persia. North of
Mesopotamia is Armenia, above which, on the eastern coast of
the Euxine, was Colchis, between this and the Caspian, were
Iberia and Albania. Above was Sarmatia Asiatica. East of
Persia was Caramania, and south of this latter was Gedrosia,
which reaches almost to the Indus. The country between the
Indus and the Ganges, was India intra Gangem, and that
east of the Ganges, was India extra Gangem : south-east of
which were tlie Sjnae, Cochin China. East of Media was
Aria and Bactriana : north of Media at the southern extre-
mity of the Caspian, were Hircania and Parthia, and north of
Hircania were the Chorasmii, to the north-east of whom were
the Massagetae. All the country to the North was called
Scythia, divided into Scythia intra Imaum, or Scythia within
the mountain Imaus, and Scythia extra Imaum. North-east
was Serica, which a|^roached to the north-west of China.


Africa was called Libya by the Greek and Roman poets,
the name which moderns give to the whole continent being
generally confined to a particular province now denominated
Tunis. Little was known of this quarter of the globe except-
ing the parts adjacent to the coast of the Mediterranean.
The first province of Africa on the western side below the
Fretum Gaditanum, was Mauritania, now Morocco and Fez :
east of it was Numidia, now Algiers, and east of Numidia was
Africa Propria, nQvr denomioated Tunis, between this and


Tripolis were the Syrtes, minor aiid major, two dangerous
quicksands. East of the Syrtis major, was Cyrenaica, now
Barca. Proceeding still eastward, we come to the mouths of
the Nile and Egypt, divided into the Inferior and Superior/
the former or Lower Egypt, on the coast, the latter or Upper
Egypt in the interior of the continent. Below Cyrenaica was
Libya properly so called ; below Eg}pt was Ethiopia.

As a course of general study in the science of Geography,
we have no hesitation in saying, that the pupil should begin
with Modem Geography ; and, if he is not satisfied with the
sketch given in the preceding chapters, and wish to treasure
up in his mind the leading facts necessary to be known, he
may commit them to memory by means of Goldsmith's
" Easy Grammar of Geography." The maps and questions
for examinations will afford him much aid ; but he should, by
all means, if the price is not an object to him, obtain maps on
a larger scale, and which may have higher claims to ac-
curacy than can be expected in a work of that form. " Geo-
graphy for Children" has been much used ; and in tlie later
editions, the facts may be depended on. Its chief merit is,
that it is adapted to save trouble to the teacher, who will
have nothing more to do in using the work, than to ask his
pupils the questions, and the answers regularly follow. To a
person who performs the duty of a selijiinstructor, this plan
does not seem so good as that of the work before-mentioned.

Turner's Geography has gone through many editions : it is
a small volume, consisting of a series of letters, written with
neatness, accuracy, and spirit. These will, by many persons,
be preferred to works drawn up in a didactic style. The
letters include a considerable portion of historical knowledge,
well adapted to learners ; and the questions formed upon each
letter, and also on the maps, render the work of much value
as an introduction to geography. The maps are, however, too,
small for the purpose ; but the questions will apply to otiier
on a larger scale, and which pos^iess a higher authority'.

From these, or any of them, or of others of the same kind,
the student may proceed to Pinkerton^s Modern Geography,
in three volumes, 4to. of which the plan is as follows : the
author Jirst gives the historical, or progressive geography of
each country : secondly, its political state, including most of
the topics which are commonly denominated sta,tistic : thirdly ,
the civil geography, comprising objects not so immediately
connected with the government, as an account of the chief
cities, towns, 8cc. ; 2LX\d,fou7'thlyy the natural geography of the
countries described. Mr. Pinkerton has arranged the coun-
tries according to their comparative importance, it being, he
observes, proper, that the objects which deserve most atten-
tion, should be treated of at the greatest length, and claim the
earliest attention of the student. An abridgment of this work,
in a very large and closely printed octavo volume, was drawn
up by Mr. Arthur Aikin, and an Introduction to it has been
published by Mr. Williams, with outline maps, to be filled in
by the learner, a plan which will be found of eminent service
in fixing upon the learner's mind, a strong and correct impres-
sion of the relative situations of the countries with respect to
the whole globe ; and of the cities, towns, rivers, mountains,
&c. with respect to each kingdom, country, or state.

We would not willingly pass over " A Compendious System
of Modern Geography, Historical, Physical, Political, and
Descriptive, by Thomas Myers," because it is a work of
much merit, drawn up with great care, and, as far as we haye
been able to examine it, the details are accurate and highly

Of Geographical Grammars* on a large scale, one of the
most considerable is that by Salmon ; and there is another by
Guthrie; the latter has, in a great measure, Superseded its
predecessor, and contains a vast body of" information ; but the
historical department has been enlarged beyond due bounds,
for a work professedly devoted to geography.

There are several gazetteers which may be recommended
as highly useful in historical and geographical studies. The
VOL. I. z


one by Brookes is a work of much merit ; this, and also one
by the Rev. Clement Crutwell, profess to notice all the places
in the known world ; and, perhaps, in the last edition of
Crutwell's Gazetteer, there are but few material omissions. It
is extended to four large and closely printed octavo volumes,
and contains, in an alphabetical arrangement, a description of
all the empires, kingdoms, states, provinces, cities, towns, forts,
seas, harbours, rivers, lakes, mountains, and capes, in the world ;
with accounts of the government, customs, manners, and reli-
gion, of the inhabitants. As a vade mecum, the " Compen-
dious Dictionary, containing a Concise Description of the most
remarkable places, ancient and modern, in Europe, Asia, Africa,
and America," Scc. may be recommended. This small volume
has been several ^imes reprinted, and in the second and sub-
sequent editions, there is added a large chronological table.

In addition to the works already enumerated, as connected
Mtith teaching and illustrating modern geography, we may no-
tice Goldsmith's larger work, entitled, " Geography on a
Popular Plan," and Dr. Aikin's " Geographical Delinea-
tions ;" the former was intended to follow the " Grammar"
before referred to. In this, every country is treated of sepa*
rately, and at the head of each article is an account of the
situation, boundaries, latitude and longitude, of the country
treated on, with other useful particulars. Tlien follow more
minute accounts of the inhabitants, their dispositions, amuse-
ments, and ciistoms ; of thefr festivities, the climate of their
country, the religion which they profess, and of their educa-
tion. Ilie volume concludes with a descrij)tion of the cu-
riosities of nature, a view of the universe, and instructions for
projecting and drawing maps.

Dr. Aikin's " Delineations," in two volumes, differ mate-
rially as to their object, both from the elementary treatises,
and the more complete systems of this branch of knowledge,
and they may be considered as occupying a station whence
young persons of both sexes may review the extent and bear-
ing of their former studies. In arranging and proportioning
the various informaUQU concerning each country, the author

has adopted for his two leading considerations, the characters
that are impressed upon it by nature, and those which it de-
rives from its inhabitants.

Such may be mentioned as among the leading works in
modern geography, many others of real merit might, no doubt,
have been added, but we choose to refer to those concerning
which we can speak from our own knowledge, rather than de-
pend upon the authority of other persons.

To connect ancient with modern literature, Dr. Butler's
*' Sketch of Modern and Ancient Geography" may be recom-
mended to the attention of young persons, as containing much
information in a small compass, and put in a striking light ; to
this, and to a much smaller work by Mr. Richard Perkins,
we have been indebted for assistance in the former part of
the present chapter.

** Cellarii Geographia," in two volumes, quarto, is a work
of considerable authority ; as a school-book, there is a very
useful abridgment of it. D'Anville's maps of modern and
ancient geography, with his compendium of ancient geogra-
phy, to which we have already referred, will be a valuable ac-
quisition to the student. So also will Kennel's Geography,
of Herodotus, aud his memoir of a map of Hindostan, and
of the Peninsula of India.. Chauchard's General Map of
Germany, Holland, the Netherlands, Scc. with a descriptive
volume, in 4to. will be a very desirable addition to the Geo-
graphical library. The comparative view of ancient and mo-
dern geography in " Tytler's Elements of General History,"
will be very useful in the way of reference. The Geography
of the New World will be best learnt from Dr. Morse's
" American Geography."

In connexion with these, or any of them, recourse should
be had to the facts and discoveries collected and related by
modern travellers. These may be had separately, or in col-
lections ; of the latter, the work of Mr. Pinkerton, in seveor
teen volumes, 4to. is one of the last published ; but there is
a very good collection in twenty-six volumes, crowp 8vo.

z a



Importance; and principles of Chronology Sir Isaac Newton's method, by
generations by the precession of the equinoxes by eclipses. Divisions
of time into days months years. Cycles Lunar cycle Julian year
Gregorian year, and new style SoUu- cycle Cycle of Roman indic-
tion Julian period.

CiHRONOLOGY is the art of measuring time, distinguish-
ing its several constituent parts, such as years, months, weeks,
days, hours, &c. by appropriate marks ; and of adjusting these
parts to past transactions, by means of aras, epochs, and
cycles, to the illustration of hhtory.

The utility and importance of the knowledge of chronology,
as it comprehends the distribution of time into its subordinate
parts, and the arrangement of historical events, by means of
these several divisions, in the order according to which they
occurred, so that their respective dates may be accurately
fixed, will be universally acknowledged. We can form but
very confused notions of the intervals of time, of the rise and
fall of empires, and of the successive establishment of states,
without some general comprehension of the whole current of
time, as may enable us to trace out distinctly the dependence
of events, and distribute them into such periods and divisions,
as shall 4ay the whole chain of past transactions in a just and
orderly manner before us. This b what the science of clu'o-


uology undertakes to teach, or, at least, to afford us very im-
portant aid in the attainment of.

Chronology derives much assistance from several other
branches of knowledge, such as astronomy, geography, geo-
metry, .and arithmetic ; and also from the observation of
eclipses, from the testimony of credible authors, and from
ancient medals, coins, and monuments.

Many ages undoubtedly elapsed before the mode of com-
puting time, or of giving dates to important events, was
brought into established use. The most ancient philosophers
and historians, as we have seen, wrote in verse, and were un-
acquainted with chronology. Fronj the works of Homer, it
appears that there existed, at that early period of the world,
no formal calendar of time, nor any well-authenticated register
of events. Time was then measured by the revolutions of
the sun and moon, by the changing seasons, or the succes-
sive returns of labour and rest There was then, nor for ^ges
afterwards, no political distribution of time into such parts a?
months, weeks, or hours, serving the purpose as guides to
history, or as registers of facts ; nor is there any reference to
clocks, dials, clepsydrae, or other instruments, by which the
perpetual flow of time was broken into parts. Several centu-
ries intervened between the Olympic aera, and the first histo-
rians, and several more elapsed before the period in which
the first chronologers appeared.

Sir Isaac Newton, to whose " Chronology of Ancient
Kingdoms," we shall have occasion to refer, has shewn that
all nations, before they began to keep exact accounts of time,
have been prone to advance their antiquity. The priests of
Egypt reckoned one period of their history, viz. from Menes
to Sethon, at more than eleven thousand years. The Chal-
deans boasted a still greater antiquity than even the Egyptians
pretended to ; and there were others, who made the kingdoms
of Assyria, Media, and Damascus, much older than the truth.

According to the account of the illustrious Newton, the
Greeks called the times before the reign of Ogyges, unknown,


because they had no history of them : those between his flood
and the beginning of the Olympiads, they denominated fahu'
lous, because their history was very much blended with poetical
fables ; and those after the beginning of the Olympiads, his-
torical, because their history was free from such fables. The
fabulous age, however, was destitute of a chronology, so also
was the historical, during the first sixty or seventy Olympiads.
Hence it should seem, that the chronology of ancient king-
doms was involved in the greatest uncertainty ; and it has
been shewn, that the Europeans in particular had no chrono-
logy before the Persian empire, which began five hundred and
thirty-eight years before Christ ; and that the dates of events,
which they now have of more ancient times, have been given
as the result of reasoning and conjecture. After this time,
several of the Greek historians introduced the computation by

The chronology of the Latins was still more uncertain ;
their old records being burnt by the Gauls one hundred and
twenty years after the expulsion of their kings, and about the
year 388, B. C.

The chronologers of Gaul, Spain, Germany, Scythia, Swe-
den, Britain, and Ireland, are of a still later date. For Scy-
thia, beyond the Danube, had no letters, till Ulphilas, their
bishop, formed them, about the year 27G of the Christian
aera. Germany had none, till it received them from the west-
ern empire of .the Latins, about the year 400. The Huns had
none in the days of Procopius, about the year 526, and
Sweden and Norway were still later.

After a general account of the obscurity of the ancient
chronology, Sir Isaac Newton observes, that, though many of
the ancients computed by generations and successions, yet
the Egyptians, Greeks, and Latins, reckoned the reigns of
kings equal to generations of men, and three of these to a
hundred, or a hundred and twenty years, M'hich was the foun-
dation of their technical chronology. He then proceeds to
shew, from the ordinary course of nature, and a detail of


historical facts, the difference between reigns and generations ;
and that, though the latter, from father to son, may, at an
average, be reckoned at about thirty-three years, yet, when
they are taken by the eldest sons, three of them cannot be
computed at more than seventy-five or eighty years ; and the
reigns of kings are still shorter, so that eighteen or twenty
years may be allowed as a just medium. He tl;en fixes on four
remarkable periods, viz. the return of the Heraclidaj into Pe-
loponnesus, the taking of Troy, the Argonautic expedition,
and the return of Sesostris into Egypt, after the wars in
Thrace ; and settles the epocha of each by the true value of a

Our object in this place is, to give a view, by means of a
single example, of the method which this illustrious philoso-
pher makes use of in tracing the real dates of the most im-
portant events in history, from which, of course, others of
minor importance, but more interesting to general readers, are
settled on a sure foundation.

We take as our example, the Argonautic expedition, an
event which is the grand hinge on which all the chronology of
ancient Greece turns. Having fixed the return of the Hera-
clidae to about the one hundred and fifty-ninth year after the
death of Solomon, and the destruction of Troy to the seventy-
sixth after the same epoch. Sir Isaac observes, that Hercules,
the Argonaut, was the father of Hyllus, the father of Cleodus,
the father of Aristoraachus, the father of Temenus, Cresphon-
tes, and Aristodemus^ who led the HeracJida^ into Pelopon-
nesus: hence their return was four generations later than the
Argonautic expedition, and these generations were short ones,
being by the chief of the family. Counting, therefore, eighty
years backward from the return of the HeraclidjE to the
Trojan war, and the taking of Troy, will be about seventy-six
years after the death of Solomon, as has been observed above;
and the Argonautic expedition, which was one generation
earlier, will be forty-three years after it. From the taking of
Troy to the return of the Heraclidse, our author observesj


*' cou'd scarcely be more ihan eighty years, because Orestes,
the son of Agamemnon, was a youth at the taking of Troy,
and his sons lived till the return of the Heraclidae."

Another method used by Sir Isaac Newton fof fixing the
date of the Argonautic expedition is purely astronomical, but
nevertheless intelligible to those who have made but a small
progress in the science. The sphere, it is known, was formed
by Chiron and Musaeus at the time, and for the use of the
Argonautic expedition, and they placed the solsticial and equi-
noctial points in the loth degree of the constellations Cancer,
Xibra, Capricorn, and Aries. Now Meton, in the year of
Nabonassar, 3l6, or 431, B. C. observed that tlie summer sol-
stice had then gone back seven degrees, and as it goes back one
degree in seventy-two- years, it must have taken five hundred
and four years to have gone back seven degrees, but five hun-
dred and four years added to the four hundred and thirty-one,
B. C. just mentioned, gives nine hundred and thirtyrfive years,
B. C. ; and forty-three years added to this as found above,
brings us to the period of the death of Solomon, or about the
nine hundred and seventy-eighth y^r before the Christian ara.
See Sir Isaac Newton's Short Chronicle.

The same author ascertains this, and several other capital
events in the Grecian history, by the above, and many other
independent arguments drawn from similar sources, which are
so agreeable to the present course of nature, that there seems
no reason why we should not place the. fullest confidence in
the facts drawn from them.

But the time of past events is likewise ascertained by means
of celestial appearances, from which, on account of the regu-
larity and constancy of the revolutions of the heavenly bodies,
and because the laws of their motions are so exactly known
to us, the most clear and undeniable conclusions may be
drawn. In this respect, modern chronologers and historians
are greatly indebted to the superstition with which the ancients
regarded unusual appearances hi the heavens. It was their
supposed portentous nature that drew upon them the attention

of mankind, who dreaded their unicnown influences and ef-
fects ; and, on this account only, they engaged the notice of
historians. Fortunately for the historians and chronologers of
modern times, the catalogue of ancient eclipses, not observed
by philosophers, but gazed at by the superstitious vulgar, is
pretty full. .

With the history of many remarkable revolutions and cri-
tical situations in the history of states, the eclipses which pre-
ceded or accompanied tliem, are faithfully transmitted to us ;

Online LibraryWilliam ShepherdSystematic education: or Elementary instruction in the various departments of literature and science; with practical rules for studying each branch of useful knowledge (Volume 1) → online text (page 28 of 44)