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mulieres solent, primò latebras circumspicit : mox deinde cum paucis et incompositis, in bellum progreditur. Victus, in regiam se recipit: et extructâ incensâque pyrâ, et se et divitias suas in incendium mittit: hoc solo imitatus virum. Post hunc rex constituitur interfector ejus Arbactus, qui præfectus Medorum fuerat. Is im perium ab Assyriis ad Medos transfert.
The death of Cyrus, A. C. 529.
(Anc. Hist. Justin, book 1.)
AFTER the death of Sardanapalus, the Assyrian empire was divided into three great states: to wit: the kingdom of the Medes, which Arbaces at first conquered; that of the Assyrians at Babylon; and that of the Assyrians at Nineveh. No mention is made of any prince whose name is worthy of being recited, during the time that these kingdoms subsisted, which was about two hundred years.
At last Cyrus appeared: his victories and virtues gave him the title of great. He added other important conquests to the three monarchies which he united, and from which he formed the Persian empire. He conquered Cræsus, king of Lydia, and though he took his kingdom away, he treated him with generosity. He permitted the Jews, who were
in a state of captivity at Babylon for seventy years, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.
With regret we see this great prince, terminating, almost ignominiously, his career, if the recital of Justin is to be credited. The most generally received opinion is, that he died peaceably, after a glorious reign of thirty years.
However that may be, Justin relates the death of this hero in the manner following, viz.
Cyrus, subactà Asiâ, et universo Oriente in potestatem redacto, 1Scythis bellum infert.Erat eo tempore Scytharum regina Tamyris, quæ non muliebriter adventu hostium territa, cùm prohibere eos transitu Araxis fluminis posset, transire permisit, et sibi faciliorem pugnam intrà regni sui terminos rata, et hostibus objectu fluminis fugam difficiliorem. Itaque Cyrus, trajectis copiis, cùm aliquantisper in Scythiam processisset, castrametatus est. Dein posterâ die, simulato metu, quasi refugiens castra deseruisset, ita vini affatim, et ea
1 Scythis bellum infert. Scythia was one of the largest regions of Asia. The ancients comprehended under this name all that is to the east and north of the Caspian Sea. These peoples were called Scythians, whether they were beyond or on this side of mount Imaus. At present they are called Tartars, Calmucs and others.
2 Araxis. The Araxes, a river of Armenia, has its source in Turcomania, and its mouth in the Caspian Sea. Its modern name is Achalar.
quæ epulis erant necessaria, reliquit. Quod cùm nuntiatum reginæ esset, adolescentulum filium, ad insequendum eum cum tertiâ parte copiarum mittit. Cùm ventum ad Cyri castra esset, ignarus rei militaris adolescens, veluti ad epulas, non ad prælium venisset, omissis hostibus, insuetos barbaros vino se onerare patitur priusque Scythæ ebrietate, quam bello vincuntur. Nam cognitis his, Cyrus reversus per noctem, saucios opprimit, omnesque Scythas cum reginæ filio interficit. Amisso tanto exercitu, et, quod graviùs dolendum, unico filio, Tamyris orbitatis dolorem non in lacrimas effudit, sed in ultionis solatia intendit: hostesque recenti victoriâ exultantes, pari insidiarum fraude circumvenit. Quippe simulatâ diffidentiâ propter vulnus acceptum refugiens, Cyrum ad angustias usque perduxit. Ibi compositis in montibus insidiis, ducenta millia Persarum cum ipso rege trucidavit. In quâ victoriâ etiam illud memorabile fuit, quod ne nuntius quidem tantæ cladis superfuit. Caput Cyri amputatum in utrem humano sanguine re. pletum conjici regina jubet, cum hâc expro- . bratione crudelitatis: Satia te, inquit, sanguine quem sitisti, cujusque insatiabilis semper fuisti. Cyrus regnavit annos xxx, non initio tantùm regni, sed continuo totius temporis successu, admirabiliter insignis.
The consecration of Zopyrus.
(Anc. Hist. book 1.)
To Cyrus succeeded Cambyses his son, a violent and cruel prince, who caused Smerdis his brother to be killed upon vain suspicions. He died after a reign of seven years and five months, in consequence of having wounded himself by letting his sword fall. The reign of this prince is celebrated for his conquests over Egypt, A. C. 525.
After the death of Cambyses, one of the Magi, invaded the throne, by making himself pass for Smerdis to whom he had a great resemblance. But the imposture was soon discovered. Seven of the principal Persian lords conspired against him, kill. ed him, and proclaimed Darius, the son of Hystaspes, one among themselves, king. Darius had no subjects more zealous that his own competitors. A very striking proof of it is what Zopyrus did to restore Babylon2 again into his power.
1 Egypt, a celebrated and considerable country of Africa, bounded on the south by Nubia, on the north by the Mediterranean, on the east by the Red Sea and the Isthmus of Suez, on the west by Barbary. This country was governed by its own kings from Menes, 2160 years before Christ, down to Psammenitus son of Amasis, over whom Darius made a conquest, A. D. 525.
2 Babylon. See p. 9.
Cum Assyrii descivissent, et Babyloniam occupassent, difficilisque urbis expugnatio esset, æstuante rege, unus de interfectoribus Magorum Zopyrus domi se verberibus lacerari toto corpore jubet: nasum, aures, et labia sibi præcidi, atque ità regi inopinanti se offert. Attonitum, et quærentem Darium causas, autoremque tam fœdæ lacerationis, tacitus, quo proposito fecerit, edocet; formatoque in futu ra consilio, transfugæ titulo Babyloniam proficiscitur. Ibi ostendit populo laniatum corpus: queritur crudelitatem regis, à quo in regni petitione, non virtute, sed auspicio, non judicio hominum, sed hinnitu equi superatus. Jubet illos ex amicis exemplum capere, quid hostibus cavendum sit: Hortatur, non manibus magis, quàm armis confidant, patianturque se commune bellum recentiore irâ gerere. Nota nobilitas viri pariter et virtus omnibus erat: nec de fide timebant, cujus veluti pignora, vulnera corporis et injuriæ notas habebant. Constituitur ergo dux omnium suffragio, et acceptâ parvâ manu, semel atque iterum cedentibus consultò Persis, secunda prælia facit: At postremò universum sibi creditum exercitum Dario prodit, urbemque ipsam in potestatem ejus redigit.