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“Rursus Xerxes adversus Platæenses exercitum centum et viginti millium mittit, et Mardonium ejus ducem constituit. Qui autem Xerxem in Platæenses concitabant, erant Thebani. Mardonio occurrit Pausanias Lacedæmonius, trecentos Spartanos et mille accolas, ex aliisque viribus sex millia secum ducens. Ibi superato exercitu Persarum, Mardonius vulneratus aufugit. Hic Mardonius quum a Xerxe ad diripiendam Apollinis ædem missus esset, ingruente ingenti grandine oppressus moritur: quæ res Xerxi maximum dolorem attulit. Is cum suis copiis Athenas proficiscitur, sed quum Athenienses armatis centum et decem triremibus ad Salaminem fugissent, urbem vacuam capit, quam incendit, præter arcem, in ea etiam aliqui relicti pugnabant: tandemque quum et illi noctu fugissent, illam etiam noctu combusserunt. Xerxes autem, quum inde ad angustissimum Atticæ locum, Heracleum appellatum, venisset, aggerem Salaminem versus ducere coepit, pedestri itinere ad eam trajicere cogitans. Sed consilio Themistoclis Atheniensis, et Aristidis, sagittarii ex Creta accersuntur, ac veniunt: deinde bellum navale Persarum et Græcorum geritur. Persæ naves habebant plusquam mille, ducemque Onophan: Græci vero septingentas. Græci tamen victores evadunt, et quingentæ naves Persarum profligantur: et fugit Xerxes consilio rursus et arte Aristidis atque Themistoclis. In reliquis vero omnibus præliis ceciderunt Persarum centum et viginti millia. At Xerxes, quum in Asiam trajecisset, et Sardis proficisceretur, misit Megabyzum ut templum Delphicum diriperet : illoque id suscipere recusante, Matacas eunuchus injuriam Apollini illaturus omniaque direpturus mittitur. Is confectis ita rebus ad Xerxem reversus est. Xerxes ex Babylone ad Persas proficiscitur.” P. 76-7.
Ardeshir or Bahman, son of Isfendiar, was called Diarzdest, which signifies Longimanus, and identifies him with the first Artaxerxes. The Persian History states that he married a beautiful Jewess named Ester, which Ctesias does not mention, or his relation is lost: indeed his account of Megabyzus and Amytis is the most curious portion of this part of his narrative: the scandal of this reign, if not authentic, is extremely piquant and amusing.
Passing over the short and sanguinary reigns of Xerxes II. and Sogdianus, or Secundianus, it may be observed, that in speaking of an administration, Ctesias merely informs us who were the eunuchs of that reign:-“Regno autem
potitur Secundianus, qui Azabaritem et Menostanem eunuchos apud se habuit.” P. 83. Mr. Mitford, with reference to this and similar passages, remarks that "the government had fallen into the hands of the eunuchs of the palace," and infers that little could be known of the current transactions except through them. Oriental monarchs professedly take little part in state affairs, and, though supposed absolute, are merely the head of the executive, nor is there any thing extraordinary in the expression of Ctesias : in modern history, by substituting ministers for eunuchs, the sense would be preserved. Menostanes appears by the sequel to have discharged his duty with fidelity, but prejudice would consider Alexas in Dryden's All for Love as the model for an Oriental premier.
The Persian History gives an account of Darius Nothus, which does not occur in our authors : Homai, daughter of Ardeshir, was pregnant at the time of his death, and caused her child to be exposed as soon as bom; being found by a peasant, he was preserved, became a soldier, and, by a wonderful fortune, unknown among Asiatic princes, ascended the throne, somewhat like Cyrus, under the name of Darab, the Dariæus of Ctesias. That historian expressly says that his father, during his life-time, appointed him satrap of Hyrcania, and gave him Parysatis as a wife.
“ Ochum (i. e. Nothum) pater vivens Hyrcaniorum præfectum constituerat, eique in uxorem dederat mulierem quæ Parysatis appellabatur, Xerxis filiam, et regis sororem.” P. 83. The insufficiency and incompleteness of the Persian History is manifest in its passing immediately to Darius Codomannus (Darab the less) as son of the monarch above mentioned. Ctesias supplies a few interesting circumstances to the Anabasis of Xenophon, relative to the treatment of the prisoners at Babylon: during this reign he appears to have served the king in a diplomatic as well as a medical capacity.
Darab the less was defeated at Erbil (Arbela), and afterwards assassinated by bis officers. Iskander of Macedon, the conqueror, married his daughter Rushenk (Roxana), and is placed by national writers among the sovereigns of Iran. Nizami relates that Aristotle was his vizier, that he destroyed the books of the Magi, and caused the scientific treatises then extant to be translated into Greek. The fables of Pilpay, commonly called the Kalila and Dimna, are dated from this reign. Pilpay, or Bidpai, is said to
have been prime minister to a tributary prince of India, appointed by Alexander, in the room of one whom he had deposed.
European History does not acknowledge any king of Persia till the revolt of Ardeshir in the year 202; but a dynasty exists in Oriental records, called the Ashkanian or Arsacidan, generally confounded with the Parthian race of kings.
Gibbon and Mitford have both illustrated the national manners, as well as could be done from the scanty information afforded by Herodotus and Xenophon, and the historians of the Roman empire. Persia, indeed, appears to have possessed the elements of a good constitution; a religious establishment surpassed only by the Hebrew, an excellent system of education, and an ample revenue: but there is a weakness in Oriental governments, which, if it does not affect the centre, paralyses the extremities. The history of such kingdoms is on that account instructive, and, as we believe we have shown, materials for one are by no means deficient; besides, the warmest admirers of the Greeks cannot deny that Persia is too important to be treated merely as an appendage to European History.
EMBALMING AMONG THE EGYPTIANS.
The Egyptians, of all nations of antiquity, are most deserving of our attention. To this wise and ingenious people, who made such advances in arts and sciences, in commerce and legislation, succeeding nations have been indebted for whatever institutions civilise mankind and embellish human life. The priesthood of this very religious people, to whom knowledge was exclusively confined, being wholly free from anxiety about secular matters, as they were provided for by the state, devoted themselves to the service of the community. Their time was divided between the performance of their sacred duties and the improvement of
that a third of the lands of each province belonged to the priesthood. (Lib. i. p. 84. folio, Amster. 1745.
the mind. Study was their business; the good of the people was their sole object; and whatever could contribute to the political or moral welfare of their country was pursued with a zeal worthy of imitation in Christian societies. It is not then surprising that they made such amazing progress in physic and husbandry, in astronomy, magic, and other occult sciences. And, though the art of embalming, as practised by them, is now obsolete, and the medicated herbs which they used may not now be ascertained, yet we may gather from the custom what study and attention they employed in discovering the virtues of simples, though the science of Medical Chymistry' was probably unknown at that early period.
The art of embalming the dead was peculiar to the Egyptians; they alone knew the secret of preserving the body from decay. In the Pentateuch we find that, when Abraham and Isaac died, they were simply buried; but Jacob, and afterwards Joseph, were embalmed; because these two patriarchs died in Egypt. This mysterious trade descended from father to son as an hereditary and sacred privilege; the embalmers were held in high repute, conversed with the priests, and were by them admitted into the inner parts of the temples. Embalming may have been practised in Asia; but there is not any authority for this presumption : it may be inferred that the custom prevailed among the Chaldeaus, on account of the proximity of their country to Egypt and the similarity of pursuits and doctrines; an intercourse, no doubt, subsisted between these two philosophical nations from the earliest ages. After the death of Alexander the Great, the Egyptians and Chaldeans were ordered to dress the body in their own way,* (Curt. lib. x. sub fin.): but this event was many hundred years after the times when Egypt florisbed under the Pharaohs. The washing and dressing of the body alluded to by Greek and Roman writers, was merely an external application of unguents, performed with facility and despatch, not
The art of preparing drugs by fire for curative purposes is attributed to the Arabs.
2 Ægyptii Chaldaique jussi corpus suo more curare—deinde purgavere corpus; repletumque est odoribus.--I know no other passage indicative of such a custom among the Asiatics. It does not appear that Plutarch or Arrian mention this ceremony; Curtius, therefore, may have been misinformed. Cyrus in Xenophon commands his body to be committed to the earth from whence it came (duópudor), and in this he doubtless conformed to the custom of his country.
3 Corpusque lavant frigentis et ungunt, Virgil. Neprotinas vexpór-Ka! matlarüoar xipoly Ŭ Topactent. Eurip. Medea, 1035. The body of Christ
for the purpose of preserving the corpse, but in honor of the deceased. The ceremony among the Egyptians was sacred and solemn, and the process tedious, intricate, and expensive. In the patriarchal history the sacred writer tells us, that forty days were employed in preparing the body of Jacob for sepulture. “And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel,” &c. Gen. ch. 1. v. 2. And bere it is to be observed, that the officers, called physicians, did not profess the art of curing ; for physic (as it is now called) was not at that time a professional pursuit ; not a word is said of physicians being called in during Jacub's sickness. Besides, the Hebrew word is rendered in the Septuagint by évtapicotal, those who prepared the body for burial. It is true the author of the Pentateuch does not particularise this cerenicny, but Herodotus and Diodorus are clear and diffuse in every thing relative to this interesting country."
The Egyptians believed that the soul was immortal, or rather, that it was eternal; they imagined that it not only was not subject to death, but that it had existed from all eternity, having neither beginning nor end; they thought that as it was immaterial, it was increate, and as it was increate, that it was a part of the divine spirit, divinæ particula aura, and co-existent with that Being, from whom it enianated. In order to substantiate this doctrine, they asserted that the soul had been in a state of preexistence, and at the dissolution of the outward man, it passed into various states; and after a circuit of three thousand years, (Herod. I. ii. c. 123.) it returned to re-animate a human body. Pythagoras first transplanted this dogma from Egypt into Greece, and, though no works of that philosopher are now extant, yet we may gather from later writers the essential tenets of the Pythagorean sect. Plato, after the death of Socrates, inculcated the same principle, in order to validate the primary tenet of the Socratic school, the immortality of the soul.* Virgil has shown him
was anointed with myrrh and aloes, and wrapt in linen clothes. John, ch, xix. ver. 39, 40.
· Herod. lib. ii. c. 86, 87.-Diodor. lib. i. p. 102.
2 Humanus animus, ex divinâ mente decerptus, cum alio nullo nisi cum ipso Deo comparari possit. Cic. Tusc. 6. n. 38.” “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Gen. ii. 7.
3 Morte carent animæ; semperque priore relicta
Ovid. Sermo Pythag.
+ Πάντα τότε και νύν διαμείβεται τα ζώα είς άλληλα, νου και ανοίας αποβολη και xtńos perceßaraóusya. Plato sub fin. Timæi.