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other warlike nations on that side, might very well turn southward, and try his fortune in those kingdoms whereinto civil dissension of the inhabitants, and the bordering envy of the Arabians and Aramites about Damasco, friends and cousins to the Chaldeans and Mesopotamians, did invite him. For these and the other before-alleged reasons, it may be concluded, that what is said of Phul in the scriptures ought to be understood of Belosus; even as by the names of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede, Artashasht, and Ahashuerosh, with the like, are thought or known to be meant the same whom profane historians, by names better known in their own countries, have called Nabopollassar, Cyaxares, and Artaxerxes; especially considering, that hereby we shall neither contradict any thing that hath been written of old, nor need to trouble ourselves and others with framing new conjectures. This in effect is that which they allege in maintenance of the opinion commonly received.
Now this being once granted, other things of more importance will of themselves easily follow. For it is a matter of no great consequence to know the truth of this point, (considering it apart from that which depends thereon,) whether Phul were Belosus or some other man: the whole race of these Assyrian and Babylonian kings, wherein are found those famous princes Nabonassar, Mardocem padus, and Nabopollassar, (famous for the astronomical observations recorded from their times,) is the main ground of this contention. If therefore Belosus, or Belesis, were that Phul which invaded Israel ; if he and his posterity reigned both in Nineveh and in Babylon ; if he were father of TeglatPhul-Asar, from whom Salmanassar, Sennacherib, and Asarhaddon descended; then is it manifest, that we must seek Nabonassar, the Babylonian king, among these princes; yea, and conclude him to be none other than Salmanassar, who is known to have reigned in those years which Ptolomy the mathematician hath assigned unto Nabonassar. As for Merodach, who supplanted Asar-haddon, manifest it is that he and his successors were of another house. This is the scope and end of all this disputation.
But they that maintain the contrary part will not be satisfied with such conjectures. They lay hold upon the conclusion, and by shaking that into pieces, hope to overthrow all the premises upon which it is inferred. For (say they) if Nabonassar, that reigned in Babylon, could not be Salmanassar, or any of those other Assyrian kings, then is it manifest that the races were distinct, and that Phul and Belosus were several kings. This consequence is so plain, that it needs no confirmation. To prove that Nabonassar was a distinct person from Salmanassar, are brought such arguments as would stagger the resolution of him that had sworn to hold the contrary. For first, Nabonassar was king of Babylon, and not of Assyria. This is proved by his name, which is merely Chaldean, whereas Salman, the first part of Salmanassar's name, is proper to the Assyrians. It is likewise proved by the astronomical observations, which proceeding from the Babylonians, not from the Assyrians, do shew that Nabonassar, from whom Ptolomy draws that epocha, or account of times, was a Babylonian, and no Assyrian. Thirdly, and more strongly, it is confirmed by the successor of Nabonassar, which was Mardocempadus, called in his own language Merodac-ken-pad, but more briefly, in n Esay's prophecy, Merodach, by the former part of his name, or Merodach Baladan the son of Baladan. Now if Merodach, the son of Baladan, king of Babel, were the son of Nabonassar, then was Nabonassar none other than Baladan king of Babel, and not Salmanassar king of Assyria.
What can be plainer ? As for the cadence of these two names, Nabonassar and Salmanassar, which in Greek or Latin writing hath no difference, we are taught by Scaliger, that in the Hebrew letters there is found no affinity therein. So concerning the places of Babylonia, whereinto Salmanassar carried captive some part of the ten tribes, it may well be granted, that in the province of Babylon Salmanassar had gotten somewhat, yet will it not follow that he was king of Babylon itself. To conclude, Merodach began his reign over Babylon in the sixth year of Hezekiah, at which time
пEsay xxxіх. І.
Salmanassar took Samaria ; therefore if Salmanassar were king of Babylon, then must we say that he and Merodach, yea and Nabonassar, were all one man. These are the arguments of that noble and learned writer Joseph Scaliger, who, not contented to follow the common opinion, founded upon likelihood of conjectures, hath drawn his proofs from matter of more necessary inference.
Touching all that was said before of Phul Belosus, for the proving that Phul and Belosus were not sundry kings; Joseph Scaliger pities their ignorance, that have spent their labour to so little purpose. Honest and painful men he confesseth that they were, who by their diligence might have won the good liking of their readers, had they not by mentioning Annius's authors given such offence, that men refused thereupon to read their books and chronologies. A short answer.
For mine own part, howsoever I believe nothing that Annius's Berosus, Metasthenes, and others of that stamp affirm, in respect of their bare authority; yet am I not so squeamish, but that I can well enough digest a good book, though I find the names of one or two of these good fellows alleged in it: I have (somewhat peradventure too often) already spoken my mind of Annius's authors; nevertheless, I may say here again, that where other histories are silent, or speak not enough, there may we without shame borrow of these, as much as agrees with that little which elsewhere we find, and serveth to explain or enlarge it without improbabilities.
Neither indeed are those honest and painful men, (as Scaliger terms them, meaning, if I mistake him not, good silly fellows,) who set down the Assyrian kings from Pul forwards, as lords also of Babylon, taking Pul for Belosus, and Salmanassar for Nabonassar, such writers as a man should be ashamed or unwilling to read. For (to omit a multitude of others, that herein follow Annius, though disliking him in general) Gerard Mercator is not so slight a chronologer that he should be laughed out of doors, with the name of an honest-meaning fellow.
But I will not make comparisons between Scaliger and Mercator; they were both of them men notably learned : let us examine the arguments of Scaliger, and see whether they be of such force as cannot either be resisted or avoided. It will easily be granted, that Nabonassar was king of Babylon; that he was not king of Assyria, some men doubt whether Scaliger's reasons be enough to prove. For though Nabonassar be a Chaldean name, and Salmanassar an Assyrian, yet what hinders us from believing, that one man in two languages might be called by two several names ? That astronomy flourished among the Chaldees, is not enough to prove Nabonassar either an astrologer or a Chaldean. So it is, that Scaliger himself calls them prophetas nescio quos, qui Nabonassarum astronomum fuisse in somnis viderunt ; 6 prophets I know not who, that in their “ sleep have dreamt of Nabonassar, that he was an astro*loger."
Whether Nabonassar were an astrologer or no, I cannot tell; it is hard to maintain the negative. But as his being lord over the Chaldeans doth not prove him to have been learned in their sciences; so doth it not prove him not to have been also king of Assyria. The emperor Charles the Fifth, who was born in Gant, and Philip his son, king of Spain, and lords of the Netherlands, had men far more learned in all sciences, and particularly in the mathematics, among their subjects of the Low Countries, than were any that I read of then living in Spain, if Spain at that time had any; yet I think posterity will not use this as an argument to prove that Spain was none of theirs. It may well be, that Salmanassar, or Nabonassar, did use the Assyrian soldiers and Babylonian scholars: but it seems that he and his posterity, by giving themselves wholly to the more warlike nation, lost the richer, out of which they first issued; as likewise king Philip lost partly, and partly did put to a dangerous hazard, all the Netherlands, by such a course. As for the two unanswerable arguments, (as Scaliger terms them, being methinks none other than answers to
• Scalig. Canon. I. 3.
somewhat that is or might be alleged on the contrary side,) one of them which is drawn from the unlike sound and writing of those names, Salmanassar and Nabonassar in the Hebrew, I hold a point about which no man will dispute; for it is not likeness of sound, but agreement of time, and many circumstances else, that must take away the distinction of persons: the other likewise may be granted; which is, that Salmanassar might be lord of some places in the province of Babylon, yet not king of Babylon itself: this indeed might be so, and it might be otherwise. Hitherto there is nothing save conjecture against conjecture. But in that which is alleged out of the prophet Esay, concerning Merodach the son of Baladan; and in that which is said of this Merodach, or Mardokenpadus, his being the successor of Nabonassar, and his beginning to reign in the sixth year of Hezekiah, I find matter of more difficulty than can be answered in haste. I will therefore defer the handling of these objections, until I meet with their subject in its proper place; which will be when we come to the time of Hezekiah, wherein Merodach lived and was king. Yet that I may not leave too great a scruple in the mind of the reader, thus far will I here satisfy him; that how strong soever this argument may seem, Scaliger himself did live to retract it, ingenuously confessing, that in thinking Merodach to be the son of Nabonassar, he had been deceived.
Now therefore let us consider in what sort they have fashioned their story, who taking Pul to be a distinct person from Belosus or Belestis, have in like sort, as was necessary, distinguished their offspring, making that of Pul to fail in Asarhaddon, which left all to Merodach the Babylonian. And here I must first confess mine own want of books, if perhaps there be many, that have gone about to reduce this narration into some such order, as might present unto us the body of this history in one view. Divers indeed there are, whom I have seen, that since Joseph Scaliger delivered his opinion have written in favour of some one or other point thereof; but Sethus Calvisius himself, who hath abridged Scaliger's learned work, De Emendatione Tempo