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danapalus, who, in the one and twentieth year of Amaziah, succeeded his father Ocrazapes, or Anacyndaraxes, reigned twenty years, and was slain the last of the eleven void years which forewent the reign of Azariah. In him ended, as most agree, the line of Ninus, which had held that empire one thousand two hundred and forty years. A most luxurious and effeminate palliard he was, passing away his time among strumpets, whom he imitated, both in apparel and behaviour.
In these voluptuous courses he lived an unhappy life, knowing himself to be so vile, that he durst not let any man have a sight of him ; yet seen he was at length, and the sight of him was so odious, that it procured his ruin. For Arbaces, who governed Media under him, finding means to behold the person of his king, was so incensed with that beastly spectacle, of a man disguised in woman's attire, and striving to counterfeit a harlot, that he thought it great shame to live under the command of so unworthy a creature* Purposing, therefore, tofreehimselfandothersfromso base subjection, he was much encouraged by the prediction of Belesis or Belosus, a Chaldean, who told him plainly, that the kingdom of Sardanapalus should fall into his hands. Arbaces, well pleased with this prophecy, did promise unto Belosus himself the government of Babylon; and so concluding how ta. handle the business, one of them stirred up the Medes, and allured the Persians into the quarrel, the other persuaded the Babylonians and Arabians to venture themselves in the same cause. These four nations armed forty thousand men against Sardanapalus, who in this danger was not wanting to himself, but gathering such forces as he could, out of other nations, encountered the rebels, as one that would by deeds refute the tales that they had told of him. Neither did his carriage, in the beginning of that war, answer to the name of his retiredness; for in three battles he carried away the better, driving
Arbaces and his followers into such fearful terms, that had not Belosus promised them constantly some unexpected succours, they would forthwith have broken up their camp. About the same time, an army out of Bactria was coming to assist the king; but Arbaces encountering it upon the way, persuaded so strongly by promise of liberty, that those forces joined themselves with his. The sudden departure of the enemy seeming to be a flight, caused Sardanapalus to feast his army, triumphing before victory. But the rebels being strengthened with this new supply, came upon him by night, and forced his camp, which thro' over-great security, was unprepared for resistance.
This overthrow did so weaken the king's heart, that leaving his wife's brother Salamenus to keep the field, he withdrew himself into the city of Nineveh; which, till new aids that he sent for should come, he thought easily to defend; it having been prophesied, that Nineveh should never be taken till the river were enemy to the town. Of the greatness and strength of Nineveh, enough hath been spoken in our discourse of Ninus. It was so well victualled, that Arbaces, (having in two battles overthrown the king's army, and slain Salamenus,) was fain to lie two whole years before it, in hope to win it by famine; whereof yet he saw no appearance. It seems that he wanted engines and skill to force those walls, which were a hundred foot high, and thick enough for three chariots in front to pass upon the rampart. But that which he could not <lo in two years, the river of Tigris did in the third; for being high swoln with rains, it not only drowned a part of the city through which it ran, but threw down twenty furlongs of the wall, and made a fair breach for Arbaces to enter.
Sardanapalus, either terrified with the accomplishment of the old oracle, or seeing no means of resistance left, shutting up himself into his palace, with his wives, eunuchs, and all his treasures, did set the house on fire, wherewith he and they were together consumed. Strabo' speaks of a monument of his, that was in Anchiale, a city of Cilicia, whereon was found an inscription, shewing that he built that city and Tharsus upon one day: but the addition hereto, bidding men eat and drink and make* merry, encouraging others, with verses well known, to a voluptuous life, by his own example, testified that his nature was more prone to sensuality j than to any virtue beseeming a prince. CHAP XXIII.
There are some that faintly report otherwise of his end; saying that Arbaces, when he first found him among his concubines, was so enraged, that suddenly he slew him with a dagger. But the more general consent of writers agrees with this relation of Diodorus Siculus* who citeth Ctesias, a Greek writer, that lived in the court of Persia, where the truth might best be known.
Concerning the princes which reigned in Assyria, from the time of Semiramis, unto Sardanapalus, though I believe that they were sometimes, (yet not, as Orosius hath it, incessantly,) busied in offensive or else defensive arms; yet, for the most part of them, I do better trust Diodorus Siculus3 who saith, that their names were overpassed by Ctesias, because they did nothing worthy of memory. Whatsoever they did, that which Theophilus Antiochenus4 hath said of them is very true :—1 Silence and oblivion hath oppressed them.'
The prosperity ofUzziah, and of Jeroboam the second^ who reigned leith him in Israel. Of the anarchy that was in the ten tribes after the death of Jeroboam, Of Zachariah, Shallum, Menahem, and Pekahiah.
Uzziah, who is also called Azariah, the son of Jotham, was made king of Judah when he was sixteen years old, in the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam, the son of Joash, king of Israel. lie served the God of his father David, and had therefore good success in all his enterprises. He built Eloth, a town that stood near to the Red sea, and restored it to Judah. He overcame the Philistines, of whose towns he dismantled some, and built others, in sundry parts of their territories. Also he got the mastery over some parts of Arabia, and brought the Ammonites to pay him tribute. Such were the fruits of his prosperous wars, wherein, (as Josephus rehearseth his acts,) he began with the Philistines, and then proceeded unto the Arabians and Ammonites. His army consisted of three hundred and seven thousand men of war, over which were appointed two thousand six hundred captains. For all this multitude the king perpared shields, and spears, and helmets, and other arms' requisite; following therein happily a course quite opposite unto that which some of his late predecessors had held, who thought it better policy to use the ser
1 2 Chron. xxvi. H.
vice of the nobility, than of the multitude; carrying forth to war, the princes and all the chariots, (2 Chron. xxi. 90
As the victories of Uzziah were far more important, than the atchievements of all that had reigned in Judah, since the time of David; so were his riches and magnificent works equal, if not superior, to any of theirs that had been kings between him and Solomon. For, besides that great conquests are wont to repay the charges of war with triple interest, he had the skill to use, as well as the happiness to get. He turned his lands to the best use, keeping ploughmen and dressers of vines, in grounds convenient for such husbandry. In other places he had cattle feeding, whereof he might well keep great store, having won so much from the Ammonites and Arabians, that had abundance of waste ground serving for pasturage. For defence of his cattle and herdsmen, he built towers in the wilderness; he also digged many cisterns or ponds. Josephus calls them water-courses; but in such dry grounds, it was enough that he found water, by digging in the most likely places. If by these towers he so commanded the water, that none could, without his consent, relieve themselves therewith, questionless he took the only course, by which he might securely hold the lordship over all the wilderness; it being hardly passable, by reason of the extreme drought, when the few springs therein found are left free to the use of travellers.
Besides all this cost, and the building both of Eloth by the Red Sea, and of sundry towns among the Philistines, he repaired the wall of Jerusalem, which Joash had broken down, and fortified it with towers, whereof some were an hundred and fifty cubits high.
The state of Israel did never so flourish as at this time, since the division of the twelve tribes into two kingdoms. For as Uzziah prevailed in the south,