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first of these Olympiads ; which, by this account, is the fifty-first of Uzziah, as we have already noted.
The eclipses, whereof we made mention, serve well to the same purpose. For example's sake; that which was seen when Xerxes mustered his army at Sardis, in the two hundred and sixty-seventh year of Nabonassar, being the last of the seventy-fourth Olympiad, leads us back unto the beginning of Xerxes, and from him to Cyrus; whence we have a fair way through the seventy years unto the destruction of Jerusalem; and so upwards through the reigns of the last kings of Judah to the fifty-first year of Uzziah. Thus much may suffice concerning the time wherein these Olympiads began.
To tell the great solemnity of them, and with what exceeding great concourse of all Greece they were celebrated, I hold it a superfluous labour. It is enough to say, that all bodily exercises, or the most of them, were therein practised ; as running, wrestling, fighting, and the like. Neither did they only contend for the mastery in those feats, whereof there was good use, but in running of chariots, fighting with whorl-bats, and other the like ancient kinds of exercises, that served only for ostentation. Thither also repaired orators, poets, musicians, and all that thought themselves excellent in any laudable quality, to make trial of their skill, Yea, the very criers, who proclaimed the victories, contended which of them should get the honour of having played the best part.
The Eleans were presidents of those games, whose justice, in pronouncing without partiality who did best, is highly commended. As for the rewards given to the victors, they were none other than garlands of palm, or olive, without any other commodity following than the reputation. Indeed, there needed no more: For that was held so much, that when Diagoras had seen his three sons crowned for their several victories in those games, one came running to hi
BOOK II. with this gratulation, · Morere, Diagoras, non enim • in Cælum ascensurus es :' that is, o Die, Diagoras,
for thou shalt not climb up to heaven :' as if there could be no greater happiness on earth than what already had befallen him. In the like sense, Horace speaks of these victors, calling them
" Quos Elæa domum reducit
. Such as like heavenly wights do come
Neither was it only the voice of the people, or the songs of poets, that so highly extolled them which had won these Olympian prizes; but even grave historians thought it a matter worthy of their noting. Such was, (as Tully? counts it,) the vanity of the Greeks, that they esteemed it almost as great an honour to have won the victory at running or wrestling in these games, as to have triumphed in Rome for some famous victory, or conquest of a province.
That these Olympian games were celebrated at the full of the moon, and upon the fifteenth day of the month Hecatombæon, which doth answer to our June; and what means they used to make the month begin with the new moon, that the fifteenth day might be the full, I have shewed in another place. Where. fore I may now return unto the kings of Judah, and leave the merry Greeks at their games, whom I shall meet in more serious employments, when the Persian quarrels draw the body of this history into the coasts of Ionia and Hellespont.
6 Horat. Carm. 1. 4. Ode 2. . ; Tulle in Orat. pro Flacco.
Israel, was anointed king in Jerusalem, his father yet living. He built an exceeding high gate to the temple, of threescore cubits upright, and therefore called Ophel; besides divers cities in the hills of Judah, and in the forests, towers, and palaces. He enforced the Ammonites to pay him tribute; to wit, of silver an hundred talents, and of wheat and barley two thousand measures. He reigned twenty-six years ; of whom Josephus gives this testimony : Ejusmodi ' vero princeps hic fuit, ut nullum in eo virtutis ge' nus desideres : ut qui Deum adeo pie coluerit, ho' minibus suis adeo juste præfuerit, urbem ipsam • tantæ sibi curæ esse passus sit, et tantopere auxe' rit, ut universum regnum hostibus quidem minime • contemnendum, domesticis autem ejus incolis at• que civibus foelix, faustum et fortunatum sua vir• tute effecerit:' this was such a prince as a man could find no kind of virtue wanting in him: he worshipped God so religiously; he governed his men so righteously; he was so provident for the city, and did so greatly amplify it, that, by his virtue and prowess, he made his whole kingdom not contemptible to his enemies, but, to his servants, inhabitants, and citizens, prosperous and happy. This is all that I find of Jotham ; his reign was not long, but as happy in all things as he himself was devout and virtuous. . Auchomenes about this time succeeded Phelesteus in Corinth ; after whom the Corinthians erected magistrates, which governed from year to year. And yet Pausanias in his second book, with Strabo and Plutarch in many places, are of opinion, that Corinth was governed by kings of the race of the Bacidæ, to the time of Cypselus, who drove them out.
Teglath-Phalassar", or Tiglath-Pileser, the son of Pul, the second of the Babylonians and Assyrians that was of this new race, about this time invaded Israel, while Pekah, (who murdered his master Pe.
2 2 Kings XV.
kaiah,) was king thereof: in which expedition he took most of the cities of Nephtali and Galilee, with those of Gilead, over Jordan, and carried the inhabitants captive. This Tiglath reigned five and twenty years, according to Metasthenes. But Krentzhemius finds, that, with his son Salmanassar, he reigned yet two years longer; which years I would not ascribe to the son, because the era of Na. bonassar begins with his single reign, but reckon them to Teglath-Phalassar himself, who therewith reigned seven and twenty years.
Æschylus, the son of Agamnestor, about the same time, the twelfth archon in Athens, ruled five and twenty years. Alcamenes governed Sparta, after whom the estate changed, according to Eusebius; but therein surely Eusebius is mistaken ; for Diodorus, Plutarch, Pausanias, and others, witness the contrary. Pausanias affirmeth?, that Polydorus, a prince of eminent virtues, succeeded his father, and reigned threescore years, and out-lived the Messeniac war; which was ended by Theopompus, the son of Nicander, his royal companion.
At this time lived Nahum the prophet, who foretold the destruction of the Assyrian empire, and of the city of Nineveh ; which succeeded, (saith Josephus,) an hundred and fifteen years after. The cities of Cyrene and of Aradus were built at this time, while in Media, Sosarmus and Medidus reigned, being the second and third kings of those parts.
ended by Thut-lived the wher, and
Sect. VII. Of Ahaz and his contemporaries. Ahas, or Ahaz, succeeded unto Jotham in the seventeenth year of Pekah', the son of Remaliah; the same being also the last year of his father's reign, who began in the second of the same Pekah, and reigned sixteen, but not complete years. This Ahaz
3 Paus, l. iii. 1 2 Kings xvi. 1. 2 Chron. xxviii,
was an idolater, exceeding all his predecessors. He made molten images for Baalim, and burnt his son for sacrifice before the idol Moloch, or Saturn, which was represented by a man-like brazen body, bearing the head of a calf, set up not far from Jerusalem, in a valley shadowed with woods, called Gehinnon, or Tophet, from whence the word Gehenna is used for hell. The children offered were inclosed within the carcase of this idol, and as the fire increased, so the sacrificers, with a noise of cymbals and other instru. ments, filled the air, to the end the pitiful cries of the children might not be heard ; which unnatural, cruel, and devilish oblation, Jeremiah’ the prophet vehemently reprehendeth, and of which St. Jerome upon the tenth of Matthew hath written at large. By the prohibition in Leviticus, chap. xviii., it appeareth that this horrible sin was ancient; in the twelfth of Deuteronomy, it is called an abomination which God hateth. That it was also practised elsewhere, and by many nations remote from Judæa, divers authors witness; as Virgil in the second of his Æneids S anguine placastis, &c. and Silius Poscere cæde deos. Saturn is said to have brought this custom into Italy, besides the casting of many souls into the river of Tiber; instead of which, Hercules commanded that waxen images of men should be thrown in and drowned. The devil also taught the Carthaginians this kind of butchery ; insomuch that, when their city was besieged, and in distress, the priest made them believe, that because they had spared their own children, and had bought and brought up others to be offered, that therefore Saturn had stirred up and strengthened their enemies against them; whereupon they presently caused two hundred of the noblest youths of their city to be slain, and offered to Saturn or Satan, to appease him: who, besides these forenamed nations, had in, structed the Rhodians?, the people of Crete, and 2 c. vii. 19–32. 3 Euseb. de Præp. Evang. 1. vi, Dign, 1. ii. Diod. l. fF.