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noble young man that should have married his sister, only for spite and envy to see him kill two wild beasts in hunting, at which himself having thrown his javelin had missed them. Another great lord he had gelded, because a gentlewoman, commending his beauty, said, it were a happy woman that should be his wife. Such barbarous villanies caused many who had loved his father, (as a good and gracious, though unfortunate prince,) to revolt from him unto the enemy as soon as he was king. Neither do I find that he performed any thing worthy of record, but as a coward and a fool he lost all; sitting still, and not once daring to give battle to them that daily took somewhat from him; yet carelessly feasting when danger had hemmed him in on every side, and when death arrested him by the hands of those whom he had wronged in his father's life. So the end of him was base and miserable; for he died as a fool, taken in unexcusable security; yet had not that happiness, (such as it was,) of a death free from apprehension of fear, but was terrified with a dreadful vision, which had shewed his ruin not many hours before, even whilst he was drinking in that wine, which the swords of his insulting enemies drew out of him, together with his latest blood. It is therefore, in this place, enough to say of him, that, after a dishonourable reign of seventeen years, he perished as a beast, and was slain as he deserved. The rest that concerneth him, in question of his time, hath been spoken heretofore ; in matter of his affairs, shall be handled among the acts of Cyrus, to whose story that of Balthasar is but an appendix.
OF THE ORIGINAL AND FIRST GREATNESS OF THE PERSIANS.
Tluit the Medes were chief actors in the subversion of the Babylonian empire.
THE line of Belochus being now extinguished in Balthasar, the empire of Babylon and of Assyria was joined first to that of Media, which then was governed byCyaxares, or Darius Medus, after whom Cyrus became lord and monarch both of Assyria and 01 Media itself.
Of the race of Phul Belochus there were ten kings besides himself, and of Arbaces as many are found by Metasthenes. These two principal governors, having cut down the last branch of Ninus in Sardanapalus, divided between them the eastern empire. Cyaxares, (whom the scriptures call Darius Medus,) the last of the race of Arbaces, dying about two years after that the line of Belochus was ended in Balthasar, the dominions, as well of the conqueror as of the conquered, fell to a third family, namely, to Cyrus, of the house of Achemenes; the princes pf which blood, reigning in Persia, had formerly been dependents on the Medes, and were of as little power at home as of fame abroad in the world.
Of the family of Achemenes, and line of the Persian kings, we shall hereafter find occasion in due place to entreat.
The nation of the Medes descended from Madai, the third son of Japhet. That they had kings soon after the flood, Lactantius and Diodorus have found record; for Lactantius remembereth an ancient king of the Medes called Hydaspes; and Diodorus speaketh of Pharnus, with his seven sons, slain by the Assyrians, in the beginning of their empire.
But of those who succeeded Arbaces the first, that freed his nation from the Assyrians, I take the list and number from Eusebius, adding Darius Medus; of whom I have spoken in their proper places heretofore, and they are these :—
And though the Greeks ascribe the conquest of Babylon to Cyrus alone, yet the scriptures teach us that Darius was not only king of Media, and had the Persians his followers, but that the army victorious over Balthasar was his; as the Assyrian and Babylonian empire also was during his own life. For we find in Daniel, that Darius of the Medes took the kingdom, being threescore and two years old; and further, what officers it pleased him to set over the kingdom. And so was it prophesied by Isaiah long before, * Behold I will stir up the Medes against• them'/ &c.; and by Jeremiah, 'The Lord hath
• raised up the spirit of the king of the Medes, for • * his purpose is against Babylon to destroy it*
and in the eight and twentieth verse, ' Prepare a
* gainst the nations, with "the kings of the Medes,
* the dukes thereof, the princes thereof, and all the 'land of his dominion.' These scriptures Julius Africanus doth well open, who, taking authority from Diodorus, Castor, Thallus, and others, delivereth that Babylon was taken before Cyrus began to reign; which also agreeth with Strabo 3, where he saith, that as the Medes were subjugated by the Persians, so, before that, both the Babylonians and Assyrians were mastered by the Medes; and therefore the reports of Justin and Herodotus are not to be received, who attribute the taking of Babylon to Cyrus alone.
By'what means the empire was translated from the Medes to the Persians.
How the kingdom of the Medes fell into the hands of Cyrus, it is a doubt not sufficiently cleared by historians; but rather their different relations of his beginnings have bred the former opinion of those who give the conquest of Babylon to the Persian only; for some there are who deny that Astyages had any other successor than Cyrus, his grandchild, by Mandane; whereas Ctesias, on the contrary side, affirmeth, that Cyrus was no way descended from Astyages, (whom he calleth Astygas, or Apama,) but only that having vanquished him in battle, and confined him to Bactria, he married his daughter Amytis. But I find the relations of Ctesias often
cited, and seldom followed, and himself sometimes very justly reproved of wilful untruth.
Viginier, a diligent and learned historian of this age, produceth many probable reasons, that Astyages had no such son as Cyaxares, or Darius Medus; and to confirm his opinion the more, he citeth Diodorus, Justin, Strabo, Plato, Aristotle, Isocrates, and, before them, Castor, Thallus, and Phlegon, who do not find any such successor. Neither do Tatianus, Theophilus, Antiochenus, Julius Africanus, Clemens Alexandrinus, Justin Martyr, Lactantius, Eusebiua, St. Jerome, or St. Augustine, make report out of any faithful author by them read, that hath given other son or successor to Astyages than Cyrus.
Yet, seeing that this manner of argument, 'ab au'thoritate negative,' doth never enforce consent^ we may be the bolder, (all this great list of noble writers by him alleged notwithstanding,) to affirm, that either Astyages himself must have been Darhts of the Medes, which cannot agree with his place in the course of time; or else to give him some other successor, according to Josephus and Xenophon,4 the same whomDaniel calleth Darius; for it is manifest, and without dispute, that the king of the Medes commanded in chief, and was absolute lord of that conquest, Cyrus, during his life, being no other than the lieutenant of his army, and subject to his authority; the strength of bath nations, to wit, the Medes and Persians, with others the vassals of Darius, being joined together to compound it*
But it is very certain, that the honour of that great victory over Babylon was wholly given to Cyrus, who was the instrument pre-ordained and forenamed by God himself, not only for this action, but for the delivery of his church; a greater work, in the eyes