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* dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon: sit on the 'ground, there is no throne,' &c. And again, ' Sit
* still, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the 'Chaldaeans; for thou shalt no more be called the 'lady of kingdoms.' For, though it cannot be doubted, that God used Nabuchodonosor, and the Chaldaeans4, to punish the idolatry of the Judaeans; yet Isaiah teacheth us in this place, that he did not yet forget that the execution of bis judgments was mixed with a rigorous extremity. For (saith Isaiah) in the person of God, 'I was wroth with my people, 4 I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them 'into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy, 'but thou didst lay thy very heavy yoke upon the
* ancients. I will rise up against them, saith the 'Lord of hosts, and will cut off from Babylon the 'name, and the remnant, and the son, and the ne4 phew.' And in the thirteenth, ' Every one that
* is found, shall be stricken through: whosoever 'joineth himself, shall fall by the sword, their chili 'dren also shall be broken in pieces before their
* eyes, their houses spoiled, and their wives rayish'ed.' So as there is no historian who was either pre* sent at this victory of Cyrus, or that received the report from others truly as it was, that could.better
which were written two hundred years before any thing attempted.
. The greatness and magnificence of Babylon, were it not by divers grave authors set down, might seem altogether fabulous: for, besides the reports of St Jerome, Solinus, and Orosius, Aristotle in the third of his Politics, the second chapter, received the report for true, that one part of the city knew not that the rest was taken three days after. Which is not impossible, if the testimony of Diodorus Siculus may be taken5; who finds the compass thereof
4 Isa. ziv. To wit, Etilmerodach and Ballhjsar. i Diod. 1. iii.
at three-hundred and sixty stadia or furlongs, which makes forty-five miles; the walls whereof had so great a breath, that six chariots might pass in front thereon: and of height, according to Ctesias and Clitarchus, three hundred three score and five feet, garnished with an hundred and fifty toweis. Strabo, in the beginning of his sixteenth book of Geography, gives it a greater circuit, adding twenty-five furlongs more to the former compass, reckoning the same at three hundred fourscore and five furlongs, which makes forty-eight miles and one furlong; but finds the wall far under that which Diodorus reports: and so doth Curtius measure their thickness but at thirty-two foot, and their height at an hundred cubits, which is also very much; every cubit containing a foot and a half of the large measure; though to the whole circuit of the city he gives the same with Siculus, and eight furlongs more. Herodotus finds a greater content that Strabo doth4, namely, four hundred and fourscore furlongs circle; the thickness of the wall he measures at fifty cubits, and the height at two hundred of the same regal cubit. For entrance it had an hundred gates of brass, with posts and hooks to hang them on, of the same metal; and therefore did the prophet Isaiah rightly entitle Babylon7, ' The princess and glory of kingdoms.'
But when Cyrus had won her, he stripped her out of her princely robes, and made her a slave; dividing not only all her goodly houses, and her whole territory, with all the riches therein contained, among his soldiers; but bestowing the inhabitants themselves as bond-slaves upon those that had taken possession of their goods.
Touching the reign of Cyrus, and the time which he enjoyed in rest and pleasure, 1 can say no more of it, than that it is generally agreed by all chronologers to have lasted only seven years; in which time he made such constitutions' as differ little from
C Herod. 1. i. 7 U». xlvii. IS.
the ordinances of all wise kings that are desirous to establish a royal power to themselves and their posterity.
The last war, and the end of this great king Cyrus, is diversly written. Herodotus and Justin deliver, that after the conquest of Asia the less, Cyrus invaded the Massagetes, a very warlike nation of the Scythians, governed by Tomyris their queen; and that in an encounter between the Persians and these northern Nomades, Tomyris lost her army, and her son Spargapises that commanded it: in revenge whereof, this queen, making new levies of men of war, and following the war against Cyrus, in a second battle, beat the Persian army, and taking Cyrus prisoner, cut off his head from his body, and cast the same into a bowl of blood, using these words: 'Thou that hast all thy lifetime thirsted for blood, * now drink thy fill, and satiate thyself.'
It should hereby seem, that Cyrus, knowing the strength and multitude of those frozen nations, was persuaded to abate their fury by some forcible invasion and depopulation ; because in the time of Cyaxares, father to Astyages, those Scythians invaded Media and Asia the less, and held the same in a servile subjection twenty eight years. This war which Metasthenes calleth Tomyrique, lasted (saith he) six years, and took end at the death of Cyrus.
But in this particular I believe with Viginier, that this Scythian war was rather the same which Cyrus made against the Sacians, before the conquest of Lydia, according to Ctesias before cited, who calleth Tomyris, Sparetha, though he deliver the success of that war otherwise than Herodotus doth j the rather (saith Viginier'), because Strabo in his eleventh book reciteth, that Cyrus surprised the Sacians by the same stratagem by which Justin saith he defeated the son of Tomyris. And the same Ctesias also reporteth*, that the last war which Cyrus made was against Amorrheus king of the Derbicians, a nation (as the rest) of Scythia; whom though he' overcame, yet he then received the wound of his death, which he suffered three days after.
Strabo also affirmeth3, that he was buried |in his own city of Pasagardes, which himself had built, and where his epitaph was to be read in his time; which is said to have been this: 'O vir, quicunque 4 es, et uridecunque advenis, neque enim te adven
• turum ignoravi: ego sum Cyrus qui Persis impe
* rium constitui, pusillum hoc terrae, quo meum tegi4 tur corpus, mihi ne invidias: * O thou man who4 ever thou art, or whencesoever thou comest, for 4 I was not ignorant that thou shouldst come,—I am 4 Cyrus that founded the Persian empire; do not en4 vy unto me this little earth with which my body is 4 covered.'
This tomb was opened by Alexander, as Quintus Curtius, 1. i. reporteth, either upon hope of treasure, supposed to have been buried with him, or upon desire to honour his dead body with certain ceremonies; in which there was found an old rotten target, two Scythian bows, arid a sword. The coffin wherein his body lay, Alexander caused to be covered with his own garment, and a crown of gold to be set upon it. These things well considered, as they give credit to the reports of Xenophon and Zonaras4, so they derogate much from Herodotus, who leaves his body in the hands of Tomyris.
And surely, had Cyrus lost the army of Persia in Scythia, it is not likely, that his son would so soon have transported all his remaining forces into Egypt,
1 Vig. prim. part. Bib. 2 Ctes. 1. xv. hist. pirt. S Stub. 1. xv.
1 Xen. psed. 8. Zon. i. i. c. 20.
so far off from that quarter; the Scythian nation then victorious, and bordering Media: neither had Cambyses been able in such haste to have undertaken and performed so great a conquest. Wherefore I rather believe Xenophon, saying, that Cyrus died aged, and in peace; and that finding in himself, that he could not long enjoy the world, he called unto him his nobility, with his two sons Cambyses and Smerdis; or, after Xenophon, Tanaoxares,—and, after a long oration, wherein he assured himself, and taught others, of the immortality of the soul, and of the punishments and rewards following the good and ill deserving of every man in this life, he exhorted his sons, by the strongest arguments he had, to a perpetual concord and agreement. Many other things he uttered, which make it probable that he received the knowledge of the true God from Daniel, when he governed Susa and Persia; and that Cyrus himself had read the prophecy of Isaiah, wherein he was expressly named, and by God (for the delivery of his people) pre-ordained. Which act of delivering the Jews from their captivity, and of restoring the holy temple and city of Jerusalem, was in true consideration the noblest work that ever Cyrus performed. For in other actions he was an instrument of God's power, used for the chastising of many nations, and the establishing of a government in those parts of the world, which was not long to continue. But herein he had the grace to be an instrument of God's goodness, and a willing advancer of his kingdom upon earth; which must last forever, though heaven and earth shall perish.